The US vs. Bradley Manning: An Update

The US vs. Bradley Manning: An Update

Supporters at Bradley Manning trial. (Photo by: Casey McKeel)
Supporters at Bradley Manning trial. (Photo by: Casey McKeel)

In July, Pfc Bradley Manning, the US soldier responsible for leaking thousands of US Army reports and diplomatic cables to Wikileaks, was convicted of 20 offenses. Though not convicted of the most serious of charges, that of Aiding the Enemy, he currently faces a 90 year maximum sentence.

Because this is a military court martial, there is no mandatory minimum sentence. We are currently coming to a close of the sentencing phase of the trial, where the presiding Military Judge, Col Denise Lind, will declare Manning’s punishment. This sentencing phase of the trial is different than the prior portions because up until now, all discussion regarding Manning’s motive as a whistleblower has been barred from court proceedings. This current phase is where the defense has a chance to raise these issues.

This past Wednesday, August 14th, Manning took the stand and gave an unsworn statement to the judge, where he apologized for the way in which he released the information. Full text of Manning’s statement on Wednesday is available.

Trial will resume Monday, August 19th, at 1pm, with final sentencing statements from the defense and prosecution. The final sentence ruling is expected on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. The Bradley Manning Support Network has requested people to join them in the streets following the sentencing, to demand “Free Bradley Now!” and will be holding a vigil at Ft. Meade the morning before the sentencing.

Casey McKeel is a community organizer and photo journalist. She is a worker/owner of Thread Coffee and collective member of Bearings Bike Project.  She is also a member of Another BDC is Possible.  She splits her time between her love of photography, coffee, and bicycles.