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Monday, August 19, 2013

Defense argues for Bradley's life in closing statement - worldwide actions planned for the day the sentence is handed down

A few hours ago, the prosecution and defense made their final arguments to Judge Lind in closing statements. We expect her to announce Bradley's sentence on Wednesday (but tomorrow evening and Thursday are possibilities). After sentencing, we'll be wasting no time in launching the next phase of our campaign to free Bradley. We have a number of legal avenues of redress and appeal, as well as grassroots education in support of those efforts. In order for us to hit the ground running, we need your support today. Together, we will not relent until Bradley is free. Help fund the next phase of Bradley's defense.

Defense argues for Bradley's life in closing statement

On the final day of litigation in Bradley Manning’s court martial, we saw a government dead set on persecuting a whistle-blower to deter those who he might inspire, and a defense intent on salvaging the young soldier’s future.
David Coombs, lead defense attorney, implored military judge Col. Denise Lind to give Manning a sentence that “allows him to have a life,” after prosecutors requested the judge imprison him for 60 years and fine him $100,000.
Don’t “rob him of his youth,” Coombs said, in requesting a sentence that would allow Manning to one day find love, “maybe get married, maybe have children, perhaps have a relationship with his children’s children.”
“Perhaps his biggest crime is that he cared about the loss of life,” Coombs said of Manning, asking the judge to account for his pure intentions. Manning explained in February that he was disturbed by the “seemingly delightful bloodlust” his fellow soldiers displayed when gunning down unarmed civilians and journalists in the Collateral Murder video. Coombs portrayed Manning as a humanist, someone who cared not only for American troops but also for contractors and local nationals in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Coombs recounted military psychologist Dr. David Moulton’s testimony, regarding Manning’s hope not only to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also to show that future wars were unnecessary. “This is the person the government wants to give 60 years,” he said.

Ethical consistency of Bradley’s apology

Unlike the US government’s vindictive behaviour, Pfc Manning’s expressions of regret are of a piece with his moral earnestness
By Alexa O’brien, The Guardian. August 16, 2013
Pfc Bradley Manning, the American soldier responsible for transmitting hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and US army reports to WikiLeaks, took the stand Wednesday during the sentencing phase of his trial to apologize to the presiding military judge, Col Denise Lind. His three-minute unsworn statement was delivered before defense rested its case.

Worldwide call to action to follow immediately after sentence is announced

Judge Lind enters deliberations tomorrow at 9am, and is expected to announce the sentence in the next few days.
Washington DC: Rally at the White House, 7:30 pm, evening of sentencing.
Immediately following the sentencing announcement of heroic WikiLeaks whistle-blower Bradley Manning by the military court at Fort Meade, Maryland, join us in the streets to demand, "President Obama: Pardon Bradley Now!"
Many communities have a historic gathering location, such as a downtown intersection, central park, or other visible location. Please spread the word for folks to join you immediately following the sentencing to celebrate, protest, and/or simply show your support for Bradley.
We will likely have one day notice before sentencing occurs, so we’ll have some heads up. If it takes place in the morning, we suggest gathering that evening. If it takes place in the afternoon or evening, we suggest the following day. Same-day events are more likely to be covered by your local media in conjunction with the national breaking story of Bradley’s sentencing. Please contact the Support Network for posters, stickers, and info cards.
Our primary message for these response rallies: “President Obama: Pardon Bradley Manning”

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of Bradley's legal fees! Donate today.

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