Thursday, 28 July 2016 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG
  • Trump's Nonvoter Strategy: Will It Work?

    Donald Trump's campaign is a grand gamble that he can turn enough angry white men, who have not voted in a while, into voters in 2016. He is ignoring the rules of the game and trying to find new supporters just like the ones he already has.

  • Convention Dissent: There's Less Than Meets the Eye

    On a night of inspiring speeches and calls for unity, the media jumped on the recalcitrant Bernie Bros meme and wouldn't let it go.

POWERED BY READERS

Our nonprofit newsroom is everything the mainstream media is not.

Through investigative journalism and daily news analysis, Truthout is a vital resource for relevant and trustworthy news.

Support from readers is the only way we can continue publishing the stories you want to see. Make a donation today!

Click here
to donate.

Bradley Manning's Revelations Saved Lives

Friday, 09 August 2013 10:11 By Marjorie Cohn, Marjorie Cohn's Blog | Op-Ed
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print

This is a historic verdict. Judge Denise Lind correctly found Bradley Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy because the evidence failed to establish that Manning knew information he provided to WikiLeaks would reach al-Qaida. A conviction of aiding the enemy would have sent a chilling message to the news media that if they publish leaked classified information, their officers could face life in prison. That would deprive the public of crucial information.

The verdict finding Manning guilty of Espionage Act offenses, however, sends an ominous warning that could deter future whistle-blowers from exposing government wrongdoing. It’s important to keep in mind that Manning provided information indicating the U.S. had committed war crimes. Traditionally the Espionage Act has been used only against spies and traitors, not whistle-blowers. Yet President Obama has used the Espionage Act to prosecute more whistle-blowers than all prior administrations combined.

Manning’s revelations actually saved lives. After WikiLeaks published his documentation of Iraqi torture centers established by the United States, the Iraqi government refused Obama’s request to extend immunity to U.S. soldiers who commit criminal and civil offenses there. As a result, Obama had to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.

The American public needed to know the information Manning provided. He revealed evidence of war crimes in the "Collateral Murder" video, which depicts a U.S. Apache attack helicopter crew killing 12 unarmed civilians and wounding two children in Baghdad in 2007. The crew then killed people attempting to rescue the wounded. A U.S. tank drove over one of the bodies, cutting it in half. Those actions constitute war crimes under the Geneva Conventions.

The Bush administration waged an illegal war in Iraq in which thousands of people were killed. It also established an interrogation program that led to the torture and abuse of people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo and the CIA black sites. Yet it is Bradley Manning, not the Bush officials, who is being prosecuted.

Judge Lind has already reduced any sentence Manning may receive by 112 days because of his mistreatment during the first 11 months of his custody, when he was kept in solitary confinement and humiliated by being forced to stand naked for inspection. Hopefully the judge will take into account how Manning’s revelations benefit our society when she passes sentence. Manning is still facing 90 years in prison for his convictions on 19 of the 21 counts with which he was charged.

This first appeared on Debate Club, US News & World Report.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Marjorie Cohn

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild and deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. She writes and speaks about human rights and US foreign policy. Her latest book is Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues. Visit her website at http://marjoriecohn.com/ and follow her on Twitter: @marjoriecohn.


Hide Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
GET DAILY TRUTHOUT UPDATES
Optional Member Code

FOLLOW togtorsstottofb


Bradley Manning's Revelations Saved Lives

Friday, 09 August 2013 10:11 By Marjorie Cohn, Marjorie Cohn's Blog | Op-Ed
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print

This is a historic verdict. Judge Denise Lind correctly found Bradley Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy because the evidence failed to establish that Manning knew information he provided to WikiLeaks would reach al-Qaida. A conviction of aiding the enemy would have sent a chilling message to the news media that if they publish leaked classified information, their officers could face life in prison. That would deprive the public of crucial information.

The verdict finding Manning guilty of Espionage Act offenses, however, sends an ominous warning that could deter future whistle-blowers from exposing government wrongdoing. It’s important to keep in mind that Manning provided information indicating the U.S. had committed war crimes. Traditionally the Espionage Act has been used only against spies and traitors, not whistle-blowers. Yet President Obama has used the Espionage Act to prosecute more whistle-blowers than all prior administrations combined.

Manning’s revelations actually saved lives. After WikiLeaks published his documentation of Iraqi torture centers established by the United States, the Iraqi government refused Obama’s request to extend immunity to U.S. soldiers who commit criminal and civil offenses there. As a result, Obama had to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.

The American public needed to know the information Manning provided. He revealed evidence of war crimes in the "Collateral Murder" video, which depicts a U.S. Apache attack helicopter crew killing 12 unarmed civilians and wounding two children in Baghdad in 2007. The crew then killed people attempting to rescue the wounded. A U.S. tank drove over one of the bodies, cutting it in half. Those actions constitute war crimes under the Geneva Conventions.

The Bush administration waged an illegal war in Iraq in which thousands of people were killed. It also established an interrogation program that led to the torture and abuse of people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo and the CIA black sites. Yet it is Bradley Manning, not the Bush officials, who is being prosecuted.

Judge Lind has already reduced any sentence Manning may receive by 112 days because of his mistreatment during the first 11 months of his custody, when he was kept in solitary confinement and humiliated by being forced to stand naked for inspection. Hopefully the judge will take into account how Manning’s revelations benefit our society when she passes sentence. Manning is still facing 90 years in prison for his convictions on 19 of the 21 counts with which he was charged.

This first appeared on Debate Club, US News & World Report.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Marjorie Cohn

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild and deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. She writes and speaks about human rights and US foreign policy. Her latest book is Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues. Visit her website at http://marjoriecohn.com/ and follow her on Twitter: @marjoriecohn.


Hide Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus