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 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    1) plenty of prisoners in plenty of prisons in the US spend time in solitary confinement pending trial (or during the process). That can be for reasons that vary from their own bad acts in custody to protection from other prisoners. As for "you can get out if you make a deal", last time I looked the prosecution often makes deals with various criminals to reduce their sentences or change their incarceration conditions to make a deal. Are you suggesting all of them have been somehow tortured?

    2) GITMO is the US, just as the military base that Manning was working in was in the US.

    3) Sometimes there is the issue of "can't see the forest for the trees". You see it often used on opinion sites like this, where rather than discuss the full issue at hand, they instead focus on minutia, on the leaf on a single tree. While accidental civilian deaths are bad, and nobody supports them, reporting of them openly could end up changing public opinion, because it is what the media would focus on. it comes to the very heart of the argument as to why there are confidential and secret documents and reports, because sometimes the government doesn't want to end up in a battle about twigs, because they have forests to handle.

    (I know, it sucks... but it is reality).

    4) Killing terrorists, regardless of which side of a randomly drawn line that it happens on, should be applauded. Making sure they understand that they cannot hide by crossing a border between two regions is an important part of making them less comfortable. If you are for respecting those borders no matter what, one could wonder how you feel about the terrorists.

    5) of course it is unproven, and will never be proven otherwise. Well, maybe in 100 years. But for the moment, we have to accept to some extent that the guy in charge had reason. I don't agree with him, but constantly doubting and hating on your leader at some point isn't doing anyone any good.

    Mr Assange is the second part of a conspiracy to "expose the governement". Basically, Manning stole the documents, and Assange is the willing anarchist willing to put them on the internet and take the heat. Without Assange, Manning's acts would have been despicable but meaningless. With Assange, they are a danger to US relations, US troops, and even potentially to world peace.

    I would even go as far as to say without Assange, Manning likely would not have copied / replicated / downloads the documents in question, because he would have had no use for them.

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