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Posted by on Jul 30, 2013 in At TMV, Featured, International, Law, Society, War | 20 comments

Bradley Manning Found Not Guilty Of Aiding Enemy, Convicted On Other Charges



Bradley Manning has been found not guilty of aiding the enemy but was convicted of other charges, including several that he already had admitted guilt on. This means he will not face life in prison but he almost certainly will do jail time.

This is I think a reasonable verdict since it was difficult at best to determine whether the information he released actually aided any enemies of the United States and the beyond a reasonable doubt burden is hard to meet.

I will be interested to see how people react. Many who were furious over the Zimmerman verdict are likely to be pleased with this one and vice versa, yet in both cases it was a matter of reasonable doubt and the fact that even if you think the person is guilty you cannot convict them unless you are sure.


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  • dduck

    I am betting 15-20 years.

  • sheknows

    Yep..I agree dd. ( just wonder if any of his “confessions” might have been coerced.) After all, he DID tell on the govt. They can’t let him get away with with that, especially if it’s true.
    I don’t know why anyone would be upset he didn’t get worse. Especially, since they don’t even know what went on in the trial.

  • DMLou

    Well, the judge already announced that any sentence faced by Manning would be reduced by 112 days due to the harsh treatment (which I interpret as a euphemism for “torture”) he faced prior to the trial.

    We’ll see what the actual sentence turns out to be. I think anything significantly more than 10-20 years total (i.e. all convictions served concurrently) would probably be excessive.

  • petew

    If it actually was difficult to prove that any of the info he leaked actually aided the enemy, then chances are most of it didn’t. However, I do think it is important to keep some secrets from being known just because the military often needs such secrecy. Consequently, anyone that breaks the law must be convicted of some crime and serve some amount of time—otherwise, where is the motivation for others not to divulge important secrets in the future?

    Overall I was surprised. Not only did I think they’d throw the entire book at him, but also the entire library of Congress as well! So, somewhere justice was more reasonably assuaged with moderation, instead of extreme actions.

  • sheknows

    I think he had an honest and hard working attorney. I also think they got what they wanted. Not one drop of information released ( who knows WHAT they are talking about as far as “classified” information to the enemy…what enemy?). They were successfully able to silence him and yet make an example of him for anyone else who dares to tell what the military actually does. It’s just like all the cases of rape that were swept under the rug. The only reason that was looked into after YEARS and YEARS of covering it up, was because there were so many cases.

  • KP

    I don’t know why anyone would be upset he didn’t get worse. Especially, since they don’t even know what went on in the trial.

    Can you add clarity. I can reproduce quotes of commenters here at TMV who admitted not following the Zimmerman trial but had lots of strong comments.

  • sheknows

    Hi KP. Yes I say that because the entire trial was shrouded in secrecy. Some have said he should have been found guilty of treason.
    As it turns out, at the age of 25 now, he will be lucky IMO to see an ice cream vendor by the time he’s 75.

  • Comment

    Well, the judge already announced that any sentence faced by Manning would be reduced by 112 days due to the harsh treatment

    Oh wow, how generous. He was in solitary, oftentimes shackled, for 9 months.

    He should get 9 months extra off his sentence, not a measly less-than-three.

  • The_Ohioan

    Here is his attorney’s report of Manning’s confinement. Compare it to Mr. Greenwald’s and see if you can tell the difference. The attorney’s website is unvailable to me at this time since my computer security program says it is a “dangerous website”, but I don’t think NSA or the CIA is involved. Really.

    Private Manning is currently being held in maximum custody. Since arriving at the Quantico Confinement Facility in July of 2010, he has been held under Prevention of Injury (POI) watch.

    His cell is approximately six feet wide and twelve feet in length. The cell has a bed, a drinking fountain, and a toilet.

    The guards at the confinement facility are professional. At no time have they tried to bully, harass, or embarrass Private Manning. Given the nature of their job, however, they do not engage in conversation with Private Manning.

    At 5 a.m. he is woken up (on weekends, he is allowed to sleep until 7 a.m.). Under the rules for the confinement facility, he is not allowed to sleep at anytime between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. If he attempts to sleep during those hours, he will be made to sit up or stand by the guards.

    He is allowed to watch television during the day. The television stations are limited to the basic local stations. His access to the television ranges from 1 to 3 hours on weekdays to 3 to 6 hours on weekends.

    He cannot see other inmates from his cell. He can occasionally hear other inmates talk. Due to being a pretrial confinement facility, inmates rarely stay at the facility for any length of time. Currently, there are no other inmates near his cell.

    From 7 p.m. to 9:20 p.m., he is given correspondence time. He is given access to a pen and paper. He is allowed to write letters to family, friends, and his attorneys. Each night, during his correspondence time, he is allowed to take a 15 to 20 minute shower.

    On weekends and holidays, he is allowed to have approved visitors see him from 12 to 3 p.m.

    He is allowed to receive letters from those on his approved list and from his legal counsel. If he receives a letter from someone not on his approved list, he must sign a rejection form. The letter is then either returned to the sender or destroyed.

    He is allowed to have any combination of up to 15 books or magazines. He must request the book or magazine by name. Once the book or magazine has been reviewed by the literary board at the confinement facility, and approved, he is allowed to have someone on his approved list send it to him. The person sending the book or magazine to him must do so through a publisher or an approved distributor such as Amazon. They are not allowed to mail the book or magazine directly to Pfc. Manning.

    Due to being held on Prevention of Injury (POI) watch:

    Pfc. Manning is held in his cell for approximately 23 hours a day. The guards are required to check on Pfc. Manning every five minutes by asking him if he is O.K. Pfc. Manning is required to respond in some affirmative manner. At night, if the guards cannot see Pfc. Manning clearly, because he has a blanket over his head or is curled up towards the wall, they will wake him in order to ensure he is O.K.

    He receives each of his meals in his cell.

    He is not allowed to have a pillow or sheets. However, he is given access to two blankets and has recently been given a new mattress that has a built-in pillow.

    He is not allowed to have any personal items in his cell.

    He is only allowed to have one book or one magazine at any given time to read in his cell. The book or magazine is taken away from him at the end of the day before he goes to sleep.

    He is prevented from exercising in his cell. If he attempts to do push-ups, sit-ups, or any other form of exercise he will be forced to stop.

    He does receive one hour of “exercise” outside of his cell daily. He is taken to an empty room and only allowed to walk. Pfc. Manning normally just walks figure eights in the room for the entire hour. If he indicates that he no long feels like walking, he is immediately returned to his cell.

    When Pfc. Manning goes to sleep, he is required to strip down to his boxer shorts and surrender his clothing to the guards. His clothing is returned to him the next morning


    Note: his clothing was removed because he was on suicide watch and they eventually removed the normal blanket and replaced it with a paper blanket.

  • JSpencer

    Forced to remain naked you mean. Nothing intentionally demeaning npsychologically manipulative about it right? All for his own good. I feel so much safer knowing this.

  • sheknows

    OMG..T_O thanks for the info. Suicide prevention my butt. Just another way to break him.
    After knowing this, I have no doubt in my mind at all that they forced confessions out of him. And this is just the treatment that we KNEW about…..

  • KP

    A modicum of consistency …

  • The_Ohioan

    modicum : a small portion : a limited quantity

    Exactly. But Mr. Greenwald has never let the facts deter him from his self-appointed zeal.

    Nowhere in the account does the word “naked” appear, yet Mr. Greenwald and his readers insist the poor lad was held naked for 9 months somewhere that he couldn’t even hear anyone. Solitary confinement with 24 hour company of guards, other prisoners talking, weekend visitors, and daily television? Not like the solitary confinement I had envisioned – Steve McQueen and his baseball in “The Great Escape”.

    Too many movies.

  • KP

    We agree, The_Ohioan.

  • sheknows

    I am somewhat confused. This is his attorney’s account, not Greenwald, is that correct?
    Even without any further exaggeration from Greenwald, it sounds pretty bad.
    T_O are you saying that what we just read here is a manufactured lie by his attorney?

  • The_Ohioan


    Yes, this is the attorney’s account. It does sound pretty bad, but not what I always thought solitary confinement meant. In any case it is not the same as Greenwald’s account states.

    Manning had previously physically attacked a superior officer, was depressed about the military’s DADT policy, given his own homosexuality, and doubtless was depressed about his situation in general. That is why they didn’t allow him clothes except in the daytime when they could check on him continually and gave him anti-depressant medication. The last thing they wanted was for him to kill himself and the world believe they had done it. I know; it’s hard to believe some people would leap to that conclusion, but so it is.

    Anyway, here is Greenwald’s version comparing Manning’s confinement to real solitary confinement as practiced in civilian maximum security prisons and third world prisons and finding them equally damaging. You can decide how much or how little veracity is in Mr. Greenwald’s account.

  • The_Ohioan


    Here is where the nudity is referenced. Note the difference between the NYT article and the Greenwald article.

  • JSpencer

    Manning’s conditions of confinement were considered degrading enough that he was awarded an additional 112 days credit because of them.

  • The_Ohioan


  • epiphyte

    I think the judge was right to squash the “Aiding the Enemy” charge, because given his access, Manning could have done that, and he went to lengths not to do so.

    On all of the other charges, the fact that he thought he was, arguably with more than adequate justification, acting in the public interest, should be a heavily weighted extenuating circumstance. In more enlightened jurisdictions, this would be regarded as exculpatory.

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