“I believed that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within [the military’s own databases], it could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.” That is — according to a statement Bradley Manning made before to the judge in his court martial, Colonel Denise Lind, on February 28 — what first led Manning to begin to leak large volumes of information to WikiLeaks: a desire to make Americans aware of the potential blowback of our counterinsurgency and counterterrorism policies.
Today, Lind found Manning guilty of 20 charges for that effort to inform the American people of the policies pursued in their name. But, in a hugely significant development, she also ruled that he was not guilty of the charge of aiding the enemy. The verdict was revealed with silence and a delay, as the Army imposed new reporting rules on the press, citing earlier “shenanigans.”
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