Bradley Manning Trial- Security Leaks

Reply Sun 18 Dec, 2011 03:11 am
Bradley Manning, a serving soldier, is being put on trial this week for leaking official documents, much or all of which was classified information about the Iraq war, to Wikileaks which disseminated it worldwide.
He did this apparently because he thinks that the invasion of Iraq was a tragic mistake, justified by lies.

Did he do right, in the wider sense?
Should his maltreatment while in custody be a matter for the courts?
Can he receive a fair trial?
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Reply Sun 18 Dec, 2011 04:13 am
He can get a fair trial to the extent that there is no doubt that what he did was a violation of law. If he has been maltreated, then certainly he should have the opportunity to redress that through law. As for any moral issue, i have scant sympathy with the idea that what he did raises him to a moral level at which he should be immune from punishment for such actions. Leaving aside that many people would disagree about the moral superiority of his position, civil disobedience in support of one's principles means that the "disobeyer" is prepared to endure the civil consequences of his or her actions. It's a pretty straightforward case of "if you can't do the time, don't do the crime." Apart from that, there's no moral justification that this is a bad law--even if it were, as Roosevelt said, the best way to get rid of a bad law is to enforce it. But the laws which prohibit soldiers and civilican employees of the armed forces from leaking documents are not bad law--in fact, they are essential. That people at the highest levels behaved badly, or even broke the law does not mitigate or justify his criminal action. Laws protecting national security are essential and indispensible, even if they can be used to shield law-makers and executives from the consequences of their cupidity and venality.

I don't know if Mr. Manning believes he should get a pass for having acted in a morally superior manner (allegedly). Whether or not he did, those who would claim he did and therefore should be exempt from his punishment are wrong. That's not, in any event, what civil disobedience is about. In Edwardian England, the Salisbury and Asquith governments were content to ignore the sufragists and they and Parliament were happy to use the convenient abilityto label the sufragists as hysterical women to avoid the issue of the franchise for women. The women who defaced public property and works of art were willing to accept that they would be prosecuted and imprisoned for their actions because they believed in their cause. They knew in advance that there was a legal and social cost to pay, and they were willing to pay it. That's what civil disobedience is all about. It is no different than the willingness to be maimed or killed in defense of one's country.
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Reply Tue 30 Jul, 2013 11:11 am

Not guilty of "Aiding the Enemy" (the most serious charge).

Guilty on a good number of lesser charges.

Not clear yet whether it amounts to a very long sentence.
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Reply Wed 21 Aug, 2013 08:22 am

35 Years
Reply Thu 22 Aug, 2013 01:33 pm
Here's an interesting link on the time in jail real spies received.

From the article:
William Colton Millay, 16 years for attempting to sell secrets to a Russian spy. (This is from this year.)
David Henry Barnett, 18 years for selling classified documents to Soviet officials.
Harold James Nicholson, 23 years for providing highly classified information to Russia.
Ana Belen Montes, 25 years for passing classified information to Cuba's government.
Earl Edwin Pitts, 27 years for giving classified information to Russian intelligence services.
Michael Peri, 30 years for passing defense secrets to communist East Germany.
Clayton Lonetree, 30 years for delivering classified information from American embassies to Soviet agents.
Albert Sombolay, 34 years for giving a Jordanian intelligence agent key information about the U.S. military buildup ahead of the first Gulf War.

Many of these people did not serve their entire sentence. Kind of puts Manning's sentence in perspective. He'd have been better off giving the info to Russia.
Reply Sun 25 Aug, 2013 05:03 pm
engineer wrote:
Many of these people did not serve their entire sentence. Kind of puts Manning's sentence in perspective.

With a 35 year sentence, Manning is up for parole in 7 years.

I have not heard who decides if parole is granted, or if anyone has a veto over it.
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Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2017 04:22 am

Disgusting. Mr. Obama just commuted his sentence. Manning should have served at least as long as Jonathan Pollard.
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Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2017 04:23 am
engineer wrote:
Many of these people did not serve their entire sentence.

I'd like to know if there is any reason for the disparity verses Jonathan Pollard's amount of time served, other than Jonathan Pollard being Jewish.
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