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Thread: US soldier goes on trial over security leaks

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    US soldier goes on trial over security leaks

    An American soldier accused of the biggest leak of classified information in US history was young and naive, but thought he could make the world a better place, according to his lawyer.
    Private Bradley Manning, 25, had "good intentions", David Coombs said as the soldier faced his first day on trial in which prosecutors said his actions aided the enemy.


    Manning is charged with providing more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks, an anti-secrecy website, including a video showing an Apache helicopter kill a group of civilians and two Reuters journalists in Iraq.


    Manning, a former intelligence analyst, has admitted to giving troves of information to WikiLeaks, but military prosecutors want to prove Manning aided the enemy, which carries a potential life sentence.


    They said they will present evidence that former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden asked for and received information WikiLeaks published.


    "This is a case of about what happens when arrogance meets access to sensitive information,'' Capt. Joe Morrow said in his opening statement.


    "This, your honor, this is a case about a soldier who systematically harvested hundreds of thousands of documents from classified databases and then dumped that information on to the Internet into the hands of the enemy,'' Morrow said.


    Read more @: US soldier goes on trial over security leaks - Americas - Al Jazeera English

    So prosecutors wanna prove that Bin-Laden asked for information from Wikileaks? So by the logic wouldnt any source that Bin-Laden goes to for intelligence and information can be seen as "aiding the enemy"? I still can wrap my head around of someone telling the truth and showing how governments work.


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    Re: US soldier goes on trial over security leaks

    If they're using Bin Laden, I'd bet that the SEALs found information that Bradley leaked somewhere when they nabbed Bin Laden. If that truly is the case, the kid is done. That meets the elements of Article 104 pretty solidly.


    Article 104
    b. Elements. (1) Aiding the enemy.
    (a) That the accused aided the enemy; and
    (b) That the accused did so with certain arms, ammunition, supplies, money, or other things.
    (2) Attempting to aid the enemy.
    (a) That the accused did a certain overt act;
    (b) That the act was done with the intent to aid the enemy with certain arms, ammunition, supplies, money, or other things;

    (5) Giving intelligence to the enemy.
    (a) Nature of offense. Giving intelligence to the enemy is a particular case of corresponding with the enemy made more serious by the fact that the com*munication contains intelligence that may be useful to the enemy for any of the many reasons that make information valuable to belligerents. This intelli*gence may be conveyed by direct or indirect means.
    http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/MCM-2012.pdf

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    Re: US soldier goes on trial over security leaks

    I do believe his intentions were good but he broke the law. He signed a non-disclosure agreement and violated. Treason seems a harsh charge to me. We have to be able to draw a distinction between what Manning did and, say, secretly selling information to an enemy State. They should both be illegal but the latter is far worse.

    From what I can see (maybe I will learn otherwise throughout the course of the trial) Manning’s intentions were good and nobody was hurt. Yes, we suffered some embarrassment. Many people’s, including my, jobs were made more difficult for a while.

    But I strongly believe punishment should be based on intent AND harm done. I don’t believe this particular crime, and it was a crime, should merit the death penalty or even life in prison. I would be ok with anything from time served to 10 years.

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    Re: US soldier goes on trial over security leaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcogito View Post
    I do believe his intentions were good but he broke the law. He signed a non-disclosure agreement and violated. Treason seems a harsh charge to me. We have to be able to draw a distinction between what Manning did and, say, secretly selling information to an enemy State. They should both be illegal but the latter is far worse.

    From what I can see (maybe I will learn otherwise throughout the course of the trial) Manning’s intentions were good and nobody was hurt. Yes, we suffered some embarrassment. Many people’s, including my, jobs were made more difficult for a while.

    But I strongly believe punishment should be based on intent AND harm done. I don’t believe this particular crime, and it was a crime, should merit the death penalty or even life in prison. I would be ok with anything from time served to 10 years.
    wasn't his intention that of a gay who was in a frenzy over don't ask don't tell and he spitefully leaked this information



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    Re: US soldier goes on trial over security leaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcogito View Post
    I do believe his intentions were good but he broke the law. He signed a non-disclosure agreement and violated. Treason seems a harsh charge to me. We have to be able to draw a distinction between what Manning did and, say, secretly selling information to an enemy State. They should both be illegal but the latter is far worse.

    From what I can see (maybe I will learn otherwise throughout the course of the trial) Manning’s intentions were good and nobody was hurt. Yes, we suffered some embarrassment. Many people’s, including my, jobs were made more difficult for a while.

    But I strongly believe punishment should be based on intent AND harm done. I don’t believe this particular crime, and it was a crime, should merit the death penalty or even life in prison. I would be ok with anything from time served to 10 years.
    I agree with that analysis. Manning is indeed guilty of a breach of regulations, and should be disciplined for that. But the people who should be tried on capital charges are those whose murderous acts from a helicopter gunship Manning exposed.

    This is a case of national embarrassment, and Manning is a handy scapegoat. The following seriously questions the charge that Manning's whistle-blowing endangered US lives.

    An ongoing Pentagon review of the massive flood of secret documents made public by the WikiLeaks website has so far found no evidence that the disclosure harmed U.S. national security or endangered American troops in the field, a Pentagon official told NBC News on Monday.

    The initial Pentagon assessment is far less dramatic than initial statements from the Obama White House Sunday night after three major news organizations – The New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel — published what was touted as an unprecedented “secret archive” of classified military documents relating to the war in Afghanistan. The documents appear to show, among other matters, close collaboration between elements of the Pakistani intelligence service and the Taliban — an awkward issue that U.S. intelligence officials have strenuously complained about for some time but are loath to talk about publicly.

    The news organizations said they received the documents from WikiLeaks, a controversial website that specializes in soliciting and publishing sensitive government documents. No sooner did the stories appear this weekend than U.S. National Security Adviser James Jones “strongly” condemned the WikiLeaks disclosure, saying that the trove of classified documents “could put the lives of American and our partners at risk and threaten our national security.”

    But David Lapan, deputy assistant secretary of defense for media operations, told NBC News on Monday that a preliminary review by a Pentagon “assessment” team has so far not identified any documents whose release could damage national security. Moreover, he said, none of the documents reviewed so far carries a classification level above “secret” — the lowest category of intelligence material in terms of sensitivity.
    Review of WikiLeaks docs sees no smoking gun - World news - South and Central Asia | NBC News
    I hate the idea of causes, and if I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country. E.M. Forster

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    Re: US soldier goes on trial over security leaks

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    wasn't his intention that of a gay who was in a frenzy over don't ask don't tell and he spitefully leaked this information
    I have heard all manner of things. Maybe we will learn the truth during the trial. My guess is it wasn’t just one thing that lead to it, but I don’t know that for a fact.

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    Re: US soldier goes on trial over security leaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcogito View Post
    I have heard all manner of things. Maybe we will learn the truth during the trial. My guess is it wasn’t just one thing that lead to it, but I don’t know that for a fact.
    We will probably not learn the truth from the trial, because his defense is relying on the idea that he had some moral obligation to humanity to expose the conduct of war. The truth is much simpler. He simply tapped into a way for personal attention and power. His trial will only convolute it. His earlier and intitial story of having an axe to grind over DADT was bull ****. And now that his story is about "whistle blowing" his defense is merely trying to paint him a humanitarian hero. The bull **** has been piled higher. What he didn't expect was to get caught and to be put on trial for doing what he was obviously completely unaware of what he was actually doing.

    A kid grows up playing violent video games, watching death and carnage through hollywood and television and decides to enlist in the Army. He then precedes to be shocked at real life? Bull ****. He got caught being an ass for the personal attention and now is scrounging for anything that will get him off the hook.

    He's a traitor. He betrayed his oath. He betrayed his comrads. He betrayed the trust bestowed upon him to handle secret documents. He betrayed the mission. He betrayed his country. If he wanted to do all of this he should have became a reporter, not a soldier.
    Last edited by MSgt; 06-04-13 at 03:41 PM.

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    Re: US soldier goes on trial over security leaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcogito View Post
    I have heard all manner of things. Maybe we will learn the truth during the trial. My guess is it wasn’t just one thing that lead to it, but I don’t know that for a fact.
    For me the fly in the ointment is the fact that, because, something is classified doesn't mean that public knowledge of it will harm the U.S. The government routinely classifies things simply to keep it from the public and the press. I view the Wikileaks documents as that sort of thing. Most of it was embarrassing to members of the administration but I didn't see anything that would harm national security. Perhaps the government needs to clean up the way they classify document before accusing people of treason. After all, whistle blowing isn't necessarily treason.

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    Re: US soldier goes on trial over security leaks

    Quote Originally Posted by fmw View Post
    For me the fly in the ointment is the fact that, because, something is classified doesn't mean that public knowledge of it will harm the U.S. The government routinely classifies things simply to keep it from the public and the press. I view the Wikileaks documents as that sort of thing. Most of it was embarrassing to members of the administration but I didn't see anything that would harm national security. Perhaps the government needs to clean up the way they classify document before accusing people of treason. After all, whistle blowing isn't necessarily treason.
    It is in this case and it doesn't matter if it causes harm.

    What is it with you people? We aren't talking about a janitor in a high school telling people that the Principle winked at a student. This is a sworn in soldier entrusted to protect documentation. It doesn't matter what the classification is (classified, secret, top secret). And it's not about a single apache video. This isn't a case where some soldier took a video of something and tattled on YouTube. This is about 700,000 documents simply given to a civilian with no classification and then released to the world. This is traitorous and it is treasonous.
    Last edited by MSgt; 06-04-13 at 03:59 PM.

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    Re: US soldier goes on trial over security leaks

    Where as the obama administration can have someone leak out information that we attacked Iran with cyberwarefar to make him look all presidential just before an election I can't see how they can prosecute anyone, but then on the other side of the coin this failed administration does withhold the facts, the truths and details from the people at just about every whim so I guess secrets are important to the most transparent failure in American history?

    (how's all that for one sentence

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