Manning verdict a relief to potential whistleblowers

 
Pte Bradley Manning is led out of the courtroom after his espionage conviction in Fort Meade, Maryland 30 July 2013 A long sentence for Manning will still send a message to any young idealistic computer experts who might be tempted to follow in his footsteps.

Perhaps the verdict in the trial is little comfort to Pte First Class Bradley Manning, but it will be a relief to many who campaign for the freedom of information.

The most serious charge against him - that he aided America's enemies - was also the count that carried the most serious implications for others.

If Pte Manning had been found guilty of "aiding the enemy" it would have extended the scope of a charge that in the past has been reserved for deliberate treason and direct contact with an enemy power.

The Wikileaks disclosures

The prosecution argued that Pte Manning knew the information he leaked would end up on the internet and that al-Qaeda would be able to read it there.

They also argued that the raid on Bin Laden's compound revealed that he was indeed keen to read such leaks.

If Pte Manning had been found guilty of this charge, the way would have been opened to treat the public leaking of any secrets as treason.

Any enemy, after all, can trawl the internet, or indeed watch TV or read a newspaper or a book.

So there will be some sighs of relief that the judge found that a bit of a stretch and has not gone down this route.

But Pte Manning himself has been found guilty of charges which carry a possible sentence much longer than any lifetime.

The court will still send a message to any young idealistic computer experts who might be tempted to follow in his footsteps.

 
Mark Mardell Article written by Mark Mardell Mark Mardell North America editor

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 185.

    184"...America...who wanted to rule the world..."

    And what drew you to the conclusion that it doesn't?

    Which bothers you most? Is it that the US destroyed the USSR? That it supports Israel 100%? That it accelerated the bankruptcy of the EU? That it could shut down China at any time if it wants to? That it is far richer and more powerful than every other nation? Or is it something else?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 184.

    183 ... And don't you ever ever ever forget America's Crimes to mankind as they are bigger than Manning's crime of exposures... we won't forget the phoney insincere hypocrites who wanted to rule the world before they were found out... oops silly nincompoops got egg all over their two faced lying smiling faces

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 183.

    180 We'll have to wait until Manning's sentence is handed down by the court but I think it's a fairly good bet he'll spend the rest of his life however long or short it is behind bars. He is now judged to be a convicted criminal and in most Americans' eyes he has committed among the most heinous possible crimes, betrayal which is about equal or worse than pedophilia. Snowden is next on the list.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 182.

    America is corrupt the Courts are money scams and total incompetence,
    US Courts would never admit mistake allow a mistrial even with evidence
    Government, are controlled by Business such as NRA lobby

    money money money
    is the root of all evil
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czEFnhrPQe8

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 181.

    The police officer who investigated the shooting testified in court that based on Zimmerman's explanation he found him credible.Telling was Zimmerman's statement of relief when being told the entire event had been recorded on Martin's cell phone. He said it meant Zimmerman had nothing to hide. The juror who was interviewed on CNN said this was an important factor in judging his innocence.

 

Comments 5 of 185

 

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