back to article Manning was 'illegally punished', will get 112 days lopped off any sentence

US Army private Bradley Manning, who is accused of "aiding the enemy" by allegedly handing over classified Army documents to Wikileaks, will get 112 days cut from any prison sentence he could get if he's convicted on the charges. This is after a military judge ruled that Manning had been "illegally punished" in a Marine Corps …

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Wow...just....wow.

And need i ask what punishment youd meter out to the actual mastermind of the whole thing - Assange?

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But Assange

Wasn't a US citizen and member of their armed forces... Think of it like the cold war. A Russian "diplomat" who suborns one of your citizens is not a traitor, but the scientist who gives him documents is.

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Bull

No matter how you look at it, Manning though of leaking and contacted Wikileaks – not the reverse. Wikileaks did not know Manning existed. The most you can accuse Wikileaks is that they "gave him ideas".

Assange is still a dick, though.

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A traitor of a different hue

Howdy, ratfox.

What about the snitch who ratted out Manning. Now there's a hero and a half. Is he still grooming customers for busting today?

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Stop

Re: Bull

Assange is a dick.

Manning was naiive.

Leaking & publishing information about US war crimes and cynical diplomatic hypocrisy was the right thing to do.

Manning's treatment in custody is a deliberate form of pre-trial (i.e. extra-judicial) punishment and amounts to torture.

112 days remission does not make the US court martial system just and enlightened.

None of these statements are mutually exclusive.

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Re: Bull

I believe there's an allegation that Manning couldn't get all the data, even though he had access to other peoples' passwords, and that Julian Assange was helping him via IM. In which case Assange would be guilty of spying, i.e. complicit in the act of getting the data - which wouldn't be the case if Manning had got all the data himself and just handed it over to Wikileaks. But obviously I've no idea how reliable that is, I think it was something briefed to a BBC World Service journo that I heard last year - I'm not even sure if it was the prosecution or the defence side doing the briefing. Even then I don't know if Assange would have access to US journalism shield laws (are they Federal, or only in some States?), or some kind of public interest defence.

I don't remember there were any war crimes revealed by the Wikileaks stuff though. There certainly was a bit of diplomatic cynicism, but you'd have to be pretty fucking stupid not to realise that diplomats say different things in private to what they do in public. That is, after all, the definition of diplomacy. Diplomacy is going abroad to lie for your country.

As I recall the Afghan war logs didn't reveal anything much surprising. Plenty of civilian deaths, but none that were covered up. There was that video from the Apache helicopter that Assange called 'Collateral Murder', but the group that got shot at were carrying weapons. So even if the action was wrong, it would be unlikely to count as a war crime.

Obviously the treatment of Manning in pre-trial detention was unacceptable.

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Re: Bull

And I agree with all of them.

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@amanfromMars 1 - Re: A traitor of a different hue

What about the snitch who ratted out Manning. Now there's a hero and a half. Is he still grooming customers for busting today?

That's some odd terminology there (apart from the fact that it is unusually in the clear).

'Snitch' and 'ratted out' imply reprehensible conduct. Given that Manning, a US citizen, was responsible for a serious and massive breach of US security, the 'snitch' (also a US citizen, I believe) was quite right to turn him in.

That said, I agree with the general view that his treatment has been appalling at times, and those responsible ought to be held to account.

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Coat

Assange

I'd vote for the Nobel Peace Prize!

Dave

P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the alternative reality glasses in the pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A traitor of a different hue

@amanfromMars 1

you seem to got your universal translator fixed....

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Re: I'd vote for the Nobel Peace Prize!

That brings up an interesting possibility.

I could easily imagine many high ranking officials at the Pentagon getting their balls all twisted up if Manning were a current nominee for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Before a trial.

Would that change the zeal to crucify him??

I doubt it, the US military wants its example. Manning is it.

Now, imagine Manning getting convicted, and sentenced to a long prison term.

Now, imagine a Nobel Peace Prize nomination as a form of "protest" towards the USA?

That would go over like a shit filled balloon.

But go one step further, imagine the reaction if he won the fucking thing!!!!!!

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Megaphone

you sign away some constitutional rights when you join the military

To be honest the whole thing with Assange is lot worst than Manning. Yes Assange is a founding member of the Institute for Incorrigible Douchebaggery (long live Bill Maher) but it does sicken me to see Obama pulling a W Bush and from the shadows using illegal tactics that are only making him look like a martyr. Manning on the other hand took an oath and is subject to the USMJ and as such should not be looked at in the same way as say a civilian like Daniel Eisenberg. Still if they had a lot of true treason dirt on him we would have been sentenced already. I think a few more years of prison and dishonorable discharge should end the matter.

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None. He's not a US citizen. I want to wring his neck for endangering informants lives and drying up intelligence for quite a while, but he's not a US citizen.

As for Manning, he was trained at least once per year on what would happen if he divulged classified information. He only did it out of petty vengeance for his upcoming sad sack discharge after assaulting one female NCO and verbally abusing his other superior NCO's.

Still, the idiots where he was held did abuse his rights and dignity. That is unacceptable. Even if he were charged with mutiny, treason, sedition or espionage (all hold the same penalty for military personnel, death by lethal injection), he has rights and dignity.

So, he'll end up with 112 days subtracted from his mandatory life sentence in prison. Pity we don't know when he'd die and actually manage to accomplish that one.

Because, the penalty for his crimes does end up at life, meaning literally life, in prison, without possibility of parole.

It is just a shame that he never learned of personal responsibility and accept his punishment as it was doled out for misbehavior.

I did and retired as one up for promotion to Command Sergeant Major. Would've gotten it, but didn't really like a job that was largely logistics, rather than operations. And screwed up more than a few times in my early years in the military.

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Re: Bull

Can't agree more, though I consider Assange more of the opposite, a pussy for running from charges in a nation not very well known for warm relations with the US. And no extradition treaty as well, as I recall.

If anyone knows of such, please inform me of it.

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Re: A traitor of a different hue

No. The barely law abiding man is sitting rather well in the world, as he is rather good at black hat attacks against organizations, hence is contracted to help secure them.

I'll not call him a snitch. More, a law abiding citizen doing his civic duty.

But then, I've served in Afghanistan and Iraq. I know what went on there as a senior NCO. I also know that what Manning did went against an annual briefing against doing just what he did and explained the penalties.

I also know that his entire chain of command, from company XO to the brigade commander were responsible to see to it that his access to sensitive information was revoked upon his flagging for negative personnel actions. They didn't do their due diligence, so they're significantly culpable.

But, HE did what he did. Too bad for him.

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Re: So TankBoi-

As far as I can tell, the US citizenry rather likes the nation of involuntary bum sex in jail.

But then, I only was raised and lived for three decades in the US. The remainder was rather abroad and taught me interesting lessons.

Like how universal health care works far better than who can pay for health care works to ensure the general populace is healthy and productive.

I can only dream of European holiday time. :/

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Re: Bull

Let's get a few things straight.

Manning was repeatedly instructed on what to divulge and not divulge and what would happen if he failed to follow regulations on divulging classified information.

He was also pending discharge for his abusive treatment of a female superior and one male superior. AKA, insubordination.

His level of misbehavior created a condition to demand discharge under general or other than honorable conditions.

His revenge was the storage and release of massive amounts of classified information.

Of note, upon flagging personnel for deleterious personnel action, all access should have been removed by DoD and US Army regulations. So, due diligence wasn't observed.

Still, he knew what he'd be facing when he did what he did. He only didn't realize the level of packet level monitoring that is stored in the US DoD networks.

As far as his treatment, I don't consider it pre-judicial punishment as much as unprofessional behavior that should remove said men from their positions forever. Solitary confinement is the norm for those who release secrets, lest they further their crime amongst the fellow prisoners.

Stripping him after a joke is unprofessional, I suggest that MSG seek a career in the infantry. OK, it's not a suggestion....

Still, he violated his oath to secure classified information. Many were endangered, many intelligence sources evaporated, thanks to his release of names and places.

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Re: Bull

I also had the same level of access that he did. The difference was, I never considered harming my nation and the war effort by releasing that information to foreign interests for gain.

The gain in his case, vengeance over his repeated insubordination of lawful superiors, one female NCO and one male NCO.

The real failure was of his commander and all officers in the 2 shop chain, as once he was flagged for negative personnel actions, his access should have been immediately revoked.

His ACTUAL crime was espionage. A capital offense for military personnel, civilians only get the remainder of their life in prison.

As for the collateral murder nonsense, I'd have pulled the trigger as well. Men who had AK's and RPG's who previously had repeatedly engaged US forces are enemy combatants. Regardless of what idiot visits at the time. The time frame isn't that large to consider otherwise in a shooting war.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A traitor of a different hue

What about the snitch who ratted out Manning. Now there's a hero and a half. Is he still grooming customers for busting today?

We can start with the definition of a traitor, which makes Manning the traitor, and Lamo the reluctant hero. We can continue with the fact that Manning was not being specific in what he leaked to draw attention to a specific problem, he was simply throwing out data in bulk which removes any claim for whistle blowing (given what I head of motives it was a revenge action, which makes him a dick as well, but that's not illegal). Manning also informed Lamo of where this data was going, and that organisation is not exactly known for carefully considering possible collateral damage what it leaks either - argument number 3 for why Lamo had to shop him or live with his conscience.

However, all of that is trumped by crime number 4, which is giving Assange™ a platform to speak. That is a crime of global proportions and should not go unpunished - but the 112 days of "heavy" are enough for that. Actually no, send him back for some more (that's a joke - Assange™ should spend some quality time there thinking about abusing the innocence of people in general).

The laws are quite simple and clear on this point, and so is the definition of whistle blower which does not apply. The guy who gave him up is one of the good guys, but that's my personal opinion. WL supporters will most likely disagree as their project depends on naive people like Manning to stay in the headlines.

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Re: Bull

I suggest you read this - http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-115535 - and then lecture us on the existence or otherwise of extradition agreements between Sweden and the US.

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Stop

Re: you sign away some constitutional rights when you join the military

"Obama pulling a W Bush and from the shadows using illegal tactics that are only making him [Assange] look like a martyr."

Citation needed.

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FAIL

Re: you sign away some constitutional rights when you join the military

Citation needed.

This isn't Wikipedia. You don't need a citation to have an opinion.

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Re: Bull

I'd be more impressed if the court had ordered an investigation and prosecution on charges of torture of the people who made the decisions and carried out the orders regarding this. Leaving aside any merits of compensation for the treatment towards Manning, people who break the law when they're supposed to be the ones enforcing it are the worst kind of lawbreakers as they bring the sholw system into disrepute. Caeser's wife must be beynd reproach and if she isn't then she must have the book thrown at her.

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Anonymous Coward

Free him. He did right. He didn't help the enemy, he helped the public to see how evil the military are.

Now the truth about his treament would back the assertions that the military are evil.

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Wouldn't it be lovely if the world really were that morally uncomplicated...

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Amen brother. So lets see the US military is using money lent from China to keep evil 13th century f__ks from throwing acid in the face of little girls going to school in a country where they are not wanted all the while the homeland is running out of money and needing some national building itself. Whats so complicated lol?

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Unhappy

The poor bastard has already lost

Not in the sense of the trial but in what he was trying to achieve. He sure as hell didn't leak all that information "for the lulz" as most hackers are wont to do. He leaked it to try and get the military to be more open with its mistakes.

Now however, no-one in possession of a full set of marbles will try to leak military detail in future. "See that guy we locked up without trial and subjected to inhumane conditions? That's exactly what you'll get if you try and do what he did."

All the stuff about the trial is merely paperwork. The mesage has been made loud and clear.

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Re: The poor bastard has already lost

Military details consisted of messages from US embassies that revealed:

Pakistan might not be completely on our side helpful in dealing with muslim terrorists

Putin wields some power over the president in Russia

Israel might not be entirely sincere in seeking a political settlement with the Palestinians.

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Re: The poor bastard has already lost

Also bears known to have unclean toilet habits, and Pope has catholic sympathies

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It's all a bit moot

Compared to the sentence of several hundred years he'll likely get. And that assumes he doesn't take a bullet for his trouble.

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Re: It's all a bit moot

"And that assumes he doesn't take a bullet for his trouble."

The army don't shoot people for capital offences, and haven't in a long while. In fact NOBODY has ever been killed in peacetime for doing what he did.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The army don't shoot people for capital offences ...

you just equip anybody with a gun and let them shoot who they feel like, don't you

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Re: The army don't shoot people for capital offences ...

>you just equip anybody with a gun and let them shoot who they feel like, don't you

Thats the NRA's and their main financial backers the gun maker industry wet dream and sadly Florida and other states already have this with the stand your ground laws. Funny another place also has this called Somalia and in general its not a real nice place.

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Re: The army don't shoot people for capital offences ...

@asdf - That is a completely dishonest misrepresentation of stand your ground laws. All stand your ground laws do is allow you to defend yourself with lethal force. Most states that have them require that you have a legitimate reason to fear for your life before you resort to lethal force, and even then you can usually expect to spend some time in jail while the police sort out exactly what happened except in the most obvious cases. It's a far cry from a license to shoot whoever you feel like shooting.

If you want strict gun control then you're welcome to your opinion, but please leave the fear mongering at the door. We're getting way too much of that from the media right now as is.

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Re: The army don't shoot people for capital offences ...

Stand your ground laws are a defense attorney's wet dream. My client felt threatened so he went to his car to get his gun. Case dismissed. Want a study showing its nothing but the NRA pushing laws that benefit their main supporters the gun industry here you go. And for the record I am against gun control but I am also for getting rid of any laws written by that right wing corporate evil organization that is ALEC like stand your ground that exist only to kill or harm people for greater profits. Like I said countries where everyone must have guns to be safe generally are not considered developed countries.

http://econweb.tamu.edu/mhoekstra/castle_doctrine.pdf

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's all a bit moot

And that assumes he doesn't take a bullet for his trouble.

AFAIK, as long as he stays away from shopping malls and schools that won't be an issue..

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Rumsfeld's Genie

It looks like the reality of torture is that it's OK as long as the target is guilty!

Of course, a trial is a minor detail. That seems to defy the US Constitution just a bit.

What should we have next? How about we vote for hanging using Twitter? Heck, we don't even need the trial. We can do that on Twitter, too.

I hope the President forces the military to arrest and try the officers who ordered this. Perhaps we can vote on them using Twitter too.

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Big Brother

Re: Rumsfeld's Genie

Due process is so quaint though. Why simply ignore the Constitution when you can go back even further and ignore the Magna Carta (you know the basis of western law) and make 11th century monarchs look democratic? We are at war with Eurasia(terrorists) we have always been at war with Eurasia.

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his only real crime is that he got caught.

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His only realy crime

I think you'll find that handing out classified documents to people not legally allowed to have access to is kinda up there with it...

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Re: His only realy crime

I think Danny was referring to the Eleventh Commandment.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: His only realy crime

I thought the eleventh commandment was "Never cross a picket line", a Mr A Skargill told me that.

On a more real note, the eleventh commandment is actually: "Love your neighbour as yourself."

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Re: His only realy crime

10 INPUT: On a more real note, the eleventh commandment is actually: "Love your neighbour as yourself."

20 INPUT: Covet not thy neighbour's ass

>RUN

>Syntax error. Redo from start

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Mushroom

Geneva Convention

Does this only apply to enemy soldiers?

Surely some of mannings treatment breaches it.

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Re: Geneva Convention

Yep, only enemy soldiers... though the US Constitution bit about 'cruel and unusual punishment' went out of the window with the electric chair. If you must execute people, use a guillotine- far quicker and doesn't require a skilled axe-man.

It's a bit like the right to bear arms being dependant upon US not having a standing army... talk about cherry-picking.

As a document, it seems to be as creatively interpreted as the Bible.

In the word of Bill Hicks on the 'Christian' Right: ""I think what Jesus meant to say..." ... I never had that self confidence"

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Unhappy

US executions ...

The rejected the guillotine because they felt bodily integrity was important. And after the revolution they were desperate to come up with a method of execution which wasn't hanging - hanging being associated with the evil british overlords they had just dumped.

Personally it's harder to think of a more cruel and unusual punishment than the electric chair. But with the gas chamber and lethal injection someone managed it.

The irony is we managed to get hanging to a fine art - possible to get a prisoner from bed to dead in just under 10 seconds.

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Re: US executions ...

possible to get a prisoner from bed to dead in just under 10 seconds.

Not with me it wouldn't be. It takes more than 10 seconds for me to even notice my alarm is going off in the morning. And that's when I'm looking forward to whatever I'm planning to do that day...

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IT Angle

@JimmyPage

It's a bit of just-so-stories that superficially make sense but are completely generated by digital-rectal manipulation, no? For instance, "after the revolution" so say 1776 they didn't want hanging so they chose the electric chair --- somewhere end of 19th century as electricity wasn't big yet...

So you're pretending there weren't executions for a good hundred year? No "String 'em high!" etc etc in Wild West settings etc?

In summary, no, the electric chair wasn't chosen to distinguish themselves from the English. I have no idea whether any of your other arguments have a stronger foundation or are similarly pulled out from a dark place. (And as for an earlier post by you, no mention of bears in the cables.)

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