The military judge presiding over the case of Pfc. Bradley Manning ruled Thursday to maintain Manning's most severe charge of "aiding the enemy"—a charge critics are calling a major blow to the freedom of the press.
Firedoglake's Kevin Gosztola reports:
The judge has denied the defense motions for a finding of “not guilty” on the “aiding the enemy” charge and the charges alleging Manning exceeded authorized access on his computer. What is important to note about this ruling is that she was to consider all evidence presented to her in a “light most favorable to the prosecution.”
“Only in the absence of some evidence” that by reasonable inference could “reasonably tend to establish an offense charged” was she to rule that Manning was not guilty.
The move does not bode well for Manning's fate. However, while the decision maintains the charges within the case, a final ruling of "guilty" or "not guilty" has not yet been decided.
Manning's defense had motioned to drop the charge last week, among a slew of other charges being decided upon today. The "aiding the enemy" charge carries the possibility of life in prison.
"He was knowingly providing intelligence to the enemy," said Judge Colonel Denise Lind, in rejecting Manning's lawyer's motion to dismiss that charge.
BREAKING: Judge does not throw out either "aiding the enemy" or computer fraud charges against Bradley #Manning
— Nathan Fuller (@nathanLfuller) July 18, 2013
Congrats to the Obama admin on converting ordinary leaks to media outlets into a form of treason https://t.co/97XrzRFfpK
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 18, 2013
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