Aiding the Enemy– NOT GUILTY
— Alexa O’Brien (@carwinb) July 30, 2013
The verdict in the trial of Army whistleblower Bradley Manning will be issued Tuesday at Fort Meade, Maryland, at 1 pm ET. At Manning’s request, the decision rests with Judge Denise Lind, a U.S. Army Colonel.
The trial concluded Friday after eight weeks of aggressive prosecution that sought to convict Manning of “aiding the enemy” by allowing classified material to be published by WikiLeaks on the Internet.
A verdict that Private Manning “aided the enemy” would forever change the landscape for whistleblowers, journalists and the public’s right to know what crimes government officials are committing in their names, with public funds.
Attorney General Eric Holder has written the Russian government to allege that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is not entitled to asylum. In a July 23 letter, Holder was dismissive of fears that Snowden would be tortured or executed.
Secrecy News reports that the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Energy (DoE) have published their departmental policies for implementing Presidential Policy Directive 19. PPD-19, published October 12, 2012, directed “the head of each Intelligence Community Element” to certify to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) that the agency “has a review process that permits employees to appeal actions affecting Eligibility for Access to Classified Information they allege to be in violation of this directive,” i.e., in retaliation for whistleblowing.
A Swedish professor has nominated NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his courage in revealing US surveillance programs. As a professor of sociology at Umea University in Sweden, Stefan Svallfors is qualified to submit a nomination for serious consideration. The nomination deadline for 2013 has already passed, but the prize committee can make exceptions if it chooses.
Navi Pillay, the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, appealed to the nations of the world to respect privacy and asylum rights, and protect individuals who disclose human rights violations. Referring to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, she said, “Without prejudging the validity of any asylum claim by Snowden, I appeal to all States to respect the internationally guaranteed right to seek asylum, in accordance with Article 14 of the Universal Declaration and Article 1 of the UN Convention relating to the status of refugees, and to make any such determination in accordance with their international legal obligations.”
This week, a Moscow court concluded its trial of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and his client William Browder, a British investor who accused government officials of colluding with organized crime. As expected, the court declared both guilty of tax evasion, but neither is going to prison. Browder, sentenced to nine years, is in the United Kingdom and Magnitsky died in government custody more than three years ago, at the age of 37.
NPR notes that “the tax evasion case against Magnitsky was brought by the very officials that he had accused.” Human rights groups that examined the case say Magnitsky “had been beaten and denied medical care” just before he died. The government closed its case against Magnitsky in 2009, after his death, but re-opened it after Browder publicized a “Magnitsky List: of corrupt Russian officials.
The defense portion of Army whistleblower Bradley Manning’s trial concluded on Wednesday after three days of testimony from a total of ten witnesses. One of the witnesses, Colonel Morris Davis, the former chief military prosecutor at Guantánamo appeared this morning on Democracy Now!