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Finding balance in the troubling case of Bradley Manning
There was no question that Pfc. Bradley Manning broke the law when he released hundreds of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks. He admitted as much in pleading guilty to a number of the lesser charges against him, and his motivations — whatever they were — and his evident naivete didn't change that fact. Nonetheless, the case against him was a vexing one. It was never clear that his actions harmed national security in the way the Obama administration claimed, and his mistreatment during a portion of the time he has been held in custody was deplorable. Under the circumstances, Army Col. Denise Lind, the military judge who presided over his case, appears to have found a reasonable middle ground in finding him guilty of several espionage charges but not of aiding the enemy, the most serious count Mr. Manning faced and one that could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life.
July 30, 2013