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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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  • Re:Not surprising (Score:4, Informative)

    by Aryden (1872756) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:22PM (#44426469)
    no, snowden is a civilian and thus not subject to the UCMJ.
  • by i kan reed (749298) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:24PM (#44426497) Homepage Journal

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

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:27PM (#44426533)

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

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

  • Great infographic (Score:5, Informative)

    by barlevg (2111272) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:29PM (#44426569)
    Breaking down the verdict by charge, plea and ruling: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/national/manning-verdict/ [washingtonpost.com]
  • by i kan reed (749298) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:31PM (#44426601) Homepage Journal

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

  • Re:Incredible (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @02:49PM (#44426841)

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

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

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @03:09PM (#44427133)

    The American people did vote. They voted for a candidate that explicitly promised the closing of Guantanamo and an end to an unjust war.

    Don't forget he also promised to protect whistleblowers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @03:17PM (#44427217)

    "Did they do bad things?" and the answer is "yes." Regardless of whether those were a means to a good end, the bad things they did are punishable and should be punished.

    You are mistaking your opinion for fact.

    And there is a very large number of good people who disagree
    with you.

    Go fuck yourself, you bootlicking fascist piece of shit.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @03:30PM (#44427401)

    Right, shooting civilians (including their children) who come to help others who have aready been shot (including an accredited journalist) is "just business-as-usual borderline 'unethical'".

  • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @03:33PM (#44427425)

    He had no business leaking what he did.

    Yes he did [collateralmurder.com]

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @03:57PM (#44427729)

    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.

    Army disciplined 15 over Bradley Manning and Wikileaks [politico.com]

    The U.S. Army discliplined 15 people as a result of an internal investigation into the decisions and failures that put Pvt. Bradley Manning in a position to download and leak thousands of classified military reports and diplomatic cables he allegedly provided to WikiLeaks, an Army spokesman said Wednesday.

    At least one non-commissioned officer was reduced in rank for dereliction of duty, according a legal filing made public by Manning's defense over the weekend.

    --------

    Why did Manning not only have access to this sensitive data, but was able to download it and walk it out of the office?

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

    As an analyst that prepared reports he needed access to data. The network apparently wasn't properly prepared and certified for use. There probably should have been better controls for sharing different stacks of data, but the nature of counter-insurgency warfare would tend to press against some of them at some level.

    The failings of the people managing the network don't excuse Manning's data breach.

    The Army should thank Manning for exposing their security flaws. ... The same applies to Snowden ...

    I think that might be worth considering if you can do the same following your house being burglarized, your car stolen, and your bank account emptied ... in separate events.

  • He didn't even release the whole cache. Some reporter let slip the password for the encrypted file. http://boingboing.net/2011/08/31/wikileaks-guardian-journalist-negligently-published-password-to-unredacted-cables.html [boingboing.net]

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

    by dywolf (2673597) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @04:02PM (#44427769)

    Conspiracy and Espionage.
    Both very clearly defined, and very illegal, throughout the entirety of the western world.
    Espionage in particular has no "border limitation."

  • by Motard (1553251) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @04:10PM (#44427851)

    And Manning specifically requested a single judge rather than a panel.

  • Re:ramifications (Score:4, Informative)

    by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @04:12PM (#44427869) Homepage

    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.

    Wrong.

    To impugn Manning's conduct, it is often claimed - by people who cannot possibly know this - that he failed to assess the diplomatic cables he was releasing and simply handed them over without having any idea what was in them. Here is Manning explaining the detailed process he undertook to determine their contents and ensure that they would not result in serious harm to innocent individuals; listen on the player above.

    Of the documents release, the cables were the only one I was not absolutely certain couldn't harm the United States. I conducted research on the cables published on the Net Centric Diplomacy, as well as how Department of State cables worked in general.

            "In particular, I wanted to know how each cable was published on SIRPnet via the Net Centric Diplomacy. As part of my open source research, I found a document published by the Department of State on its official website.

            "The document provided guidance on caption markings for individual cables and handling instructions for their distribution. I quickly learned the caption markings clearly detailed the sensitivity of the Department of State cables. For example, NODIS or No Distribution was used for messages at the highest sensitivity and were only distributed to the authorized recipients.

            "The SIPDIS or SIPRnet distribution caption was applied only to recording of other information messages that were deemed appropriate for a release for a wide number of individuals. According to the Department of State guidance for a cable to have the SIPDIS caption, it could not include other captions that were intended to limit distribution.

            "The SIPDIS caption was only for information that could only be shared with anyone with access to SIPRnet. I was aware that thousands of military personel, DoD, Department of State, and other civilian agencies had easy access to the tables. The fact that the SIPDIS caption was only for wide distribution made sense to me, given that the vast majority of the Net Centric Diplomacy Cables were not classified.

            "The more I read the cables, the more I came to the conclusion that this was the type of information that should become public. I once read and used a quote on open diplomacy written after the First World War and how the world would be a better place if states would avoid making secret pacts and deals with and against each other.

            "I thought these cables were a prime example of a need for a more open diplomacy. Given all of the Department of State cables that I read, the fact that most of the cables were unclassified, and that all the cables have a SIPDIS caption.

            "I believe that the public release of these cables would not damage the United States, however, I did believe that the cables might be embarrassing, since they represented very honest opinions and statements behind the backs of other nations and organizations."

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/mar/12/bradley-manning-tapes-own-words [theguardian.com]

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @04:25PM (#44428007)

    The U.S. Army discliplined 15 people as a result of an internal investigation into the decisions and failures that put Pvt. Bradley Manning in a position to download and leak thousands of classified military reports and diplomatic cables he allegedly provided to WikiLeaks, an Army spokesman said Wednesday.

    At least one non-commissioned officer was reduced in rank for dereliction of duty, according a legal filing made public by Manning's defense over the weekend.

    So one officer lost rank, 14 others had some non-specified administrative punishment when through their action (or inaction) they allowed a serious intelligence leak? And the only leak they *know* about was the one from Manning, who knows how many other analysts walked out with data but didn't release it to the public?

    As an analyst that prepared reports he needed access to data. The network apparently wasn't properly prepared and certified for use. There probably should have been better controls for sharing different stacks of data, but the nature of counter-insurgency warfare would tend to press against some of them at some level.

    Doesn't the leak show that there definitely should have been better controls?

    The Army should thank Manning for exposing their security flaws. ... The same applies to Snowden ...

    I think that might be worth considering if you can do the same following your house being burglarized, your car stolen, and your bank account emptied ... in separate events.

    If my house staff found a hole in the back of my safe and some of them have been been slipping 20 dollar bills out of the safe for years, I'd be pretty thankful when my maid got busted while trying to deposit her stolen cash in the bank, revealing the hole to me so I could stop the leak.

    I'd still be mad at her, but glad she got caught since it exposed the security flaw.

  • by HeckRuler (1369601) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @05:18PM (#44428627)

    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.

    Those diplomatic cables had some of the most damning material!

    Did you miss the one where US taxpayer's money is being funneled through Dyncorp to purchase little boy sex slaves on the behalf of the US military as party favors for Afghan warlords? And this is similar to their behavior in Bosnia in 1999. So FYI, the US has a department for buying and selling sex-slaves. No, it doesn't really matter that it's a separate company.

    That's the most vile one I know of off the top of my head. There's also evidence that Monsanto and Pfizer use US diplomats to badger governments so they get out of lawsuits. And Monsanto is just as evil as you'd expect. Damn straight this should be "looked at in depth" and then people should be thrown in prison for life. And it makes Manning look like a true patriot. We've GOT to fix this. We HAVE to be the good guys.

    Seriously, if this is news to you, GO READ IT [wikipedia.org].

    Hey, I get what you're saying. That he shouldn't have just leaked all this information without making sure it wasn't endangering anyone. And that's a mountain of work. So thank goodness that he went to a professional leaking site like Wikileaks to handle it all. (Too bad they trusted Guardian journalist David Leigh with the encryption key. He fucked up and it all got released underacted after about a year.)

  • Re:Incredible (Score:4, Informative)

    by loshwomp (468955) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @05:23PM (#44428665)

    They shot at least one child [...]

    Just to add a bit to this, the verb "shot" is scarcely appropriate, because the 30mm shells the Apache fired are more like HE grenades than bullets (in both scale and effect). Totally disgusting.

  • by lgw (121541) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @05:49PM (#44428911) Journal

    Right, shooting civilians (including their children) who come to help others who have aready been shot (including an accredited journalist) is "just business-as-usual borderline 'unethical'".

    Let me phrase that differently: "War is Hell". It's an ugly business, and always has been. Compared to civilian causalities and treatment of "enemy" civilians in any previous wars we've done quite well this century.

    In the incidents I've seen, the guys pulling the trigger were following the rules of engagement. The ROE are designed to balance the risk to soldiers against the risk of civilian casualties. The balance will never be "no civilian casualties", and most people in a war zone go out of their way to be clear they're not part of any conflict. Helping enemy combatants while the fight goes on makes you one, and misunderstandings are easy on both sides when the combatants don't wear uniforms. The soldiers can't be sure who's an enemy, the civilians can't always guess that someone who was just injured is being seen as an enemy, and so on.

    The best possible thing for the safety of civilians is to ensure both sides wear uniforms, as required by just about every treaty since the idea of uniforms happened. Failing that, the best you can hope for is that the ROE gives reasonable consideration for civilians (and ours do), and that the soldiers follow the ROE and are punished when they don't (also true).

    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.

  • by DrJimbo (594231) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @06:54PM (#44429467)

    Most of the people arguing for manning have failed to defend the mass dumping of *all* that information.

    [...] He didn't need to dump 250k of docs to make his point.

    Manning's defenders don't don't defend it because it Manning didn't do it. He didn't do a mass dump. He released documents to news organizations so those organization would vet them and release only what was proper to be released. That was the responsible thing to do under the circumstances.

    It's true that one of those organizations screwed up and released a private key that let everyone see all the documents but that was clearly not Manning's fault. No one defends that mistake. No one thinks it was right for all the documents to be released to the public.

    As a practical matter, it would have been impossible for Manning to do it much differently. Once the leaks started, his access would soon be terminated. He knew for sure a lot of the information was damning. He scooped up more than he could personally vet and gave it to people who were in a better position to do the vetting. That's exactly the way it is supposed to be done.

    You might want to try to blame Manning for choosing the wrong people to trust. Since most of the main stream media have stopped doing their jobs as journalist and have instead become sycophants to the people in power, Manning did not have a wide range of choice about whom to trust with his information.

  • Re:Incredible (Score:4, Informative)

    by 0111 1110 (518466) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @08:44PM (#44430277)

    Try to post a screen gab that shows children in the helicopter footage.

    If you watch the short version they are labeled on screen. If you watch the long version the little girl / first child is mentioned at 13:29, 17:20, and 18:18 where they finally seem to realize that the little girl who was shot in the stomach was not the only wounded child. They explicitly mention that there were two wounded children at 27:38. The second child can be seen being carried to an APC by a soldier at 23:10 of the long version. The first child / little girl is only seen briefly when she is carried from the van full of bodies, but she is on the video.

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