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The Courts

Bradley Manning Sentenced To 35 Years 491

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the welcome-to-america dept.
An anonymous reader writes with bad, but not unexpected news: "The U.S. soldier convicted of handing a trove of secret government documents to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks has been sentenced to 35 years in prison. Pte First Class Bradley Manning, 25, was convicted in July of 20 charges against him, including espionage. Last week, he apologized for hurting the U.S. and for 'the unexpected results' of his actions. He will receive credit for three and a half years, but be dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Army."
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Bradley Manning Sentenced To 35 Years

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @10:33AM (#44631519)

    It's not a legitimate secret. It's a coverup of war crime. They are not the same thing.

    • by ArcherB (796902) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @10:45AM (#44631765) Journal

      It's not a legitimate secret. It's a coverup of war crime. They are not the same thing.

      Manning released over 10,000 documents. Are you sure he read them all and confirmed that every single of the 10,000 documents contained evidence of a war crime and made sure that the release would not help the enemy?

      Don't get me wrong, if he read and verified every document he sent out, fine. That's not the case here.

      • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @11:00AM (#44632003) Journal

        Whether Bradley Manning deserves to be punished is something reasonable people can disagree about. What reasonable people cannot disagree about is that those responsible for the crimes he did expose deserve to be punished.

        No one has been tried for the crimes uncovered by Manning.
        No one has been tried for the crimes uncovered by Snowden.
        No one has been tried for the crimes uncovered by Kiriakou.
        No one has been tried for the crimes uncovered by Binney.
        No one has been tried for the crimes uncovered by Drake.

        All these people reported on crimes committed by the government and government officials. Crimes ranging from fraud, to wiretapping, to murder. In none of these cases have any of the true criminals been tried, and in every one of these cases the whistleblowers have been the subject of harassment by the government, or worse.

        If you're going to fall back on the "it's the law" excuse for prosecuting whistleblowers, you have to apply the law to everyone. Anything else is despotism.

      • If you are going to hold a "read every document" standard to Manning, then you must hold it to the prosecution as well.

        Did they find explicit evidence that a document was NOT evidence of a war crime? Given the weight of documents that WERE evidence of such, is the release of the other documents excusable?

        I don't think that the government's case was based on the particular contents of any given document or set of documents. I'm pretty sure they considered the entire corpus to be theirs and thus that ANY re

      • by Seumas (6865) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @12:04PM (#44632899)

        Manning didn't release over 10,000 documents. He handed them over to established news organizations who then WORKED WITH THE GOVERNMENT TO DETERMINE WHICH DOCUMENTS SHOULD NOT BE RELEASED.

        Convenient how people overlook that very important piece of information, isn't it?

      • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @01:02PM (#44633609) Homepage Journal

        FACT:
        All US wars - within the last 40 years or so - are crimes, committed in violation of Constitutional war powers, and in violation of international treaty, signed with binding power of law.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by melikamp (631205)

        Manning released over 10,000 documents.

        Manning conveyed over 10,000 documents to journalists. Of course, his treatment will compel future whistle-blowers to release their shit anonymously, and unedited. This is what we, as a society, will get for letting our secret police to attack the free press, but it's a small price to pay for a functional democracy.

    • by zlives (2009072) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @11:52AM (#44632715)

      If it's a legitimate secret, the government body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down!?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Omestes (471991)

      Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan the recent actions of our government (recent being, depressingly, the last 40 years or so), and I am in favor of transparency, whistle-blowing, and calling out our government on its bad behavior. I also think Manning did a good thing, though I also feel his actions should have consiquences since he did still break the law, laws that at least partially these days, exists for a very good reason (some secrecy will always be necessary, especially about military matters and in

  • by ilikenwf (1139495) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @10:37AM (#44631581)
    Considering today news is breaking about the NSA monitoring 75% of all domestic US internet traffic, and logging all domestic emails, as well as their plans for a national facial recognition system (as in live video feeds), it seems obvious to me that they sentenced him today and announced it in this way in an effort to distract us from what really matters.

    Sources: http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/nsa-has-access-75-percent-us-internet-traffic-says-wsj-6C10967780 [nbcnews.com]
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/21/us/facial-scanning-is-making-gains-in-surveillance.html?_r=0 [nytimes.com]
  • by Apharmd (2640859) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @10:39AM (#44631625)
    Meanwhile Bush, Cheney, and a whole line of people that authorized or performed torture remain free. People who murdered innocent civilians and laughed about it, free. It's all a big joke.
    • by JackieBrown (987087) <dbroome@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @11:01AM (#44632023)

      I never understand why people leave the current Obama administration out of these lists. He has taken what Bush did further than Bush ever dreamed (which is normal. The next president usually adds to their power/abuse instead of reducing it.)

  • Twisted "Justice" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by assemblerex (1275164) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @10:41AM (#44631669)
    William Calley, the officer in charge of the My Lai massacre (murder of 304 civilians) server 3 1/2 years house arrest.

    Bradley Manning has been sentenced to 35 years, and must server 1/3 to get parole which they will of course deny him.

    President Obama authorized the killing of Americans without trial, something illegal under the very rules of the U.S. (constitution)

    One of those Americans killed was a 16 YEAR OLD BOY who was murdered by his own government, without trial. [nytimes.com]

    The United States no longer pretends to be the land of the free, it now openly favors corporations (Apple given presidential override of import ban), rich individuals and political cronies.

    Today is a very sad day. The truth is the enemy, justice inconvenient, and money/power the one true ruler of this country.
    • by damicatz (711271)

      Obama is nothing but Bush in blackface. It is amazing how many people give him a pass because he is black and has a D besides his name.

      What is even more laughable is the Nobel Peace Prize that was given to him.

    • Re:Twisted "Justice" (Score:5, Informative)

      by arnott (789715) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @10:54AM (#44631913)
      Read this speech [salon.com] by Chomsky, it is very informative and depressing.
  • by korbulon (2792438) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @10:41AM (#44631679)
    Merely disgusted.
  • by intermodal (534361) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @10:43AM (#44631721) Homepage Journal

    if the government's idea of "secret" weren't complete and total BS. Today, "secret" simply means "stuff that would embarrass us". The only context that getting most of today's government "secrets" into the public's scrutiny would qualify as "aiding an enemy" is if they consider the American people to be their enemy. Which is, sadly, closer to the truth than it ever should be.

  • by fastgriz (1052034) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @10:44AM (#44631735)
    "Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process."
  • US (Score:5, Interesting)

    by damicatz (711271) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @10:44AM (#44631741)

    The United States government is the largest criminal organization in the world. Bradley Manning exposed some of the war crimes routinely committed by the United States. That, in and of itself, makes him a hero. It takes no courage to invade another country that is drastically weaker than you are and to then shoot people (mostly civilians) who are simply defending their country from foreign invaders. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to the Imperial US Government.

    • I know this opinion is unpopular, but doing a right thing does not excuse other actions, and while some of what he did was good, much of it was not.

      Releasing something like the Apache footage of civilians being killed was one thing. That's the sort of thing that needs to be exposed, and he was in the right for having done so, if not legally, then at least morally. He should be commended for having done so.

      But releasing tens of thousands of diplomatic cables without reviewing them, which ended up merely reve

      • by amorsen (7485)

        But releasing tens of thousands of diplomatic cables without reviewing them, which ended up merely revealing embarrassing-but-not-criminal activity on the part of the US government, was something else entirely.

        Those cables also revealed that Danish soldiers handed over Iraqi prisoners to the Iraqi police force knowing that the prisoners would be tortured. Alas, no one was prosecuted for this, but it is clearly a war crime. The Danish forces even knew it was a war crime and in later operations brought along a few token British soldiers who happened to be the ones booking in the prisoners, thereby leaving the dirty work to the Brits in an attempt to evade responsibility. That this was done was decided high up in th

  • by at_slashdot (674436) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @10:44AM (#44631751)

    ACLU's Ben Wizner: "When a soldier who shared information with the press and public is punished far more harshly than others who tortured prisoners and killed civilians, something is seriously wrong with our justice system."

  • I'd like to believe that someday we will get to a more enlightened part of our evolution and realize that Bradley Manning's actions were the start of a more transparent government, and that the Internet took on the role of government overseer that the media long ago surrendered to the very same government. Maybe then he will be released, pardoned, and seen as the hero that he is.
    • Enlightenment would involve returning to medieval punishment--hangings, beatings, and public ridicule. We live in an age where, to not be "cruel", we punish people for minor crimes like shoplifting by putting them in jail for a few months. When they come out, they're damaged by jail, possibly have HIV, some are raped or beaten, a very few are murdered in prison. The vast bodies of those in jail are poor or lower-middle-classers living paycheck to paycheck; their employment is interrupted, their debts are

  • And reading the comments, especially on the Reuters article [reuters.com], is depressing. There is a lot of hate out there, and blind devotion to the overlords.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @10:46AM (#44631791)

    I have respect for this man. He broke the law for the sake of what is right.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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