If WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had his way, Bradley Manning would be a free man today.
Following the sentencing of Bradley Manning on Tuesday, Assange simultaneously praised Manning’s defense team while harshly criticizing the U.S. government for exercising what he called an “affront to basic concepts of Western justice.”
“While the defense should be proud of their tactical victory, it should be remembered that Mr Manning’s trial and conviction is an affront to basic concepts of Western justice,” said Assange.
Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for his role in leaking more than 700,000 secret U.S. documents to WikiLeaks concerning the U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He was already acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.
Manning’s defense attorney David Coombs said that with good behavior and credit for time already served in jail, the former intelligence analyst could be out in about six-and-a-half years.
“The only just outcome in Mr Manning’s case is 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,” said Assange.
Assange, currently a candidate in for the Australian Senate, recently applauded the efforts of the American libertarian movement, former Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul, and Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, and media mogul Matt Drudge.