Bradley Manning has endured over 3 years of imprisonment and cruel treatment, including the trial which just ended, which has been a far cry from open, fair, just, or impartial. Bradley Manning is a global hero for his personal sacrifice, an idealistic young whistleblower who deserves not only to be released immediately but praised for his unselfish defense of our Constitution and rule of law. That he should be treated as he has been is a sign of how far this country has traveled from its ideals of freedom, civil liberties, and democracy towards authoritarianism and fascism.
Though his many supporters are infinitely relieved that he was found not guilty of “aiding the enemy,” a charge that could have led to life imprisonment or even the death penalty, it is very likely that this spurious charge was leveled against him mainly for the terrorizing effect on him and other whistleblowers and would-be whistleblowers, and in order to try to justify finding him guilty of 5 counts of “espionage.” These charges likely may be used as a foundation in this administration’s attempt to charge other whistleblowers such as WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, given the opportunity.
As it stands right now, the estimates of his “guilty” charges are between 17-20 out of 22 charges and he still could be jailed for up to 136 years–an outrage. The sentencing phase is estimated to take another few weeks and reportedly the defense has more witnesses set to take the stand in this portion than does the prosecution–20 in all. The verdict will be appealed.
We say, “Free Bradley Manning” and sentence him to time which he has already unjustly served!
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