Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Government Security The Courts The Media The Military United States Your Rights Online

Bradley Manning Offers Partial Guilty Plea To Military Court 380

concealment writes "During a pre-trial hearing in military court today, [alleged Wikileaks source Bradley] Manning's attorney, David Coombs, proposed a partial guilty plea covering a subset of the slew of criminal charges that the U.S. Army has lodged against him. "Manning is attempting to accept responsibility for offenses that are encapsulated within, or are a subset of, the charged offenses," Coombs wrote on his blog this evening. "The court will consider whether this is a permissible plea.""
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Bradley Manning Offers Partial Guilty Plea To Military Court

Comments Filter:
  • Re:Fascist bloodlust (Score:3, Informative)

    by Corbets ( 169101 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @10:08AM (#41917865) Homepage

    All the hardcore authoritarian fascists want him dead, I wonder if they'll get their wish. If so, I wonder if Adrian Lamo will feel any guilt at all for ending this guy's life for no fucking reason (attention? "Remember me? I'm still around, everyone!")

    Right. Because it's Adrian's fault that Manning chose to distribute documents which he was clearly not authorized to distribute. Whether you think it's right or wrong for him to have distributed them, it's not like anyone can be under the illusion that Manning's actions would have been considered legal. He alone is responsible for what happens to him.

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @10:32AM (#41918067)

    What is Julian Assange guilty of?
    What crime is it to publish documents your receive?
    He is not a US citizen so he cannot have any responsibility to the US government.

    I sure as hell would rather know what our government is doing. You might not, but I sure as hell would.

  • Re:Fascist bloodlust (Score:2, Informative)

    by HaZardman27 ( 1521119 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @10:34AM (#41918093)
    You're creating a false dichotomy. I said it's not the business of a private to determine when and when not to disseminate classified information. If the generals and staff officers are withholding information, then it's congress's job to remove them from their post and punish them as is fit.
  • Re:Fascist bloodlust (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2012 @10:48AM (#41918259)

    You also swear you will obey the "orders of the officers appointed over me." On the other hand, the oath of commission doesn't include that phrase; officers are allowed (and expected) to question the actions and orders of those over them and escalate them up the chain if needed.

  • Re:Fascist bloodlust (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nadaka ( 224565 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @10:50AM (#41918281)

    THe collateral murder video and its coverup.

    There was also the little part of a us contractor paying for boy sex slaves as bribe to a afghanistan warlord.

    The majority of it wasn't particularly offensive, but there were a few malignant little gems in there.

  • Re:Fascist bloodlust (Score:4, Informative)

    by breech1 ( 137095 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:09AM (#41918457)

    My feeling is that the US government by consistently refusing to ask for the death penalty in spying cases [...] has encouraged people to continue to try to get away with this.

    The US gov't could seek the death penalty for spying cases, but chooses not to. The reason is that a caught spy will eventually talk about why they did it, and who they were working with, if the death penalty isn't an option. That information is far more valuable than naively "trying to send a message". (Whether or not the death penalty is a deterrent is a separate argument. The intelligence officers only care about determining why the spying occurred and who the handlers were.)

  • Re:Fascist bloodlust (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:28AM (#41918719)

    Every member of the armed services is responsible to not obey, and to report illegal orders.
    It's part of your basic training, I know, because I served and went through that training.
    Since the higher ups were complicit in these activities, he had every right, neigh the responsibility to expose them for what they are, criminals of the worst sort.

    Remember this. The actions of the Nazis were considered classified by their military as well, though they openly captured and imprisoned people, they claimed they were being re-trained, etc...

    If the light wasn't pointed at these military activities, who knows how far they'd have taken them.

  • by dywolf ( 2673597 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:36AM (#41918815)

    This was covered before, and you were proven wrong then too.
    Espionage is an internationally recognized crime.
    His citizenship is irrelevant.

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:45AM (#41918907) Homepage

    Did Julian Assange then publish these secrets, knowing that he has zero way of predicting the consequences? Yes: he's guilty.

    There are 2 big reasons why what Assange did is not a crime:
    1. Given that Julian Assange is not and has never been a US citizen or resident of the US, why is US law applicable to any action he takes? For example, if a Iranian spy working in Afghanistan uncovers classified information about the US military, the US can't demand that spy's extradition and expect to get anything out of that.

    2. Pentagon Papers case []. The US Supreme Court has stated quite clearly that First Amendment protections apply to those who publish classified information, provided they weren't the ones leaking the information. And as you've stated, Manning was the one who provided the information to Assange, just like Ellsberg provided the information to the New York Times.

    So (a) US law doesn't have jurisdiction, and (b) even if it did, it's still not illegal.

  • by Spottywot ( 1910658 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:51AM (#41918985)

    Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear surprise, and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency....

    Sorry, couldn't resist, besides I had to undo a moderation

  • Re:Fascist bloodlust (Score:4, Informative)

    by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @12:01PM (#41919085) Homepage Journal

    Except that the total amount of proof of anything Manning has done at the moment, is ZERO.

    You mean, except for the thing about him pleading guilty to charges? You know, described in that thing at the top of this page we call a summary?

    You've never been charged with a crime by the government, have you?

    Lemme drop a little free-range wisdom on ya: The justice system is fucked. Often times, accused people are given 2 choices by prosecutors: plead guilty and get a lesser sentence, or fight to prove your innocence (yes, that's right, it's no longer 'innocent until proven guilty') and risk having the book thrown at you. It doesn't matter whether you're actually guilty or not, it's all just a farce to keep the money flowing through.

    Don't take my word for it, go steal a candy bar from Walmart* and enjoy the anal-raping courtesy of the US corporate court system.

    * Wal-mart always prosecutes. Always.

  • Re:Fascist bloodlust (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2012 @12:10PM (#41919187)

    As a former military enlisted, I can tell you that after you are sent to bootcamp, part of boot camp is to teach you two things:

    1. You no longer have the rights given to you by the US Constitution. For instance, you have no freedom of speech to go out and tell the world of any wrong doing you find. That's what the inspector general is supposed to do.
    2. You no longer have the rights of a human being. You are not guaranteed 3 meals a day and a shower, you are not guaranteed to be given time to sleep. Can you typically expect those things, yes. Are you guaranteed them, heck no.

    Did he even TRY to use the processes in place to prevent abuse? Nope.
    Did he even TRY to prevent leaking information that was NOT necessary to prevent abuse? Nope.

    He took the "nuke it from orbit" approach and he knew what he was getting into. He surely hoped it would work out better for him, and he's definitely hoping things will improve, but should they? He KNEW what was going on and seemed more interested in being a martyr of sorts instead of doing the right thing.

    While not the popular opinion, I hope he rots in hell for what he did. He could have easily leaked something that resulted in deaths for military personnel. He may, in fact, have actually be indirectly responsible for deaths we aren't aware of.

    Bottom line, he wasn't given enough information to think. He didn't even try to do things the right way. Screw him.

  • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @12:43PM (#41919725)

    Yes, he's a war hero.

    No, he's not. He's not a patriot, he's not honorable, he is NOT a hero. The men who almost starved to death at Valley Forge were patriots. The men who fought at Belleau Wood, climbed aboard the landing craft at Iwo and Normandy, liberated the camps at Dachau, owned the skies above New Britain, manned the destroyers protecting the lifeline of Britain, took part in that last fateful attack at Gettysburg or charged the wall at Fredericksburg, fought through the biting cold at the Chosin Reservoir, flew Hueys into hot landing zones to evacuate wounded, and helped pull down the statue of Saddam in Baghdad, those are the men that have honor. The ones resting on an island in the Pacific or on the European continent; the ones laying undiscovered in the jungles of SE Asia or lying entombed on the cold, barren floor of the Atlantic, THOSE are the heroes. Manning is none of these. He is a naive kid that betrayed his country and dishonored his brothers past, present, and future. He made his bed and now he should lie in it.

  • Re:Fascist bloodlust (Score:4, Informative)

    by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @01:55PM (#41920921) Journal

    Some problems with your post (setting aside the Godwin bit). I doubt that you had ever been in the military in any actual capacity, so I'll explain a few things here:

    * Unlike the Wehrmacht (to which you refer), the US military UCMJ requires soldiers, sailors, airmen, etc to disobey any unlawful order, and to report the order-giver to his or her superior officers. This means you are not required to perform clearly illegal actions, even if you are ordered to do so.

    * Distribution of classified information to the public which (potentially or actually) puts lives at deliberate risk is not legally or morally defensible.

    * The typical grunt has no full comprehension of the complexities and politics behind the classification of a given bit of information. Even most low-level officers have no complete picture as to why a given bit of information they have access to is classified. This is by design, and is called 'compartmentalization'.

    * There is already a mechanism in place for whistleblowing, usually referred to in most branches as the Inspector General. For whistleblowing actual crimes, you have JAG(Navy), AFOSI(Air Force), and similar. There is no indication I'm aware of that Manning tried to take these or any other in-place routes.

    * Manning had a lot of other options open to him if this was such a big, ugly moral dilemma. Some of these options include a formal request for transfer to another unit, discussion of his concerns with his first sergeant, and other similar actions. Given that the data is classified, if he wants out, the military will damned well make sure he gets out, if only to separate him from the classified data and processes. A perfect example? The transfer of USAF personnel away from nuclear weapons duty/work if they have a clearly stated moral objection to working with or around them. No military branch wants an individual around sensitive data and equipment if the guy has problems with being around it.

    Long story short, Manning screwed up all by himself, and has no one to blame but himself.

  • Re:Fascist bloodlust (Score:5, Informative)

    by HeckRuler ( 1369601 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @02:07PM (#41921161)

    Clearly the military isn't withholding much, if anything

    Clearly the military HAS WITHELD [] information. Damning information. Information that would have made the war less popular, removed support, and ultimately caused us pull out and end the occupation. Oh look. That happened. We even voted in a guy [] with that platform and didn't vote for the guy who wanted us to stick around getting shot at.
    But hey, I think I get what you're saying. The military isn't withholding information from the government. Yeah, that's probably more or less true. But the people would still like to know. You know, since this is a democracy, we're supposed to be the ultimate political masters here.

    I suspect the military may have some views on the matter of being told to leave people unsupported in battle.

    Depends on who and what sort of battle. I don't think our ground pounders cared two bits about keeping neighbors from killing each other in Iraq during the rampant sectarian violence []. Maybe the generals did, but they weren't the ones catching lead. None of them probably care enough about women's rights to keep the Taliban from being popular though.

    lead to the military simply ignoring the civilian government... Having an administration that believes they can direct the military to "stand down" in the face of an armed enemy can certainly bring that about.

    Well they didn't in Vietnam. We left and stopped a horrible clusterfuck of death and violence. Sadly, the north killed a whole hell of a lot of people when they invaded. That sectarian violence is a bitch isn't it? But after that the place largely got their shit in order. In short, the west propping up a regime that had no other support was a really bad idea. And stopping it was largely a success story of the peacenick hippies. Peace out dude.

    in the new spirit of there not being any more terrorism in the world, at least there isn't if we do not call it terrorism

    Dude, for a while there EVERYTHING was terrorism. Donating money to someone who knew someone who talked like a terrorist was terrorism. Suggesting that we should stop killing random people in the desert was terrorism. Trying to have a discussion about the definition of terrorism would get you suspected of terrorism. If that's swinging back to the region of sanity, it's a good thing.

    Bradley Manning's "revelations" might have surprised some people, but clearly it did not surprise most people in governments around the world.

    Oh, when you air their dirty laundry they are most certainly surprised. They never really expect to have to answer for their crimes.

It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster. - Voltaire