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Bradley Manning (WikiLeaks Source) Given Hearing After 2 Years In Jail 369

TrueSatan writes "Finally, Bradley Manning's military court case starts. He's only had to wait 2 years to be heard. Manning claims that while remanded in custody in Iraq he 'passed out due to the heat' and 'contemplated suicide.' The United Nations special rapporteur on torture found Manning's detention was 'cruel and inhuman.' Manning wants the case against him to be dismissed because his pre-trial punishment was so severe. Manning's attorney, David Coombs, earlier released an 11-page letter detailing the conditions of Manning's confinement. Manning offered guilty pleas to minor charges, but not to spying, aiding American enemies or treason, and those pleas have been accepted by the judge."
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Bradley Manning (WikiLeaks Source) Given Hearing After 2 Years In Jail

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 30, 2012 @10:32AM (#42141127)

    One one had so much transparency has come from this but on the other so many terrible things COULD have happened. What needs to happen from this is a NON-military group be created to act as a place where individuals within the military can report situations without the public seeing everything. That group would then be charged to release appropriate information and act on those responsible for illegal acts.

    The military is supposed to have these mechanisms internally but it doesn't work at this level.

  • by FriendlyLurker ( 50431 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @10:44AM (#42141235)
    The shenanigans go much deeper than you realize [democracynow.org]:

    "The mass surveillance and mass interception that is occurring to all of us now who use the internet is also a mass transfer of power from individuals into extremely sophisticated state and private intelligence organizations and their cronies," he says. Assange also discusses the United States’ targeting of WikiLeaks. "The Pentagon is maintaining a line that WikiLeaks inherently, as an institution that tells military and government whistleblowers to step forward with information, is a crime. They allege we are criminal, moving forward," Assange says. "Now, the new interpretation of the Espionage Act that the Pentagon is trying to hammer in to the legal system, and which the Department of Justice is complicit in, would mean the end of national security journalism in the United States." [includes rush transcript]

  • Re:Cruel and unusual (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 30, 2012 @10:55AM (#42141357)
    Here's roman_mir again, shoehorning his political agenda into a story not related to taxes at all.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 30, 2012 @10:55AM (#42141363)

    That is about the most uneducated, ignorant and apathetic comment I've read ina while. He was in the military, and there are strict guidlines governing classified documents. This includes punishments for breaking the rules. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) are rules above and beyond what the civilian population has to deal with. An individual is made aware of the rules and the consequences at the beginning. He knew what he was doing, and the consequences. He is lucky that all the prosecution is going for is a life sentence. In time of war, and with charges of treason, he could be put in front of a firing squad.

  • He is a hero.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by snowball21 ( 2186378 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @11:30AM (#42141801)
    ..who has done more to change the face of the world, for the better, with one selfless action than decades of military action and varying degrees of sanctions,
  • Reasoning Backwards (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PMW ( 203329 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @11:36AM (#42141863)

    The one thing that's been amusing about the whole Manning case is how consistent his Defender’s argument has been. From the very beginning, the idea that "Manning is Not Guilty" has accepted as axiomatic, regardless of whatever evidence was provided and all arguments had to end with that conclusion.

    At first, “Everyone” knew that Manning was just a scapegoat for Wikileaks and anyone who claimed otherwise was obviously A Fascist Thug.
    Then as evidence came out show he had released documents, well of course he was just a whistleblower and anyone who claimed otherwise was obviously working for the Man.

    When it turns out he released tens of thousands of documents he hadn’t even read and thus can’t be whistleblowing, then The Defenders invent bizarre new legal doctrines about how since the documents went to WikiLeaks not a foreign government, it’s not illegal. Or Manning is a Journalist! And so no laws apply to him, after all the legal expert Assange said so. And anyone who claimed otherwise was obviously A Fascist Thug.

    Now that Manning’s own lawyers are giving up on that argument, let’s go to claims of mistreatment to get him off.

    When that fails I’m sure some of the older claims of insanity will come back. Or we’ll go to the claim that HE created the Arab Spring, not the millions of oppressed Arabs who’ve suffered for decades. Nah, they’re just a sideshow to Manning. Or another favorite, Governments shouldn’t be able to have anything secret at all. That’s why the Defenders all worked so hard to defend Scooter Libby. Free Scooter Libby! they cried. And of course there is the strange issue ofis this all proof that Obama is actually A Fascist Thug?

  • Re:Case dismissed? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @11:37AM (#42141887)

    Even in wartime, summary execution is not legal in the UCMJ except under extreme circumstances. All capital cases would be tried by court martial, including treason. In no way would Manning have been in that situation.

    As far was what "wartime" consists of, that in and of itself doesn't make any difference on whether summary execution could be employed, however. If someone in Afghanistan did something that would have betrayed his unit to imminent and extreme danger, and he could not be restrained in any way, he could be fired on and killed if need be. However, the person giving the firing order would be put in front of a court-martial to prove it was necessary.

    In any event, a war declaration doesn't activate the ability for that sort of execution in the field, it's just an understood requirement of military operations. War declarations tend to be political cover for when politicians feel like they need to actually enforce the ultimate penalty in court-martials, but there is nothing keeping them from executing someone in peacetime under the UCMJ if they commit a capital offense.

  • Re:Case dismissed? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @11:44AM (#42141997)

    Yes. No one is likely to try Manning for treason. They will likely try him under the Espionage Act and give him jail time. At most ten years, I'd say. It's probably a little harsh, but we can't have PFCs deciding that they are going to start spewing classified materials scattershot on a whim. The military is making an example out of him, and frankly, I'm not sure I blame them. It's a very serious issue if you can't trust your own people.

    As for it being "torture", well until someone tells me that they are sleep depriving and water boarding him, I'd say that's hyperbole. I understand that solitary is not fun in the slightest, but there are good reasons to put someone who is being tried because they can't keep their proverbial trap shut in solitary.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 30, 2012 @12:01PM (#42142197)

    The USA is not currently at war, nor does the UCMJ override constitutional rights. Manning still has a right to a fair trial under peace time conditions. What the military has done here is illegal and should invalidate Manning's trial.

  • by DeadCatX2 ( 950953 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @12:25PM (#42142541) Journal

    You are absolutely right, the UCMJ has rules above and beyond what a civilian population has to deal with.

    One of those is Article 10. http://www.armfor.uscourts.gov/newcaaf/digest/VB3.htm [uscourts.gov]

    Article 10 creates a more exacting, more rigorous requirement for a speedy trial than the 6th Amendment alone. United States v. Thompson, 68 M.J. 308

    Mr. Manning has spent nearly 1000 days in pretrial confinement. The UN special rapporteur on torture has also found his treatment to be cruel and inhumane.

    The government has broken many rules in their treatment of Mr. Manning (using a dentist as a psychiatrist? LOL!) It would be fair punishment for the government if the charges Mr. Manning has not yet pleaded guilty to are dismissed. Perhaps then the government would remember that it, too, has rules that it must abide by.

  • by Remus Shepherd ( 32833 ) <remus@panix.com> on Friday November 30, 2012 @01:34PM (#42143885) Homepage

    When you're in the military you follow the chain of command and trust that your superiors are working in the best interests of your country.

    If you find evidence your superiors are not, then you have the choice to exercise the soldier's prerogative: Shoot your commanders in the back, and face the consequences. You will give up your own freedom, but you will remove a commander who was harming your country.

    Manning effectively shot his superiors in the back. Now he has consequences to face. A good soldier would stand up, say 'Yes, I did this and here are my reasons', then go to jail and hope that history vindicates him.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas