FORT MEADE, MD – Private First Class Bradley Manning will go free after all charges against him were dropped in a stunning outcome which has shocked experts and brought an abrupt close to one of the greatest espionage trials in U.S. history.
In a series of legal maneuvers which left the prosecutor speechless with rage, PFC Manning not only had all 22 charges dropped, but his intelligence clearance was also reinstated. Manning will also be meritoriously promoted to Sergeant, and receive a $500,000 settlement from the US government.
Manning had confounded prosecutors with a series of brilliant tactics that relentlessly delayed his trial, and redirected accusations back against the U.S. government. When accused of leaking over 250,000 classified documents to a foreign national, Manning coolly rebutted that his actions were in protest against Don't Ask Don't Tell. When told that his behavior in Iraq was illegal, Manning retorted that it was no more illegal than the American invasion. At one point Manning began emulating Major Nidal Hasan and grew a beard.
The final straw, according to observers, was when Manning married his cellmate and sued for federal benefits and Basic Allowance for Housing. Citing 'institutionalized bigotry', Manning's lawyer repeatedly filed dozens of appeals, demanding an audience with the Supreme Court and the President of the United States. Exasperated at the tremendous waste of the court's time, the presiding judge finally threw in the towel and let the clever soldier go.
Manning, described by his attorney as "the greatest soldier since Audie Murphy", held an impromptu press conference on the steps of the courthouse in Fort Meade to celebrate both his victory and a recent media poll showing he had higher name recognition than both Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer and former general David Petraeus.
"This was the best decision I ever made," a smiling Manning told reporters. "If I could go back, I would do it the exact same way."
Manning has already lined up a multimillion dollar endorsement deal with a major car company and will be appearing live on stage with Lady Gaga during her upcoming tour.
When asked what his future plans were, Manning said, "I'd kind of like to run for president."
When reporters started laughing and asked if he meant as a Republican or Democrat, Manning replied, "No, I mean president of the Moon."
Manning then mounted his magical unicorn and rode out the front gates of Fort Meade into the Enchanted Lollipop Forest.