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Heinous charge against Bradley Manning — he gave 74,000 soldiers’ names to Osama bin Laden — is baseless


The verdict in the Bradley Manning case is expected tomorrow. Chase Madar has been covering the trial for the Nation. When the trial began, NBC Nightly News passed along the claims that Manning downloaded the names of 74,000 American soldiers serving in Iraq, apparently because Osama bin Laden “asked for this database.” We asked Madar about this assertion. 

You had asked whether Manning had given a directory of 74,000 soldiers to Wikileaks, and via Wikileaks to Osama bin Laden.
The answer is no.  The prosecution has tried to show that Manning downloaded the directory on to his work computer hard drive, but there is no evidence that he gave it to Wikileaks.  Wikileaks has never published such a directory, and such a directory was never found on bin Laden’s computer. 
We expect the judge, Denise Lind, to announce her verdict tomorrow. The real suspense is whether the aiding the enemy charges will stick, also the charges stemming from the Espionage Act of 1917.  After the verdict is announced, sentencing hearings will begin during which the defense will argue as to Manning’s motive and the lack of any harm caused by the leaks–two important lines of argument that were not admitted in the actual trial.  
I am optimistic that the aiding the enemy charge (a capital offense, tho’ the govt has made it clear they won’t seek the death penalty) will NOT stick, but I could be drunk on my own bleeding-heart Flavor-Aid here.  Even without this charge sticking, the additional charges could still put him away for over 100 years. It’s all up to the judge, whose recently announced promotion to the American Criminal Court of Military Appeals is a little fishy, though not as fishy as Nixon offering the directorship of the FBI to Daniel Ellsberg’s Judge after that trial began 40 years ago.  
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15 Responses

  1. Citizen
    July 29, 2013, 12:21 pm

    The neocons under Bush Jr should be brought up on charges of treason and war crimes, but Obama brushed that under the table, and now, Obama and his henchmen need to be brought up on charges of treason and war crimes, and that too won’t happen. None of these white and brown criminals are worth a pimple on the tukas of Snowden or Manning, two whitebread guys with high school educations. Sad. This is reality today, along with the Zimmerman trial and its media coverage and aftermath.

  2. jsinton
    July 29, 2013, 1:52 pm

    One thing Manning did do (in a totally irresponsible manner) is to reveal the names of literally tens of thousands of innocent foreign nationals around the globe. People whose names were marked “protect” in the embassy cables. People who provided information confidentially to State Department staff about foreign governments, both good and bad. People whose lives are no doubt in danger today and Manning had not a clue as to the scope of the harm he did.

    • Justpassingby
      July 29, 2013, 3:22 pm

      What threats would be posed to these people?

    • Citizen
      July 29, 2013, 5:48 pm

      @ jsinton
      We do know he exposed US policy of “collateral murder.”

    • Shingo
      July 29, 2013, 7:11 pm

      One thing Manning did do (in a totally irresponsible manner) is to reveal the names of literally tens of thousands of innocent foreign nationals around the globe.

      False. There was no such list of names on any if the cables.

      People whose lives are no doubt in danger today and Manning had not a clue as to the scope of the harm he did.

      Neither do you.

      Robert Gates and the directors if National Intelligence debunked that claim – asserting that no one was put in danger.

    • just
      July 29, 2013, 9:21 pm

      Bales did far more to harm our “national security” than Manning did.

      Oh, and so did Scooter Libby and the cabal that he worked for and with…………

  3. Les
    July 29, 2013, 4:56 pm

    Manning’s real crime was revealing that the emperor was naked. Adults had/have convinced themselves otherwise. Kool Aid Democrats.

    • Citizen
      July 29, 2013, 5:56 pm

      @ Les
      No. What he did was reveal collateral murder by the USA under Obama, the brown messiah, not superior in morality or ethics to Shrub Jr., the dumb US cowboy.

  4. Citizen
    July 29, 2013, 5:54 pm

    So, let’s talk about these working class white guys, Manning (gay) and Snowden. )(straight) And let’s talk about the ruling powers in the USA, hence the world, who have no morality or ethics at all, except to win their agenda at any cost, which is not necessarily in the best interest of the SA or humanity.

    And btw, let’s reread The Underground Man, by Dostoyevski, the champion of individual caprice resistant against “the Crystal Palace.”

    And, while we are at it, reread The Devils (The Possessed).

    Oh, that’s right, Americans don’t read serious literature.

  5. Chespirito
    July 29, 2013, 7:38 pm

    It’s a shame the diplomatic cables got released unredacted, a mistake that should mostly be blamed on David Leigh, the Guardian editor who published the password to their online cubby in his book on Wikileaks. I do blame Wikileaks a little, they haven’t been perfect–what institution is? I don’t know why Wikileaks is held to a standard of saintliness that no outfit, from Amnesty International to Apple Computers could ever hope to meet.

    Fortunately this error has not resulted in serious harm for anyone: those reporters who followed up with the named State Dept sources around the world (even China) did not find anyone suffering reprisals–the usual reaction was “Wait, why was my conversation with a US govt official classified?”

    American intellectuals tend not to give much thought to the hundreds of thousands of civilians killed, wounded or made otherwise miserable in Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan thanks to US military force; but when it comes to purely speculative, hypothetical suffering caused by Wikileaks we gush with deep moral concern. It’s a bit disgusting. Here’s a link to something I wrote for TomDispatch about that whole psychological process, accusing Wikileaks/Manning of murder etc as a kind of scapegoating–,_accusing_wikileaks_of_murder

  6. just
    July 29, 2013, 9:05 pm

    Our government lies without shame.

    Free Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden! Close Guantanamo and the “black sites”.
    Stop torture and extraordinary rendition. Stop fomenting unrest and making war. Stop the hypocrisy. Stop our unconditional support for an Apartheid state that ignores international law. Stop pretending to be an honest broker and mediator. Stop the odious sanctions against Cuba and Iran…………….

    We have no right to claim any morality or justice.

  7. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    July 30, 2013, 4:46 am

    Who needs justice when you’ve got kangaroo courts?

    Manning judge alters charges to assist Gov’t ahead of verdict.

  8. Citizen
    July 30, 2013, 9:57 am

    If Manning is not put to death for Treason, he will still be locked away for life. In the latter case, I predict he commit suicide at some point. Consider the life of a small white guy, considered by many a traitor, who is also gay–in a US prison. He will find himself utterly alone, always afraid for his very life. Interesting that young Snowden originally also joined the US military “to fight in defense of America.” In fact he enlisted to join US Army Special OPs to fight the terrorists he was told wanted to kill his country.

    Snowden has apparently attributed the brevity of his stint (5 months) in the Army to the fact “he broke both his legs in a training accident,” according to the Guardian.

    The U.S. Army has not confirmed this.

    Anybody know more details?

  9. Citizen
    July 30, 2013, 10:13 am

    We know Snowden said Manning’s revelation supported his own determination to give data to the American people, in the hope they would see where there government has been taking them–over a cliff like sheeple. He escaped to the Russian airport because he knew what’s been happening to Manning. So why did Manning do it? Here’s an attempted answer of sorts:

    Anybody doubt what the lady judge’s verdict will be today?

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