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WikiLeaks Gives $15k To Bradley Manning Defense

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the gonna-be-brutal dept.

The Courts 321

wiredmikey writes "The Web site supporting Bradley Manning, the Army soldier charged with leaking a massive number of US classified information to WikiLeaks, posted an announcement on its site today, saying that WikiLeaks had transferred $15,100 to the legal trust account of Manning's attorney. WikiLeaks has been publicly soliciting donations specifically for the expenses of Manning's legal defense following his arrest in May 2010. The contribution by WikiLeaks brings the total funds raised and transferred to Bradley's civilian legal defense team, led by attorney David Coombs, to over $100,000. Supporters say that a 'vigorous defense' for Manning is estimated to cost $115,000."

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321 comments

I can see this as a problem... (2, Interesting)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863460)

The reason i say that is they may be able to use this in their espionage attempts. Meaning if he was given the info without asking for it, its one thing, but if he asked for it, than he can be tried under the espionage act (assange)

Now that they are giving him money for legal defense, a good lawyer can say that it shows that they were in fact working together. IANAL btw

Re:I can see this as a problem... (1, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863556)

Now that they are giving him money for legal defense, a good lawyer can say that it shows that they were in fact working together. IANAL btw

And an even better lawyer can say that it shows they merely stand for the same values.

Re:I can see this as a problem... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34863632)

Then the best lawyer will say "nuh-uh".

Re:I can see this as a problem... (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864710)

No, the best lawyer says, "Ladies and Gentlemen of the supposed jury, this is Chewbaca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense!"

Re:I can see this as a problem... (1)

MichaelKristopeit330 (1963782) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864048)

Now that they are giving him money for legal defense, a good lawyer can say that it shows that they were in fact working together. IANAL btw

And an even better lawyer can say that it shows they merely stand for the same values.

the values that it's acceptable to steal classified government information and give it to wikileaks, who will later give you money?

Re:I can see this as a problem... (3, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864250)

Obviously they didn't take the classified government information seriously if a private had access to it, and managed to steal it by pretending he was listening to Lady Gaga.

Re:I can see this as a problem... (0)

MichaelKristopeit330 (1963782) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864406)

who is "they"?

by your logic, anything that has ever been stolen has never been taken seriously. you're an idiot.

cower some more behind your chosen pseudonym, feeb.

you're completely pathetic.

Re:I can see this as a problem... (5, Informative)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863566)

Now that they are giving him money for legal defense, a good lawyer can say that it shows that they were in fact working together. IANAL btw

Not at all. Whenever the ACLU or the EFF defends someone pro bono, they are not thrown into the lawsuit with the defendant. It's certainly not criminal to donate money to defend a cause you believe in and, thanks to the SCOTUS, these donations by WikiLeaks and others are actually just an expression of free speech.

Re:I can see this as a problem... (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864794)

thanks to the SCOTUS, these donations by WikiLeaks and others are actually just an expression of free speech.

So I assume the courts are also going to be ruling against all the government harassment of companies like Visa that process donations to Wikileaks?

Hey, I can dream...

Re:I can see this as a problem... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863586)

That's what I was thinking...unless, of course, that's their intention. I don't know, the legal world is a strange and silly place.

Re:I can see this as a problem... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34863630)

Donating money to his legal defense in no way proves any prior collaboration, so that wouldn't really be a concern. However, if I were Manning, I might have some reservations about this money, as Wikileaks has a vested interest in the facts of this case. Wikileaks may or may not be more interested in making sure that Manning claims that he acted alone than they are in making sure that the outcome of the trial is in Manning's best interests.

Note I am not claiming they are doing this, or that they would do this, I just know that if I was on trial and my life was on the line, I'd want to be 100% sure that the number one priority of my lawyers and those paying him is making sure I don't get executed.

Not really (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863810)

It's not illegal to donate money and just donating money doesn't mean you know the person.

Re:Not really (2)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864056)

Unless whoever you're donating to is on one of the secret government terrorist lists, or a front for terrorists, or might possibly theoretically maybe help someone who turns out to be connected to a terrorist.

Then donating money is illegal and grounds for having your entire bank account seized.

Re:I can see this as a problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34864596)

Given the personality (and financial acquisiviteness) that Asange projects it would be interesting to know how much he actually collected with his defense fund promotion.

You think they give more... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34863520)

... since he was arguably the source that gave the materials that put Wikileaks on the map. I also wonder how much money of that $100,000 will go to defend Julian Assange.

Re:You think they give more... (4, Insightful)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863660)

A token amount, just for appearances. The simple fact is that WikiLeaks no longer needs Pfc Manning, and the handwriting is pretty much on the wall for him, anyway. The best he can expect is a dishonorable discharge and a short stay at USDB in Leavenworth. Giving him any more would be a waste of resources they may need to defend Assange in Sweden.

Re:You think they give more... (1)

alta (1263) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863868)

and on the other hand, court marshal and execution for treason.

Re:You think they give more... (5, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863970)

He will face a court martial, but this isn't a capital offense. Individuals that have been caught and convicted of providing information like that in the past have faced long prison terms. There's a spy still in prison since the mid 80s for spying on the US for Israel.

Sure he'll likely spend decades behind bars, but he's not facing any capital charges here.

Re:You think they give more... (2)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864124)

There's a spy still in prison since the mid 80s for spying on the US for Israel.

Jonathan Pollard and Israel keeps asking every administration to release him. Fortunately, even under Bush, that request has been denied every time.

I don't expect that to change under Obama either. The military and intelligence communities would go apeshit over his release. A U.S. citizen who spied for a foreign country who gets rewarded for the spying by being sent to the country who spied for and who would treat him a hero. Yeah, that would go over well.

Re:You think they give more... (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863994)

I am NOT an expert on the USMJ (or even passingly familiar with it), but I wouldn't a treason charge would come from a civilian court, as it is defined constitutionally? Now, that is not to say there is not a capital crime in the USMJ that he might have committed in passing classified information to a non-state entity. I don't know.

Re:You think they give more... (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864728)

They cant, he did not technically do a treasonous act. I suggest you learn military law about Treason and not listen to idiots with the last name Palin.

Re:You think they give more... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864410)

It's worth noting that the other complicating factor here is that the reason Manning is imprisoned under harsh conditions right now is that the prosecutors are trying to get him to testify that Wikileaks (and Assange in particular) contacted him and convinced him to release the cables. In other words, they want Wikileaks to become his accomplice, and Wikileaks may think that contributing huge sums to his legal defense would help the prosecutors make that argument.

I have a major problem with the process the prosecution is using here: Arrest person A for a crime, then hold him without trial under harsh conditions until he testifies against person B (who just happens to be a political enemy of the government). That's a popular way for totalitarian governments who want to create evidence for show trials, not a valid police tactic in a free country.

Re:You think they give more... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34863848)

It's only fair. Manning made Wikileaks a lot of money. Wikileaks should share part of the spoils.

Re:You think they give more... (3, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863990)

What money? The money that Paypal is sitting on or the money that Mastercard won't allow to be donated?

Where do i donate ? (-1, Flamebait)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863592)

im not american, but what manning exposed has put forth that the plague corrupting america is directly affecting me and my loved ones' lives from oceans away, to an extent i couldnt ever have imagined.

i see manning as someone who exposed some real, real shit. im not even going to go into the fact that he has helped americans to discover that their government was betraying their trust, their funds and their rights.

Re:Where do i donate ? (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863786)

Like?

Re:Where do i donate ? (4, Insightful)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863858)

For one thing, the complete lack of any mention of Area 51 or the JFK assassination shows that the US Military Industrial complex is even more secretive than we thought!</sarcasm>

Re:Where do i donate ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863896)

new papers that are going to be released has ufo information revealed by u.s. officials in transcripts. another reason why they are trying to suppress it so frantically, is this.

Re:Where do i donate ? (4, Funny)

choongiri (840652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864646)

You must be new here. Slashdot has moderation. If you're lost and looking for the "like" buttons, here's what you do: head over that way, take the second on the right, push your way through the crowds of teenagers, past the drunk party photos and lonely people clamoring for attention. There you will find facebook.

Re:Where do i donate ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34863902)

im not even going to go into the fact that he has helped americans to discover that their government was betraying their trust, their funds and their rights.

The U.S. Constitution emphasizes that Americans should never trust the government outright.
You must be new here.

Re:Where do i donate ? (0)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864040)

im not even going to go into the fact that he has helped americans to discover that their government was betraying their trust, their funds and their rights.

You mean they didn't know already after the war and the PATRIOT act? Wow, people are dumb.

HAHAHAHA (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864288)

mod down whenever someone supports wikileaks ...

Re:HAHAHAHA (0)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864472)

Good idea, but it won't work. Apple fanbois are even more hated than Assangebois and there's never enough mod points to shut them up.

Re:HAHAHAHA (2)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864732)

the difference in between apple fanbois and 'assangebois' is that, the latter is a show of support for people exposing uncomfortable truth. and the fact that there are morons who put two in the same basket, like you, is the explanation for why we are in this kind of mess on this planet in the first place.

Context (2, Interesting)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863636)

Is $15k a significant chunk of change for WL or is it less than a day's allocation of the hookers and blow funds? How much of what has been donated to WL specifically for this cause is $15k?

Due Process (1, Insightful)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863646)

That my nation has deprived PFC Bradly Manning of due process is something I worry about greatly.

If I was on any sort of stage I would be repeating the words 'due process' every day until Manning is given his rights.

Re:Due Process (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34863708)

Um, what? Citation needed, badly. I've seen nothing in the news reports that suggests to me that the UCMJ is being violated. Unless you think the existence of the UCMJ itself is a violation of due process?

Re:Due Process (3, Insightful)

joshki (152061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863752)

Due Process? How, pray tell, has he been deprived of due process? He's in pre-trial confinement, awaiting his GCM.

Re:Due Process (3, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863908)

Well, he is already being punished; it is to the point where he has to be given antidepressants just to be kept alive. He is not allowed to have bedsheets, last I checked (I assume this is because he might try to hang himself). He has been in solitary confinement for many months now, which is extremely difficult to endure and which can have long lasting or even permanent effects on people.

I suppose there might be some disagreement on the meaning of "right to a speedy trial" or "due process," but I am a bit confused as to how the treatment of Manning passes constitutional muster. I understand that he is subject to military law, not civilian law, but it is still troubling.

Re:Due Process (2, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864068)

That's standard practice, and it's for his own good. Just because he's being held pre-trial doesn't mean that the other inmates aren't going to stab him to death before the trial. Surprisingly enough not all crimes are equal in terms of inmate treatment.

Of course he's depressed, whether he's innocent or not, the prospect of facing a long prison term is inherently depressing. Being innocent does not ensure that you won't end up doing time.

Also, speedy trial, doesn't preclude a thorough investigation, the provision was there to ensure that the government didn't endlessly delay a trial while doing a superficial investigation. Seeing as this is a complicated case and they're still doing legitimate investigation that provision shouldn't come into play.

Re:Due Process (1, Informative)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864106)

Probably solitary is for his own protection, and keeping him alive is the responsibility of the justice system, so if he's on suicide watch, that means being deprived of things he can use to KILL HIMSELF WITH. There's nothing in there that violates constitutional rights. In fact, if they were remiss in removing those items, it could be seen as complicit agreement with his suicidal intentions, and then they're meting out capital punishment without due process, which WOULD be in violation of constitutional rights. And "right to a speedy trial" isn't for military law, and needs to be requested by the defendant in either case.

The only thing troubling here is that this guy's so upset with his circumstances that he's trying to kill himself. Anything else stems from that fact.

Re:Due Process (1)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864450)

...that means being deprived of things he can use to KILL HIMSELF WITH.

How great that our system can spend billions upon billions on a hunt for non-existent WMD's but can't give a man some sheets to sleep with. Would it really be that hard to put a camera on the guy with someone watching 24/7 if they were really THAT worried about him?

This is not just some random dude, this is someone who has yet to be charged with any sort of crime. But ah, I did forget that once you are a member of the armed forces you give up all your rights...?

Re:Due Process (1, Redundant)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864128)

Then go read the UCMJ and see for yourself. He continues to draw pay and allowances, BTW.

He knew the rules, broke them with premeditation, and can still luxuriate in comparatively cozy military confinement. I'd prefer that to a civilian jail any day.

Re:Due Process (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34864368)

I'm just wondering... what is he *charged* with?!?
Thus far, I haven't heard any real charges, just that he's "detained".
Arguably, a "speedy trial" can take months, even years in some cases.. I dunno about the UCMJ, but usually you have to actually be *charged* with a crime to be detained - not just 'suspected' (ie, they can only hold you 3 days w/o charging you).

Re:Due Process (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34864518)

You've obviously not done the slightest bit of work to answer your own question.

Let's see, the 10-second Google search reveals the July 2010 charges:

"The first charge, under Article 92 of the UCMJ, is for violating a lawful Army regulation by transferring classified data onto his personal computer and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system.

The second charge includes eight specifications under Article 134 of the UCMJ, incorporating violations of the United States Criminal Code. Those eight specifications consist of the following:

One specification of violating United States Code Title 18, Section 793, for communicating, transmitting and delivering national defense information to an unauthorized source;
Three specifications of violating United States Code Title 18, Section 1030(a)(1), for disclosing classified information concerning the national defense with reason to believe that the information could cause injury to the United States; and
Four specifications of violating United States Code Title 18, Section 1030(a)(2), for exceeding authorized computer access to obtain classified information from a United States department or agency."

Re:Due Process (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34864180)

He has his health closely monitored and is being tended to by Doctors, daily. Anti-depressants during solitary confinement seems prudent to keep him from suffering terribly, and considering the Adrian Lamo chatlogs I would say the Doctors would be negligent if they weren't medicating him.

Should they put him in with the general military prison population? He's not been found guilty. I don't think exposing him to stranger-danger-bad-touch is a smart decision.

He was arrested in May, charged in July. His trial is scheduled for this Spring. That sucks, but it doesn't appear to be abnormally slow considering the general speed of the US legal system. Perhaps the Military is different and you could comment on how fast his trial should be? How long is the minimum fair allotment of time for his lawyers to construct their defense?

Or do you just think that he should have been immediately taken out behind a shed and shot?

Re:Due Process (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34864522)

MOD PARENT UP! I wish I had mod points; this is great, great context, thank you!

Re:Due Process (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34864460)

In some countries, at least, torture is not part of "due process". The US is not one of those countries.

The kind of solitary confinement being used is torture even without the alleged sleep deprivation. This was realized by Charles Dickens; it's nothing new. So, "due process"?

Re:Due Process (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864576)

He's been in pre-trial confinement for far longer than is standard (8 months and counting). The right to a speedy trial is part of his Sixth Amendment protections, which apply to military personnel under the UCMJ.

By comparison, Timothy McVeigh was kept confined for about 2 months prior to initial court proceedings, and trial started within 6 months.

Re:Due Process (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34864624)

You're correct in that Due Process has probably not been subverted, at least I hope, however, I'm still not sold on the idea that the 250,000 cables, vast encrypted video release, and 1000's of other documents that wikileaks received was done by just one man. Sorry, it's just TOO neat and tidy and convenient.

And if it was just one man, and Manning is the 'true leak' in ALL of this, then our Intelligence infrastructure, and our National Security, were/are in far worse shape than it should be.

Someone should do an audit of the Intelligence sector and weigh the failures of security against any rights usurped against the American People and International Community abroad. There's an equivalence in there somewhere, but damned if I know how you can measure it.

Re:Due Process (1)

ageoffri (723674) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863766)

Exactly where has PFC Manning been denied due process as defined under the UCMJ? Please cite the specific section instead of trying for sensational statements. Don't forget that as part of his enlistment he voluntary agreed to be held to the UCMJ which the courts have upheld applies instead of the normal civilian legal system.

Re:Due Process (2, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863892)

He gave up the right to due process when he volunteered for the Army. Now he is subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and trial by a military tribunal.

Want to keep your Constitutional Rights for when you break the law? Don't volunteer for the farking Army.

Re:Due Process (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34864182)

Constitutional Rights applies even to the army.
It also applies even if someone paints a large yellow line and says that it does not apply behind that line.

Re:Due Process (2)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864790)

Weird, I use to work at a prison and there literally was a big yellow line with signs saying once you cross it certain constitutional rights went out the window. They arrested visitors almost daily with what would otherwise be an unlawful search.

Re:Due Process (3, Informative)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864186)

He has different processes due, not "no right to due process". See the UCMJ and MCM for reference.

Re:Due Process (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864436)

Honestly, my concern is instead of focusing on the culprit in this case, that is a military officer that offered aid and comfort to a foreign person, my government is wasting time and resources harassing US citizens for expressing their first amendment rights. And I am not talking about citizens with access to a bully pulpit that can be used to cause large amounts of harm when used irresponsibly. I am taking about average private citizens. We know who is responsible for the leaks, so let's take care of that problem.

As far as due process, the problem is the prefix 'PFC'. This means that he has given up certain rights by the nature of his employment by the US taxpayer. For instance, if a person is employed by the IRS, certain simple acts that would be acceptable elsewhere can get one fired or arrested. An IRS agent, like a PFC, enters the relationship voluntarily, with eyes wide open, in exchange for compensation. Official Military websites list average base compensation at 100K a year, not including extra perks like signing bonuses, longevity bonuses, etc.

PFC Manning committed his act not as a private citizen, not even only as a person who receives payment from the public purse, but as a member of the military and therefore is under the jurisdiction of the military courts. His actions were severe enough to warrant severe actions. Sure he only released documents to a relatively benign agent, but what would stop the next PFC from releasing documents to less benign agent. Nothing if he was only given a slap on the wrist. The fact is he either implicitly or explicitly made a decision to remain in the military when he committed the act, when in fact resigning would have been as simple as making a gay soft core video. Consequences have actions, and sometimes we have to take those consequences, even when our actions were done even with the best of intentions. It may not be what some of us like, but if we live under the rule of law, even the compassionate rule fo law, sometimes things happen we do not like.

I would also like to note for those that like to wave the constitution around that the constitution gives no special standing to military, in fact to prevent military dictatorship it make the military subservient to the civil authority, in effect minimizing the need for due process in the military. This is especially true at times of ware, which arguable reflects current events. For those who are interested, look at the 5th amendment.

Re:Due Process (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864770)

Please describe how Manning was deprived of his due process rights as a volunteer soldier in the US Army. That last part is the most important part. Military personnel, especially those that volunteer for military service, have fewer rights than civilians by default. I am pessimistic as to whether his legal team can free him. At best they can spare him execution. His team might argue that the information he gave should not have been classified but the fact that he disclosed classified information to outsiders usually is enough to be convicted of treason.

Re:Due Process (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864778)

Due Process was thown out with the PATRIOT ACT. something you supported and continued to support by voting for scumbags in congress that passed it and passed the act making it permanent.

Have you written letters to all your representatives to have it repealed? No? Then you support it.

Can't imagine it'll help much (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863652)

Manning is fucked no matter what basically. The UCMJ doesn't have a "Because I though it should be released," exception to the rules on classified materials. Also, as implied by the UCMJ thing, he'll be court-marshaled which means tried by a military court. Trying for nullification by a sympathetic jury is more or less impossible.

His case is pretty open and shut when you get down to it. I can't see what an expensive defense will do for him.

Not only that... (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863778)

but he can pretty much expect to have to live in solitary confinement if he wants to survive in prison. People who are perceived as traitors are right up there with child molesters to many convicts. The fact that he is a homosexual and it's come out that he was motivated to leak the data by DADT will only make it worse for him.

If I were his attorney, plan A would be some form of insanity defense based on his mental state over DADT and plan B would be violation of civil liberties for imprisoning him so long in such harsh conditions without a trial.

Re:Not only that... (4, Interesting)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864002)

Military Prisons are pretty much controlled environments. It's prison with the bonus of having military rules applied to it.

Rather than taking near minimum wage prison guards, military prison guards are hand picked from Military Police MOS from all the branches and have low guard to prisoner ratios, Navy Brigs are like 1 guard for every 1.75 prisoners, vs 1 guard for 250 prisoners in many state prisons.

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/justicelawlegislation/a/leavenworth.htm [about.com]

I had a buddy from High School who did a tour there as a guard, said they were the most squared away prisoners he'd ever seen.

Re:Not only that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34864704)

Then how did they hide the trebuchet in the prison yard? Squared away, my ass.

Re: Manning is a hero, not a traitor (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34864730)

Anyone who sides with the US government in this is a class traitor. Weak people will always try to side with the powerful.

Bradley Manning on the other hand is a hero and deserves a medal for giving us the truth.

God, the US govt and military are such scum. It really does make the mind boggle.

I wonder how much it will actually help (2)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863654)

Technically, WikiLeaks did nothing wrong (according to what you can find publically). Now that they are assisting him, as another person stated, it shows that they are working together. That is very bad for WikiLeaks. Unfortunately, Manning did commit a crime whether we like it or not. Whether it was for the good or not, it is still a crime. WikiLeaks needs to slow their roll before they get themselves in some trouble (and rest assured, there are lawyers waiting for WikiLeaks to slip up on something). WikiLeaks is a pretty cool place to get some information, but if they keep slipping by donating to people like Manning, they may be giving places reasons to take them down, which sucks.

Re:I wonder how much it will actually help (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863792)

While this is true, Manning didn't hand over classified material to wikileaks in hopes that it wasn't going to be released. He expected it to be released. Maybe he thought he wouldn't get caught... I don't really know.

Re:I wonder how much it will actually help (3, Interesting)

Permutation Citizen (1306083) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864010)

They should not be anything wrong to help someone defend himself to face a trial, whatever the crime he is accused of. According to justice, Manning is presumed innocent. Giving to his defend fund doesn't make anyone his accomplice.

Even someone who has obviously committed an horrible crime has right to be defended.

Re:I wonder how much it will actually help (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864338)

When you're already suspected of helping someone commit a crime, it doesn't help your case that you're innocent when you give that person tens of thousands of dollars to aid in their defense.

Re:I wonder how much it will actually help (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864108)

Oh, please, the same bigoted morons that think Wikileaks is tapping secure DoD communications equipment will buy that argument. The people with at least half a mind will see it for what it is, an effort to help with the collateral damage.

Re:I wonder how much it will actually help (1)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864506)

If Wikileaks are a little smart, they make sure not to know who is leaking stuff to them so that there is no scenario where they can be compelled to give up the identities of their sources. So they should not be able to know if Manning did what he is suspected in any privileged way. They can still make the donation if they think he probably did it based on what is known to the public or maybe just because their actions got him in trouble and they'd like to help him out where they can even if he didn't do it.

Re:I wonder how much it will actually help (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34864574)

"Unfortunately, Manning did commit a crime whether we like it or not."

The fact that he still has a DEFENSE FUND for DEFENDING HIMSELF at his TRIAL should make it very clear to you that, at least in the United States of America, he has not been proven guilty. Therefore, it is not known whether he did or did not commit a crime. It's right there in the Constitution.

And, as has already been pointed out, donating to a defense fund is not a crime. It doesn't make you an accomplice. It doesn't even associate you with the defendant. If it did, the federal, state, or local authorities that pay for public defenders would suddenly become accomplices to a lot of crimes.

Re:I wonder how much it will actually help (1)

Chakra5 (1417951) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864674)

I confused, would not the posting of the materials Manning leaked pretty much already prove they where "working together"?

BIG Mistake (5, Interesting)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863716)

Wikileaks should operate like a newspaper and Not be involved with defending the informants. Now they can be accused of colluding with the guy who stole US documents. Wikileaks should just be REPORTING the documents, and nothing else.

They just shot themselves in the foot.

Re:BIG Mistake (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863894)

I tend to agree. I feel like Wikileaks should fill in the gaps the main stream media fails to fill in. I could see this going one of two ways, people putting forward more information with the hope of being defended if they are caught, or people putting forward less information because they know what they are doing is illegal (and they will go to jail). Either way, it now greatly depends on the outcome of this trial, which doesn't bode well.

Re:BIG Mistake (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864246)

or people putting forward less information because they know what they are doing is illegal (and they will go to jail)

Anyone with access to anything particularly interesting is bound to know already the risks involved with what they are doing.

Re:BIG Mistake (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864554)

I feel like Wikileaks should fill in the gaps the main stream media fails to fill in.

That would require a fleet of earth movers.

Re:BIG Mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34863934)

can you also give me tomorrow's winning lotto numbers?

Ya I have to agree (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864054)

Though what the laws against spying are really talking about is paying someone to give you information, it could potentially be shore horned in this case and the US government sure as hell wants Assanage. They could potentially argue that this constitutes a payment for the information they received which makes them not a passive party, but an actor and thus guilty of a crime.

As you say, big mistake when you are under the gun anyhow. Plus, as I mentioned in another post, I can't see how this'll really help. I can't see Manning winning his case. He very clearly broke the law under the UCMJ and being that it'll be a military trial, the jury is not going to be sympathetic. Right or wrong, he's going to jail.

Re:BIG Mistake (0)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864082)

Because Fox news have never donated to the Republican Governers Association.

Re:BIG Mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34864696)

Since when did we say Fox News were good journalists?

Re:BIG Mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34864226)

I don't agree, because Wikipedia is not a newspaper. They make no attempt to be a "newspaper". They stand for open information, whilst taking precautions to minimize damages already set in motion by less honest men and ethnocentric sheep.

Their foot is just they way it was before, standing for something bigger than most would dare to take on.

Re:BIG Mistake (1)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864550)

They want to encourage leaks and if Manning did what he is accused of then he helped them out a great deal in their mission. Wikileaks has no responsibility to refrain from taking action when it comes to helping whistle blowers or even just random people to get a fair trial.

Re:BIG Mistake (1)

dgavin (165779) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864734)

No, they're supporting a whistle-blower that happened to use them as a way to broadcast his information. To refuse to help him would imply that he did something wrong, which they may not see as the case..

To: Whomever Tagged This Article "Treason" (0, Flamebait)

Da_Biz (267075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34863840)

We don't live in a nation with Napoleonic Law you dickwads! One is innocent until proven guilty.

Go back to Fox News and eat your pablum like a good village idiot.

Re:To: Whomever Tagged This Article "Treason" (0)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864114)

We don't live in a nation with Napoleonic Law you dickwads! One is innocent until proven guilty.

Go back to Fox News and eat your pablum like a good village idiot.

"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort."

That's the Constitution of the United States. Not that it's followed much anymore, but I'm really disappointed that he's not being tried for the crime of treason. Instead of a couple of years in Club Fed with three meals a day, he should be convicted and hanged.

Re:To: Whomever Tagged This Article "Treason" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34864448)

I'm sure you'll change your tune you end up in a situation where you or one of your loved ones does something that the people in power don't like. Maybe I'll be outside the gates screaming that you should be 'convicted and hanged', but only after a public stoning, and perhaps afterwards some good old fashioned drawing and quartering just to demonstrate how very civilised your country is. Or perhaps you do not have the balls to stand up against oppression?

Why make the prosecutions case? (1)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864090)

If Wikileaks is helping to fund his defense, doesn't that put a couple of nails in the coffin for the defense??

I do agree with most of this however, this guy's life is over and he'll spend the rest of his life in maximum security at Club Fed. While I can't argue the merits of what he did, I can say
that if he is found guilty, then he's forfit his future. I honestly think based on what we know or have been told by the press and the military is only part of the story. Considering this will also be handled by the Military we probably won't know all of the details as to "why?"

Here's why they are doing this (5, Interesting)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864134)

Here's what they can do to get Assange, and part of the reason his organization is paying some of Manning's legal bills :

After giving Manning 'protective solitary confinment' (aka coercive torture) for enough time, they'll get Manning to claim that Assange and him worked together to get those government documents. Manning will be offered a deal for a limited amount of prison time if he serves as a 'government witness' against Assange. Given the last 7 months have been hell on earth for Manning, turning such an offer down would be incredibly difficult. Even if there is no actual communication logs showing this, the mere testimony of Manning (under duress) is a "witness statement" that a grand jury can use.

Once they get Assange dragged into U.S. custody, they can lock him up in jail for years while federal prosecutors file motions for extensions and things. Then, finally, they can give him a show trial where the jury is stacked with people who hate sex criminals. (even though Assange would not be accused of such crime, the jurors would think of him as a rapist).

Even if he were acquitted (the case as I outlined it is very weak) he would be out hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal defense fees and years off his natural lifespan. The Federal government cannot be sued to reclaim either of these things unless Assange were able to show that the government KNEW he was innocent. (which if they have a coerced statement from Manning, above, the government doesn't have to pay)

So in a nutshell : they can punish Assange severely for his actions even if they are never able to convict him of a crime. And imagine the mental anguish : Assange won't know for months or years during this process if he is going to be convicted and made to rot in prison for decades.

This kind of thing happens day in and day out in the U.S. We make more people rot in confinement than the worst despotic regimes in history. And there are many effective ways to get around the protections offered by your 'rights', making them nearly meaningless in practice.

Re:Here's why they are doing this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34864520)

So stand up and do something. Go join one of the groups wanting to destroy the US government and help out. Walk the talk, little geek, or sit on your fat ass and post screed that no one other than you think are relevant and intelligent.

So umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34864138)

Why does it cost a hundred grand to defend yourself in court in the US?

Military lawyers are free (2)

Monkeyman334 (205694) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864168)

In the military system, legal counsel is free of charge whether or not you can afford it. And with a high profile case like this, I'm sure they'll appoint someone very senior. If you want to pay for a civilian lawyer, usually they are former military lawyers, or they're not well suited for military court. I wouldn't donate to this even if you want to defend Bradley Manning.

THE PRIVATE SHOULD BE SHOT !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34864188)

Simple. Shoot the treasonous bastard !! Don't bother with any frickin' court martial, just take him out back, tie him to a pole, offer a fag, blindfold, and let the boys shoot him like the swine he is !! Cart him off and toss him to the other swine !!

The world will be better for it !! Commies can go suck on a log for all I care !!

They hung him out to dry (1)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864636)

Wow, several months late in their less than timely [wired.com] follow through. Wikileaks has gone on the record as saying they were going to donate $50,000 to Manning's defense. Does it surprise anyone that when it came time to follow through they fell through [go.com]? All told they've raised at least $150,000 [theregister.co.uk] just from the heavily edited helicopter video alone. Of which they can only be bothered to spend $15,000 on his behalf. Take the $150,000 [igearnetwork.com] from the video and $50,000 pledge and you get a $185,000 profit for Wikileaks on those two items alone, not counting everything they raised from the cables.

Look, I know that fifteen thousand and fifty thousand both start with 'fift', but that doesn't mean they are anywhere near the same amount. I don't know about in Europe, but in America raising money for a cause and refusing to use it for a cause is considered a pretty serious felony fraud. This of it this way, less than 1 dollar in 3 that was pointedly raised for his defense was actually donated. Consider all the other money wikileaks has gotten from the rest of Manning's contributions and you'll see just how badly Wikileaks hung Manning out to dry. On a personal level, considering his treasonous actions could result in anywhere from 52 years in prison up to the death penalty, it's nice too see wikileaks living up to it's potential and hanging him out to dry.

Let him hang (-1)

alphad0g (1172971) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864706)

I hope the guy gets punished as a traitor. If everyone took his stance that "information should be free" and released what they should be shared, where would be? The next guy may want to level the playing field and share fighter plans, nuke designs, whatever he thinks should be free. No sympathy from me. And Assange is a jerk as well - he thinks he knows best on what to share. - I don't think or govt is perfect by any stretch, but sharing every secret without thought of the consequences is insane. If every Mother-in-Law knew every thought or feeling that another in-law had about her... we would have no one left alive after Thanksgiving dinners. Secrets are made to be secret.

This is not Wikileaks mission (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#34864746)

Let the ACLU or some other such organization defend Manning if they think it is right. But Wikileaks is supposed to be for publishing anonymous whistle blower information. Manning is not anonymous, nor is he a whistle blower, nor does their mission involve defending people from lawsuits.

I'm glad I didn't give any money to Wikileaks.

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