back to article New charge against alleged WikiLeaker carries death penalty

The US Army has filed 22 additional charges against accused WikiLeaks source Pfc. Bradley Manning, including one that carries a potential death sentence. The aiding the enemy offense filed against the Army intelligence analyst is the military equivalent of treason, but prosecutors said on Wednesday that they planned to seek …

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  1. Big-nosed Pengie
    Grenade

    Poor bastard

    Don't fuck with the US - particularly by letting people know the truth.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby
      WTF?

      He has no one to blame...

      But himself.

      Unless of course Assange coerced him to do it and only Assange and Manning know and neither have talked openly about it.

      As to knowing the truth, what truth exactly?

      No offense but what exactly did Manning expose? No war crimes.

      Did he let the world know that War is a dirty business? <MockSarcasm>SHOCKING!</MockSarcasm>

      No real secret there.

      Now thanks to Assange, Wikileaks published *UNREDACTED* material. (Other real ethical news services did redact and restrict what they printed.) Even the recent books quoted Assange as pretty much saying those who collaborated with the US get what they deserved.

      With respect to Manning getting the death penalty, while its possible, its a stretch. I'm not up on Military law, but I suspect that in order to get the death penalty, Mens rea has to be a factor. Meaning that he had to know that Assange would act with total disregard and ethics that real journalists are bound by.

      So now lets watch the followers of St. Julian of ASSange cry foul.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Big Brother

        War Crimes

        Of course he exposed war crimes. Every single incident of an Iraqi being killed or injured in any of the material he leaked is a war crime. This comes about as a result of the war itself being illegal, ergo all actions carried out as a result of prosecuting that war crime also become war crimes in and of themselves. The simple truth of the Nurenburg principles.

        Just because nobody in power has yet been prosecuted for their involvement in the greater crime doesn't mean it wasn't (isn't) a crime. It just means they truly are above the laws they proscribe for the lower party members and proles.

        Our hope is, and has always been, with the proles.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby
          Grenade

          @AC Re War Crimes...

          Now I know why you posted that as an AC. Basically you're ashamed of your views.

          You clearly don't know what is and is not a war crime. Concepts of collateral damage or civilian casualties are beyond your grasp.

          You also clearly don't know what it means to have a congressional vote to go to war.

          Right or wrong, based on the evidence presented to them, it was a lopsided vote in favor of going after Saddam.

          Clearly you don't understand the threat WMD ie biologicals and nukes present to the rest of the world.

          Saddam hinted that he had WMDs and before his fellow countrymen hung him by a rope, he admitted that he created that myth to keep the Iranians at bay. He was surprised that it was the Americans who fell for it.

          But don't let facts get in the way of your posts.

          1. Brennan Young

            War crimes

            are unambiguously defined by international, NOT national law. AC is right and you are wrong. The Nuremberg trials established that invading another country without the go-ahead from the security council is the *supreme* war crime. Issues of collateral damage and civilian casualties are precisely covered by the definition of supreme war crime. Look it up.

            USA is bound by this law, which trumps national law, like it or not. Only the US politicians and mass media conspire to hide or gloss over this fact from those who swallow their propaganda unchewed. The typical defense is that such laws undermine US sovereignty, and are therefore worthless, or that the UN is ineffectual (a self-fulfilling prophecy because the USA regularly undermines its authority, and then criticises them for having no authority).

            But the fact remains that the USA *is* a signatory of the international law on war crimes, and is therefore bound by it. A congressional vote is irrelevant - or rather, it somehow could make congress accessories to the supreme war crimes of invading Iraq (and Afghanistan). Ask a lawyer.

            And it is the USA which has the largest stockpiles of biological weapons. They also have plenty of other WMDs. Does this mean that any other country has the right to invade them? Are you really saying it's legally and/or morally 'right' to invade a country which has WMDs simply because WMD's are dangerous? What about China, or France, or Israel? I believe AC understands the threat very well indeed, and I imagine that he/she correctly estimated the danger from Saddam's WMDs at zero. You, however, are not prepared to hold the USA and other coalition countries to the same standards you wish to impose on other countries. This is pure hypocrisy.

            We now know that Saddam had no WMDs, exactly as the UN weapons inspectors told us at the time. Clearly, they know their business, but the US media exposed Hans Brix and others to ridicule and character assasination. But the weapons inspectors were *right*. They did their job properly and reported the truth in their findings repeatedly before the war began. Many of us suspected it back then, and we went on the streets to demonstrate about it. Even the CIA knew it, and were forced to provide hokey 'evidence' for Colin Powell's shameful and dishonest speech to the security council. Dozens of CIA employees have since resigned over this heinous travesty of their skilled and difficult work.

            And the idea that the Americans 'fell for it' is disingenuous in the extreme:

            The *American* CIA spooks and the *American* military knew Saddam had no WMDs, but Bush/Cheney insisted on evidence. The CIA were obliged to turn over whatever junk evidence they had - evidence that they *knew* to be pure fabrication. The CIA repeatedly told the Bush administration that there was nothing but junk evidence about WMDs or any connection between Saddam and Al Qaida, so Bush/Cheney stepped up the waterboarding until they got some 'operationally useful' confessions - i.e. junk evidence from the mouths of enemy combatants, rather than the fictions of CIA spooks.

            It is not difficult to find the statements of ex-CIA employees or ex US-military personnel who have gone on record with their grievances about this, but I suspect you are not interested in looking for data which undermines your views, and would rather echo the mountains of propaganda which supports them.

            It was junk evidence, commissioned by the Bush/Cheney administration which ordinary Americans were 'taken in' by, Bush/Cheney's own propaganda, cynically and intensively peddled by Murdoch and others.

            I find it quite extraordinary that you, or anyone else, attempts to play the WMD card, as a post facto justification for the Iraq war, as it has been so thoroughly and extensively debunked, so often, that surely only the most gullible and naive still believe in it. Even Tony Blair has stopped using it as an excuse. It makes you, Mr Gumby, come across as a gullible fool which can't be entirely true. Of course there are still people that still believe the sun goes around the earth, which I also find extraordinary. I am sure they are not complete fools either.

            You wrote something sarcastic about letting the facts get in the way.

            I ask without sarcasm: How do *you* rationalise ignoring these facts?

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Big Brother

      We now know who "the enemy" is.

      "The military mentality is a bandit and raider mentality. Thus, all military represents a form of organized banditry where the conventional mores do not prevail. The military is a way of rationalizing murder, rape, looting, and other forms of theft which are always accepted as part of warfare. When denied an outside target, the military mentality always turns against its own civilian population, using identical rationalizations for bandit behavior."

      - BuSab Manual, Chapter Five: "The Warlord Syndrome"

      1. Scorchio!!
        FAIL

        Re: We now know who "the enemy" is.

        ""The military mentality is a bandit and raider mentality. Thus, all military represents a form of organized banditry where the conventional mores do not prevail. The military is a way of rationalizing murder, rape, looting, and other forms of theft which are always accepted as part of warfare. When denied an outside target, the military mentality always turns against its own civilian population, using identical rationalizations for bandit behavior."

        - BuSab Manual, Chapter Five: "The Warlord Syndrome"

        If I say to you that 6-OHDA destroys, in particular, DA neurones, or that 5-HT1a receptors can be stimulated to compensate for a shortage of 5-HT, you'd ask me for evidence. I'd produce reams of experimental data to demonstrate the validity of my claims.

        Now you show me some kind of experimental evidence to justify this claim. Were there sub categories in the research? Specify the number of independent conditions, tell me what the IVs and the DVs were, how they were statistically analysed, whether or not the theory fits into the prevailing paradigm (if you know what that is), how the hypothesis was generated from the theory, how the conditions match this hypothesis and how you overcame the sampling problem. Cite literature in the field. Explain why there were instances that did not match these claims, and why they did not. Given that there is an absolutist claim in the passage ("When denied an outside target, the military mentality always turns against its own civilian population, using identical rationalizations for bandit behavior") do explain why there are so many instances where this claim - like Marx's claim that the first revolution would occur in the first country to industrialise, the UK, whereas it patently did not - does not match reality, both now and in the past and why, in instances where it does, only a small percentage of any armed force behaves like this, except where coercion is applied by a powerful minority. Similarly, include in your response an analysis of differences between, say, the FARC and the Red Army.

        It's a lot of work to do, but the onus is on those who make the claim, so you'd best get to it if you want your claim to be accepted.

        1. perlcat
          Welcome

          Nope, that won't do.

          He read it in a book somewhere.

          That concept comes from Frank Herbert. I like his idea of a BuSab to shake up and clear the garbage that bureaucracies accumulate, but only if a bureaucracy is an inevitable form that government evolves towards. As usual with Herbert, it's food for thought, but as you imply, just because someone *says* it is so doesn't mean that it *is* so.

          The fact that Herbert wrote science fiction only increases the need for empirical evidence before assuming that the passage is useful to anyone anywhere. Most people, including the op, miss out on the irony of the concept of formally establishing a bureau to keep bureaucracy in check.

          Welcome mat for the dosadi.

  2. Chad H.
    Unhappy

    so

    Wikileaks is now the enemy. Will Uncle Sam push Cameron to proscribe wikileaks?

    1. Code Monkey

      Wikileaks

      If Wikileaks had any oil you could guarantee they'd have imagined some weapons of mass destruction invaded them by now.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Suicide watch?

    ""DC. He has been alternately been held under suicide watch and prevention of injury designations, which among other things require him to be confined to a 6-by-12-foot cell with a bed, a drinking fountain and a toilet for about 23 hours a day and heavily restrict him from reading or exercising.""

    Sounds more likely to induce suicide to me.

    But that's exactly the sort of mental torture they need to break his will. They need him nice and compliant for his drum head trial.

    And if that's the sort of regime he'll be held under for life if convicted then I would certainly be hoping for the death penalty if it were me.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      How to commit suicide

      If he has a drinking fountain he can drink himself to death. Suicide by water intoxication.

  4. Daniel Garcia 2
    Unhappy

    and what...

    the court day will be a show trial, justice will be looking to the other side when the sentence is pronounced. Pathetic show of a declining society.

    truly pathetic works of bullies.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Beyond the pale

    What exactly is executing/imprisioning him going to do? It's like they're motivated more out of a lust for revenge rather than actual justice.

    1. Bryce Prewitt
      Black Helicopters

      They can't convert him, so they destroy him. Simple as that.

      "The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy— everything."

      Had he merely confessed his crimes and sold out everyone he ever interacted with then he wouldn't be facing the current charges. He continues to spurn the United States of America - that is his true crime. Had he merely complied he'd likely land up in jail for the rest of his life or a significant chunk of it, but he'd have capitulated and given the US government exactly what they want.

      Since he hasn't and apparently won't, retribution is the only answer. They're not only going to kill him, they're going to utterly destroy him as a warning to *everyone*. If this case goes through unbridled then whatever last vestiges of false freedom and false liberty this country even cared to project have long since been gone.

      The United States, as we know it, is either fucking done for or has been long fucking done.

      1. Thomas 4

        @Bryce

        That's a very interesting quote at the top of your post - where's it from?

        1. Code Monkey

          Re: That's a very interesting quote

          It's an excellent quote. It's from 1984; that book that was once a warning and now is a template for Western government.

      2. Scorchio!!
        FAIL

        Re: They can't convert him, so they destroy him. Simple as that.

        ""The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy— everything.""

        Oh really? Perhaps the rejoinder, "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" is the most apposite here. You might like to pay some attention to what makes humans the way they are, and similarly to consider Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, or perhaps 'Equilibrium', which has a similar premiss at the root.

        As to the rest, hmm. No evidence. No supporting logic. Nada.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's the executive of the USA, folks !

      That has _always_ been their idea of Justice ! Which more than the long touted freedom that is actually anything but (though still more so than ours), is why it became the natural home to the various organised crime syndicates and families of the world. Like 'it takes one to tolerate one' sort of thing.

      Whereas what we have is a modern look to an old medieval 'show respect for the royals, you parliamentarian oik you!' monarchy.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What'sthe point?

      He broke a solemn oath, and they want to make an example of him to deter anyone else from doing the same thing. If they let him off with a smack on the wrist, the next leaker might actually release some information that does put people's lives at risk.

      Anyone who joins the army thinking it's playschool needs their head examined. You join up, and they own you. Fuck with them, and you'll get fucked much worse than anything you can imagine. It's a life that suits many people who don't want to, or can't, take responsibility for their own actions, but when you delegate that power to someone else you have to accept it. Looks like Manning wanted to have his cake, and eat it. Dumb, naive kid.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Ummm...

    If they decided that they didn't have any conclusive evidence linking Bradley to Wikileaks, isn't that going to make it hard to convict him on the various transmitting and publishing counts? I mean, if they can't prove that someone received the material from him, then how can they make those charges stick? The defense could simply argue that someone else could have published them, perhaps by stealing them from Bradley. Or did they manage to connect him to some other publishing source that I missed hearing about?

    1. Ian Michael Gumby
      Grenade

      You must be part of Assange's defense team...

      Look,

      I hate to break it to you but Manning is in deep shite.

      They have more than enough forensic evidence to nail him to the proverbial cross.

      (Its easier to back track and find evidence against Manning once they knew it was Manning.)

      The defense would have an easier time claiming temporary insanity than what you suggest.

      Hint. Bradley takes them off the system for what reason again? And then they get stolen? Hint: By admission he's just as guilty of the charges. Doh!

      Life lesson learned. Fan meet shit.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Only has himself to blame

        I realise there may be other evidence but nothing remotely as incriminating as a full written confession. Here is an intelligent guy, working in intelligence, who steals an entire database worth of diplomatic chitchat, effectively disseminates that information en masse, covering his tracks with tor and other tools. So what does he do afterwards? Blab his full life story to some random other hacker who logs the entire conversation and shops him in.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He'll get life in prison

    Manning will likely get life in prison not death. The prosecution has linked him directly to Wikileaks but not directly to Assange personally. Endangering or getting operatives killed is a very serious crime and Manning is being held accountable for his actions.

    1. Jim Black 1
      Flame

      What a pile of bull hockey

      The article is incorrect in saying that the military judge gives the sentence. Courts Martial have the panel - essentially the jury - pronounce the sentence. The military judge serves the same purpose as they do in civilian courts, they keep things organized and according to the law. In this case, it is the Uniform Code of Military Justice that prevails. The Court of Military Appeals reviews many UCMJ convictions and I believe ALL convictions by General Court Martial, which is where Manning will be tried.

      The previous comments automatically say that Manning is to be punished unjustly. That is unadulterated lying bullshit. If he is guilty, he should be punished. If he is not guilty, he will be set free. A court martial is not an automatic conviction - I can give you chapter and verse on that, having been the defense counsel on two, both of which panels found the defendants not guilty. Anyone who says different is a liar.

      The deliberate ignorance exhibited by the commentators is disgusting.

      1. Bryce Prewitt
        Flame

        You'd know all about deliberate ignorance, wouldn't you?

        Also, about warping the context within which statements are made?

        No one here is saying that he has been automatically convicted. No one here is saying that he will automatically be punished unjustly. We're saying that he hasn't a chance in hell of walking away from this having been tried or punished fairly.

        Life is not as simple as "if he is FOUND guilty he will be punished, if he is FOUND not guilty he will be set free." Especially in a case like this which is far more subtle than YOU let on. He OBVIOUSLY committed a crime - multiple ones, in fact. I have YET to see anyone here dispute that he obviously broke various laws. What I HAVE seen people here dispute is the severity of his crimes, whether what he is being charged with is just and whether or not a mockery of justice is in the making all to please a scorned military and government.

        You are willfully naive if you insinuate that you have served in our military and are willing to attest to never having seen a breach of justice or protocol within the military. You are acting as if the military is a wholly honorable entity that acts without political motivation - either internal or external - and that has never once violated its own codes and practices to secure whatever the fucking hell it wants to. In your very first post ever on the Register you even claim that in minutes the average GI could find a way to cheat around a firearm's "black box" designed to create and assign accountability to said GI. Doesn't seem as if you have much faith in the honesty or integrity of your average GI, yet here you're more than willing to decry our outrage at his mishandling which, framed within your obvious reverence for the military judicial system, makes you disingenuous at best and a fucking liar at worst. Within your capacity as an expert [whereas we are just commentators, you see, aren't we?] you have both summarily passed judgment on a case you aren't assigned to and a defendant you haven't read the file of while attempting to strawman every single person in this thread. Bravo. You take bullshit to new and astounding levels.

        The deliberate ignorance and wanton manipulation of both the content contained with and the framing context of people's posts you exhibit is disgusting.

        To wit, you and your agenda can fuck right off.

      2. Steen Hive
        Flame

        "Guilty"

        Of course being relative anyway.

        How about giving him the Medal Of Honor instead for conspicuous gallantry in protecting the United States from it's actual enemies?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        Sure, whatever...

        And I suppose he is not being tortured either? Its all for his own good?

      4. Scorchio!!

        Re: What a pile of bull hockey

        "The deliberate ignorance exhibited by the commentators is disgusting."

        What you see is a corollary of the music and literature piracy movements. People have got it into their heads that they know what is best for the majority of voters in their countries, and that they can arrange these things using the very technology they've used to download pirate material:

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12007616

        Note Bill Thompson's remarks to the effect that this will result in a curtailment of our online freedoms. I've been online for a very long time. I occasionally do things that I know will become illegal. I dread the back lash from a personal perspective, but I will be very happy when these people, the LoIC and related groups are rounded up and made to pay for their acts. Meanwhile don't think that the idiots you've read in this thread are representative of anything but a thoughtless extreme, educated in very little of relevance or even beyond how to point and click. At best one or two of them seem to have genuine skills.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Really?

        In a case this high profile would the military personel on the panel dare say not guilty? How powerful are they to stick two fingers up at their bosses?

        It's like a manager being told by a business owner to give somebody a warning - from that point on the whole process is a sham, the decision is already made.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Grenade

        So Jim

        What's your take on the collateral murder videos?

        1. Ian Michael Gumby
          Grenade

          @Dibbley did you happen to read the articles written in the NYT?

          While I'm not Jim, nor am I trying to answer for him...

          "But in its zeal to make the video a work of antiwar propaganda, WikiLeaks also released a version that didn’t call attention to an Iraqi who was toting a rocket-propelled grenade and packaged the manipulated version under the tendentious rubric “Collateral Murder.” (See the edited and non-edited videos here.)"

          http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/magazine/30Wikileaks-t.html

          So much for 'journalistic integrity' shown by Assange.

          If you watch the unedited version and understand what's meant by RoE (Rules of Engagement)

          The US military were acting within their RoE. No war crimes and yes, you run around in a 'war zone' with someone carrying an RPG and firing on US forces, you can bet you will receive return fire from the US and their allies.

      7. This post has been deleted by its author

      8. Anonymous Coward
        Troll

        Well "Jim Black 1"

        That told'um no one on the internet will make that mistake again.

        Of course people might join the military with a firm belief that they are doing so to assist mankind and then, when confronted with a reality that does not match their high expectations. Feel it is necessary to expose the things they are told to cover up in order to fix the military so it maintains the ideals that they joined to uphold.

        Best to discourage these people, then the military will be made up of the kind of person who just does what they are told. After all the biggest patriot is the man who can gas Jews without questioning the morality of what he is doing. The most ardent believer will sacrifice his son to prove his faith to God.

        A healthy society requires protection for people who are prepared to speak out against abuses of power and position. Otherwise the only people who are willing to do so will be true hero's a very rare find rather then just and honest men who are at least a little bit more common.

      9. Anonymous Coward
        Coat

        @Jim Black

        "The previous comments automatically say that Manning is to be punished unjustly. That is unadulterated lying bullshit. If he is guilty, he should be punished. If he is not guilty, he will be set free. "

        The above comment starts with the assumption that Manning is guilty. In terms of the post, its to discuss the fact that Manning, if found guilty would get the death penalty.

        Even the military takes the death penalty seriously and the prosecution would have to show evidence that Manning knew and didn't care about the potential consequences of the 'enemy' getting their hands on operational data. (The after action reports.)

        Manning's defense could argue that Manning had a reasonable expectation of Wikileaks acting as if they were journalists. While they are not, Assange had publicly claimed that Wikileaks is part of 'the press'. Normal journalists , check, vet , and redact what information they publish. Manning had no knowledge that Wikileaks would act with such recklessness or absence for concern of their actions.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Manning is being held accountable for his actions."

      Such a pity that the American government and military don't actually live up to their own standards then.

      How many people have been killed due to the war on terror and the illegal war in Iraq? How many have been murdered? How many tortured and ritually humiliated?

      If America wanted to save lives then they wouldn't be committing atrocities like the machine-gunning of innocent reporters and vans containing children.

      How many terrorists have been directly created because of these actions. How many people will die because of these terrorists?

      All Manning did was expose the facts that these terrorists already know, they live with the consequences after all.

      But never let the facts get in the way of a good vendetta, eh.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby
        Grenade

        Huh? They do...

        "Such a pity that the American government and military don't actually live up to their own standards then."

        Clearly you need to extract your head from your rectum. You're actually one of the few documented cases of self inflicted 'brown neck'.

        I'm sorry, but do you realize that there was no illegal war in Iraq?

        Yes, the US government actually voted and went to war. (It was legal)

        Was the intelligence faulty? Yes. Yet what you don't seem to recall is that Saddam admitted to creating that facade in part to keep the Iranians at bay. You do remember the long and deadly Iran/Iraq war? (Or was that before your time?) You remember where both sides committed war crimes and use children to clear land mines ahead of their forces? So please don't let the facts get in the way of your diatribe.

        As to war crimes, the US has an excellent record of bringing to trial any war crimes that their troops may have committed. But that's not Manning nor Wikileaks. No offense but Assange's first video was edited to hide the fact that there was no deviation from the RoE and that the soldiers acted in accordance to the RoE. (Helicopters have been shot down by RPGs and the troops were being harassed by RPG fire in the area. So when a guy toting an RPG was spotted, he's fair game.)

        Like I said, don't let the facts get in the way of your beautiful ignorant statements.

        What your ignorance shows is that you don't understand that only the US and its allies which are professional soldiers are following RoEs. Insurgents, terrorists, etc? They have no rules.

        Why don't you comment on the fact that these terrorists are bombing innocent civilians where there are no military personnel? (They are so common in Iraq, the hardly make the news, at least not the front page which it appears is all that you read.) Why don't you talk about the fact that insurgents are bombing Iraqi civilians who are attempting to join their own police force so that there is stability in their country? Nah. You'd probably agree with Assange is that they got what they deserved for trying to rebuild their own country.

        Like you say, never let the facts get in the way of a good vendetta.

        1. SImon Hobson

          Pardon ?

          >> Yes, the US government actually voted and went to war. (It was legal)

          OK, me and my mates have had a vote, and we've decided it's just and proper to rob your house and redistribute your wealth to the poor. Because we've had a vote, it's all legal.

          What complete male bovine manure !

          The US voting unilaterally to do it doesn't make it legal under international law. Oh I see the problem with my logic now, the USoA thinks it *IS* the law.

          Just from memory, I don't recall any body of competent jurisdiction (that would be the UN I believe) actually voting to allow the invasion. Thus it was an invasion of a sovereign state by other states with a stated intent to overthrow it's current ruler/regime. Without a clear mandate from the UN that is an illegal invasion under international law.

          Yes, Saddam was a nasty person, yes I do believe removing him was the right thing to do. But I do not believe it was done legally. Two wrongs do not make a right - taking down a bully by being an even bigger bully does not represent justice in anyone's eye, it just makes you the bully. In some ways, that is precisely what's happened, and by being the bigger bully, the USoA (and it's allies - ie the UK) has made it easy to be seen as a bully and therefore a reasonable target for those open to radicalisation.

          When Libyans stand up to Gaddafi they are seen as freedom fighters, when radicalised Muslims stand up to the west then they are seen as terrorists.

    3. Mike Street

      Endangering or getting operatives killed is a very serious crime

      Really? Then why isn't G W Bush facing similar charges for outing CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson?

      This pathetic kind of 'justice' is only for the small & weak. The rich & powerful are never held to account.

    4. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

      Equallity?

      "Endangering or getting operatives killed is a very serious crime and Manning is being held accountable for his actions."

      So why did some members of a previous US administration not face similar charges? A Pfc is easier to bully than a member of the administration?

      In the case I refer to the name of an operative was maliciously leaked. The "revelations" so far in Wikileaks seem humdrum (though they may do damage).

    5. Scorchio!!

      Re: He'll get life in prison

      "Manning will likely get life in prison not death. The prosecution has linked him directly to Wikileaks but not directly to Assange personally. Endangering or getting operatives killed is a very serious crime and Manning is being held accountable for his actions."

      People used to take spying seriously once, particularly when they could see the connection between espionage and danger to their own country. Nowadays it's evident that they do not, but I have a feeling that will change. For the while, yes, I think that you are correct:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12628983

  8. Bryce Prewitt
    Big Brother

    It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

    "...and none of the charges filed against Manning make any reference to WikiLeaks."

    If it wasn't Wikileaks, then what is the name of this "enemy" he was supposedly "aiding"? Because if it's not Wikileaks - an inanimate [although human run, of course] publishing entity of journalistic merit that has worked with some of the largest names in the press - then surely Manning must have directly passed (a) these cables or (b) other "classified" information of a nature that is "sensitive" to such an esoteric concept as national security on to either (1) a first party that is directly related to a terrorist organization or sovereign nations that have violated either convention law or have been hit with UN resolutions or sanctions (or otherwise been labeled as "baddies" by the US) or (2) a third party that supports said terrorists/sovereign nations either (I) monetarily or (II) logistically.

    Sorry for that run-on, but unless Manning has done any of the above then sticking him with an "aiding the enemy" charge is a distraction, unlikely to hold up in court, a gross misuse/willful misinterpretation of case law and legislation, an attack on the free press (that the old media/institutionalized press will likely ignore or even outright not understand) or all of the above.

    You can say whatever you want about the United States, and some of it might be right. We might have entered a pre-fascist era (or have strolled willingly into a fully fascist one, albeit in its infancy). We might be an Imperialist nation that have grossly overreached and overestimated the world's tolerance to a lone superpower. Insert platitudes at your leisure. You can also say whatever you want about Wikileaks. Overstate or dismiss its affect on the Middle East all you would like. Again, platitudes, your leisure, etc. Do it again for the Middle East and its maybe/maybe-not populist uprisings against truly malevolent dictators. Say what you will about how Wikileaks announced American imperialism and the propping up of said dictators to the world and how that led to the Middle Eastern revolts; declare it to either be coincidence or unrelated altogether.

    Then take all of that garbage and throw it out. You need not look any further than Manning's interaction with and treatment at the hands of the Obama administration to realize that we've all been had and that there now exists no difference between the two parties once you get past the social issues they use to keep us all subdued, sedated and distracted. Abortion, gay rights, the legalization of marijuana and the [so-called] entitlement programs don't matter when any real protest against the real issues is met with the ever-increasing, alarmingly so, judicially-authorized and legislatively-retroacted police encroachment onto and curtailing of our rights.

    Britain, in many ways you're far ahead of us in regards to the police and nanny state. You're also far ahead of us in realizing where you're going and attempting to do something about it - eg the student protests and police-incited riots. Take a lesson from us before it's too late and you wind up a one-party state that progressively punishes its citizenry by de-educating, propagandizing, disentitling [of rights hard fought for and earned over nearly a hundred and fifty years and nearly all undone in less than sixty] and disenfranchising everyone under a certain income level or lacking a certain supra-political affiliation.

    But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

      Calendars and 'hours' were indeed changed in France by 'revolutionaries' who were acting in the best interests of the people, or so they thought:

      http://www.webexhibits.org/calendars/calendar-french.html

      http://www.windhorst.org/calendar/

      Beware of self appointed guardians of truth and morality. They are probably most mendacious. Or do I mean Mendax..........

  9. David Hicks

    Just give up the pretence at legitimacy

    and shoot the guy already. That way people will know you don't fuck with the military. Hell, why not take out his family too, so people know you're serious. Nobody snitches on the mob^H^H^HUS Military and gets away with it.

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: Just give up the pretence at legitimacy

      "and shoot the guy already."

      I was under the impression that Manning has been clearly and unequivocally linked to the leaks. It's against the oath which he swore, as all soldiers do. Go back a few centuries and he would have been summarily shot, perhaps after a drumhead courts martial. That notwithstanding, the comments of people who think that - like e-Books, mp3s and other digital copies of music the information should be free are speaking for their own eccentric selves.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's a fine line between...

    ...liberty and oppression.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    What's the difference between Assange and Hislop?

    Assange got where he is today by shagging the wrong people.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What is that even supposed to mean?

      See title...

  12. Tony Paulazzo
    Unhappy

    Torture - America - Two wrongs

    It's like some DC alternative reality story, only, we have no hero to right the wrongs. Any day now I'm expecting to hear that the Jews are gassing the Palestinians with america's blessing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re. Torture - America - Two wrongs

      "...I'm expecting to hear that the Jews are gassing the Palestinians with america's blessing."

      The state of Israel (not Jews) hasn't been gassing the Palestinians, but it has been herding them into a massive concentration camp; the Palestinians are certainly not blameless, but I think the Israeli government benefits more from the FUD of Palestinian terrorism than the Palestinians do.

      1. Scorchio!!

        Re: re. Torture - America - Two wrongs

        ""...I'm expecting to hear that the Jews are gassing the Palestinians with america's blessing."

        The state of Israel (not Jews) hasn't been gassing the Palestinians, but it has been herding them into a massive concentration camp; the Palestinians are certainly not blameless, but I think the Israeli government benefits more from the FUD of Palestinian terrorism than the Palestinians do."

        It might surprise some onlookers that I, apparently unlike others in this small segment, remember Sabra and Chattila, Sharon's involvement, and the assassination of a Lebanese Xtian military leader, when he said he was going to blow the gaffe on Israeli involvement. If my deductions are correct the only major figure left who can be tried is in a coma.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not exactly

      Not gassing yet, but everything else has been done, including a re-enactment of warsaw's ghetto.

  13. The BigYin

    Aiding the enemy?

    Ok then. Freedom is obviously the USA's enemy.

    I wonder how much charge Franklin is generating as he rotates?

    At least Assange knows what to expect when USA forces do the snatch-and-grab in Sweden.

  14. phil mcracken

    It's not deliberate ignorance....

    .... it's cynicism, possibly justified given the long list of American politicians who have already come out of the woodwork to denounce Wikileaks using less than civilized language, and the credibility of the trial of detainees at "gitmo" among other things.

  15. Hud Dunlap
    FAIL

    SInce the U.S. has never declared war..

    How can you say he aided the enemy if we have never declared war?

    1. Scorchio!!
      FAIL

      Re: SInce the U.S. has never declared war..

      "How can you say he aided the enemy if we have never declared war?"

      Disingenuous argument; a major factor in protecting the military is secrecy. Thus, blowing the Op Os dealing with mobilisation of NATO forces during the cold war would have resulted in them being met, en route, by Spetnaz and other people interested in preventing such mobilisation.

      Give away your measures for self protection and you are defeated. It goes without saying that the enemy is at such a point unknown, and that all good governments and their military have contingency plans to defend their countries. Surely the shadow from the 11th of September 2001, from the lack of countermeasures and planning, surely these things have not been forgotten? Pre WWII Europe maybe? Pearl Harbour? All forgotten? How about Megiddo, whence the term Armageddon came? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tel_Megiddo

      1. Hud Dunlap
        FAIL

        Its a legal argument

        This is one of the things that stopped Jane Fonda from being prosecuted during the Vietnam War. She clearly gave aid and comfort to the North Vietnamese but we had never actually declared war on them.

        So it leaves you with the legal issue of how do you define enemy. Pollard sold information to the Israelis. Why wasn't he charged with treason? This will show up in the trial and in the appeals.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby
          Boffin

          Huh?

          We never declared war in Iraq?

          Tell that to Dennis 'former boy Mayor of Cleveland' Kucinich. You might remember him from his latest crazy issue of suing the Congressional Cafeteria for a pitted olive.

          Hint: We declared War and it was a very one sided vote.

  16. Oliver Mayes

    "theft of public property or records"

    How is taking a copy of something theft? Especially of 'public property', surely if it's public then anyone has access to it and as long as he leaves the original there no actual theft has taken place?

    1. Scorchio!!
      FAIL

      RFe: "theft of public property or records"

      "How is taking a copy of something theft? Especially of 'public property', surely if it's public then anyone has access to it and as long as he leaves the original there no actual theft has taken place?"

      It has already been observed that the security data extending to your credit, debit and other cards dealing with telephony, cash and such could be dealt with using the same logic; honest, guv, I didn't steal his security data, he's still got them!

      What has in fact been stolen is secrecy and the security it brings, in case this has escaped your attention. An example here might be attempts to equip the Libyan revolutionaries. Blowing that could cause a problem that is hard to overstate, especially now that the dictator, Chavez, is sticking his nose into the business. Likewise the secrecy surrounding a special forces rescue of British and other oil workers in the desert.

    2. Scorchio!!
      Thumb Down

      Re: "theft of public property or records"

      "How is taking a copy of something theft? Especially of 'public property', surely if it's public then anyone has access to it and as long as he leaves the original there no actual theft has taken place?"

      Here's how:

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/03/uk_carders_jailed/

      Theft of material pertaining to national security is a crime in any nation. Saying it is not so will not change a thing, except perhaps new laws to deal with new ways to commit old crimes.

      Assange admitted - and I can pull out the quote on my return - that there will inevitably be harm (ISTR he said "deaths") to people as a result of his acts. As an ex soldier I'd like to see him dealt with on that level alone.

      Moreover, public property is not identical to 'in the public domain'. I'm tempted to say that your line is childish, but I'm more on the side of seeing it as 'disingenuous'. That is, I think that your words are crafted. They belong to a category of people who have become accustomed to free music, free books and FOIA, which even the early proponents (e.g., Blair) admitted is problematic.

      1. Oliver Mayes

        Um, you seem to be missing my point entirely

        My comment is nothing like theft of bank or card details. That's clearly illegal as it's not public information. I was stating that public property or records suggests that the information is just that, public. Surely if it's a matter of national security then it's not public.

        I was arguing that since the information is suggested to be publicly available and all that has been done is to take a copy of it and publish it to a wider audience, then how has there been any theft.

        You then go on to attack my question, and me, with some vague comments about my remarks being 'crafted' and then you ramble on about me belonging to some group that has free music and books? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Are you accusing me of being some sort of anarchist pirate? Judging by the number of down votes in your comment history I'm asusming that you're either a troll or just a generally unpleasant person and think you're somehow superior to everyone else here. Either way, your responses to my question are completely useless.

        1. Scorchio!!
          Grenade

          Re: Um, you seem to be missing my point entirely

          "My comment is nothing like theft of bank or card details. That's clearly illegal as it's not public information."

          In the context of this thread? Oh yes it is: "New charge against alleged WikiLeaker carries death penalty • The Register Forums"

          So it is NOT public information, it is the information that was NOT public information until Manning - allegedly - broke his oath, working in military intelligence and security, and STOLE it.

          Is that clear enough for you, or would you like me to type r e a l s l o w?

          "I was stating that public property or records suggests that the information is just that, public. Surely if it's a matter of national security then it's not public."

          It was not public; someone, Manning (it would seem from his boasts to a hacker and from security exhumations stole the data, and this thread IS about Manning's alleged theft of the data, isn't it, or were you trying to move the goalposts and thereby salvage your calm?) Or would you say that sticking to the topic is a troll on my part (laughing). No amount of wheel spinning, plays on words or other disingenuous tactics will change that. Do you understand this simple English?

          "I was arguing that since the information is suggested to be publicly available and all that has been done is to take a copy of it and publish it to a wider audience, then how has there been any theft.

          And you argued this in a thread entitled "New charge against alleged WikiLeaker carries death penalty • The Register Forums", so your attempts to get out of it have FAILED, miserably.

          "You then go on to attack my question, and me, with some vague comments about my remarks being 'crafted' "

          Not at all vague. Go read "Disingenuous" in a dictionary and you will find "Not straightforward or candid; crafty." Oops, I hit the target though, didn't I, because you have come back with a loose canon spraying all over the deck on your side of the debate.

          "and then you ramble on about me belonging to some group that has free music and books?"

          Where did I state you belong to a group advocating these things? A category of people - concepts and categories, the meat and drink of my first degree in philosophy - is just that, not a frigging club for god's sake. I suggest you either learn the meanings of the words I iterate or get some remedial reading and reasoning tuition, because you are failing miserably here, and making of yourself an embarrassing fool.

          "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

          Well I have just explained it to you, but I do not have any hope that you will understand what I have iterated.

          "Are you accusing me of being some sort of anarchist pirate?"

          No, as explained above, but to borrow from the Bard "methinks thou dost protest too hotly sirrah!"

          "Judging by the number of down votes in your comment history I'm asusming that you're either a troll or just a generally unpleasant person and think you're somehow superior to everyone else here. Either way, your responses to my question are completely useless"

          Game set and match to me, and I will explain to you why. Your last sentences contain a number of flawed argumenta. Pointing out these argumenta, and insisting on clear, unbroken chains of reasoning, from initial premisses/data through to the last conclusion has indeed resulted in me being voted down; people do that with the truth very often. It happened in Germany once, and 55 million people died because sheep insisted that popularity was valid epistemology; epistemology for your evidently under educated state of mind is the study of the true source and nature of knowledge and it goes, some would argue, hand in hand with logic. Logic and epistemology run through my posts and, when I point out that people - as you have just so kindly done - employ the argumentum ad hominem (that's the argument against the man [this is the direct translation from Latin, before you insist on the PC 'person'] instead of addressing the data, and when people employ the argumentum ad populum (the argument from popularity), why sure, I am voted down, just as much as I am when I pointed out that people arrive at conclusions not following from their initial premisses, as you just have done!

          Also, my insistence on DATA rather than opinion, obfuscation and other forms of twaddle results in me being voted down. Here's what American folk are wont to call the kicker; I don't care about popularity, I want the truth. When people think that they can change the truth by voting it down there is definitely something that has to be changed. As a politician once put it 'we have to take the world as it is, not as we would like it'. Only then can it be changed with a minimum of pain and loss of life.

          Popularity? Countless dictators and demagogues were popular. People voted for them, approved of them. Did that make them right? You might want to think up on that as you read my dissection of your miserable text, which was an attempt to avoid the thread title: "New charge against alleged WikiLeaker carries death penalty • The Register Forums".

          Just to clarify, and so that it is absolutely clear to you because you seem to have either reading or reasoning difficulties, here is a passage from the original article:

          "The US Army has filed 22 additional charges against accused WikiLeaks source Pfc. Bradley Manning, including one that carries a potential death sentence."

          Now just you keep rambling on, posting illicit argumenta (argumentum ad hominem, argumentum ad populum, non sequitur) material and missing the point. I will laugh.

          Oh, and my thanks. You made me laugh, Msr Disingenuous.

          HTH.

          HAND.

  17. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Yeh, a big pile

    "essentially the jury - pronounce the sentence"

    Juries don't sentence, they reach verdicts on facts - did he or not do the things that the prosecution says he did. That's all.

    Sentencing is the judge's job.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Maybe

      But this is not yer average court case, this is an enemy of the state versus the upholder of democracy and all that is right(wing).

      There will be no fair trial.

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hmmm

    I feel sorry for the idiot, typical US justice. Do what we want or we will pile more charges on you until you do.

    But, he did apparantly leak sensitive military documents so he deserves to go to prison.

    Hopefully some of the idiots at wikileaks will go to prison as well. When it was the nutters of scientology it was one thing but this is different.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    It won't happen ...

    ... but I'd like to see the transcript of the trial when/if it happens to get an idea how fair it was.

    .. you know justice being seen to be done (or otherwise).

    Anon: I don't want to be the next one on trial .....

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Excellent news!

    Cool, the US is about to create the first martyr to the cause against their illegal/amoral foreign policy ... way to go USA, you guys really know how to shoot yourselves in the foot :D

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re. hmmm

    "Hopefully some of the idiots at wikileaks will go to prison as well."

    What for? They aren't in the US military, probably not even US citizens; so why are they guilty of anything?

    This makes about as much sense as the fatwa on Salman Rushdie - "you wrote something we didn't like, so you are a criminal in our country".

    I can agree with the prosecution of Bradley Manning, he clearly has charges to answer (though what they are, and what the perceived severity of his alleged crimes are, are open to debate), but why should anyone who isn't a US citizen be prosecuted for handling material that only the US Government classifies as secret? The US needs to accept the limits of its jurisdiction or its "enemy" will be everyone on Earth (except US citizens of course, they'll only be guilty of treason).

  23. MinionZero
    Unhappy

    Bradley Manning is extremely brave for what he has done

    @"accused of aiding the enemy"

    They have already said no one has been put in danger by the leaks. They can't have it both ways.

    But then 3 million people had the same level of access to all this information before he leaked it, so its hardly surprising it doesn't really put lives at risk. With 3 million people accessing the information every major government and every political group (legal and illegal political group) will have had people within that 3 million to leak information back to them. So they all know and see what is being said and done.

    Therefore its a blatant two faced lie for the people in power to claim harm being done to relationships with other governments and putting peoples lives at risk. The only thing the leaks really do is to inform us, their peasants, to what our supposed “government representatives” are really doing behind our backs. We are the only people who haven't had access to the truth behind their two faced deals up until now, (when we should have access to the truth, as our leaders are our representatives. They work for us!).

    So by Bradley Manning leaking the information to us, it weakens the people in power, as they can't lie to us, to get us to do what they want, as much as they have been doing. At least some of the truth is out now. That is why the people in power are really pissed off and that is why they want to utterly destroy the guy for life, as he threatens their ability to manipulate the masses with their lies and misinformation. They fear some loss of power because of what he has done and they are going to utterly destroy him to regain their feeling of power, just like any bully. But then all our bullying leaders actions really do, is keep showing us how they are really behaving.

    The worst part is they want the poor guy to burn, not just because of what he has done, but because they want to send a message to everyone else to never do what he has done ever again. In effect they want to publicly flog him which has been done for centuries, always to send the same message to the peasants to stay in line.

    I feel really sorry for Bradley Manning. The guy is extremely brave for what he has done and he has helped the world push back more than just about anyone in history, against the abuses of power of the rich and powerful. But they will seek to destroy him for opposing them. Which once again shows the rich and powerful leaders total lack of empathy for other humans.

    So now we have to wait for their very drawn out public flogging and now it seems sadly more likely than ever, possibly even a public execution. :(

    But then martyrs to a cause have always been killed by our oh so noble two faced leaders. Sadly opposing the Narcissistic self-important people in power is often a death sentence. The irony is they want to be seen as oh so high profile noble for their actions and high position of power over others (HPD+NPD) and it happens time and time again, this sadly repeating pattern throughout history. Yet look at how they treat others around them, all ultimately for their own gain. :(

    But whatever they do to Bradley Manning, it will just help confirm what bastards we have in power. They cannot stop that message leaking out. Welcome to the 21st century, welcome to the Internet leaders of the world, because now we can compare notes on you two faced bastards in power over us and oh what a surprise, we all find the leaders all have the same patterns of behaviour and they all show the same lack of empathy for anyone who opposes them. Which just shows their deeply Narcissistic self interested behind their two faced words.

    Bradley Manning is extremely brave for what he has done. He has helped the people to see what their leaders are really doing behind their lies to us all. For that the guy deserves the highest medals of honour possible, not what he is going to face, which is drawn out suffering, punishment and even the risk of death. :(

    1. Schultz

      The power of knowledge

      I can only recommend the book "Secrets" by Daniel Ellsberg to get a feeling on how and why the government feels the need to lie and to protect its ability to lie in order to maintain their power. Sad state of the union, but as long as it's called a democracy it must be OK.

  24. John Sturdy

    Not only will they make the first martyr in this cause...

    There'll be more than one brave person in the army. Once there's one martyr, others may be inspired to follow in his footsteps. Bradley Manning must have known the risks without someone having been made an example of, and there'll be others who already know the risks, and for whom Manning's prosecution / persecution will only confirm what they already know. So, chances are that this won't deter anyone from such whistleblowing, and it might even inspire someone.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah yes, the enemy

    What could be clearer than that, singular, term?

    Except that it's not entirely clear who "the enemy" is. In which official document is it recorded who the specific enemies of the United States are? Which colletions of people are they? Can they be pointed to on a map? Are they even a clearly defined set?

    Who is the enemy, exactly?

    Better be sure you know or it'll be difficult to prove you were aiding the #ERROR term undefined#.

  26. henrydddd
    Thumb Down

    Bad US Government

    These crimes we designed to prosecute people who gave intelligence information to an enemy of the US that would allow them to obtain a strategic advantage in a war against the US. Most of the info in the Wikileaks documents the enemy already knows about. They know about the school children and innocent civilians that were innocently butchered. The government wants to keep what is really happening in Afghanistan and what happened in Iraq a secret from the US population! IF they win this one, you can bet that the US will be in Afghanistan for a long long time showing them our version of democracy.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pfc Manning...

    ..knew the risks before he signed up. Certainly, he knew the risks after he completed basic training. The military fully intends to make an example out of Private Manning, and rightly so, even if he believes from the bottom of his heart that he did the right thing. You can believe from the bottom of your heart that he did the right thing. It will not make any difference.

    Once you are in the military you do things the way the military requires you to do them. Private Manning knowingly and wrongfully went outside of channels to air his complaints. Note that he is not a draftee. If he were, one could easily consider him innocent of these charges because he did not agree to be there in the first place, but that is not so in his case. He volunteered. He will pay for his indiscretions.

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