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Manning Trial: Superficial Justice to Save American Face (Die Tageszeitung, Germany)


"The Obama Administration's excessive pursuit of whistleblowers has earned it a lot of bad press internationally. The case of Bradley Manning, who sat a long time in solitary confinement before the trial even began, ensured that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden had the world's sympathy when he chose when to come forward. This isn't good for the United States. ... Military justice is political justice. It is wrong."


By Bernd Pickert



Translated By Jonathan Lobsien


August 7, 2013


Germany - Die Tageszeitung - Original Article (German)

PFC Bradley Manning: Having already spent more time in detention than a number of U.S. soldiers convicted of war crimes, is he the victim of a politically-motivated kangaroo court?

FRANCE 24 NEWS VIDEO: Manning verdict : the soldier faces life term for leaking military secrets, July 31, 00:01:31 RealVideo

The verdict was political and unjust. Manning's acquittal on the charge of "aiding the enemy" is just a cheap concession to maintain the pretense of democracy.


The verdict against WikiLeaks informant Bradley Manning appears suspiciously in line with the Obama Administration's political needs. His acquittal on the charge of "aiding the enemy" poses as a miniature victory for the defense - but that alone speaks volumes about what the public has become accustomed to.


The accusation was absurd from the start. And it seems almost as if the judge's decision last week not to drop all charges was made purely with the intention of in the end absolving Manning - at least on this point. It looked better that way.


The Obama Administration's excessive pursuit of whistleblowers has earned it a lot of bad press internationally. The case of Bradley Manning, who sat a long time in solitary confinement before the trial even began, ensured that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden had the world's sympathy when he chose when to come forward. This isn't good for the United States.


The trial of Bradley Manning had to accomplish at least two things at once: The verdict had to be dramatic enough to deter whistleblowers; but also, it had to show that even at military tribunals, everything is above board. An acquittal on the most far-reaching indictment with a simultaneous conviction on all other counts met that goal perfectly.

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To think that this is a coincidence would be naive. Filmmaker Michael Moore rightly points out in an article on the Huffington Post that Manning has already been detained longer that all of the soldiers accused of war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan put together - and even in those cases, it is claimed that the military justice system fulfilled its function. Superficial justice on the outside, and no uncertainty among the troops inside. Military justice is political justice. It is wrong.


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Posted By Worldmeets.US Aug. 7, 2013, 1:39pm