Showing posts with label Wiki Leaks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wiki Leaks. Show all posts

January 20, 2017

Manning a Powerful Transgender Symbol for Resilience

For most Americans, Chelsea Manning has been a hero or villain based on how they view her decision to leak classified material. For transgender people, she has another dimension — serving as a potent symbol of their struggles for acceptance. 
With Tuesday's commutation of her prison sentence by President Barack Obama, she's now due for release in May, when she will re-enter a society bitterly divided over many aspects of transgender rights. 
Manning was arrested in 2010 and came out as transgender after being sentenced to 35 years in an all-male military prison. Under Army rules, she was barred from growing her hair long while incarcerated, and only after litigation by her legal team was she approved for hormone therapy. 
She spent long stints in solitary confinement, and twice tried to kill herself. 
 Chase Strangio, the American Civil Liberties Union attorney who filed the medical-care lawsuit, said Manning has viewed herself as a transgender-rights activist even in the isolation of her confinement at Fort Leavenworth. 
"She's always been a hero to me," said Strangio, a transgender man. "Her story really does reflect so much of the systemic discrimination that transgender people face — struggles growing up, suppression of her gender that prompted her to join the military ... and facing particularly egregious conditions in prison." 
"She's an incredibly thoughtful and devoted person," Strangio added. "She's felt a sense of responsibility to the transgender community and wanted to be someone who contributed to the fight for transgender justice." 
Jennifer Finney Boylan, a transgender author who teaches at Barnard College in New York, expressed hope that Manning would remain an activist and share her experiences. In an email, Boylan depicted Manning as "a woman who's been trapped both physically and metaphorically, finding herself smack in the middle of national disagreements about both the meaning of our war in Iraq as well as the ongoing national conversation about gender." 
"She is seen as a very public face for the complexity of gender, particularly the injustice facing anyone doing time in a facility for men who is surely, by the measure of her own heart, a woman," Boylan wrote. 
Dean Spade, a transgender law professor at Seattle University School of Law, hailed Manning as "an immensely important figure for the trans movement and for the broader LGBT movement." Manning faced conditions in prison that denied her gender, Spade said, and "the world has watched her go through this." 
A cautionary note was sounded by Dana Beyer, executive director of Gender Rights Maryland, who said there was no consensus about Manning among transgender Americans. 
"The community is divided on her actions, and parading her around as a hero will not only negatively impact her," and exacerbate the split among transgender people, Beyer wrote in an email. "Manning as the face of the trans community would be very dangerous." 
Manning was convicted of leaking many thousands of classified government and military documents to WikiLeaks while serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. There was testimony at her trial about her erratic behavior and emotional stress during her Army service. 
Among those denouncing the commutation of her sentence was Jerry Boykin, a retired Army general who is now executive vice president of the conservative Family Research Council. 
"President Obama chose political correctness over our national security," Boykin said in a statement that referred to Manning with male pronouns and decried the legal efforts to compel the Army to pay for gender-transition procedures. 
The Pentagon recently adopted a policy of allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military. Some conservatives are suggesting a reversal of the policy after President-elect Donald Trump takes office, although Trump's pick for defense secretary, James Mattis, told the Senate Armed Services Committee he has no such plans. 
However, many transgender activists fear that Trump's administration will abandon the Obama administration's efforts to enable transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice at public schools. And in Texas, Republican legislators are pushing a bill that would limit transgender people's bathroom access. 
Among the many problems faced by transgender Americans, their treatment in the criminal justice system is of particular concern to activists. Many juvenile detention centers are ill-equipped to handle transgender teens, and corrections officials in many jurisdictions have sought to avoid paying for sex-reassignment surgeries for adult inmates. 
After Manning's release, the Army will be off the hook for the costs of any further gender-transition medical care that she receives. However, Chase Strangio, the ACLU attorney, said the matter of cost was not paramount. "She can finally navigate her medical care on her own terms," he said. 
Shannon Minter, a transgender man who serves as legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said activists rallied behind Manning partly because her experience epitomized many of their community's problems. 
Her case "has shed a light on the serious abuses that transgender people — and in particular, transgender women — suffer daily in our nation's prisons and jails," Minter said. “While Chelsea's experience is extraordinary in many respects, the abuses she has experienced as a result of being transgender are commonplace and deserve far more attention."

September 24, 2016

Manning Attempted Suicide:The Solution is Solitary Confinement

In this the US Army and The Russian, Iran, Egyptians Armies are the same: Try to kill your self because of your conditions and situation and they will make it worse. They are saying, make sure next time you succeed even though you would have if not for us. You see we want you alive and suffering and if you try to make it less suffering we will find a way to make it worse than what it was.

What they have done to this very young private, between the US Army and Wikileaks Assange is inhumane and simply wrong particularly coming from an institution that knows better. As for Assange we already know he is a sociopath but he has even offered to surrender if the US let this mentally defective man out. May be Assange doesn’t mean it but if be he does, we will never find out. Assange 1000 times more valuable than Manning would be a trophy for the US but this will not become a fact.

Coming back to the abuse this young private has gone through in our army jail is inexcusable. If anyone had any doubts about how he is been treated this last decision to put someone in permanent solitary, someone who is mentally not able to cope goes beyond any crime he has done. It would have been better to give him the death penalty than to make someone suffer a daily living in this condition.

Chelsea Manning should be in treatment by capable psychiatrists. Solitary is the last thing he needs. A shame! That is the reason when this government accuses others of inhuman treatment of political prisoners as well as criminal prisoners they point to cases like this in which the US is a hypocrite,    no better than the worse with the exception he is not being water boarded or beaten as far as we know and we don’t know because people are not aloud to visit him. Alright don’t let him out but get him the psychiatric help he needs. If he was in a civilian jail his lawyers would have already brought the case to an appeals court but being in a military jail you have no such luxury.

The Washington Post reports the following:

Prison officials have decided U.S. Army Private Chelsea Manning should spend at least 7 days in solitary confinement after she attempted to take her own life earlier this year in the midst of serving a 35-year sentence for sharing classified materials with the website WikiLeaks, her attorney said Friday.
Members of an administrative disciplinary board in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas handed the soldier a 14-day stint in solitary with seven days suspended after finding Manning guilty of two counts during a hearing Thursday held in response to her recent suicide attempt, according to a statement circulated by her lawyer, Chase Strangio of the American Civil Liberties Union.
“I am feeling hurt. I am feeling lonely. I am embarrassed by the decision. I don’t know how to explain it,” the soldier said in the statement.
Manning, 28, was found unresponsive inside her prison cell on the morning of July 5 and taken to a nearby hospital before being returned to the disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth. She later learned that she was being investigated over the incident and faced indefinite solitary confinement as a result of her actions.
The three-member disciplinary board found the soldier guilty Thursday on charges of “conduct which threatens” and “prohibited property.” She was acquitted of a third charge related to the prison’s decision to deploy a specialized team to her cell upon learning of her suicide attempt.

July 7, 2016

Wiki-Leaker Chelsea Manning Attempts Suicide at Ft.Leavenworth (Serving 35 Yrs)


Imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning hospitalized after suspected suicide attempt, reports say
Chelsea Manning (Credit: AP/U.S. Army)
Imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning was rushed to the hospital Tuesday after a suspected suicide attempt, according to several reports.

CNN reporter Shimon Prokupecz tweeted the news on Tuesday morning.
U.S. Army spokesperson Patrick Seiber confirmed to CNN that Manning was hospitalized “during the early hours of July 5th.” An unnamed U.S. official said that this was because of a suspected suicide attempt.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Chase Strangio said Manning has returned from the hospital, but reports of her alleged suicide attempt are unconfirmed. 
TMZ reported that Manning may have attempted to hang herself, according to a source. Prison officials said she has since been released from the hospital and is being monitored.

Manning is being held at the Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks in Kansas.

Salon reached out to the Fort Leavenworth office. It did not comment on the case, and instead said to contact the U.S. Army Office of the Chief of Public Affairs. This office did not immediately return a request for comment.

A Fort Leavenworth spokesperson told Gawker via email, “Medical treatment of inmates at the United States Disciplinary Barracks is protected under the Health Information Protection Privacy Act (HIPPA). No information regarding their individual treatment can be released without their consent.”

Manning is serving 35 years in prison for leaking more than 700,000 classified documents to whistleblowing journalism organization WikiLeaks.

Among the leaked materials were videos that show U.S. pilots massacring more than 100 civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The video of a July 12, 2007 attack in Baghdad shows pilots in two U.S. helicopters killing more than a dozen people, including two Iraqi war correspondents working for Reuters and two children. When this video was released, it generated great controversy in the media.

In another attack, on May 4, 2009 in Granai, Afghanistan, the pilot of a U.S. plane massacred scores of civilians. The Afghan government said 140 civilians were killed in this incident.

This is so sad to see.  A young man that has completely fallen apart at the governments hand and no one has lifted a finger to help. He should be getting psychological help and a pardon would not be out of order particularly when you match him up to others that have received pardons or are in the list right now. You have spy’s and people in government who have cheated the American people. Cheated the governemnt. This was a young man totally confused about his sexuality, who he was and his place in the government. Before he burnt He served with distinction but he came apart. He discovered in those files this was a corrupted government saying one thing to its friends and its people and doing the opposite. The same as other nations.

This young man was someone who joined to served a nation he believed in. He believed what he was told and served honorably and up to the point of being put in sensitive positions for his rank.

When he discovered things were not the way they should have been and the advice of a man like  Assange (He still free, he was smart and knew what he was doing and how to stay out of the hands of those that wanted  him) if anybody should be in jail it should be him for using this young man. He thought he was doing the right thing and that the American people would be so shocked when they learn all these things from the military breaking the law on water boarding to no weapons in Iraq stop looking for them! etc. They would be so incensed it would be the politicians going to jail not him. Like I said he was confused because that is not the way things work either in this country or the world. Politicians go to jail only when they are stupid or when they can no longer contribute in what they are doing.  

Here he is a young man wasting away and justice is not being done even though we are better off from what we learned from him. More changes should have taken place but his contribution in my opinion was a good one. From time to time someone needs to look inside and check for cancers. The government cannot do it because it is not going to operate and cut rotten pieces within it self. The most that can happen is band aids and pills that have side effect but do not work in cleaning any malady. I do not expect truth or honesty from the government which is the same reason I don’t care about Clinton’s email in a 100% political motivated expensive investigation that was put in place to get Hillary Clinton alone. From a type of investigation like that I don’t care about anything they find and if what they found is what has been published I think those in the committee hearings, Those  Congressmen should repay the government the $56-100 million dollars this investigation has cost  so far. We will never know exactly the cost because this politicians are not gong to tell us.

Today Senator Ryan the speaker of the house is saying they should not share intelligence with Mrs. Clinton as they move closer to the elections because she was careless. I guess not being indicted is not enough. That most also be a crime for her but he said nothing about denying it to a man like Trump that will use anything he knows to advance his cause. You know what Trump’s cause is because he says it at least once a week. Himself! How many times has Trump lied. He won t even show his tax return and if you are a fair individual then you he hasn’t paid any or paid so little it amounts to nothing. Why else? But give him sensitive information and not to Hillary. I hear no outcry and even the media has not picked it up even though I learnt it from watching it at NBC news.  

In this screw up government, Chelsea Manning has paid enough. Already 10 years or so locked up besides a suicidal depression causing havoc in that fried brain of hers. Where is the Christian understanding and love of all these bible thumpers? I love my country but do not trust the system of government as it is today. I am adult enough to also understand there is nothing else on the horizon to replace with and I don’t know how it could be fix since every part of the government wants to stay in power wether is the Supreme Court or the Executive and Congress, particularly congress. A system in which we allow justices and Congressmen to be in power indefinitely cannot bring change and that would be the first thing that should be done away with. We had the right idea with term limits but then we stopped without finishing the job.

Only the American people could change the government but this is a divided country in which usually we get divided government and crazies like Trump running and winning a nomination. Presidents like Nixon and  Bush. May be not evil Presidents but men that would destroy the nation following what advisors were telling them to do. “Mr. President we believe they have weapons of mass destruction. How do you know? We are guessing but is a good educated guess. If its a good guess and also educated then it most be the truth because I believe in you and education”). That is just a parody but you play it in your mind how it went with Bush and it’s advisers any way you wish. We know the results so be fair.

Adam Gonzalez, Publisher and American

April 5, 2016

Notable Public Figures Implicated on Panama Papers

As media outlets continue to cover the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists' release of over 11 million documents linking world leaders to corruption, the Graphiq team has put together a map detailing exactly who is implicated in the Panama Papers.
Use the following visualization to detail the individuals in each country who have been named in the document leak. 

May 15, 2014

Pvt.Manning Transferred to civilian jail for Sex Reassignment Surgery


 The Pentagon is trying to transfer convicted national security leaker Pvt. Chelsea Manning to a civilian prison where she can get treatment for a gender-identity condition. But her lawyer said Wednesday that a move from a military prison would make Manning choose between the treatment and her safety.

Two Pentagon officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel gave the Army approval last month to try to work out a plan to transfer Manning from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to a federal prison. Manning entered the Army as a man named Bradley.

The officials were not authorized to speak on the record and discussed the matter on condition of anonymity.

Manning has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, the sense of being a woman in a man's body. Civilian prisons can provide treatment, but the Defense Department does not, and a transfer would allow her to see if she wants to complete the transformation to being a woman.

Transgender people are not allowed to serve in the military.

Manning was convicted of sending classified documents to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. The soldier has asked for hormone therapy and to be able to live as a woman.

The request was the first by a transgender military inmate and set up this dilemma for the department: how to treat a soldier for a diagnosed disorder without violating long-standing military policy.

Manning cannot be discharged from the service while serving her 35-year prison sentence.

Her lawyer, David Coombs, contended that civilian prisons are not as safe.

Coombs said "any military facility would be acceptable." In a statement, he said "it is common knowledge that the federal prison system cannot guarantee the safety and security of Chelsea in the way that the military prison system can."

Defense officials say the Army is expected to meet with the Justice Department this week to discuss the matter.

Some officials have said privately that keeping Manning in a military prison could amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

"No decision to transfer Pvt. Manning to a civilian detention facility has been made, and any such decision will, of course, properly balance the soldier's medical needs with our obligation to ensure Pvt. Manning remains behind bars," Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said.

Coombs said responsibility for her rests with the military.

"The military's refusal to provide necessary medical treatment to Chelsea is flat-out transphobia," Coombs said. "Rather than deal with the reality that transgender persons are currently serving in the military, the military would seek to pawn off any responsibility for these."

Treating Manning is "a constitutional requirement," said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. "And I think they've realized that and they're trying to figure out how to go about getting it done."

The Army sends an average of 15 to 20 prisoners a year to civilian prisons. But Manning's appeals have not been exhausted, she's still in the military and her case is of national security interest. Those are factors that normally would prevent a transfer.

The former intelligence analyst was sentenced in August for six Espionage Act violations and 14 other offenses for giving WikiLeaks more than 700,000 secret military and State Department documents, along with battlefield video, while working in Iraq in 2009 and 2010.

Part of Manning's defense was that she should not have been deployed because of her deteriorating mental health. That included evidence about the soldier's extreme mental pressure over her gender-identity issues during the "don't ask, don't tell" era when gay service members could not serve openly. That policy was later changed.

After the conviction, Manning announced the desire to live as a woman and legally changed her name to Chelsea.

The soldier has been diagnosed by military doctors multiple times, including last fall after arriving in Fort Leavenworth, as having gender dysphoria.

By November, a military doctor there had approved a treatment plan, including hormone therapy, but it had to be considered by senior military officers, according to a complaint Manning filed in March.

That plan has not been publicly released, but Manning said in the complaint that she had specifically asked that the treatment "plan consider ... three types of treatment."

Those were "real life experience," a regimen in which the person tries dressing and living in the new gender, though that's not possible in the Leavenworth men's facility); hormone therapy, which changes some physical traits such as breast and hair growth; and sex reassignnment surgery.

Manning has not publicly said if she wants surgery.

Hagel said Sunday that the prohibition on transgender individuals serving in the armed forces "continually should be reviewed."

A transgender individual is someone who has acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or presents himself or herself in a way that does not correspond with that person’s sex at birth.

Associated Press

August 23, 2013

Bradley Manning Words After Sentence and Mine

Bradley Manning has been Court Martial and sentence to more years that he has accumulated in his life time. I hope we have not heard the last of him. Having his name and the name of Assange and Snowden mix in the same pot of 'leaks’ sometimes we forget that we are talking about two different wars and two different set of reasons given for going into those wars. 

The war in Iraq was because Sadam Hussein had chemical weapons and had something to do with 9/11 but more importantly that he had acquired a nuclear capability to wipe out Washington DC like some times it was said by the Bush administration at the time. We were told it was self defense but as we found out all these information fed to us was not true. Then you had the war in Afghanistan with its set of reasons. But most importantly it started as catching Bin Laden believed to be hiding there.
Looking back we can see how we lost so many lives and treasure. There was no reason that would not justify such a killing if not anybody else at least our own people.

During that period you had the Vice President of the United States disclosing the identity of a CIA covert agent Ms. Plume and by doing this the field covert spies for the US she had working under her lost their lives. Her career was terminated because her identity now revealed not only put her life and her family’s life in danger but also anybody those close to her. 

What happened to Vice President Cheney? Nothing. You have a person doing what his conscience and inexperience told him to do and you had a master at politics giving advice to the President giving a name out of our spy for pure political reasons. Don’t people get killed for that? But again where is the justice here,  one is sent to prison for almost life and the other, the political over only gets accolades of how great he was? There is no justice. When we examine the crime in this nation some people seems to be puzzled why so many people in jail in this nation more than in any other nation. Why there are so many horrendous crimes committed by american to americans, people raise their hands in an expression of futility. 

All we have to do is look at crime and justice at the highest levels and it will tell you how the kids are doing down below. In a house hold in which the parents are heavy drinkers and smokers and get their money by stealing, does it not make sense that at the very least most of their kids would do the same? If cases like that of Manning and Cheney are aloud to happen and no one in power to make a difference does nothing, then someone somewhere most be asking why do we have a government? A President without power? Going about with the wrong information and making life and death decisions based on lies? Do we need a President? Do we need a congress that does not work and gets tied up in their look out for their own behinds? A Supreme Court that make decisions on political cases bases on politics? 

The following is Bradley Manning talking, not much and we have not heard much from him because it would not serve him well to say much. 

***(Adam Gonzalez)

This is a transcript of a statement made by Pfc. Bradley Manning as read by David Coombs at a press conference on Wednesday following the announcement of his 35-year prison sentence by a military court:
"The decisions that I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in. Since the tragic events of 9/11, our country has been at war.  We've been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on any traditional battlefield, and due to this fact we've had to alter our methods of combating the risks posed to us and our way of life.
I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help defend my country.  It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing.  It was at this time I realized in our efforts to meet this risk posed to us by the enemy, we have forgotten our humanity.  We consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan.  When we engaged those that we perceived were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians.  Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability.

In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture.  We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government.  And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror.

Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionable acts are advocated by those in power.  When these cries of patriotism drown our any logically based intentions [unclear], it is usually an American soldier that is ordered to carry out some ill-conceived mission.
 Our nation has had similar dark moments for the virtues of democracy--the Trail of Tears, the Dred Scott decision, McCarthyism, the Japanese-American internment camps--to name a few.  I am confident that many of our actions since 9/11 will one day be viewed in a similar light
As the late Howard Zinn once said, "There is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”

I understand that my actions violated the law, and I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States.  It was never my intention to hurt anyone. I only wanted to help people.  When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others.

If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society.  I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal.”

transcript Reprinted from  

August 21, 2013

Bradley Manning Sentenced to 35 Yrs in Military Prison

FORT MEADE, Maryland 
U.S. soldier Bradley Manning was sentenced on Wednesday to serve 35 years in a military prison for turning over more than 700,000 classified files to WikiLeaks in the biggest breach of secret data in the nation's history.
Judge Colonel Denise Lind sentenced the 25-year-old former low-level intelligence analyst to less time behind bars than the 60 years military prosecutors had sought, and said Manning could be eligible for parole in about a decade, after serving one-third of his prison term.
Even that shorter prison term is seen as a strong deterrent to others who may consider exposing U.S. government secrets, according to experts and transparency advocates.
"It's more than 17 times the next-longest sentence ever served" for turning over secret material to the media, said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. "It is in line with sentences for paid espionage for the enemy."
Manning, in uniform, stood quietly showing no emotion as Lind read his sentence during a brief court proceeding at Fort Meade, Maryland, where his court-martial has been conducted for the last 2-1/2 months.
Lind said Manning would be demoted to private, from private first class, and dishonorably discharged from the U.S. military. Also, that his sentence would be reduced by the three years he has served in prison, plus the 112 days she had already decided to subtract because of the harsh treatment the soldier suffered after his arrest three years ago.
Manning will be imprisoned at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
In 2010, Manning was working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad when he turned over to WikiLeaks a trove of classified files, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts that included a 2007 gunsight video of a U.S. Apache helicopter firing at suspected insurgents in Iraq, killing a dozen people including two Reuters news staff.
The documents received intense media attention and landed WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, in the international spotlight.
During the trial, defense lawyers said Manning had hoped the document release would open Americans' eyes to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and provoke a more intense debate. Prosecutors contended that the soldier placed national security at risk by revealing confidential information.
As Manning was escorted out of the courtroom, supporters shouted: "Bradley, we are with you."
In the sentencing phase of the court-martial, Manning's attorneys portrayed their client as a troubled young man, who questioned his sexual identity and showed signs of anger that included punching a fellow soldier and grabbing for a gun during a counseling session. Those actions, defense attorneys argued, were signs that Manning was unfit for deployment to a war zone.
In that light, some observers described the sentence as unusually harsh.
"The government is looking for general deterrence of future Bradley Mannings," said Jeffrey Walker, an expert on military law and professor at St. John's University. "Thirty-five years is a pretty powerful message. I think they could have sent it with less than 35 years."
Other observers agreed the sentence would be a powerful deterrent and in future help to protect national security.
"The message will be sent in a loud and clear fashion to all those in uniform that they do not get to make decisions on what is legitimate and what is not, with regard to U.S. policy," said Steven Bucci, a foreign policy specialist at the Heritage Foundation.
Americans convicted of passing secrets to foreign governments have faced stiffer sentences. Former FBI agent Robert Hanssen was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty in 2001 to spying for Russia and the Soviet Union. Former Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard in 1987 also got a life sentence after passing classified information to Israel.
Manning's lawyers were due to speak with reporters later on Wednesday. Prosecutors declined to comment after the sentence was read.
The Manning court-martial highlights the difficulty of keeping secrets in the Internet age. It comes at a time when U.S. security agencies, with a large number of analysts granted access to secret files, are under great pressure to piece together disparate intelligence threads to head off attacks such as the April bombings at the Boston Marathon.
At the same time, the U.S. government is seeking the return of former CIA contractor Edward Snowden, who in June turned over details of secret U.S. programs to monitor the phone and Internet traffic of Americans. He has been granted temporary asylum by Russian authorities.
One sign of U.S. determination to send a message came early this year when Manning pleaded guilty to 10 lesser charges, but military prosecutors opted to push ahead and seek convictions on more serious criminal counts including espionage and aiding the enemy.
Lind found Manning guilty of espionage but not of aiding the enemy, a crime that would have carried a sentence of life in prison without parole.
"For the U.S. to have continued prosecuting him under the Espionage Act, even charging him with 'aiding the enemy,' can only be seen as a harsh warning to anyone else tempted to expose government wrongdoing," said Widney Brown, senior director of international law and policy at Amnesty International.

by Jim Finkle; Editing by Scott Malone, Jeffrey Benkoe and Gunna Dickson

August 19, 2013

Prosecutor Asks for 60 Yrs. For Bradley Manning, Which Means Life

FORT MEADE, Md. - Army Pfc. Bradley Manning should spend 60 years in prison because he betrayed the U.S. by giving classified material to WikiLeaks, a prosecutor said Monday.
The soldier's defence attorney didn't recommend a specific punishment, but suggested any prison term shouldn't exceed 25 years because the classification of some of the documents Manning leaked expires in 25 years.
Coombs said Manning, who was 21 when he enlisted in 2007, had limited life and military experience. His youthful idealism contributed to his belief that he could change the way the world viewed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and all future wars, by leaking the secret files, Coombs said.

"He had pure intentions at the time that he committed his offences," Coombs said. "At that time, Pfc. Manning really, truly, genuinely believed that this information could make a difference."
Manning faces up to 90 years in prison, but Capt. Joe Morrow only asked the judge to sentence him to 60 years. Morrow did not say during closing arguments of the court-martial why prosecutors were not seeking the maximum punishment.

A military judge convicted Manning last month of 20 offences, including six violations of the Espionage Act and five counts of stealing protected information.
"He's been convicted of serious crimes," Morrow said. "He betrayed the United States and for that betrayal, he deserves to spend the majority of his remaining life in confinement."
The judge, Col. Denise Lind, said she will begin deliberating the punishment Tuesday.

The 25-year-old native of Crescent, Okla., leaked more than 700,000 documents, including Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and State Department diplomatic cables, while working in early 2010 as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. He also leaked video of a 2007 U.S. Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed at least nine people, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver.
Manning took the stand last week and apologized for hurting his country, pleading with the judge for a chance to go to college and become a productive citizen.

Family members and a psychologist testified for the defence, saying the soldier felt extreme mental pressure in the military because of his gender-identity disorder during the "don't ask, don't tell" era.
Coombs presented evidence that Manning's unit needed intelligence analysts so badly that a supervisor failed to report to commanders his concerns about Manning's deteriorating mental health. Such a report could have prevented Manning from being deployed or resulted in his top-secret security clearance being revoked.
Coombs cited an incident in May 2010, when then-Master Sgt. Paul Adkins found Manning rocking in a fetal position on the floor in their workplace in Iraq. Manning had carved the words, "I want" into the vinyl part of a chair. Adkins testified he talked to Manning for about an hour until the soldier was calm, and then sent him back to work.

Coombs said Adkins should have escorted Manning directly to the unit's behavioural health office.
"The failure, the utter failure to take any action at that point is inexcusable," Coombs said.
Morrow said there were other people in Manning's unit who were openly gay and Manning did not hide his sexuality from them.
"It wasn't the military's fault, it wasn't the command's fault, it wasn't because he saw something horrible — it was because he had an agenda," Morrow said.
One Manning supporter in the court room bit her lip and shook her head in disapproval at Morrow's comments. Two others frowned.
Prosecutors have called Manning an anarchist computer hacker and attention-seeking traitor. The soldier's supporters have hailed Manning as a whistleblower.
Prosecutors also asked the judge to fine Manning $100,000, reduce his rank to private and give him a dishonourable discharge.

August 17, 2013

Bradley Manning He is Not The Big Bad Munster but A Kid

Bradley Manning (March 2012)Manning reportedly joined the Army to help pay for college

There is so much to learn from this young man and from the way our government uses it's soldiers. Here we have millions of leaks together with the Snowden case and no one has taken responsibility for any of it. They have sent Manning originally with outrageous charges that if found guilty he would have faced the firing squad. The government is made to drop the worse of them but they just stock it up like they didn’t know for sure what he did and if found guilty of something it might just covered what ever he was guilty of.  I found the following on the BBC and is something to start knowing this gay individual and why he acted the way he did. I can’t criticize him because the one to blame is not a kid but the big collecting machine the government continues to build on the NIS.
No one else but Manning is paid any price. If the crime is so big how can it only involve only one person. Who did he answer to? Who gave him the responsibility, who oversaw what he did?
US Pte First Class Bradley Manning lip-synced to Lady Gaga while he downloaded thousands of classified documents from military servers, according to a computer hacker he befriended.
Now, the 25-year-old soldier faces up to 90 years in prison after being convicted of 20 of 22 charges against him in connection with the leaks. He was acquitted of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy.
As an intelligence analyst in the US Army, Pte Manning was given access to a large amount of highly sensitive information.
But as a private first class, he was very low-ranking with a relatively meagre wage.
According to his friends, he had become frustrated with a military career that appeared to be stagnating.
Bradley Manning (December 2011)'Funny little character'
And his personal life appears to have hit a downward spiral after he was posted to Iraq in 2009.
Pte Manning joined the army in 2007 after drifting through low-paid jobs.
He had been brought up in Crescent, a small town in Oklahoma. His father, Brian, had reportedly spent five years in the military.
But his parents divorced when he was a teenager, and he moved with his mother to Haverfordwest in south-west Wales.
As a teenager, he was said to have been a hothead who was often teased for being a geek.
"He would get upset, slam books on the desk if people wouldn't listen to him or understand his point of view," a classmate from Oklahoma, Chera Moore, told the New York Times.
A friend from his schooldays in Wales, James Kirkpatrick,told the BBC he was a "funny little character, really on the ball" who was obsessed with computers.
Some reports say he had a difficult time in Wales, and suffered abuse for being gay.
Turned in
After finishing school, he returned to the US and joined the army. Friends say he enlisted to help pay for college.
   He was deployed to Iraq in October 2009. But messages he posted on Facebook suggest he was far from happy. 
He wrote in early May 2010 on the site that he was "beyond frustrated with people and society at large".
Other status updates followed, among them: "Bradley Manning is not a piece of equipment."
A week earlier, he had written: "Bradley Manning is now left with the sinking feeling that he doesn't have anything left."
Some of the postings appear to refer to a recent breakdown of a relationship.
But weeks later his words appeared prophetic when he was arrested by military investigators on suspicion of stealing secret information.
 Self-confessed computer hacker Adrian Lamo told the world's media how Pte Manning had confessed to the data theft during conversations they had on the internet.
"Listened and lip-synced to Lady Gaga's Telephone while exfiltrating possibly the largest data spillage in American history," Pte Manning wrote, according to a transcript of their messages published on Wired's website.
"Weak servers, weak logging, weak physical security, weak counter-intelligence, inattentive signal analysis… a perfect storm."
Mr Lamo went to the authorities with the messages.
During a sentencing hearing at his court martial in August 2013, a military psychiatrist testified that Pte Manning had struggled with his gender identity and wanted to become a woman at the time of the leak.
In March 2011, the US Army charged Pte Manning with 22 counts relating to the unauthorised possession and distribution of more than 720,000 secret diplomatic and military documents.
Among the files he passed to Wikileaks was video footage of an Apache helicopter killing 12 civilians in Baghdad in 2007.
An apt location
Wikileaks released tens of thousands of documents relating to the Afghan war.
The website later disclosed thousands of sensitive messages written by US diplomats and military records from the Iraq war, causing growing embarrassment to the US government.
Pte Manning told the court he had leaked the documents to spark a public debate in the US about the role of the military and about US foreign policy.
Officials say Fort Meade was chosen because its military court is one of the largest in the Washington area.
But the base is also the home of the National Security Agency, the high-security code-breaking and intelligence service.
For a man accused of the largest leak of official secrets in modern times, the location could hardly be more apt.
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