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Galindez writes: "The Army's use of the 'aiding the enemy' statute against Bradley Manning, if successful, will send a chilling message to all would-be whistleblowers. That message is that if you expose our wrongdoing we will jail you for life, or even take your life."

Bradley Manning being escorted out of court. (photo: Scott Galindez/RSN)
Bradley Manning being escorted out of court. (photo: Scott Galindez/RSN)

Shining a Light on Truth Should Not Be a Capital Offense

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

19 July 13


RSN Special Coverage: Trial of Bradley Manning

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know many people think Bradley Manning is a traitor and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Many probably say hang him. One problem with that thinking (among many others) is it wouldn't just mean punishing Manning, it would stifle anyone courageous enough to bring the truth to the light of day.

The Army's use of the "aiding the enemy" statute against Bradley Manning, if successful, will send a chilling message to all would-be whistleblowers. That message is that if you expose our wrongdoing we will jail you for life, or even take your life. Prior to this case, the threshold for a charge of "aiding the enemy" included specific intent and contact with the enemy.

This new interpretation of the law changes all that. If Bradley Manning is found guilty for leaking information to the media that made its way to the enemy without his direct knowledge or intent, then we are all at risk. Nothing in the "aiding the enemy" statute says that the information has to be classified. It would be easy to argue that if I wrote in an article the time that a security guard made his rounds, and a sleeper cell used that information to place a bomb in a building, I would be guilty of aiding the enemy.

Professor Yochai Benkler of Harvard Law School testified during the defense: "Once you accept that WikiLeaks is a new journalistic organization, if handing materials over to an organization that can be read by anyone with an Internet connection means that you are handing over to the enemy - that essentially means that any leak to a media organization that can be read by any enemy anywhere in the world becomes automatically aiding the enemy."

Instead of punishing whistleblowers, our nation needs to stop committing acts that will embarrass us if exposed. In today's America the messenger is treated with disdain while those committing evil acts are protected by a veil of secrecy. These are not our values.

Trial Update

Judge Lind also denied another motion related to fraudulent use of information that Manning was authorized to access. There were also arguments on two other motions to dismiss.

After a two hour lunch recess the rebuttal phase began. The army will call four witnesses to rebut defense testimony. The defense has indicated they will seek to call at least two witnesses to rebut the prosecution's rebuttal witnesses. The defense witnesses probably won't be available to testify until next week.

So far the prosecution's rebuttal case has focused on the use of executable programs. The first witness was Allen Milliman, who worked for the company that provided and maintained the computers Manning was using. Milliman testified that his company was not pleased that music and movies were being played on the system, but they didn't have the authority to ban their use. The witness was unsure if the file Manning used to download batches of files was authorized or not.

The second rebuttal witness, Special Agent David Shaver, testified regarding how that program (Wget) was run by Manning, and from where. He testified that the program was run from the computer and not from a CD. His testimony is taking a long time, as we are getting a lesson on how to navigate the web and use Wget to download files from a command line.

Shaver was then used to attempt to discredit WikiLeaks. First they used tweets to which Shaver found the links on Manning's personal computer:

The Army argued that these tweets showed that Manning knew WikiLeaks was not a media organization.

On cross examination, Agent Shaver admitted that a third tweet not presented by the prosecution linked to a story that talked about Julian Assange traveling to Iceland to speak at a conference of investigative journalists.

The cross examination then went into web pages found on Manning's computer with numerous articles about how WikiLeaks was an award winning investigative news organization, several citing their importance to modern day journalism.

The Army also attempted to enter a letter Manning wrote to The New York Times, saying that it showed that Manning must not have thought WikiLeaks was a legitimate media organization since he also attempted to reach The New York Times. The judge didn't see the connection and did not admit the letter.

The judge recessed for the day at just after 7 p.m. Rebuttal will resume at 9:30 a.m. on Friday July 19th.

Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott will be spending a year covering the presidential election from Iowa.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

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Founder, Reader Supported News

+36 # Deboldt 2013-07-19 09:32
Until Bradley Manning is released with personal apologies from Holder and Obama and the miscreants he unveiled are indited and punished, I will regard myself as an enemy of the United States of Amerika and the corporations for which it stands. I will regard all parties that contributed to this tragic miscarriage of justice as my enemies. Americans must realize that their government is a terrorist organization bent on the destruction of our liberties at home and the lives of countless innocent men, women and children abroad. No alleged "Homeland Security" is worth the price we are being asked to pay for it!
-7 # JackB 2013-07-20 16:05
AmeriKa ??? Let's load up the boat. I will also regard you & ilk as enemies of the United States of AmeriCa.

Apparently your tortured soul is able to set aside its righteous & sanctimonious indignation & continue to continue to enjoy the benefits of living here.
+31 # jwb110 2013-07-19 09:53
I am of that age that remembers when Governor Reagan sent in the Guard to Berkley to suppress the likes of Mario Savio and his criticism of the Washington agenda. When it happened I told my parents, who were Reagan supporters, that Reagan had just succeeded in driving that movement underground.
The Obama Administration and Washington in general is making the exact same mistake
The Founders of the Nation, based on their same behavior due to British policy, revolted against the status quo. The right to Free Assembly and Free Speech is Constitutionall y guaranteed because it serves the purpose of creating a safety valve for the nation to make its needs know. There is wisdom in the Founders demand for those certain rights and privileges. It is a wisdom that Washington has forgotten.
-4 # JackB 2013-07-21 10:32
Perhaps you noticed that Manning was wearing an Army uniform. Your little essay doesn't apply to the military. Those in the service do not have the same freedoms that civilians have. The military is not a democracy.

What Manning did was totally illegal. I realize the terminally righteous on this board could care less about that or anything else that interferes with their agenda but the fact remains that Manning took it upon himself to release secret information. What he did was treason & I hope the verdict reflects that.

Leaving aside the absurdity of arguing that a disgruntled 22 yr old Army pvt with mental health issues is qualified to be a gatekeeper of secret information there is the larger problem of how this helps or hurts the US in the international arena. No one here seems to give a damn about that. Actually no one here seems to realize it is even a problem.
0 # mdhome 2013-07-26 16:43
When a soldier sees his fellow soldiers commit a crime, he is obliged to report it and not let crimes against civilians go unpunished. Manning needed to go public with this information or become an accessory of the crime.
+27 # fredboy 2013-07-19 10:08
Yes, America is now a most dangerous and secretive game of tattle tale tit. Erasing 230 years of developing freedom. And most are numbly sitting on their asses and letting it happen to all of us.
+14 # Kootenay Coyote 2013-07-19 10:13
“Shining a Light on Truth Should Not Be a Capital Offense “. Unless, of course, the light-shiner is in Stalin’s USSR or Hitler’s Third Reich; or the dear old ever-righteous USA.
+13 # tm7devils 2013-07-19 10:22
Yes, the title is correct...but as everyone should know by now...TRUTH is the enemy of despotic and corrupt governments.
(Akin to Archie Bunker saying - "Stifle yourself")
+19 # angelfish 2013-07-19 10:26
Bradley Manning is an American Hero! He is proof that truth, honor and integrity STILL exists, even in a Military fraught with Sexual Assaults, Hyper-Religiosi ty and "Kill the Messenger" Ideology! However, since we were dragged through the Looking Glass into the lunacy of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, we have become a Joke. A SICK Joke, at that. We USED to be the ones everyone else turned to as a shining Beacon of Truth and Freedom. Now, we are like a Third World Gulag, horrifying our OWN who call us out on our bad behavior and then, label THEM, Traitor! I'm glad I'm on the near side of my "Three Score and Ten" and won't have to watch much more of this Anti-American, Anti-Minority, Anti-Woman, Anti-HUMAN Bull-Puckey for very much longer. I DO have hope that those coming after us, will do a better job. The Cretins in charge now are anathema to ALL we EVER once stood for!
+18 # Edwina 2013-07-19 10:29
It would be interesting to see a study comparing human rights and civil rights records of various countries. We already incarcerate a larger percentage of our citizenry than any other country. Compassionate leave for Lynne Stewart has been denied, Bradly Manning has been pursued as a traitor and kept in torturous conditions, Julian Assange is threatened with prosecution, and now Edward Snowdon is experiencing the might of the world's only superpower for what was an act of conscience. In none of these cases does the punishment fit the "crime". Rather the U.S. is exposed in its willingness to use raw power to protect its interests. Maybe we should re-read Dr. Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail".
0 # Kathymoi 2013-07-21 15:28
very well put.
+5 # James Marcus 2013-07-19 10:35
All A SHAM! (OK,.... CIRCUS!)

A travesty on The Rule of Law
+11 # cordleycoit 2013-07-19 10:41
We now see the corporate state draw up in it's collective magistracy and destroy the truth teller. The Army has failed to be on the truthful side since before Billy Mitchel.
+12 # DaveM 2013-07-19 10:44
We all stand with Bradley Manning. Is not the government supposed to be our servant? Including the judiciary?

A question that has troubled me since this nightmare began: Bradley Manning is a Private First Class. How does someone of that rank gain access to information which were are asked to believe is dangerous to this country? I have always believed that he acted at least in part with the assistance of a superior.

Of course, Private Manning did not release any information that was dangerous to this country or aided our enemies. He embarrassed our government, which is in the process of becoming our enemy.
0 # Nominae 2013-07-20 20:22
Quoting DaveM:
.... Is not the government supposed to be our servant? Including the judiciary? .

I sympathize entirely with your point of view. However - two points:

1) The quaint idea of the Government existing to "serve" the people is as preciously naive as the story of George Washington and the cherry tree.

2) The JUDICIARY is in NO way connected with this dog and pony show.

This is a MILITARY Courts Martial. It is as different from a civilian trial as is a Corvette from a Marine Humvee. While similarities obviously exist, they are both TOTALLY different "vehicles".

Military courts bind Members of the military to the Uniform Code Of Military Justice (UCMJ), *not* to the constitution and case law followed by civilian courts.

The JAG (Judge Advocate General) is a career military officer. Military officers who fail to pass their semi-annual "reviews" three times or more, may be simply "drummed out" of the Military, with no recourse to any redress. Period.

If the "word comes down" regarding the verdict preferred by the military, and that is NOT what transpires, how long can we expect the career of the JAG officer to last ?

A little quick math tells us: About a year and a half (three bad six month reviews). The concept of "independent" military judges has NEVER been practiced or *desired* by the military.

That is a total civilian misconception born of ignorance to the difference between civilian and military court systems.
+11 # 2013-07-19 11:14
I guess we are all now guilty of aiding the enemy. Where is it wrong to speak the truth. WHAT IS THIS TEACHING THE YOUNG AMERICANS WHO NEED TO SEE JUSTICE FOR ONCE. They are slowly becoming very disillusioned with the government. No wonder they don't want to vote. Who will protect them?
+3 # RobertMStahl 2013-07-19 12:01
The dull blade of Lind is impoverishing my intellect to the point losing all sense of time. I am blinded for the slow and heedless trudging and drudgery used in this steady usurpation decried by an inbred gestalt with her success to destroy journalism formed out of the seat she occupies to play Jonah with Wikileaks. If she fails to destroy Wikileaks, then the old guard is dissolving. Ask yourself, should the electronic age bring us the beer at the bar table of life, or should we service this beer delivery service for the incestuous 'brotherhood' utilized to take an entire planet off the map of eternity? Where is Indira Singh?
+12 # Trueblue Democrat 2013-07-19 14:17
If I might borrow from an earlier time when our Constitution and the laws that flow from it were under attack by a power-mad senator, a time very similar to now, the difference being that it isn't just a senator it is a power-crazed president and his coterie of "yes" cretins -- Holder, Lind, and others too numerous to mention.

To apply to Obama the words with which Joseph N. Welch toppled Tailgunner Joe McCarthy 60 years ago:

"You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"
+6 # Cougar27 2013-07-19 16:11
A very apt quote, but note that if a Joseph Welch were to stand up and say that to Obama today, none of our evening newscasts would mention it. NONE.

By the way, I would have made one slight change in the Welch quote to make it fit the current situation -- I would have spelled "sir" C U R.
+5 # ericlipps 2013-07-19 14:17
If Bradley Manning is found guilty for leaking information to the media that made its way to the enemy without his direct knowledge or intent, then we are all at risk. Nothing in the "aiding the enemy" statute says that the information has to be classified. It would be easy to argue that if I wrote in an article the time that a security guard made his rounds, and a sleeper cell used that information to place a bomb in a building, I would be guilty of aiding the enemy.
It's worse than that. Even if nobody used that information, under this view of the law you would be chargeable with "aiding the enemy." In essence, the government could swoop down on anyone, anytime, who revealed any information it claimed might be useful to some enemy somewhere someday. So much for the Bill of Rights.
+11 # Kathymoi 2013-07-19 14:18
It appears that what is on trial is truth telling if the truth is inconvenient to the US government. The government appears to consider it the worst of crimes to expose its crimes. For that, life imprisonment without parole is not harsh enough. Even before the trial, punishment begins.
+9 # Jay Dee 2013-07-19 17:09
And when Robert Novak outed Valerie Plame wasn't that aiding and abetting the enemy? And who leaked that piece of info. to Novak? Scooter Libby was just the scapegoat or rather, the tip of a nasty iceberg and then wasn't he pardoned?

My god, Manning was just a kid when he did this--where did he find this kind of courage to take this step?

And now the CIA agent who was being targeted by Italy for prosecution for extraordinary rendition gets to walk free? A woman who in defense fires a warning shot gets 20 years but George Zimmerman is not guilty?

What upside down world is this?
0 # mdhome 2013-07-26 16:58
Sadly, you are right about this crazy up-side-down world (at least the US part), it is all mind numbing to see everything being totally wrong. How about those bankers getting bonuses for gambling away the taxpayers money?
0 # egbegb 2013-07-19 17:12
This issue is really simple.
Bradley Manning broke his promise and he broke the law.
He must be convicted.
However, if we cannot enumerate
the benefits from his actions, he will be
in jail for life.

I personally am disgusted by what I have learned from his illegal actions. I don't know enough yet so here is my guess:

Bradley Manning : Guilty
Snowden: Guilty

Manning: 90 days in the slammer
Snowden: 30 days in the slammer

Anything else should be commuted by POTUS when a
rational POTUS holds office.

The information revealed by Manning and Snowden
surprised 99% of Americans. We didn't want to do that, did we?

They broke law and promises and must be punished.
How much depends on the value of their lawlessness.

I value both information disclosures highly.
Wikileaks is the results. (BTW, has anyone contributed
to wikileaks?
+4 # giraffee2012 2013-07-19 17:45
They will find him guilty with life in prison and laugh at our outrage. We can do nothing it seems -- unless we revolt.

The FBI/CIA took down OWS and that was as far as we could go (it seems)

Will Hilary be an different than the establishment?

I fear that Obama does what he is told or his/his family will have the outcome of Wellstone and his family (under Bush/Cheney reign)

I heard that much of this "trial" is kept from the troops in battle in Afghanistan. OR THEY MIGHT LEAVE or tell a few tales too(???)
+3 # LizR 2013-07-19 22:00
The real harm done by Manning's leaks is that he let the US government show itself up as a bunch of cowardly hypocrites. Until they treat the edictor of the New York Times the same way they are all a bunch of vicious cowardly bullies who should not be allowed out of the playground.
+11 # She Cee 2013-07-19 22:17
When is it a crime to expose a crime?

When the crime is being perpetrated by your own government.
0 # mdhome 2013-07-26 17:00
So it would seem!

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