So After Torturing Bradley Manning For Months, US Officials Offer Him A Deal If He Says Assange 'Conspired' With Him

from the dirty-tricks dept

This is hardly a surprise, but after locking up Bradley Manning in solitary confinement for seven months -- a condition that much of the world has deemed to be torture -- and looking for ways to use a computer hacking law to charge Julian Assange, rumors are that officials have offered Bradley Manning a plea deal, in which he would claim that Assange "conspired" with him to get and leak the documents. From all the info that's come out already, there's been little to suggest that there was any actual conspiring, but it appears that our Justice Department has decided (incorrectly) that Julian Assange is the more important target than Bradley Manning, and so it wants to bring Assange down.

Of course, as many have been saying all along, bringing charges against Assange, even with Manning accepting a plea bargain, will do serious harm to the US. It will highlight how the Justice Department twists laws in an attempt to harm the publisher of information, very much against the basic principles of the First Amendment. If this does come to pass, it will represent a massive chilling of free speech rights, from an administration that has put itself forth as a champion of such free speech rights around the globe. However, the one thing it won't do is actually chill such leaks from happening. As more and more competitors to Wikileaks pop up, you can bet that a legal attack on Assange will only increase the resolve of some of the folks behind those other offerings.

Filed Under: bradley manning, conspiracy, julian assange, plea bargain, wikileaks
Companies: wikileaks

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  1. identicon
    Richard Kulawiec, 17 Dec 2010 @ 10:43am


    Is anyone even the slightest bit concerned that he released raw, unvetted information to a foreign national in a foreign country?

    Nope. Not even a little bit. As I've pointed out here several times previously, anyone who thinks Manning is the only leaker is naive, delusional, and very, very stupid. He constitutes an existence proof -- a lower bound, if you will, on the number of leakers. It is a huge mistake (but a common one) to presume that the upper bound is the same as the lower bound.

    And beyond the leakers, there are the intelligence services of foreign governments. They get paid to find this stuff out, you know, and some of them are very good at it.

    So any rational assessment leads us inexorably to the conclusion that some subset of these cables -- and quite possibly all of them -- and quite possibly MORE than these -- were read years ago in Madrid and Cairo and Moscow and Rio. The US knows that. The politicians jumping up and down frothing and screaming for blood know that. (Well...maybe that lower primate Palin doesn't.) The CIA knows that. The NSA knows that. EVERYONE knows that because that's how the game is played. All this fuss is simply part of the pretend game -- i.e., nobody else is supposed to know this.

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