The verdict against Manning lives on as an example to all current and former U.S. military personnel: share documents detailing the true nature of U.S. wars with the public, and military prosecutors will pursue you viciously, as if you stand with terrorists or dictatorial regimes.

By Kevin Gosztola, The Dissenter

It was ten years ago that a United States military judge found Pfc. Chelsea Manning guilty of violating the Espionage Act, along with several other related offenses. She was fortunately acquitted of the most alarming charge levied against her: “aiding the enemy.”

chelsea manning and julian assange image on bus that says free speech, except war crimes

Manning provided over 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks, many of which contained evidence of torture, war crimes, human rights abuses, and corruption within the State Department.

Panicked U.S. military and national security officials scrambled to respond to the fallout from what was revealed, and the U.S. government immediately tightened restrictions on how soldiers, contractors, and lower-level agency personnel could access information databases. Officials even adopted an “insider threat” program that was a throwback to the McCarthyism of the 1940s and 1950s.

The prestige media barely showed an interest in proceedings prior to Manning’s trial. Consistent media coverage was dependent on the work of journalists, like Associated Press reporter David Dishneau, Manning Support Network advocate Nathan Fuller, Courthouse News reporter Adam Klasfeld, independent reporter Alexa O’Brien, courtroom sketch artist Clark Stoeckley, and me.

Freedom of the Press Foundation raised funds and hired court stenographers, who produced transcripts of the trial for the press and public.

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