In a courtroom at Fort Meade on Wednesday, August 21, at 10am Eastern time, Judge Army. Col. Denise Lind will deliver the sentence in Bradley Manning's court-martial. The 25-year-old former intelligence analyst is charged with sharing more than 700,000 secret government documents with Julian Assange and Wikileaks. The transparency organization published those documents online, and shared them with news organizations.
Manning faces up to 90 years in prison, and will receive credit for 3.5 years already served in custody, some in solitary confinement. No minimum sentence applies; Judge Lind convicted him last month of most charges brought against him by the government, including 6 violations of the US Espionage Act of 1917.
Here is the latest transcript of court proceedings [PDF], captured by stenographers who were crowdfunded and hired by Freedom of the Press Foundation.
One of those reporters, Adam Klasfeld of Courthouse News, wrote an important piece today about the kind of treatment Manning is likely to receive in military prison as a transgender person.
Though evidence has shown that Bradley Manning has considered living as a woman, the prison likely to hold the WikiLeaks source for decades confirmed that it does not provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery to inmates.
Manning's gender identity has been a prominent feature of his court-martial for the biggest intelligence leak in United States history. The young soldier shared hundreds of thousands of documents with WikiLeaks, including battlefield reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, diplomatic cables from around the world, profiles of Guantanamo detainees and footage of airstrikes that killed civilians.
Before his detection, he confided in Internet chats with ex-hacker Adrian Lamo, "i wouldn't mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much, if it wasn't for the possibility of having pictures of me... plastered all over the world press... as [a] boy."
His desire to be known as a woman apparently shifted as trial approached.
Boing Boing wrote about these issues in 2010, when we realized that one version of the Manning/Lamo chat logs circulating on the internet included references to Manning's desire to gender-transition.
Ahead of the announcement, Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake has an interview with Matthew Diaz, a former Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG) at the Guantanamo Bay prison. He has been in Manning's shoes, and faced a possible maximum sentence of decades in prison because of the Espionage Act, which also came into play in Manning's case. Snip:
He released 558 names of detainees being held in the prison to the Center for Constitutional Rights in 2005. They were the names of captives whose enemy combatant status had been confirmed by the Combatant Status Review Tribunal. He was prosecuted for violating the Espionage Act and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He was sentenced to six months in prison and dismissed from the Navy.Catch up on Boing Boing's coverage of the trial in our Bradley Manning archives.
Below, tweets from reporters at Fort Meade today, observing the proceedings.
Judge and prosecution are responsible for the record of court, so she is making sure the exhibits exist, are signed, etc. #Manning— Alexa O'Brien (@carwinb) August 20, 2013
Sometime when I leave the court I will say something out loud during deliberations as I walk out-- if I think it is appropriate. #Manning— Alexa O'Brien (@carwinb) August 20, 2013
Someone who was also in gallery said thank you to #Manning as they walked out of this session.— Alexa O'Brien (@carwinb) August 20, 2013
Haven't talked to a military law expert who expects a #Manning sentence to be less than 10 years. Judge has great discretion.— Matt Sledge (@mgsledge) August 20, 2013
My favorite phrase before the #Manning trial was, 'More will be revealed.' It is still my favorite phrase.— Alexa O'Brien (@carwinb) August 20, 2013
All of us who've covered this trial (I venture to guess) are aware once this trial is over the public might actually come to know the facts.— Alexa O'Brien (@carwinb) August 20, 2013
Quite a few media here this morning at Ft. Meade, even though judge unlikely to have sentencing verdict today #Manning— Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) August 20, 2013
Bradley #Manning has been in confinement 1293 days. His trial began on June 3 and has been in session 37 days.— Matt Sledge (@mgsledge) August 20, 2013