Bradley Manning Pleads Guilty

Bradley Manning has pleaded guilty to ten counts in the Wikileaks case, and faces up to 20 years in prison.

He is expected to be sentenced to 20 years in prison after his conviction on charges related to the misuse of classified information. He is scheduled to stand trial in June on 12 more serious charges, including aiding the enemy and espionage. A conviction on those probably would lead to a life sentence.

In pleading guilty, Manning read from a 35 page statement explaining his motives.

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    The (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by lentinel on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:26:40 PM EST
    only person I have heard of late to discuss the case of Bradley Manning is Jullian Assange.

    Are there any moves within a peace movement, civil libertarians, people against the war in Iraq, people for freedom of speech, people for freedom of information, people who think that the crimes exposed by the documents are embarrassing to the US government but threatens security only in the sense that it makes the citizenry aware of what the government is doing in its name..

    Is there any sign that a significant number of people will come to his defense? Any demonstrations?

    He faces 20 years in prison, and possibly, in the next round, the death penalty.

    Meanwhile, there's Bush and Cheney - relaxing and sunning their evil carcasses.

    "Meanwhile, there's Bush and Cheney" (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by NYShooter on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:37:28 PM EST
    Too bad Manning's lawyer couldn't finagle some kind of legal Ju Jitsu, and have his trial scheduled right after Cheney goes up for Treason.......ahem, pardon me, "alleged Treason."

    And, please, don't you legal minds come back at me about Cheney, and all. I said....Ju Jitsu. In "attorney talk" that's hokus pokus:)

    Too bad (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Zorba on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:55:02 PM EST
    also, that at the very least, Cheney (et al) doesn't travel overseas and winds up getting turned over to the International Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity.  This assumes that he travels to a country that isn't afraid of offending the US, of course.   :-(

    I cannot suspend disbief to think (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:27:13 PM EST
    Manning personally reviewed each document he turned over. Thus his rationale doesn't convince me he bears no responsibility.

    Responsibility for what? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:42:24 AM EST
    Applying the disinfectant we call sunlight?  Dude should be looking at a medal of freedom, not 20 more years of living hell.

    People in intel have different (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:04:25 PM EST
    Rules than you do that they must live by, and they all know that and agree to that far in advance of getting access to classified everything.

    So that makes... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:18:05 PM EST
    the dirty we did, do, and will continue to do to Manning ok?  I think not.

    Rules are made to be broken.


    I agree with you completely (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:18:59 PM EST
    About the rules thing.  You know I'm a horrible rule breaker if I see fit :)  I even smoked that spice stuff when it was legal because I don't know how you criticize something you never try.  I got in big trouble at home though for trying it....big big trouble.  If a rule is never broken someone exploits that and does horrible damage.

    I don't see anything short of a miracle that changes what Mannings life will be from here out though.  If they allow one intel analyst to do what he did, then others will follow or at least that is the chain of thought on all of it.  So it is zero tolerance, and I don't see anything coming along to change that.  I don't even see anything capable of changing that.

    From what I gather, he was a good analyst too.  I read his chat logs on Wired.  Broke my heart.  What really screwed that kid, isolation within the military because he was gay.  And he admitted to a military counselor that he was gay and his career was in the process of being destroyed for that.  Many people around me said that DADT would weaken us in intel at some point, they always figured someone would be extorted though.  Failed to think that gay intel personnel would become so isolated and victimized by the system that it would break them.  I think what happened to Bradley Manning sped the repeal of DADT, if that is the case though the memos on all that are classified until a much later date because those who fought against the repeal would freak out beyond freak outs if the repeal took place because of a treason.  That's fire and gasoline on Fox News for years.


    He will spend every day of his (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 04:44:15 AM EST
    Prime life behind bars.  Pleading guilty means that maybe when he is an old man someone could find a way to have him released.  His life as I have understood life is over though practically before it could even begin.  I feel for the guy, and there is zero tolerance for what he did and that will never change.

    "zero tolerance for what he did" (none / 0) (#11)
    by Andreas on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:52:48 AM EST
    Watch this video again and again and again:

    I have seen this video many times (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:03:12 PM EST
    #1.  Was edited

    #2.  Iraq was a sovereign nation when this took place.  Our helicopters were called in by Iraqi Police, you can hear all the references on the radio when they use the term IP....that is Iraqi Police.  It is not my fault that Julian Assange did not know that when he was editing so that he could have edited that out too.

    #3.  It is ugly, can't change it, they opened fire on the vehicle because they were currently having the different militia remove the wounded and the bodies before they (Iraqi Police) could get to them to question them and find out what gangs or militia they were with, who was their leader, who was funding them.

    #4.  If there were complaints of gunfire and someone was running around American streets with an RPG, deadly force would have been used too.

    This did not occur though without the request and permission of the Iraqi government.  It took place after Iraq was returned to Iraqi control.


    This is what bugs me (none / 0) (#21)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:37:43 PM EST
    people are claiming this akin to the Pentagon Papers- it isn't, not only did Manning lack the knowledge of a guy like Ellsberg  but he also failed to even attempt to parse what he revealed-- if people didn't die due to Manning's leaks it is only because of blind luck.

    Can anybody tell me (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by bmaz on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:47:26 PM EST
    ...why the defense did this?

    For the life of me, I do not understand why he and Coombs are doing this partial plea to the court without anything tangible to gain from it. What is the real theory here?

    I have no idea how, in good conscience this is being done on "advice of counsel".  Combs has done a decent enough job to date fo Manning, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt I guess. But it is hard.

    But my initial, and still, view is that this is just bad strategy. It does not overall mitigate the ultimate time Manning faces, it does not appear to take any particular set of evidence out of the prosecution's hands for the trial on the remaining charges, and it does not take any of the top counts of the charge sheet out of play.  It is simply dumfounding; what is the tactical gain now and how does it help in overall strategy?

    And I have no idea in the world why any court, military or otherwise, would let a defendant stand in the dock and read a 35 page statement/manifesto at a simple plea allocution. A plea proceeding is not an opportunity for a defendant to make self serving declarations, it is strictly designed to insure that the essential elements of the charges being pled to have a factual basis on the record, well at least in normal courts anyway.  It is nothing more than insuring that the time, place and jurisdiction, and root elements of crime are met as a factual basis for the record. That Is It. Period. Why did Lind agree to allow him to do so over the prosecution's objection?

    Might all this have some value as to PR posture, maybe. But this is a military court and the people in the public that may buy into the framing Manning made out in his "statement" are already very solidly on Manning's side. I simply do not see what is gained for the defense by having Manning make such an unnecessary statement; who is it designed to influence? Lind? Public? Why would the defense want to buttonhole itself into such an evidentiary corner before trial starts?

    I dunno, but I have asked a lot of people, including some with significant UCMJ experience (far more than I), what the strategy was here ever since the defense first indicated they were contemplating doing it. I have never gotten a particularly compelling answer.

    I don't get it.

    I don't either, but then, since I'm not (none / 0) (#9)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:29:46 AM EST
    a lawyer, I didn't necessarily expect to.

    That being said, I was surprised that he didn't get anything in exchange for pleading guilty - I thought perhaps the other 12 charges would be dropped, but no.  The most serious one - aiding and abetting the enemy - is still there, so I don't get what it was Manning gained by pleading guilty to any of the charges.

    And that statement...I get that Manning wanted to explain himself, but why would he do that with so many charges still open against him?

    I'll be interested to see if any more information/explanation comes out, but given how this case has been pushed out of the spotlight by all the manufactured crises by which we live these days, I'm not sure there will be much more, if any, real attention given to it.


    Did (none / 0) (#20)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:09:40 PM EST
    the death penalty get taken off the table in exchange for this plea?

    Nope (none / 0) (#22)
    by bmaz on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 05:22:30 PM EST
    The government took the DP out of play well before the defense ever mentioned this plea idea. Nothing whatsoever was promised by the government or received by the defense.

    SITE VIOLATOR: x30scom (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 06:28:13 AM EST

    Irrespective to how Manning (none / 0) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:47:37 AM EST
    was/may have been treated after arrest, he admitted guilt because he knew he was guilty and couldn't win.

    Does this mean that I am a fan of the government at all times and support everything it does? Of course not. But his actions harmed people. Aiding and abetting is a serious thing. He is lucky that he won't be hanged.

    Selective outrage ... (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 10:35:50 AM EST
    ... at "aiding and abetting" (aka misuse of classified information).

    Funny how the same wingers who were fine with Valerie Plame being outted (and Libby's subsequent obstruction) are suddenly concerned about the seriousness of such offenses.


    or aiding and abetting as in, (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:16:01 PM EST
    lying about wmds and making militant Islamists look like they have the moral high ground..

    Really Jim? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:31:00 PM EST
    I would say try survival and staring at the military prison system.

    Yes he harmed people but he had been harmed too.  If he had a hope of fighting those charges he would, I phucking would.  Give them something to hold you in a favorable light in though in the end.

    The military was not kind to this kid in any shape or form.  I don't buy all that hogwash about just eating dirt and $hitting American flags and how you wingers can do it on command.  Every psycho who pretended such things in 2000 isn't even in uniform these days, turned out it was too hard to do that but they yammered it all the time and then the day came to just do it and they were stricken with a limit to how much they could give a Red White and Blue $hit.

    At the end of the day we are all just human beings trying to survive.  And in the end we will all fail.