Transcript: Prof. Cornel West’s comments on PFC Bradley Manning’s 35-year sentence

Transcript of comments by Dr. Cornel West following the court martial sentencing of PFC Bradley Manning on Aug. 21, 2013. The 25-year-old former Army intelligence analyst was sentenced to 35 years in prison for releasing more than 700,000 classified U.S. government records to WikiLeaks. Dr. West’s comments were recorded at 12:43 p.m. EST in Hanover, Maryland.

Jenny Jiang:
What is your reaction to the sentence handed down today?

Dr. Cornel West:
Well, I just think it’s a sad day when a fellow citizen reveals lies and crimes of the U.S. government and he’s the one who ends up being treated like a criminal. And so for me, just one day’s too much for him, and I’m just here to be with him, stand in solidarity with him. We gotta keep fighting.

Jenny Jiang:
What do you say to the argument that Manning’s sentence could have been a lot worse? Given that Manning could have faced up to 90 years – the prosecution asked for 60 years – a 35-year sentence in that context is probably not so bad; it could have been worse.

Prof. Cornel West:
Again, I would just say one day is too long. It’s already been three years. Torture, solitary confinement, no clothes for a year. Abuse, violation of dignity. And so in that sense, I guess from Brother Bradley’s point of view, he’s not there for life and I can understand then in feeling some relief. But from the vantage point of justice, it’s just a sad day.

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3 Comments on “Transcript: Prof. Cornel West’s comments on PFC Bradley Manning’s 35-year sentence

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