Use these talking points to share TRUTH about the Bradley Manning trial:
1. Bradley was an idealistic soldier who responded in action to what he saw as needless extinguishing and torturing of innocent human beings in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here is a very important quote from Manning’s chats with Adrian Lamo: Hypothetical question: If you had free reign over classified networks over a long period of time, if you saw incredible things, awful things, things that belonged in the public domain and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington, D.C., what would you do?
Other things to reference in support of this talking point: Collateral Murder video release, Iraq and Afghanistan war logs which reveal US knowledge of exact numbers of civilian deaths which contrasted the media reports in which US military claimed it did not have such knowledge.
2. Manning was very selective in what he released to Wikileaks. The prosecution’s claim that Manning was “systematically harvesting” documents does not make sense. Manning had unlimited access to documents and unlimited ability to download them. If he had been systematically harvesting information, he would have released millions of documents. Also, if Bradley was spending most of his time searching for documents to download, he would not have been getting his work done on time. Witnesses in the trial testified things such as: Pfc. Manning was the most organized analyst in his section, consistently completed his tasks in time, and was one of the most reliable analysts.
3. The government prosecutors presented no reliable evidence to support their claim that Manning is a “traitor” and disloyal to his country. The only witness the prosecution presented to support this claim is Specialist Showman who was Manning’s superior. Showman claimed on the witness stand that while she worked with Manning in Iraq, she suspected he was a spy and “disloyal” to his country. However, she also testified that she failed to write this down anywhere while she had those suspicions. She claims she went to her superior, Sergeant Adkins, five times about this incident. She said that Adkins said that he said he would “take care of it.” But there is no evidence that he wrote it down either.
4. There is no evidence that Manning knew his leaks would “aid the enemy”. This exerpt is from Nathan Fuller’s article on Coombs’ closing argument: Coombs showed how the government’s evidence went to a “negligence” argument – that Manning “should have known” that the enemy uses the Internet and therefore would find any information that WikiLeaks posted. Prosecutors used an Army report that says soldiers should “presume” the enemy visits WikiLeaks, and they argue that Manning was trained to assume the enemy would want classified information. But they also conceded that “should have known” is far too low a standard, and only “actual knowledge” is enough to convict him of aiding the enemy.
5. There is no evidence that Manning’s leaks caused harm to anyone.
The following was published in January, 2011, by Reuters:
(Reuters) - Internal U.S. government reviews have determined that a mass leak of diplomatic cables caused only limited damage to U.S. interests abroad, despite the Obama administration's public statements to the contrary.
A congressional official briefed on the reviews said the administration felt compelled to say publicly that the revelations had seriously damaged American interests in order to bolster legal efforts to shut down theWikiLeaks website and bring charges against the leakers.
"I think they just want to present the toughest front they can muster," the official said.
But State Department officials have privately told Congress they expect overall damage to U.S. foreign policy to be containable, said the official, one of two congressional aides familiar with the briefings who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.
"We were told (the impact of WikiLeaks revelations) was embarrassing but not damaging," said the official, who attended a briefing given in late 2010 by State Department officials.
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