Bradley Manning Sentence A ‘Tactical Victory’ Says Julian Assange

Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison today for his part in the WikiLeaks controversy, but that sentence is sort of a win for transparency advocates, according to Julian Assange.

The WikiLeaks founder said that the sentence represented a “significant tactical victory” for Manning, his defense and his supporters. Despite this, Assange does believe that the case against the Wikileaks whistleblower “is an affront to basic concepts of Western justice.”

He seems to be making the simple argument that it could have been a lot worse.

Indeed, the most devastating charge against Manning, aiding the enemy, was dropped by the judge early on. That would have immediately resulted in life imprisonment without parole. Though prosecutors lobbied for a 90 year maximum, the judge settled on 35 years. Still a lot, but Manning will be eligible for parole in about 12.

All of this makes Assange hopeful that Manning will be in prison for less than a decade for his part in the Wikileaks controversy.

“The period Mr. Manning has already spent in prison will be subtracted from the sentence, and dispensations for good behaviour, parole and other factors mean that it is likely he will now spend less than ten years in confinement. Mr. Manning’s defense team are now seeking to reduce this sentence further on appeal,” Assange notes.

Still, Assange holds that the only “just” result for Manning would be “his unconditional release, compensation for the unlawful treatment he has undergone, and a serious commitment to investigating the wrongdoing his alleged disclosures have brought to light.”

Do you think that Bradley Manning’s sentence was too harsh? You can read Julian Assange’s full statement here.

[Image: Wikimedia Commons]

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