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Court rules out whistleblower defence for Bradley Manning

On 16 January, US military judge colonel Denise Lind ruled that US army intelligence officer Bradley Manning will not be able to use a whistleblower defence during his trial.

Manning, who was arrested after allegedly providing Wikileaks with classified US military information, has been confined for nearly 1,000 days awaiting trial for what could turn out to be a life sentence in military custody. He has been banned from providing evidence for all but a few of the motivations for his actions.


Lind also ruled that Manning could not put forward evidence to support his claim that the Wikileaks revelations had little or no impact on US national security.

Manning was charged on 5 June 2010, following Wikileaks release of their ‘collateral murder’ video, which according to the Bradley Manning Support Network ‘exposes war crimes and killing of Reuters journalists.’

Following investigation by the UN, the conditions of Manning’s detention have also become an item of controversy with the UN special rapporteur on torture calling US treatment of Manning ‘cruel, inhuman, and degrading.’

The Guardian has described Manning’s whistleblower status as a ‘key plank of his defence.’ With the recent ruling that the whistleblower defence was ‘not relevant,’ Manning’s future hangs in limbo.