Assange: Manning verdict a ‘dangerous’ precedent

“It is a short-sighted judgment that cannot be tolerated and it must be reversed," Assange said.

The WikiLeaks founder called Manning the most important news source in history and said Manning never received a fair trial, specifically citing early reports of abuse while Manning was being detained.

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"The government kept Bradley Manning in a cage, stripped him naked and isolated him in order to break him, an act formally condemned by the United Nations Special Rapporteur for torture,” he said.

Assange spoke from Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he has been holed up for more than a year resisting extradition to Austria for sex-crime charges he claims are baseless.

Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst, was convicted of five counts of espionage for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified State Department cables and Defense reports to Assange’s anti-secrecy group in 2010.

The military court, however, acquitted him of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy, which would have carried a lifetime sentence.

Manning though still could face more than 130 years in prison and will be sentenced later Wednesday.

Daniel Ellsberg, the man would leaked the Pentagon Papers detailing the U.S. effort in Vietnam in 1971, applauded the decision to dismiss the aiding the enemy charges against Manning, noting that he never faced that charge himself.

Ellsberg said Manning didn’t deserve one day in jail even on the espionage charges.

“He certainly does not deserve an additional day after the abusive treatment he’s received here of three years awaiting trial,” he said on the Scott Horton radio show.