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Bradley Manning Offers Partial Guilty Plea To Military Court

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the ok-but-you-had-it-coming dept.

Government 380

concealment writes "During a pre-trial hearing in military court today, [alleged Wikileaks source Bradley] Manning's attorney, David Coombs, proposed a partial guilty plea covering a subset of the slew of criminal charges that the U.S. Army has lodged against him. "Manning is attempting to accept responsibility for offenses that are encapsulated within, or are a subset of, the charged offenses," Coombs wrote on his blog this evening. "The court will consider whether this is a permissible plea.""

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380 comments

So does this include (3, Insightful)

santax (1541065) | about a year and a half ago | (#41917739)

him finally coming out how he started WO2 and the Spanish inquisition? By the way they have treated him I am sure he is ready to confess those too.

Re:So does this include (4, Funny)

1s44c (552956) | about a year and a half ago | (#41917761)

him finally coming out how he started WO2 and the Spanish inquisition? By the way they have treated him I am sure he is ready to confess those too.

I didn't expect some kind of Spanish inquisition.

Re:So does this include (5, Funny)

Dave Whiteside (2055370) | about a year and a half ago | (#41917819)

must not post
must not post ...

awe heck

"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition"

Re:So does this include (1, Funny)

niftydude (1745144) | about a year and a half ago | (#41917901)

Bugger.
Now I have to.

"Our chief weapon is surprise"

We expected that. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41917965)

Maybe you should go out and come back in again?

Re:So does this include (0, Redundant)

astropirate (1470387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41917821)

him finally coming out how he started WO2 and the Spanish inquisition? By the way they have treated him I am sure he is ready to confess those too.

I didn't expect some kind of Spanish inquisition.

Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition!

Re:So does this include (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41917855)

I didn't expect some kind of Spanish inquisition.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Re:So does this include (3, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | about a year and a half ago | (#41917897)

http://xkcd.com/16/ [xkcd.com]

(Although, to be honest, using that as humour to stop you posting 30-year-old Python quotes is almost beginning to suffer the same problem).

Fascist bloodlust (3, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#41917767)

All the hardcore authoritarian fascists want him dead, I wonder if they'll get their wish. If so, I wonder if Adrian Lamo will feel any guilt at all for ending this guy's life for no fucking reason (attention? "Remember me? I'm still around, everyone!")

Re:Fascist bloodlust (3, Informative)

Corbets (169101) | about a year and a half ago | (#41917865)

All the hardcore authoritarian fascists want him dead, I wonder if they'll get their wish. If so, I wonder if Adrian Lamo will feel any guilt at all for ending this guy's life for no fucking reason (attention? "Remember me? I'm still around, everyone!")

Right. Because it's Adrian's fault that Manning chose to distribute documents which he was clearly not authorized to distribute. Whether you think it's right or wrong for him to have distributed them, it's not like anyone can be under the illusion that Manning's actions would have been considered legal. He alone is responsible for what happens to him.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (4, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41917881)

I think to some degree what he revealed should be taken into consideration. The military not having to deal with whistleblower laws is a bad idea.

If what he revealed was worth it than a BCD is probably all he should get.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (4, Insightful)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year and a half ago | (#41917907)

Allowing actions like this, even in the spirit of whistleblowing, would severely undermine the necessary order and discipline an effective military needs. It is certainly not the business of a private to determine what type of classified information should or should not be distributed.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41917979)

sez the good German...

Re:Fascist bloodlust (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41917999)

On the other hand, corruption, incompetence and sheer lawlessness due to lack of oversight also severely undermine the necessary order and discipline an effective military needs. It is certainly not the business of the military to withhold information of that nature from their political masters.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (4, Interesting)

cdrguru (88047) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918113)

Clearly the military isn't withholding much, if anything, if State department diplomatic cables are discussing things.

Why would you ever believe that the military is taking things upon itself when there is ample evidence that the government is aware and directing things?

Now, in the new spirit of there not being any more terrorism in the world, at least there isn't if we do not call it terrorism, I suspect the military may have some views on the matter of being told to leave people unsupported in battle. The repercussions of this can certainly lead to the military simply ignoring the civilian government which hasn't really happened since the founding of the country. Having an administration that believes they can direct the military to "stand down" in the face of an armed enemy can certainly bring that about. Now who's fault might that be?

Bradley Manning's "revelations" might have surprised some people, but clearly it did not surprise most people in governments around the world. Had it really been a surprise there would have been diplomatic consequences at the very least. So while it got some people incensed about what they didn't know their government was doing, it did no good and did not lead to anything changing. Except the rest of Bradley's life.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918027)

Even when warcrimes are being committed, and continues to be committed amongst the same people who want him dead?

Captcha: amongst

Re:Fascist bloodlust (5, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918029)

So if some horrible atrocity occurs we should never find out because the few generals decided so?

I would rather the military suffer some disturbance of order than there be no check at on them.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (1, Informative)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918093)

You're creating a false dichotomy. I said it's not the business of a private to determine when and when not to disseminate classified information. If the generals and staff officers are withholding information, then it's congress's job to remove them from their post and punish them as is fit.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918139)

It is the business of every soldier to protect this nation from threats foreign and domestic. It is in the oath of enlistment.

How would congress even know about this? Do you think they would report such actions? Do you think congress knows about the renditions being performed? Do they know what secret prisons are used for torture?

Re:Fascist bloodlust (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918259)

You also swear you will obey the "orders of the officers appointed over me." On the other hand, the oath of commission doesn't include that phrase; officers are allowed (and expected) to question the actions and orders of those over them and escalate them up the chain if needed.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (5, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918243)

And congress failed in its duty.

It is the business of a true patriot to expose the corruption within the system when the system fails to deal with it.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918085)

I dare say you would have a different opinion if he'd exposed rapes or murders perpetrated by soldiers but covered up. Or war crimes.

I'd say that the release of the cables played a significant part in initiating the Arab Spring. Even if it was a "straw that broke the camel's back" situation. Unless we want to condemn the popular uprisings against corrupt and/or authoritation regimes then we have to take this into account.

If other crimes have been exposed by the cables then again that should be taken into account.

If it's a private's business to refuse an illegal order then it's a private's business to expose illegal acts being covered up by the military. To argue otherwise is to argue that the military is above the law.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (4, Insightful)

cmdr_tofu (826352) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918095)

What if he was exposing great illegality (which he probably was)? Let's say for instance Manning found hard evidence that George Bush planned 9/11? That's an extreme example of course, but would you say his duty to step in line as a soldier outweighed his duties as a US citizen and a human being to expose these hypothetical extreme crimes? If you believe a private should be an unthinking robot and allow his superiors to bury evidence of crimes they are commiting, I believe that you are taking an unreasonable stance.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (4, Insightful)

liquidweaver (1988660) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918101)

What other feedback mechanism is in place to prevent secrecy being used to just cover up rather than protect legitimately secret documents?

I'm of the opinion that if you give anyone the power to declare information secret if will be abused to some degree X. What can be done to keep X as small as possible while still protecting real secrets?

I don't think there is a simple answer. While Bradley Manning's alleged actions are illegal and there should be punishment, the secrecy system has no practical safeguards right now - so in general I have a hard time saying that those actions had an overall negative effect for my country.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918159)

It is certainly not the business of a private to determine what type of classified information should or should not be distributed.

Not sure what the word is in the military, but no matter what they say, it is everyone's responsibility to follow their own morals regardless of what their orders are. If Manning felt that this was something the public must know, then it was absolutely his business to decide that, ethically speaking.

Obviously that's not a valid reason to suspend his punishment, you're right that discipline must be upheld in the military. Just pointing out that discipline and personal morals have a balance that must be considered. If you don't want a private to leak information that he feels the public should be aware of, either don't give it to the private or don't do things he's likely to consider immoral.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (1, Interesting)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918179)

Allowing actions like this, even in the spirit of whistleblowing, would severely undermine the necessary order and discipline an effective military needs. It is certainly not the business of a private to determine what type of classified information should or should not be distributed.

I strongly agree. Having worked as a civilian employee of the US military right after graduating college I can assure everyone that there is no way Manning could have failed to realize his actions were at best illegal and at worse treasonous. My feeling is that the US government by consistently refusing to ask for the death penalty in spying cases (essentially this is a spying case where he provided information to an outside entity that caused harm to the US government) has encouraged people to continue to try to get away with this. I believe very strongly that Manning should be facing the death penalty simply to send a message to the military that if you do this and get caught, you may die for it.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (3, Insightful)

pgdave (1774092) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918329)

I believe very strongly that Manning should be facing the death penalty simply to send a message to the military that if you do this and get caught, you may die for it.

Ah, the smell of fascist blood lust in the morning...Don't like what someone did? Just kill them. It makes you feel manly.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (3, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918235)

Allowing actions like this, even in the spirit of whistleblowing, would severely undermine the necessary order and discipline an effective military needs. It is certainly not the business of a private to determine what type of classified information should or should not be distributed.

That's certainly true.

Now consider the relative values. You can have a well-disciplined and effective military, but is fascism more important than discipline?

Several recent armies were well disciplined and private, and yet committed numerous and long-term monstrous acts against humanity. At the time of the second world war, there were "rumors" (reports? whatever) of concentration camps and mass executions, but no actual proof.

Without checks and balances - without placing an armies actions in front of it's people - there's nothing to stop them from becoming a directed mob of savages. I'd certainly like to know what our military is doing, it speaks to our ethics as an American people. Our military represents us to the world.

And for the record, officers swear an oath to the constitution. Manning was bound by oath to obey a higher power than the military command. You might argue before the act whether something should be made public or not, but recent events has validated his decision.

Yes, he's a war hero. That he didn't act in the way you would have, or in a manner that you would have liked, is immaterial.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918283)

Allowing actions like this, even in the spirit of whistleblowing, would severely undermine the necessary order and discipline an effective military needs. It is certainly not the business of a private to determine what type of classified information should or should not be distributed.

Actually it is. It used to be that the officers always had responsibility for the actions of his troops and because of this privates could just mindlessly follow orders. A few decades ago it was figured out that this system doesn't work and it allows for a lot of war crimes to happen.
Becaue of this the geneva convetion specified that privates had a responsibility to ignore illegal orders and if possible stop their officers when they commited war crimes. This is what Manning has acted on.
If the U.S. had followed the geneva convention it had been a non-issue, then Manning had been in the clear. Now we are in a situation where the U.S. will have to decide if they want their military to have accountability or not.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918317)

"I was just following orders" Is not a valid defense for evil acts. Neither should be "it was top secret".

captcha:embassy (ooo, creepy)

Re:Fascist bloodlust (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918099)

Whistleblowing? It was primarily diplomatic gossip and dirt, not war crimes. If he'd actually revealed anything remotely important, sure, that'd be whistleblowing.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (5, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918281)

THe collateral murder video and its coverup.

There was also the little part of a us contractor paying for boy sex slaves as bribe to a afghanistan warlord.

The majority of it wasn't particularly offensive, but there were a few malignant little gems in there.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918371)

However the stuff he released wasn't stuff we already knew was going on anyways. The stuff that he leaked, was more embarrassing in the fact that it got leaked out then the content. However the real problem is the fact it included the names of the people. Where say Lt. Joe Smith, bombed a house of innocent civilians that his intelligence told him it was a terrorist stronghold. So now the family of those civilians may go on a vendetta against Lt. Joe Smith. Or the fact that Joe Smith was part of some regiment. They went to the next town where they would have had support they now have resistance, because the information may make them seem like a rogue unit, vs. and unfortunate accident of war.

This wasn't whistle blowing material. If say the US was using chemical weapons to devastate a town. Where the US is in violation of war crimes and showed a policy of knowing about and supporting such crimes, that is whistle blowing material. What he did was just stupid and deserves to be locked up for.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41917945)

He alone is responsible for what happens to him.

So he is also responsible for the cruel and inhumane treatment during his 900+ days incarceration. Also responsible for what people might call torture? And he is responsible for not getting the right to a speedy trial?

Re:Fascist bloodlust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918399)

He alone is responsible for what happens to him.

So he is also responsible for the cruel and inhumane treatment during his 900+ days incarceration. Also responsible for what people might call torture? And he is responsible for not getting the right to a speedy trial?

No, he's not responsible for any of that. But none of that excuses what he did. Mistreatment during incarceration should earn criminal charges for the people responsible for his mistreatment, but it doesn't earn forgiveness for the crime that landed him in jail.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41917973)

And what about the Afghan informants who got murdered by the Taliban as soon as they got their hands on the lists of names from Wikileaks? And who knows how many coalition soldiers have gotten killed as a result of the insight those leaks gave the Taliban and others into our operations?

I'd be more sympathetic to Manning and Wikileaks if they'd been much more responsible with what they leaked...not just an enormous document dump and piss-poor to non-existent name and location scrubbing.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918053)

[citation needed].

You know, who got killed?

Re:Fascist bloodlust (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918205)

Except that the total amount of proof of anything Manning has done at the moment, is ZERO. So way to strawman everything when he hasn't even had a single ruling from a judge.

It is indeed Adrian's fault for things getting to this point - and not a morality strawman about whether it's right or not to distribute things when it hasn't even been acknowledged that it is him.

Not to mention that this is a plea by both sides to speed up the trial, not an admission of anything - it bears no weight in court and can be rejected by either side.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (1)

Corbets (169101) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918369)

Except that the total amount of proof of anything Manning has done at the moment, is ZERO.

You mean, except for the thing about him pleading guilty to charges? You know, described in that thing at the top of this page we call a summary?

Re:Fascist bloodlust (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918349)

But he's some kind of super hacker to have stolen that much info.

Oh, wait, you mean to say any idiot with his rank could have downloaded all that info easy as pie? No, I still think he must be some kind of hacking genius, otherwise, we would have seen the ones truly responsible for that security hole in prison and sentenced by now.

Sarcasm aside, the guy IS an idiot. If he didn't like the way the army did things, there are other things a civilian could do. If he wanted to make some money or get 15 minutes of fame, then there were other ways as well, or could have simply chosen only a few papers out of that bunch, but no, that's not what he does.

The guy is either a complete moron, IQ so low he wouldn't have been alowed to join, or, he's a lunatic, which psych tests sometimes fail to find or test for. Or the last possibility, he wanted to hurt the army, implicitly his country, which I think is the definition of treason.

The second variant, is something I'm all too familiar with in RL.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (1)

Sedated2000 (1716470) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918361)

I did read the chat logs between Manning and Lamo. I don't believe Manning should have done what he did. At the same time, it looked very much to me like Lamo egged him on. Manning clearly had anger, identity and emotional problems. From what I saw in the logs, Lamo played on those, even flirting with him. He spent quite a bit of time trying to get things out of Manning for his own personal gain, like getting a .mil e-mail address. It appears to me that he grabbed what he could from Manning, then used him to get attention.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41917919)

The whole Lamo situation wouldn't have been so bad it if weren't for the fact that Lamo was one of the first hackers to run to the tech industry screaming and crying for help when he got in trouble for hacking into companies and publicising his exploits for money and attention.

Manning at least had neither of these motives which are a sign of selfish greed behind him, because he neither sold the material nor intended to get caught.

Honestly, Lamo is the worst kind of dickhead, the two-faced hypocritical kind who will stab people in the back for money and attention but is the first to cry for help when he gets in trouble, and it's people like him that the world would be better off without if we must really kill off anyone in this debacle.

Don't let them win (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41917981)

All the hardcore authoritarian fascists want him dead, I wonder if they'll get their wish.

Then frustrate their wishes by forcing him and Assange to stand trial instead. There's no death penalty for this offense, and that way he gets to present his side in court.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918045)

All the hardcore authoritarian fascists want him dead...

No, they don't want him dead. But they do want to set a harsh example for any other soldiers and government employees who might be contemplating violating their oaths of service and sending classified documents to Wikileaks. When you have no other good way to stop such actions (ie legal action against Wikileaks, bulletproof security on your own networks), stringing up the offenders in the public square in an effort at deterring like-minded individuals becomes the default option.

Re:Fascist bloodlust (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918065)

Hey, authoritarianism is sexy. Torture and killing are a real turn-on. If the public truly disapproved, they would demand a stop to it. They all know it happens, but they don't want to see how cruel it really is, so, to avoid responsibility, kill the messenger. Poor Richard Nixon, forty years too early, when the idea of civil liberties was still alive..

When do the General's get charged? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41917791)

You know, the ones who approved of the illegal activities by the military personal who Manning *PROPERLY* released information about?

When will we see them hang for their offenses?

Re:When do the General's get charged? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41917899)

"properly released information about"

It's a good thing you are not a (large) business owner.

Re:When do the General's get charged? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918331)

Yea, its really inconvenient when someone reveals the crimes that your business performs to the public. People might not buy your products if they knew you bribed Afghanistan warlords with little boys to be used as sex slaves.

Re:When do the General's get charged? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41917927)

> You know, the ones who approved of the illegal activities by the military personal who Manning *PROPERLY* released information about?

Releasing classified documents to an uncleared foreign national is NOT "properly released", it's illegal and punishable by imprisonment and in some cases death. The illegality of his actions and the resulting punishment were VERY well known to him, as it is to every single soldier that holds his clearance level. There were proper ways for him to handle himself, which he was retrained on every single year, but he made very specific decisions to break serious laws. He knew what he was getting into.

Should have used FOIA (2)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918005)

Releasing classified documents to an uncleared foreign national is NOT "properly released", it's illegal and punishable by imprisonment and in some cases death. The illegality of his actions and the resulting punishment were VERY well known to him, as it is to every single soldier that holds his clearance level. There were proper ways for him to handle himself, which he was retrained on every single year, but he made very specific decisions to break serious laws. He knew what he was getting into.

If I found wrongdoing in the military, I'd get out of service and then use the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [foia.gov] to get the information I needed. That way, it would be publicly released and either reveal what was going on, or what the government was covering up.

Re:Should have used FOIA (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918041)

And you would get a nice sheet of paper 90% black after the redactions. No one would care and no one would ever know.

Then visibility isn't the problem (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918163)

And you would get a nice sheet of paper 90% black after the redactions. No one would care and no one would ever know.

If that's the case, it implies a secret being kept.

If no one cares about that, then no one cares that a secret is being kept.

This is the situation we have now: most of us are fully aware that our government keeps secrets, and has to do some bad stuff to keep up with the bad guys. (Think of some of the nasty stuff we did during the Cold War, for example.)

It seems that only a few of you want government to publish all of its secrets, and you seem to have no reason why except for some mythology that you'll monitor it all.

Are you monitoring it now?

Re:Then visibility isn't the problem (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918191)

Some bad stuff to keep up with the bad guys?

Then we are the bad guys, at the best no better.

The reason for publishing secrets is simple, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Re:Should have used FOIA (2)

CRCulver (715279) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918185)

After someone with a security clearance leaves the military, they are expected to continue to honor the secrecy of the documents they worked with. You don't talk about what you've seen and done. Putting in an FOIA request for classified information is publically announcing the existence of that information.

Yes, eventually one can get away with alluding to one's work in the military, but by then so many years have passed that the public probably wouldn't care. Historians might, but by that point it's hardly "whistleblowing".

Re:Should have used FOIA (1)

cdrguru (88047) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918215)

If you believe that FIOA applies to classified MILITARY secrets, you are very much mistaken. If you believe that you would be allowed to speak openly about classified matters that you gained knowledge of while in the military, you are also mistaken.

If you believe that you first owe loyalty to "humanity" and then to your country and it's military it is doubtful that you would ever gain a security clearance in the first place. It takes a pretty specific mindset to rise above the level of grunt in the military and they are quite good at figuring out who has it and who does not.

Certainly people that believe their country is doing evil in their name and that all politicians are corrupt and deserving of zero respect have a place - it just isn't in the military. I would say it is similar to the private that wants to debate an order with an officer because he believes there is a better way or a less risky way of accomplishing his understanding of the goal. Sure, there are times and places where such insight may be valuable, but again certainly not in the military. And having that sort of attitude will assure that you do not rise above the level of grunt in any military service on the planet.

Re:When do the General's get charged? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918057)

Military personnel are trained not to follow illegal orders. Those personnel who followed them are the criminals.
You can't hide *EVIDENCE* by stamping it as CLASSIFIED. Doesn't work that way.

Evidence is evidence, and you cannot by charged of any wrongdoing when being a whistleblower - federal law covers that.

This is a kangaroo court proceeding, where the kangaroos in question are guilty of the crimes evidenced.

Re:When do the General's get charged? (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918037)

*PROPERLY* released information about?

Properly? Wow. He released EVERYTHING, not just data that pertained to alleged abuses. It's roughly analogous to an IRS employee leaking everyone's tax returns because he suspects his boss is cheating on his taxes.

Strange Brew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41917843)

I'll have one bowl of split plea soup to go.........eh!

War Heroes (0, Offtopic)

iYk6 (1425255) | about a year and a half ago | (#41917891)

It's a shame how this country treats our war heroes.

Re:War Heroes (1, Flamebait)

RobertNotBob (597987) | about a year and a half ago | (#41917957)

Agreed.

That said... It's not a relevant issue here. Manning is not a war hero. He is a traitor.

Re:War Heroes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918071)

He is a patriot. He was serving his country despite the traitorous actions of those higher in his chain of command. That is bravery. That is heroism. He will likely pay for it with his life, sealing his memory as a hero.

Re:War Heroes (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918401)

"I, _____, 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." The Oath.

When the people within the government abandon their principals, commit crimes, and use secrecy as a cover, they become a domestic enemy of the United States and its Constitution. Bradley Manning was put in a position where it was impossible to fulfill the entirety oath, because the people who were giving orders were the domestic enemies of the United States and its Constitution. The compromise he made was the moral one, and I do not fault him for it.

Re:War Heroes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918245)

Only in Contard land.

Re:War Heroes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41917993)

> It's a shame how this country treats our war heroes.

Calling Bradley Manning a "War Hero" is incredibly disrespectful to all the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen that honorably served their country. You, sir, are rubbish.

Re:War Heroes (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918089)

The men serving who followed the illegal orders are the criminals and rubbish, they aren't honorable in the least, neither are the officers who ordered the illegal activities and the ones who covered them up by stamping classified on them are even worse - they are the traitors - they are the ones who committed treason, they are the ones who should be placed in front of the firing squad.
Manning is no traitor, he's the definition of hero - standing up to what he knows is wrong, regardless of personal risk.

Re:War Heroes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918323)

Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die. Bradley has no honor.

Good: he's guilty and so is Assange (0, Troll)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41917961)

Did Bradley Manning steal a whole bunch of military and government secrets and leak them? Yes: he's guilty.

Did Julian Assange then publish these secrets, knowing that he has zero way of predicting the consequences? Yes: he's guilty.

I know these are unpopular views.

However, for a society to work, we need to have rules. Just like it's bad logic to say, "I'm bigger than you, therefore I'm going to take your stuff," it's bad logic to say, "I know how to steal and publish these secrets, so I will."

I don't see any of Julian Assange's defenders stepping up to dox themselves on the internet, and reveal some of the stuff they've had on their hard drives over the years.

Hmm... what's in this folder labeled 'Windows CABs'? Looks like a bunch of pictures. Click. Wait a second... is that a goat?

Justifying this leak because we think all governments are bad is a foolish way of thinking. We don't know what government does and a lot of it we'd rather not know. Just get good people into office, make sure there are others in the system who can observe what they do, and we'll get the best results.

Trying to monitor our whole government by making it 'transparent' is going to result in a government that will be totally adversarial to us and will hide a lot of secrets. Those will be in places without any oversight. Think about this one.

I don't think Wikileaks solved a single problem, or advanced us at all. Most likely, it got some people killed for doing what they believed was right. It's time for Assange and Manning to face the consequences of their actions.

Re:Good: he's guilty and so is Assange (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918019)

They weren't secrets, it was evidence. Evidence of the crimes committed by military personnel. Anyone else who knew of the evidence, that didn't speak up, that didn't bring it forward, was aiding and abetting criminals. Period.

So you and your "unpopular view" can go fuck yourself. He did the right and legal thing.

Everyone else who knew about should be charged (And convicted and sentenced) with the crimes listed in the evidence, period!

Re:Good: he's guilty and so is Assange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918153)

They weren't secrets, it was evidence. Evidence of the crimes committed by military personnel.

That's true for some of what was published. But they said themselves at one point that they did not have time to fully review all of the documents before publishing. So there seems to be more to it then just evidence of crime.

Evidence is used to prove a case (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918187)

But they said themselves at one point that they did not have time to fully review all of the documents before publishing.

Exactly.

They didn't go looking for evidence.

They released a ton of information, and then looked back through it to find a justification for releasing it.

Re:Evidence is used to prove a case (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918261)

That might be a valid complaint.

First one you have made so far.

Re:Good: he's guilty and so is Assange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918311)

Wrong

They did not release the evidence, they released everything evidence or not.

Think about it this way, if the police pull you over for speeding, they don't have the right to publish the entire contents of the hard drive on they laptop in your car or the contents of all your email, IM and SMS accounts as well. Just in case you might have talked about speeding via email. or IM.

So they are criminals.

Re:Good: he's guilty and so is Assange (5, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918063)

We don't know what government does and a lot of it we'd rather not know.

Speak for yourself.

Oh, so you want to be complicit? (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918131)

Speak for yourself.

Do you work within government? That's generally the accepted way.

If you know, you're complicit in approving this stuff, most of which goes on in morally murky areas.

Espionage, counter-terrorism, military strategy and other areas contain a lot of stuff that must necessarily be secret.

Do you want to be responsible for knowing where all the nukes are? Didn't think so.

Guess I didn't "speak for myself (only)" after all.

Re:Oh, so you want to be complicit? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918169)

None of that stuff needs to be secret forever.
At some point all of it should be public.

I know where the nukes are, the silos are plenty visible. I should be able to find out where our subs were 25 years ago.

Knowledge of it does not make me anymore complicit than I am already forced to be.

"At some point" (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918197)

At some point all of it should be public.

Now you're just waffling.

What evidence exists to suggest this stuff would have been buried 25 years from its creation?

None.

Re:"At some point" (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918279)

What evidence suggests it would not have been.

I am not waffling. I have never supported this exact situation. I merely object to the way it has been handled and the idea that it would never be appropriate for this sort of thing to occur.

Further more change opinions is what debate is for. Refuses to change your opinion based on evidence is not something to be admired.

Re:Oh, so you want to be complicit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918407)

Quoting anonymously because I've been modding.....

If you are working to get the people who committed the war-crimes punished (or at least, removed from office and command) then you a are not complacent. The world needs good people to stand up and fight against evil! Sticking your head in the sand and saying, "lalala.... I don't know what my government is doing and since I don't know I'm not responsible" is silly, irresponsible, and in my opinion still leaves you complacent.

If the American public cared these actions would stop. Most of the American public does not care and from my perspective that makes them only slightly better than the soldiers performing the actions and the politicians who tried to cover it up.

Re:Good: he's guilty and so is Assange (5, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918067)

What is Julian Assange guilty of?
What crime is it to publish documents your receive?
He is not a US citizen so he cannot have any responsibility to the US government.

I sure as hell would rather know what our government is doing. You might not, but I sure as hell would.

Re:Good: he's guilty and so is Assange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918107)

Did Bradley Manning steal a whole bunch of military and government secrets and leak them? Yes: he's guilty.

Did Julian Assange then publish these secrets, knowing that he has zero way of predicting the consequences? Yes: he's guilty.

I know these are unpopular views.

However, for a society to work, we need to have rules. Just like it's bad logic to say, "I'm bigger than you, therefore I'm going to take your stuff," it's bad logic to say, "I know how to steal and publish these secrets, so I will."

I don't see any of Julian Assange's defenders stepping up to dox themselves on the internet, and reveal some of the stuff they've had on their hard drives over the years.

Hmm... what's in this folder labeled 'Windows CABs'? Looks like a bunch of pictures. Click. Wait a second... is that a goat?

Justifying this leak because we think all governments are bad is a foolish way of thinking. We don't know what government does and a lot of it we'd rather not know. Just get good people into office, make sure there are others in the system who can observe what they do, and we'll get the best results.

Trying to monitor our whole government by making it 'transparent' is going to result in a government that will be totally adversarial to us and will hide a lot of secrets. Those will be in places without any oversight. Think about this one.

I don't think Wikileaks solved a single problem, or advanced us at all. Most likely, it got some people killed for doing what they believed was right. It's time for Assange and Manning to face the consequences of their actions.

Private Manning aledgedly broke the Law (Code of Military Justice as well as Civil Law.)
Juliam Assange did not break the Law. He may be a boor but he followed in the grand tradition of Newsmen every where.
If Assange is guilty, then so is the Washington Post and all the news papers that published "whistle blower" articles during the Viet Nam War (and were never prosecuted)--before and since.
Wikileaks did solve at least one problem for Dear Leader Obama--the cables were such an embarrassment to Secretary of State Clinton, that it ensured that she would not run against him. Our Dear Leader and I think that this, alone, advanced us.
If secret information is stolen and the press gets the information, the press should publish in most cases.

Disclaimer: I am a political Conservative (not a neoConservative).

Re:Good: he's guilty and so is Assange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918109)

Assange isn't a US Citizen and didn't publish the papers from the US - so why should he be subject to our laws?

If you published an article here in the US proving the King of Burma did a host of illegal and immoral things based on documents you recieved anonymously does that mean we need to ship you off to Burma to face execution for blasphemy?

Manning is a traitor - agreed. Assange is not.

Re:Good: he's guilty and so is Assange (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918123)

Just get good people into office, make sure there are others in the system who can observe what they do, and we'll get the best results.

systems self-police really well. we all know that from common everyday experience.

Actually, you're arguing my point (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918327)

systems self-police really well. we all know that from common everyday experience.

I'm assuming sarcasm.

I don't think systems self-police well.

I think having good people in those systems means that those people make correct moral choices.

Re:Good: he's guilty and so is Assange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918231)

"However, for a society to work, we need to have rules."

Sorry, no.

We need to have respect and respect is earned by ones claims mirroring one's actions. As soon as those two elements diverge your society is corrupt.

Once a society is corrupted who is left to protect its citezens, if not themselves?

Granted, for a corrupt society to work, it needs to have rules.

"The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." (Gaius Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 56–ca. 117))

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws." (Ayn Rand (2 February 1905 – 6 March 1982))

“Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.” (Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817- May 06, 1862))

The citizens don't self-police (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918373)

Once a society is corrupted who is left to protect its citezens, if not themselves?

Your idea is broken on a technical level.

In your view, every citizen reads through everything that its government does and polices it.

That's going to create a huge bottleneck for each person; it's too much.

The other way to do this is to get people who are of superior ability and character into these roles so that they will do what is right.

Every day you delegate trust to millions of people. You're trusting them not to crash into you, not to poison your food by letting it sit out overnight, not to leave a gas valve open in the smoking area, etc.

You're going to have to delegate this too from a sheer information overload.

Further, I don't see the citizens self-policing... starting with themselves. Most people seem to be in the process of getting their act together. I'm not sure I see this civilian force as capable of keeping its lawns mowed, much less overseeing government.

I'd prefer to have people of superior character and ability in government taking care of these complex problems, because I don't think the average person can.

Re:Good: he's guilty and so is Assange (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918249)

However, for a society to work, we need to have rules. Just like it's bad logic to say, "I'm bigger than you, therefore I'm going to take your stuff," it's bad logic to say, "I know how to steal and publish these secrets, so I will."

Seems like that's exactly what's going on here. "We're the government, we run things, we determine what the public needs to know and what it doesn't." Society may work with rules dictating what it can know and what it can't, but most of us hold transparency and knowledge about what our government is doing much higher than the government does itself. I'd rather risk the public knowing too much than too many secrets being held. When are we going to punish the military brass for keeping too many things secret from us?

I don't see any of Julian Assange's defenders stepping up to dox themselves on the internet, and reveal some of the stuff they've had on their hard drives over the years. Hmm... what's in this folder labeled 'Windows CABs'? Looks like a bunch of pictures. Click. Wait a second... is that a goat?

Yeah, we're civilians. We have a right to privacy. We pay for the military, not vice versa. And the military keeping secrets from the citiznery is much more dangerous than vice versa as well: they're much better armed. A military coup is much more of a threat than a civilian uprising in my book.

Time Served (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918033)

Quite frankly he's served more then enough time for whatever crime he committed.

Also, considering how many illegal things he uncovered, shouldn't he be covered by whistleblower protection?, or did everybody just forget about those?

Electronic documents aren't property (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918233)

But, but, but...according to the US Government electronic documents aren't property, so all that he's done is breach copyright - and of course material produced by US federal agencies (like the military) is free of copyright, so he didn't even do that. Better just execute him anyway, though, it's the American way.

The 1 thing wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41918325)

is that they are not going to execute that little treasonous fuck stick.

to translate appropriately: (0)

nimbius (983462) | about a year and a half ago | (#41918357)

The court will consider whether this is a permissible plea.

the court will consider whether this prostration suits the requirement of its mission objectives to enact justice in such a fashion as to maintain the narrative of a freedom seeking patriotic democratic nation whos foreign interests are peaceful and to the benefit of all mankind.

The fact that manning even has to consider a guilty plea is evidence that innocent human life has less inherent value in the eyes of the government than the actions of an american soldier in a war on terror with no purpose and no end.

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