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Excerpt: "The U.S. government should immediately drop the most serious charges against Pvt. Bradley Manning, Amnesty International said today after the conclusion of all testimony in the case."

Bradley Manning. (photo: Getty Images)
Bradley Manning. (photo: Getty Images)


Amnesty International: US Must Drop Bradley Manning's "Aiding the Enemy" Charge

By Amnesty International

13 July 13

 

RSN Special Coverage: Trial of Bradley Manning

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he U.S. government should immediately drop the most serious charges against Pvt. Bradley Manning, Amnesty International said today after the conclusion of all testimony in the case.

"We've now seen the evidence presented by both sides, and it's abundantly clear that the charge of 'aiding the enemy' has no basis. The government should withdraw that charge," said Widney Brown senior director for international law and policy at Amnesty International.

Manning's lawyers asked the judge to dismiss these and other charges in a motion filed over the weekend.

"The prosecution should also take a long, hard look at its entire case and move to drop all other charges that aren't supported by the evidence presented," said Widney Brown.

Last week, prosecutors withdrew a charge that Manning had leaked intelligence to a "classified enemy".

To prove the charge that Manning has "aided the enemy," the U.S. government has to establish that he gave potentially damaging intelligence information to an enemy, and that he did so knowingly, with what presiding judge Col. Denise Lind called "a general evil intent".

The prosecution has struggled throughout the trial to make a convincing case for this charge. Its own witnesses repeatedly told the court that they found no evidence that Manning was sympathetic towards al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, that he had never expressed disloyalty to his country, that they had no evidence that he had ties to any government other than his own, and that they had no reason to believe he had ever collected money for the information he disclosed.

Instead, government witnesses testified, for example, that Manning was involved in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and is on "on the extreme Democratic side" in political terms.

"The government's case for 'aiding the enemy' is ludicrous, and that's not surprising," said Widney Brown. "What's surprising is that the prosecutors in this case, who have a duty to act in the interest of justice, have pushed a theory that making information available on the internet - whether through Wikileaks, in a personal blog posting, or on the website of The New York Times - can amount to 'aiding the enemy.'"

In fact, at times it appeared that the prosecutors were putting Wikileaks, rather than Manning, on trial. The charges against Manning do not include conspiracy with Wikileaks or any other actor, so the relevance of this aspect of the prosecution's case was not clear.

The government faced challenges in proving lesser charges as well. He's charged, among other offences, with the use of unauthorised software and other alleged violations of similar operating procedures. But one special agent testifying for the prosecution told the court that at least one of the programmes Manning was accused of illegally adding to his computer was in fact used by everyone in Manning's intelligence cell. Other software used by Manning was not expressly prohibited by commanders, the court heard.


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+22 # Urbancurmudgeon 2013-07-13 22:31
IT looks like the lynch mob may have forgotten the rope. Military justice and Army intelligence the great oxymorons.
 
 
+14 # RMDC 2013-07-14 08:20
You name the problem exactly -- military justice and army intelligence.

This is not about justice on the side of the military. It is about intimidation.
 
 
+17 # soularddave 2013-07-13 23:44
So Uncle Sam is going for "guilty - by reason of innuendo", but guilty of what, exactly?

Seems like everybody in Washington watches FAUX News, and wants to please them by pretending their panties are in a twist over Pfc Manning's actions. Unfortunately the law is kinda specific, and doesn't address the situation the right wingers conjured up in their pointy little heads.

Send the boy home, and send him a check for his time in the brig. Admit that the Army was WRONG, and apologize.
 
 
+16 # Jackpine 2013-07-14 08:01
But--aren't people on "the extreme Democratic side" enemies of America? After all, they keep doing unpatriotic things like trying to get & keep us out of highly profitable wars, blocking attempts to suppress the black vote and stuff like that.
 
 
+7 # tomo 2013-07-14 14:10
When Obama campaigned in 2008, he promised that his election would lead to transparency in government. No sooner was he in office than he decided to deny Americans access to videos that showed government personnel engaged in torture. He began sweeping things under the rug. Manning has, to a degree, pulled the rug from under the president's feet. This has, naturally enough, led Obama to regard him as a enemy. Just as Nixon had an "enemies list," so Obama has his--and this young truth-teller is close to the top. So when Obama and company allege that Manning has given "aid and comfort to the enemy," they are in a sense being candid. They need only add that "the enemy" are all and any who would hinder them in their efforts to conduct foreign policy in a non-democratic mode.
 
 
+6 # amye 2013-07-14 14:10
Why is our government so ridiculous in its prosecutions? Case after case they look silly trying to prove the unprovable! Don't they know how bad they look to the public when they do that? It really makes our government look so inept! Most Americans do not agree with our government on values, morays, and ideals! Why not adhere to the public majority and go that way? The majority of Americans are honest, true, and moral!
 
 
0 # AMLLLLL 2013-07-14 19:09
I was just going to say, 'aiding the enemy' is a relative term. Sounds like the Government (and I use the term loosely) has its own set of enemies different than We the People.
 
 
+1 # Jack Gibson 2013-07-14 19:14
Thank you, Amnesty International!! OF COURSE, these over-prosecutio n, malicious-prose cution and ridiculous charges should, and MUST, be dismissed!! The U.S. government and oxymoronic "Department of (so-called) 'Justice'" will do anything and everything to get revenge against those who bring the government's extreme illegality and criminality to light, make it known to the American people and to the world at large, highlight it, and make it so stark, including lying through their teeth; and, if that includes tacking on false, spurious, malicious and/or extreme charges that have insufficient if any basis in fact, they will do so, and then do everything in their prodigious power to lie and obfuscate in order to make those witnesses and whistleblowers of the U.S. government's extreme illegality and criminality, suffer and be convicted of those false, spurious, malicious and/or overblown charges; in other words, doing anything and everything in order to DESTROY those witnesses and whistleblowers! ! THAT IS THE ULTIMATE IN OBSTRUCTION OF TRUE JUSTICE, WHICH NOW MAKES THE U.S. GOVERNMENT THE ULTIMATE IN CRIMINAL(S)!! As with Machiavelli, the ends allegedly justify all means, and the government's criminality supposedly "doesn't matter"; but "only" the so-called "criminality" of "the little guys" who would "dare" expose that government's evil criminality, and the extreme level of it!!

- Continued -
 
 
0 # Jack Gibson 2013-07-14 21:33
ENOUGH OF THE TYRANNY AND TREASON OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT!! WE MUST *ALL* STAND UP AGAINST IT WITH ALL OF OUR *NON-VIOLENT* "MIGHT"!! REMEMBER, IT IS THE *DUTY* OF *ALL* OF US TO DO THIS; SO, PLEASE PEOPLE, DO IT!! OTHERWISE, YOU ARE WILLFULLY ALLOWING THE INNOCENT, AND THE "LIBERTY AND JUSTICE *FOR ALL*" OF OUR BELOVED COUNTRY, TO BE DESTROYED!! PLEASE DO *NOT* LET WHAT THE U.S. IS *ONLY* SUPPOSED TO STAND FOR, TRUE LIBERTY, FREEDOM AND JUSTICE, BE DESTROYED!! COMPLETELY FREE THE U.S. OF *ALL* OF THIS TYRANNY AND TREASON!! NOW!!

LONG LIVE TRUE FREEDOM, LIBERTY AND JUSTICE, *FOR ALL*; AND LONG LIVE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND WHAT IT IS *ONLY* SUPPOSED TO STAND FOR!! LET IT NOT END, EVER!!

[Yes, I'm "yelling" in this case, and not simply emphasizing (although I'm doing that also). I'm shouting it from the rooftops, so to speak!]
 
 
+2 # fdawei 2013-07-15 03:18
When the government has no real basis for charging Bradley Manning or others who have fallen victim to the government's trial by innuendo, they focus on the individuals personal behavior as though that "immorality" will sway the court and the average citizen.
Who cares if Bradley was "involved in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and is on "on the extreme Democratic side" in political terms.
All this is to distract from the government's inability to come up with anything really damaging against Pvt. Manning.
Stand Proud Bradley Manning.
We are beside you and salute you!
 
 
+1 # oakes721 2013-07-15 08:26
Administrations run by weapons makers and military contractors must be charged with 'Creating the Enemy' where there were none ~ for the war profiteers. Criminals only defense is to appear dangerous and unruly ~ so the rules are out the (broken) window in order to maintain and promote fear rather than the respect, once deserved.
 
 
0 # tomtom 2013-07-24 09:41
Yesterday, General Martin Dempsey, of the Pentagon, gave Congress a detailed list of Military Options in Syria. We still don't have a Department of Peace deciding and offering lists of Peaceful Options. We get what we pay for; Dennis Kucinich, you were right!
 

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