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
    MD2000, 21 Dec 2010 @ 10:11am

    Re: Allways trying to justify crime..

    Well, if you are going to get technical...
    Unless/until Manning is **convicted** of a crime, he is the same innocent-until-proven-guilty perp as anyone else in prison, and so entitled to the same consideration.
    If he is in solitary for his protection, then why the isolation and deprivation? Why no visits and independent lawyers and entertainment (even a book to read?)
    I don't doubt he is at risk in the general population, but the odds are 50-50 it would be inspired or explicitly ordered by the prison management.
    Keeping him away from public visits, etc. is simply petty revenge and petty torture. If they don't know everything they need to know about what he did by 1 year later, then when will they? How long until interrogation is over?
    Solitary may not be torture at the level of waterboarding or mutilation, but it is a petty expression of power that someone sadistic would do for revenge - and this is exactly what is being done. It's not necessary, it's just revenge.
    Shouldn't this sort of punishment come **after the trial**? If they think he should not have any luxuries before the trial, then get a move on with the trial. If you can't establish th facts and have a trial within a year, that's the system's failing - which all the more reason it should be exposed for ridicule...

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