ACLU – Reactions to Bradley Manning Sentence (Manning Supporters)


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“When a soldier who shared information with the press and public is punished far more harshly than others who tortured prisoners and killed civilians, something is seriously wrong with our justice system."

-Ben Wizner, director of the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, American Civil Liberties Union

"Instead of fighting tooth and nail to lock him up for decades, the US government should turn its attention to investigating and delivering justice for the serious human rights abuses committed by its officials in the name of countering terror.”

-Widney Brown, Senior Director of International Law and Policy at Amnesty International

"...Unprecedented....It's more than 17 times the next longest sentence ever served [for providing secret material to the media]. It is in line with sentences for paid espionage for the enemy."

-Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice

"These numbers are out of proportion; this sentence, given all we know about Manning and what he did (and what was done to him), is a strikingly harsh one.

Manning gave hundreds of thousands of classified war logs and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks. He also gave them a video, filmed from an Apache helicopter, of American forces firing on people in the streets of Baghdad with what Manning, according to his testimony, took to be heartbreaking blitheness. He was already pretty torn up, hardly more than twenty years old, realizing he was gay, wondering if he should have been born a woman, in the middle of a war zone. He thought, his lawyer argued in the trial, that he might save someone, or everyone. However one measures that choice, one of the scandals of this court martial was how the government cast aside Manning’s own gestures of contrition. He offered to plead guilty to enough counts to put him in prison for twenty years. The prosecutors pressed on, insisting on trying him under the Espionage Act and for “aiding the enemy.” (I’ve written about that decision before.) On that last count, which was novel in this sort of case and would have set a disastrous precedent for press freedom, Manning was acquitted. But the Espionage Act charges are broadly damaging, too."

-Amy Davidson, The New Yorker

"Significant strategic victory in Bradley Manning case. Bradley Manning now elegible for release in less than 9 years, 4.4 in one calculation"

-WikiLeaks (via Twitter)

"Sick, sad, pathetic, and disgusting"

-Glenn Greenwald (via Twitter)

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