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View Diary: UPDATE II- Amnesty International Comes Out for Bradley Manning (341 comments)

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  •  AI needs to be on this case. (1+ / 0-)
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    Speaking here as someone who does not support the indiscriminate leaking of gigabytes of classified material; and as one who believes that the crimes he's charged with are serious, and if he's found guilty he deserves a substantial penalty.  

    What he does not deserve is to be held incommunicado and under conditions that are calculated to cause his mind to disintegrate, which is effectively a form of torture.  

    The government is effectively destroying their own case.  The way to deal with someone who's charged with what amounts to espionage, is to get them a lawyer immediately, interrogate them per standard FBI practices using clever but not-abusive methods that have a proven track record, and get them on trial as quickly as can be scheduled.  The entire trial can be public minus closed sessions to deal with classified details (such as how the defendant was alleged to have accessed the classified documents) where lawyers but not the public are present.  

    Upon conviction the defendant's conditions in prison should be the same as for any other prisoner, no harsher.  

    That's the most effective way to deter espionage (or any other crime).  Not by making a legend or a martyr out of the defendant.  

    And I also believe that Manning can be rehabilitated.  Despite the seriousness of the offense, the mindset that appears to have gone into it is not one of a hardened criminal or overt traitor, unlike the typical espionage case motivated by money or allegiance to a foreign foe.  In both a realistic and humane sense, that calls for a sentence of 5 - 10 years, after which he should be able to find some kind of legitimate work and be just another former convict who served his time and is trying to live a regular life.  

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