Nathan Fuller at Bradleymanning.org has given us gracious permission to reprint his daily firsthand reports, which you can find below highlighted by date. Summaries, commentary, and videos provide a comprehensive chronicle of events from start to finish.
Over the last week we have heard Manning’s plea for forgiveness, as well as the introduction of Manning’s mental health records and his childhood as possible mitigating factors in the sentencing phase. Combined with questions surrounding leadership failures at nearly all levels, as well as statements from Manning’s family, the defense was seeking to stress that Judge Lind could render a decision that “allows him to have a life.”
Manning could have received up to 90 years, but the government had officially called for 60 years, which would have ended Manning’s life while behind bars. Captain Joe Morrow said, “There’s value in deterrence . . . This court must send a message to any soldier contemplating compromising national security information.”
The sentence is 35 years, dishonorable discharge, and forfeiture of pay and benefits. Realistically, given nearly 4 years of time served, plus parole, Manning reportedly could be out in as little as 10 years.
However, the defense is moving for a Presidential Pardon. Perhaps the Nobel Peace Prize-winning president will acknowledge the 100,000+ signatures that were submitted to nominate Manning for the same prize. The fight is far from over, as stated in the full report from the Bradley Manning Support Network below.
Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years, defense moves for Presidential Pardon
WikiLeaks whistle-blower Pfc. Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison today, an outrage that flies in the face of America’s essential ideals of accountability in government, and which seeks to instill a chilling effect on those who’d dare to expose the United States’ illegality. A heroic soldier of conscience, Manning witnessed war crimes, rampant corruption, and covert abuse while stationed in Baghdad in 2009-10, and exposed what he saw by releasing hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic files to the transparency website WikiLeaks. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three years in a row. Earlier this month, more than 100,000 signatures in support of his 2013 nomination were delivered to the Nobel committee in Norway. Military judge Col. Denise Lind’s sentence is an outright injustice that we cannot accept.
“The only person prosecuted for the crimes and abuses uncovered in the WikiLeaks’ releases is the person who exposed them,” said Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg. “That alone proves the injustice of one more day in prison for Bradley Manning.”
Manning can subtract more than three and a half years off of that sentence, for the time he has already served and the mere 112 days he was credited for enduring torture while detained at the Quantico Marine Brig. He will be eligible to reduce his sentence by 10% for good behavior.
The fight for Manning’s freedom is far from over. Supporters and attorney David Coombs will demand Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, Military of the District of Washington commander and Convening Authority of Manning’s court martial, to reduce the sentence, which he has the legal authority to do. The Bradley Manning Support Network will collect and deliver thousands of lesser in support of Manning’s clemency to Maj. Gen. Buchanan.
“By successfully funding Bradley’s legal efforts, and by mobilizing worldwide support, we won an acquittal on “aiding the enemy,” says Jeff Paterson, the Support Network’s director. “We move forward today on every available front to win his freedom.”
Mr. Coombs is applying for a Presidential Pardon, and the case will be brought to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, to address several deprivations of Manning’s due process rights. He was detained without trial for more than three years, in violation of his Constitutional right to a speedy trial. He was only awarded four months off of his sentence for the psychological torture he suffered while in solitary confinement for more than nine months at Quantico, which fails to hold the Marines accountable for that treatment. President Obama declared Manning guilty in April 2011, more than two years before his trial began, which constitutes unlawful command influence, in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Finally, Military Judge Col. Denise Lind allowed the prosecution to change its charge sheet at the 11th hour, after both the government and defense had questioned their witnesses and rested their cases.
The Bradley Manning Support Network is responsible for 100% of Manning’s legal fees, as well as international education efforts. Funded by 21,000 individuals, the Support Network has mustered $1.4 million in Manning’s defense.
Read the full report about this case HERE.
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