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-- -- -- All -- army private first class Bradley Manning as you know yesterday.
He was founded not guilty all of the most serious charge against him aiding the enemy.
But guilty on many other charges related to the leaking.
Of those tens of thousands of pages of documents to the website WikiLeaks and -- private first class Manning could still face on those convictions alone some 128.
In prison was this the right sentence what happens -- The sentencing phase getting on the way today at full Meade in Maryland.
Let's bring in Mike Newton his professor of the practice of -- at Vanderbilt Law School good to see you sir thanks for being here.
I Jonathan I what did you make all of the verdict handed down by the judge yesterday.
Well in terms of the legal predictability of that.
Was about what I expected.
I also thought that the prosecutors charged it correctly.
There's been some pundits and if so they overcharged and were overzealous if you actually read the statute was charged correctly.
And -- as the evidence showed it was ultimately that the correct legal ruling.
So did -- even -- the aiding the enemy you think on the on the question of the law all it was correct.
To find him not guilty on that particular challenge the most serious all of them.
Well yes that is -- the relevant provision is article 104.
Of the uniform code of military justice that's the aiding and abetting provision.
And if he just Parse it.
It it's feasible that the prosecution could -- make the case.
But it as the evidence that.
I think the correct ruling was exactly what judge Denise land the side.
They're -- statute requires that you knowingly.
Communicate with the enemy which he didn't do it.
Or that you knowingly have intercourse with the enemy which he didn't didn't.
Directly or indirectly.
And so it would have been a bit of a stretch of article 104 -- its traditional means to apply it to this and that's not to say.
That congress should not change the statute there's a lot of things that need to happen in the wake of this case.
But given the other guilty -- -- it was probably the correct ruling.
And I guess for.
Many from a government military point of view it didn't much -- -- anyway.
Given that all -- on the charges that he was convicted all still seems likely he'll spend the rest of his life -- president.
Yes that's likely the judge of course you know people throw out 12836.
In sentencing she won't double.
Impose sentences for the same underlying conduct so you can expect.
A sentence that is far lower than that probably in the range of 25 to thirty years but we'll see.
But I do think that the acts of Bradley Manning.
Stand out as being so exceptional.
That it shows that a conviction is absolutely appropriate to -- good order and discipline.
And send a message to other people in war zones you know congress many places in the in the code.
Has has additional sentencing provisions that make it make certain crimes more serious in time of war.
And I think that's one of the things that need to be at -- year when someone discloses classified information.
When US forces are in the field.
It needs to be -- more serious punishment.
No it weather and man maybe it's important whether one Dick finds.
Bradley Manning as a whistle -- a leak a trader or a spy.
But what I however you define that.
Does this is verdict do you believe send a very strong that.
Even chilling message to those who would do -- things.
Well perhaps not strong enough you're given the fact that Bradley Manning and I say he was ignorant I don't mean that in a pejorative sense.
But he had no idea -- the damage that his revelations would -- both in diplomatic channels from classified state cables.
To the propaganda campaign of the enemy to the recruiting campaign.
I think it's.
A completely appropriate thing to convict this young man.
And in fact the real problem and of the offense which is that the charges that he was convicted.
Is the very act of taking class -- information out of the system without authorization.
And providing it.
Not only -- directly to the enemies of the United States but to a public domain where it's an appropriate.
And in fact.
That did have some collateral effects on the battlefield.
But not enough to satisfy this the provisions of the statute that require that you knowingly.
-- -- -- that's really the essence here.
And I think a strong sense is absolutely appropriate.
To say to anybody else you cannot take information out of classified systems and share them on the -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Now there the other thing that's very important to remember here.
Is the fact.
Had the same professional obligations as has hundreds of thousands of other soldiers who operate in the exact same systems so in the future.
When the military makes it harder.
For those people to do their jobs they can think Bradley Manning.
And that -- does and other any implications.
I warmed up.
In the -- this case has been -- Leno was handled within the military system but any implications -- -- For the case all that Ed would Snowden a -- are all day.
To dis similar to draw any comparisons -- -- there's -- come there's a very very subtle thread -- -- very important connection.
Remembering of course that this was a military trial by judge alone most people don't understand that's at the defendant's request.
So this is one judge.
Sitting in isolation.
For independent judgment.
But one of the things that she had to do was to interpret.
The Espionage Act of United States which is assimilated into the military.
That's the charge the fundamental core charge that Snowden spacing.
And so there isn't there is a linkage the essence what he's actually been convicted.
Is -- the very act of providing information.
Even without -- willful malicious intent to harm the United States can in fact justify the underlying conviction.
If I'm Edwards -- defense attorney that's a very troubling precedent for me.
Because that's exactly -- that the core of what had what's known as it is accused of do.
And -- as a professor.
-- -- So would you do would you like to see -- -- back kid you do you believe that he should be tried and that we should all see.
That child play out publicly.
In particular because you know we're in a new era.
The the federal statutory guidance on these kinds of crimes and in fact -- federal case law is lacking today as we sit and speak.
And so some of these some of the benefits of these trials not only is the the deterrent effect on other people similarly situated.
But I think it's very important for congress to take the right action very quickly.
And these trials of public airing of the facts and and that the heat of cross examination.
Well help guide congressional action to show precisely -- the system needs to be fixed you know there's a there's a real balance here.
Between first amendment rights freedom of expression just constitutionally protected.
And at the intentional actions that end -- damaging national security and revealing national secrets that balance has to be struck.
-- and that the more we can do to help congress get it right.
And this is one area where despite the gridlock in congress I hope there's bipartisan.
Unanimity to move forward very quickly and remedy these problems.
BI and its fascinating subject and I really wonderful to get your up perspective on it might even professor of the practice of lol.
At Vanderbilt -- school joining us from vanity thank you very much professor great still -- Thanks --
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