Breaking! Bradley Manning Found Not Guilty of Aiding the Enemy

One of the most anticipated trials relating to online activism, journalism and right to anonymous dissent has reached a verdict.

Brandley Manning was found not guilty of aiding the enemy, and guilty of the 10 other counts he already pleaded guilty to.

The announcement followed an eight-week trial at Ford Meade in Maryland, where military prosecutors argued that Manning, 25, betrayed his oath and his country, and assisted al-Qaeda because the confidential military material was published openly on the whistleblowing website, Wikileaks.

If he was found guilty of aiding the enemy, the verdict would have had serious implications for media outlets publishing similar leaks and newsworthy information. It raised the question that if publishing such sensitive information to Wikileaks was considered aiding the enemy, then would the co-conspiring media outlets, including the New York Times and the Guardian, also be held accountable? Namely would news outlets who simultaneously published the information and/or used Wikileaks as a source, would also be found guilty of aiding the enemy if those newspapers were found in the hands of terrorists?

Thankfully, that precedent wasn’t set.

Freedom of the press continues.

In all, Manning was more likely an idealist who felt that Americans deserved to be informed about the actions U.S. military were taking. He was a whistleblower who was naive in believing that his actions would encourage his nation to reassess their foreign policies. In all, it mostly promoted a conversation on whether Manning was a traitor or a hero, a conversation that somewhat dismissed the intent of his actions.

Actions such as leaking the Afghanistan and Iraq war logs, a trove of diplomatic cables as well as the video “Collateral Murder”, which catapulted Wikileaks to international noteriety – all of which Manning pleaded guilt to.

Manning’s sentencing will begin Wednesday, in closed sessions, at Fort Meade, just outside of Baltimore. If there’s a conviction, the prosecution is expected to press for the maximum sentence.

Manning would be likely to serve any sentence at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

The moment I realized I had forced all my friends to watch AfroSquad, I knew that talking about Internet culture was where I was meant to be. Between reddit, Nat&Marie and eating junk food, there's just enough time for my personal blog Karmacake.com. That is all. That is it. Oh. Instagram: Karmacake

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