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. icon
    Gabriel Tane (profile), 17 Dec 2010 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re:

    1) no argument there... but what about holding him in solitary 'pending trial'? I'm not sure if there's law against it, but it really looks bad on the people who are 'just holding him awaiting trial'... especially when they offer to let him out if he agrees to a conspiracy rap.

    2) Michael was talking about Manning, not Assange. I think he was talking about GITMO, but even that's not really a 'foreign country'.

    3) have you read the cables? Read about them here... That's not baddies hiding amongst civvies... that's soldiers shooting at the wrong guys. Yes, the heat of battle causes confusion, but two questions:
    A) if it was a simple mistake, why hide it? We've made mistakes before and they were publicized.
    B) if it was a mistake, why did Manning think it needed to be 'uncovered'?

    4) Unproven or not, that was the worst accusational ad hominim and non sequitor I've heard in a while... "oh you like terrorists?" Really?

    5) also unproven in my opinion.

    Finally, Mr. Assange's guilt is also unproven. Michael is wrong that he should be granted all of our constitutional rights; Assange is not a US citizen. However, given how hard the government is scrambling to find something to accuse him of, it's hard to image him guilty of much other than giving the US a black eye by airing our dirty laundry. And, by the by, your argument that he will be charged if he broke the law is backwards... he could be charged one way or the other... it's the results that state his guilt or innocence.

    And the whistle-blowing provision shows that there is some excuse for illegal action in gaining materials to be expressed.

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