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back to article WikiLeaker Bradley Manning found not guilty of 'aiding the enemy'

In a surprise verdict, US Army Private Bradley Manning has been found not guilty of the serious charge of "aiding the enemy" by a military court, but still faces over a century behind bars after being found guilty of 20 other charges. Bradley Manning in court Manning at the court. Credit: Patrick Semansky AP "While we are …

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Black Helicopters

No great surprise...

I think it's good that he has been acquitted of the most serious charge, but the length of the sentence he gets for the other "offences" will hopefully not be anywhere near the maximum permitted.

On a separate note, I don't think that sighting people up from your circling helicopter, then pressing the "kill the terrorists" button, can by any stretch of the imagination be called accidental!

Justice? We've heard of it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No great surprise...

Not surprised either. I've been expecting them to be "surprisingly" lenient too. The whole spectacle reeks of "show trial". Me suspects it's all just a PR exercise in demonstrating "American justice" to the world in the hope of manufacturing enough credibility to get their claws into Snowden, Assange™ and the like.

They'll quietly fit him up with 250 years of extraordinary interrogation for trying to steal his own property or somesuch, once he's been forgotten.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No great surprise...

> On a separate note, I don't think that sighting people up from your circling helicopter, then pressing the "kill the terrorists" button,

So you have only seen the edited version then. You didn't see the RPGs and AK47s, or the incidents where the pilots held off firing because of non-combatants.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No great surprise...

The military justice system and the civil justice system are entirely different. This trial has nothing to do with civil justice.

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"Accident"?

Yeah, ripping up a van containing dead bodies and children, then sneering about it, was an "accident".

Honest.

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WTF?

Re: No great surprise...

thats an unbeliveable statement to make. At the time 06-07 in Baghdad, there were something like 3000 bodies turning up a month with many extra holes in them and you can't quite figure out why they are walking around with AKs' and RPGs.

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Anonymous Coward

Well, I'm glad he didn't get found guilty of Aiding the enemy, I wonder if all the "there will be no justice for Bradly", "They'll find him guilty of everything and throw the book at him" lot will calm some of their wilder accusations about US Military justice?

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Gold badge

Depends; 100+ years of prison isn't justice. He done wrong. He broke his oath. But it was done in the service of the greater good.

One of the things any modern military trains its officers to understand is ethics; that sometimes you *must* disobey orders. You are also taught that you will still face consequences for doing so as the chain of command is critical to the proper functioning of any military. Each situation is complex and needs to be examined on a case-by-case basis.

That said, given the details as the public is aware of them I could not condone more than 10 years of jail time for Manning's "crime." I would ideally like to see it at 5 years; enough to hurt, but not enough to ruin the man's life.

He killed noone. He endangered noone. Experts have verified this. He did wrong, but for the right reasons. "Justice" in this case will depend on your cultural moores and political beliefs. That said, I still doubt that what will occur will be considered "justice" by most.

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@Trevor Pott

Exactly.

The highest authority to which anyone is accountable is his own conscience.

It should be crystal clear, to anyone with even an ounce of decency, who is right in this case, regardless of military regulations or law.

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@ Trevor Pott

"He killed noone. He endangered noone. Experts have verified this. He did wrong, but for the right reasons. "Justice" in this case will depend on your cultural moores and political beliefs. That said, I still doubt that what will occur will be considered "justice" by most."

Agree with you 100%.

As we all know, Manning committed the most heinous crime of them all; embarrassing the US Guvmint. Gary McKinnon travelled this same path not long ago...

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Pint

Sometimes you have to sacrifice what you hold dear for what you see as a greater good. Soldiers agree to make the ultimate sacrifice, as a desk-bound officer you could say he's made the next greatest sacrifice to lose probably the next 40 years of his liberty to ensure people started talking rather than simply swallowing our leaders so called version of the truth.

If you think mordern warfare is simply about one army fighting another over territory or resources you're sadly mistaken, head over to Vimeo and watch John Pilger's documentary "The War You Don't See".

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Re: @ Trevor Pott

"He killed noone. He endangered noone" - yeah but was that was blind luck. He stole 700,000 odd reports and cables, there's no way he could have checked each one, and he just handed it over to a foreign agency (wikileaks) - sure they say they checked nothing sensitive was published but that's besides the point.

While I think the way he's been treated is pretty abohorrent, I still think he's guilty. I'd have a little more sympathy if he had just exposed what he thought was evidence of war crimes and not just dumped everything he could get his hands on.

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Anonymous Coward

The hyphen is feeling left out

Dear thread,

The inclusion of a hyphen in many cases is a very good aid in getting across the meaning intended rather that something entirely different.

No-one

So-called

Punctuation serves a purpose. Use it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The hyphen is feeling left out

Poor noone. All the bad things seem to happen to her.

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Trollface

Should be quite safe on length of sentence

It's alright, the war criminals responsible for the torture in Abu Ghraib only got 5-7 years, others guilty of killing innocent civilians have received less. Surely there is no way Manning's crimes were remotely as serious or harmful to US interests than any of those, so presumably he'll get a way shorter sentence.

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Anonymous Coward

By my count he's still looking at 71 years in prison, which is as good as life. This is not justice. This is not right. The man did what he did to reveal war crimes that would have otherwise gone unknown in perpetuity. If servicemen who are witness to or otherwise aware of war crimes can be thrown in jail for the rest of their lives for revealing the criminals to the only authority able to do anything about it (the American public in this case) then our society is in very dire straights indeed.

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Anonymous Coward

We do not know the duration yet, but this is justice. You are not the judge, you do not have access to all the facts, you comments are baseless.

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Anonymous Coward

You comment does not make sense.

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Pretty remarkable "justice"

He's facing potentially over 100 years in prison. By contrast, if I recall, one person has served a total of 6 months in jail for the wide variety of significant crimes Manning exposed.

It's kind of too bad that he did not work with a competent attorney to legally target specific military officials and defense contractors for fraud and corruption. He probably would have stayed out of jail, and with American fraud whistleblower rewards, he could have earned himself some significant money.

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Re: Pretty remarkable "justice"

I thought the Nuremberg trials said that "Just following orders" was no defence for war crimes... So it should follow that reporting war crimes can't be a crime.

Disgusting, but unfortunately normal, service from the US legal system.

Poor bugger.

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DJO
Bronze badge

Re: Pretty remarkable "justice"

I think you'll find that if you are a witness then not reporting a war crime is a criminal offence as well, just have to work out which you're more likely to get away with. This would be international law that the US routinely ignores so for a US serviceman the safer option is clear.

"Military Justice", just as much an oxymoron as "Military Intelligence"

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Black Helicopters

Re: Pretty remarkable "justice"

"Mandrake, you'll have to answer to the Coca Cola company!"

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What about the war criminals ?

OK: the have found Manning guilty, what about the war criminals who he exposed - when will they put them on trial ? I note that they are still chasing people from World War II, so the stuff that Manning exposed cannot be too old can it ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What about the war criminals ?

Blair, Bush, Galloway, Rumsfeld, Obama.... a very long list.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

Re: What about the war criminals ?

Seconded.

Dear USA,

Please secure the extradition of notorious war criminal Tony B Liar from the UK to the US for trial in accordance with the terms of the US-NeoLabour extradition agreement. The Extradition Act 2003.

Thankin you kindly.

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Unhappy

The opposite of the Nuremberg Defence

The Nuremberg Principle IV states "The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."

Manning has been found guilty of not blindly following orders.

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His plea bargains, based on that rap sheet

add up to a total maximum of 20 years.

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Unhappy

accidental killing ... by a US helicopter gunship

There's accidents , there's reckless homicide and there's murder for 'fun'.

Clip (with crucial audio)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogFZlRiTHuw

Why aren't these guys facing a Military tribunal?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: accidental killing ... by a US helicopter gunship

Not for me thanks. Still remember the clips of heroic US/Blackwater heroes driving through town spraying shoppers with automatic gunfire while whooping and cackling at their own awesomeness, quite vividly enough, thank you.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

To find Manning guilty of a capital offence and execute him would have made the guy a folk hero, letting him rot in a prison would not. It was the only verdict that they could come up with.

The torture in the marine prison, the private meetings between judge and prosecution in which the defence was barred sings out rigged. It was rigged and only an idiot would think otherwise.

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Just the honey before the poison

They can then claim he received justice because he was found not guilty of the most serious charge... before hitting him with a life without parole prison term.

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Anonymous Coward

Here's hoping that

Manning ends up serving about two years, and when the entire US Government collapses (which it will) he gets freed and shortly thereafter becomes the next US President, a la "Nelson Mandela in South Africa" .

Sooner or later the idiots in the Government who caused this mess aka the "War on Terror" and "War on Drugs" that has cost millions of lives needlessly and doomed millions more to a lifetime of penal servitude will face their comeuppance at the hands of the people they have betrayed

AC.

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Good, toss his dumb butt into stir. And get him out of that uniform, he doesn't deserve to wear it.

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Happy

LOL @ the sheeple!

What, you've all suddenly remembered Manning? You lot have an attention span that would embarrass goldfish.

First off, a quick recap for those bleating about "war crimes" - the only war crime "revealed" by Manning or Dickileaks was the use of a mosque as a base by the "militia" that the Apache crew quite legally and correctly engaged and killed. Oh, and the chopper crew have already been investigated and cleared. As for the actual Apache attack, this was public knowledge and had already been in the press looooooong before Dickileaks massively edited it for the sheeple, who all seem to have been asleep up until then. Presumably following current affairs was just too challenging for them.

And what else did Dickileaks and Manning "reveal"? SFA. Manning threw his life away in a tantrum at the military, egged on by Assnut, and all for what? Some mildly embarrassing embassy gossip. Wow, what a blow for freedom - not!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: LOL @ the sheeple!

"Manning threw his life away in a tantrum at the military, egged on by Assnut, and all for what? "

Are you suggesting Assange (tm) is complicit in the crime?

You have a reference for some evidence that might support this assertion?

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Bronze badge

Re: LOL @ the sheeple!

"Sheeple" again, matt?

And providing more of your "facts"? Coming from you, who would deny the colour of his socks if it suited his argument. Whereas most others are interested in discovering some underlying aspect of reality, your posts are merely about bigging yourself up. You love the downvotes, it proves you've been noticed.

Us, sheeple? From you who wants more electronic state surveillance because it makes you feel more secure? Because you have real trouble distinguishing what's morally right from what's legally prescribed?

Head down to the grass matt, and get busy. The farmer likes 'em fat.

(a2bfaea7a0066ef3bc7a775c3d82d15d)

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Boffin

Re: AC Re: LOL @ the sheeple!

".....Are you suggesting Assange (tm) is complicit in the crime?

You have a reference for some evidence that might support this assertion?" In court it was shown that Manning had been in communication with A$$nut for a considerable period during which the material was collected (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/12/manning-assange-laptop/). It seems neither A$$nut or Manning were as good at covering their tracks as their egos thought they were. So it does look like Manning did not just collect it all and then, on a whim, drop it on Dickileaks, as claimed by the sheeple, A$$nut was in on it from the start. And when A$$nut gets his turn in court, it will be very hard for him to avoid the charge of aiding the enemy given his documented comments on not redacting the identities of informers. Enjoy!

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FAIL

Re: BlueGreen Re: LOL @ the sheeple!

".....And providing more of your "facts"? ....." And yet you cannot counter them, again. Yet again. Instead, we get more of the typical shrieking and bleating from a true member of The Faithful, completely void of any form of reasoned argument. Not really a surprise.

".....Whereas most others are interested in discovering some underlying aspect of reality...." Oh, that did make me laugh! The Crazyhorse chopper attacks on July 12th 2007 had been previously reported in the press, indeed it was the US local command that announced the news that two Reuters journos had got caught up in the attack on the very day it happened, so the claim that the US tried to hide it all away is simply male bovine manure. Reuters had a very public and noisy go at the US for killing their journos, neatly avoiding the question of why their journos were working with active "militia", were not wearing their Press vests, and had not notified the US that they would be in the area, and were on such friendly terms with said "militia" that they accompanied them to film attacks on US personnel. The events were even covered in another journo's book, Dave Finkel's "The Good Soldiers", long before the "Collateral Murder" edit made its appearance. So it seems your "interest in discovering some underlying aspect of reality" simply means you knew SFA about the copious and varied sources of information already out there, you just waited for Dickileaks to spoonfed you a highly edited and misleading point of view and want to claim that makes you "informed". Truly sad.

".....From you who wants more electronic state surveillance because it makes you feel more secure?...." Having travelled the World, especially the Middle East, I'd have to answer yes. You very obviously speak from a position of zero experience and knowledge, and your "thinking" amounts to nothing more than parroting whatever someone else tells you is "cool".

".....Because you have real trouble distinguishing what's morally right from what's legally prescribed?...." That's hilarious when your only criteria for "moral" seems to be what you hear thirdhand from some wannabe Net celebrity 2.0. Enjoy your naive ignorance, just don't be surprised when others point at you and laugh.

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Re: LOL @ the sheeple!

The revealing of reports from US diplomats in Tunisia (combined with the actions of Mohamed Bouazizi) seem to have sparked protests leading to the revolution there. Mildly embarrassing to the USA, huge problem for the Tunisian Presidential family.

Once people saw what could happen in one smallish Arab Mediterranean country, every dictator in the region suddenly looked (and felt) a good deal less secure.

Maybe the Arab Spring would have happened anyway; maybe if Manning hadn't leaked anything, none of the other thousands of people with access to SIPRNet would have eventually done something similar. Whatever the case, it wasn't "Sweet Fuck All".

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Stop

Re: S4qFBxkFFg Re: LOL @ the sheeple!

".....Maybe the Arab Spring would have happened anyway....." Sorry, where you maybe waiting on Dickileaks to give you their abridged version of Middle Eastern history, as edited and approved by A$$nut? The Arab Spring has been happening for decades, the real final trigger was the lack of support given by the superpowers to prop up their dictators of choice. For decades, dictators in the area have had the US or USSR and the Cold War to help them oppress their people. The USSR no longer exists, the Russians now having very limited active input into the Middle East compared to before the Berlin Wall came down (the one exception being Syria, where they are actively keeping Assad in power). Other factors like the rise in food prices in the 2007-2008 period could have been countered by a bit of superpower interference. In Tunisia itself, protests had been accelerating since Ghafsa in 2008. Without the need to balance the Soviet threat, the US backed off on their own dictators, with Obambi making truly silly and popularist statements like the hogwash he spouted in his famous Cairo speech in 2009, which effectively gave groups like the Muslim Brotherhood the green-light to take on the dictators like Hosni Mubarek. Without the support of the West, and with China and the Russians unwilling to step in openly, the field was clear for the Islamists to push for "democracy". And all this happened long before Manning leaked anything, so the claim that Dickileaks started the Arab Spring is just something A$$nut manufactured to boost his ego and feed the sheeple.

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Happy

Re: Boring Bernie Re: LOL @ the sheeple!

"....Fascist....." Ah, the typical shrieking insult you hear when a member of the flock is desperate to disagree but can't think of anything intelligent to say. Please do enlighten us all, just for comedy value, by explaining how anything from my post is espousing fascism in any way, shape or form?

"......Wipe the spittle from your foaming lips....." It is very illuminating into the probable levels of regular "conversation" that you engage in that you should assume an argument has to be made in shrieking, spitting rage. Maybe if you tried conversing with more educated, erudite peers, you would find a more enjoyable and civilised exchange of ideas. At the moment, your rather pathetic attempts at debate merely remind me of these gentlemen, only without the humour and probably in short trousers (http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9UMedd03JCA&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D9UMedd03JCA).

".....Reason & Logic" It is patently clear that you are a complete stranger to both those concepts. Please do try much harder, otherwise others might just assume you are a petulant underachiever with nothing of worth to add to the thread. Enjoy!

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Go

Re: Boring Bernie LOL @ the sheeple!

Are you still here?

Suprised you're not busy watching Fox News 24/7 for to obtain more informed opinion.

Go. Because you should.

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Happy

Re: Boring Bernie Re: Boring Bernie LOL @ the sheeple!

Ah, I see your new attempt at a strategy is to avoid drawn out discussions, where your ignorance is so quickly exposed, but instead to simply post bandwidth-wasting non-arguments. Whilst it is encouraging to see you have at least enough of a grasp of reality to sense that your previous attempts to debate issues were simply farcical, I would have to suggest your new strategy is not going to convince anyone of your correctness other than those members of the flock already too dimly aware of reality to be able to respond for themselves. No doubt your next tactic will be to flood the forums with such posts so that challenges to the The Truth, as peddled by your Patron Saint Jules, can be hidden and denied. As it stands, and taking into account your lackadaisical debating capabilities, I must say I'm quite impressed that you even managed to stretch to that level of strategy. Maybe one day you could even develop to the point where you could form your own opinions, though I'm not betting on it. Maybe you could ask one of the other children in your class to help you?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: S4qFBxkFFg LOL @ the sheeple!

'Islamists to push for "democracy"'

Islamic democracy, sort of like "The Nelson's" democracy, aka "111 Democracy"

1 man, 1 vote, 1 time

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Anonymous Coward

Re: LOL @ the sheeple!

Amazing, 3 down votes for a completely neutral request.

Lots of people in here need to learn to read and comprehend.

I have no idea whether there is evidence, that is why I asked. Evidence, for example, would be something contained in the "findings of fact" from a court case, rather than for example a testimonial assertion by a witness that was uncorroborated and given no weight by the court. Recordings of conversations wherein the two conspire would also be evidence, assuming said tapes were obtained consistently with the evidenciary rules of the UCJ. And so on ...

If Assange (tm) did in fact conspire with Manning to commit the crime, then he might have some tricky legal issues in the future. However, the evidence will need to be just that, evidence.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: S4qFBxkFFg LOL @ the sheeple!

2007-2012 = decades ?

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FAIL

Re: AC Re: S4qFBxkFFg LOL @ the sheeple!

"2007-2012 = decades ?" If that was an attempt at a counter you really need to go read up on the Muslim Brotherhood and the lengths successive administrations in Egypt, and neighbouring countries, have gone to in their attempts to suppress them. The Arab Spring in one form or another has been going on since the Brits left after WW2.

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