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Irony Man

Gazette staff August 7th, 2013

It was a “good news, bad news” sort of verdict for Bradley Manning, the former U.S. Army private convicted of multiple charges stemming from his release of 700,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks. While the Crescent native was acquitted of the most serious charge of “aiding the enemy,” a military judge still found him guilty of 20 charges that potentially could mean more than 130 years in prison. Still, an “aiding the enemy” conviction could have meant life in prison, so he’s got that going for him.

Credit: Brad Gregg

If the Manning case has taught Americans anything, it is that irony remains alive and well. Federal authorities, outraged over how the leaked documents spotlighted the U.S. military at its most questionable, responded by keeping Manning in solitary confinement 23 hours a day.

During much of that time, he was forced to sleep naked without sheets or pillows, and had been restricted from physical recreation or access to newspapers or television.

Indeed, it’s been a heady time for ironic whistle-blowing.

Around the time of the Manning verdict, his brother in spirit, Edward Snowden — on the lam after leaking info about U.S. surveillance — was granted asylum in Russia by its president and KGB alum, Vladimir Putin.

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