Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Daniel Ellsberg On Bradley Manning Verdict

From an interview with Scott Horton July 30, 2013.

Daniel Ellsberg: I’m doing okay. We’ll tell your listeners that you just informed me 30 seconds ago that Bradley Manning was found not guilty of aiding the enemy. That’s very, very important, and good news, because the alternative would have been extremely bad news. It would have been very close to being a death knell over time to investigative journalism in this country, which means a free press, which means ultimately democracy or any possibility of democratic control of our foreign policy, our defense policy, totally, if the prosecutor’s argument that his simply giving information to the internet and thereby making it available to the world, including whatever enemies we had, if that is enough to earn a death sentence or life in prison, without any attempt even to prove or indicate intent to harm the United States or to help an enemy – that’s the argument the prosecutor was making and the charges they’ve pursued ever since Bradley Manning pled guilty to 10 military offenses, which could still keep him in prison for 20 years, and I haven’t seen the full verdict here so it may well be that she has added some other offenses to that which may add up to a life sentence.

In my case, I didn’t face a single, one single count that carried a death sentence, such as the aiding the enemy charge in this case did, but I had 12 felony counts which added up to 115 years in prison, so the effect was much the same. That could still be the case here.
The truth is that he did not deserve a day in prison for informing the public here as he did. He certainly does not deserve an additional day after the abusive treatment he’s received here of three years awaiting trial, 10½ months in solitary confinement, part of that nude, a treatment which was described by the UN Rapporteur for Torture as, if not being torture – and he didn’t have all the facts there because he hadn’t been allowed to speak to Manning alone – but he said at the very least it was cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment, which is the definition of a crime under the Geneva Conventions we’ve signed and under domestic law. So he should have been released on the grounds of governmental misconduct, as was the case in my trial, but wasn’t. .  .

You can read (or hear) the whole interview here.  

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