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The Courts Government United States

Bradley Manning Convicted of Espionage, Acquitted of 'Aiding the Enemy' 529

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

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  • by unique_parrot (1964434) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:16PM (#44426363)
    he should be given a medal (in my opinion).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:17PM (#44426381)

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

  • ramifications (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdo ... g ['ish' in gap]> on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:17PM (#44426383)

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

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

  • Not surprising (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cold fjord (826450) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:19PM (#44426417)

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

    Snowden would probably be looking at a similar outcome.

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:20PM (#44426433)

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

  • by tnk1 (899206) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:22PM (#44426461)

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

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

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

  • by gweihir (88907) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:23PM (#44426491)

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

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

  • Befehl ist Befehl (Score:5, Insightful)

    by marcovje (205102) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:25PM (#44426509)

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

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

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

  • Punitive justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:28PM (#44426553)

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

  • Re:ramifications (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tnk1 (899206) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:28PM (#44426555)

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

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

  • by gmuslera (3436) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:28PM (#44426559) Homepage Journal

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

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

  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:32PM (#44426623)

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

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

  • Re:ramifications (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:36PM (#44426681)

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

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:37PM (#44426695)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Incredible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:37PM (#44426703)

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

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

  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:37PM (#44426705)

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

  • by TechyImmigrant (175943) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:39PM (#44426725) Journal

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

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

  • Re:Not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whoever57 (658626) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:40PM (#44426733) Journal

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

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

    He will almost certainly get off less harshly than Manning,

    IMHO, Assange should not face any charges.

  • by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich.aol@com> on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:41PM (#44426749) Journal

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

  • by gordona (121157) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:43PM (#44426777) Homepage
    what damage? All he did was release the information that NSA was electronically evesdropping on US citizens. Something everyone knew anyway including our "enemies". He released no names of any covert agents, troop movements, or what Obama had for breakfast.
  • Re:ramifications (Score:5, Insightful)

    by intermodal (534361) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:46PM (#44426813) Homepage Journal

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:49PM (#44426843)

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

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

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

  • by Atzanteol (99067) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:55PM (#44426905) Homepage

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

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:56PM (#44426923)

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

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

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:57PM (#44426935) Homepage Journal

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:58PM (#44426953)

    This is bullcrap.

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

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

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

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:59PM (#44426977)

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

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

    May I remind you of something?

    Oaths of Enlistment

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

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

  • by KiloByte (825081) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @03:01PM (#44426991)

    Ok, but they are working for the US government.

    How is that different from fine folks at Nuremberg?

  • You are confusing a moral judgment with a legal one. Neither did "bad" things, they both did illegal things. We should as a society ask ourselves, when doing the legal thing is bad, and the illegal thing good, should we not indict the law and pardon the lawbreaker? How you answer that question tells a lot about whether you are an authoritarian minded person, or a person with high moral standards.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @03:09PM (#44427135)

    When leaks like this one happen, a lot of attention and effort is spent on punishing the leaker, but we seldom hear about punishment for those that should have protected the data.

    When leaks like this one happen, a lot of attention and effort is spent on punishing the leaker, but we seldom hear about punishment for those that NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAD the data to begin with.

    TFTFY

  • Re:Not surprising (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cold fjord (826450) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @03:13PM (#44427179)

    Assange very likely engaged in a conspiracy with Manning to obtain classified documents. That may be punishable.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @03:17PM (#44427223)

    I'm absolutely certain they didn't pick the ordering of those by accident.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @03:18PM (#44427233)

    Welcome to the United Snakes. Land of the thief, home of the slave -Brother Ali

  • Re:Incredible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stewsters (1406737) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @03:18PM (#44427243)
    For me it wasn't that they were shooting at samaritans who were trying to help the wounded, its that they were covering it up after it happened.

    Which is what this whole thing is about. A democracy needs to know how the people it voted into office are doing. If the government makes it all top secret and you can only see videos of the candidates hugging puppies, then how do you know you voted correctly? How will you vote for the best candidate if performance is hidden by journalists to afraid to tell the truth?
  • by csumpi (2258986) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @03:18PM (#44427245)
    How about that Solyndra contract? It would probably be more relevant, should you really want to fight corruption, because the dickheads who pocketed the money for that one are still in office. Not saying the previous administration wasn't corrupt, but how about fighting in the present instead of the past?
  • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @03:22PM (#44427275)

    Bradley Manning, no matter where his heart was, committed treason

    Not according the judge in his case.

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

    Yes. And furthermore we want a much, much smaller military than we currently have.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @03:24PM (#44427315)

    Your question is only valid if you honestly believe that Manning read and determined ALL of the 250,000+ documents he released to be proof of a Constitutional violation of some sort. His mass dump of documents shows his motive was less about any duty to the Constitution than it was a blatant FU to the Military & Government that entrusted him with his clearance.

    Many here are also making it seem as though he had physical possession of these documents, and failed to protect them. The fact is that he actively mined the data and then dumped it without bothering to know the full scope of what he had released.

    For the apparently numerous people here who bear a grudge against the USA of one kind or another and think that this is great due to the embarrassment to the military and Government in general, give it a rest I'm sure we'll still bail your ass out again sometime in the future without expecting any thanks from you. You can call us ignorant for that if you want, it's just in our nature.

  • I agree with you, he released a lot of information which exposed the US governments less desirable actions, actions which should be looked at in great depth.

    However,my issue with Manning is that he also released a lot of other documents. 250,000 cables, for example.

    Now, let's say that he actually went through those cables to determine that they all had some relevance in exposing unfavourable aspects of the US government - lets say that it took 30 seconds to read each cable and make that determination, left pile or right pile, relevant to exposing actions or not, release or not.

    That means that if he actually did his due diligence, if he actually ensured that he was only releasing documents worthy of exposing unsavoury actions and nothing else, nothing that didn't actually directly support his reasons for handing the documents over, then he would have had to have spent 86 days solid doing that.

    86 days, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week determining if the document should have been released. Assuming he touched nothing other than the 250,000 cables he released.

    No one can argue that he did that - he hands over a huge bunch of stuff in which he likely didn't actually know the contents of for a significant proportion. That right there is why I think these verdicts are proper. That's not whistle blowing, that's acting inappropriately for his position and even his intentions.

    Yes, he is a whistle blower, and yes he did whistle blow on a lot of things that should have been blown, but he did it in a manner in which he could not reasonably claim he had limited his actions to documents and files that supported his whistle blowing.

    His act of legitimate whistle blowing and his act of illegitimate disclosure of unrelated documents are two things that can 100% be dealt with separately.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @03:35PM (#44427449)

    So who are we supposed to vote for?

    Isn't that clear already? Vote 3rd party. A vote "thrown away" on a 1 in a million chance is still worth more than a vote which actively makes things worse.

  • by oreaq (817314) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @03:54PM (#44427693)
    Why do you have to pick one? Can't you "fight" both? How much was Halliburton's cut? $50 billion over 10 years or something like that? Solyndra got $550 million. That's a whooping 1%. Note that I'm not defending Obama. Of course he should be punished for his crimes. I'm just providing some perspective.
  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @04:05PM (#44427797) Journal

    So, you're for "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" then? I mean, if "ends justify the means" then what prevents us from going down that slippery slope?

    IMHO the ends do not justify the means. We should always evaluate HOW we do things, and never cross certain lines, regardless of the benefits of crossing those lines.

    However, that being said, the MEANS in this case are just, because there was no other possible way to effect change. YOU can effect change using Just Means, you have to understand and accept the consequences. Snowden didn't harm anyone in particular, and the case can be made that he didn't harm anyone in general, except the powers that were abusing the system. THAT is what makes it just, IMHO.

    Do not give the nutjobs permission to do "whatever it takes" to accomplish their goals.

  • by Wookact (2804191) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @04:08PM (#44427829)
    Wrong answer. The constitution trumps all lesser laws.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @04:14PM (#44427899)

    How is that different from fine folks at Nuremberg?

    The defendants at Nuremberg (they weren't "fine folks") had committed crimes against humanity.

    More importantly, they were on the losing side.

  • Re:Incredible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0111 1110 (518466) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @04:14PM (#44427907)

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

    It sounds to me like you are the one who hasn't looked at the video. [collateralmurder.com] Try watching it again. The long version. And notice how the helicopter pilot fires on unarmed innocent people including children who clearly are not carrying any weapons. It is true that there was a guy with a camera. And no it didn't look like a rocket launcher. And there were a couple of guys some distance away from the main group who were carrying what may have been rifles, probably guards to try to protect the rest of the people in a war zone.

    But that does not excuse a cold blooded massacre of unarmed civilians including children. They were even cheering and celebrating as they machine gunned innocent children. If they weren't sure they could have moved closer and waited to see if the two guys with rifles fired at them. Or at least picked up their rifles (assuming they actually were rifles) to aim at them.

    That video is probably the most disgusting thing I have ever watched. It is almost impossible for me to watch the whole thing in fact. I just get too angry. Those guys should be executed. I would happily do it myself. Not only have they not been reprimanded. Their names haven't even been released. That is just wrong. Very, very wrong. They committed serious war crimes. As clear cut as any war crimes. Those particular guys were truly no better than Nazis, and I say this as a jew with ancestors in Poland.

    I suppose I was naive, but I never really believed that our military behaved like that. Like vicious animals killing with enjoyment and laughing about it. Showing no honor or mercy even to children. And that is the importance of this video and in my view what really makes Manning a hero. That video needed to be released. Manning has given his life to get that video, among other things, out into the open.

    I can tell you one thing. After watching that video it will be a cold day in hell before I ever approve of us going to war for any reason except to directly defend ourselves here on US territory. Between that video and the revelation of what was going on at Abu Ghraib we have shown that we cannot fight with honor. We cannot be trusted to fight a war without senseless massacres and god only knows what kind of sick war crimes. We truly are just as bad or even worse than what even the most anti-American critics have always claimed.

    He quickly pointed out that it was missing a bunch of context because at that time the insurgents had been trying to score an apache kill, so the army was holding apaches back unless there was confirmed need for them

    In what possible way is that supposed to excuse a massacre of mostly unarmed civilians? Those were not insurgents. They shot at least one child and two guys from Reuters. This was a clear case of massacre an entire crowd of people first. Ask questions later. This is a crime of coward chicken-hawk murderers too afraid to get close enough to their victims to confirm that they really are enemies actively engaging in combat with them. Those are some evil fucks.

  • by citizenr (871508) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @04:32PM (#44428095) Homepage

    But when you agree to join the military and have a security clearance you make promises to ...

    .. to cover up rednecks in a chopper murdering children because MURICA FUCK YEAH!

  • by kilfarsnar (561956) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @04:33PM (#44428101)

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

    Actually, corruption is why our economy and governmental systems are going into the toilet. I understand that the American empire and my material excess is made possible by corrupt practices. But really, it's a deal with the Devil.

    As we are seeing, the instruments and methods used to enforce American wishes abroad are slowly being brought home for use in the US. The people doing terrible things around the world in order to bring us cheap oil and pliant foreign governments don't actually care about you or me. They care about the large businesses whose interests they advance. They work for the Elite. They only care about us as far as we can be exploited to buy things and vote for the right people.

    Personally, I think they can put their "deal" where the sun don't shine. If my prosperity is bought with the blood of the poor and deluded, I don't want it. But I don't make the rules and I have seen what happens to those who push back too hard. But I also know that those who spend too long between a rock and a hard place get crushed.

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @04:37PM (#44428145) Homepage Journal

    Why do you have to pick one? Can't you "fight" both?

    THANK YOU for being able to see the difference between what's truly wrong, and what offends partisan sensibilities.

  • Re:Not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wookact (2804191) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @04:39PM (#44428177)
    Why exactly would US laws apply to someone that was not in the US, and not a US citizen.

    Does Sharia law apply to people not living in a Muslim country?
  • by scot4875 (542869) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @04:47PM (#44428253) Homepage

    So, you're for "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" then?

    Nice strawman, but I'll respond anyway. (Also, are you aware that "slippery slope" is the name of a fallacy? Not an argument?)

    No, "ends justifies the means" doesn't justify torture and here's why.

    1) It doesn't work.
    2) Torturing their soldiers/"enemy combatants" loses us any sort of moral standing on the issue. We can't use their reprehensible behavior to garner sympathy from neutral parties when we do the same thing.

    So in this case, the "ends" aren't desirable. Therefore they can't be used to justify the means.

    It's nice that you feel so strongly about government corruption, but then get so fucking defensive when corruption is exposed. It's almost like double-think. Oh wait, no, it is double-think.

    Now I'm sure that you'll equate my nuanced view to double-think, but here's the difference: I'm actually thinking. I look at each situation and try to evaluate them individually and see what outcomes I can expect from them, and may well come to the conclusion that something is bad in one situation and not bad in another situation. YOU, on the other hand, take event A, try to find something else that you can compare it to (event B), and then use your judgement of event B to decide whether event A is good or bad. One of us is thinking; the other is doing pattern matching.

    As far as I can tell, there has been absolutely nothing bad that has resulted from Manning's leaks. From where I sit, life has gone on pretty much unchanged. I fail to see how terrible his actions are when, predictably, none of the doomsday scenarios envisioned by folks like yourself came to pass.

    --Jeremy

  • by HeckRuler (1369601) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @04:56PM (#44428351)

    In case anyone was wondering about those numbers, it was about $0.5 billion to Solyndra vs $7 billion to Halliburton.

    Solyndra received a $535 million U.S. Energy Department loan guarantee before going bankrupt. Under the Solyndra restructuring plan, the government is projected to recoup 19 percent on $142.8 million of the loan and nothing on the remaining $385 million.[19] Additionally, Solyndra received a $25.1 million tax break from California's Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority.

    In the run-up to the Iraq war, Halliburton was awarded a $7 billion contract for which 'unusually' only Halliburton was allowed to bid.

    Solyndra failed because it couldn't compete with China who, arguably, dumped solar cells to kill such competition. Halliburton on the other hand, is a war profiteer that sent their CEO into politics to secure a contract.

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @04:59PM (#44428385)

    "Your question is only valid if you honestly believe that Manning read and determined ALL of the 250,000+ documents he released to be proof of a Constitutional violation of some sort."

    Well, you have a point, but I will nitpick a bit. It is not reasonable to expect him to do that, for the simple reason that it probably wasn't possible. I may or may not agree with the law, but it has to be reasonable.

    On the other hand, it might have been reasonable for him to only release those things which he had reviewed, and suspected to be in violation of the Constitution. I am basically agreeing with you, but there is a subtle difference. And maybe that's what you meant.

    "The fact is that he actively mined the data..."

    Did he? I could be wrong, but I understood that the data was easily and readily available due to the nature of his job. That may be wrong, but that was what I read in the news.

    "For the apparently numerous people here who bear a grudge against the USA of one kind or another and think that this is great due to the embarrassment to the military and Government in general, give it a rest I'm sure we'll still bail your ass out again sometime in the future without expecting any thanks from you."

    I think it's a great and wonderful embarrassment to the government, too. And I'm a citizen of the United States.

    Many of the documents made it very clear that our government was working covertly in ways that were not necessarily in the actual interest of The People of the United States. I applaud those revelations.

    Remember that real treason is disloyalty to your country and your people, not disobedience toward your government. That was the fundamental error made by the people who brought the Nazis to power.

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @05:39PM (#44428837) Homepage Journal

    I did not. I hate when some jackass statist "news" conglomerate insists on showing me some retarded film instead of giving me the words to read for myself.

    I did, however, do a bit of my own research, and found this article, [defense.gov] in which Gen. Alexander repeatedly states "we have [concrete] proof that Snowden's actions have helped terrorists/hurt America blah blah blah," Yet I noticed a stark absence of the actual "proof" he claims to have.

    Reminds me of one of my uncle's, a psychologically diagnosed pathological liar; always claims to know the information you want, and always has some bullshit excuse on why he can't tell it to you.

    Only a child or invalid would accept "We have the information to prove our claim, but we can't show it to you" as a legitimate response.

    Or a sucker.

    Speaking of which, I have a lovely piece of property spanning the East River in NY, NY, that would be a perfect investment opportunity for you...

  • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @06:47PM (#44429407)

    A government of laws and not men is all well and good except when a law is unjust. Then the rule of law is more like the ruly of tyranny. Something that John Adams was not a fan of. When a law is unjust and/or unconstitutional we are all above the law. The law exists to serve men. Men do not exist to serve the law. Laws are not a a substitute for morality. Just because something is illegal does not mean that it is wrong. I don't think the way that the phrase is often used, as a justification for going after Snowden for instance, is a moral principle simply because law has so little to do with actual morality.

  • by painandgreed (692585) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @06:55PM (#44429479)

    All I saw from the "Manning videos" was "man, war still sucks, don't have any illusions of a video game war". The video was shocking, but not evidence of any scandal.

    It was a while back, but I thought the scandal wasn't so much in what happened, but in covering it up after the fact.

  • Re:Incredible (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0111 1110 (518466) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @09:00PM (#44430381)

    Maybe that should have been a clue for them to move closer before simply firing machine guns into a small crowd who were not firing at them. Those guys should be known as the Butchers of Baghdad.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

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