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Sentencing Private Manning: LIVE UPDATES

Published time: July 30, 2013 07:59
Edited time: August 17, 2013 05:48
Supporters of U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley E. Manning hold signs to show support during a demonstration outside the main gate of Ft. Meade July 30, 2013 in Maryland. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP)

Supporters of U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley E. Manning hold signs to show support during a demonstration outside the main gate of Ft. Meade July 30, 2013 in Maryland. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP)

US army whistleblower Bradley Manning was found not guilty of aiding the enemy, but found guilty on 20 other counts on Tuesday, meaning he could still face up to 136 years in prison. Sentencing proceedings began on Wednesday and may last up to a month.

READ full story on Manning verdict

Watch RT’s gallery from Manning support rally 

Friday, August 16

10:19 GMT: Judge Colonel Denise Lind, the military judge who will decide how much prison time Manning will serve, said Friday that his actions were “wanton and reckless.” Lind found Manning guilty last month of 20 criminal counts, including espionage and theft, and will begin deliberating his sentence on Monday. He could face up to 90 years behind bars for leaking 700,000 US diplomatic cables as well as battlefield reports and graphic helicopter footage. 

Manning’s conduct was of a heedless nature that made it actually and imminently dangerous to others,” Lind said. “His conduct was both wanton and reckless.” 

Wednesday, July 31

19:00 GMT: Prosecutors have been arguing that Manning’s classified leaks have changed the way that the US military allows its intelligence analysts to access data. Major Ashden Fein, said on Wednesday that Manning's leaks “have impacted the entire system.”

The first witness, Carr, claimed that allowing its young analysts to have access to classified information was “hugely important” to the US military.

16:20 GMT:
Former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, Philip J. Crowley, has spoken out over Manning's impending sentence.

15:00 GMT: Brigadier General Robert Carr has been taking stand, establishing qualification as an expert.

14:10 GMT:
Manning is now being  referred to as "the defendant" rather than "the accused" by the judge.

14:00 GMT:
It has been established that Manning will get 1,274 days off his final sentence for pre-trial confinement. This includes 1,162 days of pre-trial detention and 112 days sentencing credit for unlawful pretrial punishment  after being forced to suffer treatment in Quantico deemed "cruel and inhuman" by a UN torture chief.

13:00 GMT:
The Bradley Manning Support Network's Nathan Fuller has published a screenshot of the Government witness list for the pre-sentencing phase. Many names are censored, suggesting they are witnesses who haven't yet testified. those marked with a star are classified.

12:00 GMT: Journalists are arriving at Fort Meade for the sentencing phase of the trial.

11:15 GMT:
Expressions of support for Manning continued well into last night. 

10:45 GMT:
The Russian Foreign Ministry’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and Supremacy of Law Konstantin Dolgov has condemned the the US for “applying double standards” regarding Manning.

Dolgov pointed out that Washington incessantly blasts Russia over human rights, but when the interests of US authorities are affected, they “act toughly, resolutely, often without paying attention to the observance of human rights,”

He expressed hope that the US would observe human rights standards in the Manning case, as well as in other cases.

05:25 GMT:
General Counsel at the National Whistleblowing Center David Colapinto believes that Manning’s verdict will make it more difficult for whistleblowers to reveal information to the public, especially with government agencies on the lookout for leakers. “There has been a chilling effect in the US on whistleblowers as a result of the government’s overreaction to this case,” Colapinto told RT.

Video: /files/news/1f/ed/20/00/original_guest_0800.asf

05:20 GMT: Harsh treatment of Manning does not necessarily mean that other whistleblowers will be afraid to come forward, argued WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson.

“We have seen that despite the way that Bradley Manning was treated, being tortured in prison, in isolation, in solitary confinement for almost a year – it hasn’t stopped whistleblowers. There are still brave people out there, who act on their conscience and with public interest in mind and have blown the whistle. That’s not going to stop,” Hrafnsson told RT. 

05:15 GMT: Political analyst Mark Mason argues that Bradley Manning’s conviction makes it likely that the US will prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. “This is really all about the attack on journalism, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, he is the one they want to catch,” Mason told RT. 

Video: /files/news/1f/ed/20/00/original_manning.asf

04:00 GMT: A crowd of around 100 people assembled to take part in a rally at Dupont Circle, which then marched on the White House. Life-size puppet versions of both Manning himself and the Statue of Liberty were visible.

"In this day and age, in our society, telling the truth is illegal, and the actual war crimes that Bradley exposed apparently are not, and I just think that's reprehensible," Barry Knight, a protester, told Washington-based radio station WTOP.

00:27 GMT:  American Civil Liberties Union has issued a statement expressing its relief that Manning was acquitted of aiding the enemy, adding that the government was seemingly “seeking to intimidate” the future whistleblowers with that charge.

“The ACLU has long held the view that leaks to the press in the public interest should not be prosecuted under the Espionage Act," said Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. "Since he already pleaded guilty to charges of leaking information – which carry significant punishment – it seems clear that the government was seeking to intimidate anyone who might consider revealing valuable information in the future.” 

Tuesday, July 30

20:40 GMT: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange issued a statement in response to today’s verdict. Assange believes that Manning’s conviction on 19 counts “for supplying the press with information,” and five counts on espionage, represent judicial overreach. 

“This is the first ever espionage conviction against a whistleblower. It is a dangerous precedent and an example of national security extremism. It is a short sighted judgment that can not be tolerated and must be reversed. It can never be that conveying true information to the public is ’espionage’." 

"The only ’victim’ was the US government’s wounded pride, but the abuse of this fine young man was never the way to restore it," adds Assange.

In his statement Assange points to what he believes are improprieties during the court martial, including the judge allowing government prosecutors to “substantially alter the charges after both the defense and the prosecution had rested their cases,” which has caused wide consternation among Manning’s supporters.

Assange also calls out president Obama’s 2008 campaign platform, which included praise for whistleblowers and justification for their protection, as outlined in a website called which the Sunlight foundation this week discovered has recently been removed from the web.

Video: /files/news/1f/ed/20/00/original_assange-on-manning-wgayane-0400.asf 

19:50 GMT: Reporters Without Borders has said that the verdict "threatens the future of investigative journalism." Glenn Greenwald, the journalist responsible for publishing former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's leaks, has urged journalists to sit up and take notice of the ruling's implications.

19:35 GMT:
The full verdict has been published online by the Press Freedom Foundation. 

People show support for for U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning after he was found guilty of 20 out of 21 charges at his military trial, July 30, 2013 at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP)

19:20 GMT: The Bradley Manning support Network's Nathan Fuller believes the employment of the outdated Espionage Act against Manning is ridiculous.

The Center for Constitutional Rights voiced frustration at the act as well, releasing a statement labeling it “a discredited relic of the WWI era, created as a tool to suppress political dissent and antiwar activism." 

U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning (C) is escorted by military police as he leaves his military trial after he was found guilty of 20 out of 21 charges, July 30, 2013 Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP)

18:40 GMT: Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks spokesman, told RT that he was "pleased" that the "ludicrous" charge of aiding the enemy was thrown out (it "would’ve meant, basically, that proper journalism was treason" he claimed) but had harsh words for the presiding judge, Denise Lind.

"When you think about how this trial has been carried out by Judge Lind, one isn’t filled with any optimism. Last week, the judge allowed the prosecution to change some of the charges on the last day of the trial. The trial has been partly closed off to journalists. Journalists have been intimidated."