Bradley Manning Awaits Verdict After Trial Ends with Prosecution "Smears" & Harsh Gov’t Secrecy

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Democracy Now!

Bradley Manning Awaits Verdict After Trial Ends with Prosecution "Smears" & Harsh Gov’t Secrecy

Closing arguments have wrapped in the nearly two-month military trial of Army Private Bradley Manning. The presiding judge, Col. Denise Lind, is now deliberating on 21 charges, including "aiding the enemy." Manning faces up to life in prison for leaking more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks and other news sources, the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history. Over the weekend, protesters in dozens of cities around the world held rallies to mark an international day of action calling for Manning’s release.

We get an update from outside the courtroom with independent journalist Alexa O’Brien, who has been in the courtroom daily since the trial began. "We had armed guards roaming the aisles, actually standing behind reporters, peering into our computers, coming every five minutes behind us," O’Brien says of how journalists were treated last week. "It was quite shocking behavior."

We’re also joined by Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who observed the trial’s closing arguments. "The government’s theory is what really is awful here: You can 'aid the enemy' by putting information up on the Internet, intelligence that doesn’t have to be classified," Ratner says. "Because the enemy reads the Internet, you can be accused of aiding the enemy."

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