Judge considers unusual plea deal for accused WikiLeaks source Manning

The Associated Press has details on the unusual plea deal being considered in the case of Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of passing classified documents to Wikileaks.
On Thursday, a military judge, Col. Denise Lind, accepted the terms under which Private Manning would plead guilty to eight charges for sending classified documents to WikiLeaks.

The judge’s ruling does not mean the pleas have been formally accepted. That could happen in December.

But she approved the language of the offenses to which Private Manning would admit, which she said would carry a total maximum prison term of 16 years.

Private Manning made the offer as a way of accepting responsibility for the leaks. Government officials have not said whether they would continue prosecuting him for the other 14 counts he faces, including aiding the enemy. That offense carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

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  1. Not great, but a lot better than life. Especially if they do not go for the maximum and he gets time served for the past two years of incarceration.

  2. It really bothers me that everyone constantly misgenders Breanna Manning. She is trans and nobody ever mentions this, erasing her identity and she can do little about it right now.

        1. Wow. Interesting. I learned something new today. Somehow it changes my perception of this case but I can’t grab hold of exactly how. 

    1. As far as I can tell PFC Manning’s own defense team still refers to the Private as “Bradley.” Has Manning made any public statements to the effect that he/she prefers a female pronoun?

      1.  There’s enough doubt to where we should at the very very least be using neutral language, ie “Private” as opposed to “Bradley.”

  3. there was a pretty interesting discussion about the conditions he’s had to endure, the lack of response to medical official’s recommendations, and their plea offer on Democracy Now today (Nov 30th) as well….

  4. Oddly enough, I’m still waiting to hear about all those deaths caused by the leaked info. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And … Wait – could they be lying to us?!

    1.  Yeah, I haven’t heard of any either. What I was saying was that there is always the possibility of deaths caused by leaked information. I apologize as I should have tried to be more clear.

  5. I don’t think @boingboing-a8ec37bdc513cddee11a2bb274a0f83a:disqus was using Breanna’s gender as a defense, just saying that we should use “Breanna” and “she/her” instead of “Bradley” and “he/him.”

  6. I don’t mind Manning serving prison time after a court of law decides it.  What I mind is the 3 years of prison time spent before Manning went to court.  Not to mention the sleep deprivation, solitary confinement, sleeping naked or what some might call torture.

  7. Who knows if what (s)he released helped kill other soldiers and civilians.

    Or, conversely, if it helped prevent the killings of other soldiers and civilians. Would we have been better off if Mai Lai had been successfully hushed up?

  8. To be honest, Xploder, we don’t care about your jingoistic BS about Ms./Mr. Manning.  The DOD has admitted they can’t point to any death caused by the leaks, & the ‘aiding the enemy’ charge is just to whip up hysteria.  Manning’s actions were the highest sort of patriotism. S/he should get a Medal of Freedom.

  9. For someone who “doesn’t care” about Manning’s gender identity, you’re doing a great job of sounding like a transphobe who thinks that transgender is something to sneer at.

  10. Manning may have done the country a service. Of course, since neither Manning nor Wikileaks actually reviewed what was being released, that would be entirely by accident, wouldn’t it?

    Ah, the accidental Medal of Freedom. The best kind.

  11.  Sorry. I really didn’t mean to sound so jingoistic. I think that I’ll just have to be a disagreeing asshole because I disagree with your assessment that he should get a Medal of Freedom for breaking regulations. That’s totally asinine.

  12. 1. Iraq war.
    2. 2008 financial crisis.

    Two huge crimes; not only has no one been punished for either but we’ve been assured by the federal government than no one ever will be punished for either.  It’s fairly straight-forward to demonstrate that both of these crimes caused a fair number of deaths and other forms of human misery.

    Manning gets no less than 16 years for a crime that has not been linked to any deaths; the misery seems to consist of embarrassment on the part of a few diplomats.

    You law-and-order types always seem kinda selective about who the law gets applied to.

  13. More transparency always increases democracy. It’s fundamentally better that Manning did this, regardless of intent or predictive powers.

  14. Intentional law breaking without knowing whether you are actually doing a good thing for the country < accidental medals

  15.  I agree with you on this part. Unfortunately, I’ve been without sleep for three days now and my mind was focused only on what I see as the soldier aspect 0 as in what if one of my buddies were to be killed because of this. You’re right of course. It’s entirely possible that it helped prevent more killings. I unfortunately doubt it though. Having spent ten years in the Army, I know how the military mind tends to work. To be honest, if you’re in a battle zone, you’re senses are seriously keyed up to the point where you tend to shoot anything that you see. There are very few soldiers that have the training to stay aware enough to avoid the killing of unarmed opponents.

    When it comes to the Mai Lai incident, I don’t think it would have made that much of a difference overall as there were horrible things happening on both sides during that conflict. That’s just the one that got out. There are probably a lot more that we’ll never know about

  16.  Call me whatever the hell you want to. My son is gay and that’s just peachy keen with me. I’ve never had any problem with transgendered individuals. The reason I used the (s)he was because I don’t really know if I should be calling him he or she so I combined the two. If you think that makes me sound like a transphobe then maybe you shouldn’t look for things that aren’t there.

  17. Who, and I mean with specificity and in keeping with the actual laws we have, would you like to prosecute for the financial crisis. Don’t say “bankers” because that’s not an answer.

    The Iraq war is a somewhat easier case, but you’fd have to show scienter on the part of the people building the case, rather than just stupidity and blind belief.

  18. Personally, I think that the law should be applied equally to everyone. It’s too damn bad that the ones that need it applied to them the most are the ones that make the damn laws so we’re screwed.

  19. Unfortunately for your argument you are talking to someone who does not believe law is equivalent to morality. As Xploder points out, the ones breaking the laws most egregiously are also the ones writing and enforcing the laws in the first place.

    So a good-faith (bad-practice) whisteblower like Manning gets something between 16 years and life and the ghouls who perpetrated the war in Iraq are free from consequences.

    After all, we must always look forward and not backward — unless it’s regular folks on the docket.


  20. Fortunately it is entirely irrelevant that you would use your personal morality instead of laws to govern a country.

    Unless you’re a dictator. You’re not a dictator, are you?

  21. Actually, many of the bad actors in the subprime mess are well known, and basking in their billions, and the DOJ has made it clear they have no intention to prosecute.  This is not secret information, unless you work for the MSM.

  22. The S&L scandal in the 80s provides a model for what kind of prosecutions could be expected: a relatively teeny scandal with thousands of cases. In contrast, a scandal of unprecedented magnitude generates nearly zero prosecutions. 

  23.  Bankers.  What, do you believe that the mortgage crisis was caused by minorities?  Dude, step away from Fox News.

  24. there were horrible things happening on both sides during that conflict

    Oh, so there were atrocities being committed by the VC, the US, and the innocent civilians that we were butchering?

  25.  Hey, ChiD, ‘<' means 'lesser than.'  I think you need to edit your post.  Or were you agreeing with me that Manning's leaks were a good thing?  If so, sorry, my bad.

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