Punishing whistleblowers and protecting the crimes of the system is a recipe for decline
Editor’s Note: Based on this verdict, Bradley Manning will not see freedom or meet justice. He has already been effectively tortured in prison and was confined for a long period of time before he ever faced charges. However, the one ‘victory’ is that the “Aiding the Enemy” charge did not stick, which would have otherwise provided a particularly dystopic precedent that would have surely been used against future leakers and whistleblowers if/when the system thought it would ‘stick.’
While there may have been some criminality in the actions of Manning (if there was even the semblance of a fair trial with real evidence), or at least violations of procedure, the vast bulk of the criminality is in the system itself, and everyone knows it. Persecuting whistleblowers is a sure way to speed the detriment of society, as it sends a signal to the top that the worst actions of the government/above government system will be tolerated and covered up rather than exposed and stopped. The legacy of the Bradley Manning affair is that Americans should have cared when confronted with clear evidence of phony wars based on an illegal empire around the world, but instead they kept watching the boob tube, eating GMOs, drinking high fructose syrup and voting for the lesser of two evils. By comparison, the Pentagon Papers, which also failed to correct the system where met with shock and outrage by many. This is a clear sign post that America is in decline.
July 30, 2013
Nathan Fuller at Bradleymanning.org has given us gracious permission to reprint his daily firsthand reports, which you can find below highlighted by date. Summaries, commentary, and videos provide a comprehensive chronicle of events from start to finish.
Pfc. Bradley Manning has been acquitted of the most serious charge against him: aiding the enemy. After over 1,000 days in confinement, some of which was tantamount to torture, Manning will not go down in history as the arch-villain that the government tried to portray him as.
However, Manning was found guilty on 19 of the lesser computer-related charges associated with the mechanics behind the leak itself. He also previously pled guilty to other charges, which on their own could be 10-20 years in prison. Now, with the new ruling, Manning is looking at a maximum 135-year sentence.
As the crackdown continues on journalists and whistleblowers alike, this should be counted as no small victory that at the least this heroic whistleblower was not defined as an enemy of the state. However, the ACLU and Amnesty International still rightly point out that the government has its priorities upside down by ultimately sentencing him under The Espionage Act, thus treating him and others as de facto enemies of the state. Meanwhile, truly egregious acts such as torture and other crimes against humanity are reluctantly, if at all, even investigated.
Manning’s full sentence could be issued tomorrow.