Re: my stupid opinion
...and of course, the IT issue here is not the question of morality - though that we can argue - the point was that Manning could not have assessed any of the material that he allowed to fall into unauthorised hands; the point was that he was not in a position to judge whether or not it could be harmful, or indeed whether or not the intended recipient intended harmful consequences to US and allied military personnel, or even had the time to carry out such a risk assessment; this did not conform to any sensible military practise of restricting information on a basis of 'need to know' or 'needs not to know'.
As to Assange himself, he is a convict on some 25 counts, including for stealing passwords from Pentagon air force computers (for which he should have been extradited and imprisoned, but received a slap over the wrist for citing a difficult childhood), and has gone on to demonstrate that this, the Wikileaks process, is a cash cow for Assange (classic in intelligence and security; the main offenders being those with ideological motives, those wanting cash and those who are susceptible to blackmail), as much as he would like to paint himself as neo to an audience willing to believe in some real life version of the Matrix phantasm; Assange's plans for turning misery into cash included an autobiography, from which he pulled out after receiving a substantial advance while claiming the publisher had misbehaved, included a pay wall for those wishing to view US military classified data, included a variety of agreeable arrangements with newspapers - most of whom seem to have seen through him, thence causing much wailing and gnashing of teeth from St. Jules - and of course St Jules of Assange has a £80,000 salary.
Assange's profile is enough to make it clear that his motives are suspect. His contemporaneous attempts to turn stolen money into a career and into cash are similarly suspect. His quasi political mouthings, in which it appears that he envisages a political career, power, inflicting himself on the lying supine world electorate, quivering with anticipation for the intromission of one tumescent Julian are almost incredible, or should I say incredible enough to make it unlikely that anyone but the cynical will see it coming and, I do hope, swat the twat before he sets himself up.
As to his sexual behaviour, his attraction to pulchritudinous young 16 year old girls, inseminating them and elbowing journalists out of relationships with their women and then flaunting it in their faces, making as if to fight them, these things say much about him and I will experience no surprise at all if Julian Assange is convicted as charged.
That leaves Manning; Manning was only able to steal classified information and pass it on, either directly or through intermediaries, to Assange in the first place because the US military on the ground practised such dire security (here is your IT angle); Manning did not tailgate, Manning did not SE, manning did not use brute force crackers; he simply entered the passwords written on post it notes and stuck to the sides of his colleagues' screens.
I also blame his supervising officer for failing to pick up on a number of signs that showed Manning was experiencing those classic doubts and misgivings about his own person and sexuality, the sort of thing which to which we used to pay much attention during the cold war, and always should because, whilst the enemy may change, the vectors never do.
Furthermore, Manning knew from his military contract (as did I, giving me absolutely no difficulty for shopping a colleague who infringed information security during my time) that he was absolutely not, under any circumstances, to give away or steal classified information, under pain of punishment.
The rest is, frankly, mere politicking, PC gainsaying and trolling.