Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bradley Manning to be found guilty today

By Michael J.W. Stickings

The show trial of Bradley Manning, the courageous whistleblower whose leaks documented U.S. military crimes and other misdeed and who for revealing the truth has been tortured in custody, is almost at an end:

After spending three years in custody, the man accused of the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history will learn Tuesday whether he has been found guilty of aiding the enemy.

A verdict from the judge in the court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning will be announced at 1 p.m. ET Tuesday, according to a spokeswoman for the military district of Washington.

If found guilty on the aiding the enemy charge, Manning could be sentenced to life in prison. He has pleaded guilty to nearly a dozen lesser charges that carry a sentence of up to 20 years behind bars.

The aiding the enemy charge is ridiculous, just as the persecution of Bradley is outrageous, but it shouldn't come as a surprise if he's found guilty -- it's what the government wants, because it wants at all costs to prevent any more of the truth from getting out, and obviously this trial is an effort to send a message to anyone else who might want to follow Manning's lead.

But even if for whatever reason he gets off on that charge, there's hardly any doubt he'll get the max, or close to it, for the rest -- again, because a message must be sent, because the country's crimes are, apparently, top secret. Isn't this also why the government wants to make an example of Snowden as well?

In America, after all, you're only really free if you play by the very narrow, government-determined rules of the national security state.

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