PFC Bradley Manning was acquitted on charges of aiding the enemy but subsequently convicted of violating the Espionage Act. To some, Manning is a hero fighting for full disclosure and the release of information. To others, Manning is no better than a spy working for the enemy and undermining his country’s national security.

Edward Snowden, known as the “NSA leaker,” was likely watching the outcome of this trial very closely.

Report on Manning from the LA Times:

FT. MEADE, Md. — Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was convicted Tuesday of violating the Espionage Act and faces up to 136 years in prison, but his acquittal on the even more serious charge of aiding the enemy was hailed as a victory for the press and the Internet against the government’s crackdown on leaks of classified information.

Manning’s leak of more than 700,000 State Department cables, terrorism detainee assessments, combat logs and videos was the largest breach of classified secrets in U.S. history. Among the information was a now-infamous 2007 video of an Apache combat helicopter attack in Iraq in which U.S. soldiers fired on civilians and killed 12, including two Reuters journalists.

Manning becomes one of only two people ever convicted under the Espionage Act for making classified data available to the public; the other, Samuel L. Morison, a government security analyst convicted in 1985, was pardoned by President Clinton on his final day in office.

“We won the battle, now we need to go win the war,” said chief defense lawyer David Coombs, who was greeted by applause and thanks from Manning supporters when he left the courtroom. “Today is a good day, but Bradley is by no means out of the fire.”

President Obama had once promised on the campaign to offer “protection” for whistle-blowers in government. However, it was recently discovered that his original campaign promise was scrubbed from his old campaign site according to PolycMic. Has the President lived up to this promise, or not?

Is Manning a hero or traitor? What about Snowden? Is Espionage a fair conviction or should Manning have been acquitted entirely?

22 COMMENTS

  1. I think there would be a good argument that NO ONE can be convicted of “aiding the enemy” because in order to have an “enemy,” you have to have a “war,” and we have not had a “war” since 1945. It would be nice if someone would take it to court, because we really need to bring back the Constitutional requirement NOT to have a war that is not declared by Congress.

    As for the issue of “whistle blower,” I hate to say it, but that ain’t Manning and Snowden. If they had released ONLY specific reports, such as the killing of civilians, they’d be heroes. Also, if they had released it to the traditional media, they could have been protected.

    By just dumping raw data, like that, they didn’t “whistleblow,” they just gave away secrets.

  2. Hey a PFC can’t even drive a tank in the army. Now who in their right mind would arm a PFC with the kind of info he released. Back when I was in with responsibility goes rank and visa versa

  3. When you sign on the dotted line as a MilSpec or a contractor – The UCMJ owns your iddy biddy rectum.

    I do find it hard to believe manning ripped 700,000 “documents of either Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret information. when any computer or removable disk is signed out to be used and must be returned to a secure are at the close of sign out DAILY. Unless Snowden not only released the names of the telephone, computer correspondence and of the programs but had significant details and examples of the programs and benefits to the “enemy” or / and the proof of violation of the 4th Amendment on “We the People” (BTW all of BO’s EO’s are just BS if they haven’t been sanctioned by DOJ and Congress) then he was in violation of distributing limited Classified info to unauthorized sources including unauthorized sources of other countries.

    Goethe it is a fine line if a country “is an enemy”.- every country is assessed and analysed of where they will be in the line-up and possibility of joint attack and result. To assume anything less would be Ludicrous. While Iran and N.Korea are the really naughty ones right now.- al Qaeda has been the disruptive most damaging organization to the U.S. SINCE 1992. They think committing suicide for their cause is glorious so we should help them. Give warnings to all the countries al Qeada resides in – just like Japan – dearly beloved . . . If you spread out we up the U237 . if they want to hide behind skirts – notify authorities we will do best to reduce collateral to a minimum but we are holding to their standards.

    One Alternative al Qaeda – pick a land – sign a treaty – violate it, get no warning, just stand by and look like Nagasaki and Hiroshima 1944.

    Boots on the ground are past except for our borders and to fight international crime. Unless you’re a “Big Dog” stay on the porch. We’ll respect your ideology and stay outta ours.

    we will survive another 250 years.

  4. NEWS–Russia gives Snowden 1-year asylum.

    This whole thing brings up two issues: personal responsibility and Americans’ naivete.

    Years ago, when students protested Vietnam, they stood and were arrested. And I’ve always admired the way European leaders will RESIGN if they do something wrong. American leaders “take responsibility” because they know it means absolutely nothing. Nothing. It is actually insulting to us, because they know most of us don’t know how insulting that is.

    If Snowden really thought he should make the stuff public, he should have taken it to a legitimate news outlet, so that responsible people there could filter it responsibly. But more importantly, he should stand and ake his medicine–which would involve the public in the discussion. By running away, he also handed over all the stuff to another country. The result is that it’s STILL secret,but just secret in someone else’s hands.

    And finally, America has NO “friends.” We naively think that everyone is either “pro-American” or “anti-American.” The truth is that they are simply pro-themselves. That’s why, from time to time, our “friends” are expelled for spying on us–such as the famous case of the Israeli spy. And, of course, we’d have to worry a lot less about “anti-Americanism” if we didn’t have our fingers in everyone’s pie.

    • Goethe Behr — what a load of crap you posted.

      You have lost your reasoning ability — or too many vodkas…LOL.

      • Surfisher: As usual, an attack with no specifics and no constructive contribution.

        What exactly are you disagreeing with?
        –Are you saying that people should not be responsible?
        –Are you saying that politicians who screw up should be rewarded?
        –Are you saying that Snowden was intelligent in his actions?
        –Are you saying that you know the facts that Snowden intended to release?
        –Are you saying that all the information Snowden had is now public knowledge?
        –Are you saying we have “friends” for whom we should always go to war?
        –Are you saying we have “enemies” with whom we should always go to war?
        –Are you saying other countries have no right to their own viewpoint?

        Are you saying anything on this topic? Not so far.

  5. Are there NO Real Americans left in Congress and Senate?!

    Or are they all cowards?!

    Are both these bodies polluted with anti-Constitutional and American-hating scumbags, that NOT a Single ONE of them will START IMPEACHMENT proceedings against the creature that has usurped for the first time the US Presidency — Barry Sotero, or Hussein Obama….whatever its real name is???!!!

    We all know the charges — but, no-one in Congress or Senate has the guts to be a Real American, and challenge this Usurper of The White House according to Verified Records!

    Contact your Congressmen and Senators, and TELL them this is the reason Barrack Hussein Obama MUST be IMPEACHED! And if you fail to support its impeachment, don’t expect to be reelected!

    The BO lied on all its promises — and once elected did the EXACT OPPOSITE of what it said. THAT’S PERJURY! Also, the BO NEVER supplied its original Birth Certificate — but had a fake published!..

    WHO IS THIS Barry Sotero or Hussein Obama, remains a question to THIS DAY!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BmdovYztH8

    Make this 2 minute video viral!

  6. IMPEACH Barack Hussein Obama — it stumbles-and-bumbles AND STUTTERS (which is usual for this political creature to try and come up with an answer it is not prepared for) while trying to decide what it is: A DICTATOR or NOT….LOL!

    ABSOLUTELY THE BEST VIDEO THAT MAKES THE CASE FOR IMMEDIATE IMPEACHMENT !!!

    Time to IMPEACH — make this SUPERB 15 minute video viral.

    Also, nice exposure of Hitlery Clinton!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfB7xihoqVo

    If any of you here are true Americans, give this post a thumbs up.

    Thank you!

    p.s. Don’t worry about the NSA (Nazis Spying on Americans) profiling you, they’ve been spying on you illegally for years, and the only way to stop them now is to have Obama IMPEACHED!

  7. Today, I heard an interview with Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers. He had a clear purpose–to show that the government was lying about Vietnam. But more importantly, Ellsberg said that he fully expected to go to prison for the rest of his life.

    The trouble with today’s so-called whistleblowers is that (a) they are not really trying to show anything–they just want to be famous, and (b) they have no sense of responsibility, so they don’t expect to suffer any consequences.

    I am not saying Manning and Snowden were “wrong.” I’m just saying if you’re going to do something like that,you should (a) have a reason and purpose, (b) do what you can to see that others don’t suffer for your actions, and (c) be willing to suffer the consequences of your actions.

    I would be interested in whether Sam would agree with this.

    • Goethe – IMHO there are at least two issues here. On the front end i believe Whistleblowers should have amnesty IF: . . . they truly expose a violation of the Constitution, etc and / or other laws that could fundamentally damage the U.S (Screw the rest of the world right now, we are not friends with anyone or vice-versa). Some other understandings – If there is a Security breach, it becomes very complicated. . . If just the Program code name is mentioned (ie, PRISM, XKeyScore, Sauron, etc,) and then the process takes over with a bipartisan congressional interrogation. And then If we had a true Congress with politics aside, then a true media could interrogate and deliver accurate information to We the People, that may work, but i’m not even sure that a possibility.

      Back when i mess-cooked with Moses and aircrewed in these tubes that had big long blades that swirled – we had two pieces of equipment called Julie and Jezebel and we were not allowed to even say the names except in a secure environment, let alone their purpose. And instructed codename and purpose remain disassociated.

      however we have no protection for whitleblowers, we have a shitty congress with no morals, and an even shittier mainstream media that is biased, and even less morals than congress, we have no real process and the worst thing is we have no communications that the ‘low information’ citizens will take the time to listen to and be guardians of our Republican Democracy.

      I also believe that all government employees and their contractors that have any association with Military and Foreign Affairs should be subject to the UCMJ, Talk about cleaning up perjury, lies, theft (except from each other), deceit, on & on.

      If you want to work for the “Man” they are some real truths.

      All that said – I can see how Snowden could probably get in a secured area or even “check out” a removable disk drive and image it and was probably trained in the mechanics of the software to do research. But Manning?? that’s a real mystery. 700K docs????? Even with no process – Both did a REAL no-no. It is beat into our heads, sometimes literally, if it labeled “classfied” do not copy, do not open your alligator mouth, if you can’t blab it to your bar friend at your favorite place “on the beach” – shut-up!!!! Or else you get to be someone special’s girlfriend for a lot of years.

      The so sad is because they couldn’t go to their Congressperson, there is no process. The only way a low info citizen will get the message that the Empire is frackin’ with our 4th (or any other) Amendment is by what those two idiots did.

      It is truly a dichotomy

  8. This comment may be somewhat out of place – but the event has caused me to pause and think – what undermining, dissatisfaction from within: jealousy, desire to destroy, political powers desire to take us from a proud democratic-republic to a divided, dissatisfied socialist nanny-state.

    The circumstances are 73 years ago and not too different except for an upcoming war vs we are just finishing a war. the country in 1940 was still in a 10 year depression, preparing to enjoin a world war for several reasons, led by the Democrats party for 8 years, trying to create a nanny state, but not a monarchy, more republican-democracy vs a democratic republic. there was still a great deal of divisiveness (mainly racism), but the general population still considered themselves a family.

    BTW – There were no need for Whistleblowers in 1940, just someone reporting espionage.

    Of course this is a propaganda movie/song but it is hard for me to fathom a similar film and song to be introduced today. except for a Tea Partier c/w singer like Tim McGraw but would be mostly ignored by the media and entertainment world because it would be considered conservative – and divisiveness and P.C. says they are offlimits to be recognized for any patriotism.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?feature=player_embedded&v=TnQDW-NMaRs#%21

  9. NSA (Nazis Spying on Americans) is happening NOW!!!

    Time to IMPEACH Lil’ Hussein !!!
    ——————————————————————————-
    And now, the important News:

    Ron Paul: *Why Won’t They Tell Us the Truth About NSA Spying?*

    “In 2001, the Patriot Act opened the door to US government monitoring of Americans without a warrant. It was unconstitutional, but most in Congress over my strong objection were so determined to do something after the attacks of 9/11 that they did not seem to give it too much thought. Civil liberties groups were concerned, and some of us in Congress warned about giving up our liberties even in the post-9/11 panic. But at the time most Americans did not seem too worried about the intrusion.

    This complacency has suddenly shifted given recent revelations of the extent of government spying on Americans. Politicians and bureaucrats are faced with serious backlash from Americans outraged that their most personal communications are intercepted and stored. They had been told that only the terrorists would be monitored. In response to this anger, defenders of the program have time and again resorted to spreading lies and distortions. But these untruths are now being exposed very quickly.

    In a Senate hearing this March, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Senator Ron Wyden that the NSA did not collect phone records of millions of Americans. This was just three months before the revelations of an NSA leaker made it clear that Clapper was not telling the truth. Pressed on his false testimony before Congress, Clapper apologized for giving an “erroneous” answer but claimed it was just because he “simply didn’t think of Section 215 of the Patriot Act.” Wow.

    As the story broke in June of the extent of warrantless NSA spying against Americans, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers assured us that the project was a strictly limited and not invasive. He described it as a “lockbox with only phone numbers, no names, no addresses in it, we’ve used it sparingly, it is absolutely overseen by the legislature, the judicial branch and the executive branch, has lots of protections built in…”

    But we soon discovered that also was not true either. We learned in another Guardian newspaper article last week that the top secret “X-Keyscore” program allows even low-level analysts to “search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals.”

    The keys to Rogers’ “lockbox” seem to have been handed out to everyone but the janitors! As Chairman of the Committee that is supposed to be most in the loop on these matters, it seems either the Intelligence Community misled him about their programs or he misled the rest of us. It sure would be nice to know which one it is.

    Likewise, Rep. Rogers and many other defenders of the NSA spying program promised us that this dragnet scooping up the personal electronic communications of millions of Americans had already stopped “dozens” of terrorist plots against the United States. In June, NSA director General Keith Alexander claimed that the just-disclosed bulk collection of Americans’ phone and other electronic records had “foiled 50 terror plots.”

    Opponents of the program were to be charged with being unconcerned with our security.

    But none of it was true.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday heard dramatic testimony from NSA deputy director John C. Inglis. According to the Guardian:

    “The NSA has previously claimed that 54 terrorist plots had been disrupted ‘over the lifetime’ of the bulk phone records collection and the separate program collecting the internet habits and communications of people believed to be non-Americans. On Wednesday, Inglis said that at most one plot might have been disrupted by the bulk phone records collection alone.”

    From dozens to “at most one”?

    Supporters of these programs are now on the defensive, with several competing pieces of legislation in the House and Senate seeking to rein in an administration and intelligence apparatus that is clearly out of control. This is to be commended. What is even more important, though, is for more and more and more Americans to educate themselves about our precious liberties and to demand that their government abide by the Constitution. We do not have to accept being lied to – or spied on — by our government.”

  10. Back on topic. . .

    Manning, Facing Prison for Leaks, Apologizes at Court-Martial Trial
    By CHARLIE SAVAGE, New York Times
    Published: August 14, 2013 132 Comments

    FORT MEADE, Md. — Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is facing up to 90 years in prison for leaking 700,000 government files to WikiLeaks, apologized on Wednesday for the “unintended consequences of my actions.” He told the judge at his court-martial trial that while he “believed it was going to help people, not hurt people,” he now realized that what he did was wrong.

    “I’m sorry that my actions hurt people,” he said. “I’m sorry that they hurt the United States. At the time of my decision, as you know, I was dealing with a lot of issues, issues that are ongoing and continue to affect me” — a reference to matters like his crisis over his gender identity, which he was confronting while on a military deployment in a combat zone.

    “Although a considerable difficulty in my life,” he said, “ these issues are not an excuse for my actions. I understood what I was doing and the decisions I made. However, I did not fully appreciate the broader effects of my actions. Those factors are clear to me now.”

    Private Manning’s three-minute statement to the judge, Col. Denise R. Lind, was not sworn, so prosecutors could not cross-examine him.

    ==============

    OK–so now, Manning is saying he’s NOT a “whistleblower.” He’s just a mixed up “kid” who had a hard homelife, and is now confused about his lifestyle. Instead of standing by his actions, he says he was wrong.. It wasn’t quite the insanity plea, but close.

    So, what do you do in a case like this? I would much rather have had him say that he felt that he was in the right, and felt that the long-term results of his actions would help the country. Instead, he just said, in effect, oops, my bad.

    Anybody have an opinion on this?

    • In Manning’s case, there were no concealed programs at stake involving “we the People’s” privacy. so he is literally fornicated. Signing your life on the line and you have 11 – 52 weeks to learn your responsibilities and one of the most major of all is unauthorized disclosure of classified information. the UCMJ is pretty straightforward and JAG takes a REALLY dim view. Article 92.can be punishable by death and Article 134 can be life in prison. They don’t really care if you’re a teenager or a “lifer” (pulled 20yrs or more).

      It is a shame but he will be killed in Ft. Leavanworth anyway. He needs to have some serious discussions with his “guides” and make sure this doesn’t happen to him again. such a shame.

      btw -i’m pretty sure as a defense contractor, if desired , Snowden is probably subject to the UCMJ as well and may be charged with same articles.

  11. That’s what makes Manning’s groveling so incongruous. Since he’s screwed either way, he would have been smarter to go the martyr route–tell us he saved US from our own government. As it is, he is hated by government secrecy fans, and now is turning his back on openness fans–and looks ridiculous on top of it.

  12. This seems like the best place to put this:

    http://www.policymic.com/articles/50533/was-michael-hastings-murdered-internet-conspiracy-theories-are-rife

    On June 17, at 1 p.m., Hastings sent out an email to Buzzfeed staff and a close friend. The subject line read “FBI Investigation, re:NSA,” and the email is as follows:

    Hey [redacted] the Feds are interviewing my “close friends and associates.” Perhaps if the authorities arrive “BuzzFeed GQ,” er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues.

    Also: I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the rada[r] for a bit.

    All the best, and hope to see you all soon.

    Michael

    Less than 24 hours later, at 4:20 AM, Michael Hastings’s car smashed into a tree on Hollywood Avenue and burst into flames. He died immediately.

    Whenever a high-profile, the internet is rife with theories. In this case, some have cited several suspicious circumstances in the accident.

    Here are some of the more shadowy details (more details at the link):
    1) Working on a “big story” (PRISM?)
    2) Asked for help from Wikileaks, since FBI was investigating him
    3) FBI usually doesn’t usually deny investigating someone
    4) The car crash was “bizarre”

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