Bradley Manning pleads guilty to misusing classified data in WikiLeaks case

Comments (44)
gaf018 wrote:

What a disgrace. I hope he gets put up for the rest of his life. He needs a dishonorable discharge. I hope he has to work dead end jobs for the rest of his life in absolute misery for this. He should be tried for treason and endangering military personell. There’s a reason certain things are classified. What he released could have caused more attacks on American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. I can’t remember if there were. If there was, their blood is on his hands. I’m absolutely ashamed he’s wearing the same uniform as me and comes from the same state as I do. Absolute disgrace.

Feb 28, 2013 10:15am EST  --  Report as abuse

Free Bradley Manning. Demand more transparency of our elected officials.

Feb 28, 2013 11:11am EST  --  Report as abuse
c.c.22 wrote:

This man was arrested for exposing the ugly about war mistakes. However, the even uglier and the reason why the U.S. is so pissed, is the fact that it was publicly divulge that no disciplinary actions were taken against those who carelessly committed the acts revealed…

Feb 28, 2013 11:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
peacetrain wrote:

This is what society does to Whistleblowers. Very few people will actually stand up against someone of authority. And for anyone to use the “he put our soilders in the line of fire” I ask when? and what would you have done? Nothing? He showed the world just as the Tillman family tried to that our Government is made up of a bunch of liars so how can they possibly deal with a truthseeker? Free Bradley Manning!

Feb 28, 2013 11:15am EST  --  Report as abuse
ruffsoft wrote:

Manning should be given the Medal of Honor.

Feb 28, 2013 11:43am EST  --  Report as abuse
ruffsoft wrote:

Manning should be given the Medal of Honor.

Feb 28, 2013 11:43am EST  --  Report as abuse
WD52 wrote:

I was a security center specialist during the Viet Nam Era. I had top security clearances and handled many secure messages. There was a lot of supervision and to steal even one secure message was nearly impossible. There was not access to any of us 10 or as many as 100 messages. We were the main communication branch of the U.S. Army.
If Private Manning had access to this many secure documents, something is wrong in the organization. A document with a security classification is meant just for the individuals intended. If there is a stash somewhere of hundreds or thousands of classified documents, the ones allowing access to those documents is to blame. Manning did wrong by sharing anything, but I think he is being used as a scapegoat. His direct chain of command and maybe higher up is to blame for this oversight. No one person especially a private should have enough access to anything to be able to put them on any media and sell or give them away. What was his job and why did he have access to so many documents? Maybe someone needs to look at those in charge of private Manning.

Feb 28, 2013 12:01pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SanPa wrote:

If ever there was a test of the military capital crimes code, this would be it.

Feb 28, 2013 12:24pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Iconoline wrote:

There is ample evidence that both Manning and Assange took numerous steps to avoid aiding US enemies, and little evidence that any US enemies were actually aided, apart from claiming that any inside information could jeopardize lives, which is already covered in the rationale for classifying it. To claim that he was “aiding the enemy” has more to do with the degree of light shown on world diplomacy than any actual risk to lives. Just as with the execrable way he was treated in custody, the government is irresponsibly jacking up the allegations to scare anyone from doing anything like this again.

Such sleazy tactics won’t work.

Feb 28, 2013 12:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
C.S.F.C.G.COM wrote:

One would think that the Pentagon is anxious to put a lid on the public ire over the public service and controversial military activities revealed by Bradley Manning, via Wikileaks. But, is the military so Neanderthal minded that they will allow their first nature of pure unmitigated aggression and violence to completely overwhelm their limited reasoning ability? To consider the paramount issue of “aiding and abetting the enemy” one must explore the definition and identity of enemy. Manning maintains that nothing he contributed to the Wikileaks releases “aided or abetted” Al Queda. That would be impossible to credibly prove otherwise. The real damage the leaks caused the military was being outed by the truth and the loss of face it caused them and the State Department around the world. Will the military decide that the world is the enemy, and Manning aided the world? “Manning’s Wikileaks” aided and abetted the truth, knowledge and understanding of U.S. citizens, voters and taxpayers. Has the military determined that Americans are the enemy, and Manning committed treason by aiding us? To the degree that the military which we pay for, has been exclusively used by big business to grow their profits, which they ship overseas to avoid compensating taxpayers with a return on our investment, and which has openly declared that they are the enemy of the public by being responsible to profit only, by any means, the military has effectively waged a war against the American People. In that light, I confess that Manning may have aided and abetted the “military’s enemy,” us!


Feb 28, 2013 12:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
diluded0000 wrote:

He should get some protection under whistleblower laws. If you report illegal activity, you shouldn’t get locked up for life. I know some folks are rah rah rah, go USA, execute the traitor. But do you really want to live under, and pay for, a government that commits crimes then locks up the people that report them? Would you change your answer if the government was perpetrating a crime against you personally?

Feb 28, 2013 1:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
COindependent wrote:

@ ruffsoft. You are saying we should prosecute Google and Facebook for violating your personal privacy, but award this individual for violating the confidentiality of government correspondence.

Manning signed a document and went through repeated training regarding the confidentiality of government correspondence–of all types. Keep preaching that he had no obligation to meet his commitment to security. Another useful idiot in our midst, who compromises the safety of every diplomat and every American–including you.

Unfortunately, those who support his actions are not the first to endure the consequences. Perhaps a good dose of reality is in order for you and yours.

Feb 28, 2013 1:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Yashmak wrote:

Regardless the merit of his actions, good or bad, it’s ridiculous to assert that someone who broke his oath, repeatedly and willfully, deserves the Medal of Honor.

Feb 28, 2013 1:44pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gearwarrior wrote:

Yep, funny how the accused should be the one behind the bench asking why this country needs so many ‘secrets’. Proof that we are no longer operating by a moral and or ethical code. Good luck Bradley and by extension, Wikileaks…

Feb 28, 2013 1:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
cbj wrote:

Oh, well, I feel so much better that he only ‘misused’ classified data and then because he was serving a ‘higher’ purpose . . . well, sure lets throw away the entire Uniform Code of Military Justice.
He is a traitor.
If he really cared about the morality of what he did he should stand proudly and demand the fullest punishment possible.
Nathan Hale at least had but one life, this guy is a weasel and unwilling to face the result of his weak convictions.

Feb 28, 2013 1:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
luap_playaman wrote:

Bradley freed information, shining a light on corrupt Washington politicians and DOD crooks. For that he should be commended. The true criminals should be put on trial, the ones causing thousands of deaths and draining the economy to fill their Haliburton buddies’ pockets with lies about ‘weapons of mass destruction’ etc and sweetheart contract deals… seriously.

Feb 28, 2013 2:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gearwarrior wrote:

@Yashmak Right, so let get this straight. The MoH is only for those who follow orders in acts of bravery. Well, I can tell you, there are lots of men who deserve that honor that didn’t get it, and whats worse is they were fighting on the other side! I think people like you who get so worked in to ‘legalism’ and following the rules (because you think that those things are honorable) forget why they are put there in the first place are in fact, entertaining. You need to watch more cartoons man, put the CSI crap away. You’ve forgotten what being the good guy means.

Feb 28, 2013 2:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Salbal wrote:

Bradley Manning was never an officer in the US Army. He was and is a Private First Class, the rank on his uniform in your photo.

Feb 28, 2013 2:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WoodyBear wrote:

What about the “collateral murder” by the US Military that Bradley Manning exposed. The truth is that Manning exposed that the US Military has knowingly killed innocent children and reporters employed by Reuters News service. Who is being held accountable for these murders? Talk about capital offenses is very cheap in light of what Manning did as far as exposing unpunished capital offenses committed by the US Military? Bradley Manning did something very heroic in exposing these murders.

Feb 28, 2013 2:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
A42 wrote:

“Manning, an Army intelligence officer, was arrested in May 2010 while serving in Iraq and charged with downloading thousands of intelligence documents, diplomatic cables and combat videos and forwarding them to WikiLeaks.”

First of all, Manning is a PFC. He is NOT an officer. That’s poor reporting and/or editing.

Second, if you think the difference is just semantic, you’re wrong. Being an officer entails a much higher of responsibility than an enlisted personnel. While their role is certainly important, they are generally not the ones who make important decisions. They execute the decisions made by their superiors.

Someone said it right earlier…there is a big problem when PFC’s have unrestricted access to sensitive diplomatic information and can pass it along as easily as Manning seems to have done.

There are important points here about transparency in government, and they should definitely be looked into. But the harm to the chain of command in America’s defenses is much more serious. PFC Manning is not a hero. He deserves the punishment he’s about to receive.

Feb 28, 2013 2:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SwainSR wrote:

Unless Manning had been an “officer” at some point in time and had been reduced in rank to PFC, he is not an officer of any kind, neither commissioned, noncommissioned, nor warrant. Don’t your people check these kinds of particulars? This is a significant misstatement of fact.

Feb 28, 2013 2:15pm EST  --  Report as abuse
lylelwr wrote:

Manning is a traitor. Plain and simple. If this had happened during Word War II he probably would have been shot as a spy. If Wikileaks is so nobel why is the founder hiding in an embassy to avoid arrest?

Feb 28, 2013 2:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
1SG wrote:

I respect Manning’s right to disagree with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, he is also a member of the United States military. No one forced him to join, nor did they force him to obtain a security clearance. He swore an oath, and he violated it by divulging classified information. He is not a whistleblower – he is a traitor! As someone who has put his butt on the line more than once in both Afghanistan and Iraq, I am personally offended by his disregard for my life and the lives of my comrades. Whether or not an enemy chose to take advantage of the information Manning revealed is irrelevant. He put it out there where it was available to everyone, including the people who kill Americans.

Feb 28, 2013 3:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
tdlane wrote:

Get real, people! This is not about transparency; it is about disclosure of classified information. The real criminal here is not Manning; it is the people who gave him access to vast amounts of classified information. Manning knew darned well that what he was doing was wrong, and should suffer the consequences of his actions. Nonetheless, throwing the book at him will not solve the problem; we must send a message to the people who gave a PFC access to such sensitive information.

Feb 28, 2013 3:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

Anyone who believes that Assange is in this for anything other than the notoriety, the money and the puzzy is a moron. And as far as Manning is concerned, one crime doesn’t exonerate another.

Feb 28, 2013 3:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
geomike wrote:

Bradley Manning is a Private First Class (PFC) intelligence analyst, not an intelligence officer as reported in this article.

Feb 28, 2013 3:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
upstater wrote:

Free Bradley Manning. He is a hero for exposing US war crimes.

Feb 28, 2013 3:33pm EST  --  Report as abuse
COindependent wrote:

@gearwarrior. So you are saying that each person should make an individual decision as to what information is classified or not?

Those of you growing up in the “facebook” generation have zero respect for confidentiality or privacy. Therefore, you are a risk to any company or organization would consider employing you.

It was not, in any way, his call to make. If you want more transparency in government, then speak to your Congressman, or better yet, to the President who promoted transparency in his campaign (and behaves otherwise). The issue is not only the information Manning released, but rather the fact that we cannot have individual employees or service personnel making those decisions in a vacuum.

Feb 28, 2013 3:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
dipconsult wrote:

As a former diplomat I have strongly criticised publishing without editing classified State Dept communications – diplomacy can only work if confidences and your sources are kept secret and your sources have confidence that this will be so. Sad to say even years ago the US had a reputation for leaks. So quite often its allies passed on information they had directly in Washington. Worse – Wikileaks did not edit even to ensure no one would lose their life or liberty or avoid torture when publishing.

That said – the US is guilty of quite incredibly reckless security when a private soldier in the Defense Department was able to have access to a mass of State Department confidential communications!

This has made the US a laughing stock to the grave detriment of Western interests – though in some ways it is good that some of what went on in American diplomacy came to the knowledge of the public in a democracy.

I very much hope that the feckless Private will receive only token punishment but that heads will roll in American Security circles!

By the way – if Pvte Manning got sll that stuff it’s pretty certain that the Russians, Chinese – and us Brits – will have got it too! Osama must be laughing in his grave!

Feb 28, 2013 3:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

Had manning been tried for his actions in Nuremburg for the charge of stealing secrets from the Nazis we would have hailed him a hero and an honorable man who knew when the higher ups were up to no good. Wasn’t a principal established that conscience trumps military discipline?

But since this country launched the era of war lite and recruits only careerists and reservists and doesn’t discomfort the rest of the population at all, Manning is actually someone who took the issues to heart while so many others were content to look at the media extravaganza that launched this garbage, without much complaint.

Good for him that he broke the spell of an attempt at media friendly war and “embedded journalists”. This country is the new militarist threat to the globe. I will never forget that Bush opened the Iraq invasion with the slimy come on – join us and we’ll help you to the spoils (in so many words). Afghanistan may have been unavoidable but that slimy offer gave away the intentions behind the rest of the “program”.

There is no reason on earth why a country should be avid for warfare. Especially when it requires nothing from them but to continue to stuff their fat faces and wallets, lest the economy suffer. And that’s all it’s been for the past ten years. Rumsfeld had to be embarrassed into visiting his troops.

If that’s all that can keep this rattle trap alive, I hope it collapses. Any country armed to the teeth with private weapons is not a country of brave men and women but the rankest and most paranoid of cowards. Any fool can fly a flag and so many do.

Feb 28, 2013 4:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse

He should be given the Medal of Honor for service to freedom beyond the call of duty. He protects us from internal tyranny.

Feb 28, 2013 4:45pm EST  --  Report as abuse
GabeD wrote:

History is repeating itself.

Also, don’t get fooled most of the posters here that are claiming to be against Manning and what he did are most likely just trolls. I mean listen to them. It is either that or they have no clue what information was actually leaked. Let the propaganda continue.

Feb 28, 2013 4:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TOR01 wrote:

I have no issues in principle with a “whistle-blower” who reports specific illegal activities to an appropriate authority for further action. Mr Manning however, obtained access to a considerable amount of highly classified documentation and communications and released it en-mass onto the internet without so much as a thought for the consequences of his actions (not to mention the lives of some of the persons referred to in the communications). By doing this, he revealed himself to be nothing more than a weasel and a traitor.

Feb 28, 2013 5:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse
military wrote:

If you have knowledge of a crime being committed, you have the obligation to report it. Manning found out about crimes that the government had committed and reported it. No oath or contract releases someone from their obligation to follow the law. Once he found out about these crimes the government was covering up it was his legal responsibility to tell someone, otherwise he could have been considered an accomplice in these crimes.

Imagine if Manning was questioned about his knowledge of this classified information. Once Manning knew the government was covering these things up, he could have been convicted for participating in the cover up and not reporting what he knew.

Whether Manning kept his mouth shut or reported what he knew, he was both right and wrong. This is a paradox that you all must consider. The government rewards whistle blowers with cash. However when you blow the whistle on the government you get in trouble.

Everyone has an opinion on this case, but they don’t really matter. The laws of the government already have a contradictory view on what he did. That is the real problem here. Legally, he committed a crime by doing the right thing according to the law. Shame on you guys for coming down so hard on him. I would hate to see you in his position.

Feb 28, 2013 5:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
GarlicBread66 wrote:

Man who gives us freedom of information – hunted down and imprisoned.
Man who takes our information and gives it to corporations – gets man of the year 2011.
People who hate on Manning have a gross misundestanding of what the founding fathers of this country wanted. Being overzealous about things is never any good.

Feb 28, 2013 6:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Tiamat333 wrote:

Makes me feel ill just to see this traitor in an undeserved uniform. It isn’t the moral responsibility of some low-ranking private to determine what information should be released to the public. What presumptuous arrogance! He doesn’t deserve time in prison. He deserves the death sentence for breaking his oath and betraying his country. We may not be perfect, but we’re still the best.

Feb 28, 2013 7:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Renox wrote:

Before you trial Manning for treason, make sure that you indict G Bush and Dick Cheney for Genocide, Obama for War crimes and John Corzine for embezzlement.

Feb 28, 2013 8:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Bradley Manning will go to jail, while men who committed war crimes and lied about WMD walk free.

Feb 28, 2013 8:35pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Reuters1945 wrote:

“In times of change, the Patriot is a scarce man; brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a Patriot.” -Mark Twain

It is a shame that amongst the mountains of information Manning was able to access, he discovered nothing that explained or alluded to the strange, still scientifically unexplained case of Tower 7 and why it collapsed perfectly straight down into its own footprint in less than 7 seconds.

Manning is being called a traitor for exposing egregious, immoral and criminal behavior to the light of day.

Who is the more guilty- he that unearths and publishes acts that tarnish the Honor of our Republic or those that participate in hiding and burying acts that lead to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands.

The commentator “Renox”, above, got it dead right:

“Before you put on trial Manning for treason, make sure that you indict G Bush and Dick Cheney for Genocide.”

Feb 28, 2013 9:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Popsiq wrote:

What a travesty of justice. Under the UCMJ Americans lose the basic protection of the Constitution the enlist to defend. Citizen -soldiers, hah. The Red Army had more rights.

Manning did his fellow citizens the great favor of showing how morally bankrupt their leaders both political and military were.

He should be declared a national hero.

Feb 28, 2013 10:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
1964 wrote:

Bradley Manning is a hero and way more courageous than those who want to incarcerate him. Keep up your courage, Bradley, we stand with you.

Mar 01, 2013 12:31am EST  --  Report as abuse
Kotaro50 wrote:

The information he released depicted the TRUE facts of this war, it depicts of how we’re indeed the terrorists of their nation, as we seek no discrimination between targets and innocents. This HAD to be published. Sure, he’s a whistle-blower, but for God’s sakes, this is information that shouldn’t be classified, as it shows the crimes our government has committed against nations we aren’t even at war with…

Mar 01, 2013 7:39am EST  --  Report as abuse
cbj wrote:

Fine, declare him a hero . . . but only after he dies a hero’s death.
Whatever heroism he expressed (not my idea) is diluted by his inability to face up to the convictions of his actions.
If what he did was so heroic he should proudly proclaim-”Yes, I did it, I stole classified information and allowed it to fall into the hands of someone who informed me it would be made public. I am proud of my actions and would do it again. I did it and I knowingly did it with the understanding that it was a punishable action.”
The fact that he does no such thing illustrates both the low standards of what is now required to become a hero and his inability to reach even that level.

Mar 01, 2013 10:59am EST  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

@Reuters1945-Ask Silverstein outright! He already said on a youTube video that he ordered the tower “pulled” because it was on fire. How it caught could be better explained. There were fuel tanks, for some strange reason, on the fifth floor (I think, but it’s been years since I saw that video).

What you are implying in your clumsy or coy way is that the USA orchestrated the attacks. There may be many ways well informed people can manage events or simply let events unfold to their favor or even to give themselves the excuse to do something they really wanted to do all along. I can believe that.

The famous rumor that Roosevelt knew the Japanese were planning to go to war but let them bomb Pearl Harbor, is always fresh in my mind. I haven’t got the interest in the matter to try to dig into it. I have heard that the US only lost old ships and they always accept that military lives are ultimately expendable. When a soldier enlists he should know the country might decide to sacrifice him for reasons he may never know. There is a great deal of power that derives from the informational disconnect. But he’s supposed to be better informed than in WWII.

Seems to me:
It has to be proved in a court of law that someone ordered that attack in this country, not that they might have suspected one would occur somewhere. Countries can become paranoid too! They can take unnecessary precautions that are expensive and dangerous in their own right. They can be coaxed into taking expensive precautions just because it feeds a lot of mouths and is exciting and motivating. It’s good for morale some would say. I think the Europeans spooked each other with military preparedness before WWI. They were in desperate circumstances, probably fed by their ambition – and I think ambition is good- to master the globe. The world is always desperate because nature is. It is always walking with certain and quick (I like to think, kind) death as the removal of weakness or incapacity. Nature is a severe critic. There was a natural class struggle going on in Europe because the quality of life varied so much from top to bottom. The hatreds exploded in WWI and took a big bite out of the prerogatives of the top.

War keeps an economy alive because it is somehow the disgusting residue of the same motivation that caused the Romans to sacrifice themselves in the arena or the South Americans to sacrifice human hearts. There must have been a lot of money changing hands in both cases. Was it their mint? Sacrificial victims always cost someone something. Maybe that’s how they determined their ultimate value like the islanders who use stone wheels as currency? Maybe the islanders are smarter?

My father thinks the world will resemble the human equivalent of close encounters: the elite and all the happy little people. Maybe so? Maybe not so bad? Will they have to throw a few of themselves to the meat grinder at times or will a proper regime of recreation and sports do it? The elite is supposed to do this to themselves too – you know? I don’t think they are anymore.

It keeps the economy alive. But it sounds silly and avoidable.

No one has accused OBL of receiving any information or money from the CIA since the time he worked with the Mujahadeen while they were fighting the Russian occupation. No one ever accuses the CIA of still employing him after the US left, or says it did? He had his own wealth and was alienated from some of his family wealth. He was a very sophisticated man. He had personal reasons for wanting to get even with some people. People are not giving him credit for his insight. This is not to praise him for his act, but it also doesn’t apologize for being more than a little awed by it.

How can a country be both stupid and more brilliant than God? Even if there was a nearly God like human elite on earth, how well in control of the situation are any of them?

Do you think there is a club somewhere on a distant island where all the world leaders assemble, comic book like, to plan everything that happens in the lives of men? They are doing that when they are not being seen in public? Many probably do and I even like the idea that most or all of them are on chatty and first name terms with each other. Or are they only men and can never move quite as fast as the machines and organizations they created? I have a hard time believing that the world and all its events have ever been entirely mastered by the human race. But they have certainly mastered important tasks like the provision of food, clothing and shelter. But people who suffer to make things always want to be sure of enjoying the fruits of their labors.

I have worked briefly in a town government and know that government, even in a small town, is very tricky. No one in government is ever there forever and all knowledge is in danger. Even with massive archives, one has to know what to look for and be sure descriptions of contents and conditions of materials holds up to time. It works best when a smallish group of people, knows each other, and their jobs very well and are comfortable with each other. Decisions can be labyrinthine and vague. It is always difficult to completely control another person. Order always means a sacrifice of some freedom of action. The same must be true for plots and conspiracies. Or can plots somehow outlive governments or changing government policy? They must be prone to entropy too?

As far as I’m concerned, plots don’t matter nearly as much to me as the space within the walls of my house where I spend most of my time. What is not here is nowhere (or on the computer) and what’s here is elsewhere (if not on my desk). If I died here, it would be the last thing I’d see.

Everything else is “the weather”.

The question is – was the US government playing around with “the weather” or was OBL a freelance storm cloud. I like to think he was a storm cloud, because I love the idea that individuals can get that big. It’s almost the Republican in me. But privatized weather?

How about just accepting the Tarot card meaning. The broken towers that signifies great change and the launch of the astrological age of Aquarius. But the age should be pissing on Africa now because it’s drying out. Just leave some for the gods of New England to spread about. You should make your own requests.

Mar 01, 2013 1:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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