Bradley Manning Hit With New Charges; Could Face Death Penalty

from the going-a-bit-far? dept

After being unable to convince Bradley Manning to lie about his "relationship" with Julian Assange, the government has decided to up the pressure on Manning by filing another 22 charges against him, including putting him at risk of facing the death penalty -- though, they insist that they will not ask for the death penalty. In the end, however, it is up to the judge, so whether or not the feds ask for it, he is still technically facing the death penalty. In addition, the new charges could put him in jail for life.

Some of the charges seem like clear exaggerations. Government officials have already admitted that the State Department cable leaks have done little to actually damage US diplomatic relationships or put anyone in danger. Yet, the charges certainly suggest both things are true. There's a charge for "aiding the enemy," charges for "theft of public property," the inevitable (but highly questionable) "computer fraud" charges and (of course) Espionage Act charges. It'll take some time before the reasonings behind all of the charges are understood, but the point is pretty clear: the feds don't want any more whistleblowers, so they're throwing the book at Manning as a warning shot to anyone else who wants to expose government misdeeds.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 7:22pm

    He clearly broke the law. It could by any one of many. Too bad for him.

     

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    AW, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 7:31pm

    Guess they've never heard of a martyr? Maybe this is why we're losing in Afghanistan and why we lost in Iraq?

     

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  3.  
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    Phillip Vector (profile), Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 7:33pm

    Repercussions

    If Bradley Manning is found guilty, I'd LLLLLLLLLLLove to see the overall reaction to the populace. I hope this blows over quickly and the same to you Mike. I hope you will call me.

     

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    qyiet (profile), Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 7:34pm

    Media Based Fraud

    the inevitable (but highly questionable) "computer fraud" charges

    I think the usefulness of the computer fraud laws (as proven by how often they come up) means we should extend them to other kinds of media. I propose a "Paper Fraud" law. Then if a computer was used to print a fraudulent document we can charge criminals under both laws.

     

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  5.  
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    Jay (profile), Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 7:42pm

    Re:

    All because Obama is embarrassed about "state secrets" being thrown out to the populace and made transparent...

     

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  6.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 7:46pm

    Theft "Steal purloin etc" of public property? Wow. what did he acquire that they no longer have?

    Not only that but if it was "public property" he already as well as every other American citizen, owns it and by making it public has not done anything.

    These charges conflict with each other, but then again so does the entire case.

    As for the "aiding the enemy" charge.. What enemy? or should I say "which enemy since they have not specified whom, what or where that enemy is, and you cannot really have an "enemy" without a legal declaration of war. hmmmm

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 7:47pm

    The government is clearly trying to torture this guy into providing false testimony against Julian Assange.

    Apparently the ends justify the means,,, at least to our current politicians.

     

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    Aerilus, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 7:56pm

    I have never been sad to be an American until reading about how the government is handling this. From what i have read some of it hear he tried to go to superiors and use channels developed after the pentagon papers leaked to bring these things to light. this is the military and the state department retaliating for someone making them look bad. Obama is a hypocrite and a liar for standing on a podium and shouting a call for transparency and openness then promptly shutting his mouth when someone actually goes further than anyone else in recent history to promote those ideas. This is truly a sad day and will do nothing but confirm the rest of the worlds opinion of America as a hypocritical thug. how can we do things like this then do lip service to the Iraqis or the myriad other oppressive countries we dictate to.

     

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  9.  
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    Joe, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 8:11pm

    So let me get this straight...

    He was "Aiding the enemy" with "Public Property" that he stole?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 8:13pm

    I agree. I always thought America stood for something great. Perhaps in the past, but it doesn't seeem so any more. This is the kind of behavior I'd expect from countries like Iran or North Korea. Consider a recent report that DHS is working on mobile xray scanners to check pedestrians and passing cars. Eventually they'll probably want to start scanning homes from the streets too.

    http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2011/03/02/docs-reveal-tsa-plan-to-body-scan-pedestria ns-train-passengers/

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 8:13pm

    I agree. I always thought America stood for something great. Perhaps in the past, but it doesn't seeem so any more. This is the kind of behavior I'd expect from countries like Iran or North Korea. Consider a recent report that DHS is working on mobile xray scanners to check pedestrians and passing cars. Eventually they'll probably want to start scanning homes from the streets too.

    http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2011/03/02/docs-reveal-tsa-plan-to-body-scan-pedestria ns-train-passengers/

     

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    Cornelius, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 8:14pm

    Allegiance to the people

    As a U.S. soldier, Bradley Manning swore to defend the U.S. constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. He actually did the U.S. public a great service by exposing the wrong doings our government does in our name overseas. How can you not give the guy a medal for exposing U.S. combat soldiers killing Iraqi civilians and their supervisors covering it up by saying they were engaged actual combat. How can anyone take that to the grave. Even if he serves a life sentence, at least he can sleep at night knowing his mind is clear. I can't imagine taking that to the grave with me. Makes me sick just thinking about it. As a former U.S. soldier myself, I never forgot that my duty was to defend our freedom and to protect the Constitution. My allegiance was not to the Generals above me, but to the people I was representing. I love the U.S., but we can not be fearful of government transparency. It's the best way of defending our freedom. History will judge you kindly Bradley.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 8:14pm

    "You say you're punishing someone for standing up to you? That kind of justice is a lie."
    ~Silver Knight (.hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet)

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 8:41pm

    Here is the thing, I think Mr. Manning is a hero, and like every hero there is a price to pay, the other side is not happy and will punish him harshly.

    He made a mistake bragging about and that is the only lesson to learn here, be a whistleblower but do it quietly or go all out at take a stand but go out with the certainty that they will destroy you as a person.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 8:52pm

    It does seem a bit premature for some to hold this soldier up as a candidate for "canonization" in the absence of a trial on the merits regarding his actions.

    There is one aspect of this matter that seems to be agreed upon by all sides, i.e., this soldier released on his own volition classified information with apparently no thought having been given to the contents of each document that was released. It appears fortuitous that many of the documents are apparently innocuous. Whether or not this is true of all documents remains undetermined.

    The problem here is that an individual chose to make a unilateral decision with what appears to be little, if any, thought to the potential consequences of what the public disclosure of these documents might do to US national security and that of its allies.

    Sorry, but at this time I am not prepared to refer to him as an american hero, and those suggesting they can make this decision on the basis of currently published information are putting the cart before the horse.

    There will be a trial, evidence will be presented by the prosecutor and the defense attorneys, and then a decision rendered as to whether or not he is guilty of one or more of the charges. Until then I will reserve judgment, and others that they should do likewise.

    As for the reference in the above article to "misdeeds", it would be nice if just for once this site considered the possiblity, even for a moment, that the US Government is not necessarily the secretive, miscreant that it seems to have a penchant proclaiming at every opportunity. It is a gross generalization bordering on paranoia.

     

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  16.  
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    athe, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 9:23pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 8:52pm

    Trust is earned, not expected. Particularly in the case of a govt. And at the moment the US govt seems to say one thing and do the opposite - hardly worthy of trust.

     

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  17.  
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    DV Henkel-Wallace (profile), Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 9:38pm

    Hafta agree with the AC

    He pretty clearly broke a, or several laws. And given his was (is?) in the military and signed various agreements concerning confidential information, I doubt this is any surprise to him.

    But this does seem the now common case of piling on the charges.

    It's especially ironic because those leaked cables seem to have played a material role in the revolutions in (at least) Tunisia and Egypt both of which seem to be in the US's long term interest!

     

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  18.  
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    JC, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 9:40pm

    Re:

    I agree.

    It's doubtful Manning read each of the thousands of documents and then decided they should all be leaked because of their importance to the security of the nation he swore to defend.

    I would guess that he had no idea of the repercussions of the documents he leaked and didn't seem to care if they caused anyone harm. That they haven't yet caused significant harm is a matter open for debate.

    This entire episode is reduced to a condition of whether you trust the US government or not.

     

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  19.  
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    Christopher (profile), Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 9:56pm

    Re:

    I've been sad to be an American for many years now.

    Two wars of choice.
    Numerous civilians killed on the basis of lies.
    More terrorism and terrorists in the world because of the two things above.

    It is getting to the point where I think that there needs to be a revolution in America to get these American Exceptionalists out of power.

     

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  20.  
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    Christopher (profile), Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 9:58pm

    Re: Re:

    Need I remind that the consensus from people who HAVE read all the documents in the REPUBLICAN party is that 95% of them should not have been classified and the rest were of very little use to our enemies.

     

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  21.  
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    Atkray (profile), Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 10:08pm

    One can hope

    Maybe he will get a jury trial and Julian Heicklen will hand out his pamphlets.

    Although I suspect a closed door kangaroo court is more likely.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 10:14pm

    Re: One can hope

    Military courts are never trial by jury.

     

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  23.  
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    Jay (profile), Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 10:24pm

    Re:

    "As for the reference in the above article to "misdeeds", it would be nice if just for once this site considered the possiblity, even for a moment, that the US Government is not necessarily the secretive, miscreant that it seems to have a penchant proclaiming at every opportunity. It is a gross generalization bordering on paranoia."

    Let's just look at the FBI for a second shall we?

    FBI abuses of power

    FBI abuses 3000 laws

    FBI raids activists

    Scrapyard vs FBI, Round 1

    Now for every 3 bad stories, there are two good:

    Prevention of a bomb plot?

    Investigating human trafficking

    Nothing says that the FBI can't exist. The problem comes up when they decide that they are a law unto themselves and forget that hey, they have to follow due process.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 10:34pm

    Re:

    I hold a clearance. There are rules for how classified material is released. It is not up to me to decide. It doesn't matter what is in it. I think he should be put away forever. He is not a whistle blower, he is a traitor. I cannot understand how you fail to see it. A whistle blower leaks that Apple lied about its quarterly report. A traitor releases classified document to the enemy. It doesn't matter if they are useful to the enemy, or if real damage was done. He had intent to harm us. He should fry.

     

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  25.  
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    androidhelpersdotcom (profile), Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 10:55pm

    #24

    How can you call him a traitor by doing the right thing? When the government is wrong (and it often is) someone needs to beat them back. We as citizens of this country deserve to know whats going on with our affairs, both domestic and abroad. This guy should be given a medal of honor, not chastised.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 11:00pm

    Re:

    The only evidence I need is on Wikileaks.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 11:05pm

    Re: Re:

    Well the way I see it I would betray any government that duped the public too.

    Your own government want to harms you and you will do nothing?

     

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  28.  
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    velox (profile), Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 11:10pm

    Re: Re:

    "He had intent to harm us."
    -- And how exactly did you determine Manning's intent?

    I believe the whole point of whistleblowing is that whistle-blower believes something wrong, immoral or illegal is being done, and the exposure of this activity to public scrutiny is needed to allow the maleficence to be corrected.

    Manning has been described as a whistleblower. If Manning indeed believes he is a whistleblower, wouldn't that imply that his intent was to correct a wrong.

     

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  29.  
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    Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 11:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Best guess is he's using an absolutist logic where violating classified material protocols is by definition harm. Therefore intent to release classified materials is in itself intent to harm, and the actual leak is actual harm.

     

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  30.  
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    Jose_X, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 11:29pm

    Re: Hafta agree with the AC

    He will have a military trial I guess, but your example shows why jury nullification is so important. If someone turns out to have violated a law but was being a good citizen in a higher sense than the law, then the person should walk.

     

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  31.  
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    FSM (profile), Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 11:34pm

    Re:

    I don't agree, I think that this site goes to great pains to carefully point out cases where the govt appears to grossly abuse its power, especially when tackling threats to its hegemony. In that sense, this site is providing evidence that can assist in making a conclusion.
    To a rational person then, the conclusion is that the govt is at times the secretive miscreant that you describe. That it also often does many good things does not excuse the bad.
    We know that the US govt has engaged in kidnapping and torture of innocent people, that has been confirmed. George Bush recently had to cancel a visit to Switzerland because of the threat of arrest for crimes against humanity (think about that for minute). With these things in mind, how is a mistrust of a govt capable of such actions to be considered paranoia? I think it is irrational to not be mistrustful.

     

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  32.  
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    Jose_X, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 11:36pm

    Re: Re: Hafta agree with the AC

    As I have realized how online petitions can reach such wide audiences with a message and how important it is to convince large numbers of people if we want to change this nation, I have been trying to put together petitions of various sorts (a slow process for me).

    One basic petition is to Amend our Constitution to make some things explicit.

    I think Jury Nullification is going to be one of those items.

    [I want to keep that petition small and with core things "everyone" can agree upon (eg, corporations are not humans; life before property; punishment must fit the crime...).]

     

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  33.  
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    Jose_X, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 12:06am

    Re: Re:

    We can also call it a design flaw if we have so many documents that supposedly cannot be made available to the very people who own this nation, pay for the military, and employ the government itself.. and while we allow how many thousands (if not millions) to have clearance anyway.

    We have to consider the positive impact releasing all the documents in the aggregate would likely have when you know they contain some amount of corruption vs the aggregate damage. You can't just see if a single one does damage.

    What justification (whether right or wrong) did our very government leaders use for dropping the bomb on Japan in wwii? That despite the costs, there would be net gains at a wide-scale.

    I wish we would see jury nullification in action if it were to be warranted.

     

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  34.  
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    Jose_X, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 12:12am

    Re: Re:

    Apple leak about quarterly report hurts Apple but helps the investing public.

    Leaking that the US military is doing things the public would not like is hurting the military but helping the public.

    The power of the military derives from the people. The greatest law isn't "don't leak classified information". And don't leak classified information is also subservient to "upholding the Constitution".

     

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  35.  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 12:17am

    Re: Re:

    So, suddenly the Truth is an enemy? Guess I won't be holidaying in America next time. I'd rather go back to North Korea.

     

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  36.  
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    grumpy (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 1:12am

    Re: Re:

    *Nice* attitude. "There's a law and it's not up to me to question anything". Wrong. Dead wrong. The only protection the public (that's us, the people) has against abuse of power is that all the cogs in the big machinery question everything they do, hold every one of their actions up against the Big Purpose (hint: it also mentions the people) and check to see if there's a match. If they don't, at some point we'll have to hold another set of Nürnberg trials, listen to another round of "But I just followed orders!" and send another bunch of idiots off to their well-deserved punishment. You, sir or madam, sounds like you will be a participant but maybe not in a way you'll like...

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 1:29am

    Re:

    Shit, I was sad to be an American when I found out how we decimated the native population, enslaved millions of Africans, and then had the audacity to declare that we're the greatest nation in the history of the world.

     

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  38.  
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    nitwit, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 1:34am

    so much for 'transparency, freedom of speech, accountability', etc, etc. all fine when talking about it, but a definite 'no no' when it comes to the USA government and law enforcement agencies living up to their claims and promises. and they expect the rest of the world to look up to them? nothing more than two-faced liars. everything is good when it suits. when it doesn't, 'forget what i said, this is different'!

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 1:46am

    Re: Re: One can hope

    Sure they are. They just call it a panel and it's only slightly different.

     

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  40.  
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    Ted Burner, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 2:03am

    Bradley Manning was Very Naive

    This kid threw is life away foolishly.

     

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  41.  
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    Michael Kay, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 2:43am

    Exposing misdeeds

    You show your bias when you write "a warning shot to anyone else who wants to expose government misdeeds". Manning was not selective in what he leaked; most of the leaked material showed the government behaving perfectly reasonably, and in many cases communicating things that they had a perfect right to expect to remain confidential.

     

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  42.  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 3:39am

    Re: Exposing misdeeds

    And yet, exposing that mundane information is treasonous action. Last time that happened, there was a Civil War.

     

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  43.  
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    Matt Bennett, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 4:44am

    He's not a whistleblower. He's a traitor, in the literal, traditional meaning of the term.

    Many of you people don't seem to get this. Privates don't get to decide what should and shouldn't be public information. The chain of command is a tight and unyielding thing for very good reasons.

    Revealing information, even really seemingly negligible information about your side's movements, techniques, and actions, can easily cause friendly deaths, because information is precious to the enemy. Remember when people got really upset at an embedded reporter (wolf blitzes?) revealing his platoons position in Iraq? There are reasons for that, and that was just a goof.

    The enemy is trying to kill you, and that changes everything about your traditional civilian notion of "it didn't do that much harm".


    If the enemy failed to kill anyone using this information, that was no fault of Bradley Manning's. I don't know that a death sentence is needed, in this case, pvt Manning seems more stupid and young than malicious, but it's wholly appropriate.

    Men have been hanged in wartime for so, so, much less.

     

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  44.  
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    Matt Bennett, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 4:50am

    Re: So let me get this straight...

    Yes...how dumb are you? M-16s are public property, owned by the gov. If you give it to the enemy, you have aided him, and makes you a traitor. He doesn't have to kill anyone with it either, still a traitor.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 5:14am

    Re: Re:

    he is a traitor.


    And here I was thinking each and every person who's involved with military hardware in foreign lands without a Declaration of War from Congress are in violation of their oath to support the Constitution.

    But hey, to each Anonymous Coward according to their position eh?

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 5:15am

    Re: Hafta agree with the AC

    Pondering - if the backbone of what can/can not be done to you as a soldier is based on Contract Law and you have a right to not sign a contract - how would this work if there was conscription?

     

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  47.  
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    Matt Bennet's Mom, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 5:21am

    Re:

    I may have missed this - when did Congress draft and pass a declaration of war like the Constitution asks for so these 'enemies' can be noted on paper who these 'enemies' are?

    I thought I taught you better Son. You should stop hanging around those thugs at the PsyOP group.

     

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  48.  
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    Matt Bennett (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 5:27am

    Re:

    Did you really just quote an anime-style videogame as a moral guideline of some type?

     

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  49.  
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    Matt Bennett (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 5:36am

    First of all, your byline makes you an ass.

    Second of all, you all can get upset about the whole declaration of war thing, I don't even disagree. But it's pretty tangential to the "is he traitor" thing. It's also a larger subject than any of the recent wars......I don't believe we've been actually declared war on anyone since Korea, so you're fighting some 60 years of history at this point.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 5:54am

    Re:

    We did not lose in iraq. A dictator that was known to be guilty of killing thousands of his citizens was removed. Just because we weren't able to put a 100% friendly regime in place as a replacement doesn't mean we failed. To be very honest, I consider Iraq to be a great success in that the people of Iraq are somewhat empowered to make their governmental decisions for themselves without having a certain death sentence hanging over their head in doing so. Make no mistake - things are not good over there, but they are a far cry better than they were under Hussein.

     

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  51.  
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    hmm (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 5:59am

    how about

    The quantum particle / Atomic Nucleus Lieberman Fraud law?

    the basic sentence for each violation is one day in prison...however since even a basic PC is made up of several billion trillion atoms...........ALso this would cover fraud by paper, organic means (storing movies in your brain) and also allowing your tv to shine out of the window, where the individual photons once they escape the planet, may excite distant atoms, thus spreading piracy across the galaxy.....

     

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  52.  
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    Any Mouse (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:00am

    Re: Re: So let me get this straight...

    And what 'public property' did he 'steal'? Physical property can be stolen, and he removed no physical property.

     

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  53.  
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    Any Mouse (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re:

    Can you honestly question the validity of the quote?

     

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  54.  
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    hmm (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:05am

    the funniest thing is:

    North korea, iran, iraq, libya,hell even the mighty and powerful empire of Belgium all had these cables leaked to them so long ago by paid-for insiders.........and its still going on today...but the US government doesn't want to acknowledge just how leaky the ship has become and instead of fixing the hole (or bailing the water out) is instead simply not letting anyone go onto the lower decks to see for themselves all the dead bloated corpses!

    the only difference here is the PUBLIC (boo hiss!) got to see them as well as pretty much every single government on the planet.

     

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  55.  
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    Matt Bennett (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:09am

    Re: Re: Re: So let me get this straight...

    Well, they're obviously talking about the information. This isn't really the place for an IP conversation....."aiding and Abetting" is ever so much bigger an issue than that.

     

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    hmm (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:09am

    hmm

    he stole energy....basically when he inserted a USB key, a tiny amount of electrical energy was transferred into the stick as the data was written to flash
    (even though far more kinetic energy is transferred into the PCs case if he shoved the key in hard!)...

    I say we execute him and then burn his corpse publicly, then use a steam turbine generator to get back that amount of electric energy.....and return it to the PC!

    Also he may have used some oxygen near the PC for various biological processes WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION!!!!!!!!!

     

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    hmm (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:11am

    wanna know a secret????

     

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    Any Mouse (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:11am

    Re:

    Okay, let's reply to your points before I call you an idiot.

    We aren't at war. War was never declared, so we have no 'wartime' situation going on.

    The documents in question have revealed nothing that our supposed enemies didn't already know.

    The ONLY people these documents have shown to harm are the people in them who did wrong. Not just unlawful, but immoral and/or unjust actions.

    You don't seem to understand that he was not acting as a Private, and I've met many a private who had more intelligence and balls than upper echelon commanders, but as a citizen of the United States. There comes a time, even if you don't agree with it, that a person MUST stand for what they believe in.

    You want everyone to be little cogs that do what they're trained to do, and nothing more. That's what the government wants. This is not in the best interests of the people or the country.

     

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    hmm (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:16am

    wanna know a secret????

    Grr..it posted just the title.....

    Ghandi..Martin Luther King etc...they didn't really win because of what they said or did..they won because they exposed the enemy to utter ridicule...they proved how stupid what the other guy was saying:
    Ghandi proved that the British "civilizing" India by murdering as many women and children as possible and raping the rest was worse than what went before..and proved how barbaric and stupid the British were being.....

    Martin Luther King proved that the idea that one persons outer surface contains chemicals that absorb slightly more photons than another persons means one person is "better" than the other was one of the most stupid ideas in history, and that anyone that believed it was obviously a moron....

    The battle with the RIAA, MPAA etc won't be won on arguments...it will be won on the simple fact that the stuff they do tends to prove they have a lower than usual intelligence level when it comes to economics. In a few short years, the current lawsuits by RIAA/MPAA etc will be as obviously silly as their "don't copy that floppy" video........

     

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    Paddy Duke (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:16am

    Re: Re: So let me get this straight...

    If he’d been trafficking stolen munitions to terrorist cells or malevolent regimes you would have a point.

    He wasn’t though, was he?

     

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    Matt Bennett (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes:

    A) Anime quotes are notoriously nonsensical. (I used to think it was the culture gap, but no....it's really just the anime)

    B) This particular quote is pretty vapid. Punish those who stand up to you? Yes, that's the usual way of things.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:33am

    Re:

    The US is an empire in decline. The government and other people in power will do whatever possible to hold on to that power. I give the US another 30 years before it becomes irrelevant to the rest of the world.

     

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  63.  
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    JC, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Who are these mysterious people who have declared a consensus?

     

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    Phillip Vector (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: So let me get this straight...

    So when it doesn't suit your argument, you feel we should not discuss it?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Hafta agree with the AC

    One of the problems is that Manning committed 250,000 sequential acts. Plus he committed other acts, beyond just copying documents, he then distributed them (they were not for his own use).

    No matter how you feel about the benefits of his actions, he did break the law in many, many ways. Do you want a constitutional amendment to have some sort of cost / benefit calculation?

     

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    Matt Bennett (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:42am

    Re: Re:

    Well, I appreciated the consideration.

    *We are at war. Officially, actually, in all sorts of ways, including how the GI bill counts time served and so forth. (I should know) Point is, Declarations of War are essentially obsolete, they're not used anymore, don't expect they will be. You can have all sorts opinions on that fact, I do, but it is a fact, and thus the lack of a "declaration" is not material to this conversation.

    *#2 is provably false.

    *I also disagree with this, though it's less definite, but it's also not the point. Point is, Manning gave the enemy ammo. Even if the enemy missed and failed to kill anyone with it, that doesn't mean giving the enemy ammo isn't enough to damn you. It's "aiding and abetting the enemy" not "successfully assisting the enemy to a win".

    *Military personal LITERALLY do not have the same rights that a private citizen does. They are subject to the UCMJ, civilians are not, and penalties according to UCMJ certainly include death. Penalties for treason also include death under civilian law, but the standards are different. Did you know that PUNCHING a superior officer can literally get you a death sentence in time of war? It almost never does, unless someone assaulted their superior on the battlefield, but the rules are there, and they have been used.

    * Yes, yes, I do, in the military at least. It simply wouldn't work otherwise. The rules are different, NEED to be different, when there is an organized group trying to kill you. Laxity, freedom to act other than at organized direction, disobedience on even small things, can lead to comrades dying. There's a reason boot camp breaks you down.

     

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    Matt Bennett (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So let me get this straight...

    I think you would like to derail a conversation about treason into one on IP law, stealing vs infringing all that. I actually agree with you on the definition of stealing, or not, of information, but the impact on ownership is not in any way the concern here.

     

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    Phillip Vector (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:46am

    Re: Bradley Manning was Very Naive

    If by "foolish", you mean that he stood up for what he believed in and did something that would hurt himself, but perhaps correct a wrong that the government did..

    I can only hope my son grows up to be that foolish.

     

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  69.  
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    Matt Bennett (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So let me get this straight...

    I think you would like to derail a conversation about treason into one on IP law, stealing vs infringing all that. I actually agree with you on the definition of stealing, or not, of information, but the impact on ownership is not in any way the concern here.

     

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    Phillip Vector (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:46am

    Re: Bradley Manning was Very Naive

    If by "foolish", you mean that he stood up for what he believed in and did something that would hurt himself, but perhaps correct a wrong that the government did..

    I can only hope my son grows up to be that foolish.

     

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    JC, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    As a citizen of the US there are many things we collectively own and pay for. It does not give you the right to treat it as your personal property. Try building a house in a national park or walking into a post office back room to start inspecting operations. Or deciding who should read classified documents.

    I disagree that we need to consider any positive impact in aggregate with this or any crime.

     

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    Jay (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:51am

    Re: Exposing misdeeds

    The egregious examples of abuse paint a different story to "behaving reasonably"

    Ex. Afghan boy pimp party - yeah that's reasonable...

     

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    Jay (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 6:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    True, but this started with the Collateral Murder video.

    The army covered it up. He exposed it. Exposing wrongs seems to come with the idea that whistle blowers in the military are truly subjugated and tossed aside. Especially when they're told to "shut up" and "lay low"

     

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    Matt Bennett (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 7:10am

    Re: Re: Re:

    A) Intent is determined in a court of law, in this case it will be a military court.

    B) Intent is not required for all crimes, though it often mitigates. Think of "manslaughter". You can do wrong, without intending to do wrong, and be punished for it, sometimes severely.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 7:13am

    Re:

    As for the reference in the above article to "misdeeds", it would be nice if just for once this site considered the possiblity, even for a moment, that the US Government is not necessarily the secretive, miscreant that it seems to have a penchant proclaiming at every opportunity.

    Our own government's response to all of this very highly suggests that they are indeed a secretive miscreant.
    Just sayin

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Hafta agree with the AC

    Well, technically there is. It is called prosecutorial discretion. The executive branch can choose who they prosecute and the assumption is that the executive branch will use that power to make such cost / benefits calculations.

     

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    Matt Bennett (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    See now, if that was the only thing the kid exposed, we'd be having a very different conversation. But it's not. I STILL say the concept of "whistle blower" either has no place, or a much more specific and limited place, than it does in civilian life. But that's not all the kid let loose, so we're talking about different things, now.

     

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    joetoc, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 7:27am

    Bradley...

    ...Manning is not a whistle blower. If he was a whistle blower he would have actually read and released only the data that contained illegal activity. Instead, he just downloaded a bunch of crap and released it without any idea of what damage he could cause or lives he could put at risk. Now it it definitely wrong to blame wikileaks for releasing it because they actually read the stuff first. Is he a traitor? I think more than likely he is a stupid kid that should have never been deployed let alone allowed in the Army in the first place.

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 7:30am

    Re:

    Actually traitors generally are considered people who are attempting to help the enemy whether you succeed or not. Manning may have been reckless in releasing those documents to a foreign national, but there is no evidence he was attempting to aid any enemy. He was attempting to... Well to be completely honest, I think he was seeking personal glory for helping bring greater transparency. Without disputing the illegality of his actions, what he did is most definitely not what most people consider "treachery".

    "Revealing information, even really seemingly negligible information about your side's movements, techniques, and actions, can easily cause friendly deaths, because information is precious to the enemy. Remember when people got really upset at an embedded reporter (wolf blitzes?) revealing his platoons position in Iraq? There are reasons for that, and that was just a goof."

    Have you read the reports of what he released? What he released was DIPLOMATIC cables. Diplomatic cables deal with political relations with other countries, not troop movements, techniques or actions. This could potentially put sympathetic foreign government officials at risk, not US personnel, military or otherwise.

     

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    Matt Bennett (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 7:32am

    Re: Re: Re: One can hope

    Since I've been before a military court (a minor thing, I was in a fist fight in the army), I can tell you it's REALLY different.

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 7:34am

    Re:

    "He's a traitor, in the literal, traditional meaning of the term. "

    I don't believe you understand the literal, traditional meaning of the term. If a general turns against a king for the good of their country then they are a traitor to that king, but are not a traitor to that country. In this case, he was certainly a traitor to his superiors and apparently to his government, but that alone does not make him a traitor to his country. His intentions were clearly in the interest of his country and no harm has apparently happened to his country. Are the laws there to protect the government from treason, or the country from treason? I thought it was the latter.

    "Privates don't get to decide what should and shouldn't be public information. The chain of command is a tight and unyielding thing for very good reasons. "

    If that were true then military personnel would be required to be complicit in the most heinous crimes. Are you supporting the idea that the armies of eastern countries undergoing revolution should aid their governments in killing civilians, for example?

    'The enemy is trying to kill you, and that changes everything about your traditional civilian notion of "it didn't do that much harm". '

    We're not talking about "traditional civilian notions", we're talking bout facts. Something lacking in backing up the issue of harm.

    "I don't know that a death sentence is needed, in this case, pvt Manning seems more stupid and young than malicious, but it's wholly appropriate. "

    Perhaps you can explain how it's wholly appropriate to kill someone when you don't believe it's needed.

    "Men have been hanged in wartime for so, so, much less."

    Your point is?

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 7:36am

    I think we need a different name for what Manning did. Whistleblower is not appropriate. A whistleblower finds and releases evidence of specific harm. He released a gigantic amount of data with no filtering at to the content. He is not a traitor as traitors generally desire to harm their own side and aid the enemy. Manning was not trying to help the enemy (whoever that is), he was trying to bring greater transparency to the US diplomatic practices. I think transparency activist may be most accurate though it unfortunately sounds somewhat bad.

    On the other hand, we don't need a new name for the response of the US Government. Stupid, heavy-handed and oppressive fits the bill quite nicely.

     

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    Matt Bennett (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 7:36am

    Re: Bradley...

    I agree.

     

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    Matt Bennett (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re:

    "if a general turns against a king for the good of their country...."

    All you're really pointing out here is that might makes right, winners write the history books, etc. People who over through their government are "rebels", those who fail are "traitors" all that. I really hope this is not news to anybody.

    "If that were true then military personnel would be required to be complicit in the most heinous crimes."

    You're confusing this with the right to disobey an unlawful order. I respect this principal, though I'll tell you it doesn't usually work in practice. Regardless, it doesn't translate to a right to undermine your side if you feel there are wrongs being committed (and there are ALWAYS wrongs being committed). That's still treason.

    The enemy is trying to kill you, facts, etc.

    Who's not talking about facts? If we're in a battle, you're on my side, you start tossing the enemy magazines, I'm gonna kill you. I don't need to get shot by those bullets first.

    "Perhaps you can explain how it's wholly appropriate to kill someone when you don't believe it's needed"

    Now you are just trying to misrepresent what I said. Death is an appropriate penalty for his crimes, it would not be unreasonable. Due to some mitigating factors (mostly youth, naivete, and ignornance) I would probably rather that not be the result. His case is sad. He still should of known better, and yes, he needs to be "made an example of" for all the same reasons movie villains make examples of people (so that no one else is stupid enough to do the same thing) but his case is still sad.

     

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    Matt Bennett (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 7:58am

    Re: name for it other whistleblower..

    Whistlefarting?

    Whistlefrag?

     

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    Phillip Vector (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So let me get this straight...

    Not derail per say. But since we both agree that nothing has been stolen, I question your comparing the information to M-16s.

     

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    Phillip Vector (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Did you really just say that our government should act like a movie villain?

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re: name for it other whistleblower..

    I was thinking something a little more impartial. But thanks for participating.

     

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  89.  
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    Matt Bennett (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re:

    Diplomatic cables was just the most recent batch. Before that there a bunch of after action reports, analysis, info about sources, informants, intel. All this stuff is extremely valuable, the same way simply knowing the rough location of a unit of troops is valuable.

    You're misinformed, sir.

     

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    Matt Bennett (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 8:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So let me get this straight...

    Becuase you seemed confused both about what they meant by "public property" and how that could be used to aid the enemy. Just trying to help.

     

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    Matt Bennett (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes. But really I was heading off some snide comment about "making an example of". In the theory of Justice and Punishment, on of the prime purposes of a harsh sentence is to serve as a deterrent to others who would act similarly.

     

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    Pitabred (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re:

    "I was just following orders when I killed those Jews. It wasn't my fault"

     

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    Pitabred (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So you're saying that we shouldn't question the government ever? And that people who see things going wrong should just keep their head low and ignore it?

    I've got some reading for you:
    http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007392

    If you don't stand up for what's right right now, you won't get the chance to in the future.

     

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    joetoc, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

     

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    joetoc, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re:

    We aren't at war. War was never declared, so we have no 'wartime' situation going on.

    This is only true if you haven't personally deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. I assure you, it was freaking war.

     

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    Matt Bennett (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Blatant strawman. You can do mostly whatever you want, presuming you're a civilian. If you were in the military, then you may not. You have the right to ignore unlawful orders, nothing more, which is where the "I gassed civilians based upon their religion, but I was under orders" part comes in.

     

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    Anonymous Howard, Cowering, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re: AC#24

    "I hold a clearance."
    "I drink the Kool-Aid."
    Dude!

    There are rules for how material should be classified, as well. None of what Manning released seems to have resulted in immediate damage to the nation, grave or otherwise. Citations to the contrary are welcomed. Our national security does not seem to have been affected in any way by his disclosures; Homeland Security still pretends they're not in the entertainment business, the FBI is still creating "terrorists" to foil the FBI's own anti-American plots.

    A traitor acts against his country's (and his comrades') best interests. There is still no evidence Manning has done so.

     

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    Travis, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re: Re: One can hope

    Ya, a panel of high ranking military officers. We can assume they have their marching orders already.

     

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    Justin, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re:

    It is up to you to decide; you hold a clearance and so you will have the opportunity to view some classified material. When you do not release classified material you are making a decision.
    Bradley Manning had to make the same decision and decided differently from you. What he released seems to have done little or no damage. Since the government routinely classifies things of little importance his decision seems to be correct.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: One can hope

    Under Article 25 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), an enlisted person on trial is entitled to request that at least 1/3 of the empaneled jury comprise enlisted personnel.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re:

    I consider Iraq to be a great success in that the people of Iraq are somewhat empowered to make their governmental decisions

    Well ... the ones we didn't murder anyway.

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RS22537.pdf

     

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    Bill (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Right or wrong has no place in the argument.

    He took a job where he knew he would have access to classified information. He knew it was against the law to release any information when he took the job. Whether it was right or wrong in his eyes doesn’t change the fact that if he did it, he knew it was against the law before he did it. This means that regardless of our personal feelings he should stand for the punishment if he committed the crime.

    Patriots have always been punished for doing what they thought was right because in order to do the right thing they needed to break the laws of the time.

    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. ~ Thomas Jefferson

     

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    David, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 12:59pm

    Yah boo

    Really does sound like the USA government has had a temper tantrum and thrown the toys out of the baby buggy!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Death is an appropriate penalty for his crimes, it would not be unreasonable."

    Wow, you are not a nice human being. I really hope you don't pass this sickening attitude on to any offspring. The world desperately needs less people with such a bloodthirsty nature.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If he had leaked a specific set referring to a specific wrong and came forward to discuss it, I might think he would qualify as a whistle blower. He didn't. He loaded everything he could and put it on the web. He didn't have a specific beef, just a general betrayal of his country.
    We cannot just decide classified info can be disbursed. He had no idea what was in all that.

     

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  106.  
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    S, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 9:13pm

    Re: Re:

    Less. Much less, if they keep up their current antics.

    The oil currency lock-in is our last remaining real point of influence and the Chinese are making a VERY good case to the international community about why that should be removed.

     

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  107.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 9:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But you probably applaud all those Soviet defectors who brought over classified documents during the Cold War... what a hypocrite.

     

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    FSM (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 11:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I was in the Australian Army and we were taught very explicitly what the differences between lawful and unlawful orders were with plenty of real examples in history (e.g., not under any circumstances to attack a noncombatant).

    I remember reading a story about an Australian F-18 pilots under direction from US HQ who refused to attack a designated targets in IRAQ plenty of times because they weren't convinced that the targets were military. see link: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/03/13/1078594618101.html
    Compare that behaviour to collateral murder and you see the point that blind obedience is not a good thing.

    Manning apparently tried to point out that he was being given unlawful orders by his superiors and he was put down and regarded insubordinate. Mass releasing documents was supposedly not his first course of action, rather it may have been a last resort.

    To equate good/bad purely with the law is too simplistic. Sure legally he could be found to be a traitor, but this would be a case were the law conflicts with a more sophisticated ethical understanding in which he is not a traitor, rather an agent attempting to right a greater injustice than the injustice of releasing information classified secret (by an authority acting unlawfully itself) to the public. This would be the principle of greater harm.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  109.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Mar 4th, 2011 @ 4:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "All you're really pointing out here is that might makes right"

    No, I suggested nowhere that the general won. That is your strawman. I am worried that you appear not to recognise the distinction between government and country.

    "You're confusing this with the right to disobey an unlawful order."

    Which you hadn't even mentioned as an exception to your supposed rule.

    "Who's not talking about facts? If we're in a battle, you're on my side, you start tossing the enemy magazines, I'm gonna kill you. I don't need to get shot by those bullets first."

    The facts backing up the claims of harm.

    "Now you are just trying to misrepresent what I said."

    That's rich coming from you considering the obvious strawman you started out with. How did I misrepresent you? You haven't said anything contrary to what I was suggesting, if anything you seem to have explicitly confirmed that you believe it's wholly appropriate for Manning to get the death penalty.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  110.  
    icon
    Matt Bennett (profile), Mar 4th, 2011 @ 5:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I do!

    But how is that Hypocritical?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  111.  
    identicon
    DecentDiscourse, Mar 4th, 2011 @ 11:05am

    No damage?

    "Government officials have already admitted that the State Department cable leaks have done little to actually damage US diplomatic relationships or put anyone in danger."

    I hadn't seen that before. Can you provide some quotes of the government officials?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  112.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Mar 4th, 2011 @ 3:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Punish those who stand up to you? Yes, that's the usual way of things.

    That doesn't make it right. Punishment is supposed to be for breaking the law, not challenging authority.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  113.  
    identicon
    Shortlink, Mar 4th, 2011 @ 7:56pm

    I hope he gets the max

    Pvt Manning is a vigilante that illegally stole state secrets and tried to play god (little "g") for political or personal reasons. You’re love relationship with a state traitor is concerning in itself, but is your right. It was not his right to decide to release classified information and deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest.
    BTW: it's funny that "know" the motivation of the government's action, but don't seem to know or care what Pvt Manning's motivation was, which seems to be nothing more than to be a "hacker" and anti-establishment. Yea, good reasons to love an idiot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  114.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Mar 5th, 2011 @ 4:26am

    Re: I hope he gets the max

    "Pvt Manning is a vigilante that illegally stole state secrets and tried to play god (little "g") for political or personal reasons. You’re love relationship with a state traitor is concerning in itself, but is your right. It was not his right to decide to release classified information and deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest. "

    It wasn't anyone's right to torture people or send them away for other countries to torture. Can I suppose that you support prosecuting those responsible for torture to the fullest?

    "don't seem to know or care what Pvt Manning's motivation was"

    Why do you get the impression that people don't seem to care about that? We've been discussing it here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  115.  
    icon
    greg.fenton (profile), Mar 5th, 2011 @ 7:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So let me get this straight...

    I believe you are confused about who the enemy is. Copies of the documents were turned over to the world wide public, including those who own those documents but were unable to have access to them.

    Public Enemy?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  116.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 6:45pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If #2 is provably false, then prove it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  117.  
    identicon
    MOOT, Apr 25th, 2011 @ 2:57pm

    Good the fucker should be executed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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