FORT MEADE, Md. —
An aiding the enemy charge for someone who didn’t directly give an adversary information is extremely rare, and prosecutors had to cite a Civil War-era court-martial of a Union soldier when they brought the charge against Manning.
“I think certainly that a conviction on that charge would have had a ripple effect,” said Lisa Windsor, a retired Army colonel and former judge advocate. “I think it would have had certainly a chilling effect on anyone in the military who might decide that this is some sort of freedom of speech or whistleblower thing that they needed to engage in.”
The judge did not give any reasons for her verdict from the bench, but said she would release detailed written findings. She did not say when.