Verdict in Bradley Manning trial to be announced Tuesday

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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.

DoD and DoE publish policies for whistleblowers with security clearances

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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. 

Edward Snowden nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

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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. 

UN official calls for nations to respect human rights whistleblowers like Snowden

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640px-Flag_of_the_United_Nations.svgNavi 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.”

Russian show trial of whistleblowers ends with expected guilty verdict

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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.

Defense rests in Bradley Manning trial

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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!

Justice Department decides to have another go at Robert MacLean

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[Updated 8/30/13] The Department of Homeland Security’s attorneys filed an appeal late Wednesday of a unanimous panel of three U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit judges in the case of whistleblower Robert MacLean, formerly an air marshal with the Transportation Security Agency.  DHS requests a “panel rehearing” and a “rehearing en banc” of the Federal Circuit panel’s precedential April26 decision in MacLean’s favor.

DHS claims MacLean disclosed Sensitive Security Information when he reported an alarming cutback in air marshals aboard commercial flights. It has been established already that DHS labeled the information SSI only after it was reported by MSNBC (below)/