July 31, 2013

Post Verdict: Bradley Manning in First Light

I was really struck by the photos of Bradley Manning as he was led outside, and into the media view, immediately after his court martial. For a guy who just had the book (and a likely long sentence) thrown at him, but who had also earned a powerful moral victory in being cleared of aiding the enemy, he looked surprisingly upbeat, and relieved.

Interestingly, it seemed like he clearly (and uncharacteristically) had an eye for the camera. It’s always dangerous to read in, but my strong sense from the look and expression is that, knowing he has support, he was offering reassurance. What was also quite noteworthy about the shot, especially compared to the typical and intentionally intimidating quality of these court exits, is how Manning — the shot being respectfully tighter than it might have been — doesn’t seem all that tiny.

(photo: Saul Loeb/AFP -Getty Images. caption: US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning leaves a military court facility after hearing his verdict in the trial at Fort Meade, Maryland on July 30, 2013. A US military judge convicted Manning of espionage, leaving him facing a lengthy jail term despite clearing him on the most serious charge that he ‘aided the enemy.’ Colonel Denise Lind found Manning guilty of 20 of 22 counts related to his leaking of a huge trove of secret US diplomatic cables and military logs to the WikiLeaks website. She said she would begin sentencing hearings on July 31 at the Fort Meade military base outside Washington where the trial was held. If Lind decides to impose penalties in the higher ranges permitted under the charges, the now 25-year-old Manning could face a de facto life sentence of more than 100 years in jail.)

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Michael Shaw
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