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Assange writes: "The US first amendment states that 'Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press'. What part of ’no’ does Barack Obama fail to comprehend?"

Julian Assange. (photo: file)
Julian Assange. (photo: file)


On the Bradley Manning Verdict

By Julian Assange, WikiLeaks

31 July 13

 

he 'aiding the enemy' charge has fallen away. It was only included, it seems, to make calling journalism 'espionage' seem reasonable. It is not.

Bradley Manning's alleged disclosures have exposed war crimes, sparked revolutions, and induced democratic reform. He is the quintessential whistleblower.

This is the first ever espionage conviction against a whistleblower. It is a dangerous precedent and an example of national security extremism. It is a short sighted judgment that can not be tolerated and must be reversed. It can never be that conveying true information to the public is 'espionage'.

President Obama has initiated more espionage proceedings against whistleblowers and publishers than all previous presidents combined.

In 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama ran on a platform that praised whistleblowing as an act of courage and patriotism. That platform has been comprehensively betrayed. His campaign document described whistleblowers as watchdogs when government abuses its authority. It was removed from the internet last week.

Throughout the proceedings there has been a conspicuous absence: the absence of any victim. The prosecution did not present evidence that - or even claim that - a single person came to harm as a result of Bradley Manning's disclosures. The government never claimed Mr. Manning was working for a foreign power.

The only 'victim' was the US government's wounded pride, but the abuse of this fine young man was never the way to restore it. Rather, the abuse of Bradley Manning has left the world with a sense of disgust at how low the Obama administration has fallen. It is not a sign of strength, but of weakness.

The judge has allowed the prosecution to substantially alter the charges after both the defense and the prosecution had rested their cases, permitted the prosecution 141 witnesses and extensive secret testimony. The government kept Bradley Manning in a cage, stripped him naked and isolated him in order to crack him, an act formally condemned by the United Nations Special Rapporteur for torture. This was never a fair trial.

The Obama administration has been chipping away democratic freedoms in the United States. With today's verdict, Obama has hacked off much more. The administration is intent on deterring and silencing whistleblowers, intent on weakening freedom of the press.

The US first amendment states that "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press". What part of 'no' does Barack Obama fail to comprehend?

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+51 # RMDC 2013-07-31 14:56
"This is the first ever espionage conviction against a whistleblower."

It is not likely to be the last. The US regime is determined to keep its crimes secret. The essence of this case is that Manning discovered direct evidence of crimes and misconduct on the part of the military and others working for the government. He exposed the wrong doing. No one he exposed has been investigated, charged, or convicted. Manning was extensively investigated for three years and now he's convicted. This says a lot about the US.

The lesson Obama wants you to take from this prosecution is that if you see a government official committing crimes don't say anything. Look away. Tell yourself it is not your concern.
 
 
+10 # tedrey 2013-08-01 06:55
It seems the American military and both parties are hell-bent on the road to self destruction. We just must ensure that they don't take down everything worthwhile wit them.
 
 
+6 # rockieball 2013-08-01 07:51
Words on paper even those on our Constitution mean nothing when the leaders sworn to uphold and protect them violate them and do not do so, and the people sit on their hands and do not raise arms against illegal acts done by the leaders upon the populace. With out an American Spring not controlled by say the Koch Brothers (I.E Tea Party)those pieces of paper caled the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution mean nothing except hollow words on a piece of paper and those that died from 1776 to the present and those that will die thinking they are protecting those words, die uselessly.
 
 
+53 # AUCHMANNOCH 2013-07-31 16:14
Oh my God, how we all hoped that Obama would change things, but he is simply the same horse of a different colour.
 
 
+33 # babaregi 2013-07-31 17:13
Yes, lots of progressives hoped for change from Obama but I never did.
Ralph Nader was cautioning people from the very beginning based on Obama's weak track record in the Senate but how many were listening?
He was sold to consumers as a 'new and improved brand' and plenty of people bought it. His campaign even won prestigious advertising and marketing awards for 2009; not bad for a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
It's business as usual folks.
 
 
+7 # Jack Gibson 2013-08-01 03:13
Yah, a Trojan horse.
 
 
+27 # Cruzer 2013-07-31 19:00
I don't know what it's going to take to change things. Our governments weird foreign policy never altered after the end of the so called Cold War. The US security systems got bigger and the military got stronger. PNAC came along and the US wanted to rearrange the middle east to help big oil and Israel. The people of America were never asked and have not benefited is the least. Millions over the world called for peace and the US went right on lying and killing. I don't know what it is going to take but one thing for sure. Voting won't get it done.
 
 
+22 # DaveM 2013-07-31 21:54
I would like to know as well. I am presently facing felony charges over, of all things, a Facebook post, which, on top of everything else, I did not write. The true culprit appears to be a man who has been harassing me for approximately 18 months, who a private investigator has identified as a high-ranking Air Force Intelligence officer.

All of this happened just as Edward Snowden hit the fan. This being a rural area, that won't make its way into the local judiciary for at least a decade.

Meanwhile, Northern Minnesota has its own Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. But there will be no headlines for me, and when, as I suspect, I am shot down by police who "see something shiny in my hand", the only people who will notice will be locals, who will say "he must have done something or they wouldn't have shot him". It happens fairly often around here.

Watch your backs, folks. I cannot imagine that I am an isolated case. And it is a small step from watching us all to kicking in the doors of as many as they wish.
 
 
+11 # candida 2013-08-01 01:32
DaveM,this is quite distressing to read. I wish you the best. Your final comment, "it is a small step from watching us all to kicking in the doors of as many as they wish," makes me think inevitably of undocumented workers whose doors are kicked in every day and dragged of to "detention centers" (prisons, sometime solitary confinement!), separated from children and partners, and dumped in unknown places without any resources. I dare say the similarity between your words and their situation illustrates the dangers of ignoring the repression against the least among us, which the white Left has done, for the most part, with regard to undocumented immigrants. I think RSN could do more, too, to cover the immigrant rights movement. The Left needs to get over its own racism, sexism and homophobia and classism and see the connections among all in order to actually become a united and effective Left.
 
 
+6 # Milarepa 2013-08-01 00:24
DaveM - what was the Facebook post?
 
 
+11 # candida 2013-08-01 01:12
"...the abuse of Bradley Manning has left the world with a sense of disgust at how low the Obama administration has fallen. It is not a sign of strength, but of weakness." This truth is self-evident. The abuse of Bradley Manning is only one of the latest in a long series of actions that show the Obama administration and the Democratic Party to be both complicit with and ineffective against the plutocratic, military-indust rial complex. I voted for Obama in both elections not out of deep conviction for him but against the Republicans. In fact, I voted for others in the primaries, like Dennis Kucinich. I was always concerned about Obama's lack of experience, but then I'm not so sure Hillary would have been much different. I think not. The problem is much more systemic than of personalities. Any president will be beholden to her/his party, and any party will be beholden to their funders: the banks, the militarists, and the Zionists who have hijacked foreign policy in the Middle East. I have been a lifelong Democrat and voted in every election. The cooptation of Obama and the many failures of his administration leave me to reconsider my party affiliation and the value of voting, though I will probably continue to do both out of fear of a total Republican takeover. What choices do we have? My politics do not begin or end at the ballot box, but I feel very disillusioned and frustrated by the severe marginalization and fragmentation of the U.S. Left, if there even is such a thing.
 
 
+5 # Jack Gibson 2013-08-01 03:06
That is truth, Julian Assange, and so well said that it brought tears to my eyes that I now cannot stop; and, even if my literal tears stop, my heart will continue to be filled with tears. By giving the complete fraud, "Barack 'Insane' ObamaCON", the Nobel "Peace" Prize, they have proven Orwell's assertion that "War is (supposedly) peace". But the one much more deserving of being honored as a man of peace, is Bradley Manning; and the total fraud, "ObamaCON", should be shamed all the way to prison for life for crimes against humanity and war crimes. He is no more a man of peace than the devil himself is, and the former is evil through and through like the latter is. "ObamaCON" is a tyrant and traitor to the United States, and he should not be allowed to get away with ANY of his crimes, anymore than the BushCONS should get away with their's. IMPEACH, INDICT, PROSECUTE, CONVICT AND IMPRISON-FOR-LI FE, "BARACK 'INSANE' OBAMACON", THE MASS-MURDEROUS WAR CRIMINAL, TYRANT AND TRAITOR TO TRUE LIBERTY AND FREEDOM, IN THE U.S. AND THE WORLD-OVER!
 
 
+15 # seeuingoa 2013-08-01 03:48
This verdict has outraged all decent
people in the world.

One thing we can do is calling for a
total boycot of everything American.

tourism
fast food chains
starbucks
electronics
films
fashion
cars


everything american where big corporations are involved.
 
 
-2 # Douglas Jack 2013-08-01 14:23
The key is to discern when the people are involved with collective intelligence & when top-down fear-based hierarchy & ignorance has taken hold.
A BOYCOTT of every top-down American corporation in which all stakeholders aren't received to invest & aren't represented on the Board of Directors.
A BUYCOTT of every participatory multi-stakehold er corporation where Founders, Workers, Suppliers & Consumers are facilitated to invest their strengths such as talents, expertise, time, resources, goods, services & patronage. Time-based human resource accounting translates between all values. Stakeholders are 'caucused' (Iroquois 'grouping of like-interests' ) into associations, elect representatives to the board.

We join together in participatory multihome (apartment, townhouse, village dwellings where we can work together & recognize 'domestic' labours as the core of 'economy' (Greek 'oikos' = 'home'). Female-male & all generations can collaborate, be recognized for their economic contributions. 70% of the world live in multihome dwellings where the average occupancy of 32 dwelling units is 100 people. With this critical mass of talent, labour, investment & interaction we're stronger than money-only based corporations, institutions, governments & organizations. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/relational-economy
 
 
+12 # reo100 2013-08-01 05:40
Assange, you Manning and Snowden are brave hero's in our eyes. REAL MEN, WITH PURE HONEST VALUES! Obama will go down in history as the US President who turned honesty into a crime! And a Constitutional scholar who destroyed the Constitution.
 
 
-24 # William Wagner 2013-08-01 06:27
Why would you give this LikiLeaks bonehead the presstime.
 
 
+7 # CAMUS1111 2013-08-01 11:34
Better question: Why let you make your shallow comment?
 
 
+11 # eileenflemingforUSHOUSE 2013-08-01 06:34
Assange is wrong about "This is the first ever espionage conviction against a whistleblower."

The first was Israel's Nuclear Whistle Blower, Mordechai Vanunu who has been seeking asylum ever since he emerged from 18 years in a windowless tomb sized cell on 21 April 2004--convicted of espionage and treason but ALL he did was tell the truth and provide the photographic proof of Israel's 7 story underground WMD Facility at Dimona.

LEARN MORE about Vanunu and US collusion in Israel's Nuclear DECEPTIONS:
http://www.causes.com/VANUNU
 
 
+6 # Walter J Smith 2013-08-01 07:42
What but a combined radical insecurity plus a radical dishonesty can explain this?

"President Obama has initiated more espionage proceedings against whistleblowers and publishers than all previous presidents combined."

It is as if Obama, Inc., has to prove it is as degenerate for the "hope and change" Democratic Party as the Unholy "compassionate conservatives" Trinity of GWB, Cheney & Rove, Inc., has clearly proven to have been for the GOP.

Actually, this could be the best way to dramatically weaken the Democratic Wall Street Party so real democrats can reclaim democracy as policy that favors & pursues "government of the people, by the people, for the people."

All right, so I dream!
 
 
+4 # jwb110 2013-08-01 10:19
I think the Obama Administration has tipped it's hand in these prosecutions. It sends the message that the ideology driven gov't is really a house of cards and is always on the verge of collapse. They can't shout down an entire nation for ever no matter how hard they try.
The upcoming elections will have a whole new feel. People, and I mean people who pay attention, are concerned and are talking to one another. Just like RSM, they are little town hall meetings. That makes for the sort of bottom up gov't that takes the country back for the people. Spin doctors may all be out of a job.
 
 
-9 # Corvette-Bob 2013-08-01 11:10
Let see. I am an aide to General Ike before the landing at Normandy. I get the plans and the date of the attack. So, are people saying that I have a right to publish this information in the paper and I am covered by Freedom of Speech.
 
 
-4 # AlWight 2013-08-01 13:37
People are quick to judge, on the basis of little information. We don’t know the content of the information Manning released, and we trusted him to safeguard this information. In the interest of national security, we cannot allow one person to decide what should be revealed to the world, and possibly compromise our sources. We rely on intelligence information to guide us in critical decisions. Do we want freedom of the press or national security? That sometimes is the choice. Also, Obama is not the judge in this case. It appears that some of the comments are politically motivated, not given out of concern for the country. Allowing Manning to get off with no punishment would mean the end of the intelligence effort we depend on. I know, as a former intelligence officer who served in two wars.
 
 
+3 # Dion Giles 2013-08-02 00:02
OK I'll tell you the content of one piece of information that Manning put in the public arena. It consisted of footage of vermin, egged on by some murderer in the background, firing bullets from an Apache helicopter into people on a street in one or other of the countries that Americans are violating. For good measure they then turned the guns on a Reuters journalist.

And no, my comment is not out of concern for your country but out of concern for those it routinely violates. Yes it is politically inspired - opposition to any party that links my country to America's colonial ambitions or, worse, participates in its adventures.

You were an intelligence officer (is that code for torturer?) in two wars. If the wars were to defend people from aggression your service was honourable indeed. If either of them was a war of colonial aggression your service was DIShonourable. Honourable American military service has been very rare since 1945.

For honourable, outstandingly honourable, think Manning and Snowden.
 
 
+3 # Dion Giles 2013-08-02 01:07
Anyone with links to anyone in Australia may care to let them know that Wikileaks has formed a party which is contesting Senate seats in NSW and WA in the upcoming Australian election. Julian Assange has nominated in a third State - Victoria - but will probably not get back to serve until he can defeat an American attempt to get hold of him on rendition from a trumped up sex inquiry in an obedient Sweden.

If rendered to the USA he would get the Manning treatment. That's why the US got the Swedes to demand his presence in Stockholm for questioning which the Swedes could easily have conducted by phone or by visiting the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he has been given asylum.
 
 
+1 # ladymidath 2013-08-04 17:11
Thanks, I live in Sydney so I will look into this.
I notice that Murdoch is giving Labour the Faux No News treatment.
 
 
+1 # tigerlille 2013-08-01 20:16
I think that we have to get out of the habit of judging Obama as an individual, and trying to reconcile what he said to get elected with his actions immediately after getting elected. Obama as a person is irrelevant anyway. He has a certain amount of latitude, a certain amount of personal style is allowed, but fundamentally, he is doing what he is told. As a previous commenter stated it would have been the same no matter who was in office; Clinton, Romney, whatever. It is hard to let go of the cult of personality but it is a distraction that is wasting our time. When ever I see Obama on television, I feel regret, because I want to like him. Waste of time.
 
 
+1 # ladymidath 2013-08-04 17:09
Well Obama was supposed to be the Great New Hope of America, instead he has proven to be just the same if not worse than all the others before him.
Sad really because I thought he was going to be different. He is not.
 

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