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US Govt: 'We Want to Make an Example Out of Bradley Manning'

Defense slams prosecution for insisting on 60 year minimum, 'trying to prevent Manning from having a life'

Sarah Lazare

US government prosecutors called Monday for the military courts to make an example out of Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning by ensuring that the 25 year old lives most of his life behind bars.

The defense slammed the push for excessive punishments aimed at preventing Manning from having a life.

"This court must send a message to those who release confidential information," prosecutor Army Capt. Joe Morrow declared to judge Col. Denise Lind who is overseeing the case, urging a stiff 60-year minimum sentence, as well as a dishonorable discharge from the Army and a $100,000 fine.

Manning "deserves to spend the majority of his remaining life in prison," Morrow insisted.

Nathan Fuller of the Bradley Manning Support Network told Common Dreams, "The prosecution insisted there has to be deterrence and we need to set an example out of Bradley Manning. They made it clear that anyone else thinking of releasing classified info should look at Manning. They want to go above and beyond what would be considered a reasonable sentence."

Manning's defense slammed the prosecutors' dehumanization of Manning, calling for a rehabilitation, rather than punishment-driven, approach to sentencing.

Manning's "biggest crime is that he cared about the loss of life," declared defense lawyer David Coombs in court, urging no more than 25 years for the defendant.

Speaking after court, Coombs declared, "Our elected leaders don't want us to question national security."

Manning—who was convicted guilty in late July of 20 counts including committing federal computer fraud and violating the espionage act—could face up to 90 years in jail, in addition to the over 900 days he has already served, which included solitary confinement.

Lind announced that she would begin considering Manning's sentence Tuesday morning.

"60 years would be horrific," Fuller told Common Dreams. "On a personal level, it would be horrific for Bradley Manning."

To follow live updates from reporters and advocates covering Manning's trial, see the below twitter feed.

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