Reactions to the Bradley Manning verdict

August 1, 2013

In the wake of Bradley Manning’s court martial verdict on July 30, many took to Twitter to express their thoughts on the matter. Manning was acquitted of aiding the enemy, but found guilty of violating the Espionage Act, stealing government property, among other charges.

The trial centered around Manning’s role in leaking military records and secrets — a story recounted in Jigsaw’s 2013 film, “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks.” Director Alex Gibney expressed his reaction on Twitter:

Julian Assange released a statement later in the day to denounce the verdict as “dangerous.”

This is the first ever espionage conviction against a whistleblower. It is a dangerous precedent and an example of national security extremism. It is a short sighted judgment that can not be tolerated and must be reversed. It can never be that conveying true information to the public is ’espionage’.

WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and Jen Robinson suggested the legal precedent is bad for whistleblowers:

Verdict in #Manning proceedings means that whistleblowing = espionage. First ever successful espionage conviction against a whistleblower.

— Jen Robinson (@suigenerisjen) July 30, 2013

Morris Davis, a prosecutor in the Guantanamo Bay commissions:

James Ball, a journalist who worked with WikiLeaks, and who appeared in the film:

Adrian Lamo, a hacker whom Manning confessed to, and who also appeared in the film: