Government Argues Bradley Manning Was An Anarchist, As Case Closes

from the the-lies-your-government-spreads dept

We haven’t been covering the day to day of the Bradley Manning trial, though it has been interesting (and frustrating) to follow. However, in its closing argument, it appears that the government is trying to smear Bradley Manning and his whistleblowing every possible way:

After more than four and a half hours of proceedings, the government wrapped up its closing argument in the trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier being prosecuted for disclosing information to WikiLeaks. Prosecutors called him an “anarchist,” a “hacker,” and a “traitor” before the argument was over.

Really? All three claims are flat out ridiculous. From the very beginning Manning was quite clear in his motives, which were about making sure the American public was better informed. The bogus traitor claims have been mentioned before, and seem to have no basis in reality. But the anarchy one is a new one. As Kevin Gosztola explains:

Quoting chat logs between hacker and government informant Adrian Lamo and Manning, Major Ashden Fein said that he expected “worldwide anarchy” would occur after releasing the diplomatic cables and these were not the “words of a humanist but the words of an anarchist.” He also said he was a “hacker” and not a humanist.

Of course, if you read the actual chat logs and put the statement back in context you realize it’s not the words of an anarchist at all. That’s just some boasting about how releasing these files will have a major impact. But, as he immediately explains in the following statements, his goal is to create change and stop the US government from lying. He notes that releasing these documents “might actually change something” in how the US goes about its business. He’s not talking about anarchy, he’s talking about actually having a representative government that doesn’t lie and deceive all the time.

Of course, the big claim that the government is trying to make is that Manning knowingly “aided the enemy”:

For the “aiding the enemy” charge, which if convicted could lead to maximum sentence of life in prison, Fein argued that Manning had deliberately transmitted the “Collateral Murder” video, certain State Department information and military incident reports from Iraq and Afghanistan.

But how is revealing factual information about the US military screwing up and then trying to cover it up “aiding the enemy.” It seems like, once again, that’s only true if “the enemy” is the American public and you have information you want to hide from them. In fact, the government appears to argue that any release of information to the public can be seen as “aiding the enemy”

“The public included the enemy and he knew that as an intelligence analyst,” the government stated. The government added that this was not public data. It was US government information that Manning was trained to use.

But, under that argument any journalist or any person who publishes anything that might make Al Qaeda happy is “aiding the enemy.” That’s crazy.

Manning’s defense will give its closing argument on Friday, and then… we wait for the judge to decide.

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Comments on “Government Argues Bradley Manning Was An Anarchist, As Case Closes”

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Richard (profile) says:

Re: King George III or worse

Stop knocking the dark ages – they weren’t as dark as you might suppose.

Remember that the technology of repression was very limited then. Plus, you are aware of a number of nasty incidents from those times – but you forget that the so called “dark ages” lasted about 700 years. 700 years worth of modern oppression would look a lot worse!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: King George III or worse

Yes, there are some wacky folks who claim the dark ages did not occur. I suppose they should be called Dark Age Deniers.

Anyway – I have also read that there was a mini ice age at the time caused by volcanism and it has been postulated that this could cause the atmosphere to be full of debris for many years. Ergo, dark. In support of this hypothesis, it has been pointed out that paintings from that era depict the sky to be more red than what we consider to be normal.

Condescending Prick says:

Re: Re: Re:2 King George III or worse

Wow – seems I hit a nerve, lol. You’ve certainly got me pegged haven’t you.

Thanks for the Wikipedia link, I’m such a noob I would never have found that.

I am wrong – that makes me sooo sad. Not sure what I’m wrong about – probably everything – let me guess.
1) nobody denies the dark ages happened, they just claim it was not all that dark really.
2) I did not read about a mini ice age – or there was no such thing, not sure which
3) There was never a scientific claim that the mini ice age was caused by volcanism
4) It has never been postulated that volcanism might cause the atmosphere to be full of debris for many years
5) If the atmosphere were full of debris it would not cause less light to reach the earth surface
6) Painting in the era do not have unusually red skies
7) Red skies are normal (well there is a lot of pollution)

Did I miss anything? Oh yeah, I’m sure I did.
Hopefully this response was condescending enough for you, if not I can try harder next time – k?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: King George III or worse

It would be stupid to deny a time-period occured. You are throwing a major strawman up there since it is pretty clear that it is not his point…

Dark Ages was amazing for vikings and arabs. What was dark about these times were the lack of literature and culture since religion became the real educational center later on. Today most historians would avoid the title since it is not even true in the sense of “unknown” anymore! It might be “little studied”, but the title dark ages as description of early middle ages is ignorant.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: King George III or worse

Well, the Dark Ages weren’t dark because bad things happened, but because the chronicle from the time are for shit.

That’s not to deny that they were bad (institutionalized oppression, terrible medicine, rampant superstition, plagues, etc.) just that it’s not the reason they were dark.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 King George III or worse

That’s not to deny that they were bad (institutionalized oppression, terrible medicine, rampant superstition, plagues,

Institutionalised oppression – not really – that’s more 1930s-40s

Terrible medicine – true (relatively) of every era before the present.

Rampant superstition – no worse than in the preceding (classical) era.

Plagues – not really – that happened later – in the 14th century.

Factor in a lower population density and you will see that they were not so bad – and certainly better than the slums of many 3rd world cities today.

Anonymous Coward says:

Motives aside, Messrs. Manning and Snowden, agree with it or not, were under a firm legal requirement to hold information in the strictest of confidence. Some of what each did may be viewed as noble, but it was not their job to assign themselves a title of nobility. There have always been ways, including ways wholly independent of a federal agency, to provide information to others that one sincerely feels must be reported to others. Sending reams of disparate, unrelated, un-redacted, un-reviewed, etc. of confidential information to third parties having motivations that may be inimical to the security interests of the United States is not one of them.

Manning will almost certainly end up with a long address at a Club-Fed, and Snowden will likewise either join him or forever be banished to a locale far removed from the United States.

I am not in the slightest condoning what the information has revealed about certain activities by the US (much of which as abhorrent), but I certainly cannot condone individuals taking it upon themselves to disclose those activities, and a whole lot more that is legitimate, using means that violate their oaths of office and expose truly sensitive information to the detriment of US national security.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

but I certainly cannot condone individuals taking it upon themselves to disclose those activities,

Given an official secrets act, and it abuses by government, it is up to individuals to make information available to the public despite it being against any agreements that they have signed. If no Individual comes forward then the government can do almost anything that it wants to do. Making the penalties for revealing what the government is up to draconian is how tyrants maintain power.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The point I was trying to make is that there are means available to do so other than work the matter up the chain of command, an approach that in far too many instances virtually all would agree would be DOA, unwelcome, and leave the discloser open to retaliation. Messrs. Manning and Snowden could have thusly proceeded, but for reasons know only to them chose to proceed otherwise.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Oh, you mean like Thomas Drake?
“I differed as a whistleblower to Snowden only in this respect: in accordance with the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act, I took my concerns up within the chain of command, to the very highest levels at the NSA, and then to Congress and the Department of Defense. I understand why Snowden has taken his course of action, because he’s been following this for years: he’s seen what’s happened to other whistleblowers like me.

By following protocol, you get flagged ? just for raising issues. You’re identified as someone they don’t like, someone not to be trusted. I was exposed early on because I was a material witness for two 9/11 congressional investigations. In closed testimony, I told them everything I knew ? about Stellar Wind, billions of dollars in fraud, waste and abuse, and the critical intelligence, which the NSA had but did not disclose to other agencies, preventing vital action against known threats. If that intelligence had been shared, it may very well have prevented 9/11.”

Like William Binney?
“William Binney: We tried to stay for the better part of seven years inside the government trying to get the government to recognize the unconstitutional, illegal activity that they were doing and openly admit that and devise certain ways that would be constitutionally and legally acceptable to achieve the ends they were really after. And that just failed totally because no one in Congress or ? we couldn’t get anybody in the courts, and certainly the Department of Justice and inspector general’s office didn’t pay any attention to it. And all of the efforts we made just produced no change whatsoever. All it did was continue to get worse and expand.”

Or J. Kirk Wiebe?
“Thomas Drake and J. Kirk Wiebe on Snowden:

Wiebe: Well, I don’t want anyone to think that he had an alternative. No one should (think that). There is no path for intelligence-community whistle-blowers who know wrong is being done. There is none. It’s a toss of the coin, and the odds are you are going to be hammered.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Sending reams of disparate, unrelated, un-redacted, un-reviewed, etc. of confidential information to third parties having motivations that may be inimical to the security interests of the United States is not one of them.

the items both of these men have released have been redacted and reviewed. Now that you know this does you opinion change?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“There have always been ways, including ways wholly independent of a federal agency, to provide information to others that one sincerely feels must be reported to others.”

Generally there hasn’t been and if you watch the Snowden interview he describes the atrocious actions as just another day at the office and they are told to just keep doing their jobs. Not only that but there is torture and persecution waiting for those that come forward, and that right in front of your face right now with snowden and manning.

“Sending reams of disparate, unrelated, un-redacted, un-reviewed, etc. of confidential information to third parties having motivations that may be inimical to the security interests of the United States is not one of them.”

This is about reporting crimes against humanity, alerting the public to whats really happening (War crimes) this is stuff that never would have made it anywhere except someones army intelligence bank vault of other black ops goodies. Manning could have held back some intel without a doubt but where is the trial for War Crimes. Where is the trial against the real criminals. As always never happens.

“Snowden will likewise either join him or forever be banished to a locale far removed from the United States.”

and that is a bad thing how? Your country wants to chase down one of their own citizens for telling the world that the US is laughing while violating its on constitution and spying on the whole world. Every human on this planet has a right to privacy including US citizens and it is being violated.

These are the real issues that no one wants to discuss. Its not Manning, its not Snowden its what information they gave us that no one seems to want to talk about. Your post reads like a fox news report.

Bergman (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Knowing that someone has broken the law and remaining silent about it makes you an accomplice, subject to nearly the same length of prison sentence the criminal is.

Having signed a contract to remain quiet about what you see does not shield you from being convicted as an accomplice if you discover evidence of a crime or directly witness one.

Military law makes this very, very clear. A soldier who obeys an illegal order is just as guilty as one who committed the same crime without being ordered to do it — Obeying an illegal order leads to a court martial.

An official secrets act does not and cannot compel personnel to ignore criminal activity. Covering up a mistake rather than following proper procedures is a criminal act.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Motives aside, Messrs. Manning and Snowden, agree with it or not, were under a firm legal requirement to hold information in the strictest of confidence.

In other words you expect them to obey orders.

However Nuremberg Principle IV states:

“The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”

Anonymous Coward says:

why wait until Friday? the judge has already made up her mind (or more to the point, had it made up for her by certain high ranking officials in the government, as well as the armed forces!)! all she is going to do is ignore everything that was intended and substitute those things for what the government want in in order to get a ‘guilty verdict’! it is on par with the way the government works in the USA now and it is shameful!! anyone that thinks for even a second that Manning’s aim was to do anything except enlighten the public to the atrocities the US armed forces had carried out (and remember, this isn’t the first war that it’s happened in!) has something wrong with them!!

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

you know what drives a lot of this shit ? ? ?
social expectations of their tribe…

(hint: if you are a judge/etc, WE 99% are NOT part of THEIR tribe; we are ‘the others’, the barbarians at the gate…)

and this works at all levels of society, i recently had the dubious honor of corresponding for a couple back and forths with the editor?/manager? of a fairly well known news aggregator (sp?) website, that is definitely of the progressive side of the great divide…

it was IMPOSSIBLE to make her understand that censorship is a bad thing; she thinks of it as a ‘good thing’ because it stops ‘yucky’ speech…

she refused to see that -a la my boy noam chomsky- you HAVE TO allow ALL speech if you are a free speech advocate, otherwise you are not for free speech…

in pondering that sad state, it occurred to me that she and her buds have latched onto the (idiotic) concept of ‘hate speech’ as being one of the ultimate sins against society (it isn’t), and that ANYTHING / EVERYTHING which eliminates ‘hate speech’ is -by definition- a ‘good thing’…

skipping totally over whether there are actual -you know- principles involved, or that the ends does NOT justify the means, she was fixated on eliminating ‘hate speech’ to the detriment of society, and all our rights…

she has ZERO self-awareness that this AUTHORITARIAN impulse IS EXACTLY what drives the fascist decision-making process of our kongresskritters, et al…

in other words: its okay if i’m an authoritarian, ’cause i’m a ‘good’ authoritarian oppressing you for ‘good’reasons, using ‘good’ means to repress you for a ‘good’ end…

she was clueless, and was going to remain that way; because that is how her little circle-jerk ‘thought’ (sic), and i know she damn sure didn’t want to alienate her friends by going against the grain, NO MATTER HOW CORRECT AND JUST that oppositional stance was…

human nature…
yet another reason i like dogs more than people…
(besides, people you don’t know generally don’t like you to scratch behind their ears…)

art guerrilla
aka ann archy

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

One problem is that anarchist has come to mean a violent revolutionary who wants a break down in law and order so that they and their supporters can become the rulers of society.
Occupy Sandy on the other hand, like various other rescue and support efforts that co-ordinated their efforts using the Internet were anarchies in action.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: So What?

I was going to say the same thing. Why is being an anarchist a bad thing? They’re just trying to wave the bloody shirt on him and turn mindless sheep against him. These morons must still think that anarchy is synonymous with chaos. It’s not. Anarchy is merely the absence of coercive authority. That means that in an anarchistic society, there are no coercive forces imposed by humankind, just voluntary participation.

Roland says:

aiding the enemy

This charge of ‘aiding the enemy’ might make some sense if the US Govt just goes ahead and publicly acknowledges that its biggest enemy right now IMHO is the American public. And if they did that, they would probably be right. Given the govt we have, I want a whole lot less of it. Yes, that would include no-govt/anarchy.

Internet Zen Master (profile) says:

Technically speaking, he IS a traitor

According to Merriam-Webster, the two definitions the word traitor are:

1. one who betrays another’s trust or is false to an obligation or duty
2. one who commits treason

Now Manning is obviously a traitor according to the first definition (he betrayed the trust of the US government, who gave him clearance to access the info that he leaked). Personally I’m a little iffy on whether he falls under the second definition, but that’s just my opinion on that.

But seriously, anarchist?

Did someone resurrect a zombified McCarthy while I wasn’t looking?

Manning may be a traitor by definition, but a hacker and anarchist he is not.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Technically speaking, he IS a traitor

who betrayed whom ? ? ?

i contend it is THE GUMMINT and its leaders who betrayed the constitution and the amerikan people WA-A-A-A-Y before Bradley Manning called them out for THEIR betrayal…

HE WAS THE ONE LOYAL TO HIS OATH AND ACTING TO UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION, not those scumbag, traitorous, posturing, lying, hypocritical, human-shaped piles of shit we call our ‘leaders’…

Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, Barrett Brown, John Kiriakou, etc, etc, etc, ARE ALL WELCOME at my house; i would be HONORED to have them as guests…

kongresskritters, etc ? ? ?
they better not get within spitting distance of me…

(and when i say ‘spitting’, i mean as in ‘roasted on a spit’…)

art guerrilla
aka ann archy


John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Technically speaking, he IS a traitor

But this is in a court of law, and a court of law does not use Merrian-Webster to define their terms. A traitor is someone who committed treason. Treason, in court, is a legal term defined by the Constitution, and nothing that Manning did falls inside that definition.

So, by definition, Manning is not a traitor.

Internet Zen Master (profile) says:

Re: Re: Technically speaking, he IS a traitor

1. one who betrays another’s trust or is false to an obligation or duty

Bolded for emphasis.

Manning is a traitor in the sense that he betrayed the trust of his superior officers/the government as a whole when he went and handed over all those classified diplomatic cables to Wikileaks. Whether the cables should have been classified or not is irrelevant now.

The point is, the government trusted Manning enough to grant him a TS/SCI [Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information]-grade security clearance, which gave him access to a cubic shit-ton of classified intel back in Jan. 2008.

What you have to realize that when the government grants someone a security clearance, that clearance sticks with you for the rest of your life. That means the government has just placed quite a bit of trust [and faith] in that person, and I assume[more like hope in all honesty] that the level of trust required for someone to get a TS/SCI security clearance is even higher.

Long and short of it, Bradley Manning betrayed the government’s trust. Therefore, by [normal] definition, he is a traitor.

However, as far as things are concerned in the legal sense, whether Manning is a traitor [someone who committed treason] in the eyes of the court, that remains to be seen.

Oblate (profile) says:

Re: Technically speaking, he IS a traitor

Now Manning is obviously a traitor according to the first definition

Only in the same sense that a confidant of a criminal, who turns the criminal in to the police, could be considered a traitor. He’s a traitor to criminals, that’s how the prosecutor should have phrased it.

His obligation/duty were to the American people, not to a subset of government employees.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re:

i get your point, but technically speaking -as others have tried to say as well- ‘anarchy’ does NOT mean ‘chaos’ and ‘terrorism’ as mainstream pukes would have you believe…

but words have no meaning anymore, it is ONLY what Empire says a word means that has any impact…

how terrifying to see this slow-motion train wreck of fascism unfolding before our eyes; 1984’s every prediction coming to pass as we look on in dumbstruck horror: newspeak, doublethink, permanent war on faceless enemies, etc, etc, etc…

amerika as shining beacon on the hill ? ? ?
more like sauron’s all-seeing eye searching to destroy us all…

art guerrilla
aka ann archy

Anonymous? says:

Aiding Enemy

Government has been aiding and “sleeping with enemies” for years. That also includes aiding enemies by eroding OUR freedoms. This is what enemy hated about us in the first place: our way of life and freedoms.
Our government is becoming our own domestic enemy.
I guess it would only make sense to call Manning anarchist if he was trying to help us people who became enemies with their own government.
What also becomes more clear is lawless state.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Technically, we're all "Traitors"

If treason includes criticism of and resistance to the government.

Manning and Snowden committed exactly the kind of treason that our Constitutional framers advocated, and that Madison and Jefferson insisted we have a duty to act if we want to preserve our liberties.

Treason against tyrants is obedience to God, according to Jefferson.

Manning and Snowden both risked their life, and Manning may be kept in perpetual misery for his crimes. I’m sure he’d rather not give his one life to his country, but this is often how it goes down for such patriots, which is a reason it takes such bravery, or such naivety, to act. Scapegoats are by definition often sacrificed.

If we are compelled to storm the Bastille, I hope we do so soon, that Manning doesn’t have to suffer any longer than is necessary.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

A Judge and Jury of Rapists

Well, to refresh our memory, Bradley Manning’s accusers are factually guilty of operating child-brothels. The relevant WikiLeaks papers amount to confessions.

This kind of thing is generally considered a Crime Against Humanity, by the standards of the Nuremberg Tribunal. In view of this, I don’t see the need for fine distinctions, any more than I would need to make fine distinctions about a Nazi “People’s Court.”

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