Quantcast
Latest Stories

WikiLeaks on Manning verdict: ‘Extremism’



In this July 30, 2013 file photo, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md. after receiving a verdict in his court martial. Few Americans in living memory have emerged from obscurity to become such polarizing public figures—admired by many around the world, fiercely denigrated by many in his homeland. AP

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange called U.S. soldier Bradley Manning’s espionage conviction an episode of “national security extremism” Tuesday, while other supporters expressed relief that he was acquitted of the most serious charge — aiding the enemy.

Among Manning’s critics, members of a Congress intelligence committee said justice was served.

The charge of aiding the enemy would have carried a potential life sentence, but Manning was convicted on other counts that, together, could also mean a life behind bars. Manning faces up to 136 years in prison if given maximum penalties.

His sentencing hearing starts Wednesday.

Manning has acknowledged giving WikiLeaks more than 700,000 battlefield reports and diplomatic cables. He has said he leaked the material to expose U.S military “bloodlust” and diplomatic deceitfulness but did not believe his actions would harm the country.

Assange, whose website helped Manning expose U.S. secrets to the world, called the verdict “a dangerous precedent and an example of national security extremism.”

“This has never been a fair trial,” he told reporters at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, which is sheltering him.

Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first reported former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks of National Security Agency surveillance programs, said Manning’s acquittal on the charge of aiding the enemy represented a “tiny sliver of justice.”

Anatoly Kucherena, the Russian lawyer who’s been working with Snowden, said: “All cases are individual. We shouldn’t take the Manning case and compare it to Snowden.”

Christian Stroebele, a German lawmaker for the opposition Green Party, tweeted: “Manning has won respect by uncovering the U.S.’s murderous warfare in Iraq.”

In Washington, the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Intelligence Committee joined in a statement declaring “justice has been served today.”

Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, welcomed the outcome.

“Bradley Manning endangered the security of the United States and the lives of his own comrades in uniform when he intentionally disclosed vast amounts of classified data,” he said. “His conviction should stand as an example to those who are tempted to violate a sacred public trust in pursuit of notoriety, fame, or their own political agenda.”

But the advocacy group Reporters Without Borders said the verdict was a chilling warning to whistleblowers, “against whom the Obama administration has been waging an unprecedented offensive.” It said the verdict threatens the future of investigative journalism because intimidated sources might fall quiet.

Another advocate of less government secrecy, Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists, questioned whether the implications will be so dire, given the extraordinary nature of the Manning case.

“This was a massive hemorrhage of government records, and it’s not too surprising that it elicited a strong reaction from the government,” Aftergood said.

“Does that mean that every leak from every journalist is likely to do the same?” he asked. “No it doesn’t. Most journalists are not in the business of publishing classified documents, they’re in the business of reporting the news, which is not the same thing. This is not good news for journalism, but it’s not the end of the world, either.”

Daniel Ellsberg, whose sensational leak of the Pentagon papers in the early 1970s exposed U.S. government lies about the Vietnam War, said Manning’s acquittal on aiding the enemy limits the chilling consequences of the WikiLeaks case on press freedoms.

“American democracy just dodged a bullet, a possibly fatal bullet,” Ellsberg said. “I’m talking about the free press that I think is the life’s blood of the democracy.”

Outside the courtroom, Manning supporters applauded his lawyer, David Coombs, and shouted “thank you.”

“Today is a good day,” Coombs said, “but Bradley is by no means out of the fire.”

Many supporters wore black T-shirts with “truth” on them to show they consider him a whistleblower trying to expose government misconduct.

“The government’s priorities are upside down,” Widney Brown, senior director of international law and policy for Amnesty International, said at the scene.

Officials have “refused to investigate credible allegations of torture and other crimes under international law despite overwhelming evidence,” Brown said, but they “decided to prosecute Manning, who it seems was trying to do the right thing — reveal credible evidence of unlawful behavior by the government.”

“It seems clear that the government was seeking to intimidate anyone who might consider revealing valuable information in the future,” said Ben Wizner of the ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project.


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter




Recent Stories:

12 dead, 96 injured in Holy Week accidents–NDRRMC 9 mins elapsed Filipino devotees re-enact crucifixion of Christ 19 mins elapsed Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee 26 mins elapsed Rouhani talks peace, outreach at army parade 33 mins elapsed Rains, thunderstorms on Good Friday 34 mins elapsed Carbon monoxide leak suffocates 20 in Catbalogan City 54 mins elapsed Free MRT rides on Labor Day ‘revolting’, says worker group 1 hour elapsed 100 families left homeless in Quezon City fire 1 hour elapsed
Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Bradley Manning , Edward Snowden , Julian Assange , WikiLeaks

  • baldong

    You are a Soldier and should defend your country no matter what, but what you´ve done is treacherous-you are a traitor of your own country. you deserve to be hang in front of your countrymen.

  • El_Gran_Capitan

    Hang the traitor



Copyright © 2014,
.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement Advertisement

News

  • 12 dead, 96 injured in Holy Week accidents–NDRRMC
  • Filipino devotees re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • Rouhani talks peace, outreach at army parade
  • Rains, thunderstorms on Good Friday
  • Carbon monoxide leak suffocates 20 in Catbalogan City
  • Sports

  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Hopkins, 49, seeks win for the ageless
  • LeBron still No. 1 with NBA’s most popular jersey
  • Pacquiao back in PH, heads home to wife, kids
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Advertisement
    Marketplace