Chelsea Manning

Bradley Manning Verdict: Not Guilty of Aiding the Enemy

Faces up to life in prison


mostly guilty
US Army

Col. Denise Lind has found Bradley Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy, according to Fox News' Catherine Herridge. It was the most serious charge he faced. Manning, who leaked numerous documents and materials to WikiLeaks, was found guilty of several lesser charges most other charges. You can see a break down of the charges here.

He had already pled guilty to 10 lesser offenses that carry a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. With today's guilty verdicts, Manning faces up to 134 years in prison.

Read more from Matthew Feeney about the Bradley Manning trial here and here, or tune in to BBC World Service to listen to his live analysis of the verdict.

Follow Alexa O'Brien's Twitter feed for updates on the verdict. O'Brien's last tweet before returning to the courtroom: "I am going back into the funeral of a young man"

NEXT: White House Creating 'Nudge Squad'

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. So the terrorists have finally won.

    1. Unless Captain Dronebot gets Snowden, the terrorists have definitely won.

      1. Lt. Cmdr Harmon Jag never would have let the terrorists win in his courtroom.

        1. Unless he was defending.

          1. In that case Mac would be prosecuting and her boobs would often defeat him.

            1. my buddy’s step-sister makes $67 hourly on the laptop. She has been fired for 8 months but last month her check was $15936 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site…. WEP6.COM

    2. Beat me to it. That was my first thought, as well.

    3. Are you kidding? Everything Manning revealed was damaging only to the Obama administration. The American people are far better off thanks to Manning blowing the whistle on the government’s abuse of the constitution and unaccountable foreign policy.

      Manning should be rewarded for his patriotism. The Obama administration has taken a huge blow today.

      1. You need to lurk moar.

      2. Sarcasm detector malfunction detected.

    4. my buddy’s mom makes $63/hr on the internet. She has been out of a job for 10 months but last month her pay check was $14849 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site… http://WWW.CNN32.COM

  2. I haven’t followed this closely, but I am shocked. Need instant analysis! Who cares if it’s correct, just say something!

  3. Happily surprised by the acquittal on aiding the enemy, which is one of the more BS charges I’ve ever seen brought against anyone. Saddened by the convictions.

    1. So, I suppose releasing hundreds of thousands of documents into foreign hands is fighting the enemy?
      I know he didn’t release everything directly to Al Quaeda, but putting it online supplied the entire planet with all the info in nanoseconds.
      He should be shot.

      1. This isn’t even good trolling. C’mon. You’re going to have to try a lot harder than that.

      2. Agreed, however what do you suppose the odds are on his survival if he ends up in the general population in a military prison with a “traitor” beef on his head? He basically has a choice now of either solitary confinement or spending the rest of his sentence playing “shank, shank, who’s got the shank?”

        1. I suspect it will have an effect on his gender identity issues.

          1. What are you talking about?

        2. Who is saying he’s a traitor? Most people on this site think he’s a hero. The only American citizen Bradley Manning hurt was Barack Obama. And even then, only his reputation.

          He should be rewarded for his patriotism. If he hadn’t blown the whistle on Obama’s unconstitutional policies, innocent US citizens might still be dying from the government’s drone strikes. Bradley Manning has greatly improved our national security.

          1. What? You might be talking about Snowden, the other traitor, but not Manning. They both revealed secrets to the world and specifically countries that want to remove the “blight” of freedom (the U.S.) from its role as superpower. I hope I just missed your sarcasm…

        3. my friend’s sister-in-law makes $70/hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for 5 months but last month her check was $14048 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this web site..

      3. He should be shot.

        And your mother should have exercised her right to abort you. Guess we’re both disappointed.

        1. Love that insult. Second only to “You should have been a blowjob”

        2. Or as one Australian comedian put it: “Madam, I support the right to have an abortion. And, in your case, it should be made retroactive.”

        3. I consider myself a libertarian that believes it’s OK to kill certain people.
          Manning released classified information (indirectly to be generous) to the entire planet.

          We cannot be isolationists and expect the world to ignore us; we have too much.
          To condone his “free” will of what he did, and downplay his actual obligations as a member of the military is disingenuous. His actions have damaged the entire military system. A system that we do need in order to preserve our basic freedoms.

          This is a PC verdict. The only reason he’s not guilty of this charge is because they couldn’t prove his actions had jeopardized any American lives in the field, but I know plenty of people in the field who would beg to differ on that point.

          Go ahead and throw your insults around, I really don’t fucking care, but remember this; without the people out there fighting to preserve your freedom, you would be nothing more than a slave. Anyone who threatens those people is an enemy of the state and you.

          1. When you find anyone out there today actually fighting for my freedom rather than for the federal government,let me know. Until then get back under the President’s desk where you came from.

            1. I really hope that’s not a common libertarian sentiment.

              1. It is. Fuck off, slaver.

            2. Well, if you don’t take the fight to the extremists, they will gain footholds in different countries. Once they gain footholds, we can no longer write them off as extremists. Then we have to treat them like other civilized nations. They can then influence us more than they already do.

              Your shortsightedness is typical of many here. Do you think we can leave everyone alone and they will do the same? Power is something men from every nation crave. We have the most in the world, therefore people want to lessen ours to increase theirs.

              I know you probably don’t care, as long as the federal government allows you to smoke pot and get abortions, but some of us care about the world enough to try to help it. By helping it, we bring about goodwill and peace in many instances. Standing by and doing nothing encourages our enemies and discourages our allies.

  4. No firing squad, then?

    Peter King haz a sad.

    1. John McCain and his evil toady just peed their britches.

    2. Rep. King is really pissed off at people who help foreign terrorists. Well, I mean terrorist-terrorists, not the freedom-fighter kind.

    3. Prosecutor Jack McCoy haz a sad he couldn’t stretch the law into taffy too. It would have been so yummy.

  5. I’ll wait for sentencing to decide my feelings on the matter.

    1. Exactly. He could still get a max 100 years. 5-10 would appease the masses but look for Peter King to suffer apoplectic stroke.

      1. The appropriate sentence would be time served but that’s not happening.

      2. 5-10 would appease the masses but look for Peter King to suffer apoplectic stroke.

        Everybody wins!

        1. I dunno Hugh, he could recover from the stroke. Is it still a win if it’s non-fatal?

          1. I think we have to hope someone with him thinks he’s having a heart attack and stuffs him full of aspirin.

            1. I like it when the red water comes out.

          2. Are you kidding? Peter King pounding the table with his one working fist, yelling 9/11! over and over again from the side of his mouth that still has feeling, literally shitting his pants every time someone says terrorism?

            It will be a golden age.

            1. I’ll be in my bunk…

            2. With that image, you just made my day.

            3. Hmm, I find your reasoning compelling. Carry on.

            4. Knowing the voters of NY, he’d keep getting elected.

              And not in a funny, ironic sort of way.

            5. Now I’m never going to be able to keep that mental out of my head everytime I see that obnoxious little troll on TV. Here’s hoping he really does run for president in 2016. I could use the laughs.

  6. I’m glad the “aiding the enemy” was “not guilty”. As for the rest – meh. Consequences to his actions. The govt wasn’t gonna let him walk.

    1. He committed treason by the very definition of the word.

      1. No, he didn’t.

        1. go back to the library you dimwit, he’s guilty of treason.

          1. Read the Constitution dimwit, it’s incredibly difficult to argue he committed treason, the definition is very specific.

        2. Ooo! Let me play!

          Yes, he did.

      2. Someone needs to look up the definition

      3. The fact that treason is even a crime indicates how backwards America’s government is.

        1. Interestingly enough, treason is a very hard crime to prove. It’s actually in the Constitution:

          Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

          Two witnesses to the overt act. That’s not often the case, I’m sure. Not to say that the various other laws used against people in this situation aren’t really “treason” by any rational definition of the term. Another end run.

          1. Unfortunately, like with anything else, I wonder whether the Constitution actually applies to the WAR ON TERROR(tm).

            1. The Constitution is not a suicide pact. [/conservative statist]

              1. The Constitution is not a suicide pact. [/conservative statist lemmings]

                Thought it could use a little touch there.

            2. Any conflict outside the border of the 50 states is a war, or do you prefer to have selective description enacted here.
              We’ve been at “war” with these people since the beginning of the jihad.

              Of course, we could just reinterpret the Constitution and the fucking Bill of Rights, make it a document “open to interpretation”.

              That’s bound to end well.

              1. When did Bradley Manning wage war? When did he adhere to our enemies? Stop making up shit asshole. Words don’t mean whatever you want them to mean.

          2. Are the “Enemies” in this case the enemies of the people of “them” states, or the enemies of the people running the federal government; Because I really don’t feel like most of the people in this federal government are citizens of, or give a damn about, the people of “:them” states anymore.

            If we don’t elect more people outside the two ruling parties I will be sure of it.

            1. Distinction well made.
              Did Manning commit treason against the Feral Government, or against the American people? The two are obviously not the same.

              And so some are wont to say – the enemy of my enemy is my friend – you figure out the conclusion.

          3. Information deemed unworthy for foreign consumption revealed to foreign nations. I think that fits the definition of “Aid” in this context, but I mean, it is open to interpretation, right? Oh…it’s right there…in plain language…I guess not then.

        2. The fact that treason is even a crime indicates how backwards America’s government is.

          So in Europe treason is not a crime?

          1. Hugh is probably refering to the fact that the founding of the country was in and of itself an act of treason…

            Not sure what you think Europe has to do with the comment as Europe is pretty backwards in a lot of ways.

            1. Because “America is backwards/abnormal/etc.” is usually code for “Europe is so much better!”

                1. Well when progtards use it that is what they mean so I always find it odd when libertarians use that line.

              1. You’re not from around here, are you boy?

                1. You best be high tailing it back to the city.

        3. Yeah! Crazy how even our freedom-loving forefathers thought that it should be criminal to undermine freedom!

          Oh the fun of anarchy!


      4. Don’t feed it, people.

      5. He absolutely didn’t. He exposed tyrannical and unconstitutional abuses of power by the Obama administration. If it weren’t for him, Obama might still be killing innocent US citizens with drone strikes.

        Bradley Manning has saved lives and served his country well. He should be rewarded for his patriotism.

  7. Well, we obviously need to repeal the “Stand Your Ground” laws since they were a major factor in his walking fee after shooting the President’s son.

  8. So instead of spending the rest of his life in solitary confinement, he’ll…spend the rest of his life in solitary confinement?


    1. It’s a damn good thing he was acquitted of the aiding the enemy charges; now he’ll only spend the rest of his life in prison, as opposed to spending more of the rest of his life in prison.

      1. Book the party for 2147!

      2. Agreed. That was the charge I found the most disturbing. There’s a difference between making something public and sending it as an attachment to

        1. Not when the information you’re revealing contains the identities or enough information to identify people who provided us with intelligence. In that case there’s no meaningful difference between sending their names and addresses directly to the enemy and publishing them where you know or should know that they can find them.

          1. I suppose. It’s hard to know what’s wrong and what’s right when everything is a secret and everything endangers the war effort.

          2. There may be no functional difference, but doesn’t intent mean something?

            I mean – yes, he is guilty of knowingly releasing classified information, but his intent wasn’t to aid the enemy.

            Going further too – if he had “legally” aided the enemy because Bin Laden’s computer history showed he read one single wikileak doc, couldn’t he also have separate charges for each identified enemy who also read? & then for each doc?

            So if 100 terrorists read all 250K docs should there now 25M separate charges for aiding the enemy?

    2. There’s always a chance that 40 or 50 years from now, after all this terrorism hysteria has blown over, he might be pardoned.

      1. I believe the term you’re looking for is “rehabilitated”, comrade.

  9. Also, I thought revealing classified information to the American people was the very definition of aiding the enemy.

  10. I don’t pretend to know the details of this case. Is Manning someone who should walk, or did he cross the line?

    In Snowden’s case, whatever his personal motives, the situation is clearly one of blowing the whistle on illegal and highly distressing activities. Is that true with Manning?

    1. For Manning, “time served” seems about right.

    2. He should walk. If the government is supposed by and of the people, then there should be no secrets. Being forced to pay taxes and being forced to use Federal Reserve Notes should be mean being able to least demand what they are being used for. (even though no taxpayer has control over how their stolen money is used)

      Unless you are willing to let people opt out, then the only way to legitimately keep secrets is in the private sector that has nothing to do with government funding.

      1. You realize that the implication of what you just said is that anyone in the private receiving any sort of government support doesn’t have a right to privacy.

        What is that, 50, 60, 70 percent of all businesses and individuals in this country? Sounds like a great idea!

        1. Sadly, that is an improvement over the current percentages.

    3. I don’t pretend to know the details of this case. Is Manning someone who should walk, or did he cross the line?

      He crossed the line in some respects, probably not deserving of the extreme sentencing he faces, and his defense (when I followed it early on) was a bit schizophrenic, which I don’t think helped him.

      Time will tell.

    4. No, Manning is different. Snowden was very careful about what he released. Manning released tons of things that had no bearing on any illegal or immoral activities, and that he had not even read. It was reckless and irresponsible.

      1. I think what’s important here is the precedent. Does the government really have the right to so much secrecy? Why are we even agreeing to have so many of our civil liberties violated in the name of fighting terrorism anyway? You’re about 2 million times more likely to die of heart disease than a terrorist attack, and yet I don’t see many rabid politicians calling for restrictions on our civil liberties in order to fight cholesterol!

        When it comes to sacrificing our liberty in order to achieve some public good, security is probably where we get the least bang for our buck. We should be extremely suspicious whenever someone calls for it.

        As far as I’m concerned, Bradley Manning’s revelations haven’t told our ‘enemies’ anything they didn’t already know. 99% of of what came out of this is just tremendous embarrassment for the Obama administration, showing hundreds of foolish and wasteful things that they’ve been busy doing with all this secrecy they claim they need. Nearly everything he revealed doesn’t seem like it should have been secret to begin with. All the secrecy was just a shield for Obama to dodge his accountability to the American people.

        1. yet I don’t see many rabid politicians calling for restrictions on our civil liberties in order to fight cholesterol!

          Just give them time.

          1. Hasn’t Bloomberg already done this?

    5. I would say so. It’s very similar to the Daniel Ellsberg (The Pentagon Papers) case. Both released a large amount of information that’s classified not because it needs to be, but because it might be embarrassing to the government.

      1. This is a very good point.

        Our ‘security’ was never threatened by Manning’s revelations. Only Barack Obama’s reputation.

        1. This is after-the-fact knowledge though.

          When Manning released 250K classified docs, he has no knowledge as to what any individual document had in it.

          Secondarily – the fact the of all the docs the most that was found was just “embarrassing” goes directly against the idea that what was done was necessary and needs to be protected.

    6. Manning did violate his orders and commit acts punishable by the military. He’s guilty of breaking the law, but I honestly do no think his crime warrants anything more than a few years in the brig, which he already has served.

      1. Violating orders isn’t enough by itself. For instance, if he refused orders to round up the Jews and machine-gun them, this would be a good thing, not a bad thing.

        Ratcheting things down from Godwin, if his violation of orders was in the school of whistle-blowing, then he should walk. However, it sounds like he revealed some information that maybe should’ve been kept secret. Leaving aside the question of how many secrets our government should have from us (or even from our representatives).

        1. Sorry, but violating orders is enough to go to jail. Extenuating circumstances to orders given I think would be an affirmative defense.

          IE – orders given are assumed lawful unless otherwise proven.

          If not – couldn’t every solider just disobey every single order with the idea that it would have to be proven in court that the order was indeed lawful prior to any possible punishment?

    7. No, but he shouldn’t have been charged with treason. That is a very difficult charge to prove, and the prosecution didn’t prove it. He still did engage in a very serious breach of contract with very little reason/public interest and showed extraordinary negligence when it came to the lives of informants and local allies in Afghanistan.

      Fuck him; he’s not a Snowden.

  11. Totally thought he was boned.

  12. Col. Denise Lind has found Bradley Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy, according to Fox News’ Catherine Herridge. It was the most serious charge he faced.


    With today’s guilty verdicts, Manning faces up to 134 years in prison.

    Phew, Manning must be breathing a HUGE sigh of relief.

  13. Honestly, from what I know, “time served” seems a lot lenient. I’m hard-pressed to make the case that he was blowing any particular whistle. What little “scandalous” material there was was admitted to have been heavily doctored. And, even then, it amounted to “civilians sometimes get killed in time of war”. Moreover, even Wikileaks has acknowledged that they were the ones doing most of the redacting. That means, Manning was prepared to release information that could get people killed. The bottom line – this guy’s no Edward Snowden.

    1. didn’t his leaks expose our unconstitutional ground war in Yemen?

      1. My understanding is not. U.S. operations in Yemen were already public knowledge.

    2. That means, Manning was prepared to release information that could get people killed.

      Maybe those people were people who need killin’.

      1. And if Manning gets to make that call, then there’s really no reason to claim it isn’t the U.S. government’s call vis-a-vis Manning.

        1. Please. 99.999999999999% of the cables consisted of nothing more than “The Ambassador thinks the West Buttfuckistani Minister of Education’s mother dresses him funny.”

          1. Yeah, those that didn’t give away the names and locations of our local intelligence assets…

        2. Please. 99.999999999999% of the cables consisted of nothing more than “The Ambassador thinks the West Buttfuckistani Minister of Education’s mother dresses him funny.”

      2. Maybe those people were people who need killin’.

        Anti-Taliban Afghanis “need killin'”?

    3. yeah, releasing information on an illegal war. Yeap, he deserves jail time and meanwhile politicians, who also took an oath to the Constitution and with the blood on their hands, will never see a trial.

      1. Except there’s no evidence that Manning revealed any illegal activities. The policy actions contained in his data dump were already public knowledge.

        1. So why punish him at all, if he didn’t release anything of consequence?

          1. Because he massively violated the oath he took when he joined the Army?

          2. Because his dump consisted of more than policy actions. The names and locations of Afghanis cooperating with us, for example.

        2. “Except there’s no evidence that Manning revealed any illegal activities.”

          Except that there is:


          1. I looked at that and there were two things that might be considered illegal, and those were very debatable.

          2. I see no illegal activities at all shown by any of the stupid links CBS has. All the links they have are to articles they themselves wrote, most so unbalanced as to be laughable or it points to obvious information – such as the US spies on its allies.

            Try again – or just stop thinking Manning is Snowden.

        3. The war is illegal.

          1. ….and at the end of the day, he committed a victimless crime and just like all victimless crime laws, fuck ’em.

            1. I don’t think the intel assets whose names and locations were revealed consider it so victimless.

  14. As I’ve been to saying to my more anarchist-y friends this morning, maybe President Rand Paul will pardon him.

    1. President Biden will have none of it.


      2. Wait, who does Biden run with as assassination insurance? Sheila Jackson-Lee?

        1. Chuck Schumer

      3. Biden ’16
        …and hilarity ensued?

  15. Wait, who does Biden run with as assassination insurance? Sheila Jackson-Lee?

    Maxine Waters.

    1. Bernie Sanders.

    2. He assumes both positions.

  16. There is so much confusion over who or to what we owe loyalty and allegiance. Certainly, it is not the “Federal Government”. The original intent was that the General/Federal Government was an agent of the Sovereign States who entered into the constitutional compact. They are agents, not masters or monarchs. When the people who run the federal government corrupt the principles upon which the country was founded, as expressed in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they deserve no protection. If the material that was released exposed unconstitutional acts then those acts are an offense against the people and deserve no secrecy or protection and those exposing them should not be punished for there exposure. Likewise, those in the field who knowingly carry out unconstitutional orders deserve no protection.

  17. The military judge and court gave him a fair trial. It should be noted that Reason and its editor Gillespie is against this sort of fairness in cases of those accused of sex assault and such. This verdict and the treatment of Manning in convicting him of what he was actually guilty of rather than what the government demanded is how trials are supposed to work. Remember that the Jacket thinks military courts are unfit to try rape cases because they actually acquit people.

  18. Without an aiding the enemy conviction, they are not going to get jack for a sentence. And Bradley should get some extra time off for the unlawful pre trial punishment the jackass marines gave him Quantico. This is a huge defeat for the government.

    1. Yes, the trial went well and the verdict was just, IMO. We will see what else happens.

  19. If you think about it, the aiding the enemy charge was somewhat interesting. It is somewhat analogous to someone putting on the web someone’s name, address, social security number and driver’s license. If a person did that do you think they would be surprised if people used that information to steal the identity of the person whose information was revealed?

  20. The problem is that TOO MUCH is classified as “top secret”. Many — if not most — things classified are done so for lame “this may embarrass the government”-type reasons, not for actual national security reasons.

    Much of what was leaked shouldn’t have been classified to begin with and was only done so to hide the cr**py things America does overseas (on purpose or on accident) from the American public. Yes, we DO have a right to know when our helicopter gunships mow down civilians on “accident”; why stuff like that is classified is beyond me.

    Since too many things are classified to protect the powerful from embarrassment, we get Mannings and Snowdens who decide to make everything public. Is it the right thing to do? Probably not. But the problem starts with the classification process, NOT with the leakers.

    1. & if Manning had tried to make some large argument that he was releasing all the docs to show the idiocy of the classification system – you might have a point.

      Also note what Manning did is fundamentally different from Snowden.

      Manning arbitrarily released hundreds of thousands of documents – without any attention to whether some were dangerous or whether some should have had more public attention.

      Snowden OTOH did not simply release hundreds of thousands of documents to test the classification system or embarrass someone or any other such crap.

      He released the general details about a specific government program which spies on all Americans – which seems to violate the constitution.

      I’ve yet to see Manning supporter one, in all these years, point to one single doc out of the 250K that gives the American people as much information as Snowden gave them in 4 power point slides.

  21. He had a fair trial and was extremely fortunate that we refuse to charge anyone with Treason anymore.

    He is guilty of Treason and aiding the enemy. 130+ years is enough but there we are.

    1. You are either joking or a candidate for the Obama/Bush Nazi Secret Police.

      1. I what he did isn’t aiding the enemy, what is?

        Think of the unintended consequences of others doing the same.

        Do you value your freedom? and are you prepared to kill for it?

  22. Okiller, Holder and the TSA wanted blood, and they are pissed that Bradley could get out in 136 years minus time served.

  23. my buddy’s step-sister makes $72 an hour on the computer. She has been laid off for 8 months but last month her payment was $12918 just working on the computer for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more,,,,

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.