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Thread: Bradley Manning found not guilty of aiding the enemy, convicted on other charges

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    Bradley Manning found not guilty of aiding the enemy, convicted on other charges

    An Army judge on Tuesday acquitted Pfc. Bradley Manning of aiding the enemy by disclosing a trove of secret U.S. government documents but found him guilty of espionage, a mixed verdict that dealt a rebuke to military prosecutors who sought to prove that the largest leak in U.S. history had assisted al-Qaeda. The judge, Col. Denise Lind, found Manning guilty of most of the more than 20 crimes he was charged with, including several violations of the Espionage Act. He could face a maximum of 136 years in prison.
    Washington Post

    Good. The only thing acquitting him of aiding the enemy does is take the death penalty off the table, which I'm not against. Next up is the pursuit of Snowden. In the words of the very man they leaked their information to: "they've got it coming to them. They deserve it."
    I love the NSA. It's like having a secret fan-base you will never see, but they're there, watching everything you write and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that I may be some person's only form of unconstitutional entertainment one night.

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    Re: Bradley Manning found not guilty of aiding the enemy, convicted on other charges

    Quote Originally Posted by Surtr View Post
    Washington Post

    Good. The only thing acquitting him of aiding the enemy does is take the death penalty off the table, which I'm not against. Next up is the pursuit of Snowden. In the words of the very man they leaked their information to: "they've got it coming to them. They deserve it."
    I assume they both knew the risks. The intelligence community is plagued with leaks consisting of information much more sensitive than anything to which Manning had access. This is more of a political statement move than a security issue. Unless, of course, the intelligence community has cleaned up some their incompetence since I left. I hate to say that, but it is not as efficient as we are made to believe.

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    Re: Bradley Manning found not guilty of aiding the enemy, convicted on other charges

    This decision seems to imply, to me, that unintentionally aiding the enemy by knowingly releasing classified information is not the same as simply aiding the enemy. I'm not a fan of this decision, if that is indeed the case.
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    Re: Bradley Manning found not guilty of aiding the enemy, convicted on other charges

    Quote Originally Posted by Surtr View Post
    Washington Post

    Good. The only thing acquitting him of aiding the enemy does is take the death penalty off the table, which I'm not against. Next up is the pursuit of Snowden. In the words of the very man they leaked their information to: "they've got it coming to them. They deserve it."
    Exposing govt wrongdoing should never be a punishable crime. Plus, no one was hurt by Manning's actions. As for the military's actions this past decade...
    "Men did not make the earth ... it is the value of the improvement only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property... Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds." -- Thomas Paine, Agrarian Justice
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    Re: Bradley Manning found not guilty of aiding the enemy, convicted on other charges

    Quote Originally Posted by repeter View Post
    This decision seems to imply, to me, that unintentionally aiding the enemy by knowingly releasing classified information is not the same as simply aiding the enemy. I'm not a fan of this decision, if that is indeed the case.
    Proof that he has aided the enemy?
    "Men did not make the earth ... it is the value of the improvement only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property... Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds." -- Thomas Paine, Agrarian Justice
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    Re: Bradley Manning found not guilty of aiding the enemy, convicted on other charges

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoist View Post
    Proof that he has aided the enemy?
    I'm talking about the implication of the decision, not the facts in and of themselves (though, disclosure of SOF raids in Pakistan affected our ability to continue those raids, and it's thought that disclosure of a few incidents influenced the Iraqi government not to grant our soldiers immunity after the primary withdrawal; clearly that granted Al Qaeda a reprieve and current news in Iraq shows they've made good use of it).

    I understand the implication of saying that what Manning did was aiding the enemy, the implication being that any whistle-blower in the Armed Forces could be prosecuted on that charge. I probably wouldn't have been happy had the judge said that unintentionally aiding the enemy was always a crime for a whistle-blower. I'm not really sure what would be best, maybe this is the best possible outcome, but I'm not convinced of that yet.
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    Re: Bradley Manning found not guilty of aiding the enemy, convicted on other charges

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoist View Post
    Exposing govt wrongdoing should never be a punishable crime. Plus, no one was hurt by Manning's actions. As for the military's actions this past decade...
    Even Manning doesn't know what he leaked. He illegally copied classified documents, and had them publicly disseminated for all to see, giving not one **** what the information was, or who it hurt. He's not a hero, he's a petty moron who acted out on a grudge from being "bullied" about his homosexuality. I'm glad they chose to clear him of the one charge that would justify execution, but he's no hero, and he definitely deserves what he got. He probably doesn't even realize how lucky he is that they didn't crucify his stupid ass.
    I love the NSA. It's like having a secret fan-base you will never see, but they're there, watching everything you write and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that I may be some person's only form of unconstitutional entertainment one night.

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    Re: Bradley Manning found not guilty of aiding the enemy, convicted on other charges

    Quote Originally Posted by repeter View Post
    This decision seems to imply, to me, that unintentionally aiding the enemy by knowingly releasing classified information is not the same as simply aiding the enemy. I'm not a fan of this decision, if that is indeed the case.
    Well intent plays a huge role.
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    It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.
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    Re: Bradley Manning found not guilty of aiding the enemy, convicted on other charges

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    Well intent plays a huge role.
    That's the problem for me. I don't know the exact law, but it seems like there should be something comparable to the 1st vs. 2nd vs. 3rd degree murder system. I just want to find something that says he helped the enemy by knowingly releasing classified material relevant to foreign/military affairs. Just something that covers the area between espionage and aiding the enemy.
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    Re: Bradley Manning found not guilty of aiding the enemy, convicted on other charges

    Quote Originally Posted by repeter View Post
    That's the problem for me. I don't know the exact law, but it seems like there should be something comparable to the 1st vs. 2nd vs. 3rd degree murder system. I just want to find something that says he helped the enemy by knowingly releasing classified material relevant to foreign/military affairs. Just something that covers the area between espionage and aiding the enemy.
    The reality is, there really is no such system, and the reason for that stems from the nature of U.S. intelligence work and its many failures. In cases like this, it's almost purely up to the court's discretion. Based on his role in the military, there is very little, even in a dump so large, that could have created a security threat to aid the enemy. The nature of our intelligence work often requires, whether in appearance or reality, leaking large dumps of information, albeit with specific intentions, but the contents of which are likely infinitely more sensitive than anything Manning could have stumbled upon, even by accident. Manning released information that made us look bad rather than create a security problem.

    This is why I believe the case to be a political move-a warning suggesting the outcome of any would be whistleblowers.

    And, I suppose, from what I've read of the Afghan War diary and the like, the government commissioned some pretty terrible things in the eyes of many (as they have since the our beginning) and I can understand the view that it is wrongdoing.

    I'm not naive or pompous enough to render an opinion on why Manning did it, but I'm sure he knew the potential outcome. For me, it's just cluttering up news sources. And of course, as always, just my two cents.

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