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back to article Private Manning keeps mum at Wikileaks plea hearing

WikiLeaks suspect Private Bradley Manning declined to enter a plea on Thursday at the start of his court martial over charges that he had handed over reams of US Army classified data to the website, AP reported from the court. The 24-year-old was formally charged with 22 counts in the court appearance, including aiding the enemy …

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Meh

Report war crimes, yes

but what about the OTHER 699,999 documents?

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Stop

"what about the OTHER 699,999 documents"

What about the need to label every fart with a confidential sticker? Secrecy should be the exception, not the norm, in a democratic society.

Hence every whistleblower should be applauded unless he maliciously endangers somebody. The US military doesn't like world+dog to see the video of innocent children being shot? Well, it's part of their war and it was about time the voting public saw the darker side of that war.

Read Daniel Ellsbergs book on the Pentagon Papers if you want to get some insight into the weird world of power-drunk men trying to fool their country via secrecy and deception.

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Re: "what about the OTHER 699,999 documents"

"What about the need to label every fart with a confidential sticker? Secrecy should be the exception, not the norm, in a democratic society."

Because a lot of information can be gained by putting together pieces of seemingly innocuous data. If you know everything surrounding a secret then you've a much better chance of working out what is restricted.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Report war crimes, yes

Please show me one document published by Wikileaks that showed an actual war crime?

Did War crimes occur within the combat zones of Iraq and Afghanistan? Yes.

It happens in every conflict. I doubt you can find a modern day war were a war crime didn't occur during the conflict.

But none of the reported war crimes or criminal activity in a combat zone was ever uncovered by the release of data from Wikileaks. Nothing sinister or remotely 'whistleblowing' occurred.

Even the edited video from the Gun ship didn't show anything remotely being a war crime.

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Re: Re: "what about the OTHER 699,999 documents"

"Because a lot of information can be gained by putting together pieces of seemingly innocuous data. If you know everything surrounding a secret then you've a much better chance of working out what is restricted."

Of course, there's a rather sizable difference between "that which is restricted because knowing it would aid a legitimate enemy to stage a real attack" and "that which is restricted because it would embarrass and humiliate those in power." Seems to me that much of the "restricted" information that was leaked properly belongs in the latter category, not the former.

"The brass would be embarrassed if the public knew what utter muppets they are" is hardly, in my view, a compelling reason to classify something.

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Re: Re: Re: "what about the OTHER 699,999 documents"

""The brass would be embarrassed if the public knew what utter muppets they are" is hardly, in my view, a compelling reason to classify something."

The US would have a very small percentage of the state secrets it currently has if everyone shared that view.

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Big Brother

Re: Re: Report war crimes, yes

Here you go, a decent analysis of the documents contents; including reports of action that are held as war crimes under a whole range of conventions; let alone common morality.

Please be aware that this video is censured in several countries including the USA and may not be viewable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=METSuKyY-t4&feature=related

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Re: Re: Re: Report war crimes, yes

Sorry, but no.

History proves that you're full of it. Going back to WW II, when war crimes are committed, the truth gets out.

Notice that I'm not denying that war crimes occur. History shows this to be true in every combat action / War.

What I am saying is that Wikileaks has not uncovered anything remotely close to being a war crime.

Veteran reporters went through the leaked material and found nothing. If a war crime had been uncovered, they would have been all over it.

Manning screwed himself and for what? He got played by Assange.

I feel sorry for Manning. He is just one of the casualties from Assange feeding his ego among other things...

Oh and look at Assange's current news partners.... Very telling...

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Anonymous Coward

"emotionaly troubled and shouldn't of been given access...."

I agree, emotional people which is everybody who is not a robot should not be given access to classified data were they are able to download onto removable media. People who are given access to classified data that is alowed to copied onto removable media should be called secure routers.

Though what is the definition of classified and what levels are there. What levels of classified data was leaked? Have to ask as say the private mobile number of a general will not be as classified as the codes for nucluer warheads.

Either way, he's in the USA so he just needs to take the 5th every opertunity he gets and pretend he has piles. He did it, he know's he did it and they know he did it, beyond the font used for the word guilty there isn't much left to do on this. Only defence he could possibly get is if some of the `classified details` showed war crimes, and then he may just be able to cut some deal with the Hauge lot. But the life of a informer, nomatter the side of right you take is still a dusty path of moral compromises.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "emotionaly troubled and shouldn't of been given access...."

I love how you've already tried and convicted him. Based on what evidence exactly?

It's too bad lowly soldiers don't get the same kind of protection from the law higher-ups get. It's not like we know any president who was widely reported to have allowed torture, but never had to stand trial over it.

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Re: Re: "emotionaly troubled and shouldn't of been given access...."

"...Either way, he's in the USA so he just needs to take the 5th..."

Not in a military court.

"It provides for an exception, however, regarding cases arising from military forces or the militia during a time of war or extenuating circumstances that require their employment."

http://constitution.laws.com/american-history/constitution/constitutional-amendments/5th-amendment

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Re: Re: Re: "emotionaly troubled and shouldn't of been given access...."

Thank you, this I was not aware of, though makes perfect sence.

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Re: "emotionaly troubled and shouldn't of been given access...."

You mean "Emotionally troubled and everyone should have listened to his case worker when he was in the discharge unit". He was unfit for service, and definitely unfit to be deployed.

At the end of the day, this is moral retribution to the US AFAIK. They need to review their recruitment and retention policies.

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@PXG...you're quite welcome.

Yep. You can't have Democracy in the mititary.

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FAIL

Re: Re: "emotionaly troubled and shouldn't of been given access...."

He can be unfit for service and still know the difference between right and wrong. And he must have known what he was doing was wrong, otherwise he wouldn't have snuck the info out on a thumbdrive and given it to A$$nut, he would have gone straight to the press.

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Re: Re: Re: "emotionaly troubled and shouldn't of been given access...."

Was it wrong?

Is it really that wrong for us to know what the is military is up to?

Is it really that wrong for us to know that for all their tech they can't tell the difference between a video camera, and multiple ak47s and RPGs?

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Re: Re: Re: Re: "emotionaly troubled and shouldn't of been given access...."

What I think is wrong is your attitude that the US troops have to wait until their fellow soldiers have been attacked and probably killed before you think it is alright for the US troops to open fire. The chopper followed the RoE, something obviously far too complex for you to understand. If they hadn't all the (real) journos would have been frothing all over it.

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WTF?

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "emotionaly troubled and shouldn't of been given access...."

They followed the rules, sure. But I'm yet to hear a single person honestly say they think the can see weapons in that video - except the aircraft crew of course.

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "emotionaly troubled and shouldn't of been given access...."

LOL, I'm betting your definition of "honest" is "agrees with my POV".

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Re: "emotionaly troubled and shouldn't of been given access...."

"He can be unfit for service and still know the difference between right and wrong."

The difference between whose 'right and wrong,' Matt? Our f**ked up Congress? Justices Thomas and Scalia? President Bush who knew there were WMD in Iraq because the CIA told him there were, until, poof, they weren't there?

Or maybe you mean a moral 'right and wrong'? In which case Manning probably was right.

I look forward to your rancor free response.

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Re: Re: "emotionaly troubled and shouldn't of been given access...."

"....President Bush who knew there were WMD in Iraq because the CIA told him there were, until, poof, they weren't there...." Ignoring, that is, the fact that, when the Iraqis signed up to the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2009, they declared they had found "...."two bunkers with filled and unfilled chemical weapons munitions, some precursors, as well as five former chemical weapons production facilities...." That's in addition to anything found by the UN under Resolution 1441 prior to the invasion (despite the Iraqis obstructing them every step of the way), and also in addition to the 500+ chemical weapons found in Iraq by the Coallition. By the way, Saddam kept claiming he had destroyed all his chem weapon stocks, precursors and manufacturing capability post-'91. But you go on claiming there was no chem weapons at all in Iraq if you like.

And what do WMDs have to do with Manning? Nothing. More distraction, more avoidance, more fail.

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Coffee/keyboard

"life in prison" vs "150 years in jail" - what to choose... what to choose....

Esc = get me outa here!

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A question floating in my head, how one can steal public property?

If it is public property, then aren't you able to take it - as you are part of the public?

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Easily

Owned by the public (and even that's a simplistic view), *not* an individual. You don't own it as such, but if you did you'd own a very small proportion of it.

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WTF?

Pathetic Excuses

"The soldier's defence lawyers are claiming that he was emotionally troubled and shouldn't have been given access to classified data."

Translation:

It's the USA's fault for giving classified access to someone who will leak classified documents.

Hey, let's open up the jails and let everyone loose! After all, it's society's fault for putting someone in society who could be a criminal! Not their fault they mugged your grandmother!

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Re: Pathetic Excuses

That is what happened after the Russian 'revolution' (actually the Mensheviks won, but the Bolsheviks took them by force, effectively), when rapists, murderers & etc. were released, whilst monks, nuns etc. were imprisoned. Society was to blame you see, and of course the religious were 'society'.

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Re: Pathetic Excuses

Hang on BillG.

Manning was in a Discharge Unit. The US Army was going to effectively FIRE him before they deployed him.

Why was he there - mental issues!

They *knowingly* put a mentally and emotionally troubled kid in this situation. Natural Justice as far as I see it.

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Facepalm

Re: Re: Pathetic Excuses

".....Why was he there - mental issues!...." OK, let him plead insanity then and spend life in solitary a padded cell.

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@ Matt

So the fact that the US army sent someone they knew wasn't up to the job to war and put him in possession of classified materials doesn't bother you at all?

Cos it sure as hell bothers me. If they put someone like that in charge of their secrets, how crazy is the guy who fires the mislsles?

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Re: @ Matt

Chad, I'm betting you haven't a clue as to what the US military classifies as "up to the job" in either wartime or peacetime service, or even have the nouse to grasp that the former has a much lower threshold. In times of deployment, you need trained personnel and may not have the time to replace those that are not 100% up to the job, so you are forced to use those you would not normally want to. Then you also have the drop in recruitment that any war brings as activists run around shrieking at all and sundry; "Don't enlist or we'll call you a baby-killer!" I don't know how long it would take to train someone for Manning's role but I bet it wasn't a five minute task, and the lack of a trained replacements was probably the only reason Manning lasted as long in the job as he did.

Next time, try actually thinking about the situation before shrieking.

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Re: Re: @ Matt

I did think about the situation Matt.

Everyone who knew this kid said BAD IDEA.

You can scream manpower shortages all you like, you put someone with issues in a sensitive position that all of the experts say he shouldn't be in, you reap what you sow.

Surely there was someone else, at home, in a less sensitive position that manning could have subbed for. Someone who wanted to be there, was wanted by the army, and was willing and able to do the job.

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Re: Re: Re: @ Matt

".....Everyone who knew this kid said BAD IDEA....." Plenty of soldiers come to the forces with "bad" backgrounds, some quite troubled, and turn out perfectly good servicemen (and women). The review boards and rules that Manning went through weren't invented for him, they have been around for ages in an effort to help the US forces spot and retrain or remove problem soldiers. In peacetime, Manning would probably have been kicked out of the forces and then dwindled away into obscurity. It's his and his country's bad fortune that he was needed in-theatre.

"....You can scream manpower shortages all you like...." I'm not screaming, but there seems to be plenty of shrieking and wailling from the Manning/A$$nut supporters. And shortages in skilled soldiers are a real worry, not something I've made up. The stretch of campaigns in both Afghanistan and Iraq was a serious problem, with many Marine units operating at less than 85% of the expected levels of manpower. They probably would have loved to bin a loser like Manning earlier, it's just need overtook desire.

".....Surely there was someone else, at home, in a less sensitive position that manning could have subbed for...." Again, you assume. I suspect the fact that they were scraping the barrel with the likes of Manning demonstrates there is a serious recruitment problem.

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Happy

Re: Re: Re: Re: @ Matt

Matt

I meant to ask you this before: Do you consider yourself a jingoist or just a chauvinist? Knowing that can help me reply to your posts in the future. :-)

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Re: Re: Re: Re: @ Matt

When his caseworker says he should be out and not deployed and is so outraged when they find out about it they start yelling at the folks in charge, then Matt yes, I think scraping the bottom of the barrell is the only logical explanation.

Dress it up however you like - every expert on manning said bad idea. You ignore the experts, you deserve what you get.

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Re: Re: Re: Re:Re: @ Matt

Well, LG, I consider myself as someone that can actually post a POV about a forum topis, whereas you appear to be some whining Greenie that can't talk about anything other than PO, repeat rediculous consipracy theories, and take mind-damaging drugs. Please tell me when you're likely to ever post a reply with some relevance? Better still would be if you managed a reply with some orignality and actual insight, not just regurgitation of spoonfed soundbites. I'm not holding my breath.

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Happy

Re: Re:@ Matt

Matt, if you read anything here besides your own comments (Fail. Fail. Fail. I know it's you when I see that icon.), you would know that I was light years ahead of everybody on the Proview Apple trade mark story. I intuited that China did not have Wall Street's enlightened view on dummy corporations. Otoh, you love the word dummy. Birds of a feather etc..

If you would stop looking in the mirror for a second, I was the one who first posted the link to the article that Apple bought the fatal trademark from Proview Taiwan, who did not own it. And, in the teeth of a force of fanbois, I predicted a 9 figure settlement. The High Court, from whom there is no appeal, has made it clear they expect the two sides to settle, as the Court adjourned sine die.

If you were as smart as you think you are, you'd climb on board my group, read what I say and then repeat it instead of citing Palin and Bachman and spouting your ad hominem circumstantial retorts.

But you're not completely bereft of talent. You seem to be good at whistling in the graveyard. And like Scheherazade you seem to be able to keep your worthless stories going, maybe not for 1001 nights, but longer than they deserve.

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Re: Re:Re: Matt

Yeah, right, so to show your "originality" in a forum about Private Manning and his trial, you go on about repeating someone else's article (how is that original?) in a thread regarding the latest Apple patent tantrum? Congrats on your interest in baiting fanbois, but that's not quite on par with the type of material being discussed here, this is a case of international import and there is a young man's liberty in question.

Whilst I'm quite happy on the evidence available to see Manning go down for a long stretch, I find it concerning that those that pretend to have his interests at heart cannot do anything other than repeat the same soundbites ad infinitum. I scratch the surface of your non-arguments and it's thinner than the skin on custard. I present counters and you run off to a "safer" topic, like Peak Oil. Either you have the attention span of a goldfish, a terminal case of ADHD, or you really are a glaring example of the dangers of habitual drug use and it's dulling of the intellect. Whilst I have respect for those that can provide a reasoned argument for Manning's actions, those that can debate the issue with intelligence, his "supporters" here seem unable to do so, usually just parading Manning as some sort of mascot for their political beliefs without actually having any real concern for the man. And you seem to be one of the worst.

Just for fun, please do link to any post where I cite "Palin and Bachman", seeing as I'm quite unfamiliar with the workings of either. Oh, I see - someone spoonfed you that line to regurgitate as what you and your faux intellectual mates would consider a "smart putdown". Was it to replace the much overused "Fox News" one you whiners used to trot out every five minutes? Again, not seeing any originality in your postings. Please do try and post something original and either informative or reasoned to try and sway my conviction that Manning deserves to go to a military prison for life, it would seem quite an important subject and worthy of a little effort on your part.

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Dear tribunal

As far as you're concerned he's a criminal. As far as I'm concerned he's a hero. He took the chance and now he's paying. Poor fucking sod.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dear tribunal

Nice one on the thumbs-down, dimwit.

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Re: Dear tribunal

as far as I'm concerned, he's a mentally troubled victim. Get him help, poor fucking sod.

Then bring the moron who thought it was a good idea to pull him out of his discharge unit and send him to Iraq into the dock, and lets see some real justice done.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Dear tribunal

Victim of what? Of whom? On what evidence do you base your conclusion?

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Every minute.

"The aiding the enemy charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, while the other counts carry a combined maximum of more than 150 years in jail."

And he deserves every minute of it.

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Re: Every minute.

Really, what did he do that was so bad?

Name one enemy that was "aided" - The American Public, aided in their voting choices perhaps?

The Idiot who sent a guy in a discharge unit to war, aided in seeing why he's an idiot?

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Re: Every minute.

For leaking documents that embarrassed the goverment? You must be joking. It's not as if anything he leaked led to a single death, or even any additional difficulties for troops on the ground.

Should he serve some time? Maybe, but he's already served it. In fact, an unconscionable amount of it was in solitary confinement. Time to let the poor guy go. Life plus 150 years for being a whistle blower is just not good for society. Do that and the next time we need a whistle blower there won't be one willing to risk it.

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WTF?

Shame...

25 years for murder (if you are unlucky), let off in 16 to 20

150 years for releasing documents and videos that show how big a bunch of a**holes the people in your government really are. Simply not fair or just.

I wonder how this would have been handled if this were a British case - I seriously doubt we would know anything about it. Bradley will be made an example to other would-be whistle blowers.

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WTF?

699,999 documents.

Has any one here read more than 500? 400? 300? 200?

Just askin'.

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Re: 699,999 documents.

I have.

Most of it is dross and routine reporting, in order to get at the interesting stuff you need decent search algorithims and an awareness that searching for specific terms will yield specific results which, as always, can be used to serve a specific agenda whether for or against.

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"Judge, isn't a soldier required to report a war crime?"

Obama must be one of the most venal characters ever to be elected president.

He swore to uphold the law but instead he kills American citizens without due process, he tramples on peoples rights - he is at least as bad as Bush Junior but he had a excuse, he was dumb.

The American Bar Association should strip Obama of his appointment for he is unfit to be even a lawyer. Especially as many people think there is no lower life form than a lawyer.

Te Marines are just as dumb subjecting Manning to months of torture in a prison near Washington.

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