May 19, 2019

Bradley Manning facing death penalty over WikiLeaks charges

US Military prosecutors are making sure that Bradley Manning is going to lose everything, including that rather large badge on his beret.

The US Army has brought 22 new charges against Private Bradley Manning, a former intelligence analyst accused of leaking thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks.

One of the charges – ‘aiding the enemy’ carries the death sentence. But prosecutors would not say who the ‘enemy’ were.

The Prosecutors also said that they would not seek the execution of Private Manning if he was found guilty of that charge. Well that is jolly decent of them. Ramp up the presssure on a guy by putting his life on the line then saying they won’t really kill him.

Private Manning is alleged to have released documents relating to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, that US officials have asserted could put soldiers and civilians at risk.

Sorry chaps but the only people putting soldiers and civilians at risk are the US government who insist on occupying Afghanistan long after their initial objective of capturing Osama Bin Laden has failed. The forces there now are solely pursuing political objectives.

The new charges, filed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, include wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the internet, knowing it will be accessed by the enemy, and violating US Army regulations on information security.

They are on top of charges brought last July against Private Manning, who is locked up in a military prison in Quantico, Virginia, pending a mental health review to determine his fitness for a court martial.

Here is some excellent military PR babble. ”The new charges more accurately reflect the broad scope of the crimes that [Private First Class] Manning is accused of committing,” Captain John Haberland, a spokesman (spin doctor with a uniform) for the Military District of Washington, said on Wednesday.

The decision means that Private Manning, if convicted of all charges, would face a maximum punishment of life in prison, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, a reduction in rank to the lowest enlisted pay grade and a dishonourable discharge, officials said.

What has the US Army got that is lower than a private? I sounds like they want to take everything off Private Manning they possbly can, even to threaten his life. From a neutral perspective it seems as though they are throwing everything they can at Private Manning to discourage anyone else from leaking classified documents.

What the American government seems to miss in this whole episode is that their actions against Private Manning are typical of an over the top attitude to world affairs that reached its peak during the reign of George W Bush.

By constantly referring to the ‘enemy’ but not being preparred to elaborate, even though they are putting someone on trial potentially for their life is arrogant.

America is at peace. They are not at war. They need to start treating the whole world as place they engage with as equals. America is happy to be at peace with those who fit their political strategic objectives. Even though many of those regimes are totalitarian with poor human rights records.

For those who are in the way of those objectives they are cast out and ostricised even though they are sovereign countries who may have done nothing wrong, except operate contrary to US foreign policy.

Lets be honest, the world knew what the US government really thought long before the WikiLeaks episode. To have the truth printed instead of the bland lies that official channels normally spout has been rather refreshing for us world watchers.