National Whistleblowers Center’s Statement on Manning Verdict
Washington, D.C. July 30, 2013. The National Whistleblower Center issued a statement expressing relief that the military court today refused to find Bradley Manning guilty of “aiding the enemy.” The charge, if it had been sustained on appeal, could have resulted in Mr. Manning spending the rest of his life in prison.
“It was wrong for the government to charge Mr. Manning with the offense of ‘aiding the enemy.’ Mr. Manning pleaded guilty to lesser offenses related to his disclosure of classified information. That should have ended the case. Charging a whistleblower with the crime of ‘aiding the enemy,’ simply because the whistleblower provided information to the news media, was wrong and was designed to improperly scare other citizens into silence. The court’s refusal to convict on this count was well supported by the evidence and consistent with the First Amendment. Court’s are required to balance the public right to know with the government’s interest in secrecy.”
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