back to article Just in time for the Wiki-end: Chelsea Manning released from prison

Chelsea Manning has been released from prison after 62 days for refusing to testify to an American grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. The former US Army intelligence analyst was released because the grand jury's term had ended. But her lawyer said in a statement that she might be heading back to jail as soon as next week …

  1. caffeine addict

    Why is she "refusing" to answer questions?

    I thought that answering "I wish to assert my 5th amendment rights" was a valid and non-punishable response to anything from "do you like pizza" to "why did you declare war on Canada"? Seems like a good way to avoid prison.

    1. The Mole

      I assume it is because of this "Manning has stated in the past that she objects to the secrecy of the grand jury process" she is doing it on a matter of principal - I doubt she would have got much press coverage if she just said no comment to the questions (as presumably being in secret the press wouldn't even know).

    2. Aqua Marina

      If my American law is correct, then as I recall because a grand jury is not a court, the 5th amendment has been found to not apply, therefore you must answer or go to jail.

      Happy to be corrected or further clarification given by someone more learned.

      1. mark l 2 Silver badge

        If the grand jury is not classed as a court so you can't plead the 5th, How can you be in contempt of court, if it isn't a court?

        The 'free world' gets a bit less free every time democratically elected governments are allowed to get away with this shit.

        1. Aqua Marina

          Ok, reading further, the 5th only protects criminal defendants, it does not protect witnesses, unless answering would end up with the witnessing self incriminating himself for commiting a crime.

          1. caffeine addict

            But, presumably, you can't be forced to disclose why it would incriminate you, so it effectively applies to everything, no?

      2. kain preacher

        You wrong . No matter the setting you can plead the 5th except when you have been given immunity which she was .

    3. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      "I thought that answering "I wish to assert my 5th amendment rights" was a valid and non-punishable response "

      You have the right to remain silent. The Courts and Grand Jury's can then infer whatever they like from your silence and decide your fate based on their decision. Only if you speak up and can prove your innocence can you be found not guilty.

      Land of the Free? Nope.

      The UK and Europe are not much better (but still better than plenty other Countries).

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Quite a lot better I think (having see the workings of both) but still not great.....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Huh?

        You can certainly be found not guilty (or not charged at all) if you choose to remain silent. Silence is not an admission of guilt, and they can't "infer whatever they like" from your silence as you claim. It may raise suspicion in the minds of the grand jury or prosecution, but they need EVIDENCE to charge or convict you, and if the only possible evidence would be your confession then remaining silent is probably a good idea.

        If they have enough other evidence to charge you or convict you, and speaking might exonerate you (i.e. you know who the real guilty party is) then your silence isn't doing you any good (unless you fear retaliation from the real culprit)

      3. kain preacher

        Depending on the state if the lawyer knows that the person is likely to plead the 5th the jury must be cleared during questioning .

        When a defendant pleads the Fifth, jurors are not permitted to take the refusal to testify into consideration when deciding whether a defendant is guilty. In the 2001 case Ohio v. Reiner, the U.S. Supreme Court held that "a witness may have a reasonable fear of prosecution and yet be innocent of any wrongdoing. The [Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination] serves to protect the innocent who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances." This case beefed up an earlier ruling that prosecutors can't ask a jury to draw an inference of guilt from a defendant's refusal to testify in his own defense.

        1. Andrew Norton

          The adverse inference rule is true (staying silent, or asserting the 5th as a hedge against self-incrimination can NOT be used to draw adverse inferences about you) BUT only in criminal cases. In civil cases, both the judge and jury are free to make all the adverse inferences they want.

          And of course, you can't ignore the orders of a judge, and can't claim fear of self-incrimination if, like Manning, you're given immunity.

          And I'm not saying that Manning's legal team is of the same caliber as Assange's team (who decided to lie to their own witnesses, and to the court, because they forgot that other people get to provide evidence too) but they appealed Manning's contempt jailing by saying they don't think a grand jury process (where the only final aim is a judgement on probable cause of a crime, and thus its privileged and closed, rather than 'secret' to protect the presumption of innocence of the accused) is a fair trial...

          It's not a trial!

          1. aks Bronze badge

            So it's basically a fancy fishing expediton.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Chelsea will continue to refuse to answer questions..."

    So, just like Trump, then ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Chelsea will continue to refuse to answer questions..."

      Call me when Trump has done 7 years in prison and we'll repeat the comparison.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "Chelsea will continue to refuse to answer questions..."

        "when Trump has done 7 years in prison"

        Is that a promise?

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: "Chelsea will continue to refuse to answer questions..."

          Maybe he doesn't want to release his tax returns because it could an in an Al Capone way....

  3. LordHighFixer

    US Grand Juries

    Are a special kind of evil beast. I support her refusal to participate in any way. And even 5th amendment protections will not save you from contempt of court.

    1. kain preacher

      Re: US Grand Juries

      They can not hold in contempt of court for pleading the 5th unless you have been given immunity which she was .

    2. Andrew Norton

      Re: US Grand Juries

      Do please explain how a Grand Jury (where a prosecutor has to explain to a jury of ordinary citizens that evidence exists to support a probable cause assertion that a crime may have been committed) is 'an evil beast'.

      1. kain preacher

        Re: US Grand Juries

        It's secret not open to the public

        1. Andrew Norton

          Re: US Grand Juries

          Thats not 'secret' (big hint is that it has regular citizens off the street participating in it), thats called "closed". It's so that if they find there wasn't probable cause, there's no adverse inference by people, which would undermine the presumption of innocence.

          And it's not unknown for Grand jurors to talk about it afterwards, in high profile cases.

          it's not a secret court at all. and the very worst it can do... is issue a statement that there was probable cause of a crime being committed (commonly known as an 'indictment')

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: US Grand Juries

        Indicting grand juries are a largely-pointless exercise - they've refused to return an indictment only a handful of times in the past few decades. If they do anything, they let the prosecutor see how witnesses will behave on the stand, which gives the prosecution an unfair advantage.

        Investigatory grand juries sometimes serve a useful purpose, but since their proceedings are secret, it's tough to know. And they can consume significant resources and be a burden on the jurors, who are typically asked to serve for up to 18 months.

        The US grand jury system is in practice unproductive. Indicting grand juries should be amended away; they don't serve the goal that the founders intended for them (protecting propertied but unpopular citizens from politically-motivated prosecution) or the broader goal of justice. Investigatory grand juries might still be useful but need better oversight and reduced secrecy.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lucky Manning

    Under the Patriot act, they could hold Manning indefinitely and never press charges. So Manning is lucky this is all a PR stunt. If they really wanted Manning, Manning would not be in the news. It's all politics.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lucky Manning

      Time for a writ of Habeas Corpus perhaps?

      There is a point where the concept of 'cruel and unusal punshment' comes into play.

      IANAL but it seems to me that the US Government does not want Chelsea Manning to be free ever.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lucky Manning

        I suggest people read what the patriot act is. A main component is indefinite detention, no legal recourse, they don't even let anyone (your family) know you've been detained. There are no hearings. All you have to do is be "suspected" anything classified as terrorism. Which includes leaking military data. There are no hearings, no oversight.

        https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dear-americans-this-law-makes-it-possible-to-arrest_b_57c9b648e4b06c750dd9cd6f?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS91cmw_c2E9dCZyY3Q9aiZxPSZlc3JjPXMmc291cmNlPXdlYiZjZD0xNCZjYWQ9cmphJnVhY3Q9OCZ2ZWQ9MmFoVUtFd2lSM05XWG81SGlBaFhxWTk4S0hRRmlDaWdRRmpBTmVnUUlBaEFCJnVybD1odHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnd3dy5odWZmcG9zdC5jb20lMkZlbnRyeSUyRmRlYXItYW1lcmljYW5zLXRoaXMtbGF3LW1ha2VzLWl0LXBvc3NpYmxlLXRvLWFycmVzdF9iXzU3YzliNjQ4ZTRiMDZjNzUwZGQ5Y2Q2ZiZ1c2c9QU92VmF3MXU0Vk1ROXlKRHk3THB6NU93dEJHcw&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAABPNA-K19PzTKUqmaBHudeuULQxlguRPdTUT15thh3sxkmZWJpmYjoFhr8eOKkjMEzTDOgWfJTMbkFYsg7FNfPSh_caT3xCSLCL2gGLPzs0fDwtLXGB2QhR-SOg3Wo6KN-8WI7pj405H4BDQHTNVGxy1aSUp4gOee3u_BjFt6TmP

        1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

          Re: Lucky Manning

          How odd someone who links to an article about a named act then uses the wrong name!

          So the (2012) NDAA is not the (2001) Patriot Act. Got it.

          As to the nonsensical fear-mongering by AC (and the author of the linked article): governments pass bad laws all the time. These bad laws are then tested in courts, and just because, e.g. a law can be passed that asserts that you can detain someone indefinitely on US soil does not mean that you can detain someone indefinitely on US soil.

          This is because of the way the system is set up: the Constitution is deliberately hard to change, and so stupid laws that conflict with Constitutional protections will not be enforceable.

          So, no, indefinite detention without trial on US soil / of a US citizen would be impossible because the men in black (robes) would prevent it.

          (Guantanamo Bay is an anomaly, and was chosen by G. W. Bush's government specifically because of that anomaly: it's not on US soil, and as long as only non-citizens were detained there, finding a court with jurisdiction to control it was/is hard... The Military Commissions Act attempted to change that, but even then efforts in that law to prevent court oversight shot down by SCOTUS in Boumediene v. Bush (2008))

      2. kain preacher

        Re: Lucky Manning

        You know in the UK you can be done in for two years for not revealing your password. In the US they can hold you indefinitely on contempt of court charges . You have a chap that as done five years on contempt charges because he wont hand over his password

      3. Carpet Deal 'em Bronze badge
        Boffin

        Re: Lucky Manning

        > There is a point where the concept of 'cruel and unusal punshment' comes into play.

        Not with contempt of court. Since you're able to get out of jail simply by complying with the original order, you're the one responsible for the length of your stay(barring outside timers as in this case) and thus any duration is appropriate(or so the theory goes).

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    England got rid of Grand Juries a century ago.

    ... there must have been a reason ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: England got rid of Grand Juries a century ago.

      Scotland

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: England got rid of Grand Juries a century ago.

        The previous Anon suggesting Scotland

        Is that a suggestion the UK got rid of Grand Juries because of Scotland? Are you English bashing, Scottish Bashing or both?

        At this point, these days you have to be much much clearer

    2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: England got rid of Grand Juries a century ago.

      I point you at this - the summary is in the title.... https://www.pri.org/stories/2014-12-04/england-abolished-grand-juries-decades-ago-because-they-didnt-work

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What ever happened to pleading the Fifth?

    it's a damned Constitutional Right. When this is over, that jurisdiction is going to be lining her pockets with some serious ching!

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: What ever happened to pleading the Fifth?

      With the caveat I'm not a USAian, nor a lawyer, there are circumstances where you can't plead the 5th. Certainly when the prosecution has offered you immunity from your testimony (because then you aren't being a witness against yourself, since you can't be prosecuted).

      In that case, refusing to answer is actionable.

      Bear in mind there are plenty of jailbirds who did plead the 5th and still got locked up.

  7. Claverhouse Silver badge
    WTF?

    When We Are Old And Gray

    This could go on forever. Court Begins, Examine, New Subpoena, Court Ends, Person Freed; Court Begins, Examine, New Subpoena, Court Ends, Person Freed; Court Begins, Examine, New Subpoena, Court Ends, Person Freed; Court Begins, Examine, New Subpoena, Court Ends, Person Freed; Court Begins, Examine, New Subpoena, Court Ends, Person Freed;...

    .

    I cannot believe that America in the Age of Trump could be so petty and vindictive.

    .

    "Fury said to

    a mouse, That

    he met

    in the

    house,

    'Let us

    both go

    to law:

    I will

    prosecute

    you.—

    Come, I'll

    take no

    denial;

    We must

    have a

    trial:

    For

    really

    this

    morning

    I've

    nothing

    to do.'

    Said the

    mouse to

    the cur,

    'Such a

    trial,

    dear sir,

    With no

    jury or

    judge,

    would be

    wasting

    our breath.'

    'I'll be

    judge,

    I'll be

    jury,'

    Said

    cunning

    old Fury;

    'I'll try

    the whole

    cause,

    and

    condemn

    you

    to

    death.' "

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This could go on forever.

      Or until such time as it becomes a "cruel and unusual punishment".

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One law?

    So she gets arrested for whistle blowing on a government coverup of the murder of innocent civilians.

    What happened to the murderers?

    1. Andrew Norton

      Re: One law?

      There wasn't a coverup. The story was known before the video came out.

      The focus at the time of the videos release was on the chatter by the helicopter crew as being vicious and callous.

      The 'its a war crime' talk came a few years later, around the time Assange suddenly decided to be afraid of US extradition a day or so after his extradition to Sweden was made final.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some background... and a little commentary

    For those on the other side of the pond, and those on this side who weren't paying attention during Civics, or have forgotten... I give you the 5th Amendment:

    Amendment V

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    So; unpacking this, as there is a LOT going on here:

    The government can't bring you to trial until they can prove to an independent jury (grand jury) there is sufficient cause to issue an indictment. That doesn't mean guilt, it means enough proof to warrant a trial. This is a good thing, in that the govt. can't take you straight to trial just because they dislike you, they have to prove SOMETHING. This is a gate the government has to pass through to bring someone to trial.

    The 'witness against himself' is the bit everybody knows as 'pleading the fifth (amendment)'. HOWEVER, if you are granted immunity, you are NOT being a witness against yourself, as whatever you say cannot be used against you ('against himself'), and therefore you CANNOT 'plead the 5th'.

    The REASON grand jurys are closed is that is it UNFAIR to have the public at large hear (possibly wrong) evidence UNTIL you are charged with a crime (indicted). This is also a good thing.

    I'll skip over the other protections in this amendment, but this (along with the other 9) is one fine piece of work.

    "Transparency Purists" (tm) think anything the goverment does should be known by all. Personally, if I'm accused of wrongdoing incorrectly, I don't want the blogosphere picking over every false allegation brought, if at the end of the day the grand jury refuses to indict. Y'all can bugger off until I'm charged with something.

    Harumph.

    1. Andrew Norton

      Re: Some background... and a little commentary

      Indeed.

      People going 'its a secret court' are talking bollocks.

      everything that's presented at a grand jury will be presented in an open trial. It's just more obfuscation and trying to mess about the process because they feel the rules don't apply.

      1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

        Re: Some background... and a little commentary

        Well, not really "everything". A prosecutor can elect NOT to use testimony offered to the grand jury (e.g. if they conclude it is unnecessary, duplicative or subsequently discover it was unreliable).

        A very common situation is that evidence is presented to a grand jury which results in indictments against two or more people. One of those indicted decides to turn states evidence, and suddenly the stuff presented to the grand jury is moot because you now have a cooperating witness.

        1. Andrew Norton

          Re: Some background... and a little commentary

          It's moot because of duplication, but it's not presented ONLY to a grand jury, and never seen again. it's still available to the court, to the prosecution, and (I believe) the defense. Which is the point I was making.

          it's not a black hole of testimony, where things that are said there never see the light of day, as manning is alleging. And what's presented at Grand jury will be the minimum of what's presented in a trial.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Some background... and a little commentary

            @Andrew Norton

            The point you're missing is that it may never come to trial. A trial may be the last thing the USG wants. But that doesn't stop it being jury and executioner outside of due process - it has been known before :(

            As others have pointed out, Guantanamo was created entirely to bypass the US Constitution (you know the thing all you Americans politicians, military and legal types swear to uphold). And as this is all aimed at what happens to Assange long term, rather than Manning, refusing to testify is perfectly logical. Assange - foreign person, Guantanamo - foreign soil, (US prosecutors) conclusion - no legal problem.

            1. Andrew Norton

              Re: Some background... and a little commentary

              Is the reason you're posting as an AC, so that no-one will tie that unmitigated turd of an opinion to your name?

              here's the thing - no trial, no extradition.

              They don't hold the trial, he goes free. There's no rendition, there's no 'oh he accidentally fell off the aircraft in Cuba'.

              No trial, he gets 20 days to leave the US. No matter how many conspiracy theories you want to repeat by QAnon or some other 400lb New Jersey basement dweller, it aint gonna happen. You know the only ones who say it IS going to happen? People pushing the line to dramatise things to try and fabricate an emotional argument, because they sure don't have a factual or legal one.

            2. Andrew Norton

              Re: Some background... and a little commentary

              oh, and to put the final nail in the coffin of those gitmo claims - the reason they could dump them there is that they never entered the court system. They could claim battlefield detention, then keep them off the territory of the US, which would then not give amendment coverage by territoriality.

              How this can't apply in Assange's case.

              1) he's already in the court system. By a grand jury leading to an indictment, then on to an extradition request, he's already in the US court system, so he can't suddenly 'fall out', and go to guantanamo.

              2) because of an extradition request, he'll be taken in police custody to Heathrow, and at the jet bridge to whatever aircraft, handed over to federal agents, who then take formal police custody of him. if he failed to turn up those agents are facing the wrath of federal judges, that's including contempt themselves, including jail time.

              3) the main way they got away with putting people there, is because no-one knew who and where. Not exactly the case here.

              please, stop getting your legal knowledge from episodes of NCIS, it's just embarrassing.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Some background... and a little commentary

                No trial... no extradition... LOL he's already guilty according the authorities.

                As for the "never get to Gitmo" claims, the US can do whatever it likes where National Security is concerned, including ignoring civilian law.

                Please stop showing your ignorance. It's embarrassing.

                As for the "conspiracy theory" accusation, perhaps you'll remember the forced denial of passage to the Bolivia president's plane flying across Europe a few years back. Just so local authorities in Austria could "inspect" the plane on behalf of the US as it was suspected to be harbouring Edward Snowden:

                https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/04/forcing-down-morales-plane-air-piracy

                The planned illegal rendition flight was even reported on TheRegister:

                https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/06/13/cia_rendition_jet_was_waiting_in_europe_to_snatch_snowden/

                I'm sure if there hadn't been evidence of that flight by aircraft tracking experts, you'd have labelled that a conspiracy as well.

                And finally, since you don't appear to be capable of a grown up discussion without insulting those who hold a different position (I think bigot is the appropriate word here), I'll remind you that the philosopher Socrates said "when debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser."

                1. Andrew Norton

                  Re: Some background... and a little commentary

                  You're raving.

                  The 'rendition jet' - oh dear - listed in the article is described IN THAT ARTICLE as "With its new tail number N977GA the plane became part of the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation Systems (JPATS), operated by US Marshals. On perhaps its best-known mission, the jet flew a team of marshals into the UK on 5 October 2012 to collect radical cleric Abu Hamza after the USA won an extradition order against him."

                  ..."In the event the "black" (actually white) Gulfstream and its posse of marshals got no further than Copenhagen as US negotiations with the Kremlin failed to prosper. "

                  Amazingly enough, the jet is part of the US extradition system, used for transporting people under extradition. And the US asked for Snowdon. It's not that much of a stretch. In other words, they positions an aircraft to transport Snowdon legally, if Snowdon was legally handed into their custody.

                  Yeah, how EVIL.

                  And you're also talking Snowdon, and not Assange, which are two very different, very separate incidents.

                  Do you think you could maybe stick to the topic at hand, without trying to deflect onto any other number of unrelated incidents to try and construct your strawman, or do I have to keep burning them to the ground first?

                  1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Some background... and a little commentary

      I'll add a little bit of insight when it comes to CLASSIFIED INFORMATION, and the cost of its disclosure.

      First of all, the reasoning for classification is generally made by those who are trying to protect someone or something, including the government itself, from the results of disclosing that information. In general, release of such information would either endanger a person, endanger or embarass a nation, or create significant material loss. Or some combination thereof.

      'For Official Use Only' is the lowest classifiication I'm aware of. In genderal, it's info that might be embarassing or would give an enemy an advantage in war.

      'Confidential' is generally information that compromises something (like a tactical advantage in war) if it gets out, such as the design of a warship, or ongoing diplomacy. If it's released, it puts significant advantage into the hands of enemies.

      "Secret" is (as far as I can tell) information that could GET SOMEONE KILLED it if got into the wrong hands. Example, the location of a submarine, or the identity of a spy.

      "Top Secret" would be, I assume, much like 'secret' except "more so", perhaps large numbers of people would be in danger of being killed. Military operations, details about embassies, defense plans, etc. might fall into this designation.

      And I think there are higher ones, too. In short, these secrets exist for a REASON, and they should be KEPT secret. Or, pay a SEVERE penalty for their disclosure.

      Pvt Manning was apparently privy to this kind of information, or had access to it, and then BROKE TRUST by DISCLOSING it. Without any knowledge of the ripple effects, it was given to Wikileaks to be publically disclosed. Although there was at least SOME information there (about spying on citizens, as I recall) that SHOULD have been "whistle blown", THIS was not the way to do it. And so Pvt Manning went to prison for it.

      However, Wikileaks itself SHOULD NOT be held criminally liable for publishing the disclosed information, particularly because Julian Assange isn't a U.S. Citizen. I expect the investigation is to prove whether or not Wikileaks was involved in any illegal activity that led to its publishing, like cracking into a computer or similar. There are similar legal precedents in the USA regarding "the press" so long as they're not doing any illegal things to GET the information. if someone simply tells them, hands over a document, etc., that is NOT illegal. Cracking a computer to get it, on the other hand, IS. But the investigation into Wikileaks is probably just another "witch hunt" just like the Muller probe on Trump, which concluded with "no collusion", rightfully so. I expect a similar conclusion of "nothing illegal done" for WIkileaks.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As usual, most in this thread are arguing what they would do in Manning's shoes, ie if the world revolved around them, and what they could do to save their own skin.

    Manning maybe making decisions based on factors you can't comprehend such as protecting individuals such as Wikileak members, Assange or other messengers. That she may be willing to take the fall to protect her principles would not be out of character, regardless of what the "law" says.

    For some people, it's not all about me, me, me.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Stop

      "factors you can't comprehend"

      You give Pvt Manning _WAY_ too much respect/credit. Pvt Manning was a TRAITOR as far as I'm concerned, trusted to keep secrets, and broke that trust. Whistle-blowing about certain things like mass surveilance should've gone to CONGRESS, first, or at least "up the chain of command" in the Army. But Wikileaks became "15 minutes o' fame", and that's how I see Pvt Manning's motivation.

      There are military secrets I know from being the military, from decades ago, that I have not disclosed. I consider it honorable to keep them secret. I'll say no more on the matter. Others should be the same way about such things.

      1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        > I'll say no more on the matter.

        Well that gives us something to look forward to.

        1. GrapeBunch

          Know them by their fruits.

          >> I'll say no more on the matter.

          > Well that gives us something to look forward to.

          It gives us nothing to look forward to. Which is even better. FTFY.

          Getting back to the topic, I would not be glib about immunity. IANAL. In other cases, we see prosecutors offering reduced charges to witnesses (I understand this is not immunity, but it is a kind of immunity), but when on examination or cross-examination it is revealed that the witness's evidence doesn't convince a jury (the prosecutor may have told the witness to shade the testimony or even to lie), the deal is removed or reneged. Then the witness is no further ahead, and also has to live with the consequences of how the prosecutor told him or her to shade the testimony. Is "immunity" an essentially different beast? Are different charges part of the immunity protection? USA has a lot of laws, and so do its States. For all we know, it might be illegal to take in a lungful of air in Tennessee and then breathe it out in Kentucky. Surely once they've cajoled out of Chelsea whatever dirt they desire, they will feel free to "throw the book" at her in unrelated ways. I think they'll be lining up to show how hard-nosed they are. They're quite hard-nosed even when the perp is not a transsexual tritch, all it takes is for one not to belong to a privileged class. For example, levying a fine with a penalty for late payment on a person who can't afford to pay the fine. That's the best treadmill since the abolition of Slavery.

          Say it ain't so, Joe.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Know them by their fruits.

            @GrapeBunch

            re: Hardnosed

            Indeed. Remember Aaron Swartz - a potential $1M fine and 35 years in prison for downloading academic journals.

            It's not about justice, it's about destroying people's lives. Completely.

          2. Andrew Norton

            Re: Know them by their fruits.

            Yes, immunity is a different beast.

            No lawyer would take an immunity deal unless it was written. And there's a standard 'format' for it. The only way to revoke it is if the witness granted immunity then lies, at which point they've violated the terms of the immunity deal (testify honestly in exchange for immunity) and so it's gone.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @bombastic bob

        Good for you. You're just "following orders".

        And yet you have a problem with one person breaking the rules due to their principles but don't have any issues with multiple instances of your military colleagues enforcing the edicts of those who treat the Constitution as toilet paper. There's a word for that - it begins with "h".

        Perhaps if you called them out as traitors, you might have a bit more empathy with Manning. But then you wouldn't be doing what you were told...

      3. Big Al 23

        You are 100% correct that Manning is a traitor. Not too long ago she would have been shot.

  11. Big Al 23

    As previously noted...

    Manning is back in jail for refusal to testify.

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