Bradley Manning Formally Charged; Defers Plea

from the which-enemy? dept

This is no surprise, given the charges outlined earlier, but Bradley Manning was formally charged with 22 counts for allegedly leaking State Department cables and other documents to Wikileaks. While many expected him to enter a plea, instead he chose to defer the plea for the time being. Perhaps he's working on some sort of plea bargain. The key charge, of course, is "aiding the enemy" though I'm curious which "enemy" we're talking about and exactly what "aid" they got from this. To date, it seems like the leaks may have embarrassed the US, but it's not clear they did any more significant harm than that. If that's all it takes to "aid the enemy," then something's wrong with the system...


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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 4:09pm

    Enemy Mine

    The enemy, apparently, is the public. The proles, the serfs, those upon whom the powerful tread.

    Given this definition of "enemy" there is no doubt the charge of "aiding the enemy" will stick.

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 9:07pm

      Re: Enemy Mine

      Who will buy me lunch, and my next reelection is the way the politics works. When a spot light is shined on this practice the politicians shy away. They then wait in the shadows and push forward when they think it is safe.

      This is nothing different. The personal opinions, polls, and studies more than likely say, the "Public at Large" is no longer interested in this case. The problem is a lot of people online are.

      Schadenfreude is a word that says, I take great pleasure at the discomfort of others. This is going to be interesting to watch unfold.

       

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      Bergman (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 2:18am

      Re: Enemy Mine

      One of the definitions of treason is making war upon the People of the U.S. by a fellow citizen. If the enemy Manning aided is the People, then no military officer could participate in his court martial without violating their oath.

       

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      monkyyy, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 10:46am

      Re: Enemy Mine

      i was going to say the same thing :/
      must be the right answer

       

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    Phalamir (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 4:17pm

    Enemy =

    The enemy is the American people.

     

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    DogBreath, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 4:35pm

    Can't wait until Bradley Manning becomes a U.S. Senator

    I mean after all, that is how these things turn out, don't they?

     

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      Jake, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 4:56pm

      Re: Can't wait until Bradley Manning becomes a U.S. Senator

      [Citation Needed] Who the hell are the American Issues Forum, and why should I believe they didn't pull everything on that page out of their collective arse?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 5:00pm

        Re: Re: Can't wait until Bradley Manning becomes a U.S. Senator

        Look around the rest of the site. That should tell you all you need to know. I couldn't find a chalkboard or ads for gold, though. Strange.

         

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        DogBreath, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 5:29pm

        Re: Re: Can't wait until Bradley Manning becomes a U.S. Senator

        I guess you've never heard of the Fullbright Hearings.



        John Kerry's testimony before the House Foreign Relations Committee


        Proposals Before Committee

        The Chairman: Do you support or do you have any particular views about any one of them you wish to give the committee?

        Mr. Kerry: My feeling, Senator, is undoubtedly this Congress, and I don't mean to sound pessimistic, but I do not believe that this Congress will, in fact, end the war as we would like to, which is immediately and unilaterally and, therefore, if I were to speak I would say we would set a date and the date obviously would be the earliest possible date. But I would like to say, in answering that, that I do not believe it is necessary to stall any longer. I have been to Paris. I have talked with both delegations at the peace talks, that is to say the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government and of all eight of Madam Binh's points it has been stated time and time again, and was stated by Senator Vance Hartke when he returned from Paris, and it has been stated by many other officials of this Government, if the United States were to set a date for withdrawal the prisoners of war would be returned.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 4:50pm

    When is the government going to be charged for wrongfully concealing embarrassing documents.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 4:50pm

    Wait!!! Are you actually using the "no one got hurt so it isnt wrong" debate that has been debunked on this site over and over again?? Please stay on one side of the fence or go into politics.

     

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      Michael (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 9:48am

      Re:

      "Someone will get hurt" is part of the definition of a state secret. In this context, "hurt" is used literally. If "state secrets" are leaked and revealed to have been unjustly hidden in the first place, the wrong was done by the government.

       

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 5:06pm

    So Wikileaks is now the enemy, as if there was any doubt.

    I think a better use of a courts time would be looking at the contents of the leak and asking questions about why they are lying to the American people.

    So many people think the world hates us because we are such a god fearing country, and they are just evil terrorists. The actual truth seems to be that behind closed doors our Government is doing all of the bad acts they call others out for, and are flexing their "might" to force other nations to work how our corporate sponsors demand.

    Mannings entire case is twisted and turned, its been revised for TV sound bites. It would be nice if we actually held all of the alarmists to their statements on the manner and ask them if maybe they were being over the top not understanding what was really happening.

    The idea of a plea deal sounds interesting, but I doubt he will get one unless he does one thing. The Government wants Assange at any cost, and the entire time Manning has been held they have tried over and over to get him to give them that connection. I doubt it exists, but one should fear whats been going on to Manning this entire time and if he can continue to withstand the mind games they have been using on him.

     

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    pr, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 5:38pm

    Spare me the Bradley Manning as hero crap.

    When you make an agreement, you stick to it. When you voluntarily sign up to get a security clearance, you agree not to reveal the information you received as a result of having that clearance. Not even if doing so would make you feel good.

    Bradley Manning took information that he agreed not to release, then released it. Simply to pump his own ego. He deserves to pay the price.

    The weeniest of wieners are the ones who engage in "civil disobedience" then claim that they shouldn't take the lumps for their acts.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:24pm

      Re: Spare me the Bradley Manning as hero crap.

      Are whistleblowers just something imaginary to you?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 8:22pm

        Re: Re: Spare me the Bradley Manning as hero crap.

        Are whistleblowers just something imaginary to you?

        Are you truly suggesting that Manning read every one of those 150,000 documents and decided to release all of them in the cause of blowing the whistle on wrongdoing? How many documents did he read and decide not to release? Do you actually think a PFC in an intelligence battalion has the expertise to evaluate the security implications of all 150,000 of those documents.... assuming he actually read them? He's no whistleblower. He's a pathetic loser so desperate for attention he violated his oath, his security clearance and disgraced himself and his unit.

         

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          Jay (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 8:31pm

          Re: Re: Re: Spare me the Bradley Manning as hero crap.

          He did it because he wanted dialogue top be created about what he saw as wrong, namely the "collateral murder" video. If he had wanted to sell these low level documents and profit, he could have. When he talked to Llamo, he said words to that effect. He is a whistleblower, not a traitor.

           

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          Jay (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 8:31pm

          Re: Re: Re: Spare me the Bradley Manning as hero crap.

          He did it because he wanted dialogue top be created about what he saw as wrong, namely the "collateral murder" video. If he had wanted to sell these low level documents and profit, he could have. When he talked to Llamo, he said words to that effect. He is a whistleblower, not a traitor.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 10:12pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Spare me the Bradley Manning as hero crap.

            Then why not focus exclusively on the video? Did he bring this up through the chain of command and was rebuffed? I haven't hear a shred of evidence that he simply didn't download every document that he could lay his hands on labeled "Classified" or "Secret" and send them to Wikileaks. True whistleblowers are issue focused. He didn't have 150,000 different issues. He violated his oath, his duty and the law. Why do make excuses for him?

             

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              Jay (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 10:55pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Spare me the Bradley Manning as hero crap.

              He was rebuffed. He tried to bring it up with command. They told him to shut up and don't rock the boat. He (allegedly) went to Wikileaks.

              I don't have to make excuses for him. When I read the logs, I saw what he was trying to do. Maybe you don't agree, but the fact that Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all presidents before him combined says a lot to how the government feels about the First Amendment.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 6:16am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Spare me the Bradley Manning as hero crap.

                He was rebuffed. He tried to bring it up with command. They told him to shut up and don't rock the boat. He (allegedly) went to Wikileaks.

                Do you have a link about this? Even so, it's hard to justify the other 150,000 documents that appear wholly unrelated.

                 

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 10:54pm

          Re: Re: Re: Spare me the Bradley Manning as hero crap.

          No, I'm suggesting (well, saying) that your logic is seriously flawed. All whistleblowers, by nature, release documents that they once agreed not to reveal. Otherwise, their actions would be called "sharing public documents" and no one would care.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 6:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Spare me the Bradley Manning as hero crap.

            No, I'm suggesting (well, saying) that your logic is seriously flawed. All whistleblowers, by nature, release documents that they once agreed not to reveal.

            That's not true. There are certainly whistleblowers who reveal wrongdoings that are undocumented or where they have knowledge of, but not access to documentation.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 6:25pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Spare me the Bradley Manning as hero crap.

              Fair enough. I should have said "release information." The point is unchanged.

               

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        too secret for even me, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 1:44pm

        Re: Re: Spare me the Bradley Manning as hero crap.

        One must be more than a mere whistleblower when calling out an entire government(United States of America for example) in an attempt to either bring it down or completely destroy all confidence in its leaders in the eyes of the world(earth in our case). That has to be a very large siren at least, then bouncing it off the ionosphere.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 12:38am

      Re: Spare me the Bradley Manning as hero crap.

      That's true in ordinary circumstances. What Manning released was not ordinary; some of the things were war crimes (videos of shooting reuters journalists like target practice). There is a responsibility for anyone, including soliders under order, to resist and report such things. A lot of it was fluff. But there were some damning truths revealed - and someone should pay for them, but it shouldn't be the messenger.

       

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      Red, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 3:30am

      Re: Spare me the Bradley Manning as hero crap.

      Then thats what he should be charged for.

      But thats not what's happening; he's charged with other more abstract things like aiding an unidentified enemy.

      This demonstrates the shady nature of whats going on here.

      nobodies denying that he wilfully broke his contract.
      What is being debated is was doing so right, and in who's interests?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 6:22am

        Re: Re: Spare me the Bradley Manning as hero crap.

        nobodies denying that he wilfully broke his contract.
        What is being debated is was doing so right, and in who's interests?


        It is an oath, not a contract. The military doesn't have employment contracts and I know of no employment contracts where you are liable under criminal law.

         

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        call it like it is, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 1:50pm

        Re: Re: Spare me the Bradley Manning as hero crap.

        That is complete hogwash. He is a traitor and should be tried as one. Not even adding to the fact that we are at war with some of the worst enemies in history some we can't even name.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2012 @ 8:55am

          Re: Re: Re: Spare me the Bradley Manning as hero crap.

          If we cannot name them, then how are we at war with them? A war against 'Unknown Entity' isn't a war, since war couldn't possibly be legally declared. If Manning is a traitor, then the United States as a country needs to come down, because that man had the balls to stand up not only for his beliefs, but for the very oaths that put him into the military in the first place. His first and foremost job is to protect those who cannot protect themselves. I HONOR that man for the risks he took. Sad that you do not.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:39pm

    It's pretty ridiculous that you can't just admit the wring he committed, Mike. Not surprising, just your typical ridiculousness.

     

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    Kevin Carson, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:53pm

    The enemy...

    is us. Manning's crime was exposing the internal operations of the state to the allegedly "sovereign public" to which it is theoretically accountable.

     

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    iamtheky (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 7:52pm

    He is certainly guilty of crimes

    Just not some of the more fantastical of charges, which are probably being plea bargained away for the ones that are sticky. Downloading anything off of the SIPR and sending it to your friend should not be acceptable, without regard to the content. And downloading 1.6GB worth of that data and sending it to your foreign friend is retarded, makes you want to declare war with Sweden just to get him on all 22.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 1:03am

      Re: He is certainly guilty of crimes

      "should not be acceptable, without regard to the content..."

      I'll have to take a look at Neuremberg again, but I don't think "following orders" was an acceptable excuse during war with the severity. I am specifically aware of a video. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_12,_2007_Baghdad_airstrike

      If the US had responded to Reuters FOIA request, this incident probably would have been passed over. So the coverup is part of the crime. This was also at a time when other damning evidence was coming forward independent of Manning or WikiLeaks.

      Half of Mannings charges were dropped because he didn't collabrat with Assange which is what it's assumed the US was really aiming for. Manning is a scapegoat.

      I'm on the side Assange shouldnt be tried either - for what? The truth. It seems so.

      And all this because of phoney stories of WMD's.

       

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        iamtheky (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 4:37am

        Re: Re: He is certainly guilty of crimes

        That's a fantastic content based rebuttal to: "without regard to content"

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2012 @ 8:58am

          Re: Re: Re: He is certainly guilty of crimes

          You did pose it in a fashion that comes to mean 'it doesn't matter what the content is, he should be punished.' So, which is it? Does the content matter or not? If not, the first response to you stands. If the content does matter, however, I think you need to step back.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 8:12pm

    The key charge, of course, is "aiding the enemy" though I'm curious which "enemy" we're talking about and exactly what "aid" they got from this.

    This is not the "key charge" as you state. This is the charge that carries the most serious penalty- life in prison (since the death penalty was taken off the table).

    The key charge(s) are the unauthorized release of 150,000 classified documents. Whether those caused any damage is entirely speculative outside of the actual intelligence community. But it matters little if it is proven that the documents were classified and he did release them. Clearly Manning had no idea by looking at them (doubtful he did at all) whether the information contained therein was harmful to national security or not. All he knew is that they were classified- presumably for security reasons. Why people leap to defend his actions simply escapes me. He had no idea what he was releasing- only that it was classified information of the United States that would be published globally. That's totally reckless for anyone- much less someone serving in an intelligence unit of the US Army; to do something like this.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 1:07am

      Re:

      Why do you say he didnt know what he was releasing? I've never heard that - but then I don't listen to FAUX either.

       

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      Jay (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 1:10am

      Re:

      Whether those caused any damage is entirely speculative outside of the actual intelligence community.

      The US lied about the damage to go after Assange. Not one single person was harmed because of a link to a Wikileaks.

      That's totally reckless for anyone- much less someone serving in an intelligence unit of the US Army; to do something like this.

      No, it's to open dialogue and get the US to admit that warcrimes were being covered up. What part of whistleblower do you not understand?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 8:28pm

    If that's all it takes to "aid the enemy," then something's wrong with the system...
    This is simply the writers view. The boy messed up and is a traitor, and has committed treason. He is so fortunate that he even gets the chance to plea. He does not deserve that. Men have died for less. Of course this is only my opinion and beliefs vary. But to print it here as if this writers opinion is the only valid one is false.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 1:08am

      Re:

      Libby and Cheney got a pass on treason, so why the dual system of justice?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2012 @ 9:01am

      Re:

      I believe the MAN is a HERO. What he did, he did in the face of terrible consequences because it was the right thing to do. If you believe he should die for being a patriot, then perhaps you should go back to wearing that red coat we decided we didn't care for a couple hundred years ago.

       

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    TheLoot (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 8:39pm

    Weren't a lot of anonymous people named and put at risk of reprisals and death at the hands of groups hostile to the US? Seems like a pretty valid charge to me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 8:49pm

    I have to shake my head. You can find valid the silly Lessig first amendment arguments about copyright, but you cannot understand that Manning shared this information with the enemy.

    Wow.

    Let me give you a hint: He shared the documents with everyone on the planet, and the enemies of the US are part of that "everyone".

    A true head shaker...

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 5:51am

      Re:

      So if I put a word document with the text "hello" on a website and a terrorist downloads it ... I'm aiding the enemy.

      I would think the content of the documents would be somewhat relevant, and in this case none of the content offered any meaningful information for our "enemies".

      If anything it showed that the State Department is a for profit wing of government working on behalf of private interest. I doubt that will help al-Qaeda infiltrate the US border.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 7:13am

        Re: Re:

        "So if I put a word document with the text "hello" on a website and a terrorist downloads it ... I'm aiding the enemy."

        no, because "hello" won't aid them.

        Telling them who in their country is secretly working for the US would.

        The difference is pretty clear.

         

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    Bigdogpete, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 8:56pm

    Wow I am really suprised that Techdirt didn't do a quick internet search:

    UCMJ Article 104—Aiding the enemy

    “Any person who—

    (1) aids, or attempts to aid, the enemy with arms, ammunition, supplies, money, or other things; or

    (2) without proper authority, knowingly harbors or protects or gives intelligence to or communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly; shall suffer death or such other punishment as a court-martial or military commission may direct.”

    Being a long time Techdirt reader I am suprised that this was not looked up first before posting. I found this in 30 seconds. He is not a hero, he is not a patriot. He should spend at least the rest of his life in prison. He has to abide by these articles just as I had to when I was in the military.

    I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

     

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      Rikuo (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 11:12pm

      Re: Wow I am really suprised that Techdirt didn't do a quick internet search:

      And that very same Constitution also contains the Sixth Amendment, which says he has the right to a speedy trial. Not to be locked up for 21 months before being so much as formally charged.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 1:36am

        Re: Re: Wow I am really suprised that Techdirt didn't do a quick internet search:

        I've heard some reports that his defense team was requesting extensions. This trial could have a lot of twists and turns to it.

         

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          Michael (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 9:55am

          Re: Re: Re: Wow I am really suprised that Techdirt didn't do a quick internet search:

          I've heard some reports that he didn't have access to his own defense team for months.

           

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      whisk33, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 5:18am

      Re: Wow I am really suprised that Techdirt didn't do a quick internet search:

      I think many people question the "aid" and "enemy" portions. I don't think it is fair to pull an Agent Mulder and assume "they are out there". If we are going to be punishing people for crimes dependent upon an enemy, we should be able to define with whom we are warring.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 5:55am

        Re: Re: Wow I am really suprised that Techdirt didn't do a quick internet search:

        Also, somewhat related, I don't think the founding fathers had the Internet in mind when they wrote the constitution.

        communicates or corresponds with

        So any soldier with a blog or a Facebook page or any presence on the Internet is now (by Bigdogpete's logic) communicating with the enemy?

        Yes, I know the information that Manning released had the word SECRET stamped on it in big letters but so do a lot of 14 year old girls diaries and I doubt we consider those national secrets.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 6:44am

          Re: Re: Re: Wow I am really suprised that Techdirt didn't do a quick internet search:

          Yes, I know the information that Manning released had the word SECRET stamped on it in big letters but so do a lot of 14 year old girls diaries and I doubt we consider those national secrets.

          The obvious difference is that the documents Manning released were protected by law.

           

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          Bigdogpete, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 9:44am

          Re: Re: Re: Wow I am really suprised that Techdirt didn't do a quick internet search:

          To the anonymous coward. The founding fathers....the UCMJ is a military code of conduct which is constantly changing.

           

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        Bigdogpete, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 9:41am

        Re: Re: Wow I am really suprised that Techdirt didn't do a quick internet search:

        So we weren't at war at the time? I believe military folks getting killed every day counts as having enemy's. But thank goodness the people in the military do give their lives to protect your freedom of speech so you can express your opinon. I think you need to re-read the article and the oath that we are required to give. It does not say anyone has to die. It says giving intelligence either directly or indirectly.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 10:04pm

    Question: Have any of the Manning defenders posting in this thread actually served in the military? I'm willing to bet the answer is "no". I'm sure most veterans are shocked by his actions, particularly in a time of war. Those who have not served do not have the same perspective which I guess leads them to excuse this as if like the action of a disgruntled employee. It's not, it is much bigger and more serious.

    This country would be far better off if there was mandatory military service so everyone had a chance to put themselves at risk for the freedom and privilege they so take for granted.

     

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 11:04pm

      Re:

      They did mandatory military, and the rich bought their way out of service. Some of them got magically assigned to places with no danger at all if they did serve.

      Manning violated oaths and rules, the witch hunt running around beyond this however is insane. Congressmen screaming that these documents were going to lead to deaths, or hurt our "standing" in the world. Trying to pretend we are not what everyone else can see us as.

      Manning knew what he was undertaking, he will need to be punished. But the punishment should be correct and not the inflated screaming of burn the witch we have seen. He has been held in conditions that everyone else calls torture, but they have a piece of paper saying its fair.

      The other issue that no one wants to deal with, because our government has firmly placed its head in the sand and pretends we can't see the documents, is how they abuse secrets. The evil they do, while denying they did it. The sweetheart deals for corporations, covering up bad acts, trying to get DNA samples.

      There needs to be some secrets, but pretending a cable calling an ambassador an asshat is super secret really isn't aiding anyone.

      So yes, he deserves his fate - he does not deserve the extra "special" treatment hes been given to be the poster boy for don't dare speak out about the Government.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 2:11am

        Re: Re:

        The WikiLeak files were available for download from several sources so the US couldn't shutter them. They aren't secret anymore. They just don't say much more than gossip level stuff - except for a handful and those seem to indicate that "the enemy is us" (US public).

         

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          That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 3:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You can still be fired from your Governmental position if you read them. They tried very hard to keep people from looking at them. They only have direct control over people they pay, so they rolled with that.

          IIRC the Air Force policy was even if your kids or extended family look at it you can face problems. When the media questioned them, they "clarified" the position because they were overreaching hugely.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 12:05am

      Re:

      >This country would be far better off if there was mandatory military service so everyone had a chance to put themselves at risk for the freedom and privilege they so take for granted.

      Coming from a country where military service is mandatory for a period of time, allow me to say that it's a horrible idea. Armies are great places to hide collusion because they get special classification treatment. People cut corners where they can, and things are done primarily to pad the accomplishments of higher-ups. Eyes are closed when it suits the wants of the higher-ups who can't be bothered to grapple with civilities or new technology, and insist that everything is the fault of the younger generation. Businesses are less willing to hire locals, because up to a certain age they can be recalled for mandatory service. Oh, and let's not forget individuals who have medical problems that are routinely ignored by the army, who insists that everyone is an undisciplined slacker, in spite of medical reports indicating otherwise. The army is like any other organisation, except that because of its classification treatment, it gets away with a lot more.

      Treating the army like some glorious herald and embodiment of truth and justice is naive, foolish, and rather telling that someone has never served in the military.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 6:12am

        Re: Re:

        I actually served. Did you? Or did you simply live in a country where military service was mandatory?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 5:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm not certain what you're trying to insinuate by the above. If military service is mandatory you have to serve, so there's no effective difference between the two - unless you'd like to believe that somehow, having it mandatory makes the service different. I've been inside the army and I've personally witnessed the political games the superiors were willing to play just to pad their own achievements to impress their own superiors at the expense of other departments, as well as safety and security regulations. The only method of recourse is up the chain of command, for which you get the standard response: "That's how things work around here, suck it up."

          I don't know how you had it over there, but I'll say it again: thinking of the army as a bastion of truth, justice - and fairness and honesty, while we're at it - is being idealistically foolish and naive.

           

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      Just John (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 12:18am

      Re:

      I served in the US army, and I support his actions. Because of my service, I got to experience some of the BS that our government pulls first hand.

      While yes, I believe since he did the crime he deserves some time, I also agree with others that he is being crucified for this beyond what he should be. The sad part is they fail to realize they are making him a martyr, and making the government look even worse.

      Lets face it, the government appears to have a policy of over-secrecy. You hide a document about a diplomat insulting another diplomat behind his back as a "confidential" issue?

      I am glad of what he did because it exposes the BS the government is pulling behind our very backs. While there may be some initial pain (We have all seen how embarrassing some of these are, and it has undoubtedly jaded others impressions of Americans), I think overall this may end up being something that helps us grow, because the government is being asked to answer for the stupidity of some of it's officials.

      I would love to see more Mannings. America was founded on the very principle of disobeying their governments rules (Or did you forget that we rebelled against England to get our US of A?). Let's hope the next leaked documents come from some of our biggest lobbiest companies (And their "bought officials), so we can see the BS that is occurring there.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 1:50am

      Re:

      You can't say that hasn't happened. I was married to carrier military and when it came to light that they were sitting in the Indian Ocean facing guns the US gave to their enemies (Iran/Contra) there was almost mutiny. Bush Sr. had 6 more months left. Fortunatley Bush Sr had the good sense not to do issue anymore orders.

      Times have changed. I'd like to know why Manning is expected to live up to a higher standard than some of his superiors.

      I'm always going to side with transparecy. Democracy and the US will only become stronger for it (might sting a little) but we can't survive secrecy and shadow governments.

      I really think the question shouldn't be just about releasing documents but what those documents contained. The only part shielded was the US public. That's who they seem to be calling "the enemy" and I take offense to that.

       

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      Stig Rudeholm (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 7:25am

      Re:

      No, I haven't served in the military. Not in the US and not in my native Sweden, or anywhere else.

      But, whaddayaknow, I've never gunned down civilians with large calibre machine gun fire or blown kids to shreds with hellfire missiles, either.

      I'm not saying Manning should not be punished at all, but he's been punished enough already. He doesn't deserve life in prison, not for what he's done.

      Now, the crew in that helicopter on the other hand.... As far as I know they have still not been punished for what should obviously be classed as a war crime.

      Or how about the soldiers responsible for killing a whole family and covering it up by calling in an air strike on the house?

      I guess it's only a war crime if someone else is doing it. Same as it's only terrorism if the people doing it are brown. Or how it's not torture if the President's advisor says it's not. Kind of like "it's not gay if you don't swallow."

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 9:22am

        Re: Re:

        No, I haven't served in the military. Not in the US and not in my native Sweden, or anywhere else.

        I didn't even know Sweden had an army until I looked it up. Then I learned they haven't fired a shot since the days of matchlock muskets.

        But, whaddayaknow, I've never gunned down civilians with large calibre machine gun fire or blown kids to shreds with hellfire missiles, either.

        Yes, that would entail you putting yourself at personal risk at the behest of your company

        I'm not saying Manning should not be punished at all, but he's been punished enough already. He doesn't deserve life in prison, not for what he's done.

        Maybe not life, but he has more coming.

        Now, the crew in that helicopter on the other hand.... As far as I know they have still not been punished for what should obviously be classed as a war crime.


        lets see... a dozen Iraqi males in a combat zone armed with at least one AK 47 and an RPG. Others carrying camera bags mistaken for weapons. And you're surprised they took fire? No shit you were never in the military. A better question is who were the guys with the weapons and why were the journalists reckless enough to be part of an armed group in broad daylight?

        Or how about the soldiers responsible for killing a whole family and covering it up by calling in an air strike on the house?

        Not familiar with, citation appreciated.

        I guess it's only a war crime if someone else is doing it. Same as it's only terrorism if the people doing it are brown.

        Tim McVeigh wasn't brown.

        Or how it's not torture if the President's advisor says it's not.

        I have to agree with you there.

        Kind of like "it's not gay if you don't swallow."

        I'll defer to your expertise

         

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          Stig Rudeholm (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 10:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          --Now, the crew in that helicopter on the other hand.... As far as I know they have still not been punished for what should obviously be classed as a war crime.

          -lets see... a dozen Iraqi males in a combat zone armed with at least one AK 47 and an RPG. Others carrying camera bags mistaken for weapons. And you're surprised they took fire? No shit you were never in the military. A better question is who were the guys with the weapons and why were the journalists reckless enough to be part of an armed group in broad daylight?

          So you don't see a problem with soldiers being trigger happy, begging for permission to open fire because someone on the ground "appears to have a weapon?" You don't see a problem with opening fire on two kids on their way to school? Oh, sorry, they did sit in that scary looking minivan, and their dad was trying to help wounded people lying in the street. I guess it's ok then....

          Is it really too much to ask that soldiers verify that they are shooting at the right people, before they open fire? Really?

          --Or how about the soldiers responsible for killing a whole family and covering it up by calling in an air strike on the house?

          -Not familiar with, citation appreciated.

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/02/wikileaks-iraq-massacre-inquiry

          --Or how it's not torture if the President's advisor says it's not.

          -I have to agree with you there.

          Well, then... I believe George Carlin said: "Misinformed is the new patriotic."

          I wish I could watch you be waterboarded so I could ask you if you still agree it's not torture.

          Waterboarding, classified as "not torture:"
          Watch Christopher Hitchens Get Waterboarded

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 12:56pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            --Now, the crew in that helicopter on the other hand.... As far as I know they have still not been punished for what should obviously be classed as a war crime.

            "-lets see... a dozen Iraqi males in a combat zone armed with at least one AK 47 and an RPG. Others carrying camera bags mistaken for weapons. And you're surprised they took fire? No shit you were never in the military. A better question is who were the guys with the weapons and why were the journalists reckless enough to be part of an armed group in broad daylight?"

            So you don't see a problem with soldiers being trigger happy, begging for permission to open fire because someone on the ground "appears to have a weapon?" You don't see a problem with opening fire on two kids on their way to school? Oh, sorry, they did sit in that scary looking minivan, and their dad was trying to help wounded people lying in the street. I guess it's ok then....

            Soldiers kill opposing combatants. That is their job. You pussies have been cowering behind other nations for the last 200 years so you're excused for your lack of familiarity with the duties of a soldier. They had weapons, they are clearly visible and no one denies that... except perhaps you. There were no kids visible on the video, which you know. The bit about "on their way to school" is laughable. The guys in the van appeared to be evacuating wounded combatants and recovering guns. The minivan wasn't a yellow painted school bus.

            Is it really too much to ask that soldiers verify that they are shooting at the right people, before they open fire? Really?

            Right. Maybe they should have landed the helicopter and introduced themselves to the motherfucker with the AK.

            "--Or how about the soldiers responsible for killing a whole family and covering it up by calling in an air strike on the house?

            -Not familiar with, citation appreciated."

            http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/02/wikileaks-iraq-massacre-inq

            "--Or how it's not torture if the President's advisor says it's not.

            -I have to agree with you there."

            Well, then... I believe George Carlin said: "Misinformed is the new patriotic."

            I wish I could watch you be waterboarded so I could ask you if you still agree it's not torture.

            Waterboarding, classified as "not torture:"
            Watch Christopher Hitchens Get Waterboarded



            English is not your first language obviously. I was agreeing with you that water boarding is torture. We should not have done it. We should have turned them over to the Saudi's or Jordanians for questioning.

             

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              Jay (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 1:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "-lets see... a dozen Iraqi males in a combat zone armed with at least one AK 47 and an RPG. Others carrying camera bags mistaken for weapons. And you're surprised they took fire? No shit you were never in the military. A better question is who were the guys with the weapons and why were the journalists reckless enough to be part of an armed group in broad daylight?"

              The concept of a fog of war is lost on you.

              The heli was a mile away, the screen is less than 7' high and it's in black and white. They couldn't tell the difference between a camera bag or an RPG on a screen so small.

              Soldiers kill opposing combatants. That is their job. You pussies have been cowering behind other nations for the last 200 years so you're excused for your lack of familiarity with the duties of a soldier. They had weapons, they are clearly visible and no one denies that... except perhaps you. There were no kids visible on the video, which you know. The bit about "on their way to school" is laughable. The guys in the van appeared to be evacuating wounded combatants and recovering guns. The minivan wasn't a yellow painted school bus

              That's a war crime. There was no way to discern if they were terrorists, there were no weapons, and the people weren't engaging the chopper from so far away.

              Right. Maybe they should have landed the helicopter and introduced themselves to the motherfucker with the AK.

              If they engage in hostile activities, then you shoot. The pilot was gearing up for engagement, not the victims who were killed.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 6:40pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                The AK 47 is easily recognizable in the video. In Vietnam there were free fire zones. I don't know what the practice was in Iraq, but the good guys were all wearing uniforms. I think it reasonable to engage a group of men in civilian clothes when some are carrying weapons.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2012 @ 9:14am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  'Good guys' is a matter of debate. Stop and consider if the two armed Iraquis were acting as security for the journalists they were escorting. We'll never know if this is true, because they were blatantly murdered.

                   

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 6:44pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Also don't agree with your last statement. You don't wait for the other guy to shoot at you. Do you know what snipers do? They i.d. the enemy and kill them. Do you happen to know anything about the men other than the journalists? Were they enemy combatants?

                 

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                  Jay (profile), Feb 25th, 2012 @ 2:42pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Do you know what snipers do? They i.d. the enemy and kill them.

                  Snipers are much closer to the enemy than that chopper was. Your comparison makes no sense. There was no apparent danger to the chopper considering the guys were up ~ a mile away from their devastation. Then when you have the Army come in and see what they killed, there was NOTHING justifying how they tried not to help the children that the chopper had taken out.

                  What they said happened is that there were "nine insurgents" with different weapons. When you look at the edits, none had anything but the bags or small arms from earlier. Further, the Pentagon confiscated any video and blocked the video through a FOIA request. So that video that Wikileaks put out is the first that anyone actually saw of the incident in a grandiose scale. Still, that doesn't justify the Hellfire attack on the building. The army didn't clear the building and the Heli-crew seems to have merely wanted to kill people. I'd have put them up on war crimes. But it seems quite evident that the Pentagon is lightly punishing those that break these laws and heavily punishing whistleblowers (ie Manning).

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2012 @ 5:57pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Actually here's link to a list of confirmed sniper kills from as far, to twice as far away as the copter (2 miles):

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longest_recorded_sniper_kills

                    Why would a soldier wait until he was in danger to engage the enemy? His job is not simply to play defense. You see bad guys, you kill them. Ever hear of an ambush? Classic military tactic. You don't yell "surprise" first, you simply lay down fire. Civilian fighters carrying small arms and rpg's, that's enough under the rules of engagement.

                    Real war is not like a video game Jay. To paraphrase George Patton, a soldiers job is not to die for his country, but to assure the other motherfucker dies for his. Journalists have always embedded with armies or insurgent groups pursuing their story. And these aren't the first or last journalists to be killed in an ambush. Presumably they understood the risk. It's too bad, but like the saying goes- you can't get fucked unless you assume the position.

                     

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                      Jay (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Why would a soldier wait until he was in danger to engage the enemy? His job is not simply to play defense. You see bad guys, you kill them. Ever hear of an ambush? Classic military tactic. You don't yell "surprise" first, you simply lay down fire. Civilian fighters carrying small arms and rpg's, that's enough under the rules of engagement.

                      No, I never said he is to play defense. But there are certain areas that snipers get into that have much better advantages than satellites. I recall a number of missions where sniper teams are set up to go behind enemy lines (such as Kosovo) to paint targets to be destroyed or gain recon.

                      Meanwhile, your post about "real war" ignores how the heli team blew up a building without clearing it of women and children, which is a war crime.

                       

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2012 @ 9:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Soldiers kill opposing combatants. That is their job.

              How very pscyhopathic of you. That is NOT their job unless they are so ordered. Their JOB is protect the US and her interests. It certainly isn't in my interest to have bloodthirsty psychopaths wielding large calibre arms for the joy of ending human life.

               

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      Michael (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 10:07am

      Re:

      Whatever "service" you allegedly did in the military, you do a greater disservice by supporting oppression of our citizens. You are not a hero. You don't get to lecture non-veterans. You have no unique insight.

      Even here, you hide behind the Anon mask. That makes you a hypocrite as well as a fool.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 11:39am

        Re: Re:

        Whatever "service" you allegedly did in the military, you do a greater disservice by supporting oppression of our citizens.

        I volunteered to support and defend the Constitution of the United States by serving in the armed forces. I (along with many others) actually took the affirmative step to stand up for what they believe in, instead the entitled whining you engage in.

        You are not a hero.

        Who the fuck said that?

        You don't get to lecture non-veterans.

        No one is forcing you to read and respond. Go back your live action role playing.

        You have no unique insight.

        The unique insight I have is one that is shared by other veterans. Something you know nothing about.

        Even here, you hide behind the Anon mask. That makes you a hypocrite as well as a fool.

        Hahahahahaha, so says "Michael" One of how many tens of million Michael's in the world. If that is actually even your real name. What a douchenozzle.

         

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          Michael (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 7:13pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Live action role playing? From the one who spent all morning telling the internet how brave and sacrificial you are? LOL

          I don't have a problem with anonymous communications, which is why I don't go by my SSN here. You anonymously push for government unaccountability from anon whistleblowers.

          I tried to cram that into one sentence, because you seem to have trouble processing ideas complex enough to span a termination mark.

          That brings me to the final point I was hinting at earlier: you're a moron. I'm sure your aptitude for blindly following orders and soaking in nationalistic and personal praise got you through the service very well. It doesn't leave you well-equipped for real discussion outside.

          The unique insight you have "is shared by other veterans," though you don't seem to agree with the other veterans here. I see you all over these comments, but you have nothing to contribute to "Just John's" message?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 8:37pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Live action role playing? From the one who spent all morning telling the internet how brave and sacrificial you are? LOL

            I simply said I served in a cause I believe in. I never said I was a hero or brave.

            I don't have a problem with anonymous communications, which is why I don't go by my SSN here. You anonymously push for government unaccountability from anon whistleblowers.

            Do you read what you write?

            The unique insight you have "is shared by other veterans," though you don't seem to agree with the other veterans here. I see you all over these comments, but you have nothing to contribute to "Just John's" message?

            There are few that I agree with in the Techdirt echo chamber. Just John believes the Manning case is overkill, but also agrees he deserves incarceration.

             

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    Rikuo (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 11:06pm

    I'm surprised no-one else in the comments has brought up the fact that its been...what, 2 YEARS since he was arrested, and only now is he being formally charged? His lawyer should be able to use that alone to get him freed, since the US Constitution (Sixth Amendment) says
    "n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."

    Speedy? As I said, its been 21 months since he was first arrested.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 2:15am

      Re:

      the military also had a timeline to file charges. I guess that was extended by Mannings defense attorneys. Yet I also recall videos and pleas from his father to help him get released - so who knows? Common wisdom (mine anyway) was that Manning's team wanted more time.

       

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      Jay (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 9:26am

      Re:

      It's a kangaroo court. The judge is a "lackey" of the Obama administration and has already shown that he's going to prosecute Manning to the full extent of the law.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 9:57am

        Re: Re:

        t's a kangaroo court. The judge is a "lackey" of the Obama administration and has already shown that he's going to prosecute Manning to the full extent of the law.

        Military courts have the utmost integrity. Unlike civilian judges they are not elected nor have lifelong appointments. I am unaware of any episodes of corruption of military judges, unlike their civilian counterparts.

        The judge is hardly a lackey of the Obama administration. His service precedes Obama's election and likely continue after his tenure.

        The prosecutor prosecutes, not the judge.

        Other than that Derpsley, you got it right. It's amazing how fucking stupid you are.

         

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          Jay (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 11:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          1) He hasn't said anything about the 19 months of imprisonment without formal charges. Drug traffickers get more warning and better trials than that.

          2) Human rights activists have not had access to Bradley Manning.

          3) Nothing has been said of Obama already declaring Manning guilty. That shows how much of a truly fair trial it is.

          4) Even Daniel Ellsberg has said he won't get a fair trial. If Ellsberg (who leaked higher documents) is saying this, I'm more inclined to believe that instead of the rhetoric you spew.

          5) The judge has an obvious bias against Manning since he works as a part of the criminal division of the Justice Department.

          I have no idea what the hell you're talking about in regards to "prosecutor prosecutes... etc" but you might want to look at what a hearing officer does in a military trial. Funny how you're going around this thread as if you're a military expert and don't know the differences in positions.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 12:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            1) He hasn't said anything about the 19 months of imprisonment without formal charges. Drug traffickers get more warning and better trials than that.

            The UCMJ has procedures for bringing charges and trials, I suggest you read it. Rest assured if it was an issue his lawyers would mention it. They're doubtlessly smarter than you. As noted, this is under the UCMJ, a separate body of law. Though I doubt a drug trafficker in the military would get better treatment. Civilian, perhaps.

            2) Human rights activists have not had access to Bradley Manning.

            So what? He has access to his lawyers and family. Here:

            "Update from Bradley Manning's attorney

            By David Coombs. June 28, 2011

            It has been a little over two months since PFC Manning was moved from Quantico to the Joint Regional Corrections Facility (JRCF) at Fort Leavenworth. Since being moved to the JRCF, PFC Manning's overall mood and demeanor has greatly improved. PFC Manning is able to maintain regular contact with his defense team. He receives weekly written updates, phone calls and visits from defense counsel. In addition, he receives regular visits from family. Finally, PFC Manning also receives hundreds of letters from supporters every week. He wishes to extend his sincere appreciation to those who have taken the time to send along their thoughts and well-wishes."

            3) Nothing has been said of Obama already declaring Manning guilty. That shows how much of a truly fair trial it is.

            Oh yes, Obama is so revered by the military. All he said was “He broke the law.”
            Shit, Mannings own lawyers don't contest the fact that he downloaded and transmitted classified documents. NEWSFLASH: That's against the law on its face.

            4) Even Daniel Ellsberg has said he won't get a fair trial. If Ellsberg (who leaked higher documents) is saying this, I'm more inclined to believe that instead of the rhetoric you spew.

            Even Daniel Ellsberg???? What the fuck did you think he would say?

            5) The judge has an obvious bias against Manning since he works as a part of the criminal division of the Justice Department.

            What are you talking about. First of all it is a she. Second, she is a colonel in the US Army. The full article is in the Huffington Post. You might try reading instead of inventing in the future:

            "Military judge Col. Denise Lind presided over the 50-minute hearing at Fort Meade near Baltimore. She didn't set a trial date but scheduled another court session for March 15-16."

            I have no idea what the hell you're talking about in regards to "prosecutor prosecutes... etc" but you might want to look at what a hearing officer does in a military trial. Funny how you're going around this thread as if you're a military expert and don't know the differences in positions.

            From Wikipedia:

            "Courts-martial in the United States are criminal trials conducted by the U.S. military. Most commonly, courts-martial are convened to try members of the U.S. military for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (or UCMJ), which is the U.S. military's criminal code. However, they can also be convened for other purposes, including military tribunals and the enforcement of martial law in an occupied territory. Courts-martial are governed by the rules of procedure and evidence laid out in the Manual for Courts-Martial, which contains the Rules for Courts-Martial, Military Rules of Evidence, and other guidance.
            Courts-martial are adversarial proceedings, as are all United States criminal courts. That is, lawyers representing the government and the accused present the facts, legal aspects, and arguments most favorable to each side; a military judge determines questions of law, and the members of the panel (or military judge in a judge-alone case) determine questions of fact."

            Also from the Huffington Post article:

            "A court-martial defendant can defer entering a plea until the start of the trial and defer choosing a [trial by] judge or jury until shortly before the trial date. Doing so could buy the defense more time to investigate the background of prospective jurors or negotiate a deal, said Eugene R. Fidell, a former Coast Guard judge advocate who teaches law at Yale."

            Seriously Jay, not a single thing you said is true (once again). Why are you so desperate that you resort to making shit up to defend a slimy piece of human garbage like Manning?

             

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              Jay (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 12:44pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              1) This coming from the same guy that said SOPA was a slam dunk, I highly doubt you're an authority on military proceedings.

              2) Right... Because having him tortured and having less human rights than Gitmo detainees is working so well for our (supposed) deomcratic principles in the US.

              3) No, Obama broke presidential protocols as a superior officer. And when the Pentagon states they want to indefinitely detain him, I find it highly doubtful that the trial will be fair.

              4) Glad we agree that he did higher documents and faced no jail time. So why Obama has to punish so many whistleblowers is beyond me when they were the ones that unlocked the Enron scandal or found other wrongdoings.

              5) I was talking about Lt Col Paul Almanza, who denied the request. He denied the pretrial request. Last I was looking up the case it was based on that information.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 1:16pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                1) This coming from the same guy that said SOPA was a slam dunk, I highly doubt you're an authority on military proceedings.

                I was wrong. And am man enough to admit when I am. You should try it some time, miss. And I am not an authority, that's why I spent 30 seconds on Google proving that you were talking out your ass.

                2) Right... Because having him tortured and having less human rights than Gitmo detainees is working so well for our (supposed) deomcratic principles in the US.

                Tortured??? Hahahaha. That's a laugh. He has the same rights as anyone under the UCMJ. It's different law than US Civil or Criminal law. Are you slow?

                3) No, Obama broke presidential protocols as a superior officer. And when the Pentagon states they want to indefinitely detain him, I find it highly doubtful that the trial will be fair. Jay no one, including his own lawyers disputes the allegations regarding the copying and distribution of classified documents. The sole focus is on the damage done and potential penalties. As far as what "the Pentagon" says: Citation needed, buildings don't speak.

                4) Glad we agree that he did higher documents and faced no jail time. So why Obama has to punish so many whistleblowers is beyond me when they were the ones that unlocked the Enron scandal or found other wrongdoings.

                I think Ellsberg was wrong. But you declare that EVEN Daniel Ellsberg thinks he won't get a fair trial like it was a Supreme Court justice who said it.

                5) I was talking about Lt Col Paul Almanza, who denied the request. He denied the pretrial request. Last I was looking up the case it was based on that information.

                OK, so we'll mark you as lazy and uninformed. Check. Almanza was the investigating officer, not a judge. He's a US Army officer and as near as I can determine does NOT work for the criminal section of DoJ as you (mis)stated.

                Way to double-down and prove you're an even bigger douchebag than we realized.

                 

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                  Jay (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  The deck is still heavily stacked against him. Admittedly, it was based on the pretrial and not the current hearings which I'll have to look up eventually.

                  2) Yes, tortured. Having him barred from working out, forcing him to strip naked, keeping him in solitude for 23 hours a day on suicide watch despite NO reason for such behavior, causing him to lose sleep by using bright lights to force him to a confession of a link to Assange are forms of torture that don't pass the test of basic human dignity. No, he wasn't waterboarded, but there are other forms of torture that should have been checked out.

                  3) Cache version.
                  Then, after all of this, you can't admit that the damage was limited as the US has already stated.

                  4) Yes, Ellsberg. The only other person who would know what it's like to leak documents of a classified nature and be prosecuted. So when he speaks about a similar issue and how it's important for others to be able to blow the whistle on bad behavior, I tend to err on the side of transparency.

                  5) No, not lazy. I just haven't followed the Manning case with everything else going on.

                  Nice to know you're still as disingenuous and condescending as ever.

                   

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 11:27pm

    They should be giving him a medal

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 11:27pm

    They should be giving him a medal

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 2:02am

    He's innocent until proven guilty. I don't know what Manning's motives were or if he realized what he was revealing or if he cared. I don't know and at this point, I don't think the US cares. That scares me.

    No one seems concerned about what was in those documents or asking about them. If anything, the pr and sound bites seem to serve as a distraction from anyone asking.

    This doesn't appear to be such a simple black and white, open and shut case like the headlines say. I think Manning was intended to be a tool to form more serious charges against WikiLeaks Assange - and so far has failed. There was no "conspiracy" between them.

    Why is it that privates are always left holding the bag when they are "just following orders"? I'm not saying that's what happened here, but I certainly think there should be questions asked.

     

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    Rich Kulawiec, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 2:56am

    What enemy?

    The United States is not currently in a state of war because Congress has not seen fit to issue a Declaration of War. Therefore, while the US may not like country X very much or may be shooting at soldiers from country Y or may have quite a few political figures saying bad things about country Z, it is not at war with any of them, therefore none of them are actually an "enemy".

    If the US wants to treat a country like an enemy, and if it wants to prosecute its own citizens for allegedly aiding that enemy, then it should have enough respect for its own Constitution to declare war on that country. It is duplicitous and dishonest, not to mention unconstitutional and illegal, to omit that step.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 5:27am

    Bradley’s gonna become a “spy” whose “espionage” consisted of making the activities of a democratic government visible to its voting population. This is a disgrace to the institution of government that this is happening. It's more shameful than what Bush did. We know more about the illegal activities of our own government than we ever have in the history of the world. Freedom of speech is always the issue. The government hates speech and this white house is absolutely no different.

     

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    Anomalous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 6:04am

    If the evidence bears out that he did release the document, then he is guilty of serious violations of the UCMJ and federal law - however it's clear that the "aiding the enemy" charge is overreaching and only there to induce a plea bargain. This would certainly be in the governments interest as the last thing they want is the subject matter of these documents aired in court.

    The "Manning is a hero" idea would sound a lot better if he'd just stopped after "Collateral Murder".

     

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 7:45am

      Re:

      Collateral Murder merely showed the tip of a much larger ice berg. We all "know" most Congresscritters are bought and paid for, they aren't in jail because we can't prove it.

      We "know" our Government has been acting in the interest of their corporate sponsors, and doing the same things behind closed doors they denounce others for doing. With the cables, its no longer something we "know", it is a proven fact and somehow we still are managing to ignore it.

      We spend more time debating who can get married, and if rape victims need to see the baby the rapist "gifted" them with before they can abort it than demanding our Government stop the BS.

      The world hates us, we now can see why.

       

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    Jesse (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 8:31am

    I thought part of the reason the US claimed they could torture people was because they weren't formally at war and the enemies weren't enemy soldiers so much as enemy combatants or some nonsense.

    I'm probably misunderstanding the "logic" but it would be interesting to turn that around.

     

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    The Logician (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 10:03am

    It is my understanding that those of you who do not feel Manning was right to do as he did appear to be so hung up on adhering to the letter of the law or oath so blindly that you do not seem to understand that what is legal is not necessarily always what is ethical. They are not always the same. In addition, it is not wrong to disobey a law or oath if it means exposing what should never have been secret in the first place. You should never be so bound up in the law and in oaths that you never allow yourself to question them.

    There is also a fundamental problem organizations such as the military when their first response to any incident of misconduct within it is to attempt to cover it up and deceive the public about it rather than admit to the truth and take responsibility for what was done. As another example, the military did not admit the truth about Pat Tillman (the NFL player who joined the military and was killed) until it was forced to do so. The truth being that he was killed by friendly fire rather than an Iraqi attack as the military at first maintained. When an organization's first instinct is deception, that organization cannot be trusted.

     

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      Stig Rudeholm (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 10:18am

      Re:

      Well said. I'm going to copy that last bit and put it in bold italics right here, because I think it's worth reading one more time:

      When an organization's first instinct is deception, that organization cannot be trusted.

       

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