Press TV has conducted an interview with Interview with Scott Rickard, former American intelligence linguist, Florida, about the upcoming trial of US army whistleblower Private Bradley Manning and the thousands of protesters who see Manning as a hero that exposed hidden US war crimes.
The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: First of all, what do you think will be the verdict that awaits private Bradley Manning?
Rickard: The verdict is likely going to be guilty because he decided to go in front of the judge and the fact is that he’s even pleaded guilty to releasing the information.
They have said that they are not going to seek the death penalty so he’ll probably spend many years in prison. But I believe he actually tried to turn this information over to the press before going to Wikileaks and it is very unlikely that that is going to help him, but I believe that that was the right thing to do.
Ethan McCord is a great witness to the event, he came up – he’s actually in support of Bradley Manning with the thousands outside the court.
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Realize that the trial is also being held at the same location where the National Security Agency (NSA) is located.
So this is an extremely high profile case. Obviously Obama’s administration has been horrific at basically cracking down on whistleblowers.
I think the reason we’re seeing the rise in the number of whistleblowers is because of the advent of the communications that we have with media thankfully like Press TV; and other organizations like the activist groups, like CODEPINK who have wildly supported Bradley Manning who were out in great numbers yesterday; and Mary Ann Wright, a former Colonel was there yesterday as well.
So what I really believe is happening is that you have a small amount of people who are able to communicate on a large scale and you have global visibility into, once again, American war crimes that were exposed by a whistleblower, who, by military law he did break the law, but by the facts that he was exposing criminal activity I think he was in the right and he should be considered not guilty.
Press TV: There is a lot said about the conditions under which he decided to release this information either to the media or Wikileaks as well as the fact that there’s been a lot said about the way he has been held, the fact that he’s been tortured etc. Do you think these are issues that are going to come up in the court and could even affect the ruling?
Rickard: Well I would hope so. And certainly he has been tortured and certainly he has been mistreated; and certainly the fact that he’s been basically sequestered the entire time.
You know, he should have full media access to speak his mind. The guy has really not been responsible for anyone’s death. He exposed just a myriad of criminal activity by the US government through the State Department communications that should be public anyway.
You know, we’re hiding way too much from the people in the United States.
Do I think that it could affect the outcome? I would hope so. It helped out Daniel Ellsberg. With Daniel Ellsberg his case was thrown out because of the incredible misconduct by the judicial courts.
Unfortunately this is a military court, it is only one individual judge – they decided to waive the military council. So it doesn’t look promising unless the judge has any kind of conscience.