crime file

Pfc. Bradley Manning Faces 52 Years In Wikileaks Scandal

Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, the 22-year-old reportedly transgender Army intelligence specialist who began serving in 2007, has been formally charged with leaking “more than 50” classified military documents, including that air strike video to Wikileaks.

He faces up to 52 years in prison if convicted after a Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 32 proceeding. And I’m just positive his trans status will be taken into consideration if he lands in jail.

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23 Comments

  • William

    Please tell me you are not advocating support for a soldier whose actions put the lives of many others at risk? This “brave” private claims he posted 260,000 pages of classified documents, and boasted in writing; “Hillary Clinton, and several thousand diplomats around the world, are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning, and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public.”

  • Dee

    Hero

  • William

    OK, I should have said “…put the lives of many other LGBT soldiers and civilians at risk.” Happy now? Geez.

  • Addy

    @William: No.

  • Steve

    This isn’t just about the Apache gun camera footage. He also leaked classified diplomatic communications and other stuff. He deserves to be punished, though 52 years is excessive.

  • Kieran

    by Justin Raimondo, July 07, 2010

    Army Specialist Bradley Manning, the intelligence analyst who leaked the “Collateral Murder” video of US pilots shooting down Iraqi civilians (including two Reuters photographers) in cold blood, is finally being charged. For revealing to the American people the truth about what’s going on in Iraq, Manning faces horrendous legal consequences – nearly sixty years in prison if convicted on all counts. One of the charges, incredibly, is espionage. He was a “spy,” according to the US government – for letting Americans in on the “secret” that we are committing war crimes in Iraq, and around the world.

    This case has already generated considerable publicity, much of it seemingly put out there by the feds and their media operatives – yes, editors of Wired magazine, I’m talking about your pathetic rag – and designed to obfuscate the issue with personal attacks on Manning. How Manning was busted, and by whom, is a sickening tale of a government informant working in tandem with the hi-tech “media” to “out,” prosecute, and smear a brave whistleblower – go here for the full story. Suffice to say, in this space, that Manning’s detractors have stepped up their propaganda campaign: now that charges have been filed and the “mainstream” media is covering the case, the smears have migrated from Wired to the Associated Press. Check out this story, which begins rather oddly:

    “With his custom-made “humanist” dog tags and distrust of authority, Bradley Manning was no conventional soldier.

    “Ostracized by peers in Baghdad, busted for assaulting a fellow soldier and disdainful of the military’s inattention to computer security, the 22-year-old intelligence analyst styled himself a “hactivist.”

    It goes on like that for some thirty-seven paragraphs, focusing on Manning the “slight, boyish-looking son of divorced parents from Crescent, Okla., population 1,400,” who recently got in a fight with a fellow soldier, and was suffering from some “adjustment” problem that had him slated for discharge. In addition, we are told, he had “stylish, upswept hair and a stated affinity for gay-rights groups including Repeal the Ban, which seeks to end the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy on homosexuals serving in the U.S. military.”

    The article goes on to cite a friend who says Manning has “anger issues.” You can see where this is going: the idea is to characterize the leaker as a “disturbed” individual who sought to act out his personal issues with some kind of attention-getting stunt. This accomplishes the key task of diverting our attention away from the government’s crimes – which Manning bravely exposed to the light of day – and shifting the focus to Manning’s alleged shortcomings. It’s a crude, even primitive, method – and it may very well work.

    The “Collateral Murder” video, released by Wikileaks, has done enormous damage to US propaganda efforts, which seek to portray the US presence in Iraq as benevolent and Operation “Iraqi Freedom” a success. With Wikileaks about to release yet another video, this time reportedly chronicling a similar atrocity in Afghanistan, the feds have their agenda all set as far as Manning is concerned: shut him up, lock him up, and throw away the key.

    Particularly disgusting, even in this depraved era, is the journalistic contingent that echoes the government’s case like a Greek chorus. Aside from Wired‘s contemptible collaboration with the snitch Adrian Lamo, we have one Gabriel Schoenfeld, described by AP as “an author who supports cracking down on leakers,” whose support for prosecuting Manning is reported as follows:

    “Schoenfeld, author of ‘Necessary Secrets’ and a senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute, said leaks of military information during wartime run counter to America’s interests. ‘We’re serious about trying to win, and it’s extremely damaging to the morale of our troops,’ he said. ‘It inflames the local opinion, where we have a real battle for hearts and minds.’”

    The inflammation of American opinion is what our the War Party is concerned about: the real battle for hearts and minds is taking place right here in the good ol’ US of A, where it counts. Because if the Obama administration fails to mobilize public opinion around support for the war – or, at least, fails to keep popular antiwar sentiment from penetrating the Beltway bubble – then the President might as well have replaced Gen. Stanley McChrystal with nobody, for all the difference it will make.

    Schoenfeld, you’ll recall, was one of the loudest defenders of accused spies Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, two top employees of AIPAC, Israel’s powerful Washington lobby, who recruited Larry Franklin, the Pentagon’s top Iran analyst, to pass sensitive secrets to Israeli government officials. A friendly judge, and a public outcry – led in part by Schoenfeld – got them off once the Obama administration took the reins at the Justice Department. Rosen and Weissman, despite having stolen reams of important intelligence [.pdf] from us, were basically pardoned by the Obama-ites – thanks to Schoenfeld & Co. – while Manning is having the book thrown at him (to the applause of the Schoenfelds of this world).

    In defending Rosen and Weissman, Schoenfeld averred that these two innocents were just “journalists,” doing what “everyone” in Washington does – trading on inside information. The AIPAC duo, who had been sneaking around Washington meeting with their quarry in darkened restaurants and on crowded street corners, were just exercising their “First Amendment rights,” Schoenfeld protested. The affair was “misbegotten,” he says in his book. – but it’s okay to prosecute and jail Manning. Because, after all, instead of stealing on behalf of a foreign power – Israel, our “friend” and “ally” – he did it to get the truth out to the American people, and we can’t have that!

    The Manning revelations – not only the two videos, but those 260,000 diplomatic cables the accused soldier reportedly downloaded and sent off to Wikileaks – have already delivered a body blow to the War Party’s efforts, with the promise of much more to come. That’s why the powers-that-be and their media sock puppets are going into overdrive, pushing back as hard as they can: they apparently think a preemptive strike will somehow ameliorate the growing crisis. With public support for the war plummeting, and a rebellion brewing in the Democratic party’s base, the administration can ill afford to sustain any more damage to their position before it becomes completely untenable. Their fondest hope is that they can railroad him quickly, and douse public interest in the case.

    We can’t let that happen. Go here to find out how you can help free Bradley Manning – a patriot and a true soldier, who wouldn’t stand by silently while atrocities were committed in his name and under his flag.

  • Jon B

    Trans or not – and I find it kind of hard to believe he can be trans… If gays get beaten raped and killed in the military on occasion – releasing classified documents to the public is treachery. Anyone remember Valerie Plame? I’m sure everyone who thinks his actions were justified also thinks Dick Cheney et. al. were equally justified? Say what you want about the military, or the on going wars, but in order for it to be effective there must be deference to the rules. Releasing 50ish documents is absurd, and potentially deadly. For anyone planning on comparing this to the pentagon papers, it is not even comparable.

  • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

    @William:Absloute 100% Co-Sign. Because this asshat has some ties to the Gay community we are supposed to cheer him and his traitior ass on??? Shit like he pulled only adds fuel to the fire the strhaters use to burn against all things Gay. How the fcuk can anyone support his dangerous stupid acts???? Vile little piece of shit deserves to be shot

  • Juanita de Talmas

    The whole thing smells fishy. Why would a 22-year-old Private in Iraq have unfettered access to 250,000 pages of diplomatic cables so sensitive that they “could do serious damage to national security?” Why would he contact a total stranger, whom he randomly found from a Twitter search, in order to “quickly” confess to acts that he knew could send him to prison for a very long time, perhaps his whole life? And why would he choose to confess over the Internet, in an unsecured, international AOL IM chat, given the obvious ease with which that could be preserved, intercepted or otherwise surveilled? These are the actions of someone either unbelievably reckless or actually eager to be caught.

    Repeat after me: “innocent until proven guilty”

  • Plays Well With Yo' Momma

    We should be thankful for someone brave enough to expose governmental and corporate elites attempts to shroud their corrupt conduct behind an extreme wall of secrecy.

  • j

    @Juanita de Talmas: Absolute co sign, was just about to post something along these lines myself. How does someone so young have access to documents that would cause diplomats everywhere to shit themselves? He’s a private! He’s as likely as I am to get these documents unaided. And to release them in such a public matter over an unsecured IM to a complete stranger without even the slightest hint of trying to secure his annoyminity? Wake up, all of you.

  • Baxter

    @Juanita de Talmas: Ever hear of military intelligence? Yeah, me neither. The military is famous for assigning people with engineering skills to be cooks and people with cooking skills to be engineers. The idea that they’d put a bunch of classified documents into the hands of a 22 year old private really isn’t shocking to me.

  • Plays Well With Yo' Momma

    The idea that they’d put a bunch of classified documents into the hands of a 22 year old private really isn’t shocking to me.

    Then the idea that the military would classify something as “national security” when it is really clasified to cover-up wrong-doing shouldn’t shock you, either.

  • Joe

    Yeah, all these twats who keep saying he is a traitor need to remember that in this country, people are innocent until PROVEN guilty. And to the dipshit that compared this to the Dick Cheney/Valarie Palme case, have you ever taken a basic logic 101 class in college? The two cases aren’t even remotely analogous. Quit believing what the military spoon feeds you via the mainstream media.

  • Michael

    It takes a fanciful imagination to see a conspiracy here. Highly doubtful the Army would waste time in setting up a 22 year old private in such an elaborate scheme if their real motive was to have him discharged because of his purported sexuality. And look at the source of that wacky rumor – somebody who read something on “Boing Boing” expressing an opinion, passed around by another blog. Wow, must be true! The bottom line here is, the soldier knowingly disclosed documents he believed were classified, has been charged with a crime, and is facing trial, which could land him in jail. If anything, this reads more like somebody scripting a poorly plotted, really bad B movie.

  • Bill Perdue

    @William: @Steve: @PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS: @Jon B: You’re the same kind of jackasses who would have condemned the Minutemen at Concord and Lexington, John Brown at Harpers Ferry, Sitting Bull at the Little Big Horn, the miners union that went on strike during WWII and the hundreds of GI’s who fragged officers in Vietnam. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1Z3Y7AYiNY

    All of those people were heroes for going up against corrupt government and so is Pfc. Bradley E. Manning.

    There is only one reason why GIs and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians are endangered, often fatally, from Palestine to Pakistan. It’s because political hustlers like the Clintons, the Bushes and Obama sell their offices to the military industrial complex, the oil companies and anyone who has enough money. The four wars the US is currently engaged in are wars to control the flow of oil and other naturals resources. They have nothing to do with democracy or ‘national security’.

    Free Pfc. Bradley E. Manning

    Bring all the troops home now and cut funding for US satellite states in Iraq, Afghanistan and the zionist colony in Palestine.

    Convene an International War Crimes Tribunal

  • Bill Perdue

    @Dee: This comment is for William, Steve, Plays Well With No One, and Jon B.

    You’re the same kind of rigtwingers who would have condemned the Minutemen at Concord and Lexington, John Brown at Harpers Ferry, Sitting Bull, the miners who went on strike during WWII and the GI’s who fragged officers in Vietnam.

    All of those people were heroes for going up against corrupt government and so is Pfc. Bradley E. Manning.

    There is only one reason why GIs and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians are endangered, often fatally, from Palestine to Pakistan and that’s because political hustlers like the Clintons, the Bushes and Obama sell their offices to the military industrial complex, the oil companies and anyone who has enough money. The four wars the US is currently engaged in are wars to control the flow of oil and other naturals resources.

  • Bill Perdue

    Free Pfc. Bradley E. Manning

    Bring all the troops home now and cut funding for US satellite states in Iraq, Afghanistan and the zionist colony in Palestine.

    Convene an International War Crimes Tribunal

  • PaulC

    It seems plausible to me that there are hundreds of “intelligence” analysts who see and aggregate the raw feeds and raw data which are eventually cooked into reports read by much higher ups. The leaked documents in the Afghan case were low level documents not high level documents.

    It also seems frighteningly plausible to me that all plain text Internet-based communication in the domestic US is being monitored and filtered.

    I understand that exabytes of raw feeds are being collected, and I’m a bit dismayed that we can bust whistleblowers but can’t bust guys like Osama Bin Laden whose phone was once being tapped.

  • terry_truman

    Hey everybody. How’s everyone?

  • JillM

    Firing squad is what he deserves.

  • Leland

    This shim’s gender and mental disorders have threatened the lives of Americans, Afghans, Iraqis and innumerable others. This wasn’t whistle-blowing. He just dumped hundreds of thousands of documents that he hadn’t even read.

    He deserves to die by firing squad. And as he almost certainly had help, each of these aiders and abettors should be tried and executed.

    This murderous traitor should serve as a warning for gays and lesbians: Don’t be so quick to merge your name and your identity with people whose emotional and mental stability is very much in doubt.

  • truth_seeker

    The very thought that some of you are criticizing his efforts to bring the truth to light shows the contempt you have for justice and what is right. Second, you argue that his leaks are putting peoples lives in danger, as if that already isn’t the case! You live in a police state where speaking the truth is a crime, you are monitored and under constant surveillance. Your rights are slipping away before your very eyes! How many died on September the 11th? How many have died in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan? Why suppress the truth to protect the guilty? If you do that then you are complicit and guilty as well. You must have a moral crisis and you douchebags belong in hell for that.

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