The military judge in the trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning decided on Thursday not to drop a charge accusing Private Manning of “aiding the enemy.” If found guilty, Private Manning could face life in prison plus an additional 154 years. ...NYT
If convicted, Manning would eligible for the death penalty, though the government has said it "won't pursue" that.
And here's the crux:
The judge, Col. Denise Lind, said the government had provided sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Private Manning knowingly gave information to certain enemy groups such as Al Qaeda when he passed hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks in 2009. ...NYT
Really? Do you believe the government? The whole thing sounds like a bully's whine to me -- a dangerous bully. And this is the most "damning" part of Manning leaks, most if not all of which were harmless.
Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, said despite Private Manning’s intention, some of the information should not have been leaked. “The video arguably was a matter of overriding public interest. But many other records released by Manning and WikiLeaks had no obvious news value or larger public interest,” he said. ...NYT
I'm surprised to see Aftergood associated with that judgment. Here's the video.
By the way, fellow bloggers:
... On two separate occasions, Lind, an Army colonel, had questioned military prosecutors about whether they would be pursuing the charge if the information had been leaked directly to The Washington Post or the New York Times. Each time, the prosecution said it would. That troubles advocates for whistleblowers, who fear that the leaking of national defense information that appears online, as it inevitably does, can be construed as assisting the enemy. ...WaPo
Oh... And it hardly needs reiteration that the American military's occasionally deliberate slaughter of civilians is something "Al Qaeda" has known about all along and in spades.
Who do the government want to keep this information -- that video -- from? The American people. Of course.