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Manning Gets Grossly Disproportionate Sentence


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After Bradley Manning was acquitted of the most serious charge against him, I was cautiously optimistic that his sentence would therefore be reasonable. This turns out to have been very mistaken:

A military judge sentenced Pfc. Bradley Manning on Wednesday to 35 years in prison for providing more than 700,000 government files to WikiLeaks, a gigantic leak that lifted the veil on military and diplomatic activities around the world.

I don’t object to Manning being charged with a crime. I certainly strongly object to the way he was treated in prison. And I think the idea that his leaks merit a 35-year sentence is absurd. And as I said before, it’s particularly appalling when you consider the Obama administration’s “look forward not back” approach on torture. It’s hard to square this life-ruining sentence with the fact that no torturer was even considered worthy of being charged. I’d also say that at this point that it’s pretty hard to the American government to complain when other countries refuse to extradite whistleblowers.

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