And I was worried for a second there that an unconvicted, untried suspect didn't have rights any more.
Imprisoned US soldier Private Bradley Manning, who is charged with leaking huge amounts of classified data from military computer systems, is now under a much less severe confinement regime. Manning's lawyer, David Coombs (a former Army judge and reserve Lieutenant-Colonel) reports in a recent blog post that his client's move …
I am disappointed that they improved Manning's conditions, because as far as I am concerned, he can't suffer enough. The Afghanis whose identities he leaked and who are at risk will now have to spend the rest of their lives worrying about the well-being of both themselves and their families; it is only right that Manning also spend the rest of his life suffering. Of course, if it turns out to be possible to execute Manning, as a result of, say, an Afghani informant being killed as a consequence of the material he leaked, then his execution would also be satisfactory.
As I understand it (and as also mentioned in Register articles), Manning has made a confession and there is also considerable physical and log evidence of his crimes. The delay in bringing him to trial is becuase they want to link him to Assnut so they can lock Assnut up and break up Wikileaks, not because they don't already have enough on Manning. Manning is at the mercy of the US military justice system, and that looks to be around the fifty year mark for such treason. Whilst you handwringers may think he's a saint, it is unlikely a court martial will think similarly. Face it, Manning is toast, the best he can hope for is a cell with a view until he gets released as an old man. Plenty of time to reflect on the naivete of trusting Assnut.
that it makes me horribly embarrassed that we share a surname. I do hope you're not related to me.
In any, "innocent until proven guilty" is the main pillar of the law, military or civilian. You can't return a verdict and neither can I. I can express distaste for the conditions in which he has been held - "cruel and unusual" is probably the best term - and I can show disgust at those who here who have supported this treatment of a man who, unless found guilty at trial, _is innocent_.
THAT is the law you accuse him and others of breaking. You hypocrite.
"....it makes me horribly embarrassed that we share a surname..." Sorry for the pain, you can rest easy as it's a nom de plume. I take great relief from knowing that I am definately not related to you.
"....."innocent until proven guilty" is the main pillar of the law...." Not the point at issue, this is about Manning's terms of confinement between arrest and trial, it has nothing to do with an assumption of guilt. Locking up those charged with a serious crime so they can't abscond or destroy evidence is also a standard practice.
".....You can't return a verdict and neither can I...." Nope, but I can make a prediction based on information already out there. So, Manning has confessed, we have the documents out in the wild, and it looks like the US authorities have the materials Manning used for the act - doesn't take Columbo to guess that a panel of military officers will see him as guilty. Please do supply your alternate-reality arguments that see him skipping off into the sunset.
"......I can express distaste for the conditions in which he has been held...." You can express your distaste all you like, that's your right (as long as you don't upset Ms Bee). But that doesn't mean I have to agree with you. Firstly, seeing as you haven't actually visited the prison or spoken to Manning, you cannot accurately and comprehensively state the conditions he was kept in. Secondly, I'm betting you can't actually provide anything more than regurgitated headlines and froth about Manning's "treatment". Thirdly, you ignore the fact that those "conditions" were standard for a prisoner likley to self-harm, of which Manning was judged likley to even BEFORE the leaks (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/01/AR2010090107204.html). Now, if he hadn't been put on suicide watch, and he had topped himself, I'm pretty sure you're distorted view of reality would lead to you immediately claiming he'd been killed by the CIA/Marines/Bushitler.
".....You hypocrite." LMAO! I can't begin to express how sadly tragic, and yet funny, your post is. It is simply upsetting to find someone capable of such misguided passion that can't find something more constructive to do with their time. It's tragic that someone so obviously incapable of digesting any of the facts clearly avaiable on the Internet should be allowed to waste electricty by using a PC. But it's so funny I'm really hoping you post again. You are not a hypocrite, just a monumental fail.
Let's accept "Innocent until proven guilty". Let's assume that the Register's reports on the conditions under which Manning was held at Quantico are accurate.
Should I also assume that you're okay with treating an innocent man like that? Because legally, he's innocent. There's no way around that.
Your wordcount is going nuts, by the way. It looks as if you're enjoying having nothing better to do.
"....Should I also assume that you're okay with treating an innocent man like that?...." You're still dragging your own preconceptions into this. Firstly, Manning is not necessarily innocent, going by the info available even to us in the wider World, it looks like he is guilty of the crimes, even if your political views mean you don't consider his acts criminal. Secondly, neither you nor I have a complete view of the conditions or the background, we are all reliant on secondhand (at best) info. Looking at that info, especially that Manning had already been judged suicidal before the leaks, I'm not surprised they put him on suicide watch. Thirdly, I'm betting you just assume that all the guards and officers are doing it for kicks, no?
You are assuming that it was all just a way to punish him, but for the officers making decisions there is a lot more at play. Apart from anything else, they have a duty to protect Manning's wellbeing, as in keep him alive and healthy, so by putting him on suicide watch they are actually acting in his best interest. An officer or soldier can face an investigation and court martial if a soldier under their command commits suicide, let alone a media beacon like Manning. Those officers and grunts are doing their job, they are of value to their country, whereas Manning is accused of committing a crime against that country. To my mind, those soldiers still have value in the service they will continue to give to their country and so should be allowed to protect themsleves by doing what they are ordered to do. Just imagine what would happen to your career if you were in charge of guarding Manning, left him unattended, and he committed suicide. The political ramifications would be enormous with the conspiracy nutters immediately calling it murder. The brown stuff rolls downhill, and it would start at the top and gather a lot of speed before it got to the brig officer and guards selected to be the scapegoats, they'd probably be lucky to get a posting peeling spuds in Alaska! I suspect a lot of the guards probably don't want to have to enforce the suicide watch but also don't want either Manning killing himself or their careers being ended if he does, so they will follow orders.
So, yes, I am "okey" with keeping Manning alive and with career soldiers protecting themselves from the political impact of handwringers like you. As for Manning, it seems he is simply a victim of his own issues. I do feel sorry for him, but not enough to excuse him his crimes or enough to want to victimise the soldiers that have been charged with holding him before or after his trial. He is accused of commiting a crime, military or civillian is no difference, and there is zero doubt he knew it was a serious crime when he was doing it. I suggest his best defence is to plead diminished responsibility. As for you, I suggest you try putting yourself in his guards' shoes before making anymore snap judgements.
As to my wordcount, I have just bedded in a project and we're in the monitoring phase priot to sing-off, so there's plenty of time to correct you lot.
"What part of "innocent until proven guilty" is your troll-mind unable to cope with?" None. What bit of "charged with a serious offence", remanded in custody awaiting trial" or "subject to USMC regulations" are proving to be such a stretch to your over-emotional understanding? Want me to just use small words, or maybe draw you a picture in crayon?
If you're in the military you don't want to break the law.
Unlike civilian courts and law, the military law can and is harsher. As a civilian you have certain rights. Under military law, you don't necessarily have all of the same rights.
There's a lot of latitude on what the military can do to you.
Perhaps Lewis could write an article explaining why.
There was a time when Manning would have been shot after a quick and speedy trial for what he's accused of doing.
And there's a difference between a brig and a military prison, in terms of staffing... but I won't bore you with the details.
I'm sorry I think you must have posted on the wrong site. You can find the Daily Mail forums over there -->
Regardless of our differing opinions regarding the US torturing one of it's own soldiers with nothing but an accusation as justification, and your morbid endorsement thereof, the info leaked on wikileaks had names blanked out.
See? Someone already thought of the children, you don't have to.
All this aside, poor guy was just a whistle-blower. Most of the moves the merrickans made after the afghan chopper vid sounded awfully like bluster to me.
Grenade because of that unfortunate incident with the hostage.
It appears you may need to learn how law works (well, OK, the US needs to re-learn that as well).
The normal approach is that you are deemed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
I'm a bit weak on military law, though, maybe they can just shoot you if they don't like the look of you, but the prosecution has made its life actually more difficult by holding him in these conditions as they are justifiably deemed punishment and may result in a less severe sentence.
Until he has been in front of a judge and judgement has been passed he can only be held awaiting trial, not already be punished. Otherwise they would have moved Assange(tm) already to a jail with shower soap dispensers one foot off the ground and housed him with an overweight cellmate called "Bubba" prior to his inevitable extradition to Sweden...
"There was a time when Manning would have been shot after a quick and speedy trial for what he's accused of doing."
Ah, yes, it's the race to the bottom with all the "There's plenty of distance still to go!" excuses to go with it. Mr Bryant is presumably "above" this thread, but it's nice to see that he sent his volunteer sidekick to give us a strong dose of military fetishism and the "You can't handle the truth!" finger-wagging.
Oooh, another "specialist" with nothing more than a movie quote to go on! Please try and supply some form of argument that others, that do not share your self-delusions, can poke holes in. Because all the arguments you guys have posted so far, for both justifying Manning's actions and for giving him an easy ride, have been laughable.
Don't worry, Assnut's patsy will get his day in court. The only delay is because the authorities are trying to make definitive links between Manning, Assnut and Wikileaks, they already seem to have enough material on Manning to make their charges against him stick. The race is not to the bottom, it's a race as to whether Assnut gets sentenced to jail in Sweden or Manning in the States first! Please, no jokes about Manning, his bottom, or any post-trial "races to" in the jail showers. Manning's probably looking at fifty years of those jokes, whereas Assnut is highly likely to get away with only a few years at most, followed by years of living of the profits of selling Manning's guilibility.
"I'm sorry I think you must have posted on the wrong site. You can find the Daily Mail forums over there -->"
Actually, the commenter in question was probably advocating something similar to extremist Sharia law with the "life for a life" policy advocacy. That would make them an unusual bedfellow for the Daily Mail crowd, although since they're all bigots, not an unsurprising one.
Meanwhile, the military of nations like China and Russia probably still haven't stopped laughing about the fact that a Private supposedly leaked "superspy" levels of "sensitive" information. "To leak top secret information in America, you don't even have to be General?!" asked the Russian officer as they all erupted into laughter for another half hour.
The whole case is just a shameful circus conducted by the cruel and the inept.
I want to make something completely clear here. I spent 12 years as an RAF Officer, and have a reserve commitment now. I've heard charges (the UK military system of summary punishment), I've had troops who have been up in front of the most senior systems of summary punishment. I've also had troops who have gone to courts martial. I know the fundamentals of UK military justice, and I also know that the US isn't excessively different.
Let me be clear about the differences between military and civilian criminal law.
1) Punishments for most things are more severe in the military.
That's it. All the other differences are cosmetic.
There is still a due process, a right of appeal, impartial representation of the defendant. The military defendant has all the rights that they would have in a civilian court of law. Let me run through some of the things that appear different but aren't.
1) Summary punishment. In the military a charge can be heard by someone's commanding officer. The punishments that can be doled out by summary hearings are limited. Appeal is possible. I believe the maximum sentence possible from a summary proceeding in the UK is 30 days inside (although I admit I don't remember). In the civilian world there are magistrate's courts for summary punishment. They have the right to lock someone up for up to 6 months. In the same way a magistrate is advised by a court clerk in points of law, an officer hearing a charge is similarly advised by a suitably qualified officer.
2) Courts' Martial. These are the equivalent of a crown court. They have the same checks and balances. The jury of your peers is replaced with a panel of officers, but in reality has the same balance.
The key reason I agree with Ian Michael Gumby about not wanting to break the law in the military is that, post conviction, punishment is generally more severe. You really don't want to be sent to the military prison at Colchester. But up until conviction, the legal system has a very similar structure, with identical rights, as the civilian one. And this is clearly where he is wrong, and where the US Marine Corps Brig at Quantico was also desperately wrong. Moving Manning to avoid a writ of Habeas Corpus is nothing short of an act of desperation on the part of the US military, attempting to cover for what they have realised was an incorrect, or perhaps even illegal, act.
That is about correct, including the matter of Company/Regimental (army) charges, 30 days jankers, the balancing of panel officers being the roughly the same for courts martial as for civilian courts, and the harshness of punishment. Personally I cannot understand why he has not been up on his court martial. This must happen soon and, if guilty, the punishment must necessarily be harsh. Most of his comrades will feel similarly; this sort of treason puts service personnel at risk of harm, and merits consideration in kind, no less.
"And this is clearly where he is wrong, and where the US Marine Corps Brig at Quantico was also desperately wrong"
The problem is that the US mil pretty clearly wants the guy to make it to trial. The thing with manning is he pretty obviously is a suicide risk (in fact he was pretty evidently a suicide risk long before the events he's accused of even happened if you read the things he's said and what got him into trouble in the first place) and pretty obviously is a risk of being harmed by the US government and other states, and frankly other serving military personel who may feel they've been put at risk.
My line with this guy has always been and will remain that it's fine to treat him like some other prisoner - the issue is he isn't and if he doesn't make it to trial on a Care Bear regime then nobody gets to complain. Of course they will complain but they have no right to.
"Moving Manning to avoid a writ of Habeas Corpus is nothing short of an act of desperation on the part of the US military, attempting to cover for what they have realised was an incorrect, or perhaps even illegal, act."
Nope, nope, nope.
There's still an investigation going on. A civilian lawyer is running around filing writs in civilian courts doesn't mean squat - Manning is under the jurisdiction of the UCMJ.
Whilst I appreciate that the leaks have cause some damage, assuming that Bradley Manning is not only guilty, but has therefore no rights at all is perhaps a bit of a stretch. Personally I would rather see "W" treated like this, as he is clearly far more culpable. As for Bin Laden, well I guess I don't need to comment on him any more .... or do I?????
Really? I'm still waiting for you bleedinghearts to post something worth responding to. You guys certainly do work up a good head of steam, though, we could solve all our energy problems if we just connected your mouths to a few wind turbines and told you Manning was going to be sent to Gitmo!
And I'm sure Manning's lawyer would like to claim he intimidated the military, but then his appeal was already rejected, there was nothing to stop them keeping Manning on suicide watch under the loving care of the Marines. Manning's lawyer had already failed. This move was the Obumbler clearing decks for the next election, nothing more.
"The crime he is accused of carries the death penalty...." Puh-lease, that particular bit of doggeral was soundly exposed as bunk many weeks ago, just quit with it or we'll have to assume you're "so far behind the curve" as to make Graham Marsden look informed. Manning has not been charged with any section of military law that includes a death sentence, the worst case is an extended stay in military jail and a dishonourable discharge. If you can prove otherwise, please supply a link or other evidence of a charge or warrant issues against Manning that does include the death sentence.
Quoting Matt Bryant: "Manning HAS NOT BEEN CHARGED with any section of military law that includes a death sentence"
Oh really? Perhaps you had better do a little more research...
* * * * *
I. PERSONAL DATA
1. NAME OF ACCUSED (Last, First, MI) MANNING, Bradley E. PFC E
10. ADDITIONAL CHARGE I: VIOLATION OF THE UCMJ, ARTICLE 104.
THE SPECIFICATION: In that Private First Class Bradley E. Manning, U.S. Army,
did, at or near Contingency Operating Station Hammer, Iraq, between on or about
1 November 2009 and on or about 27 May 2010, without proper authority,
knowingly give intelligence to the enemy, through indirect means.
* * * * *
Article 104—Aiding the enemy
1. US Military
“Any person who—
(1) aids, or attempts to aid, the enemy with arms, ammunition, supplies, money, or other things; or
(2) without proper authority, knowingly harbors or protects or gives intelligence to or communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly; SHALL SUFFER DEATH or such other punishment as a court-martial or military commission may direct.”
[All emphasis mine]
* * * * *
So the crime of "Aiding the Enemy" which Bradley Manning *HAS* been charged with under US Military Law carries a maximum penalty of *DEATH*.
Just because the Prosecutors have said that they "won't seek the death penalty" does not change the fact that he has "been charged with a section of military law that includes a death sentence", despite what Matt Bryant might wish to believe.
PS Why does being called "uninformed" by Matt Bryant (the man competing with Ian Michael Gumby for the award of the most down-voted troll ever) feel like being called "clueless" by Inspector Clouseau?
Nice try, but it was never an automatic death penalty, and the authorities have already stated - as you admit - they "won't seek the death penalty", so you know you are just hyping a truckload of male bovine manure. Manning does not face the death penalty in any form. Even if they were considering the death penalty, I'm not sure they could make a good enough case as the accused has to knowingly supply something (weapons, ammo, intelligence, etc) to the "enemy", with the definition of the "enemy" being as follows:
"(b) Enemy. “Enemy” includes organized forces of the enemy in time of war, any hostile body that our forces may be opposing, such as a rebellious mob or a band of renegades, and includes civilians as well as members of military organizations. “Enemy” is not restricted to the enemy government or its armed forces. All the citizens of one belligerent are enemies of the government and all the citizens of the other."
Whilst Assnut is definately belligerant in attitude towards the US, the US is not at war with Australia nor is he a member of a "rebellious mob or a band of renegades". In short, I'm not sure that charging Manning under Article 104 has any mileage anyway, I suspect it's something they'll wave at him before going for a plea bargain. The Obumbler will not want a long trial that might drag on until election time, he will want a nice and neat "I did it, guv, and I'm sorry" from Manning in return for only locking him up for thirty-odd years instead of fifty.
"Nice try, but it was never an automatic death penalty"
Nice try, but completely irrelevant. You said (again I quote your exact words): "Manning has not been charged with any section of military law that includes a death sentence" and you then went on to say: "If you can prove otherwise, please supply a link or other evidence of a charge or warrant issues against Manning that does include the death sentence."
Well, Matt Bryant, I have done exactly that. I have supplied you with a link and other evidence of the precise charge against Manning and cited the exact law which states that such a charge can be punished by a death sentence", but, even having been presented with the proof that you demanded, instead of admitting that you were wrong (heaven forfend!) you immediately start trying to dodge the issue and move the goalposts.
Again I see that it is pointless trying to hold a reasonable argument with you, so feel free once again to have the last word (which will probably include some childish insults) if it makes you feel better. But it won't make you right.
".....Well, Matt Bryant, I have done exactly that....." Nope, you yourself admitted the authoritie are not going for the death penalty. He is not facing the death penalty because they are not charging him under Section 2 of Article 104. You have to specifically charged as violating Section 2 of Article 104 to face the death penalty, which Manning is not. To summarise, there is zero chance of him getting sentenced to death. None, nada, nil. You are so determined to whine you just can't even accept what your yourself admitted.
Oh dear, Matt, you are *SO* desperate not to admit you are wrong! I wasn't going to post again, but you've made another claim which I cannot leave to stand without challenge.
Yes I have "admitted" (good word!) that the prosecutors say they "won't seek the death penalty", but again you try to shift the goalposts with an irrelevancy because again I remind you that *YOU* said (I quote once more) "Manning has not been charged with any section of military law that includes a death sentence" and I have shown that UCMJ 104 *does* include a death sentence.
Now, based on what you have said, I have looked and searched and I cannot find anything which confirms your claim that "You have to specifically charged as violating Section 2 of Article 104 to face the death penalty", so please can you post a link that verifies this, because I cannot see how you manage to twist that meaning out of:
* * * * *
104. AIDING THE ENEMY
Any person who--
(1) aids, or attempts to aid, the enemy with arms, ammunition, supplies, money, or other things; or
(2) without proper authority, knowingly harbors or [protects or gives intelligence to or communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly;
shall suffer death or such other punishment as a court-martial or military commission may direct.
* * * * *
Section 2 of that is not some sort of stand-alone charge, nor does only Section 1 or Section 2 independently specify the potential death penalty, the two sections linked by "or" are clearly intended to be read together and *either* can result in the death penalty, ie "Manning *HAS* been charged with any section of military law that includes a death sentence".
So can you answer this without moving the goalposts again?
"He faces the death penalty" - "the prosecutors say they "won't seek the death penalty"" - so, who's having a problem admitting they were at least hyping a non-issue? Or just being plain wrong. Or maybe deliberately incorrect in the hope of misleading other readers into sympathy for Manning? So, were you just wrong or lying?
No moving of goalposts required, just go look at the charges, each specifies the Article and Section of the Article under which Manning is charged. It's just like civil law, the prosecutor has to say EXACTLY what the accused is charged of so a defence can be mounted. Should the prosecution not be accurate enough then the individual charge can be dismissed.
"Even when I quote *YOUR* own words....." Please see your own quotes above for a glaring example of how you are avoiding reality. I see you also avoided answering my question as to whether that was from error or deliberation.
".....I really can't be bothered to waste any more time on you." I'll take that as the capitulation it no doubt is. I guess you've even run out of secondhand arguments and froth to throw about and just don't have the capability to formulate either answers to my points or arguments of your own. Yes, probably best you conserve your time, you really have got a lot of learning to catch up on.
I assume that IMG and other 'screw manning' cohorts will now just shut the hell up as their OWN judiciary system has finally decided that his treatment was WRONG all along as many of us argued.
Oh wait, I see IMG suggesting that it woud've been easier to just have him shot in the first place.
Y'know, I am suspecting IMG of being a terrist as he is clearly so staunchly opposed to the American judicial system. Perhaps someone should go round and shoot him now?
Fail. 'cos you did.
(I won't end this post with 'America? Fuck no!' because, slow in coming as it was, the US might finally have done something in keeping with their stated standards. Maybe.
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