22 New Charges Filed Against Bradley Manning; Update: No death penalty?

posted at 10:12 am on March 3, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

As was predicted in this space on numerous occasions, the United States Army has brought a laundry list of new charges against alleged traitor Pfc. Bradley Manning of Wikileaks fame. And this time they’ve included the big one.

The Army on Wednesday filed 22 new charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of illegally downloading tens of thousands of classified U.S. military and State Department documents that were then publicly released by WikiLeaks, military officials told NBC News.

The most serious of the new charges is “aiding the enemy,” a capital offense that could carry a potential death sentence.

Pentagon and military officials say some of the classified information released by WikiLeaks contained the names of informants and others who had cooperated with U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, endangering their lives.

Earlier this year I engaged in a discussion with Ed Morrissey on his show about the most significant news stories of 2010 and which ones would roll over to play a big role in 2011. This story was my top pick, not just for the potential of more and more high profile revelations from Wikileaks, but for the eventual fate of young Mr. Manning and the political fallout which could come from it.

The “aiding the enemy” charge should come as no surprise to anyone, and in fact we had predicted it would come down to treason last winter. Despite the poo-pooing and endless protestations of some of Manning’s most vocal and frequently comical defenders, there is one object lesson here which can not be repeated often enough: the U.S. Military has zero sense of humor when it comes to things like this.

Assuming for the moment that this winds up in a conviction – and the Army is certainly acting like they’re playing a pretty solid hand at this point – the situation only becomes more explosive and holds the potential to be a huge thorn in the side of the Obama administration for months or years to come. Aiding the enemy during a time of war is generally considered one of the surest paths to a firing squad for obvious reasons, but it will leave the President in a sticky position.

If the military decides to drag Manning out back and shoot him – a distinct possibility – a significant portion of Barack Obama’s base will be in an uproar. They tend to be opposed to the death penalty in general, for starters. But Manning has also become something of a folk hero on the Left, allegedly helping – albeit indirectly – Julian Assange to “stick it to the man” and expose the various perceived evils of the American government. Allowing him to be executed would be a huge black eye for Obama with his base.

But if he steps in and commutes the sentence – assuming there is a legal mechanism for him to do so – then he will be seen as undercutting his own military establishment and substituting his judgment for their established practices and discipline. (Not to mention earning the tag of “going soft on traitors,” always a sure winner in an election year.)

Of course, the Army could let Obama off the hook and simply send Manning to Leavenworth for the rest of his natural life, but that’s not a great option either in terms of the political optics. Manning’s cheerleaders are already complaining about the “horrific” conditions he’s being held under and it’s only going to get worse after his conviction. (He might even lose his cable TV, library and newspaper privileges and private exercise yard.)

If convicted on the Big Count, Manning will never, ever be able to be transferred into the general military prison population and will, in all likelihood, spend the rest of his life in solitary confinement. Of all the scoundrels in legal history, traitors are probably the most unpopular with the enlisted rank and file. Dumped into a large crowd, Manning’s safety would be virtually impossible to assure. And that would leave the President with a “folk hero” of the Left locked up under the same – or worse – conditions than he’s in now for the rest of his time in office. This would be a burr under Obama’s saddle which would never go away.

It’s been a long and winding road, but it looks like we may be coming to the end of it. The Army moves at their own pace, as they should, but if they’ve filed charges now they probably feel like their case is just about ripe for presentation. Look for a court martial date to be announced in the coming weeks or months.

UPDATE: The New York Times is reporting that prosecutors have taken the death penalty out of play, so that’s one less thing for the White House to worry about.

The charge sheet also did not identify “the enemy” that Private Manning was accused of aiding. A military statement says that charge can be a capital offense, but the prosecution team had decided against recommending the death penalty in this case.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Would it be bad of me to wish this punk would just get quietly shanked?

Just askin’.

Tim Zank on March 3, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Strip him of his citizenship and parachute him into Iran. Let him relieve his homosexual angst there.

Hening on March 3, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Give him a trial, convict him, sentence him and then dispose of his stinking, traitorous butt.

rplat on March 3, 2011 at 10:16 AM

I have friends who fly Apaches who are identified in gun target videos that were leaked.

This young man should be found guilty and then executed. No question.

hawkdriver on March 3, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Has the Ft. Hood shooter been convicted of anything yet?

Fact: 13 dead, 32 wounded
Fact: Scores of eyewitnesses

And still the military can’t seem to get this to trial.

BobMbx on March 3, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Did WikiLeaks release these charges?

faraway on March 3, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Buh-bye.

Shy Guy on March 3, 2011 at 10:24 AM

HE’S NOT GOING TO GET THE DEATH PENALTY. They’ve already said they’re not going to ask for it. Why is everyone so crazy about killing this idiot? I think life in prison is good enough, and that’s from a prior service Marine.

Living4Him5534 on March 3, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Hang this traitor from the highest yardarm.

Corky
CTRC, USN-RET

Corky on March 3, 2011 at 10:25 AM

If found guilty,he is a traitor. Hang him or better, yet, ask for volunteers for a firing squad.

Beaglemom on March 3, 2011 at 10:26 AM

I have friends who fly Apaches who are identified in gun target videos that were leaked.

This young man should be found guilty and then executed. No question.

hawkdriver on March 3, 2011 at 10:19 AM

And dispatched as quickly as possible.

OmahaConservative on March 3, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Give this traitorous cretin the same respect that he gave the country that he was supposed to be serving and the brothers-in-arms that he was supposed to show loyalty and fraternity to.

kingsjester on March 3, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Bradley Manning is guilty of being too gay to be in the US Military.

Really Right on March 3, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Living4Him5534 on March 3, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Eventually a lesson needs to be sent about traitorous actions. I still can’t believe that John Walker wasn’t hanged in public. If aiding the enemy in a time of war isn’t enough to warrant the death penalty, then we need to eliminate the military and welcome our conquerors.

TugboatPhil on March 3, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Living4Him: I find it very interesting that treason is, as far as I know, the only crime both mentioned and defined in the US Constitution. I was under the impression that the Constitution also specifies the Death penalty for treason, but apparently it does not.

Regardless, I find it amusing that the only way he avoids the death penalty is to keep him away from others. That in itself should be pretty indicative of the sentiment.

Also, I feel (because of the words of the Constitution) that if any President pardons a traitor, that is instant grounds for impeachment. President Obama would be best served to avoid this entire issue. Perhaps a rare instance where his instincts would actually serve his interest.

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 10:29 AM

He will find himself with a lot of alone, quiet time to regret his actions.

RepubChica on March 3, 2011 at 10:30 AM

A fair trial, followed by a first class hanging. With a new rope.

Not that the little shit-stain deserves that much consideration.

mojo on March 3, 2011 at 10:31 AM

OT: Has anyone else had more than their fill of Sheen? WTF cares????

OmahaConservative on March 3, 2011 at 10:31 AM

OC: I know our President cares, but that’s no reason Sheen should be around all the time. ;)

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 10:33 AM

And Ed and Allah, a favor? Can we please find a photo of this ass-clown that doesn’t have him with that SEG on his face?

Please!

hawkdriver on March 3, 2011 at 10:33 AM

I don’t want him executed, but I am glad to see this. He deserves a good long time in prison.

WannabeAnglican on March 3, 2011 at 10:34 AM

This young man should be found guilty and then executed. No question.

hawkdriver on March 3, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Yeah, I’ve felt the same way about John Walker for years. He put friends of mine in danger and he did it for money. In his case I think it was the phrase “In time of war” that kept his worthless ass from the firing squad. I’m not sure why Manning isn’t being charged with spying though. Maybe it’s because the little bastige is so cute.

906. ART. 106. SPIES
Any person who in time of war is found lurking as a spy or acting as a spy in or about any place, vessel, or aircraft, within the control or jurisdiction of any of the armed forces, or in or about any shipyard, any manufacturing or industrial plant, or any other place or institution engaged in work in aid of the prosecution of the war by the Unites States, or elsewhere, shall be tried by a general court-martial or by a military commission and on conviction shall be punished by death.

Oldnuke on March 3, 2011 at 10:35 AM

The charge sheet also did not identify “the enemy” that Private Manning was accused of aiding. A military statement says that charge can be a capital offense, but the prosecution team had decided against recommending the death penalty in this case.

Coming from our anti-American President and his Administration, this does not shock me at all.

kingsjester on March 3, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Sorry, but this is just an incredible misreading of this situation. This would have been an albatross around Obama’s neck for 2012 if the Army hadn’t acted by coming out with serious charges. Now Barry gets to blather on about law and order, military duty, codes of honor, blah, blah, blah. BUT, nothing will happen between now and the election. There will be no military trial. Barry’s team will see to it that this is dragged out until after election day, giving Barry lots of opportunities to sound like a law-and-order guy — why he’ll even be “parting with his base” on this issue cuz he’s just sooo centrist — and then the most serious charges will quietly be dropped after the election for lack of evidence, the punk will get reduced to time served and dishonorable discharge, and it’ll all go away. These new developments are great for Obama.

Rational Thought on March 3, 2011 at 10:37 AM

The only people more disgusting than Manning are the Americans that view him as a victim/hero. They are all you need to know about the American left.
Manning and Maj. Hasan should be outfitted in remote controlled suicide vests (it wouldn’t be a suicide vest anymore, would it?)and parachuted into Damascus, Tehran, Tripoli or any of a number of other such places.
Seriously, whatever happens will be calculated not to negatively impact Obama’s re-election.

cartooner on March 3, 2011 at 10:41 AM

This is America folks. He’ll be bounced around for political gain where it can be had, and then pardoned on Obama’s last day in office. Then he’ll get a book deal, a movie deal and run for Congress in California or Oregon: and win.

MikeA on March 3, 2011 at 10:45 AM

This is America folks. He’ll be bounced around for political gain where it can be had, and then pardoned on Obama’s last day in office. Then he’ll get a book deal, a movie deal and run for Congress in California or Oregon: and win.

MikeA on March 3, 2011 at 10:45 AM

The UCMJ has no provision for presidential pardons as far as I know, and it supplants the constitution for personnel considered active-duty.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 10:50 AM

The only people more disgusting than Manning are the Americans that view him as a victim/hero.

cartooner on March 3, 2011 at 10:41 AM

There are many Hot Air regulars, supposed Conservatives, who are glaringly absent from comment on Manning.

hawkdriver on March 3, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Go ahead and pull the death penalty. Won’t make any difference as far as this traitor goes.

Just make sure the prison population of the place he is heading to knows way in advance that someone of his ilk is coming and then when he shows up, just throw him in the mix so he can get to know his new buddies.

If you set a stopwatch, I’d give him maybe six seconds.

pilamaye on March 3, 2011 at 10:53 AM

A military statement says that charge can be a capital offense, but the prosecution team had decided against recommending the death penalty in this case.

If convicted, WTH is the use of keeping him alive for the next 50 ~ 70 years at taxpayer expense?

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Manning is a traitor who put his liberal activism ahead of National security.
I wonder how the Afghans that provided support and intel to the coalition are doing since being exposed to the enemy by the Manning/Assange Anarchist tag team?????

Baxter Greene on March 3, 2011 at 10:57 AM

If you set a stopwatch, I’d give him maybe six seconds.

pilamaye on March 3, 2011 at 10:53 AM

I don’t think that’s a very possibility in Leavenworth.

hawkdriver on March 3, 2011 at 10:57 AM

very “real” possibility…

hawkdriver on March 3, 2011 at 10:58 AM

If convicted, WTH is the use of keeping him alive for the next 50 ~ 70 years at taxpayer expense?

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Nobody here takes more pleasure in knowing that he’ll suffer in solitary for that time? You guys are awfully bloodthirsty.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Nobody here takes more pleasure in knowing that he’ll suffer in solitary for that time? You guys are awfully bloodthirsty.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 10:58 AM

So you think it’s better that he spends decades in solitary because he’ll suffer more that way? Is that morally superior to ‘bloodthirsty’?

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2011 at 11:01 AM

You guys are awfully bloodthirsty.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Actually, I’m a pragmatist. There has not been a serious deterrent to espionage since well before we threw the key away for Walker’s cell. I was also in a unit that was deployed while Manning was doing his damage. His behavior needs to be demonstrated as carrying the most serious of consequences to protect our loved ones still in harms way.

Argue that point.

hawkdriver on March 3, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Convict him and send him to Gitmo, he leaked the info to help the poor terrorists, let’s see how much they appreciate his work.

SoCalOilMan on March 3, 2011 at 11:05 AM

So you think it’s better that he spends decades in solitary because he’ll suffer more that way? Is that morally superior to ‘bloodthirsty’?

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Nobody ever said I occupied the moral high ground here, including myself. I’m merely content to let this play out as it will. Realistically, there are two possibilities: Either he gets shot, or he spends the rest of his earthly life in solitary. One of those possibilities seems to have been taken off the table, but I’m okay with either one.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Nobody here takes more pleasure in knowing that he’ll suffer in solitary for that time? You guys are awfully bloodthirsty.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 10:58 AM

When ants invade my kitchen, I don’t capture them, give them a comfy place to live, and provide them food and water.

I kill the bastards.

BobMbx on March 3, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Well little ol’ Bradley wanted attention. Now he’s got it.

GarandFan on March 3, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Argue that point.

hawkdriver on March 3, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Realistically, there are two possibilities: Either he gets shot, or he spends the rest of his earthly life in solitary. One of those possibilities seems to have been taken off the table, but I’m okay with either one.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:06 AM

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:07 AM

When ants invade my kitchen, I don’t capture them, give them a comfy place to live, and provide them food and water.

I kill the bastards.

BobMbx on March 3, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Solitary confinement in Leavenworth is not “a comfy place to live.”

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:07 AM

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Saw it after I commented.

Thanks.

hawkdriver on March 3, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Nobody ever said I occupied the moral high ground here, including myself. I’m merely content to let this play out as it will. Realistically, there are two possibilities: Either he gets shot, or he spends the rest of his earthly life in solitary. One of those possibilities seems to have been taken off the table, but I’m okay with either one.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:06 AM

So why are you calling others ‘bloodthirsty’?

One option makes a much more emphatic point that treason will not be tolerated.

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2011 at 11:11 AM

If he’d known that he might truly, genuinely, be executed, he might have thought twice before committing treason.

And maybe if Manning is put to death, the next traitor might think twice before he commits treason.

That’s sort of how deterrence works, isn’t it?

Kensington on March 3, 2011 at 11:12 AM

So why are you calling others ‘bloodthirsty’?

One option makes a much more emphatic point that treason will not be tolerated.

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Oh spare me the righteous indignation. “Treason” as a civil matter hasn’t been properly prosecuted since WWII. Bradley Manning agreed to play by a wholly different set of rules when he enlisted, and I am supremely confident that he’ll get what’s coming to him, one way or another.

If not being part of the “oh damn! They’re not going to kill him!” crowd makes me a bad person, I plead guilty as charged.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Rational Thought on March 3, 2011 at 10:37 AM

RT, I agree that Obama will find a way to drag this out (and maybe also a verdict in the Fort Hood case) until after Election Day next year. Even if Manning gets the death penalty, it won’t matter after Obama is re-elected.

Ward Cleaver on March 3, 2011 at 11:16 AM

If he’d known that he might truly, genuinely, be executed, he might have thought twice before committing treason.

And maybe if Manning is put to death, the next traitor might think twice before he commits treason.

That’s sort of how deterrence works, isn’t it?

Kensington on March 3, 2011 at 11:12 AM

For those of you who don’t believe the prospect of solitary confinement is a sufficient deterrent to military personnel, thank your lucky stars you’ve never had your ass tossed in the box.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Huge thorn in the side of Bammie’s administration???

Hardly. If Bradley Manning was black, he’d already be free, if he had ever been arrested. He’s white, so under the bus he goes.

slickwillie2001 on March 3, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Oh spare me the righteous indignation.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Didn’t answer the question.

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2011 at 11:21 AM

For those of you who don’t believe the prospect of solitary confinement is a sufficient deterrent to military personnel, thank your lucky stars you’ve never had your ass tossed in the box.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Yeah, it didn’t seem to deter Manning. Have you noticed?

Kensington on March 3, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Oh please, like they were ever going to execute the gay guy.

Cindy Munford on March 3, 2011 at 11:22 AM

He is a traitor to his country. I doubt that anyone would take him.

I do not feel that people should be protected from the consequences of their actions. Manning’s actions have very severe consequences. Putting him in solitary ‘confinement’ for life, especially to protect him from his consequences, is a miscarriage of justice.

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 11:23 AM

For those of you who don’t believe the prospect of solitary confinement is a sufficient deterrent to military personnel, thank your lucky stars you’ve never had your ass tossed in the box.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Actually, I’d like you to answer Dark Currents question too. Wouldn’t you say that executing Manning would serve as a deterrent to other? Wouldn’t that have been a better outcome?

hawkdriver on March 3, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Didn’t answer the question.

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2011 at 11:21 AM

I thought I did. I am getting a major “oh no! They aren’t going to kill him!” vibe from many of the commenters here. That’s why I call them “bloodthirsty.”

We’re seeing this through civilian eyes, and that’s all right. But military enlistees play by a whole different set of rules. Honestly, if you had to make a choice between death or spending the rest of your life in solitary, would you honestly choose solitary?

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Actually, I’d like you to answer Dark Currents question too. Wouldn’t you say that executing Manning would serve as a deterrent to other? Wouldn’t that have been a better outcome?

hawkdriver on March 3, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Not necessarily. If you had to pick between death or the rest of your earthly life in solitary, would you honestly pick solitary?

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Honestly, if you had to make a choice between death or spending the rest of your life in solitary, would you honestly choose solitary?

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Probably. I like to read.

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2011 at 11:26 AM

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Solitary is better than death.

Kensington on March 3, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Putting him in solitary ‘confinement’ for life, especially to protect him from his consequences, is a miscarriage of justice.

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Spoken just like a civilian who’s never been “in the box.”

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Solitary is better than death.

Kensington on March 3, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Which is why they have to watch prisoners in solitary to make sure they don’t commit suicide. Right.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:28 AM

I thought I did. I am getting a major “oh no! They aren’t going to kill him!” vibe from many of the commenters here. That’s why I call them “bloodthirsty.”

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:25 AM

:roll:

Oh spare me the righteous indignation.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:16 AM

You first.

Kensington on March 3, 2011 at 11:28 AM

gryphon: If solitary confinement was generally considered worse than execution, then wouldn’t execution be used for smaller crimes, and solitary confinement used for larger crimes?

That’s not how it works.

Also, your ‘civilian vs. military’ argument fails, due to the fact that if nothing else has happened in this country under the current administration, the military has become politicized to an unprecedented degree.

The same factors that make the ‘execution of the gay guy’ politically unapt are also at play with the type of confinement that you presume will be used in this case.

The left will not allow Manning to suffer for this.

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Which is why they have to watch prisoners in solitary to make sure they don’t commit suicide. Right.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Not forever they don’t. And if death is so preferable, then why do prisoners try so hard to appeal their death sentences? Why don’t they just sigh in relief and say “thank you?”

Kensington on March 3, 2011 at 11:29 AM

gryphon: You don’t know anything about me, and so how would you know if I am even a civilian?

I do not agree that deterrence is a valid argument for executing Manning. (I agree with Lewis’s argument here.) I believe he should die because that is the proper punishment for traitors.

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Spoken just like a civilian who’s never been “in the box.”

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:27 AM

We get it. You’ve served. Do you have any other cards in your deck?

Kensington on March 3, 2011 at 11:31 AM

The left will not allow Manning to suffer for this.

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 11:28 AM

“The left” doesn’t have a choice in this matter.

I can not stress enough, I am not relieved by any stretch that execution is off the table. I just don’t find it to be disappointing. This isn’t a big Oh-Sh1t moment for me.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:31 AM

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:25 AM

I’m Switzerland on whether he gets the death penalty or not. But I must point out that he has supporters who are whining about his living conditions now. Equating them to cruel and unusual punishment. If he is convicted, he will become a martyr like the cop killer in Pennsylvania. I am sure the solitary is every bit as awful as you say but with enough political pressure and a sympathetic administration it can be changed. Death, not so much.

Cindy Munford on March 3, 2011 at 11:32 AM

I still say that Manning looks like this guy.

iurockhead on March 3, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Kensington: Actually, I don’t think gryphon has served. After all, if he can believe he knows whether I have served or not, I should be allowed to believe whether he has served or not.

I say he has not.

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 11:32 AM

We get it. You’ve served. Do you have any other cards in your deck?

Kensington on March 3, 2011 at 11:31 AM

In the interest of full disclosure, I have not served. I do have close family members who have, though.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:33 AM

I am sure the solitary is every bit as awful as you say but with enough political pressure and a sympathetic administration it can be changed. Death, not so much.

Cindy Munford on March 3, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Jazz is right: General population is not an option if survival is the goal. Manning will never make it in a prison full of self-professing “patriots.”

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:34 AM

In the interest of full disclosure, I have not served.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Oh, for crying out loud…

:eyeroll:

Kensington on March 3, 2011 at 11:35 AM

gryphon: The fact that you will not admit that the military has become politicized to the point that the punishment of an active-duty member of the armed forces by a military tribunal may be ameliorated by political factors reinforces my view that you have not served in the military, and in fact have never even been close to serving in the military.

The left (or right, for that matter) should not have any influence in this matter, true.

The theory you propound that the left does not have any influence in this matter is risible.

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Not forever they don’t. And if death is so preferable, then why do prisoners try so hard to appeal their death sentences? Why don’t they just sigh in relief and say “thank you?”

Kensington on March 3, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Civilian lawyers write appeals, many of which the prisoners themselves have no say in. And even there, once again, we’re applying civilian standards to a military matter. If you are executed under the UCMJ, you get ONE appeal, and if the paperwork arrives too late, whoops! Too bad. So sad. It’s a far more unforgiving process, not to mention quite swift as justice goes.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Not necessarily. If you had to pick between death or the rest of your earthly life in solitary, would you honestly pick solitary?

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Evidently, solitary wasn’t a deterrent in any recent history. For me, I try to not engage in behavior that carries such consequences. If I were that kind of person, I can imagine myself wanting to get life and hope people like this would eventually get me out.

hawkdriver on March 3, 2011 at 11:37 AM

gryphon: Do you realize what it means if Manning cannot survive in the general population? It means that Manning’s only choice for survival is in solitary confinement. Whether or not he’s more afraid of that than death should show up in how hard he fights, now shouldn’t it?

It is certainly arguable that death would be more merciful to him. I do not make that argument, however.

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 11:38 AM

The theory you propound that the left does not have any influence in this matter is risible.

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 11:36 AM

I’m okay with Manning being in solitary. I would have been okay with him being shot. I am not okay with proponents of the death penalty who try to score political points viz-a-vis “deterrence.” The left doesn’t have a monopoly on weasel words.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Yeah, I’ve felt the same way about John Walker for years. He put friends of mine in danger and he did it for money. In his case I think it was the phrase “In time of war” that kept his worthless ass from the firing squad.

Oldnuke on March 3, 2011 at 10:35 AM

We weren’t in an active war when he was busted, but he had sold the cypher machines to the Soviets during Vietnam. I’m sure that many missions were compromised because of that scum. I’d also put the Pueblo capture on him. What he did was far worse than Manning.

TugboatPhil on March 3, 2011 at 11:39 AM

HE’S NOT GOING TO GET THE DEATH PENALTY. They’ve already said they’re not going to ask for it. Why is everyone so crazy about killing this idiot? I think life in prison is good enough, and that’s from a prior service Marine.

Living4Him5534 on March 3, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Guys:

Alive, he is an example to all while he rots in solitary confinement.

Dead and he becomes a martyr and a cause celebre.

But, I’ll bet that we can find 12 gay or lesbian soldiers that will be happy to form part of the firing squad. No because, they are gay but because they are patriots like the rest of us.

El Coqui on March 3, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Alive, he is an example to all while he rots in solitary confinement.

Dead and he becomes a martyr and a cause celebre.

El Coqui on March 3, 2011 at 11:40 AM

+1 This

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:41 AM

gryphon: I’ve already registered my opposition to killing him as deterrence. To be specific,

Execution as deterrence requires no adjudication of guilt. In fact, I could be executed for treason without having committed treason, and it would have at least as much deterrant value as if I had been guilty.

I am NOT okay with Manning being in solitary. He should be executed because that is the just recompense for committing treason.

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Dead and he becomes a martyr and a cause celebre.

I could live with that.

But, I’ll bet that we can find 12 gay or lesbian soldiers that will be happy to form part of the firing squad. No because, they are gay but because they are patriots like the rest of us.

El Coqui on March 3, 2011 at 11:40 AM

lol, sure.

hawkdriver on March 3, 2011 at 11:43 AM

I’m Switzerland on whether he gets the death penalty or not.

What does the law in the books say the punishment for “aiding the enemy” is?

That should decide the penalty. If I am correctly informed, it suggests death.

Personally, I don’t see much a problem with assigning x punishment to y crime. Sure we must allow for the nuances of a case, but that comes in the sentencing (ie: degrees of murder and what-not). Then the LAW instead of a person would decide the punishment, people would just assess the guilt and charges. Every case would be equal under the law.

Unless I am completely misinformed, our court system is not so consistent in sentencing.

Pattosensei on March 3, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Coqui: He’s a martyr already, and that’s only because of the conditions he’s already living in. Whether he gets killed or the much-worse solitary confinement, he will be a martyr for however long he’s there.

I do not buy your argument.

Your argument does work, properly used, against the deterrence crowd.

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 11:44 AM

I am NOT okay with Manning being in solitary. He should be executed because that is the just recompense for committing treason.

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Well neither you or I get to decide that in the end. The rule of law applies to the military just as it does in civilian life — even if it is a different law.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Unless I am completely misinformed, our court system is not so consistent in sentencing.

Pattosensei on March 3, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Then it’s a good thing Manning isn’t going through the civilian court system, isn’t it?

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:46 AM

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:34 AM

I don’t think he will go into general population but I don’t think he will suffer from solitary confinement either. I assume military prison is different but hell, he could be our next incarcerated celebrity i.e. Mumia Abu-Jamal .

Cindy Munford on March 3, 2011 at 11:48 AM

gryphon: Oh, I agree that I don’t get to decide. I was just noting the exact nature of the disagreement between us. I am glad it can be so well articulated. I despise disagreeing with someone only to find out (as is too often the case) that it’s an issue with terminology and not intent.

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 11:49 AM

I don’t think he will go into general population but I don’t think he will suffer from solitary confinement either. I assume military prison is different but hell, he could be our next incarcerated celebrity i.e. Mumia Abu-Jamal .

Cindy Munford on March 3, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Solitary confinement is suffering by its very nature — at least for the rational. There are things that guards and prisoners alike can do to make it somewhat less torturous, but there stands a very good chance that if Manning ends up in Leavenworth in solitary, he could be a celebrity on the outside and not even know it.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Pattosensei on March 3, 2011 at 11:43 AM

This is a gay gentleman living under the extreme mental hardship of the military’s DADT persecution. The strain of that along with a major disruption in his personal life sent him over the edge temporarily. I don’t care what anyone says, he’s not getting executed.

Cindy Munford on March 3, 2011 at 11:53 AM

I am not okay with proponents of the death penalty who try to score political points viz-a-vis “deterrence.” The left doesn’t have a monopoly on weasel words.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Weasel words? WTF? If you’re anti-capital punishment, more power to you. Argue your points. I respect positions. But you really just lost any credibility with me in one comment.

I’ll just reassert that we have not have a real demonstration in any recent case that we consider espionage a serious matter. Serious enough to use the death penalty as a remedy. The prisons are full of Americans who have endangered our military and our public though espionage for either monetary gain or because of political ideology.

Like I said. I’m pragmatic. Execute this one and we’ll see if it’s a deterrent.

BTW, I don’t think “In The Box” means what you think it means.

hawkdriver on March 3, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Manning ends up in Leavenworth in solitary, he could be a celebrity on the outside and not even know it.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Fingers crossed and keeping good thoughts.

Cindy Munford on March 3, 2011 at 11:54 AM

I don’t care what anyone says, he’s not getting executed.

Cindy Munford on March 3, 2011 at 11:53 AM

I share this sentiment. I don’t think he will be executed. Whether that is right or not is another matter altogether.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:54 AM

This stupid little “What, me worry?” Alfred E Newman look alike had absolutely no idea what sort of damage he could potentially be responsible for by releasing classified information. His commanding officers and the State Department determine what information can and should be released, not some sniveling weasel PFC.

His execution would surely discourage future malcontents from considering trechary against their country. Too damn bad that option is off the table. I was looking forward to see him dangling from the end of rope.

bannedbyhuffpo on March 3, 2011 at 11:55 AM

BTW, I don’t think “In The Box” means what you think it means.

hawkdriver on March 3, 2011 at 11:54 AM

For us civvies, it’s a slang term used in certain civilian prisons for solitary confinement.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:56 AM

I was looking forward to see him dangling from the end of rope.

bannedbyhuffpo on March 3, 2011 at 11:55 AM

This is what I mean by “bloodthirsty.”

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

gryphon: That doesn’t have to be bloodthirsty. I’ll note that BBHP doesn’t say why he (?) was looking forward to it.

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 11:59 AM

gryphon: That doesn’t have to be bloodthirsty. I’ll note that BBHP doesn’t say why he (?) was looking forward to it.

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 11:59 AM

I don’t deal in that kind of nuance.

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 12:00 PM

The other thing in Mr. Manning’s favor is that the leaks from Wikileaks have had zero negative impact on our military or relationships around the world. As a matter of fact they have been a good thing. Or so we are told by the press.

Cindy Munford on March 3, 2011 at 12:03 PM

This is what I mean by “bloodthirsty.”

gryphon202 on March 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

What if your son or daughter were put in danger by this mans traitorous behavior?

hawkdriver on March 3, 2011 at 12:04 PM

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