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
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2010 @ 11:18am

    Wikileaks exists and others like it will always be around. Even before Wikileaks, we had the Washington Post, the New York Times and any other millions of outlets for state secrets.

    The case against Manning is quite simple. Does he deserve to die? I don't think so, give him time served and a BCD.

    The world isn't pretty and most people do not understand what the purpose of the military is. The military is there to win wars. Congress and politicians screw up the military with their policies and the US would be better served if the military ran the execution of wars.

    Soldiers need to follow orders, Manning didn't. That can get people killed. Soldiers have to follow any lawful order, refusing is about the worse thing someone in the military can do. If you have a problem, take it up the chain of command, not to Wikileaks. Hell, he could have at least leaked it to the New York Times and boosted the US Economy or something.

    Richard, I ask you this, if you were a line officer in Afghanistan, watching the troops in your care fight, become wounded, some die, and you caught an insurgent, how would you treat them? Would you consider torture or would you just want to put a bullet in his head.

    People talk about our founding fathers like they were gods but in fact war crimes were committed by them in the War of Independence. War crimes were committed in the Civil War. The only thing is that they didn't consider them war crimes. Times change, maybe not for the better.

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