Bradley Manning Sentenced To 35 Years

from the this-is-how-we-handle-inconvenient-truth dept

The prosecution wanted 60 years and the defense asked repeatedly for lenience. "Don't take away his youth." The final verdict will likely appease the prosecution but puts Manning in prison for longer than he's been alive.

35 years, with credit for time served -- 1,294 days, 3.5 years awaiting this trial, under circumstances the UN has deplored as "cruel and inhumane." In addition, he was dishonorably discharged and stripped of pay and allowances.

This is how the government has chosen to handle someone who exposed wrongdoing -- with a sentence that might see Manning hit the age of 57 before he's allowed to walk free. He exposed war crimes and the pettiness and deceit behind international diplomacy. He exposed the ongoing torture at Gitmo done in the name of fighting terrorism. His leaks propelled Wikileaks into the public eye.

Despite the fact his opponents testified no lives were lost because of the leaks and that most, if not all, potential damage was mitigated by Wikileaks' handling of the documents, the government still wanted him locked away. 35 years for embarrassing the republic. 35 years for not minding his own business. 35 years for attempting to show Americans what its government was actually doing under the pretenses of fighting terrorism and diplomacy. Meanwhile, those who actually performed illegal actions walk free.

This administration, much like the one before it, will not tolerate whistleblowing, failing to realize that its efforts to protect its reputation are doing far more harm than the whistleblowing itself.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 7:52am

    This is designed to silence people. Plain and simple.

    And the US Government has shown itself to be utterly morally bankrupt, gutless and fearful. There will be a second Revolution coming. The only question is, "When?"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 7:55am

    Holy dictatorship, Batman!

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 7:58am

    Clap, clap, clap. Hope you're happy, USA. Hope you're proud of yourself. There is no way, none, that this won't come back to bite you in the ass.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 7:58am

    Boo fucking hoo. Next up, Julian Assange.

     

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    art guerrilla (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 7:59am

    we know who...

    ...are the enemies of the People, and who tried to do their duty to the constitution; we know...

    feinstein, lind, obama, etc, are NOT WELCOME in my house, in fact (not that it is likely), but those TRAITORS better not ever cross my path...

    Manning, Snowden, Kiriakou, Brown, etc, etc, etc, ARE ALL WELCOME at my house; if i had half a nut left, i would start marching on washington to FREE THE HEROES, and jail the zeroes...

    dog damn i hate 'my' (sic) gummint: i'm done with them, they are NOT representative to us 99% in any way, shape, or form... i'm done voting, i'm done pretending they represent us, i'm done with their lies, hypocrisy and bullshit, i owe these monstrous con artists NO allegiance...

    mark this day: the official end of the american experiment gone wrong...

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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  6.  
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    lucidrenegade (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:02am

    Re:

    You really should off yourself.

     

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  7.  
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    lucidrenegade (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:03am

    Re: we know who...

    "feinstein, lind, obama, etc, are NOT WELCOME in my house, in fact (not that it is likely), but those TRAITORS better not ever cross my path..."

    I expect Mike will be getting another call from the Secret Service shortly. :0)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:07am

    War criminals and torturers? No problem. Telling on them? Wave good bye to half of your life.

    Welcome to America, baby

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:07am

    United States is a fascist country. Sentenced to 35 years in prison for revealing crimes commited by the USA military.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:09am

    Obama: Whistle blowers are good unless they expose government failings and/or wrongdoing, in which case you are a terrorist.

    Rank hypocrisy at it's finest.

     

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  11.  
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    theotherDude, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:09am

    Re:

    'And the US Government has shown itself to be utterly morally bankrupt, gutless and fearful. There will be a second Revolution coming. The only question is, "When?"'

    This is a pipe dream and it’s never going to happen. The most populated city in the country can’t even get rid of one billionaire ruler, if you think people can really overthrow the martial forces created to protect the upper classes, your living in a dream world.

     

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    Xygo, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:29am

    Congrats, Obama. You have officially turned the US into a authoritarian state.

    All hail Soviet Amerika!

     

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    Paul Renault (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:30am

    How generous..

    ..credit for time served.

    In Canada, the standing rule is credit for time served pre-trial is doubled.

     

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    horse with no name, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:38am

    Really?

    Come off it Tim. The specific loss of life is not the start and the end of it. He was found guilty of sharing military secrets, and even you can see that it's true.

    Stop making excuses. He's lucky that it's not another era where he would have been in front of a firing squad and done with already.

     

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    Bob Pro, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:40am

    How is Manning a whistleblower?

    Maybe noone was hurt as a result of what he stole, however, the fact is, he did not know what he stole!

    Would your opinion change if it cost American lives?

    I think he's a spoiled brat looking out for himself, a true product of his generation.

     

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    Loki, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:42am

    Clearly the message here is that the government is no longer capable of committing crimes. Crimes can only be committed against the government.

    Everyone, and I mean everyone, in DC needs to be fired, sent home, and city razed to the ground. This is no longer a free country.

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:44am

    This...

    This is so wrong on so many levels... This is sickening.

    There's no way to appeal this, is there?

    And people wonder why Edward Snowden ran.

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:46am

    Re: How is Manning a whistleblower?

    whistleblower (an informant who exposes wrongdoing within an organization in the hope of stopping it)

    He exposed government wrongdoings in the hope of changing it.

    I'd say he's one.

    I think you're just an ignorant buffoon, a true product of government brainwashing of your generation.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:47am

    Re: How is Manning a whistleblower?

    A spoiled brat for thinking the public have a right to know what their government is up to? Wow, you have no idea what democracy and accountability are, do you?

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:51am

    Re:

    There's no way to appeal this, is there?


    Yes, an appeal is possible and is widely expected. Theoretically, this could be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court.

     

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    Bob Pro, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:52am

    Re: Re: How is Manning a whistleblower?

    Nice to see Manning held 'accountable'. I guess ignorance is bliss.

     

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    Richard (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:53am

    Re:

    Compare South Africa's treatment of Nelson Mandela - and you will see how far the US has sunk.

    But then, by that analogy, there is hope - emerging from prison in his late 50's he could always run for president.

     

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    Bob Pro, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: How is Manning a whistleblower?

    Name calling... Nice touch

     

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  24.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Re: How is Manning a whistleblower?

    Name calling

    Well you started it with the "spoiled brat" comment .
    besides - is 35 years really an appropriate punishment for being a spoiled brat?

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:03am

    Not going to lie, 35 years I feel is a rather lenient sentence considering that their original goal was to make an example of him.

    Hopefully sometime in that 35 years someone will grow some common sense and decide that maybe exposing war crimes isn't worth 35 years in prison, but that's probably too hopeful as future generations will likely have war crimes of their own they want to cover up.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:03am

    Re: Re: Re: How is Manning a whistleblower?

    Weren't you the one who used the term "spoiled brat"? Pot and kettle.

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re: How is Manning a whistleblower?

    The only ignorant one I see is you.

    He's a soldier, their job is to defend the constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic.

    Torture goes against the constitution and should be revealed to the public so that it gets corrected.

    Or maybe you don't understand that?

     

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  28.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re: How is Manning a whistleblower?

    So says the person who thinks that someone with honor and conviction is a spoiled brat.

     

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  29.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:10am

    Re: How is Manning a whistleblower?

    Would your opinion change if it cost American lives?

    Well, arguably, NOT releasing this information could have cost American lives in the long run.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: Re: How is Manning a whistleblower?

    Yeah, he could always have gotten the death penalty!

    /s

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:15am

    Do you guys really believe it is the right of every young, snot nosed soldier to decide what secrets of our government should be exposed to the world? He got off easy. I hope he "gets it in the end" when he gets put into the general population. He will be somebodies bitch.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:15am

    I love how the weak ass few people come in here and jerk off government with their utterly wrong opinions and get stomped as they have absolutely no leg to stand on. It never gets old.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:17am

    Specifically, what wrongdoing was exposed?

    Manning got 35 years for the near-moronic release of 700,000 documents to Wikileaks. In addition to indiscriminate release of classified documents, Manning pled guilty to ten of the twenty charges against him, and apologized for his actions.

    The difference between a whistleblower and Manning is around 699,000 documents. Most of the documents had nothing to do with Manning's stated purpose, exposing the policy of the military to kill people who shoot at them, and capturing people. Many of the documents were routine, boring dispatches, that did not embarrass the United States or anyone else.

    Is Manning a hero? He could have been, had he clearly exposed wrongdoing. What he did is much like saying that the house needs cleaned, and then throwing out the furnishings, the wall decorations, and the curtains. True whistleblowing is much like surgery. Manning used a blunderbuss.

    No hero here; move along.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:18am

    Re:

    If you're taking bets, I'll put a few bucks on "20 years". People are that slow in realising what the hell is going on, and even slower in doing something about it.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:18am

    Re: How is Manning a whistleblower?

    How is Manning a whistleblower?

    The Apache had been called in to support ground troops in Sadr City but was not directly at risk when the gunner asked permission to open fire. Even when someone on board realised that children had been wounded, the response was inhuman:     ‘Well’,     says a voice,     ‘it's their fault for bringing kids into a battle.’ 

                ——The Independent, “Joan Smith: Now we see what war does to those who wage it”, April 2010

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:19am

    Re: Re: How is Manning a whistleblower?

    How would the non-release of this information cost American lives?

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:21am

    Waste of Money

    I don't understand why he's being jailed at all. Is he a danger to society? Is there even a small likelihood that he'll commit the same crime again?

     

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  38.  
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    Wildo, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:22am

    Why is this not creating an outrage?

    Is the general public so apathetic about this because it doesn't affect them? This seems absolutely ridiculous yet there's so much more coverage about trivial bullshit.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:23am

    Re: How is Manning a whistleblower?

    the fact is, he did not know what he stole!

    That's why he took a lot of care in sorting and redacting those with the help of news outfits and wikileaks to ensure nobody but the US Govt reputation would get hurt.

    Would your opinion change if it cost American lives?

    No. And in fact it has already cost him his life for doing the right thing.

    I think he's a spoiled brat looking out for himself, a true product of his generation.

    I'm inclined to think (assuming you are in your 50-60's) that you are a true product of your egoistic, individualistic generation that led to the current financial crisis out of pure greed. And proper Govt brainwash if you aren't the ones benefiting.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:28am

    Re: Waste of Money

    The U.S. "justice" system is about punishment, not rehabilitation or removing actual threats to the public.

     

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    Namel3ss (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:30am

    Re: Why is this not creating an outrage?

    That's our mainstream media for you. Loss of 1st, 2nd, and 4th amendment rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution? Pffft.

    But Kim Kardashian broke a nail? OH THE TRAGEDY! WE INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM TO BRING YOU A SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:36am

    Re: Why is this not creating an outrage?

    The general public doesn't read online news sites like this. Remember when they found out about SOPA/PIPA, and then collectively did some more reading on the subject and found out about ACTA? (Techdirt had been reporting on the impending ACTA disaster for months, as I recall.)

    They still mostly get their news from old media, which is unable to risk offending the government, and therefore unable to report on interesting stories like this.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:38am

    Re: Waste of Money

    The U.S. "justice" system is about punishment, not rehabilitation or removing actual threats to the public.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:43am

    Re: Waste of Money

    The U.S. "justice" system is about punishment, not rehabilitation or removing actual threats to the public.

     

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  45.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:43am

    Re: Why is this not creating an outrage?

    Right, you expect the mainstream media, that has become with very few exceptions nothing more than the PR arm of the government, to give any more time than they absolutely have to, to something that would cause the government problems?

    People aren't up in arms about it because unless they turn to alternative(read: accurate, non-government run) sources for their news they probably don't even have a clue it's happening.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:47am

    "He exposed war crimes"

    In the words of many of the arrogant people running our government "It's not War crimes when WE do it". But of course it's a horrible and unforgivable thing when someone else does it.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:51am

    Worst thing personally...

    Has got to be the fact that three years of what the UN considered "cruel and inhumane" imprisonment and treatment was with one single act legitimized as acceptable treatment of a prisoner.

    Tortured for one/two/three/ten(Guantanamo Bay anyone?) years before ever seeing the inside of a courtroom? Hey, don't worry about it, we'll just count that against your final sentence!

    'We won't torture or kill Snowden' my ass...

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:52am

    Lady Justice is weeping.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re:

    Is that a reminder of what happened to Aaron Swartz or are you really just a stupid asshole?

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 10:03am

    Re:

    We really need to stop and think about this. The reason Manning was locked up is that he broke the law, and those who walked away didn't.

    Should whistle-blowing be a crime? Maybe, maybe not, but that isn't the issue.

    The issue is it that the law is so twisted that torture and diplomatic blackmail is justified as being legal? Making this stuff illegal is what we should focus on. Then when the politicians do it anyway we have grounds to hang them as the traitors they are.

     

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  51.  
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    Atkray (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 10:04am

    Re:

    Just wait for the other hypocrisy shoe to drop, the trial of Hasan Nidal is going on, any bets on him ending up with less time?

     

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  52.  
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    Glen, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 10:08am

    Re: How is Manning a whistleblower?

    I'm betting you are also ok with the NSA and the FBI spying on all emails in the Salt Lake City area before, during and after the olympics.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 10:12am

    Re: Re:

    Just wait for the other hypocrisy shoe to drop, the trial of Hasan Nidal is going on, any bets on him ending up with less time?

    You are kidding aren't you, Itshay? He's playing for the death penalty and will likely win. Of course, if the judge wants to really fuck his perverse hopes of martyrdom he'll give him a life of handcrafting gravel from boulders at Leavenworth.

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 10:12am

    Re:

    No, this was designed to reiterate that members of the military are subject to rules for which accountability is a necessity. Manning took it upon himself to violate several of those rules, and for his unilateral actions he is being held accountable.

     

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  55.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: How is Manning a whistleblower?

    The job of a soldier is to protect the PEOPLE of their country from ALL enemies. The US government is the biggest enemy of the US people.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 10:27am

    The #1 question I want answered by all candidates in the next presidential election is "Will you pardon Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden?" Whoever says yes, gets my vote, I don't care what party they are with.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 10:28am

    He exposed war crimes and the pettiness and deceit behind international diplomacy. He exposed the ongoing torture at Gitmo done in the name of fighting terrorism.


    Can I get some links on these items? I'd like to read up on the subject.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 10:31am

    Re: Re: Why is this not creating an outrage?

    I was talking to a friend the other day and he had never even heard of Bradley Manning. After we talked, he did his own research, and our next conversation was very different. Wake up your friends to what is going on.

     

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  59.  
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    wondering..., Aug 21st, 2013 @ 10:34am

    wrongdoing?

    I have yet to see any specific wrongdoing in the material manning leaked. Show me. Don't make vague statements about torture or crimes, tell me exactly which memo and what it showed.
    I'm not saying there are no crimes. I'm not saying I support his treatment or punishment. I want to know exactly what it is you think justifies him violating his oath and releasing ALL the info he leaked.

     

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  60.  
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    Uriel-238 (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 10:34am

    Outraged.

    Now Private Manning has a cause to be sorry.

     

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  61.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 11:01am

    Re: wrongdoing?

    Don't make vague statements about torture or crimes, tell me exactly which memo and what it showed.

    Hmm so you haven't seen the videos.

    I want to know exactly what it is you think justifies him violating his oath and releasing ALL the info he leaked.

    I'm sure you are capable of digging for that info. Here's some help:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_Manning (see the citations part)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/22/iraq-war-logs-military-leaks
    http://www.telegrap h.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/7909742/Afghanistan-war-logs-90000-classified-documents-reve aled-by-Wikileaks.html
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/03/wikileaks-us-eu-gm-crops
    http:/ /www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/01/wikileaks-cables-cluster-bombs-britain
    http://www.reuters.com /article/2010/04/06/us-iraq-usa-journalists-idUSTRE6344FW20100406
    http://www.spiegel.de/internation al/europe/cia-rendition-case-us-pressured-italy-to-influence-judiciary-a-735268.html
    http://www.the nation.com/blog/156765/not-so-secret-anymore-us-war-pakistan
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/j ul/25/task-force-373-secret-afghanistan-taliban
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/28/us-emba ssy-cables-spying-un
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/08/31/122789/wikileaks-iraqi-children-in-us.ht ml
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/02/wikileaks-iraq-massacre-inquiry
    http://www.theguard ian.com/world/2010/nov/28/us-embassy-cables-saudis-iran

    There were some cables quite damning concerning US diplomacy in Brazil but I'm lazy to dig for English texts talking about those. Have fun reading.

     

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  62.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Why is this not creating an outrage?

    Dammit, where's the "sad but true" button when you need it?

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 11:27am

    Re:

    Hate when someone tells you what your government is doing ?
    Hate it because your government didn't want you to know ?

    Classic authoritarian. Worshiping authority for authority's sake.
    What if I told you... the reason the government didn't want you to know was because they view YOU as the enemy ?

     

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  64.  
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    mudlock (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 11:28am

    Re: Waste of Money

    It's not about him. It's to deter other whistle blowers.

     

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  65.  
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    Rekrul, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 11:30am

    Re: Waste of Money

    I don't understand why he's being jailed at all.

    To set an example and frighten other would-be whistleblowers into staying silent.

    Is he a danger to society?

    Worse, he's a danger to the government!

     

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  66.  
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    mudlock (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 11:36am

    Re: wrongdoing?

    Are you admitting to being willfully ignorant or just to lazy to Google this yourself?

    Whatever. Here's a list to get you started.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/06/04/bradley_manning_trial_10_revelations_ from_wikileaks_documents_on_iraq_afghanistan.html

     

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  67.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: wrongdoing?

    I listed a bunch of links but I guess that triggered the filters so it's held for review but this article summarizes it quite well! Nice.

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 11:49am

    It is truly a sad day for democracy in America.

     

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  69.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 11:53am

    Re: wrongdoing?

    The list is pretty extensive. Various highlights have been posted here on Techdirt (one list by me), and are trivially easy to find on the net. Rather than continuing to repeat the lists here every time someone says "I've yet to see...", I'll just encourage you to use a search engine.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 11:59am

    Sad. Just sad.

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    This is just pathetic. How exactly can exposing such a degree of wrongdoing justify such punishment?

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: wrongdoing?

    I close my eyes when I find an article that lists specifics. That way I can still say "I've yet to see..." without lying.

     

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  73.  
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    The dude, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 12:28pm

    KBW

    I am only hearing a bunch of keyboard warriors rabbling, what are you, citizens going to do?
    (Probably nothing, same as the rest of the world).

    At least send a letter to your representatives, expressing them your "love".

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 12:43pm

    absolutely disgraceful treatment of someone whose only crimes were to release the information of how the US troops behave in war situations and to make the government actually out to be what they are, two faced lying arse holes who use their power to get exactly what they want, when they want it, regardless of whether they are wrong or not and regardless of the outcome on anyone else!

     

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  75.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 1:43pm

    Re:

    that is EXACTLY what they ALL are SUPPOSED to do and ALL took an oath to do; but IF they did, Empire would be frozen by inaction because they would be forestalled from doing their evil by MORAL individuals doing their DUTY...

    The They (tm) have purposefully stretched, weakened, and gamed the system such that there are ZERO checks on power, ZERO means for whistleblowers to be effective, and ZERO recourse by us 99%...

    and another authoritarian is outed...

    oh, urine idjit, by the way...

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    art guerrilla at windstream dot net
    eof

     

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  76.  
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    HappyBlogFriend (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 2:32pm

    You can expect to hear a lot of misinformed craziness in the press about this case, because reactions to the Manning verdict will be shaped by two misconceptions. Do your part to counter it.

     

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  77.  
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    Nigflot blarny quando floon, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 2:42pm

    http://i.imgur.com/wGpq34Q.jpg

    A picture really is worth a thousand words.

     

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  78.  
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    Brandt, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 2:56pm

    Living in a Society of Fear

    We will all “do time” in the Dystopian Police State we are allowing by remaining silent. I am Bradley Manning and YOU are Bradley Manning whether you know it or not. http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2013/06/we-people-are-bradley-manning.html

     

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  79.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: How is Manning a whistleblower?

    Because the US would have continued the bad behaviour that Manning blew the whistle on unchecked - and the end result of that would have been to increase the hatred for America that is now so common in the middle east - and that would inevitably have cost American lives in the long run.

     

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  80.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 3:17pm

    Re:

    Not sure where the difference originates most likely it's the country involved rather than the nature of the crime, Norway being a civilised place ...

     

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  81.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 3:41pm

    Re:

    The oath of the military and the government is to defend the constitution from all enemies foreign AND DOMESTIC.

    He was upholding his duty as a patriotic American and got punished for it.

     

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  82.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 3:45pm

    Re:

    You're right, he's no hero.

    Just a patriotic American who saw his duty was to defend the constitution and got punished for it.

     

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  83.  
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    Anonymous, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 3:57pm

    Re:

    The American people have shown themselves to be utterly morally bankrupt, gutless, and fearful. Think about it and you'll have the answer to your question.

     

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  84.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Re:

    Yeah...except, specifically WHAT did he do that was "defending the Constitution."

    I saw the full video of the helicopter strike on the guys carrying the RPGs and the AK-47. These people were 100 meters from a fire fight, and if I was in a helicopter and spotted people with RPG's and an AK-47, anything else I saw would likely be interpreted as being weapons rather than cameras. So the video of the helicopter showed Army pilots doing their job. Sad that a couple of reporters got caught in the crossfire, but crap happens.

    Even when they hit the van, I could see where they might be concerned that the van was relating to more wrongful doing. When you are in a battle, and you see guns, anyone associated with the guns is automatically a bad guy.

    The only thing they did that appeared wrong is hitting the guy on the ground. When you are in a fight, the general rule is send them all to Allah and let Allah sort them out. Was killing one guy on the ground a "war crime"? Bad judgment in the heat of battle, but not hardly a war crime, and not one person from any of our favorite anti-American countries is calling the interchange a war crime. It is hard for something to be a war crime when the only ones calling a war crime are your own citizens, who do not get to decide what is a war crime and what is not. Calling it a war crime does not make it one.

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Re: How is Manning a whistleblower?

    lolol...Sounds like something I would have said.

    The assessment of risk was from "The Independent." Their were weapons on the ground in the hands of these individuals, including two RPG, which can easily bring down a helicopter, and an AK-47. No, they were not firing at the helicopter, but do you wait for someone to lineup on your a fire or do you take them out first? I personally am in favor of taking out the potential threat rather than waiting until I get shot down.

    As for the children that got hurt, that sucks. However, the driver of the van should not have brought the children into an active battle; that just seems dumb.

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 4:46pm

    Re: Why is this not creating an outrage?

    I know I am outraged that one fool was permitted to access 700,000 documents, many of them classified, and then arrange to release them. Clearly, this young man had no clue as to what his contract meant. Whistle blowers really need to learn the difference between whistle blowing and indiscriminant release of documents unrelated to whistle blowing.

    Oh, and whistle blowers rarely plead guilty to ten crimes. There should be a ton of outrage that this guy got away with as much as he did before he was caught.

     

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  87.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Re: wrongdoing?

    I looked at article after article, and I am missing the U.S. "war crimes." I saw inferences that the U.S. did not investigate the actions of members of the Iraqi government, but those actions would be war crimes of the Iraqi government, not the U.S. government.

    As for the helicopter incident, the pilots reacted much as any young man in a similar situation would. They saw RPGs and AK-47s. While your average Iraqi male might be carrying an AK-47, they are NOT carrying RPGs. RPGs are nasty little weapons that are capable of shooting down a helicopter. If I saw one, I would call in to take it out. This incident took place about a football field away from an active battle, and for all these guys knew, these weapons were being staged for entry into the battle.

     

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  88.  
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    Red White and Blue, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 6:09pm

    Re: Waste of Money

    Yeah, they should just shoot him and get it over with. It costs states approximately $50,000 / year / per inmate. Manning would cost taxpayers approximately $1.575 Million for his 31.5 year incarceration. Cost of bullet $0.60 Since the government is all about saving money....just sayin

     

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  89.  
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    Red White and Blue, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 6:12pm

    Re: Re: Why is this not creating an outrage?

    Well, If you don't like living in the US, I hear Russia is granting asylum to traitors and cowards.

     

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  90.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 6:17pm

    Re: Really?

    "Suck it up, it could have been worse." Really convincing argument there.

     

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  91.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:09pm

    Re: Re: Waste of Money

    Willing to kill someone just to save some money... yeah, you really do your country proud with that kind of thinking. /s

    I always find it funny, if disgusting, that those that seem offended the most by people like Manning and Snowden, those who cry 'Traitor!' and 'They betrayed their oaths!', always seem to be in favor of 'punishments' so extreme and unjust that they make the 'traitors' who's blood they call for look like a kid who told a lie in comparison.

     

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  92.  
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    Anonymous Howard (profile), Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 12:08am

    Re: Re:

    Yet those who committed actual crimes go unpunished. Accountability? Yeah, sure..

     

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  93.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 3:22am

    Re: Re: Re: wrongdoing?

    So because it's not written it didn't happen. Nice. Some of those sure were perpetrated by Iraqi forces but the US never investigated. Having invaded the country against any opposition they had in the international community (UN? Screw them, invade anyway) the US was automatically responsible for conducting everything in a responsible manner and that included oversight in the Iraqi forces. Hell, even the money that went for rebuilding Iraq was wasted in shady contracts with private "consulting" entities.

    That helicopter event is all full of bs. It's like the mass destruction weapons they claimed that were in Iraq. There's no evidence of what you are talking about except for the other tons of evidence of abuses contained in the leaks and other sources that came to light.

     

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  94.  
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    Knockers, Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 4:37am

    Why does anything need to be top secret?

    We often say on here that we understand that some things need to be top secret, but is that really the case?

    OK, I can understand that embedded operatives need protection, but there is so much that is confidential I have to wonder why.

    Wouldn't one of the better and more proactive forms of security be constantly announcing the actions being taken. The government is complaining that terrorists are changing their methods of communication because of the Snowden leaks, but (if that is the case)...
    a) isn't that as much a pain in the arse for the terrorists, and
    b) isn't the current concensus that there isn't a truely secret form of electronic commincations any more?

     

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  95.  
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    Anonymouse, Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 4:38am

    Re:

    Worse than that, this wasn't a war, this was terrorist activity by the US government and some of its lap dogs, since the invasion of Iraq was not preceded by a declaration of war and as it turns out the supposed reasons for this military action^W^WTerrorist activity by the US and others did not exist.

     

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  96.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 6:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Killing unarmed journalists has always been a war crime.

     

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  97.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 6:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: wrongdoing?

    The control of most Iraqi provinces was turned over to the Iraqi government by 2009. Once we turned over control, we did not take it back, and doing so would have created significant issues. The whole point was to disengage from Iraq, not re-engage. Did Iraqi forces behave badly? Probably. They did so before we got there, and they will do so after we leave. That does not excuse what they did, only recognizing that the mere presence of U.S. forces does not mean that we are automatically responsible for everyone in the country.

    I have no idea what you mean that there was no evidence of what I was talking about. In the images from the helicopter video appear to be at least one RPG and at least one AK-47. Those images are every bit as clear, and more clear, than the cameras being carried by the "reporters." Ground forces found two RPGs and an AK-47 when they arrived, along with the photographers and their equipment. So, if the RPGs and AK-47 did not exist, neither do the photographers and their equipment.

    As for the "tons of evidence of abuses," I am unable to find abuses committed by U.S. forces. I do find tons of hyperbole, exaggeration, and creative interpretation.

     

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  98.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: Waste of Money

    So you're OK with being a murderer, then?

     

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  99.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re: Re: wrongdoing?

    I am missing the U.S. "war crimes."


    Clever bit of goalpost-moving there. You asked about "crimes," not "war crimes". Although several of the crimes revealed appear to be war crimes to me.

     

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  100.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: wrongdoing?

    Nice dodge...Specifically, what are the crimes, war or otherwise, that the U.S. committed in Iraq or in Afghanistan? Every time I look, I find that the supposed "crimes" are crimes of omission (the U.S. did not stop someone else from committing a crime), or people are upset because noncombatants entered a fire zone and got killed.

     

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  101.  
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    GEMont, Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 5:04pm

    35 years - sending the message loud and clear

    Watching KIRO TV last night, they mentioned Mister Manning's sentencing and showed the famous clip of the reporters being gunned down by the US helicopter jockeys.

    The lady reporter then stated "the video shows that civilians were caught in the crossfire."

    What crossfire?? They were murdered - premeditated - plain and simple, by men who actually giggled about their deaths.

    Crossfire??

    No wonder the US population is so completely baffed out and unable to understand even the simplest of current events.

    When invaders take over a country, they must take over the public news media first. Mission Accomplished.

     

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  102.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 6:39pm

    Re: 35 years - sending the message loud and clear

    Yes, they were murdered, because the pilots in the helicopter spotted the men with the RPGs and the AK-47s. Oh, and these men were about a football field length away from a hot battle between U.S. forces and insurgents. Oh, and while your average Iraqi male could very well have an AK-47, they do not have RPGs, which are offensive weapons capable of bringing down a helicopter, and many vehicles used by most armed forces.

    I guess if your definition of "murder" is shooting people in a battle before they can shoot you, they were murdered.

    As for "giggling" about their deaths, I suppose you have never been in combat. Your adrenaline runs high, and you can easily behave in a rather giddy, sometimes foolish, fashion.

    Before you start throwing stones at the people that the civilian government of the U.S. sent to Iraq, often unwillingly, you should understand their position first.

     

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  103.  
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    GEMont, Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 7:46pm

    Damage control

    RE: Re: 35 years - sending the message loud and clear

    Well, well. Either a gunship crewman or a card-carrying member of the establishment itself!

    So, tell us all, Anonymous Coward, how is it you know about the "hot battle between U.S. forces and insurgents" raging a mere football field away?? Were you there?? Perhaps in a gunship hovering over a bunch of reporters...

    I define the killing of civilians - whether in the middle of a battlefield or elsewhere - as murder.

    You obviously define such deaths as collateral mishap, as long as the dead bodies happen to be members of the enemy-of-the-day, no? I wonder - *pointlessly of course - whether you would feel the same way if those who were gunned down had been your family members or friends.

    *Pointlessly, because I do not expect an honest answer.

    Does anyone know how high these gunships hover?? Seems to me that these invisible-AK47 packing Reporters were utterly uaware of either the raging battle a football field away, or the hovering gunship. How did the heli-jockeys determine that they were about to be fired upon....

    Actually, nevermind. I realize that this anonymous coward really needs this pretty lie to remain true in his mind and that no amount of reality will ever change that tune. I know hopeless when I meet it.

    So you can put your head back in the sand now.

     

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  104.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 6:01am

    Re: Damage control

    Re battle a football field length away:

    The battle was well documented by other reporters at the time, and confirmed by the military. The battle was a hot zone, meaning gunfire was being exchanged.

    Re definition of murder: You may call mustard mayonnaise and sunup sundown, and the U.S. has made a concerted effort to avoid killing civilians, but bullets have a really tough time recognizing the difference between the guy carrying an RPG and a guy carrying a camera. I will compare the U.S. track record for civilian deaths with any country in the region, such as Syria, Iraq under Saddam Hussein, Iran, Afghanistan, etc. At least we make an effort to avoid civilian deaths.

    Re how would I feel if it was my family: I would feel sick, of course. On the other hand, I would also be urging my loved ones to get away from the guys carrying the RPGs, because they have large bulls eyes painted on them.

    The gunships rarely hover in place because it eats the most fuel and causes issues with respect to being able to maneuver when coming under attack. In a battle such as the one that was taking place, the gunships could have been anywhere from 500 feet off the ground to a couple thousand feet off the ground. The gunships would have been easily seen and heard, though the men on the ground may have thought that the gunships were part of the nearby battle and not looking at them.

    Re invisible AK-47 packing reporters: I see you are making stuff up now to support your absurd position. I said there were men on the ground carrying RPGs and AK-47s. I never said the reporters, who were dressed similar to the men carrying those weapons, were carrying anything other than cameras.

    Re how did the pilots determine they were about to be fired upon: Let me think. There is a battle 300 feet away (well within the lethal range of nearly any projectile weapon in existence). There is a cluster of men carrying long-range weapons (RPGs and AK-47s). The men are clustered around the corner of a building, which is a perfect area for evasion and or attacking. Do you assume the men were taking their weapons for a neighborhood walk? Perhaps they were waxing their RPGs. Or maybe they were preparing to enter the battle that was a block away.

    One of the most easily recognizable weapons carried by insurgents is an RPG. Even AK-47s can be tough to recognize on a bouncing picture in a helicopter, but the RPG has a distinctive outline. The only reason to use an RPG is to kill a large group of people or to take out a vehicle. Friendly forces do not use RPGs. When a guy breaks into your house carrying a gun, do you invite him to dinner or shoot him? The difference between being alive and dead is what you do.

    I wonder - *pointlessly of course - whether you would feel the same way if you were one of the helicopter pilots who had seen your friends killed by IED's or shot down by RPGs.

    *Pointlessly, because I do not expect an honest answer.

    Actually, never mind. I realize that GEMont has never been in battle. GEMont has never seen a buddy ambushed, blown apart by an IED, or shot down with an RPG. GEMont needs to believe that everyone loves each other and wars are absolute. GEMont needs this delusion to remain true in his mind and that no amount of reality will ever change that tune. I know hopeless when I meet it.

    So you can put your head back in the sand now.

    If you really want to change the situation in Iraq for the "better," get us the hell out of there. While we are there, I expect our people to stay alive, and killing RPG-carrying members of the population is the only way to do it.

     

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  105.  
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    GEMont, Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 1:09pm

    Damage Control

    Well writ soldier.

    However, the damage control you offer bears a striking resemblance to self delusion and I suspect that it was more an attempt to whitewash your own criminal acts under orders than to prove your tale's truth.

    Nobody seen on the video is wielding a weapon. The helicopter hung above long enough to determine that and that these were civilians.

    Your sad appeal to gung-hoism and patriotism is noted and rejected as rationale for murder.

    As I stated before, I understand that (as a soldier who has apparently committed murder under orders), you desperately need to maintain your belief in this pretty lie and hope to convince others that you're a good guy just following orders.

    I wish you luck with that, but I'm not buying it. You're head is not in the sand - you were there and saw the truth. That you choose instead to aid the criminals by obfuscation and outright lies, tells me that you left your humanity somwhere on the battlefield, or that you're simply doing your job still and collecting your silver.

    I leave you to your karma.

     

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  106.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 5:25pm

    Re: Damage Control

    You are incorrect. Newspapers have gained copies of the entire video, not the redacted version from Wikileaks, and the full version quite clearly shows an RPG and appears to show at least one AK-47. Even a blind man with no hands could EASILY see the RPG.

    Once ground teams got to the site, they found two RPGs and an AK-47, which was all documented in the same report that included the information about the children and the reporters. So, if you wish to doubt the information about the RPGs and the AK-47s, then I guess you doubt the U.S. military's report that they killed the reporters, the innocent guy in the van, and injured one of his children, whom they (the U.S. military) took to the hospital.

    I do not provide gung-hoism and patriotism as a rationale for murder. What I provide is how people are able to be sent by the duly elected government of their country to a foreign place, and fight bad guys who look like civilians without going insane. Do you think veterans come home and sleep well at night? YOU SENT THEM THERE. You can deny it all you want, but the fact is that you, and your brothers and sisters, elected the fools that sent people like me to a foreign land to kill people. YOU did not send us there for kumbaya and marshmallows.

    Furthermore, Iraq and Afghanistan are violent countries with a violent history. These people have been killing each other, and invaders who try to keep them from killing each other, for centuries. Somehow there is a difference between them killing each other by the thousands, and us killing a few RPG-carrying members of their society. Under your "ideal" world, we would leave (which I would love us to do, and which, believe or not, the vast majority of the military would LOVE to do) so they can get back to torturing little boys and girls and killing each other off. It is the society they have always known, and frankly, it is what they deserve.

    My karma? It says that people like you who fail to recognize their part in this mess are perhaps one of the worst parts of the whole thing. No need to stick your head in the sand. Your behind is already there and I suspect there is not enough room for both.

     

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  107.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 5:26pm

    What Snowden and Manning Do not Know about Secrecy; The Atlantic Post

     

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  108.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 6:11pm

    Re: Re:

    I was unaware that the Supreme Court had standing in military trials. Such things are generally beyond the scope of high school civics. If true, however, then we can only hope that SCOTUS will chime in. Eventually.

     

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  109.  
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    GEMont, Aug 24th, 2013 @ 3:37pm

    Well, as much fun as its been discussing your inability to take responsibility for your actions, (YOU SENT THEM THERE), I'd rather get back to my original point, which you have avoided professionally I might add.

    You see, whether or not this claimed battle was or was not taking place 300 feet away, getting caught in the crossfire has absolutely nothing at all to do with being targetted by a hovering gunship full of adrenalin boosted kill-jockeys.

    Getting Caught In The Crossfire means; inadvertantly placing oneself between two or more other groups who are firing weapons at each other.

    You already know this, which is why I called you an obfuscating liar early on.

    My point was simple: it is no wonder that the American People have no clue about actual events and are easily fooled by authourity into believing the PR storybook version of events. The lady on KIRO TV lied, plain and simple, and this is the most common source of information Americans use - TV.

    BTW - if you happen to have a link to this "other" version of this video - the one not "redacted" by the Evil Wikileaks that clearly shows weapons in the hands of the victims/villains - I'm certain that many more than just I would love to see it for ourselves. I would think that the fed would be posting such a video everywhere to prove their innocence, yet I have never come across such a video, nor have I ever even heard about such till now.

    If you don't have such a link, no problem, my original assessment of your nature will remain unsullied as will my original comment about Americans being lied to by their "trusted" information media.

     

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

  110.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2013 @ 7:59pm

    Re:

    Well, GEMont, the individuals in the video were not "caught in a crossfire." They were a short distance away from a hot zone, and once the helicopter pilots saw the RPG, under the rules of engagement it was game on.

    The full 38 minutes of video, annotated by Wikileaks, are available at:

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Baghdad_2007-07-12_airstrike_videos

    The AK-47 is quite visible, as is at least one RPG. I will let you watch for yourself.

    I also direct your attention to:

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/04/2007-iraq-apache-attack-as-seen-from-the-ground/

    h ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_12,_2007_Baghdad_airstrike

    Multiple sources have independently documented the existence of the RPGs, including the separate RPG rounds. Under the established rules of engagement, possession of an RPG launcher or RPG rounds automatically designates a target. The existence of at least one launcher is obvious in the video (more obvious than the "cameras," which I still have a hard time seeing). Even had the pilots known that the men were carrying cameras, they had no way of knowing whether they were documenting the activities of those men for insurgent propaganda purposes, which has happened.

    As for lies, I have no idea who the lady from KIRO television is. Neither did I see the video in 2010.

    You have also ignored one of my most important points, which is that the people in Iraq and Afghanistan are in a horrible situation, and in order to remain halfway sane, you have to have coping mechanisms. Coping can be gallows humor, or treating targets clinically. As for "adrenaline-boosted kill jockeys," they were following the rules, and they did their job. It sucks that innocent people were caught in the battle. I am sorry it happened, but in a situation where the bad guys can take me out, and I have a chance to strike first, I will take the shot. If one person was a bad guy and the other two were innocent, I will have nightmares, but I will be alive to have them.

     

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

  111.  
    identicon
    GEMont, Aug 28th, 2013 @ 3:17pm

    Awesome. My sincere thanks for the links.

    Weapons were absolutely present. As to type, I'm not an expert and the images were no where clear enough to determine their make/type. However, as you stated many times, this was a battle zone and only reporters, women and children might be expected to walk about in a battle zone unarmed.

    However, at no time did I see any of the people on the film aim their weapons at the helicopter - in fact, if the chopper was visible to them, they appeared to be utterly unconcerned about it.

    While I'm grateful for the links, none of this has anything at all to do with my point however, that the reporter for KIRO TV lied and that this is the reason why so many Americans argue over the facts of events - misinformation.

    There was no "crossfire" and the people in the video were simply gunned down by the US soldiers because 4-5 of them carried weapons in a combat zone. The chopper was under no threat of being fired upon at any time.

    As to your repeated attempts to make the case that men in combat must kill or be killed, please give it a rest. We will almost all do the same thing when faced with imminent harm/threat of death and this is indeed human nature.

    If you were not inducted and actually joined the armed forces, you can no longer use this as an excuse for your actions or their repercussions anyway. If you were inducted, than you can thank the US corporations that proffited from and pushed for this assualt on a foreign country under the guise of Spreading Democracy, for your nightmares.

    This pointless argument simply has no bearing on my statement about the media spewing misinformation being the cause of most American's confusion about events in the real world. It has no bearing on whether or not the civilians in the video were killed in a crossfire or simply gunned down by adrenalin-high youths in uniform.

    It merely tries to excuse the actions of these uniformed US kids, which tells me that you know full well there was no crossfire involved.

    The only bearing it could have would be to point out how you were similarily misinformed about "The Enemy" and led to believe that they posed a threat to the USA - and were fooled into going off to fight another war to make US millionaires into billionaires.

    C'est la vie eh.

     

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


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