“TREASON” NOT AMONG MANNING’S CONVICTIONS
by Sharon Rondeau
(Sep. 14, 2017) — On Thursday morning, the Twitter account of Fox & Friends of the Box Channel (FNC) treatment news that the former Sgt. Bradley Manning, now known as Chelsea mentioning, “has a new job at Harvard,” the historic Ivy League university located in Cambridge, MA.
The title of the article associated with the tweet began with the words, “Convicted traitor.”
In response, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange tweeted that Manning “should sue FOX for defamation. She was never charged, let alone convicted, with treason.”
Assange is correct; among the 22 charges Manning face, “treason” was not among them.
Although WikiLeaks never confirms who its sources are, Manning was charged with “espionage, theft and fraud,” among others, stemming from the release to WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of pages of classified military and diplomatic documents and video in 2010.
Three days before the end of his second term, Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence, and the former Army intelligence specialist was released from prison in May.
As of press time, the original Fox & Friends tweet without Assange’s comment continues to appear in its Twitter timeline accompanied by video from the show wherein co-host Ainsley Earhardt begins the segment with, “Convicted military secrets leaker Chelsea Manning has a new job at Harvard…”
It is unclear as to why the tweet’s headline is different from Earhardt’s spoken one during the show.
The crime of “treason” is defined in U.S. Code as, “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”
Of the elements of a defamation claim, Findlaw.com writes:
The term “defamation” is an all-encompassing term that covers any statement that hurts someone’s reputation. If the statement is made in writing and published, the defamation is called “libel.” If the hurtful statement is spoken, the statement is “slander.” The government can’t imprison someone for making a defamatory statement since it is not a crime. Instead, defamation is considered to be a civil wrong, or a tort. A person that has suffered a defamatory statement may sue the person that made the statement under defamation law.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.