Manning defense team and judge Lind. Pic by C. Stoeckley.

3:00 PM EST  The military judge announces her rationale behind the verdict in Bradley Manning’s trial: latest report now up here.

We’ll never know what conclusions the judge had reached on WikiLeaks because Manning was acquitted of “aiding the enemy.”

2:30 PM EST  The Special Findings document is circulating. It is listed as AE #625 and dated August 15, 2013. It will be posted to our FDL Manning trial documents soon.

Other excerpts from the ‘Special Findings’ doc: The Judge, on the offense of ‘causing wantonly to be published intelligence’: “Pfc. Manning knew that al Qaeda was an enemy of United States.”

Judge: “PFC Manning specifically intended to knowingly convert records, and the information therein, by giving them to WikiLeaks.”

Judge: Pfc. Manning’s conduct was “of a heedless nature that made it actually and imminently dangerous to others.”

1:55 PM EST  Court is in recess until Monday at 1PM.

Finally got a copy of the “Special Findings.” There is no finding for the “aiding the enemy” offense,  so there is no explanation from the judge for why he was acquitted on that charge.

1:40 PM EST  We’re still waiting to see a copy of these “Special Findings” on Bradley Manning’s verdict.

1:35 PM EST  There are ten copies of the judge’s “special findings” on the Manning verdict for fifteen media personnel here today. Obviously, this could be a problem…

The “Special findings” will not be read into the record because both the defense and the prosecution don’t want them to be read. The media in the Media Center are now in a frenzy!

There are times at Fort Meade where I feel like I am, as a member of the press, the subject of a Stanley Milgram experiment.

1:30 PM EST  The sentencing argument will be on Monday afternoon. The Judge says that she is likely to issue Bradley Manning’s sentence Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

1:25 PM EST  “Special findings” from the military judge explaining some of rationale for her verdict in Bradley Manning’s trial to be announced.

Government rebuttal case focused on Danny Clark’s communications with Bradley Manning.

Original Post:

The trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning is set to continue this afternoon with the government indicating whether it will put on a rebuttal to the defense’s sentencing case or not.

On Wednesday, Manning gave an apology in military court at Fort Meade. I covered it here at Firedoglake and also wrote a full reflection on what he said the day after.

I also reached out to some other people for reactions. National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake and State Department whistleblower Peter Van Buren both shared their views on what Manning said in court.

Drake was prosecuted under the administration of President Barack Obama and charged with violating the Espionage Act for revealing information on a private contractor boondoggle that involved waste, fraud and illegality at the NSA. He told Firedoglake, “As you might imagine, I do sympathize,” with Manning.

“When he gave a naked plea and ended up facing so many decades in prison after conviction, the pressures [were] enormous to plead your case to the judge,” he declared. “Some may wish he had said nothing or had remained firm and others will point out (as you did) that it contradicts his early testimony in terms of state of mind.”

“My near term concern is the well-being of Manning after his sentence is announced by the judge,” Drake added.

Van Buren, author of “We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People” who was forced out of the State Department for linking to a WikiLeaks cable on his personal blog, told Firedoglake:

Manning watched over more than three years as the government denied him first his rights, then attempted to break him psychologically, then subjected him to a drumhead court martial based on denied defense motions, limits on witnesses he could call, exaggerated and stacked charges and a lack of transparency. He saw that he was convicted of espionage even after the government admitted that they could show no actual harm done by his disclosures and that no foreign power was helped. He spied for no one, and aided no one but the American people in better understanding how America makes war.
The totality of this left Manning with no choice but to exercise the last chance at justice he had left, a sentence actually in line with what he actually did, as opposed to the defacto death sentence the government seeks. I am saddened that the process pressed Manning into this final act of subjugation as his only hope for a whiff of fairness.
Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."