Bradley Manning Convicted, But Not of Aiding the Enemy or for Leaking Airstrike Video

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Bradley Manning’s verdict has been handed down:

An Army judge on Tuesday acquitted Pfc. Bradley Manning of aiding the enemy by disclosing a trove of secret U.S. government documents, a striking rebuke to military prosecutors who argued that the largest leak in U.S. history had assisted al-Qaeda.

The judge, Col. Denise Lind, found Manning guilty of most of the more than 20 crimes he was charged with. She also acquitted him of one count of the espionage act that stemmed from his leak of a video that depicted a fatal U.S. military airstrike in Farah, Afghanistan.

This is a bit better than I had hoped for. I never thought that Manning had any chance of avoiding conviction on the basic charges related to publishing classified information. Nor did I think he deserved to. But Judge Lind acquitted him of the egregious charge of aiding the enemy, and then went a step further and also acquitted him of leaking material from an Army investigation into a 2009 airstrike in Afghanistan’s Farah province. That was a justified act of whistleblowing regardless of whether or not it came from Manning.

CORRECTION: Sorry, I screwed up. I initially wrote that Manning was acquitted of leaking the “Collateral Murder” video. The Farah airstrike was in Afghanistan and was entirely different. I’ve corrected the text.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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