Manning Sentencing Defense Plays Up Psychological Stress, Fails To Use Whistleblower Defense

The Real News Network has the video Manning Sentencing Defense Plays Up Psychological Stress, Fails To Use Whistleblower Defense.

SWANSON: Well, I think the information he put out helped to end the war in Iraq by persuading the Iraqi government not to allow U.S. troops to remain with immunity from criminal prosecution after having seen some of the crimes revealed by Bradley Manning. You have the testimony of a former secretary of state and other officials in Tunisia and elsewhere around what we call the Middle East thanking Bradley Manning for his assistance of nonviolent democratic movements that have in some cases overthrown tyrants. He’s a four-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee because of the gratitude of nations around the world. I think–you know, former Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire credits him with helping prevent a Western intervention in Syria thus far because there is fear now on the part of many governments that whatever they do could be exposed. And that is all to the good. And Thomas Jefferson and the rest of the founders of this nation would have said that was all to the good. But the prosecution has its own deep impact, and while a few Edward Snowdens may be inspired, many, many sources are going into hiding. And that could be disastrous for a government of, by, and for the people.

Little did I know that yesterday, when I posted and addendum to my previous post Bradley Manning, the Nuremberg Charter and Refusing to Collaborate with War Crimes The Real News Network would provide another reason to make the same point.

I haven’t heard whether or not the release of the helicopter pictures showing a war crime being committed was part of the indictment against Bradley Manning. If this was a defensible act, then the government would have no reason to charge him for that. This robs him of the chance to use the Nuremberg defense. If the releases of the other material were not defensible in whistle blower terms, then what defense could Manning put up than the ones his defense is using?

Just shows that if you are going to commit a defensible act, don’t commit a bunch of ancillary criminal acts for which you will be charged. In starker terms, you can commit millions of good deeds, but if you commit one crime, you are subject to punishment. That’s not odd or ironic at all. That’s life in a civilized society.

People are talking about awards for Bradley Manning for uncovering the war crime. That still might be appropriate. People should not find it surprising that an award winner might also be capable of committing a crime. These are two separate acts. People commit two separate acts all the time.

Can you imagine a Nobel Peace Prize winner being arrested for DUI? Then why is it so hard to see what is happening here, and learn not to conflate honorable deeds with criminal deeds? Fortunately Manning’s legal team could face reality enough to provide him with the type of defense he needed for the crimes for which he has been charged.

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