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Bin Laden Raid Member To Be WikiLeaks Witness

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the surprise-witness dept.

Government 212

the simurgh writes in with the latest in the court-martial of Bradley Manning. "A military judge cleared the way Wednesday for a member of the team that raided Osama bin Laden's compound to testify at the trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning charged in the WikiLeaks massive classified document leak. Col. Denise Lind ruled for the prosecution during a court-martial pretrial hearing. Prosecutors say the witness, presumably a Navy SEAL, collected digital evidence showing that the al-Qaida leader requested and received from an associate some of the documents Manning has acknowledged leaking. Defense attorneys had argued that proof of receipt wasn't relevant to whether Manning aided the enemy, the most serious charge he faces, punishable by life imprisonment. 'The government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the intelligence is given to and received by the enemy,' Lind said. The judge disagreed."

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Surveillance (5, Interesting)

drinkydoh (2658743) | about a year ago | (#43421139)

The mass surveillance and mass interception that is occurring to all of us now who use the internet is also a mass transfer of power from individuals into extremely sophisticated state and private intelligence organizations and their cronies like Google. The Pentagon is maintaining a line that WikiLeaks inherently, as an institution that tells military and government whistleblowers to step forward with information, is a crime. They allege we are criminal, moving forward. Now, the new interpretation of the Espionage Act that the Pentagon is trying to hammer in to the legal system, and which the Department of Justice is complicit in, would mean the end of national security journalism in the United States.

Re:Surveillance (4, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | about a year ago | (#43421167)

True. And it is happening right under all your noses, and the press is still able to report on it, so it's not like you are all caught by surprise... and despite the fact that you can all vote in a democratic system, this has been going on for well over a decade now.

Americans, you've got nobody to blame but yourselves.

Re:Surveillance (4, Insightful)

game kid (805301) | about a year ago | (#43421199)

and the press is still able to report on it

...for now.

Re:Surveillance (1)

firecode (119868) | about a year ago | (#43421281)

The amount of surveillance that is happening in internet is probably massive. All information in internet that passes through USA borders is captured by NSA to begin with and this is probably just the tip of the iceberg (echelon..).

It is likely that many big governments are doing large scale surveillance in internet and collecting data about individual's actions and the global state of the mind through internet (analysing forums, conversations, maybe emails in order to follow patterns in mental state of the population). It is interesting that most of the data traffic in internet is still unencrypted - probably because people in power want it that way.

Re:Surveillance (4, Insightful)

digitalchinky (650880) | about a year ago | (#43421525)

As a former secret 3 letter agency drone I'd like to point out that the internet is the metaphorical iceberg. Time to loosen the tinfoil I think : ) Your 'probably' may (or may not) scale more appropriately as the tip of the tip of the iceberg. Some perspective; A single satellite can relay several thousand unique transmissions. A single piece of fiber can convey orders of magnitude more data again. How much data do we push around daily, not just via the internet, but all networks combined? The NSA has a finite budget, a finite number of people, finite capability, finite everything.

Re:Surveillance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421593)

Yes, but if you're one of the unlucky people the government decides to harass, you're out of luck. The government harassing other people than myself doesn't give me even a bit of comfort.

Re:Surveillance (5, Insightful)

Reschekle (2661565) | about a year ago | (#43421793)

The problem though is that the NSA has been caught red-handed on multiple occasions. Then we hear about NSA's massive new data center that is under construction. So we want to know what they're up to and what they're doing. They won't tell us. The courts refuse to do their jobs when we try to sue and discover the information. Even NSA's budget is a state secret. So maybe what the NSA is doing is totally above board (or maybe not) but they refuse to have any level of accountability so as far as I am concerned, and many other people are concerned, they are guilty until they can prove their innocence.

Given the history of our government misusing its powers, I don't think it is unreasonable at all to assume that the NSA is up to no good.

No Worries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421783)

Biden says the chance of the U.S. government becoming oppressive is virtually nil.

Why worry? Nobody is coming for your First Amendment Rights, in black helicopters or otherwise.

Re:Surveillance (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421943)

Americans, you've got nobody to blame but yourselves.

No, there is a bit more to it than that.

Rigged elections, for one.

The average person doesn't have the power to stop this machine even if
he or she were perfectly willing to sacrifice his or her life. And frankly, since
most of the people who live in the US are pieces of shit, why should anyone
even care. I am an American and I am disgusted by most Americans and their
selfishness and idiocy. The show will go on, and no one will stop it.

Here's the REAL bottom line : the world is changing, and no civilized country
will in reality offer significantly better government or living conditions for
a middle class person than the US does. The whole world is a cesspool now,
so you may as well get used to the smell.

Re:Surveillance (4, Informative)

captainpanic (1173915) | about a year ago | (#43422007)

It is not about sacrificing... it's just casting your vote. There are already 3rd party options... just vote for them.

As for the cesspool... I am pretty pleased with my west-European country and my government. It isn't perfect, but it's pretty good. You're welcome to have a look, and we don't even ask you get a visa for that. Just hop on a plane.

Re:Surveillance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43422175)

How about Ron Paul supporters? Are we to blame for not leaving a sinking ship like rats?
And where exactly are we expected to leave to anyway? Is there some rat utopia for ex-pats just over the rainbow?

We took over 10% of the republican party and represent 5% of the population. Collateral damage?

After a decade of watching people like Aaron Swartz get hit with the ban-hammer, it takes a learning disability to not get the message: this is the way the wind is blowing and woe unto anyone who believes they can change that. It's every man for himself.

Re:Surveillance (2, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | about a year ago | (#43421239)

There's a big difference between 'whistleblowing on a crime' and 'leaking every single thing you have access to in the hope that some of it may be criminal'.

There's a big difference (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421273)

There's a big difference between classified documents that are meant to be secret and classifying every single thing in case something embarrasing is in them.

Re:There's a big difference (0)

abigsmurf (919188) | about a year ago | (#43421387)

Can I have your birth records? Your school history? Your tax returns? Criminal record? Oh heck, anything you've ever done that has received any sort of government funding or subsidy? You should be fine with that right?

Re:There's a big difference (3, Funny)

abigsmurf (919188) | about a year ago | (#43421393)

aaaaand that was a reply to the wrong post.

Re:There's a big difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421573)

Yes, you can. If you get a chance, look yourself up on lexis-nexis.
But then consider all those entities who CAN look this info up on you, whether you want/need them to or not. Background searches. Insurance claim investigators. HR depts.

The point is there needs to be a REASON to classif (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421749)

The point is there needs to be a REASON to classify the documents. Not "Hell, I don't know".

There's this whole "In the public interest" thing that journalism is based on. If it's in the public interest, then the public have a right to know.

Then the government must give a GOOD REASON for refusing.

Re:There's a big difference (3, Insightful)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year ago | (#43421465)

Well said. The government is now classifying anything that might make the government look bad.

Re:Surveillance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421291)

There's a big difference between 'whistleblowing on a crime' and 'leaking every single thing you have access to in the hope that some of it may be criminal'.

If you want private information, fund it yourself.
If you use taxpayers money the taxpayers have a right to know everything, including when you take your coffee breaks.

Re:Surveillance (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | about a year ago | (#43421349)

Where does it say that in the Constitution?

Re:Surveillance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421515)

Where does it prevent that? This can go both ways you know, being snarky never makes a good argument.

Re:Surveillance (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | about a year ago | (#43421993)

It wasn't snark. The fact that it doesn't say it means that it could be the case if a law were drafted so. The Freedom of Information Act was drafted to accomplish this desire, yet it is limited in what is considered "free information". The data leaked definitely was not covered by FOIA. To say we have the right to know everything is false

Re:Surveillance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421361)

In the hope? Well, some certainly there is well proven criminal [blogspot.com] secrets.

But who cares while you get your beer and pizza delivered and the football leage keep playing.

Re:Surveillance (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | about a year ago | (#43421421)

Your point? Those weren't from Manning, nor were they published alongside thousands of other documents.

Re:Surveillance (4, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#43421475)

There's a big difference between 'whistleblowing on a crime' and 'leaking every single thing you have

Unless "everything you have" is so illegally outrageous that the story needs to be told.

Furthermore, If Manning is going to be held accountable for information Al-Queda obtained, then the Pentagon and CIA should be held accountable in the same fashion when an unencrypted laptop with sensitive dat is lost, or a website database is compromised* due to gross negiligence. Right now, the only consequences are "whooops, lol sorry bro. have a free 6-month credit inquiry"

* http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/03/nasa-inspector-gen-says-stolen-laptop-contained-space-station-control-codes.php [talkingpointsmemo.com]
http://arstechnica.com/uncategorized/2007/02/8821/ [arstechnica.com]
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2007/02/hundreds_of_fbi/ [go.com]
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/01/malware_pentagon_usb_ban/ [theregister.co.uk]

Re:Surveillance (1)

jkflying (2190798) | about a year ago | (#43422017)

Those that were actually classified for a good reason were just "collateral damage", they were entirely unintentional. All in the name of democracy. That's the justification the military gives, right?

Re:Surveillance (3, Insightful)

elloGov (1217998) | about a year ago | (#43421267)

This is far-fetched and paranoia until it happens to you. :) Truth is that we live under a totalitarian regime with some privileges. Our ongoing maltreatment of foreign people should have been a warning, now they are coming for us. No conspiracy here, man's self-perpetuating thirst for power has brought us here. My advice is to never grab the attention of your government and it's long-reaching arms. Stick to the masses and stay low.

Re:Surveillance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421295)

The world economy is going through the internet now. It's naive to think the world's governments wouldn't play a huge part in the control of it. Stay an Anonymous Coward as long as possible.

Re:Surveillance (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#43421449)

Now, the new interpretation of the Espionage Act that the Pentagon is trying to hammer in to the legal system, and which the Department of Justice is complicit in, would mean the end of national security journalism in the United States.

No such thing. If information is published, it will be foreseeably received by the enemy, whoever the enemy might be. Besides, it's still a crime and has been for many years to disclose classified information to any person not authorized to receive it. Just because the press got a pass in the past in some high-profile cases does not mean that law has been struck off the books.

Bradley Manning's innocent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421181)

Bradley Manning's only fault was exposing American war crimes to the whole world during a time when American government was desperately trying to push the liberators angle.

Re:Bradley Manning's innocent (0, Troll)

jimbolauski (882977) | about a year ago | (#43421263)

Manning motivation for "exposing" classified documents was not some noble cause, his motivations were simple he wanted people to think he was a super hacker which is how he was caught bragging about his conquests. I have not read any claims or evidence that he knew what was contained in the classified documents he leaked, he was not noble he was just looking for adjuration.

Re:Bradley Manning's innocent (5, Interesting)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year ago | (#43421427)

BS.
His conversations with that douchebag LAME-O were mainly a discussion about his personal moral dilemma. He wasn't bragging about his "hacking skills" one bit. He had access to the information so there was no technical prowess required.
He recently made a statement in court (which of course the government didn't want the public to hear) that was surreptitiously recorded. You should listen to it.

Re:Bradley Manning's innocent (1, Insightful)

RicktheBrick (588466) | about a year ago | (#43422063)

I have read the Bradley Manning was an E2 in rank. I was in the military and it took only a couple of months to reach E2 in rank. So the army has so little amount of people with rank of E6 and above or an officer that they have to entrust that much power to an E2. To me that is the same as a bank manager giving someone in the bank who was hired just a couple of months ago with the responsibility of closing the safe, locking all the doors and setting the alarm. I once had access to top secret information but the rule was that the information was never accessed without someone else being present. So there is no way Manning should have had access or at the least have had access without someone else being there. The officer in charge should bear more responsibility than Manning. To me it is the same as someone leaving their money in a bag on their front lawn and wondering why it was stolen.

Re:Bradley Manning's innocent (4, Insightful)

peppepz (1311345) | about a year ago | (#43421457)

Who cares about his motivation? He's done a right thing and now he risks his life, as if he lived in Iran.

Re:Bradley Manning's innocent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421611)

Troll? Or elaborate way to point out that TPTB have both in their sights?

Re:Bradley Manning's innocent (1)

peppepz (1311345) | about a year ago | (#43421791)

Truth?

Dangerous (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year ago | (#43421185)

This would basically mean that nobody could report on wars, because anyone doing so could be accused of aiding the enemy. Imagine a version of this where Bin Laden said, "Get me a copy of the New York Times!" and the government accused reporters of aiding the enemy.

Re:Dangerous (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421209)

Most reporters aren't members of the military subject to court-martial.

The press department are. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421225)

And they give out information to the public. Which would have been requested by OBL and recieved by him, ensuring that the entire public relations arm and the command structure who make them do this (all the way up to the CIC) are subject to court matial.

Re:Dangerous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421305)

No but aiding the enemy is treason regardless of being a civilian or a military man. Either way you look at it there is a potential grey area that needs to be better defined. This isn't to say that what was requested is in that grey area. I honestly don't know.
 
Either way, they're going to lock that kid in a cell with Medusa until he rots dead.

Re:Dangerous (2, Insightful)

runeghost (2509522) | about a year ago | (#43421213)

Ah, but as long as the New York Times makes sure to jump whenever the government says, "frog" they'll be left alone. What could possibly be wrong with that arrangement?

Do you think he DIDN'T get a copy of the NYT? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421217)

Or The Guardian?

No.

Hell, OBL probably got some leaks from normal every-day espionage from personnell in the US armed forces. Sometimes even senators (cf Libby) do so for political reasons. Are they aiding the enemy too?

Hell, since there doesn't seem to be a need for this information to have given any actual AID to "the enemy", the reports from the US armed forces to the US public itself can be requested by and given to "the enemy". So the entire US government and the entire armed forces are guilty of this act.

Re:Dangerous (5, Insightful)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#43421235)

There's a difference between public knowledge and classified information. He is not being prosecuted for releasing weather reports, stock values, or a crossword puzzle. Manning is on trial for leaking classified information. Big difference.

Re:Dangerous (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421317)

There's a difference between public knowledge and classified information. He is not being prosecuted for releasing weather reports, stock values, or a crossword puzzle. Manning is on trial for leaking classified information. Big difference.

And a the point is that the information should not have been classified to begin with.

They haven't shown that this was any different. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421335)

"He is not being prosecuted for releasing weather reports, stock values, or a crossword puzzle"

What he HAS released hasn't been shown to be of any more aid to OBL than these would be.

Classified information cannot, repeat CANNOT, be used to hide criminal acts.

Classified information incorrectly classified is NOT validly classified and almost all classified information SHOULD NOT be classified. If the rules for classification AS APPLIED are "Classify everything", then the classification cannot be of any guide as to whether the information SHOULD be classified and kept secret.

Manning is on trial for exposing the criminal acts of his superiors.

Something his superiors predecessors insisted should be done in all cases. cf Nuremberg.

Re:They haven't shown that this was any different. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43422171)

Manning is on trial for exposing the criminal acts of his superiors

If true, this must be proven in a court of law. A better way to phrase it would have been...

"Manning is on trial for exposing what you believe are criminal acts of his superiors"

Re:Dangerous (5, Insightful)

jimbolauski (882977) | about a year ago | (#43421365)

There is a big difference between a person signing documents swearing they will not disseminate classified information under penality of jail, fines, or death, then dissemination classified information anyway, and a reporter who has not sworn to protect classified information, publishing information. A good example of this is Robert Novak of the Washington Post published the name of cia operative Valerie Plame which was classified information, neither Novak, nor the Post were ever charged. There is a big difference between the press and a person entrusted with classified information dissemination that information.

Re:Dangerous (4, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | about a year ago | (#43421567)

Here is my problem with this kind of reasoning.

If you want to make disclosure of classified information illegal, fine. Make it illegal, and assign to it an appropriate penalty. Then when somebody does it, charge them with that crime.

The problem here is that the charge is aiding the enemy, and the argument is that the enemy obtained the classified info and thus it aided them. I'm not sure that really should be allowed to stick. The problem with this is that it forces you to basically assign the same punishment to accidentally leaving your briefcase with some HR info on the bus and sneaking into the command tent, taking photos of the next day's plans, and transmitting them to enemy HQ.

When people commit a crime they should be charged with the crime they actually committed. I'm not suggesting that leaking classified info should be legal. However, the general trend of piling as many charges on as possible is bad for justice. There is a reason that we don't put people in prison for life for jaywalking or speeding.

If you're going to charge somebody with aiding the enemy you should have to show that:
1. The aid would have actually had some significant benefit to the enemy. We're not talking about exposing scandals that lose hearts and minds - I'm talking about improving their ability to achieve military objectives in military operations. So, pictures of tortured prisoners don't count, but plans leaked to an enemy agent or sabotage coordinated with an enemy attack counts just fine. I'm not sure I'd even include sabotage in general in this unless the intent was actually to aid the enemy.

2. There was intent to aid the enemy - it wasn't just accidental or incidental (unless it was just so obvious that the aid would have resulted that it could be considered criminal negligence).

Otherwise, just charge them with mishandling classified material.

Re:Dangerous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421717)

On your point (1), it's pretty clear that Manning/Wikileaks loses on that count. He didn't filter the info, he did a massive info dump to the public that included operationally-sensitive details of ongoing military/CIA operatives and operations.

On your point (2), I think you're painting a false dichotomy between the "lost briefcase" scenario and intentionally aiding the enemy. There are many shades between the two. I don't think you could prove Manning's primary intent was to get the data to Al-Queda, but he certainly went far beyond "accidentally losing a briefcase" on the intent level. He clearly knew there were items that rise to the level of your first point in his collection of data, he knew he was under oath to protect that data from dissemination as a member of the military entrusted with access to classified information in general, and he chose to make that sensitive information completely public (if you post something on the public internet that's operationally interesting to the enemy, it's a sure bet the enemy will read it).

Re:Dangerous (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | about a year ago | (#43421569)

Possibly, but thats just a red herring. The issue was whether releasing unspecific information to the public can reasonably be considered passing information to the enemy.

Smart (4, Insightful)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#43421207)

The prosecution is alleging that the document leak perpetrated by Bradley Manning directly aided the enemy (al-Qaeda) in their operations against the United States. So what's the problem with including testimony that documents leaked by Bradley Manning were present during the Bin-Laden raid? It's common sense.

You can harp on for days about how "the documents revealed war crimes" or "it was the right thing to do." Ultimately, the documents were classified, Bradley Manning signed a document stating that he would not reveal classified information when he enlisted in the Army, and did it anyways. He did not release the information the the DOD Inspector General, to a member of the House or Senate intelligence committee, or even to a legitimate member of the press corp. He released it to some foreign website with no press credentials. That makes it a crime. He's not a protected whistle-blower because he did not send the information to any of the above whistleblower channels. Even the NSA warrantless wiretapping whistle-blower had enough common sense to go through the New York Times, which meant he was protected as a whistle-blower.

He swore to uphold the constitution. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421243)

He swore to uphold the laws of the United States and the international law the government have treaties to uphold.

NO Non-Disclosure agreement or secrecy act can be used to force the concealment of the commission of a crime. And trying to do so makes you an accessory before and after the fact.

Re:Smart (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421245)

That makes it a crime

Covering up war crimes is or should be a much bigger crime.

Just wait for the veterans to come along and tell us (like they usually do in this discussion), that as a soldier you swear to uphold the constitution, not support cover-ups, that you pledge allegiance to the country, not to the general or even president, and even that you salute the uniform of your superior, not the person wearing it.

Your suggestions that war crimes should be reported to the people trying to cover up said war crimes and not to anyone else is plain and simple support for covering up war crimes.

Re:Smart (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43421297)

Covering up war crimes is or should be a much bigger crime.

Should be...

The people behind Abu Ghraib go free, Bradley gets screwed for ratting on his leaders. So it goes.

Re:Smart (3, Interesting)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#43421343)

Show me, with citation, what war crimes were committed that were revealed through the Bradley Manning document dump.

Re:Smart (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421413)

Show me, with citation, what war crimes were committed that were revealed through the Bradley Manning document dump.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kelmEZe8whI

Re:Smart (3, Informative)

abigsmurf (919188) | about a year ago | (#43421483)

The helicoptor was in an active combat zone. There were reports of RPG fire. The press were not wearing identifying uniforms that press in an active warzone are expected to wear. The children in the van were only visible when looking carefully at the footage and freeze framing, not in a combat situation (wtf were they doing driving children to the site of a bombing) and the van appeared to be insurgents recovering the weapons and preventing wounded combatants being captured.. There was an RPG launcher and an AK-47 clone visible in the footage (in addition to the pilots mistaking the camera for another RPG). The pilots waited for authorisation before firing.

As tragic as it was, procedure was followed and there a combination of circumstances contributed to the mistake. It was not a war crime.

Read international war statutes. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43422193)

What the helicopter did WAS A WAR CRIME.

If you DO NOT have positive ID of a hostile, shooting anyway IS A CRIME.

Shooting ANYONE, military personnel or not, who are giving aid to the wounded IS A WAR CRIME.

Shooting children (and they KNEW it was children: "Serves them right for bringing their kids to a war zone") IS A WAR CRIME.

Re:Smart (0)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#43421545)

War crimes, I do not think that word means what you think it means.

I didn't see anything that was against the rules of engagement in Iraq in 2007. So how were two white dots supposed to be identified as children from 2+ miles away? Plus, what kind of irresponsible parents drives their kids to the site of an Apache attack 2 minutes later?

Helicopter gunship. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421425)

Procuring underage boys for the warlords in Afghanistan.

Now, show me, with citation and evidence for the aid given, what Manning leaked that aided the enemies of the USA?

Re:Smart (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year ago | (#43421591)

Look it up for yourself, you lazy sod. The Wikileaks search engine (unlike Slashdot's) isn't bad. And if you are too indolent even to do that, Google has already indexed many such examples.

Re:Smart (1)

ZouPrime (460611) | about a year ago | (#43421371)

Covering up war crimes is or should be a much bigger crime.

Is or should? Which one? Do you know what you are talking about, or are you just giving us your opinion?

And which war crimes are you talking about? Real ones (you know the actual definition of war crimes, right?) or what "should" be considered war crimes if it was up to you?

Re:Smart (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421733)

Well, considering our government is controlled by batshit insane warmongers, it's probably more of an opinion than anything else. We seem to have a lot of anti-freedom government cheerleaders here, though...

Re:Smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421251)

There is no such thing as a registered, official press that the nyt is part of that makes leaking there OK. This has been made clear in several court opinions and the law itself.

Where do you people keep coming up with this fascist boot licker idiocy?

Re:Smart (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#43421357)

legitimate member of the press corp

There is no such thing as a registered, official press

You are right, there is no such thing as registered, official press. I never said there was. Where do you people come up with crazy terms that I never used?

Re:Smart (1)

elloGov (1217998) | about a year ago | (#43421329)

The prosecution is alleging that the document leak perpetrated by Bradley Manning directly aided the enemy (al-Qaeda) in their operations against the United States. So what's the problem with including testimony that documents leaked by Bradley Manning were present during the Bin-Laden raid? It's common sense.

It is common sense that information in the PUBLIC DOMAIN is available to well everyone, including "the enemy". Calling the witness to state that Bin Laden seeeked public domain knowledge is just tugging on strings of nationalist emotions. The goal is to smear Manning to Al-Qaeda/Bin Laden (evil, bad, them, enemy) and

Re:Smart (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#43421373)

Thank you for making my point. Classified information was put into the PUBLIC DOMAIN by Bradley Manning. Therefore, he is on trial for that.

Classified coverups (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421533)

"Thank you for making my point. Classified information was put into the PUBLIC DOMAIN by Bradley Manning. Therefore, he is on trial for that."

In which case they don't need the navy seal. Bringing in the navy seal to prove a point that nobody disputes, that public domain info is public even to terrorists.

He's there for marketing, he'll go in in uniform, be painted as a big hero by the prosecution, and he'll testify he found data on Bin Ladens computer that came from the leak of Bradley Manning and do his marketing pitch.

IMHO, the Navy Seal is a hero for being one of the team that killed Bin Laden. But Manning is the bigger hero of the two. In the 'makes America more free' score table, Manning is right there in the top 10.

Re:Smart (1)

ZouPrime (460611) | about a year ago | (#43421395)

No, the goal is to show that information disclosed by Manning ended up helping "the enemy". That this information was "in the public domain" at one point isn't important, since it's the unauthorized disclosure that is being prosecuted.

Re:Smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421337)

Something to consider - every document is classified. And in the age where everything is classified then nothing is classified. Think of it this way - look at documents that were released that are officially "classified" compared to classified documents from the Vietnam war. Now compare those to classified documents from WWII. Then compare that to classified documents from the Civil war. Are you saying that the content of the documents has truly the same level of critical security information that requires them to be classified? I doubt it. If it was, then how the heck would some private get his hands on it. He had access to the documents! Imagine a private in the US Army before the D-Day landing releasing information.

I hear people saying "he broke the law, he broke the law" but you know what? Everything is a crime. Everyone is a criminal. Did you ever jaywalk? Speed? Give false information on a website? The bottom line is - everyone breaks laws all the time. You can't live without breaking some law here and there. But you live based on some sort of a common sense moral code. That code tells me - and I'm not a military guy - that if you read documents about Abu Ghraib abuse coverup vs. troop locations, I won't have the same moral feeling about keeping the former a secret. If I was then I'd be just as complicit as... well, it's Godwin's law.

Re:Smart (4, Insightful)

Confusedent (1913038) | about a year ago | (#43421351)

The idea of "approved whistleblower channels" kind of negates the idea of whistleblowing. The mainstream media was complicit in the propaganda run-up to the Iraq war, which of course doesn't necessarily mean they couldn't be trusted to expose important information in the leaked documents, but it shows a conflict of interest between the powers that be and the entire goal of whistleblowing. If you can't release documents to the public, but only to approved whistleblower channels who can then decide unilaterally whether the rest of us should be informed, it isn't whistleblowing.

Re:Smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421743)

We have many legitimate press outlets in the US, and not all of them share complicity. The MSM is not a single organization under a single moral code. However, if one did believe that the entire MSM was complicit and therefore unacceptable for blowing a particular whistle, and thus decided to publicize the data directly oneself, one then takes on a *responsibility* to do so in a responsible manner (i.e. filtering the data the way a responsible journalist should: prove your point without interfering with ongoing military/intelligence operations or endangering the lives of other troops).

It was OLD information (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421369)

Manning leaked OLD information, older than 6 months. Using the IRS definition of private, that info was public!

What do you have against the IRS? Sparticus? If that is your *real* name. Sounds like a terrorist name to me!

Re:It was OLD information (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#43421401)

Sparticus? If that is your *real* name. Sounds like a terrorist name to me!

I am a terrorist, if you are the Roman Senate circa 72 B.C.

Re:It was OLD information (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | about a year ago | (#43421873)

No, that was Spartacus. Seriously, you tacked a number on the end and didn't even get the spelling right? How sad.

Re:It was OLD information (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | about a year ago | (#43421537)

That definition applies to information that they want to access, not to information that they want to keep secret.

Re:Smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421455)

1. You sign a contract stating you will not tell anyone what I'm about to tell you next.
2. I show you my latest assault rifle and say you have one week left and then I'm going to shoot you with it.

What do you do now?

Surely you wouldn't break your contract just because you learnt some morally distasteful information. Classified is classified, right?

Re:Smart (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | about a year ago | (#43421507)

Whether the website was foreign or not is in no way meaningful as the material was intended to be made public. It's just bullshit loaded language.
A whistleblower should use the the most secure channel possible and that happened to be wikileaks. As we have seen it has been traditional media who have screwed up the most.

Re: Smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421581)

So it's not whistleblowing because Wikikeaks isn't part of the mythical "legitimate" Press Corps?

If the NY Times is a part of the "legitimate" Press Corps, and the NY Times used and reprinted data contained in the Wikileaks dump (using Wilileaks as a source), wouldn't that validate Wikileaks and thus legitimize them?

Furthermore, it's been established that "following orders" is not a legitimate defense/excuse when committing war crimes since the Nuremberg trials. As Thomas Jefferson stated "When injustice becomes law then resistance becomes duty".

The duty of the US military is not to protect the military institution, but instead to protect the citizens of the US and defend the US Constitution.

PFC Bradley Manning allegedly leaked the documents to stop the US Government from systematically breaking its own laws as well as international laws/treaties/rules of war/etc. For this he should not only not be on trial, but should instead be receiving the Medal of Honor.

Junior
www.TheBulldogRadioShow.com

Re: Smart (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#43421723)

You are just an idiot. He's no Gary Gordon, Randy Shughart, Audie Murphy, or Daniel Inouye. Criteria for the Medal of Honor: [wikipedia.org]
"distinguished himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty."

While engaged in action against an enemy of the United States
While engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force.
While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.[73][74]

Re:Smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421655)

It's common sense that they connect the dots from Manning to WIkileaks to OBL to something that caused harm to the USA.
        The Seal is one of those dots, but at this point, the last dot is the interesting one.
            Without the last one, the Seal is just there to obsucate things.

I think the government should have no trouble proving that the last dot actually caused harm,
      But if the Constitution wins here,
          I'd like to think that it's common sense that harm means
              something other than just embarasment to an administrtion doing something outside the BIg C.

BTW, Wasn't there a story about Manning actually going through newspapers who by accident released the private key which let this stuff out?
    It's kind of a hard job to the defence, but if he did go through legitimate news organizations, and the harm was embarasment, then the whistle blower laws maight trump his secrecy contract.
    That would be unfortunate, because as long as there are bad guys out there, you can't practically run even a govt of Boy Scouts without working secrecy.
      The trick is to have secrecty so our good guys can get their bad guys without providing an umbrella to permit unlimited bad things on our side.

Re:Smart (1)

aeortiz (1498977) | about a year ago | (#43421999)

He did go to the press, but the press was too scared of the government, and ignored him.

Re:Smart (1)

jkflying (2190798) | about a year ago | (#43422047)

Surely there is some sort of contradiction with charging him with aiding the enemy while not being officially at war? If they want to be able to use war-time charges, they should man up and declare it as a war, dammit!

Re:Smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43422077)

I think it was more that the presence of the documents does not indicate they were used. It is circumstantial at best since most terrorists would collect the information just to check if it was useful. They probably read the news as well just in case it helps. The prosecution should have to demonstrate actual effect to their operations.

So true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421241)

So just like the English, we have a "secrets" act which will eliminate the press from finding the next pentagon papers. I still say, this guy is a setup. A honeypot to stop any "terrorist" from finding the information. Proving that the american way of life is a terrorist organization to be hunted down , and droned out of existance. The guy is guilty of having no brains, but wasn't he an intellegence clerk? Here is why I say honeypot, a simple clerk, by the definition of his job, would not have had the security clearance to get to that information, no matter what the system, it had too be declassified, and and placed into his appropiate areas of investigation. Someone above him had to do it. Thats called entrapment.

Re:So true (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43421315)

No, that's not called entrapment. Entrapment requires someone getting you to do something you wouldn't have otherwise done in the normal course of things. If an undercover cop sells you cocaine, that's not entrapment. If they coerce you into buying cocaine by threatening to bomb your family, that's a little closer to entrapment.

Re:So true (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | about a year ago | (#43421397)

> The guy is guilty of having no brains, but wasn't he an intellegence clerk? Here is why I say honeypot, a simple clerk, by the definition of his job, would not have had the security clearance to get to that information, no matter what the system 1) A friend of mine couldn't get into a college because he had terrible grades and wasn't terribly bright. So what did he do? Enlist out of high school into Army intelligence and became some type of intelligence clerk. 2) Intelligence clerks have security clearances and can get access to that information.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421249)

...Manning is a traitor, aided and abetted the enemies of our country.....

He deserves the firing squad.

Re:Well... (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year ago | (#43421657)

...Manning is a traitor, aided and abetted the enemies of our country..... He deserves the firing squad.

Hmmm. Perhaps you should visit a pharmacist and ask for something for redness around the neck area.

Re:Well... (1)

Sique (173459) | about a year ago | (#43421861)

... said the Anonymous Coward.

Reminds one of the show trials in the USSR (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421289)

Hope they ask about News Papers there, as well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421327)

Maybe Moby Dick, so we can slander Herman Melville, as well.

To consider... (2)

3seas (184403) | about a year ago | (#43421481)

If everyone know teh secrets ... then the secrets are not secrets and as such become null and void of any value in being secret.

So how do you aid an enemy with a secret that is not secret? You don't, but only fool those who believe its a secret.

I do recall that some judge ruled that the US government, though the secrets are no longer secret, can still pretend they are.

So who is fooling who here?

Seems to be missing something... (2)

dirk (87083) | about a year ago | (#43421553)

While I think it is the right decision to allow testimony on whether they found the documents at the compound, it seems to be missing a key component. They charge is "aiding the enemy". Shouldn't they also have to prove it actually aided them? What if Bin Laden read through the documents and they were all stuff he didn't care about? Or what if he just was interested in them and wanted to read them (as many people did). Possession of the documents doesn't prove that they aided the enemy anymore than a copy of Twilight would.

Re:Seems to be missing something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43421695)

Possession of the documents doesn't prove that they aided the enemy anymore than a copy of Twilight would.

No, but if they obtained a copy of Twilight from the U.S. would that be a violation of the Geneva Convention?

Re:Seems to be missing something... (1)

jkflying (2190798) | about a year ago | (#43422085)

It's ironic how they charge him with aiding the enemy when the US isn't even at war.

Also, to be aiding the enemy he has to have leaked them with the *intention* of them getting to the enemy. He can just argue that those ones were collateral damage, and use the standard "collateral damage is acceptable if minimized" argument, a la standard military protocol.

Manning: American Hero (2)

MrKaos (858439) | about a year ago | (#43421597)

This is how America treats it's patriots, those who swore to protect the nation against domestic threats. The corruption that eats away at America is almost complete. The fear of the government in America has turned most of the population in to unquestioning slaves that beleive whatever they are told.

Greed and the desire for material gains has turned that beacon of democracy into a parody of it's aspirations. Anyone who tries to fight this corruption and greed will have their unalienable rights trampled.

How long will the average American citizen tolerate this bastardisation of ideals that the rest of the world looked up to and once America sinks into despotism (as Benjiman Franklin said of the constitution) which world power will take it's place?

I don't really like the alternatives.

Threw his life away for nothing (1)

Vince6791 (2639183) | about a year ago | (#43421875)

Bradley Manning a complete dumbass. Why risk prison or even death? we all know our government is crooked run by corporate puppet whores. We know the past atrocities this government has committed against other nations in the name of freedom and liberation. Regardless of somebody proving u.s government is a genocidal maniac killing for resources nothing will be done, because the people of this country are too weak and too busy playing with their Nintendo to really do anything to stop them. Where is the financial disaster accountability? Iraq invasion accountability? 17 trillion debt accountability? NONE!

   

Sir Humphrey (2)

Frankie70 (803801) | about a year ago | (#43421945)

"The Official Secrets Act is not to protect secrets, it is to protect officials." - Sir Humphrey.

I disagree too. (2)

Stickerboy (61554) | about a year ago | (#43422027)

It doesn't need to proven that Manning personally handed a copy of the release to an al Qaeda agent to make him guilty. This charge should absolutely stick. Let's say John Doe is a disgruntled Armed Forces intel agent working in Afghanistan. He's sick of his job, and takes a huge stack of classified targeting mission profiles and drone photos and scatters them in the air in Kabul's marketplace out of protest. Agents of the Taliban or al Qaeda collect the papers and peruse it. Regardless of the timeliness or utility of the info, he's (unwittingly and stupidly) gone against explicit orders and policy and aided and abetted the enemy efforts. Trying to draw a ridiculous line of causality for "proof" between release and someone getting killed is not needed at that point.

Quit idolizing Manning. Just because Manning exposed some of the seedy underpinnings of international diplomacy doesn't make him a hero. No, there were no explicit war crimes that weren't already being exposed by the MSM (Abu Ghraib being the best example). I've read through the wiki leaks releases, and there is little to nothing within them that couldn't be found in the MSM or inferred through a basic knowledge of international affairs. He's a Kevin Mitnick of this decade.

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