Whistle-blower Bradley Manning was found not guilty of the charge of “Aiding the Enemy” by military judge Colonel Denise Lind. However, he has been sentenced to 90 years after the court found him guilty of a number of other charges including passing on classified information to Wikileaks.
Manning has been held in custody since 2010 after it was alleged he leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the Wikileaks website, revealing information about US war crimes.
The International Peace Bureau have awarded the 2013 Sean MacBride Peace Prize to Manning for his courageous actions in informing the public about US war crimes. The IPB’s Co-President Tomas Magnusson commented: “When Manning revealed to the world the crimes being committed by the US military he did so as an act of obedience to this high moral duty [to make known war crimes and crimes against humanity]”.
At Irish CND’s annual Hiroshima Day commemoration at the Hiroshima Cherry Tree in Merrion Square park on the 6th August, President of Irish CND, Patrick Comerford, criticised the Irish Government for failing to offer either Bradley Manning or Edward Snowdon asylum, calling them both: “modern-day heroes, holders of the banner of morality in the immoral nuclear age”.
While Manning now faces 90 years in prison for his actions, Veterans for Peace have deemed it a victory that he has been found not guilty of aiding the enemy, which they deem would have been a big blow for freedom of the press (to read their article go here).
There have been further calls to award Bradley Manning with the Nobel Peace Prize, with American journalist and anti-war activist, Normon Solomon, declaring that this act might redeem the Nobel committee four years after awarding the prize to President Obama, who has continued promoting war. Solomon argues that “No one can doubt the sincere dedication of Bradley Manning to human rights and peace”. To read the article where he outlines why Manning should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize go here