Bradley Manning Trial Begins

Bradley Manning goes on trial today. He pleaded guilty to several offenses in February, but the Government wanted more. Among the charges for which he will be tried are violations of the Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. He faces a potential life penalty.

Since much of the evidence is classified, large portions of the trial are not expected to take place in public.

Portions of his Feb. 2013 statement accepting responsibility for providing documents to Wikileaks have been unsealed. You can read it here. Highlights are here. The site FreeBradleyManning has many more details about Manning and the case.

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    It's (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 06:26:48 PM EST
    hair-raising that Manning might have to spend his entire life in prison for disclosing information such as this to the American public and the world.

    If we really want to know, "why they hate us", one has only to watch this horrifying video.

    It is not a matter of "blaming America", or hating America.
    It is, for me, a matter of my having a right to know what we are doing - so that I have a basis on which to make an opinion, and a basis on which to decide for whom I will or will not vote.

    If they condemn Manning to a harsh sentence, it will hang over this country in a manner similar to Gitmo. We might not be conscious of him on a daily basis, but somewhere lurking in our awareness will be the dark cloud of an individual being robbed of his life for sharing information that had been unconscionably withheld from the American public by its government.

    In context (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jack203 on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 09:35:45 PM EST
    1.  Some of them were clearly armed.
    2.  The two additional ones with cameras didn't help matters, made it seem that over half were armed.  It's the fog of war.
    3. It was 2am.  Extremely hostile territory with a curfew
    4. DURING A WAR where 100 US soldiers were dying a month through just as cowardly tactics (roadside bombs)

    It's not exactly Dresden or Hiroshima Lentinel.  It's not .000001% of either.  And last time I checked we are in very good terms with both Japan and Germany now.

    PS.  I think the army made their point with Manning.  He's been in jail long enough

    PSS - I hated the Iraq war and everything about it, and think Bush deserves to be considered one of the bottom 3-5 presidents ever.

    Finally - it was a war for oil alright.  China is making out huge.  Not us.

    China Reaping Biggest Benefits of Iraq's Oil Boom...
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/03/world/middleeast/china-reaps-biggest-benefits-of-iraq-oil-boom.htm l


    Manning did not selectively (none / 0) (#15)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 06:19:07 AM EST
    expose information we should know. He was not a whistle blower. He just dumped a bunch of intelligence because he could. Some of it made him look like a hero to the left. He's no hero, just a mixed up kid with a lousy life. As much as I despise the war and the people who pushed it, I don't see how we can allow people to make the choice to leak military intelligence because they are unhappy....and then because we appreciate some of the intel being dumped, treat that person like a hero and let them off. What if it were your son or daughter whose life and safety were compromised over there because of the choice Manning made?

    A question: (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by lentinel on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 01:55:35 PM EST
    Whose life was put in jeopardy by the information that Manning let us see?

    In what manner was our "national security" compromised?

    Imo, the answer to the first question is "nobody".

    The answer to the second question is, "It wasn't".

    If you have any specific information to the contrary, let me know.
    Specific information, that is.

    To me, this is just the government wanting the ability to do whatever it wants, and have the military do whatever it wants, without any oversight or input from the public it is supposed to be serving.

    I don't buy it.

    I'm on Manning's side in this.
    And I'm on the side of WIkileaks.
    And I'm on the side of freedom of the press and the protection of sources.

    Our government has been running amok for decades.
    It's time their cloak was removed, and time for us to see what the hell is going on and being perpetrated in our names.


    Daniel Ellsberg... (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Dadler on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 07:04:45 PM EST
    ...must be very "happy" he didn't have to release the Pentagon Papers today, as Manning essentially did with Iraq/Afgan/WOT. Because that national hero would be right where Manning is. They have already pretty much killed this kid for bringing to light what should have never been in the dark. This administration is really as phucked up as you get. Such a bad act they are. Such insidious malevolence and virulent lack of humane imagination. And inexcusable to boot.

    Wait, did he take a plea bargon ... (none / 0) (#1)
    by redwolf on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 02:26:59 AM EST
    and they charged him with more crimes after the fact?

    No (none / 0) (#4)
    by bmaz on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 09:56:59 AM EST
    He was charged with a full slate of charges and selective pled guilty to only a few of them without any agreement with the government. Just hung himself out with the rest of the charges still set for trial. One of the most bizarre tactics I have ever seen in my life, but there you have it.

    Doesn't make any sense (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Zorba on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 12:32:31 PM EST
    to me that he would do this.  But then I'm not a lawyer.  Maybe his lawyers had some good reason to advise him to do this.  I just can't think of one.

    Hey, I am... (none / 0) (#6)
    by bmaz on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 02:19:31 PM EST
    ...a lawyer, and it has never made a single lick of sense to me. I guess maybe it is trying to show some acceptance of responsibility to the court (it is a bench trial, there is no jury); but, jeebus, the sheer volume of facts and elements that were given up in the process on the remaining charges, which are very serious ones, is mind numbing.

    It just seems to me (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Zorba on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 02:45:56 PM EST
    that this would make it that much more difficult to mount a good defense for him.  Very puzzling.

    Letting the air out of baloon? (none / 0) (#9)
    by Babel 17 on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 06:19:26 PM EST
    Perhaps the defense feels that they can't win. So by pleading guilty to some of the charges it is perhaps hoped that the pressure is off the prosecution.* They've already won and so might throw some crumbs Manning's way.

    IANAL or even versed in the law but if Manning is risking the death penalty it perhaps behooves his defense to choose whatever strategy reduces the risk of that happening.

    *Like in Alice in Wonderland, it's unthinkable that someone found innocent could have been subjected to what Manning has gone through.


    I would tend to think (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Zorba on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 06:44:09 PM EST
    that the prosecution is not going to be very willing to throw any crumbs Manning's way.
    It is, indeed, an "Alice in Wonderland" situation.  
    I don't pretend to understand military justice at all.  But then, the way things have been going in recent years, I don't pretend to understand civilian justice, either.  Not any more.

    The death penalty (none / 0) (#13)
    by SuzieTampa on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 08:03:05 PM EST
    has already been taken off the table. By pleading guilty to some of the offenses, he then had an opportunity to read a long statement to the court about his motives.

    What's happened so far... (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 03:22:46 PM EST