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Bradley Manning was prevented by the court from defending himself

Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, Communications spokesperson 31July 2013.

Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has condemned the conviction of US Private First Class Bradley Manning on 20 counts attracting a maximum of 136 years in a military prison.

"This ruling sets a dangerous precedent for whistleblowers and a free press in the United States and globally," Senator Ludlam said.

"We await his sentence, however, it is impossible to describe this trial as having been fair. It entailed many closed sessions with key documents withheld from Manning.

"His defence team wanted to call on 48 witnesses, he was allowed 10. The Obama Administration produced 80.

"The court ruled that motive and the lack of actual damage was not relevant in the trial. This is absurd given Manning's actions have caused no harm. PFC Manning was prevented by the court from defending himself.

"The constant cry that he and Wikileaks have blood on their hands has been proven untrue, yet this repetition has distracted attention from the actual blood of thousands of civilians in brutal wars.

"Bradley Manning has embarrassed US officials for the insecurity of their information systems, for routine and cavalier violations of the Geneva Conventions revealed in the Afghanistan War Logs and Iraq files and the hubris and poor taste of diplomats revealed through Cablegate. This is not damage; it is a public service.

"We are all in Bradley Manning's debt. He saw wrongs and did not turn away. With his decision to become a whistleblower, he presented some brutal and haunting truths about wars involving Australia which cannot and will not be locked away.

"His trial and treatment now exposes the lack of transparency and accountability we strive for in democracies and the vulnerability of journalists and publishers who are clearly not free to scrutinise powerful institutions as they should." Senator Ludlam concluded

Media contact: Chris Redman - 0417 174 302



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