Bradley Manning’s ‘Aiding the Enemy’ Charge is a Travesty of Justice

U.S. Pvt. Bradley Manning, 25, has lost his challenge against the charge of "aiding the enemy" (Photo Credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images).

U.S. Pvt. Bradley Manning, 25, has lost his challenge against the charge of “aiding the enemy” (Photo Credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images).

By Widney Brown, Senior Director of International Law and Policy at Amnesty International

The decision by the U.S. military judge not to drop the charge accusing Private Bradley Manning of “aiding the enemy” is a travesty of justice. If he is found guilty of the charge, he faces a possible life sentence in military custody with no chance of parole.

What’s surprising is that the prosecutors in this case, who have a duty to act in the interest of justice, have pushed a theory that making information available on the internet – whether through Wikileaks, in a personal blog posting, or on the website of The New York Times – can amount to “aiding the enemy.”

To prove the charge that Manning has “aided the enemy,” the U.S. government has to establish that he gave potentially damaging intelligence information to an enemy, and that he did so knowingly, with “general evil intent.”

The prosecution’s own witnesses repeatedly told the court that they found no evidence that Manning was sympathetic towards al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups, that he had never expressed disloyalty to his country, that they had no evidence that he had ties to any government other than his own.

It’s abundantly clear that the charge of “aiding the enemy” has no basis and the charge should be withdrawn. This case makes a mockery of the U.S. military court system.

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15 thoughts on “Bradley Manning’s ‘Aiding the Enemy’ Charge is a Travesty of Justice

  1. I'm really curious of what the americans think about this case, I would die to see a poll regarding his trial and his state of guilt

  2. I hope everybody knows by now that he wasn't endangering anyone… If there still are people who believe this, I'm really disappointed of the world I live in

  3. Bradley needs to be free! It's an outrage that our government is doing something like this. Governments should protect their citizens!

  4. I want to know what the american people think about this situation. It's something that affects everyone so they must speak.

  5. I think people all over the world would go crazy if something unpredictable happened in the manning case. It's weird that some justice cases aren't about justice at all, but mostly about creating an impression on the masses and making people like or dislike a government

  6. Bradley Manning is one of the many people to be blamed for a crime that shouldn't exist or is unfounded. things that seem basic human rights for most of us are prohibited by the governments abusively and this needs to stop as soon as possible

  7. I don't think this is getting enough attention, because it's a really big deal and after what happened with snowden I would have thought people would go insane over this case

  8. Earlier this year, you (Amnesty) published a lengthy report criticizing EU states for failing to legally recognize transgender people's identities.

    ("The State Decides Who I Am",

    Yet here you are, consistently referring to Chelsea Manning by her birth name, using male pronouns, and in fact supporting the same violence you are elsewhere advocating against.

    Recognize Chelsea Manning as the woman she is. (