Bradley Manning Found Not Guilty of Aiding the Enemy, a Small Win For Whistleblowers

Private First Class Bradley Manning was found not guilty of "aiding the enemy" Tuesday after a several-months-long trial.

The verdict isn't unexpected, but for those that believe in Manning's actions, it is still a blow to transparency and debate over the methods and tactics of the U.S. military. 

Manning was never expected to escape with less than decades in jail. He already plead guilty to almost a dozen other charges, carrying a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison, and was found guilty Tuesday of violating the Espionage Act, among others. While the charge of aiding the enemy was the most serious, for which the sentence would have been life in prison, he will still, in effect, face the same thing. The charges he was found guilty of carry a maximum sentence of up to 128 years in jail. 

It's a small win for whistleblowers, that will be overshadowed by the magnitude of the other charges.


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Michael McCutcheon

Michael was formerly special projects editor at Mic. Prior to that, he worked at the Open Society Foundations on electoral reform. A native Seattleite, he's still mad about the SuperSonics.

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