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Well, no real surprise here:

Lt. Col. Paul Almanza's recommendation to try Pfc. Bradley Manning on all 22 counts, including aiding the enemy, now goes up the chain of command for a final determination. Almanza sent his report to Col. Carl Coffman, garrison commander of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall near Washington. Coffman will make a recommendation to Military District of Washington commander Maj. Gen. Michael Linnington, whose decision is final.

Will they actually present any evidence on how exactly the enemy was aided by Manning's alleged actions?  Doubt it. Instead they will rely on the same old generic scaremongering and inferences that many of Obama's supporters (many of whom would be absolutely enamored with Manning had the leak occurred under George W. Bush) swallow, hook, line and sinker.

Will anyone else be held accountable letting such a supposedly dangerous leak occur during their watch? Where are the people supposedly in charge of securing such information? Is it not alarming that after all the money we throw into our nation's security apparatus, that they could not even figure out the source of such a major leak until he was ratted out by someone Manning thought he could confide in? Well I guess we'll never know the answer, but instead we'll all have some scapegoat to blame. Just awesome. USA! USA! USA!

Poll

Would Manning's Democratic detractors feel the same way if his alleged leaks happend under George W. Bush?

44%22 votes
55%27 votes

| 49 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Lol (7+ / 0-)

    You know I think some of the foaming on the mouth and vitriol from the left is basically interchangeable with the same ilk from the right.

    Its like it's a great big circle and the fringe from both the right and left have met in a giant clusterfuck while simultaneously denying that they are alike.

    As for this diary: Pfft. Save the outrage for something worth while.

    •  So ... (4+ / 0-)

      You're comfortable with such an extraordinarily broad interpretation of "aiding the enemy?"

      I'd say that if we agree to criminalize embarrassing our government because their embarrassment might aid some enemy, then there's nothing left of a free press.

      With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

      by jrooth on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 02:34:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not broad at all. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        campionrules

        Releasing classified military info can easily fall into that category.

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 10:47:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lots of classified info (0+ / 0-)

          gets published in the press.  Are all those journalists guilty of "aiding the enemy?"

          With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

          by jrooth on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 05:29:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  they aren't the ones with clearance (0+ / 0-)

            who leaked the information.

            "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

            by AaronInSanDiego on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 07:22:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK ... (0+ / 0-)

              So it's not the actual act of "aiding the enemy" that's the problem in your interpretation (since the "enemy" wouldn't see that info unless it is published,) but the release of classified info by someone sworn to protect it.  But that is already a separately defined crime.

              And given that there is a steady flow of leaks resulting in the publication of classified information, how is this not selective prosecution?  

              With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

              by jrooth on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 09:06:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  if the info is released (0+ / 0-)

                with the intent to make it public, and if the info is material which could aid an enemy of the US, then I think the charge may make sense. I think the courts have already deadly with journalists who publish such material.
                As to whether this is selective prosecution,I don't know enough about other cases relative to this one to say one way our the other.

                "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                by AaronInSanDiego on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 12:17:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  I've heard that whole (0+ / 0-)

      left right closing the circle thing before and it must feel good to rant about that, but it still makes not a bit of sense.

      But carry on if it makes you feel better.

    •  Thank you. I agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      second gen, exlrrp, Radical def

      The slap at Obama supporters is just ridiculous if not juvenile.

  •  Bradley Manning should never have (13+ / 0-)

    been a soldier in the first place. This is a man who wet himself and screamed at his superior officers before being deployed.

    And unless you have some evidence that the prosecution or judges actually failed to follow the law, "kangaroo court" is unfair.

    I've had security clearances. They make it very clear when you get one that if you reveal classified information a ginormous shitstorm is headed your way. And while it has not yet been proven in a court of law that Manning did reveal classified information, I have not seen anyone seriously deny that Wikileaks got classified information from Manning.

    Slap pit bull; get bitten.

    The real villain, IMNHO, is Wikileaks, who took advantage of a mentally unstable young man and ruined his life. Not the military for enforcing the laws against revealing secrets, and not Manning.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 02:17:46 PM PST

    •  Wikileaks (7+ / 0-)

      "took advantage of" Manning? How could WL have an idea about his stability or lack thereof? WL and Manning were exactly sitting down for pow-wows.

      Moreover, it's not clear that Manning was unstable -- both sides push that claim for their own reasons.

      Moreover, even if WL had gotten this explosive info from a person it knew to be unstable, it would have been justified in publishing it.

      Yeesh!

    •  There was a pretty good argument (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marie, RenMin, BeeDeeS

      for removing the hearing officer/judge.  Then he investigated himself for a minute and decided he was fit and impartial enough to conduct the hearing.  

      “I do not believe a reasonable person, knowing all the circumstances, would be led to the conclusion that my impartiality would be reasonably questioned.  I thus deny the defense request to recuse myself.”

      And Coombs sent it to a court of appeals.

      He also disallowed all but two of the 38 requested witnesses by the defense (other than the ones the prosecution had already called).

      He allowed people to testify by telephone and in some cases it was a joke. One in Hawaii was on a cell phone and the connection was so bad that they had to suggest a land line.  

      And a man's life is on the line here, as technically he is charged with a capital offense and if convicted, even if they don't execute him as they promised, a life sentence is likely.

      That doesn't even get into the fact that they held him for 18 months with no hearing and that their treatment of him were so abominable that human rights organizations got involved and a large number of retired officers organized to write a letter about it.

      •  Which may or may not have been fair (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        second gen, lcj98

        In a case like this, the defense might well have been trying for the classic "We'll make this so difficult that they'll plea-bargain" move - because arguing the basic facts is not going to serve too well.

        Did he know the information was classified?
        Did he willing reveal it to someone not cleared?

        Legally, everything else is details in a case like this. Especially in a military court.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 04:07:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well if that is the threshold (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AaronInSanDiego
          Did he know the information was classified?
          Did he willing reveal it to someone not cleared?

          then there needs to be a lot more trials and court martials, blue aardvark because members of the administration without the capability to declassify and members of congress without that authority either have done it many times.

          And whatever he allegedly did, he deserves fair treatment.  

          •  I support his prosecution, but (0+ / 0-)

            I agree with you here.

            "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

            by AaronInSanDiego on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 10:51:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Well now that's another question (0+ / 0-)

            And then the next question becomes "Did they release so much information in their leak that it took teams of people weeks to read it all?". What makes Manning special is that he released classified information he had never read - we know this by the sheer volume.

            Ergo, while a leaker may release a nugget of classified information (and it's a crime), they are selecting which information to release and doing a trade between the loss to national security and the gain they make by revealing the information.

            Manning made no such trade. For all he knew (worst case) the nuclear launch codes were in that data dump he gave Wikileaks and Osama bin Laden could have used them to launch a US - Russian - Chinese - Indian four way nuclear war, just for giggles and grins.

            In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

            by blue aardvark on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 06:15:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nuclear launch codes? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BeeDeeS

              Seriously?

              We're in way deeper shit than anyone has conceived if nuclear launch codes are laying around on SIPRNet with a maximum classification of "secret" and accessible to several million users worldwide.

              Sorry, but you're really jumping the shark with this argument.

              With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

              by jrooth on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 09:10:07 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I said "worst case" (0+ / 0-)

                And people do sometimes put stuff in places where it doesn't belong.

                I'm not making a probability based argument. I'm arguing that when you release tens of thousands of pages of stuff to the entire world, you have no idea at all what the consequences might be.

                If you want plausible:

                I consider it plausible that the CIA has agents working in the US Embassy in Beijing, and I consider it plausible that they have agents within the Chinese government. So, the Chinese start looking through reports from US Embassy in Beijing. When they find something interesting they ask "Who could have told them that?". By accumulating enough different data points they can narrow down the Embassy's sources of intelligence within China to a few people.

                Those people then die without much of a trial, this being China. US intelligence efforts suffer as a consequence.

                Do you honestly think the Chinese don't have enough people in their security apparatus to read the entire Wikileaks dump and glean a lot useful information therefrom?

                So - are you completely certain that Bradley Manning didn't get people killed?

                In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

                by blue aardvark on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 09:26:19 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm certain of three things: (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BeeDeeS

                  1) There is no credible evidence that anything he leaked got anyone killed.

                  2) If there were any indication (no matter how weak) whatsoever of the above, it would have been trumpeted everywhere in the MSM, sourced from "anonymous intelligence officials familiar with the material."

                  3) To the extent there's anything particularly valuable to foreign interests in this stuff there's more than one person among the several million worldwide who have unrestricted access to this material or among the many others (including foreigners) who have easy unauthorized access given the documented laxity of security procedures surrounding SIPRNet who would have passed it on to thm.

                  With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

                  by jrooth on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 09:42:34 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  One more thing: (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BeeDeeS

                  I'm certain that the CIA does not use the ordinary State Department cables channel to transmit their reports.

                  With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

                  by jrooth on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 09:45:13 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm quite certain (0+ / 0-)

                    That information gleaned by the CIA and others is shared with the ambassadors.

                    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

                    by blue aardvark on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 10:25:37 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Some fraction, perhaps. (0+ / 0-)

                      So you're down from al Qaeda launching nuclear missiles using codes that we just leave lying around on our least secure classified network (one with legitimate access by millions of people all over the world) to possibly some information gets passed from the CIA resident to the Ambassador who then puts it in the contents of a minimally classified cable which winds up on that network.

                      And again, I'll refer you to the three points in the post above.

                      With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

                      by jrooth on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 10:32:49 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

    •  exactly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark, doroma, foufou

      IMO, even if the evidence ends up proving he's guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt, Manning's best defense is to argue that the  military should have 1) never taken him in and 2) allowed him to stay, despite numerous red flags that he simply was not fit to serve. And same goes for Wikileaks and how they took advantage of Manning.

      •  That defense might fly in a civilian court (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SuetheRedWA

        It will never fly in a court martial proceeding.

        In Courts Martial, it's all about the facts. If a court of twelve determines  Bradly Manning was the person who released tens of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks, who in turn published those documents on a public web site, there is no other conclusion than Bradley Manning is guilty of aiding the enemy under the UCMJ.

        Sentence: Death, unless Manning chooses to plead guilty.

        It's an open and shut case.

        •  I believe there has to be intent (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brown Thrasher

          to provide aid and comfort to the enemy. Otherwise it's not treason.

          In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

          by blue aardvark on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 04:03:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not under the UCMJ (0+ / 0-)

            He knowingly provided the documents to Wikileaks and they indirectly ended up in the hands of the enemy.

            Open and shut case.

            Intent is meaningless in courts martial with regards to this charge. Manning's intent may well have been to expose to the world the ugliness in our dealings with other nations. It matters not a whit.

            •  Care to supply a cite or two (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brown Thrasher

              of cases prosecuted under UCMJ where this broad interpretation od "aiding the enemy" was actually upheld?

              With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

              by jrooth on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 04:47:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  There is no broad interpretation here (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lcj98, AaronInSanDiego

                The specific US code defines indirectly giving intelligence to the enemy as aiding the enemy.

                It's a very specific definition.

                If Bradley Manning did, in fact, transmit tens of thousands of pages of classified documents to Wikileaks, there is no counter argument to him providing those documents indirectly to the enemy. His only choice is to plead guilty or face a potential death penalty.

                And under the UCMJ, the wishes of the prosecution do not enter into it. If he pleas not guilty, is found guilty, then the court determines if he gets the death penalty or not. If the court unanimously votes for death, he gets a needle in his arm with no more than two potential appeals, one via the military and another via the Supreme Court.

                The UCMJ is not civilian court.

                •  I seriously doubt that will happen here (0+ / 0-)

                  I would mortgage the farm and bet it that Manning will never get close to seeing the death penalty. And if he did ,Obama would commute it.
                  It may be a capital crime under the law but they're not going to execute him. He will be found guilty for sure. Sentence? I bet 20 years or less
                  I'm surprised he hasn't tried to cop a plea by rolling over on wikileaks, I really am. It could still happpen. If he wants to get out with any time left to have a happy life, he'd better

                  Happy just to be alive

                  by exlrrp on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 05:43:31 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Just repeating yourself (0+ / 0-)

                  doesn't make your argument any stronger.

                  I have read posts by people with experience in military law who didn't agree with you.  That's why I'm asking you to provide some precedent in support of your claim.

                  With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

                  by jrooth on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 06:15:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  There's no relevant precedent (0+ / 0-)

          even under UCMJ. If it reached this level of absurdity, he get pardoned, imo.

  •  Oh, and BTW (11+ / 0-)

    I have nothing but contempt for those who break an oath to keep classified information classified, regardless of who is President at the time. You sign a legally binding promise, you keep it. How hard is that?

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 02:19:28 PM PST

    •  Quite hard, or it should (6+ / 0-)

      be hard, when you have evidence of crimes and corruption.

      I'm a little surprised you oppose the very concept of whistle blowing -- surprised you hold such a reactionary, authoritarian position.

      •  If you think Bradley Manning is a (13+ / 0-)

        whistle blower I have a bridge to sell you.

        He had no idea what was in that data, which is easily proven by the sheer volume thereof. That's not providing evidence of government wrongdoing which is being covered up; it's willfully disclosing classified information without regard to the consequences.

        Who has been, or should have been, prosecuted based on the data Manning revealed? I haven't heard any calls for prosecutions.

        That's not a whistle blower. It's a mentally unstable young man being exploited and induced to commit a serious crime.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 02:27:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In fact, if the chat logs (5+ / 0-)

          are authentic, Manning spoke at some length about his horror at what his country was doing. Moral revulsion.

          That aside, it was you who stretched this issue well beyond Manning to attack the very concept of whistle blowing.

          I have nothing but contempt for those who break an oath to keep classified information classified, regardless of who is President at the time. You sign a legally binding promise, you keep it. How hard is that?
          •  So you think his moral revulsion over Iraq (7+ / 0-)

            means that releasing information about, say, Pakistan is justified? That's an enormous stretch.

            Since I disagree with keeping Guantanamo Bay open I should just dump everything I have access to onto the Internet? Even though I've sworn a solemn oath not to do so?

            Did US policy in Iraq alter one iota due to what Manning did?

            In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

            by blue aardvark on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 02:50:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I see why you're trying to turn the (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              3rdOption, Marie, Brown Thrasher

              discussion back to Manning, because you don't want to stand by your attack on all whistle-blowing.

              Just backtrack, say you were wrong. We all type fast, make mistakes.

              •  OK, I back-tracked (7+ / 0-)

                There is justified whistle-blowing.

                But as with civil disobedience, the purity of your motives does not mean you escape the consequences of law breaking. It might be taken into account during sentencing.

                I hope Manning gets off lightly. As I said, I think he should never have been a soldier at all, let alone one entrusted with secrets.

                In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

                by blue aardvark on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 03:06:35 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  THANK YOU!!! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blue aardvark
                  But as with civil disobedience, the purity of your motives does not mean you escape the consequences of law breaking. It might be taken into account during sentencing.

                  THANK YOU!!!THANK YOU!!!THANK YOU!!!THANK YOU!!!THANK YOU!!!THANK YOU!!!THANK YOU!!!THANK YOU!!!THANK YOU!!!THANK YOU!!!THANK YOU!!!THANK YOU!!!

                  I'm about to H.A.M....

                  by lcj98 on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 05:34:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  The nerve of that Daniel Ellsberg! (5+ / 0-)

        Same thing for Mark Felt (Deep Throat).  

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 02:28:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The so-called liberals that (4+ / 0-)

          view Manning with disgust also have the nerve to say that the Ellsberg and Felt situations were different.  None other than Daniel Ellsberg himself has said that they aren't different and he's disgusted by those that say they are.

          •  While I respect Ellsberg (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            philimus, fcvaguy, second gen

            he is not the sole arbiter of how classified information should be handled.

            So far as I know Felt broke no laws and the information released was not classified, so that clearly is completely different regardless of Mr. Ellsberg's opinions on the matter.

            In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

            by blue aardvark on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 02:52:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So you have contempt for all leakers (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              3rdOption, Marie, Brown Thrasher

              unless you respect them?

              I'm so confused.

              •  Yes, of course (4+ / 0-)

                You should read my exchange with JSRooth where I acknowledge that I over-stated my case.

                There are cases where revealing classified information is justified - in which case you should be prepared to face the consequences.

                No set of criteria I can imagine justify releasing classified information that you, yourself, have not read and therefore do not know the contents - which is clearly what Manning did. How do you propose to "blow the whistle" with random data?

                In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

                by blue aardvark on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 03:04:35 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's a bit complicated in Manning's case (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  3rdOption, Marie, jrooth, Brown Thrasher

                  because so much of what he released should not have been classified and he released information cocerning many different crimes and corrupt acts. Does a person have to have absolute knowledge of everything he leaks to be considered a whistle blower? I'm not sure.

                  What's more, people leak classified informaton all the time. Just about every week the NY Times publishes a story based on classified info. Often the info is more classified than the info Mannning leaked, yet only Manning is facing life in prison.

                  •  Over-classification is a constant problem (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    lcj98

                    When you work with that stuff routinely it gets easier sometimes to just classify everything.

                    Dick Cheney's office routinely and deliberately overclassified - that was why he declared himself a fourth branch of government, so he wouldn't have to follow the same rules as any other handler of classified data. But I digress.

                    Now, if you could show that Manning intended for some specific crimes to be prosecuted that moves him toward whistle-blower status. However, he released far more information that was of no relevance to corruption but of use to our enemies than the contrary. That flows from the decision to just dump the whole mess on the Internet.

                    He was a dumb kid, and Wikileaks took advantage of him. This is NOT how to handle disgust over specific crimes, and Iraq being a moral disaster does not excuse Manning.

                    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

                    by blue aardvark on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 04:01:28 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  david - manning was not a whistle blower (12+ / 0-)

        Had Manning released to the public only one or two items, which were clearly war crimes that were being covered up, he would still be guilty and subject to punishment. However, he could have been a heroic character and at some point could have been subject to leniency or commutation of his sentence. Those are not the facts here. Manning is accused of releasing ten of thousands of classified documents and, if that is true, he will spend the next 40 years in prison and has no valid whistle blower defense or compelling case for leniency.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 02:33:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What a black/white world you inhabit (7+ / 0-)

      Without getting into how well the Manning case fits this, there is at least one set of circumstances which I think justifies leaking classified information to the press:

      A)  The classified material is evidence of serious wrongdoing.

      B)  The leaker attempted to use the technically approved "whistleblowing" channels of taking the information to their service IG and/or a member of congress before leaking to the press, but got nowhere.

      With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

      by jrooth on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 02:30:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In which case you're still a criminal (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fcvaguy, VClib, SuetheRedWA, Sky Net

        although I have to agree that conduct is not contemptible.

        Something can be moral but illegal, and vice-versa.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 02:48:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't dispute (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Marie, Brown Thrasher

          that it's still technically a crime.  But of course in today's America we choose to let all sorts of crimes go unpunished (whilst viciously prosecuting others).

          At any rate, I was reacting to your "nothing but contempt" statement.

          With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

          by jrooth on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 02:52:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, I spoke too strongly (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            foufou, fcvaguy, jrooth, SuetheRedWA, Sky Net

            There are circumstances where one should reveal what you know and face the consequences.

            Since no change in US policy in Iraq resulted from Manning's actions - and none was particularly likely given that the bulk of the material did not even touch on Iraq - he was no whistle blower.

            In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

            by blue aardvark on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 02:54:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Are there classified channels (0+ / 0-)

        for whistleblowing?

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 10:58:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AaronInSanDiego

          Manning allegedly did attempt to go through his chain of command first and was told to mind his own business. Although it doesn't appear he exhausted the official whistleblowing options of the service IG and a member of congress.

          With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

          by jrooth on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 05:42:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  My country right or wrong, huh? Pathetic. n/t (2+ / 0-)
      •  Yes, that's clearly what I said (9+ / 0-)

        He released material he had not read. We know this because of how much was released. For all he knew he released the names of US agents who would be arrested and executed. Or launch codes for nukes. The fact that he didn't is not due to diligence on his part, but diligence on the part of others.

        Heroes do not break their word and dump vast amounts of classified material out onto the Internet without knowing what's in there.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 02:46:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  GOOD! (3+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    PubliusPublicola, second gen, AaronInSanDiego
    Hidden by:
    Shahryar

    He could end up getting the death penalty still.

    Bradley Manning is a disgrace to the uniform and (by definition) a traitor (aiding the enemy).

    •  I wear that donut as a badge of honor (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lcj98

      Supporting a traitor is not a good idea, and Manning fits that definition. Aiding the Enemy is an open and shut case under the UCMJ (directly or INDIRECTLY giving classified information to the enemy) and should he choose to plead not guilty, the death penalty is an option.

      •  So anyone at all (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marie, Brown Thrasher

        who leaks classified material with the understanding it may be published in the press is a traitor and should be executed?

        Does that include all those "senior administration officials" who leak stuff helpful to the administration?

        With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

        by jrooth on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 03:47:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SuetheRedWA

          You are trying to compare apples to oranges.

          You or I giving classified information to Wikileaks or the NY Times fall under civilian law. Daniel Ellsberg  fell under civilian law. Under civilian law, indirect transfer of classified information cannot be considered aiding the enemy (definition of treason in the contsitution).

          Bradley Manning falls under the Uniform code of Military Justice and that's a completely different animal.

          Under the UCMJ, aiding the enemy is an open and shut case in this matter and the death penalty is the proscribed punishment under the law.

          You may not like it, but how a member of the uniformed services handles classified information and how you or I handle it fall under two different standards, which is why Manning is a disgrace to his uniform. While you or I would be in violation of the law, the law is not so strict in its definition of our conduct as compared to a member of the uniformed services.

          •  Three things: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Marie, Brown Thrasher

            1) You're certain none of those senior officials are serving members of the military? How?

            2) What does the definition of treason in the Constitution have to do with any of this?  

            3) You keep claiming it's an "open and shut" case under UCMJ, yet I've seen a number of military lawyers offer contrasting opinions.  Can you supply some case law to support your contention?

            With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

            by jrooth on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 04:52:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I cited the specific code in this thread (0+ / 0-)

              Under the UCMJ, one specific definition of aiding the enemy is providing intelligence indirectly to the enemy through unauthorized release of that intelligence.

              If Bradley Manning did, indeed, provide the tens of thousands of pages of classified documents to Wikleaks, there is no counter argument. He did, in fact, indirectly provide intelligence to the enemy. He would be guilty of aiding the enemy under the UCMJ.

              Nobody to date that I have seen has argued he did not provide those documents to Wikileaks. If his defense argues he didn't and the prosecution cannot make the case, then he is innocent of aiding the enemy. If he did provide the documents and admits it, then pleads not guilty to aiding the enemy, he is a fool and will face the possibility of a death penalty.

              There is no middle ground. Providing those documents to Wikileaks is specifically aiding the enemy under US Code 904, article 104. This is the law under the UCMJ. If Manning provided them, there is no defense against the charge of aiding the enemy.

              •  What you choose to believe (0+ / 0-)

                is the plain reading of the code is not necessarily what military courts would say.

                Again, can you cite any case law to support your claim?

                With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

                by jrooth on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 06:13:08 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  We should wait (6+ / 0-)

      to see the evidence and the arguments before we decide he's a disgrace or a traitor.

      But, I fully support him being put on trial.

      •  I have yet to hear anybody put forward (0+ / 0-)

        an argument that he did  not release tens upon tens of thousands of documents to Wikileaks, including his own legal advisors.

        The only arguments I have heard is that he is a "whistleblower", so it's going to be damned hard to argue he did not indirectly give intelligence to the enemy, which is what defines aiding the enemy in this case.

        That charge carries a death penalty sentence.

    •  Uprated for the unwarranted HR. nt (0+ / 0-)

      "TEABAGGER=Totally Enraged About Blacks And Gays Getting Equal Rights."

      by second gen on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 05:12:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  uprated for unjustified hr (0+ / 0-)

      "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

      by AaronInSanDiego on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 11:00:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am the enemy he aided (0+ / 0-)

      Me and 307 million other Americans.  Without the unvarnished commenting on foreign policy the evaluations, the helicopter assault video, and thousands of other events we wouldn't have the dramatic truth that our government routinely lies to us, misrepresents our interests in certain ways and makes a mockery out of democracy and the rule of law.

      If one considers Bush junior and his gang did war crimes, and there are victims and lawyers ready to make that case, then what prevents a legal process?  It won't happen in the USA.   It won't happen in Spain either because a jurist who was determined enough to get after Pinochet 20 plus years later was obstructed by State Department interference and  the determination of THIS administration to look forward. They didn't announce it publicly, they covered up for Bush.

      We wouldn't know about it except for WikiLeaks and BTW, the same officials who still work in State and other agencies are warned not to reference or access Wikileaks ever.  They have access, but must not find out what Wikileaks has!  George Orwell, Franz Kafka, you guys predict our future better than anyone else!

      Manning is accused of "aiding the enemy".  It is like Pogo, or each of us. We are the enemy that finding out discredit policy and theories about how the world is supposed to work.  "Our officials" fancy themselves not only privileged, but our masters. They lie to us to conceal what they are doing and refuse accountability as a career threat in losing their insider's club privileges.

      The Arab spring, the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, the overthrow of dictators were materially aided by activists and ordinary people gleaning a fuller picture of what the USA was up to , in military and statecraft terms in the Middle East.  And that happened without any military being sacrificed or killed as a result.  Manning deserves a whopping thank you, not villification as he routinely gets from some of  the new authoritarians among the community here.  We differ, the short explanation, on the value of what he did. One thing is true; the material spread communication and awareness all over the world and we got some movement when we got smarter and less gullible as we did in 2011. Re classified controversy-

                 We do not even have an Official Secrets Act, a policy which routinely declassifies material after a time to help researchers and citizens do historic and scientific analysis to help policy decisions be made with insight and informed accurate data to back it up.  We had Bush 2 unilaterally classifying and hiding away material from an earlier Presidency to avoid embarrassment or examination of events that might reflect poorly on himself, or create questions.  Preserve his status at all costs.  

               This tendency and approach is unworthy of a free and courageous people.  What are we afraid of? Unpleasant truths, informed consensus, making wise  brave, decisions not frightened, ignorant ones?  revealing these things showed how problematical a policy and a lack of review of that policy due to stagnant and frozen ways of handling change can be. The coverup culture is inimical to our survival as a vibrant republic let alone a representative democracy.  

          We are an ossified 19th Century top of the food chain predator looking for a new rule in a dynamic and changing world. Our governance and policy making is 100 years out of step with what needs doing for us to thrive and grow.

         Manning took the young man's impulsive route, going with gut feelings rather than a logical plan. Regardless, much more good came out of his act rather than harm, and the effort to punish him severely is to discourage any repeat of exposures and embarrassments  rather than any specific punishment for any specific harm done.

      If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever.... well, you will be run off in 20 minutes., you will leave town having wasted your effort 6/18/11.

      by BeeDeeS on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 10:40:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  US Code - Section 904: Art. 104. Aiding the enemy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark
    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. This section does not apply to a
    military commission established under chapter 47A of this title.

    Currently, the method of execution is lethal injection.

    If Bradley Manning pleads guilty to aiding the enemy, he cannot receive the death penalty under the UCMJ.

  •  This is absolute BS (6+ / 0-)
    Instead they will rely on the same old generic scaremongering and inferences that many of Obama's supporters (many of whom would be absolutely enamored with Manning had the leak occurred under George W. Bush) swallow, hook, line and sinker.

    Why can't you make your arguments for Manning without trying to turn it into some BS pie fight with Obama supporters?

  •  "Aiding the enemy" + NDAA = (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brown Thrasher

    disappearance.

    Now torture Manning to get him to lie about Assange, and Assange can be disappeared.

  •  Although I sympathize w/Manning ... (3+ / 0-)

    ... to a certain extent on moral grounds, there's just no way I can defend what he did in legal terms. And it strikes me as more than a bit ironic that so many people who are quick to praise Manning as a hero and a whistleblower can turn right around and say he deserves a presumption of innocence in this case. If you really believe he's a hero, isn't that kind of an acknowledgement that you think he leaked those classified documents?

    I do recognize that there's a difference between what's ethical and what's legal. And no matter what the verdict is from Manning's court-martial, I think he's been treated horribly since his arrest. That being said, while I am glad the prosecution has already taken the death penalty off the table, it appears unlikely that Manning's defense attorneys will be able to establish reasonable doubt that he was the source of the classified information being released to Wikileaks.

    IMHO, Manning would have a much better case if this was only about posting the video that clearly showed a war crime being committed. Downloading hundreds of thousands of other confidential documents seems to make the claim of being a whistleblower harder to uphold. And yes, his commanding officers were guilty of maintaining extremely poor security at the facility where he was based, but that does not constitute a reason why Manning should be excused for his conduct, depending on what is proven in court.

    •  The prosecution may have taken the DP off the tabl (0+ / 0-)

      but that doesn't matter. If he pleads not guilty and the courts martial finds him guilty, it's back on the table under the UCMJ. The court decides at that point, not the prosecution.

  •  We all have to make choices. I feel confident (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego

    that Bradley Manning did what he thought was the right thing, regardless of what anyone else thinks about what he did.

    But there are consequences to all choices.  Manning knew the consequences of what he was doing, and now he will suffer them.

    You may see him as a traitor, or you may see him as a hero.  Either way, he will suffer the consequences, whatever they may be, and disparaging the army for imposing them is like blaming a brick wall when a car plows into it.

    The consequences, like the brick wall, were in place before Bradley drove himself into them.  I assume he determined beforehand that he was willing to suffer them for what he believed was right.

    I'm not surprised about the "aiding the enemy" recommendation.  Almanza's a Lt. Col.  He wants to be a full colonel.  He's not going to make a recommendation that might make him appear "soft" to his superiors.  It's the old prosecutorial solution:  when in doubt, use a shotgun.

    What'd the devil give you for your soul, Tommy? He taught me to play this guitar REAL good. Oh son, for that you gave up your everlastin' soul? Well, I wuddn' usin' it.

    by ZedMont on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 05:13:56 PM PST

    •  Who is the enemy the military claims was helped? (0+ / 0-)

      That is not so easy to prove. First they have to find evidence of Manning turning over militarily significant information to the "enemy".  That may be the WEAKEST part of their entire case.  He is alleged to have given the material to Wikileaks, not to a terrorist group to use to attack Americans.  That is a not insignificant distinction, even in an era where Occupy protestors are called "low level terrorists" by the DHS officials or brain trust working for them.   These are the similar  to those experts who spent 15 months looking for WMD s in Iraq after defeating the Iraqi army and occupying the country.  What happened to their theory of why the war was justified?  Where were the WMD's?

      If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever.... well, you will be run off in 20 minutes., you will leave town having wasted your effort 6/18/11.

      by BeeDeeS on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 10:53:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would support the prosecution of (0+ / 0-)

    the leaking of classified info regardless of the administration it occurred under.

    "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

    by AaronInSanDiego on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 10:44:24 PM PST

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