Accused WikiLeaks Leaker Charged with Aiding Enemy…but Which Enemy?
Monday, March 07, 2011
Private Bradley Manning, accused of giving large volumes of classified documents to WikiLeaks, now faces the serious charge of “aiding the enemy” after the U.S. Army filed 22 additional charges against him.
A conviction for “aiding the enemy” can mean the death penalty, although military prosecutors claim they would only seek life imprisonment for Manning.
But who is the enemy?
The Army’s charges don’t answer this question. If it’s the Taliban or al-Qaeda who have benefitted from the publishing of military and diplomatic files on the Internet, then Manning’s aid would have been indirect since he had no connect with either group. Even this argument would appear to be a stretch of logic because Manning’s intent was to make the information available to the public at large and it is unclear how the Taliban or al-Qaeda were actually helped.
One theory is that the Obama administration intends to declare WikiLeaks itself an enemy, which in turn could lead to a demand that either the United Kingdom or Sweden extradite the group’s founder, Julian Assange, to the United States.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
Bradley Manning Could Face Death: For What? (by Glenn Greenwald, Salon)
Soldier in Wikileaks Case Charged with Aiding the Enemy (by David Cloud, Los Angeles Times)
Charge Sheet (U.S. Army) (pdf)
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