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Bradley Manning Convicted of Espionage, Acquitted of 'Aiding the Enemy'

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the win-some-lose-some dept.

The Courts 529

crashcy sends word that a verdict has been handed down in the case of Bradley Manning. Quoting: "A military judge on Tuesday found Pfc. Bradley Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy, but convicted him of multiple counts of violating the Espionage Act. Private Manning had already confessed to being WikiLeaks’ source for a huge cache of government documents, which included videos of airstrikes in which civilians were killed, hundreds of thousands of front-line incident reports from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, dossiers on men being held without trial at the Guantánamo Bay prison, and about 250,000 diplomatic cables. But while Private Manning had pleaded guilty to a lesser version of the charges he was facing, which could expose him to up to 20 years in prison, the government decided to press forward with a trial on a more serious version of the charges, including 'aiding the enemy' and violations of the Espionage Act. Beyond the fate of Private Manning as an individual, the 'aiding the enemy' charge — unprecedented in a leak case — could have significant long-term ramifications for investigative journalism in the Internet era."

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NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (5, Insightful)

unique_parrot (1964434) | about a year ago | (#44426363)

he should be given a medal (in my opinion).

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426451)

He deserves prison.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426529)

... for exposing the crimes of the US government

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426655)

...for the crimes that he's convicted of.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (5, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#44427009)

...for the crimes that he's convicted of.

When leaks like this one happen, a lot of attention and effort is spent on punishing the leaker, but we seldom hear about punishment for those that should have protected the data. Why did Manning not only have access to this sensitive data, but was able to download it and walk it out of the office?

In my company, the receptionist isn't supposed to tell anyone what's in our sensitive financial documents and really has no reason to read them. So he can't - his login doesn't have access to those files and if he persists in trying to get access, his username will come up in IPS alerts.

While I suppose it's publicly comforting to go after the leakers once they are caught, what about the spies that steal the data and hand it over quietly to their keepers? If the data is so easy to access that an Army Private can walk in and download thousands of documents, does anyone really think that spies from other nations aren't doing the same thing? The Army should thank Manning for exposing their security flaws.

The same applies to Snowden - he shouldn't have been able to download thousands of pages of classified documents and walk out with them unnoticed.

So who's getting fired over lax security?

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426711)

What crimes were those? Oh that's right, even though thousands of documents have been circling the internet for years now, not a single one implicates the government of wrongdoing, just business-as-usual borderline "unethical" stuff that they do so we can sleep in warm beds and work in cushy offices. Corruption charges?! Corruption is our protection. Corruption keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why you and I are prancing around in here instead of fighting over scraps of meat out in the streets. Corruption is why we win.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (4, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44426559)

As much as deserve prison everyone that works for NSA and every associated company. Ok, but they are working for the US government. So, would you complain if any of them get a century in prison in any other country of Earth? What if Russia extradite Snowden in exchange of US extraditing anyone spying on russia citizens? That should make things fair, but i don't know how much time would take to send to Russia so much people [salon.com] .

And remember what Manning disclosed, basically your country, at your name, doing nice things slaughtering innocents just for fun. If you feel heat in your high ground is because how close is to the earths core.

Re: NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426871)

Learn English

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (5, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#44426991)

Ok, but they are working for the US government.

How is that different from fine folks at Nuremberg?

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426695)

As an ex-military member who held a security clearance, I'm glad he'll likely get prison time. Yes the system is corrupt. Yes he had other avenues that may not have been productive at stopping the corruption. But when you agree to join the military and have a security clearance you make promises to protect that information. With your life, if necessary. He not only went against that promise, he blatantly gave away that information!

And for those that believe Mr. Manning is innocent, let me ask you this.... Everyone knows that life isn't fair. But when was the last time that YOU(personally) went and fought corruption in your government?

Things are getting worse every day and there is far too few people actually fighting corruption, but have no problem trying to defend those that do. To fight corruption you need numbers. Nobody wants to be part of that fight because that would involve walking away from the TV when "America's Got Talent" is on.

So were you part of the solution or part of the problem? And no, you don't count as part of the solution just because you approve of what Bradley did and picketed outside the base he's held at with a big poster. Take action, go to your congressmen, get out there and vote, explain to others where the corruption is and convince them not to continue to vote for those people that are corrupt. I see plenty of people picketing for(and against) Bradley Manning. But I have yet to see people picketing against the people that were found to be corrupt in the leaked cables.

Even more, I read something the other day where a bunch of picketers for Mr. Manning were asked what was in the cables. Nobody could even discuss one of them because they weren't interested in the information in the cables, they just felt what he did was "right". Well, maybe you should care less about Bradley Manning and more interested in the people that are so corrupt that Bradley Manning felt he should make those cables public.

And no, I'm not saying that the way he was treated in prison(assuming he actually was treated as badly as some sources claim) was justified or that he got punished enough for what he did by the mistreatment. But the way he was treated should have been more red flags that should have gotten more people to get up and do something. The fact that nothing has happened shows that not enough people care to change the political landscape anyway(remember that comment about numbers above?). The US didn't become the country that it is because of a bunch of people that sit around and do nothing all day.

We used to be "the home of the brave", but apparently that hasn't been true in quite a long time.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426843)

With fighting corruption landing you serious jail time, I am in no hurry to volunteer. Especially when I have a family to worry about. Much safer to leave, which is what I am planning on in the next few years.

But when you agree to join the military and have a security clearance you make promises to protect that information. With your life, if necessary.

Tell that to international war crimes courts and see how far it gets you. Of course, Manning was a private with no serious decision making authority, so he would be safe from that. But this attitude you mentioned doesn't stand up to even recent historical precedent. You have a moral human duty, as determined by international courts even , to not be complicit in the slaughter of civilians.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | about a year ago | (#44426891)

Leaving will only result in the NSA knowing *more* about your activities, of course.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (5, Insightful)

Atzanteol (99067) | about a year ago | (#44426905)

You also swear an oath to defend the constitution from all enemies. If you feel that your oath to protect papers violates your oath to defend the constitution which do you go with?

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#44426923)

"As an ex-military member who held a security clearance, I'm glad he'll likely get prison time. Yes the system is corrupt. Yes he had other avenues that may not have been productive at stopping the corruption. But when you agree to join the military and have a security clearance you make promises to protect that information. With your life, if necessary. He not only went against that promise, he blatantly gave away that information!"

But this ignores the larger question: which "promise" is paramount? His promise to protect that information, or his oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States?

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44426935)

I'm still waiting on the Dick Cheney/Halliburton no-bid-contract, because they were the only company (very mysteriously) prepared to be able to provide all services in Iraq. There's corruption. Manning is merely a cog in that giant mechanism.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426953)

This is bullcrap.

But when you agree to join the military and have a security clearance you make promises to protect that information. With your life, if necessary.

You would die protecting the US government from having its citizens realize that the military is murdering civilians for fun and profit? You really are an idiot and the US is lucky to have folks like you with security clearance.

Take action, go to your congressmen, get out there and vote, explain to others where the corruption is and convince them not to continue to vote for those people that are corrupt.

The American people did vote. They voted for a candidate that explicitly promised the closing of Guantanamo and an end to an unjust war. Instead what they got was more murder and a president that defends the massive spying aparatus. So who are we supposed to vote for? Manning is on the side of the US citizen. Neither party is, and the military certainly is not. You're on the wrong side of history.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (5, Interesting)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about a year ago | (#44426955)

" But when you agree to join the military and have a security clearance you make promises to protect that information. With your life, if necessary. He not only went against that promise, he blatantly gave away that information!"

" I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

What happens when the first half is at odds with the second?

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426977)

But when you agree to join the military and have a security clearance you make promises to protect that information. With your life, if necessary. He not only went against that promise, he blatantly gave away that information!

So you're saying he should haveJust Followed Orders, right?

May I remind you of something?

Oaths of Enlistment

"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

Oath for Commissioned Officers
"I, _____ (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God." (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426477)

America! Fuck Yeah!

What you gonna do when we come for you!

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426557)

I'd put anyone in government next to him, include SD's hero BO! Fuck America.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426587)

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (5, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44426497)

NSA wasn't Manning. NSA was Snowden. Manning released diplomatic cables to wikileaks.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (0)

unique_parrot (1964434) | about a year ago | (#44426523)

yeah, but the system here is quite the same

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (5, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44426601)

Only in the vaguest sense? Manning was a soldier, Snowden a civilian. Manning leaked a huge swath of cables regardless of content. Snowden leaked details on a program he thought was abusive. The government involved is the same, but the "system" Snowden would face would be a standard civilian jury. Manning stood in front of a military tribunal without a jury of his peers.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (1, Interesting)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#44426779)

Snowden also leaked valid foreign espionage to the targets of that espionage. Both did good things and both of them did bad things. The only question is did the good outweigh the bad.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (1, Interesting)

asylumx (881307) | about a year ago | (#44426889)

Both did good things and both of them did bad things. The only question is did the good outweigh the bad.

Actually, that's not the question. The question is answered in the first of these two sentences. It is "Did they do bad things?" and the answer is "yes." Regardless of whether those were a means to a good end, the bad things they did are punishable and should be punished.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44426515)

what does this have to do with the NSA? the NSA is an electronic intelligence organization.
  Manning had access to classified data from the army's secret IP network that he collected and gave to wikileaks

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426519)

Why are you referencing the NSA? Snowden was the source of the NSA issue. Manning leaked documents to Wikileaks.

And your opinion is not law. This verdict is more or less accurate. Manning broke the law by releasing classified documents. The government's argument was wrong that he aided the enemy in releasing them, and the court struck that down. Most of the charges he's going to be convicted for were not only illegal, but he also plead guilty to. So this pretty much went down the way that it should have.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (1, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44426533)

This is Manning, not Snowden. Manning had nothing to do with the NSA. It was Snowden that was involved with NSA.

I'm not surprised you've confused the two as there seems to be a lot of confusion about the whole topic. Maybe it will start to sort itself out after the next disaster, maybe not. There are still people that deny al Qaida exists, that it attacked on 9/11, and that al Qaida has its own goals and values that have nothing to do with the US other than incidentally. I guess I'm thankful that at least the "9/11 was a false flag" trolls have pretty much died off here. It is almost enough to make you believe in miracles.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426617)

Watch the Toronto Hearings on 9/11 held at Ryerson University in 2012. It's six hours long and completely blows apart the quack science of the NIST Report and proves that the buildings were blown up. It does not get into the who or why, it just proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that the official report deliberately falsified evidence an is completely inaccurate. The buildings were blown up using nano thermite.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426987)

How about you hang out on some other site and don't bother posting here again. It's a waste of bits.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (1)

crashcy (2839507) | about a year ago | (#44426657)

How long do we have to wait for this next disaster before you and yours accept that giving up our liberty is not worth the potential prevention of a hypothetical disaster? Is there any actual cost/benefit analysis going on, or have you just had a bad dream and need comforting at any cost?

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426679)

9/11 was a false flag.

.8181818181... however was the real deal.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (1)

unique_parrot (1964434) | about a year ago | (#44426701)

didn't confuse these two. just find it amazing how the army whines about stolen documents while the nsa steals everything they can get the hand on... and they are both in the same boat.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426591)

Umm, this didn't have anything to do with the NSA. The information leaked was consisted primarily of around 251,000 State Department diplomatic cables. Of those over 130,000 of the cables are unclassified, some 100,000 are labeled "confidential", around 15,000 have the higher classification "secret", and none are classified as "top secret" on the classification scale.*

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_diplomatic_cables_leak#cite_note-Shane28Nov2010-4

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426615)

Snowden, yes. Bradly "Wormy" Manning? No way. But, he's a faggot so I'm sure he'll appreciate your offer to suck his dick.

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (1)

unique_parrot (1964434) | about a year ago | (#44426759)

you have a funny voice

Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (1)

wijnands (874114) | about a year ago | (#44426939)

Hmm.. maybe. What he did was certainly brave but he was also fully aware of the possible consequences. I admire his bravery to do what he did though.

I guess Snowden saved Manning's life then. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426373)

Aiding the enemy carries the death penalty, but they can't really murder Manning if they want Snowden extradited, can they?

Re:I guess Snowden saved Manning's life then. (3, Insightful)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year ago | (#44426461)

No one thought he was going to get the death penalty. I'd have been surprised if he got life even. However, 20 to 30? Maybe. I'm thinking 5-10 years.

That's also what I would think Julian Assange would get if the Federal Government got their hands on him.

And I don't think Russia has a problem with the death penalty in extradition cases.

Re:I guess Snowden saved Manning's life then. (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44426565)

Russia doesn't have any problem with the death penalty in any cases.

However, this case has nothing to do with Snowden, or any other case, as it was clearly different.
A person in the military is quite different than a civilian. And even military judges are unlikely to issue
the death penalty unless there was direct links to multiple lives lost. Even then the Fort Hood [wikipedia.org]
shootings by a self avowed Jihadist is not likely to result in the Death Penalty.

Re:I guess Snowden saved Manning's life then. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426941)

Oh, come on, Ft. Hood was just workplace violence. Next thing you know peeps will be citing Canadian reports showing it was really Nano Thermite.

They surely won't care enough about any leaked secrets to hand out a death sentence, except maybe that of the documents Obama has paid millions to keep out of the public's hands.

Re:I guess Snowden saved Manning's life then. (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44426583)

A life sentence is probably what Snowden is looking at. That is pretty typical for the sort of massive, damaging espionage conducted against the US as Snowden performed. For a previous example you can see John Walker and others.

Re:I guess Snowden saved Manning's life then. (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year ago | (#44426775)

Well, people like Walker and Hanssen either gave away significant military advances or provided information that got US agents killed or executed.

Incidentally, Walker will be released next year after 30 years. Of course, he's terminally ill with throat cancer, so he's not exactly going to enjoy his time out, but he's not getting life.

Snowden is a special case, but I agree, breaking the rules for Top Secret as opposed to Secret will carry a much stiffer penalty. I still think life will not happen. I'm putting my money on 25 years. Although, it is also possible for him to get a Bernie Madoff style "virtual life" sentence which is like 100 counts of espionage to be served in sequence or something. The Feds love stacking that shit up.
 

Re:I guess Snowden saved Manning's life then. (4, Insightful)

gordona (121157) | about a year ago | (#44426777)

what damage? All he did was release the information that NSA was electronically evesdropping on US citizens. Something everyone knew anyway including our "enemies". He released no names of any covert agents, troop movements, or what Obama had for breakfast.

Re:I guess Snowden saved Manning's life then. (4, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44426623)

The U.S. government isn't looking to kill them, they mainly want two things:

1) To silence them
2) To send a clear message to any other would-be heroes about what happens to whistleblowers who embarrass the U.S. government

Re:I guess Snowden saved Manning's life then. (2)

schwit1 (797399) | about a year ago | (#44426943)

I would add a 3rd reason ... it's in everyone's best interest. The death penalty removes any motivation to cooperate in revealing the extent of the treason. There also may be more questions later on.

Re:I guess Snowden saved Manning's life then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426659)

No, he'll do life. The normal sentence for espionage and treason is death. Most people are super butt-hurt because they don't understand that the US Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is *not* the same thing as the laws applied to civilians; they will fail to understand this. Bradley Manning, no matter where his heart was, committed treason. He will never see the light of day as a free person again. That he is *not* being executed should be considered victory enough. Do we really want a military full of people who think it's okay to give away millions of pieces of data whenever and for whatever?

Re:I guess Snowden saved Manning's life then. (5, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#44426725)

>Do we really want a military full of people who think it's okay to give away millions of pieces of data whenever and for whatever?

Yes, when the military is committing illegals acts and violating the constitution. In those cases it is other people who should go to jail.

Re:I guess Snowden saved Manning's life then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426825)

Cool. Then let's enact mandatory service so every one gets a chance to play hero.

Re:I guess Snowden saved Manning's life then. (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about a year ago | (#44426863)

"The normal sentence for espionage and treason is death."

Not in the US. Who was the last traitor to get the death penalty? Ames, Hanson and Walker didn't.

Re:I guess Snowden saved Manning's life then. (1)

Motard (1553251) | about a year ago | (#44426573)

Snowden could be extradited and then tried and sentenced to death. Not that he will be. In fact, Sec. Kerry has specifically said he wouldn't be. But extradition has nothing to do with one's ultimate fate. Well, other than the fact that not being extradited may block any such fate.

And the truth shall set you free (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426377)

Unless the truth is unwanted.... but who would want to hide the truth? Surely nobody who cares for the freedom and liberty of the people...

Re:And the truth shall set you free (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426485)

Meanwhile, in an expensive resort somewhere, war criminal George W. Bush smoke his pot and paint his 7-years-old-level dog paintings. Praise the Lawwd, we have justice in this world!

Re:And the truth shall set you free (0, Troll)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#44426575)

Wondered that myself. It seems people prefer lies to the truth when it conflicts with their pre-conceived social values, and they prefer truth to the lies when it acts in synchronous with their pre-conceived social values.

Took me years to figure that much out, and after countless lectures from people where I'd point out that something was true, and they'd respond that "that may be true, but..." but they will sacrifice the truth any day of the week, in exchange for not ruffling any feathers. I am convinced that even they are not really sure why they do it...only that it's expected of them; they're kind of like the servants of an old estate who's master used to beat them...and after that master died, rather than stopping the beatings, they continued on with them, from generation to generation, for the day when their master would return. They call it discipline, but the reality is, you're teaching them a form of slavery...that you are the power, and that they are the powerless.

Should have been convicted on all counts (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426381)

He had no business leaking what he did. There's no way you can say he did it for noble purposes- he could not have read 1/20th of what he released, so the idea it might do good was a gamble while it causing harm was pretty much certain.

Incredible (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426703)

A man alerts you to how you're being ripped off by the people who claim to be working for you, and you take the side of the people ripping you off.

It's amazing how powerful the appeal to coercive authority can be. Nobody would ever knowingly accept being ripped off by a private party. In the private sector, breach of contract results in serious conseqences. Yet somehow, coercive authority gets a free pass. This is a perfect example of how indoctrination works. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Incredible (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426841)

You haven't reviewed any of the material, have you.

You probably haven't even looked at the video they deliberately mislabeled "collateral murder". (which, by the way, is almost certainly clearer for you on your computer than the pilot had on their little 4" screen in the apache)

When that video came out I contacted a guy I know who happens to be an Apache pilot (but who wasn't in Iraq at that time). He quickly pointed out that it was missing a bunch of context because at that time the insurgents had been trying to score an apache kill, so the army was holding apaches back unless there was confirmed need for them (i.e. the ground troops were already engaged with the enemy). So the BS story that there weren't any insurgents around doesn't fly. And for the reporter whose died because his lens looked like an RPG, and he moved like a guy carrying an RPG, he agreeed that it's unfortunate but said with knowledge of what was happening and what the screen showed, he'd have pulled the trigger too.

Re:Should have been convicted on all counts (5, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44426705)

If the reporters for the Washington Post and New York Times whom he initially approached [gawker.com] had done their fucking jobs, he would never have went to WikiLeaks. The reason he had to release the whole cache is because no journalist gatekeeper would take him seriously (the way Glenn Greenwald did with Snowden).

ramifications (3, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44426383)

Beyond the fate of Private Manning as an individual, the 'aiding the enemy' charge — unprecedented in a leak case — could have significant long-term ramifications for investigative journalism in the Internet era.

Since he was acquitted of the charge, isn't that particular kind of potential ramification now less dire? It doesn't prove that the government will never be able to overreach in that manner, but the fact that they couldn't get a conviction on that charge here, even in a military court and little dispute about the underlying facts of document release, suggests that it won't be that easy.

Re:ramifications (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426541)

Shhhh. Your statment hurts the argument that the government is turning into a massive Orwellian nightmare of unchecked power.

Re:ramifications (3, Insightful)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year ago | (#44426555)

"Aiding the Enemy" was always going to be a bit of a stretch here. The documents were embarrassing, but I'd have to agree that, in the end, he wasn't actually trying to help al-Qaeda. My biggest problem with him is that, in fact, he released so much that I'd have to call him on his statement that he could have had any idea that they would be harmless. His action was more reckless than malicious.

He broke the law and I don't personally like what he did. He's definitely guilty of misusing his clearance and releasing materials he was trusted to keep secret. There will need to be a reckoning for that. If he feels he did the right thing, well and good. Perhaps he will be able to sleep well at night and even get a pardon. I just don't think that it's an action to be encouraged. There must be a better way.

Re:ramifications (3, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | about a year ago | (#44426681)

Yes. The proper way of airing the government's dirty laundry is through the official channel, i.e., the government.

You're so fucking obedient to a symbol and a flag that you think the rules of nebulous "authority" figures and structures and systems are more important than the supposed reasons those rules were put in place to begin with. You'd defend keeping government secrets that show how they make us unsafe even though the purpose of government is supposedly to grant us some safety.

Re:ramifications (3, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44426675)

Beyond the fate of Private Manning as an individual, the 'aiding the enemy' charge — unprecedented in a leak case — could have significant long-term ramifications for investigative journalism in the Internet era.

Since he was acquitted of the charge, isn't that particular kind of potential ramification now less dire? It doesn't prove that the government will never be able to overreach in that manner, but the fact that they couldn't get a conviction on that charge here, even in a military court and little dispute about the underlying facts of document release, suggests that it won't be that easy.

Agreed, the summary was over-reaching.

Its almost impossible to convict Journalists in this day and age of anything related to espionage.

Still when this administration Taps Reporters phones [thegatewaypundit.com] and even taps Congressional Phones [washingtonsblog.com] we are pretty close to a police state where you dare not even complain to your Congressman any more.

They don't go after the congressmen or the journalist, just the people they talk to. (Or so they say).

Re:ramifications (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426745)

Just which enemy was he supposedly aiding?

I don't think that a state of declared war exists between the US and anyone else (except perhaps North Korea, dating back 60 years). How is "enemy" defined in that law anyway?

Re:ramifications (5, Insightful)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44426813)

He gave information that could help the American people make better informed decisions regarding their governance. I think that counts as aiding an enemy of the state at this point.

But on lesser counts... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426407)

He was found guilty of being a total and complete shitbag troop.

Not surprising (3, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44426417)

There wasn't much question of what he had done - he admitted to a number of charges as it was. At the moment he could be facing up to 130 years in prison minus ~200 days from part of his pretrial confinement found to be excessive

Snowden would probably be looking at a similar outcome.

Hard to say what, if any, impact this could possibly have on any charges that might be filed involving Assange.

Re:Not surprising (3, Informative)

Aryden (1872756) | about a year ago | (#44426469)

no, snowden is a civilian and thus not subject to the UCMJ.

Re:Not surprising (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44426683)

I never wrote anything about Snowden being subject to the UCMJ.

Snowden, like Manning, is likely to face charges for espionage, theft, and computer fraud. You do know that civilians can be charged with that, right? No UCMJ required.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Aryden (1872756) | about a year ago | (#44426807)

Different penalties depending on the court being charged in. As well as different requirements for a conviction between a civilian court an a military court.

Re:Not surprising (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year ago | (#44426603)

Assange is a foreign national and not a member of the US military. He will almost certainly get off less harshly than Manning, assuming he is ever brought to trial in the US, that is. Like Manning, I expect the worst case is probably 10 years under the Espionage Act. Manning may get more, but I am almost certain Assange would not.

Re:Not surprising (4, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | about a year ago | (#44426733)

Assange is a foreign national and not a member of the US military.

In other words, he owes no duty to the USA. He has no allegiance to the USA. His actions did not take place on US soil. He did not gather the documents from the USA. He did not violate the confidentiality of the documents (confidentiality was broken by Manning). There is no connection between his actions and the USA.

He will almost certainly get off less harshly than Manning,

IMHO, Assange should not face any charges.

Re:Not surprising (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year ago | (#44426641)

Hard to say what, if any, impact this could possibly have on any charges that might be filed involving Assange.

This is irrelevant to Assange. Assange RECEIVED secret/TS documents, which is, in and of itself, perfectly legal (no, YOU can't go to jail because your girlfriend/brother/whatever tells you something classified).

Publishing what he got is also legal (see Watergate for reference).

Alas, Mr. Assange didn't really do anything wrong under US law, and isn't being pursued by US LEOs, much as he'd like to believe so.

Oh, and pay no attention to what the assorted Congresscritters say about Assange/Wikileaks - it's just political posturing, and utterly irrelevant to a Judge.

Re:Not surprising (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44426761)

Snowden would probably be looking at a similar outcome.

Except Snowden is still holding a deadman's switch. He has encrypted and distributed much greater and more damaging information.

He is effectively being bottled up in Russia and told to shut up by Putin himself. What US secrets and concessions did this Administration have to offer the Russians in exchange for that? It won't come out until the party in power leaves office. I predict Snowden will never see South America, because the Russians can contain him far more effectively.

And the truth shall set you free... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426419)

Why should't it? Only those who care not for the liberties, justice, and the freedoms of the people would want the truth hidden. One can not make an informed decision unless one is informed... right?

I wonder what the charge was (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426433)

For those that lied to Congress (Clapper & Alexander)?

Re:I wonder what the charge was (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426915)

Less than IRS head got targetting opposition to current regime ("administrative leave" - each should have lost their jobs at the very least, if not prison time).

Same system as the Mafia... (5, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#44426491)

Talk to anybody outside, get tortured and killed. They have not quite figured out how to implement that time-tested approach fully, but torture they already do. If "by their methods you shall recognize them" has any truth to it, this makes the nature of the current US administration quite clear.

Seriously, if what you do is to horrible and repulsive that people inside your organization are willing to risk considerable punishment to leak them, then maybe the things you are doing are wrong and you need to stop?

Re:Same system as the Mafia... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426599)

The government is way better than the mafia. When was the last time you heard of the mafia creating new rules to protect whistleblowers, like Obama has done?

He'll still die in Jail (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426501)

The 'powers that be' decided that a long time ago. They want to use him as an example so that no one else even thinks about whistleblowing in the future.

I fully expect him to get 100 yeas without parole, i.e. the maximum on each count and the sentence to run consequitively.

Re:He'll still die in Jail (5, Funny)

crashcy (2839507) | about a year ago | (#44426551)

I hate consequitively run sentences. It's unethiquical.

Re:He'll still die in Jail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426653)

So what are you gonna do when he gets 5 to 10, curl up in the corner and wonder how the world can exist in a realistic Orwellian nightmare, not the far-fetched one that you imagined it to be? You should save your outrage for when he's sentenced and you have something tangible to be outraged about.

Befehl ist Befehl (5, Insightful)

marcovje (205102) | about a year ago | (#44426509)

If I look at this case, it returns to the old Prussian adage "Befehl ist Befehl".

If you break the rules, you will be severely punished, and there is no excuse. No own responsibility, no greater good, just do what you are told, no matter what.

I don't think I have to explain you what that can lead to......

Re:Befehl ist Befehl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426719)

You're not supposed to get away with civil disobedience; you're supposed to take your punishment as part of effecting change.

Re:Befehl ist Befehl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426963)

Yes, but this is the military, and Manning was a private. An example is needed to prevent further releases. Side from the if he was right or wrong, he broke the law. As a former soldier I support the verdict, but wish he was hit with Aiding the Enemy. Even I knew that the enemy was using Facebook and Google to acquire Intel. While the overall population think manning is some folk hero, the military does not. Many were even calling for the death penalty. If everyone in the DOD with a clearance could leak anything at any time because they thought it was wrong, the enemy would know all of our defense secrets. These secrets are important in both operations and methods. If we ever do have another war, we don't want the enemy to know everything before we do.

People have argued for a while that we over classify, but if you work in the DOD, many people think we under classify stuff. NSA stuff aside, like all other companies with proprietary information, the biggest risk is a insider threat. Had this been WWII he probably would have been put to death.

We leave it open the the lawmakers and politicians to make the determination on what is a secret and what is not. If you want change push for it that way.

Punitive justice (5, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#44426553)

When does the US military go on trial for the exposed war crimes?

My suggestion to the Nobel committee (1, Troll)

photonic (584757) | about a year ago | (#44426561)

Award this year's peace-prize jointly to Manning and Snowden! Guaranteed to piss of the US big time and make the rest of the world smile. And we will forgive you for ever awarding it to Obama and Gore ...

Re:My suggestion to the Nobel committee (2)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about a year ago | (#44426947)

I was really surprised about Obama getting the peace prize... wasn't Linus Torvalds nominated at some point? I think he is more deserving.

Justice, Crime, and Punishment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426597)

Not sure if justice has been done, but Manning had to know some amount of retribution would come back from all this.

I'm not sure the amount of years for these convictions is proportional, but at least hanging seems off the table.

That said, I've always been open to the idea of citizenship revocation depending on the seriousness of the crime.

Re:Justice, Crime, and Punishment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426783)

I've always been open to the idea of citizenship revocation depending on the seriousness of the crime.

That's exactly what should happen. Manning deserves a reward for his actions.

Espionage act of 1917 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426689)

The government has yet to win a case prosecuting on this law, passed during WWI. One thing about the Obama administration is that it is much more activist about using this law against leakers - including journalists. To my knowledge the only other case of prosecution using the law outside this administration was Bush II who tried it once and lost.

Espionage vs. Journalism (3, Insightful)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#44426749)

Sorry, but stealing classified information and disseminating it to the public is not "investigative journalism."

Re:Espionage vs. Journalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426901)

He didn't "disseminate it to the public".

He actually tried to get the NYT interested.

But they don't do journalism anymore.

This and Snowden's revelations have finally exposed the USA for all the world to see as bullies and liars.

The USA is about as "democratic" as the DDR was.

And I'm sure memberrs of the Stasi would have felt right at home in the NSA.

'murica (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426757)

I'M A FREE WORLD INHABITANT
SON OF A BITCH AMERICAN
AMERICAN IS PIG
DO YOU WANT A HAMBURGER?
DO YOU WANT A PIZZA?
AMERICAN IS PIG DISGUSTING
BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA IS A MURDERER
FUCKING U.S.A

aaaaa aaaaaa aaaaa aaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaa aaaaa
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ALSO FUCK YOU AMERICAN SLASHDOT ANTISPAM

Ironic..... (3, Interesting)

houbou (1097327) | about a year ago | (#44426817)

I remember a movie with Keanu Reeves where he was transporting data using his brain "Johnny Mnemonic".. something about government/big pharma not wanting certain 'cure' information to be leaked and in the end, it was the underground hackers who risked their lives getting the info to all citizens. Seems to me like we are heading up that way... Ironic that certain movies from the 80s and 90s were able to predict scenarios such as theses.

Manning, Snowden and Goldstein should all hang! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44426877)

He who casts the first stone shall be me!

What's The Point? (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#44426883)

What is the point of convicting him of "espionage", if he wasn't "aiding the enemy"? I understand that those laws may cover different acts, but isn't that against the whole spirit of those laws in the first place?

Just asking.

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44427019)

I am pretty sure USA needs enemies to keep going, or at least it is the only explanation I find for what they do and/or they don't do. What I didn't know is that they already got some. Let the superior races deal with each other and we we'll see later, again...

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