Adrian Lamo owes Glenn Greenwald a beer

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41 Responses to “Adrian Lamo owes Glenn Greenwald a beer”

  1. acb says:

    Manning will probably face a firing squad. Technically, the leaks are the most straightforward capital treason prosecution since the Rosenbergs.

    • Marja says:

      Except, of course, that it doesn’t meet the definition.

      Even if it did meet the definition, exposing the crimes of the government is the right thing to do. No institution deserves loyalty, and violent ones least of all.

    • grimc says:

      The Rosenbergs were prosecuted for conspiracy to commit espionage, not treason.

  2. acb says:

    In what way do the allegations fall short of the definition of treason? Manning is alleged to have given classified information to a foreign national, for publication to everybody, including hostile powers. Had Julius Rosenberg given the H-bomb plans to a foreign newspaper that published them around the world, where Soviet agents could acquire them from a newsstand, he would have been no less guilty than had he handed them to a KGB agent.

    • sapere_aude says:

      Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

      The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

      -U.S. Constitution, Article III, Section 3

      For a brief discussion of the law of treason, see: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/article03/24.html

      While I would argue that Manning is clearly guilty of espionage, as defined under U.S. federal law, I don’t think his crime meets the constitutional definition of treason. He did not levy war against the United States; nor did he adhere to the enemies of the United States. His act of espionage may have given aid and comfort to America’s enemies; but that was only a side-effect of his crime – I have seen no evidence that Manning committed espionage with the specific intent of giving aid and comfort to America’s enemies. However, if the prosecutors can find such evidence, they could possibly charge Manning with treason. But very few Americans have ever been successfully prosecuted for treason; and the courts (especially the Supreme Court) are very strict in applying the rules laid down in Article III, Section 3, for treason cases, to insure that treason prosecutions aren’t abused for political purposes.

    • Marja says:

      I suppose you can redefine “aid and comfort” to include “absolutely anything” and “enemy” to include “anyone the government disapproves of…”

      I shouldn’t have gotten into this argument. It’s men with guns, and men with the support of men with guns, who decide how these constitutions really work. The rest is all for show.

      They are punishing Brad Manning for allegedly revealing their crimes and other governments’ crimes; putting him on trial isn’t likely to restore an illusion of legitimacy, but breaking him without trial can probably create more fear to protect the ruling class.

    • Anonymous says:

      Treason is very narrowly defined in the United States, and for good reason. Specifically, it is defined as this:

      “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”

      Nothing about leaking info to a foreign national for purposes of publication. Now, if he’d passed current battle plans on to, say, the Iraqi government during the invasion, we’d be talking about something else entirely.

      And defining some random australian as an ‘enemy’ would be extremely problematic, because…well, he’s an individual, not a state, and furthermore, doing so would basically broaden the definition of ‘enemy’ to mean ‘anyone who criticizes the US’. Which would include great swathes of the domestic population, too.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think we’re doing this wrong. Lamo has prooven himself an enemy of the people and a snitch to the Man. I do not propose nor condone physical violence, certainly not, but we should stop talking about him.

    Remember the tale of the skald, who, when being grossly mistreated by the king, announced his damnation: never should anyone sing the kings name, nor should anyone remember him. Let the world forget Lamo, regardless of what he writes about or what he does.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “… the courts (especially the Supreme Court) are very strict in applying the rules laid down in Article III, Section 3, for treason cases, to insure that treason prosecutions aren’t abused for political purposes.”

    sapere_aude, thanks for the erudite remarks. Alas, the Supreme Court you refer to is one that didn’t throw elections. It’s gone. Today’s Supreme Court – and federal justices – are highly politicized.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Is this sort of wait common? Wasn’t there something in the US Bill of Rights about speedy trials?

  6. YarbroughFair says:

    Make it a Farida or Sheherezade please.

  7. querent says:

    I’ll mark this anniversary by writing to my congresspeople to demand human conditions and a speedy trial for Pfc. Bradley Manning. I invite others to do the same.

    • YarbroughFair says:

      @ querent: interesting. Some discussions with friends: If a foreigner is tried and detained (not Manning of course) and sentenced to serve a term in a U.S. prison for, let’s say, five years plus, do they become a citizen of the U.S.? If no, then do they not have rights afforded to their U.S. citizen prison peers?

      • Anonymous says:

        No, they do not become citizens; in fact they are subject to deportation on release. As for whether or not they have the same rights as citizens: most of the rights prescribed by the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th amendments most certainly apply to non-citizens who are arrested in US sovereign territory by the government of the US or one of the several states. Beyond that statement, things get complicated, and some of us (myself included) have broader interpretations than others (say, certain people in the former Bush administration). IANAL. YMMV.

      • chouette says:

        “If a foreigner is tried and detained (not Manning of course) and sentenced to serve a term in a U.S. prison for, let’s say, five years plus, do they become a citizen of the U.S.?”

        I don’t see how they would. Citizenship does not prescribe over the passage of time. One can live in the United States for years (without being in jail) and not become a citizen.

        “If no, then do they not have rights afforded to their U.S. citizen prison peers?”
        No, but that is not to say that they have no rights. Some people seem to think that only US citizens have the rights enshrined in the Constitution, for example. However, many of those rights are not positive rights, exercised by citizens or persons, but negative rights that limit the government. For example, Congress can make no law establishing a religion. This means, among other things, that Congress can’t make a law requiring non-citizens in the US to be Christians.

        In the case of rights specifically covering criminal trials and punishments, they generally apply to everybody, not just citizens. Note, for example, that the 5th amendment says “No person,” not “No citizen.” The 6th amendment says “the accused,” with no reference to citizenship.

        The truth is, very few of the rights in the Constitution apply only to just citizens. The only ones that spring to mind are the rights to vote and run for office. You can do a text search of the word “citizen” in the constitution versus the word “person” (understood to include non-citizens) to get a sense of this.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think foreigners extradited to America and imprisoned are considered not to be “in” America. This situation is described in Howard Marks book “Mr. Nice”.

  8. travtastic says:

    That’s not in poor taste or anything, Lamo. Good show.

  9. Ceronomus says:

    He did not commit treason, John Walker Lindh commited treason and could have been executed. He wasn’t.

    Manning did not commit treason.

  10. spincycle says:

    Schadenfreude?

  11. shadowfirebird says:

    Putting aside the more important issues for a moment, if Lamo bet Greenwald that Manning wouldn’t do more than six months, and Manning has been jailed for 6 months, then Lamo has in fact won the best, not lost it.

    Six months is not more than six months.

  12. Anonymous says:

    ‘they’ did something awful to Lamo. Lamo is still a victim not a perp. Pity for Lamo, pray for Manning.

  13. realgeek says:

    Personally, if I were going to leak some information, it certainly wouldn’t be to any of these cracker-turned-journo folks. Most likely to someone who’s already done some time for protecting their sources.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Lamo, never ceases to disgust me. Bad human, bad hacker.

  15. agger says:

    Well, here’s hoping the snitch gets to pay his due!

  16. Kevin Kenny says:

    Alas for our society, there is no way to try Manning without compounding the effects of the leaks, even though he be tried by secret court-martial. He will be “awaiting trial, under investigation, confined as a flight risk,” indefinitely. Perhaps decades down the road, when a new generation has forgotten the sins of the old, he can negotiate a guilty plea and a sentence of time served.

    In our time, it is a widespread belief that he gave up his right to a trial, and indeed to the presumption of innocence, by committing treason. Alexander Meiklejohn: “Some crimes are so heinous that not even innocence is a defense.”

    • agger says:

      Among whom is it a widespread belief?

      In my book prc Manning didn’t commit treason, he did his duty far better than any city-bombing pilot or torturing Guantanamo interrogator ever did.

      These people should be on trial, not Manning. Manning should be given a medal for his service to the US people and army.

    • mdh says:

      The conditions of detention will likely force a mistrial, even under military law. I feel he should be tried for treason, without finding, and released immediately. What he did was a crime. Justified, yes, but a crime.

  17. fewz says:

    I can’t wait till someone serves Lamo the last beer he’s alive to drink. What a world-class rat, I have ZERO sympathy for him, no matter what kind of “mental” he’s supposed to be.

    Some Aspie’s are nothing less than dangerous to society, and exactly the kind of genius-idiots Big Brother will continue to exploit.

    Mad skills, childish black-and-white viewpoints, and clueless about how the world outside their limited reality, really works.

  18. grimc says:

    I’ll bet anybody a six-pack that 6 months from now, Lamo will still be a weaselly scumbag.

  19. OrcOnTheEndOfMyFork says:

    Meh. If they keep torturing Manning, he’ll probably get to walk away at trial for having his rights violated. Small wonder the plan seems to be to keep him from going to trial…

  20. agger says:

    Anyway, what happened to “guilty until proven innocent”?

  21. sapere_aude says:

    I’m not sure why it really matters whether Manning is charged with treason or not. He is almost definitely going to be charged with espionage and mishandling classified information (which are much easier to prove in court than treason); and he will be tried in a military court martial, not a civilian court. There’s little chance that he’ll be acquitted. And, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, espionage by a soldier on active duty during a time of war is treated as a VERY serious crime (in fact, under certain circumstances, it is a capital offense). So, even if he isn’t charged with treason, Manning is not going to be a free man for a long, long time, if ever.

  22. Ceronomus says:

    Agger,
    Manning had every right to divulge that information to any member of the US Congress. Beyond that, his rights as a member of the US Armed Services are rather limited.

    But Treason? I don’t think so. It doesn’t fall under the Constitutional definition, so trying him for treason would be a failure. I have always wondered why John Walker Lindh was never tried for treason though.

    Anyhow, I do think that he might be tried for espionage. But indeed, guilty until proven innocent is often the opinion in the US these days.

    Sad.

  23. knoxblox says:

    So, Glenn, if Lamo claims to have a certain level of trust with Manning, but goes ahead and turns him in, perhaps you should treat him in the same sort of Djinn wish-perverting style:

    He did promise you ten bucks or a beer at a hacker conference, with no specification as to which had to come first. He never said a ten-dollar beer, and not one supplied by/for the conference. May I suggest one of these?

    http://most-expensive.net/most-expensive-beer

    Sure, it might be anal, but Lamo is, too.

  24. ChibiR says:

    Don’t have much to add here aside from the tiny nitpicking that it should be “Glenn” in the link to the interview.

  25. ericmartinex1 says:

    Remember Major Hassan, the psychiatrist gone wild that shot up the army base? He has not gone on trial and has been in confinement since November 2009, where’s the outrage for him?

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