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Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years

Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years

Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning, the US soldier convicted of leaking huge volumes of secret government documents to Wikileaks has been sentenced to 35 years in prison.

The sentencing follows his conviction in July for 20 of the 22 charges levelled against him, including espionage but excluding aiding the enemy - a potentially capital offence.

Last week Manning apologised for "the unexpected results" of his actions, saying "I’m sorry that my actions hurt people. I’m sorry that they hurt the United States."

This may have lead Judge Col Denise Lind to hand out the arguably lenient sentence, with Manning having potentially faced a total of over 100 years for all his convictions. Instead he will be eligible for parole in 11 years time. His sentence will also be reduced by about three and a half years due to the time he has already served and the 112 days recompense he was awarded for the harsh conditions of his initial confinement.

As ever with court proceedings there will be an appeals process with the verdict and sentence being reviewed, and possibly reduced, by a military district commander, and there will be an automatic review by the Army Court of Criminal Appeals. Manning may also petition the court for lenience during the appeals process.

He is expected to serve his sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Meanwhile, via Twitter, Wikileaks called the sentence a "significant strategic victory". Supporters at the courtroom also wore black T-shirts bearing the word "truth" and shouts of "We'll be waiting for you, Bradley" and "Thank you, Bradley, we love you" could be heard.

Amnesty International and the Bradley Manning Support Network have announced an online petition asking President Barack Obama to pardon Pte Manning.

47 Comments

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Stanley Tweedle 21st August 2013, 20:24 Quote
I dun like that country but there are worse ones.
meandmymouth 21st August 2013, 20:50 Quote
I thought it would be more, not that that makes it any less horrendous for him.

I understand he committed a crime, but he shed light on some pretty horrific and terrible things.
Nexxo 21st August 2013, 21:44 Quote
Balanced and diplomatic sentencing. Any more would be vindictive and punitive; any less would be challenged by the prosecution. This way he could be out in 11 --by that time all this will be distant memory and he can be quietly discharged and start a new life somewhere --if people leave him alone.

This means that people also have to stop campaigning for a pardon (not going to happen) and stop making him a figurehead for their crusades, as this will keep making him a target for the government. He has done his martyr bit for us. Let him gently vanish from the public eye. Lobby behind the scenes for humane treatment while in prison, make him feel supported, keep in contact with him, visit him, send him cakes; give him the message that when he gets out he'll have a place to go and people who care about him. But it is time to think of the person now, and not the cause he stands for.
narwen 21st August 2013, 23:45 Quote
It would've been kinder to kill him than 11 years in military prison. He'll be a broken man with serious mental health problems. If they're the same has UK military prisons.
MrJay 22nd August 2013, 00:17 Quote
Who guards the guards?

He did what he thought was right, fully knowing the consequences. It is unfortunate that he has to face a prison sentence for his actions. The situation where people are forced to abandon their morals to keep these kind of secrets should not exist.

I know it is wishful thinking but hey we have to start somewhere don't we.

He is ultimatly a product of the situation they themselves have created. He can neither be praised or blamed. This is apparent in his sentencing, it's good to see that the judge has compromised, it must have been a very difficult decision for her.
Cthippo 22nd August 2013, 01:04 Quote
Manning / Snowden in 2016!

Otherwise, I agree with Nexxo
mi1ez 22nd August 2013, 09:00 Quote
I know it's everywhere, but he'd have been better off shooting dead an unarmed black teenager. Or committing the crimes he reported.

Dumb country.
lacuna 22nd August 2013, 12:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mi1ez
I know it's everywhere, but he'd have been better off shooting dead an unarmed black teenager. Or committing the crimes he reported.

Dumb country.

No he wouldn't because he would then have to personally bear the grief and guilt of committing that particular crime.

His crime didn't directly cause physical harm to anyone and it would be difficult to feel remorse for doing it but releasing that information had the potential to cause wars. That wasn't his intention but what he did was no accident either.

I think its important for people to actually realise that humanity is anything but humane. Individually we may act with morality but as a species we are by far the worst. Atrocious crimes are committed daily; always have and always will. The fact that the US government had it documented is pretty much irrelevant because nothing will change other than they might turn the cameras off in future...
Nexxo 22nd August 2013, 12:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lacuna
I think its important for people to actually realise that humanity is anything but humane. Individually we may act with morality but as a species we are by far the worst. Atrocious crimes are committed daily; always have and always will. The fact that the US government had it documented is pretty much irrelevant because nothing will change other than they might turn the cameras off in future...

They already do, actually. The US government has learned a lot about the impact of media reporting on the public perception of war since the Vietnam years.

It is up to whistle blowers now to remind the public that war is a messy business, a very messy business.

And let's get one thing straight: Manning's actions cannot cause anything. It is other people/nations who decide how to act based on what information was leaked by him. The responsibility for their actions remains theirs.
VipersGratitude 22nd August 2013, 13:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Balanced and diplomatic sentencing.

Although it is of note that his prison sentence is 10 years longer than the period of time after which most of the documents from the leak would be declassified.
Corky42 22nd August 2013, 13:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
And let's get one thing straight: Manning's actions cannot cause anything. It is other people/nations who decide how to act based on what information was leaked by him. The responsibility for their actions remains theirs.

Good job he lives in the US then, because under the UK Serious Crime Act 2007 we could claim he encouraged or assisted others to act based on the information he gave out.
Harlequin 22nd August 2013, 13:37 Quote
War is not a nice or pleasant experience - honor? chivalry? - died in years gone , its all about missions , objectives and body counts - do it to them before they do it to you.
Nexxo 22nd August 2013, 15:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by VipersGratitude
Although it is of note that his prison sentence is 10 years longer than the period of time after which most of the documents from the leak would be declassified.
I'm not saying that it is fair sentencing; just the best that the judge could do without being challenged on it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Good job he lives in the US then, because under the UK Serious Crime Act 2007 we could claim he encouraged or assisted others to act based on the information he gave out.
That claim would have to be proved.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
War is not a nice or pleasant experience - honor? chivalry? - died in years gone , its all about missions , objectives and body counts - do it to them before they do it to you.

War never was. Honour and chivalry, like patriotism and heroism are just propaganda concepts. The most enduring experience of war is fear and shame.

The army is a machine for waging war. As such it seeks to recruit and promote people whose thinking, behaviours and values most closely align with those of the war machine; in order to function in the army, you have to compromise your humanity and become part of that machine. Manning could not do that, and that had been obvious for months. He should have been discharged, not assigned to one of the darkest places in it. Of course he was going to break. By rights, he should be suing them under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Corky42 22nd August 2013, 16:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
That claim would have to be proved.

No proof needed, the prosecutor just has to argue the balance of probabilities.
I think anyone would find it easy to postulate that what manning done is more than 51% likely to cause harm.
Nexxo 22nd August 2013, 18:21 Quote
A person is not taken to have intended to encourage or assist an offence merely because such encouragement or assistance was a foreseeable consequence of his act. The offence is triable in the same manner, summarily or on indictment, as the anticipated offence.
Corky42 22nd August 2013, 19:48 Quote
But when taken in context with section 47 all they would have to do is prove that he believed that an offence would be committed. With the amount of data he released i think it would fairly easy to argue that he would have known that an offence would be committed.
Nexxo 22nd August 2013, 19:52 Quote
That would be inference (he must have known), not proof (he did know).

Also keep in mind that with regards encouraged or assisted crimes, the law here talks about specific acts, not a vague "terrorists may do something bad".
Corky42 22nd August 2013, 20:05 Quote
You mean in the same way people got arrested and sentenced to four years for posting on Facebook about the London riots, even though their Facebook activity provoked no actual crimes or riots.
Nexxo 22nd August 2013, 20:30 Quote
In those cases the proof of acts being encouraged was in the very posts, well, literally encouraging them.
wafflesomd 22nd August 2013, 21:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mi1ez
I know it's everywhere, but he'd have been better off shooting dead an unarmed black teenager. Or committing the crimes he reported.

Dumb country.

I take it you didn't actually follow that case? If you did, you wouldn't have said that.
Guinevere 22nd August 2013, 23:08 Quote
Thirty five years. Think about it! Where were you 35 years ago? Where will you be in 35 years time?

Chelsea Manning made a hell of a mistake in releasing what she did. Whatever her reasoning I can't believe she's changed the world for the better because of it. She's now got to sort out her gender issues while incarcerated.

Have the worlds governments cleaned up their act? Not in the slightest.

If she'd have worked at 7 - 11 then maybe she'd have taken her frustration and issues out by smashing a few eggs or being light-fingered in the cash register. But no, some fool in the military decided it was wise to give a real junior soldier access to pandora's box.

Boy, is she paying the price.
Corky42 23rd August 2013, 00:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
In those cases the proof of acts being encouraged was in the very posts, well, literally encouraging them.

The only difference is Manning would come under section 45, and the London Facebook riots come under section 46. Its still the same 2007 act.
ssj12 23rd August 2013, 02:33 Quote
Bradley is a hero, and should never have been sentenced.
Corky42 23rd August 2013, 08:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssj12
Bradley is a hero, and should never have been sentenced.

No he isn't, She is a heroine :?
Nexxo 23rd August 2013, 08:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
The only difference is Manning would come under section 45, and the London Facebook riots come under section 46. Its still the same 2007 act.
And still the same burden of proof applies.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Chelsea Manning made a hell of a mistake in releasing what she did. Whatever her reasoning I can't believe she's changed the world for the better because of it. She's now got to sort out her gender issues while incarcerated.

Have the worlds governments cleaned up their act? Not in the slightest.

If she'd have worked at 7 - 11 then maybe she'd have taken her frustration and issues out by smashing a few eggs or being light-fingered in the cash register. But no, some fool in the military decided it was wise to give a real junior soldier access to pandora's box.

Boy, is she paying the price.

It is too early to determine what the impact of her actions is. Most martyrs don't live to see the results of their sacrifices. Ghandi, Martin Luther King, to name a few. People who were regarded ****-stirrers, enemies of the State, potential terrorists or terrorist sympathisers..

Would WikiLeaks have had the same impact without Manning? Would Snowden have done what he did? Governments haven't changed, but the public awareness sure as hell has.
Corky42 23rd August 2013, 09:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
And still the same burden of proof applies.

As i originally said they only have to "prove" the balance of probabilities, 51% likely to happen. If you want to call that "proof" then fine, but our legal system was founded on using beyond all reasonable doubt when it come to locking people away.
Nexxo 23rd August 2013, 10:05 Quote
Yes, but they still have to prove that. I am speaking of proof in legal, not scientific terms: there has to be evidence to support a reasonable belief that the allegation is true.

If someone tweets: "Go into the streets of London and riot!", then this very statement is evidence that it is reasonable to believe that a crime was being encouraged.

But Manning releasing classified documents is not in and of itself evidence that it is reasonable to believe that he intended to encourage, or expected terrorists to be encouraged to act on it. You can argue that he could reasonably have expected that, but you cannot argue that he did.

Basically, someone's motivations have to be proved beyond reasonable doubt (i.e. there has to be evidence that supports a reasonably unambiguous interpretation). And there is plenty of evidence (e.g. his conversation with Lamo before he leaked) that proves Manning's motivations were nothing to do with encouraging or aiding the enemy.
Corky42 23rd August 2013, 10:16 Quote
But the point is no crime has to have taken place, saying, tweeting, or encouraging a crime only has to be argued that it would be likely to cause a crime. And yes you are right when you say we could argue that he could reasonably have expected that, and that is what you can be locked up for under the serious crime act 2007.
Nexxo 23rd August 2013, 15:41 Quote
I'm not talking about whether the crime should actually have taken place (focus!). I'm saying that under the Serious Crime Act 2007 you have to prove (in the legal sense) that the person did expect a crime to occur as result of his actions, or intended for it to happen. Saying that he could have reasonably expected it is not enough.
Corky42 23rd August 2013, 17:06 Quote
The act doesn't say did expect a crime to occur or could have reasonably expected
It says he believes— you would have a hard time convincing a judge that he didn't believe what he/she leaked wouldn't have encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence.
Guinevere 23rd August 2013, 17:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
the public awareness sure as hell has.

Yeah, and that bit is good. I just feel sorry for her I guess. Could not have been in a good head space at the time and she will be paying the price for decades.

I'd love to have Obama stand up and make an awesome 'We've messed up a few times, but we're done with that' speech and then pardon all the whistleblowers but even he doesn't have that sort of power. His inability to shut down Guantanamo has proven that.
Nexxo 23rd August 2013, 17:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
The act doesn't say did expect a crime to occur or could have reasonably expected
It says he believes— you would have a hard time convincing a judge that he didn't believe what he/she leaked wouldn't have encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence.

Same argument. The allegation must be proved, not disproved. You would have to prove (as in: provide evidence that it is reasonable to conclude) that Manning believed that her actions would encourage or assist in the commission of terrorist offences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Yeah, and that bit is good. I just feel sorry for her I guess. Could not have been in a good head space at the time and she will be paying the price for decades.

I'd love to have Obama stand up and make an awesome 'We've messed up a few times, but we're done with that' speech and then pardon all the whistleblowers but even he doesn't have that sort of power. His inability to shut down Guantanamo has proven that.

I'm hoping that Manning will soon sink into obscurity so that she can be let out quietly in the next decade, and start a new life somewhere far away from the madding crowd, an ordinary woman at peace with herself and her place in the world.

Obama has been somewhat disappoint. Sure, we finally got a Black dude in the White House, and it's nice to hear a US President speak who can actually string a coherent sentence together. But his attempts to improve health care notwithstanding, his track record on Gitmo, foreign policy and on civil rights has been fairly dismal.
Corky42 23rd August 2013, 19:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Same argument. The allegation must be proved, not disproved. You would have to prove (as in: provide evidence that it is reasonable to conclude) that Manning believed that her actions would encourage or assist in the commission of terrorist offences.

Its not the same argument at all, before the 2007 act you would need to "prove" beyond all reasonable doubt before someone would be sentenced to serve time in jail.
The Serious Crime Act 2007 changed the burden of proof need before someone would be jailed from beyond all reasonable doubt, to reasonable to believe. The following sums up why the 2007 act is such a bad idea...
Quote:
The supposed defence of "reasonableness", means that, yet again, the burden of proof is reversed i.e. you as a defendant have to prove that your actions were somehow reasonable, rather than the prosecution having to prove the opposite, which runs counter to the normal way in which English justice works.
Nexxo 23rd August 2013, 22:10 Quote
You'd still have to submit evidence on which that reasonable belief is based.
Corky42 24th August 2013, 06:31 Quote
You seen to be confusing legal terms, first you mention "proof" now you say "evidence" the two terms mean totally different things.
Either way there are 700,000 pieces of evidence that could be used as proof on wiki leaks.
Nexxo 24th August 2013, 08:28 Quote
A few posts above I defined my terms of proof in the legal sense --which means evidence to support the allegation.

The 700000 documents are in and of themselves not evidence of motivation (i.e. his beliefs or expectations around encouragement), only of his actions.
Corky42 24th August 2013, 09:43 Quote
Evidence doesn't mean "that it is reasonable to conclude" as you defined it.

Evidence is any matter of fact that a party to a lawsuit offers to prove or disprove an issue in the case.
Evidence is a narrow term describing certain types of proof that can be admitted at trial, In the case of Manning that fact would be that he leaked 700,000 classified documents.

Evidence is different from proof, in that proof is the establishment of a fact by the use of evidence. Anything that can make a person believe that a fact or proposition is true or false. It is distinguishable from evidence in that proof is a broad term comprehending everything that may be adduced at a trial, whereas evidence is a narrow term describing certain types of proof that can be admitted at trial.

The 2007 act replaced the common law crime of incitement that would need to be proved beyond reasonable doubt, with the offence of encouraging or assisting a crime, and that only needs to be proved that its reasonable to believe.
Nexxo 24th August 2013, 09:52 Quote
You are arguing semantics now.

Evidence supports establishment of fact.
Establishing fact = it is reasonable to believe that the fact is true (in case or the 2007 Act).
Evidence therefore supports that it is reasonable to believe (or conclude) that etc.

Again, you would have to prove that it is reasonable to believe that Manning believed or expected to encourage terrorist crime by his actions. You would therefore have to submit evidence that supports that it is reasonable to believe this inference of his motivations, which is a different thing from establishing his actions.

You are going on correspondent inference: the (perceived!) most likely consequence of an action must have been its intention. This is a logical reasoning error (made a lot by people in daily life) and can be shot down. But you also have to submit evidence to support the reasonableness of your inference of his motivations. You have to prove the reasonableness of your beliefs about what he was thinking at the time, going up against the evidence of his own statements of what he was thinking (made in confidence) at the time. Basically: you have to prove that it is reasonable to believe that he was lying about his motivations at the time. Good luck with that.
Corky42 24th August 2013, 11:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
You are arguing semantics now.

When dealing with law, semantics are key to whether someone is found guilty or innocent.
It would be a trivial matter to prove, that he reasonably believed (expected or supposed) that his act would encourage or assist in the commission of a crime. His motivations have nothing to do with it, its what he reasonably expected to happen.
Nexxo 24th August 2013, 11:31 Quote
You are still making allegations about what he thought at the time, which is a lot harder to prove than allegations of what he did. Acts are observable, and hence provable. Thoughts aren't; you have to infer them from actions and statements.

So go on: how can you prove what he believed at the time?
Corky42 24th August 2013, 11:53 Quote
Its not a matter of proving what he believed at the time, its a matter of him proving that he didn't believe his actions would have encourage or assist in the commission of a crime.
You would have to have the IQ of a rock to not think releasing 700,000 classified documents wouldn't have encourage or assist in the commission of a crime.
rollo 24th August 2013, 11:54 Quote
Not really sure I get either argument.

He was always getting a high sentence, wether it gets reduced on appeal or not is another matter entirely.

What he thought at the time is pure guess work unless you can read minds.

In the end of the day he broke the secrets act where each breach can result in prison time. 35 years for 1000s of classified documents.

He can get parole in 8 years if he's good.
Nexxo 24th August 2013, 12:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Its not a matter of proving what he believed at the time, its a matter of him proving that he didn't believe his actions would have encourage or assist in the commission of a crime.
He has, amongst others, his personal conversation with Lamo to back that up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
You would have to have the IQ of a rock to not think releasing 700,000 classified documents wouldn't have encourage or assist in the commission of a crime.

ORLY? And what crimes has it, in fact, encouraged or assisted? Not that logical an assumption then.

Meanwhile Manning's capacity for reasoned thought and action at the time could be challenged. Plenty of evidence to back that up too.
Corky42 24th August 2013, 12:59 Quote
The UK serious crime act of 2007 doesn't need a crime to be committed, and operates on the premise of it being reasonable to believe.
The US military tribunal operate the same way we used to, and requires it to be proved beyond reasonable doubt.
So as i originally said good job he lives in the US as under UK law he would have been found guilty for encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence.
Nexxo 24th August 2013, 17:18 Quote
I agree, but our point of disagreement is that the allegation is that it is reasonable to believe that he believed his acts would encourage crime. That logic in itself can be challenged. But also, Manning's defense has plenty of evidence to argue that his reasoning was compromised at the time.

But yeah, the UK is a worse police state than the US.
forum_user 25th August 2013, 16:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Balanced and diplomatic sentencing. Any more would be vindictive and punitive; any less would be challenged by the prosecution. This way he could be out in 11 --by that time all this will be distant memory and he can be quietly discharged and start a new life somewhere --if people leave him alone.

This means that people also have to stop campaigning for a pardon (not going to happen) and stop making him a figurehead for their crusades, as this will keep making him a target for the government. He has done his martyr bit for us. Let him gently vanish from the public eye. Lobby behind the scenes for humane treatment while in prison, make him feel supported, keep in contact with him, visit him, send him cakes; give him the message that when he gets out he'll have a place to go and people who care about him. But it is time to think of the person now, and not the cause he stands for.

He looked very ill in the last picture I saw of him. No need to guess why. But I do wonder if he will make it to 11 years inside.
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