Bradley Manning Found Guilty Of 19 Counts, Not Guilty Of Aiding The Enemy
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Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who laid bare America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by covertly transmitting a massive trove of sensitive government documents to WikiLeaks, has been convicted on 19 of 21 charges, including 6 counts of espionage. He was found not guilty of aiding the enemy, the most serious and controversial charge laid against him.
After warning a courtroom packed with 30 spectators, almost all of them Manning supporters, that she would accept no disruptions, the judge overseeing his military court martial, Col. Denise Lind, rapidly delivered her verdict in a crisp voice.
For journalists watching the proceedings from a remote media room, there was no time to gauge Manning’s reaction before the military cut off a live feed from the courtroom.
The prosecution’s novel legal theory that Manning knew his disclosures to WikiLeaks, once published on the Internet, would wind up in al Qaeda’s possession could have had implications that extended beyond the fate of the 25-year-old Crescent, Okla., native.
Although he had admitted the underlying fact of his disclosures to WikiLeaks, and to many of the lesser charges against him, the prosecution nonetheless went ahead with trying to prove Manning was guilty of aiding al Qaeda. Press freedom advocates had warned that if he was convicted on that count, the verdict would threaten to criminalize both journalists and their sources — a possibility that still lingers on with the Espionage Act convictions.