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America’s war on patriots

Two major precedents -- one encouraging, the other troubling -- emerge from today's conviction of Bradley Manning on espionage charges, but not on charges of aiding the enemy. One is about the definition of journalism, and all the attendant protections that are supposed to come with that profession in a democracy. The other is about who America's government defines as patriotic heroes and who it deems traitorous villains.

The first precedent comes from the verdict's rejection of the charge that Manning "aided the enemy" when he released the now-famous tranche of documents about the U.S. national security state.

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