New Charges Against Bradley Manning

by Roger Alford

According to NBC News, “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. According to the officials, the U.S. military rounded up many of those named and brought them into their bases for their own protection. But, according to one military official, “We didn’t get them all.” Military officials tell NBC News, a small number of them have still have not been found.”

The irony is that the charge of “aiding the enemy”–a capital crime–is a direct result of Wikileaks’ profound failure to carefully edit and redact the information Manning provided to them. The moral to the story is that future Bradley Mannings who wish to leak classified government documents should be more careful about who they trust with their leaks. Had Manning provided the information to a reputable and careful news organization, he likely would not be facing this capital crime.

Future whistleblowers should be wary of dealing with the likes of Julian Assange. The mainstream media organizations care about their own sources, not to mention innocent third parties–such as Afghan insurgents, far more than unprofessional news outlets like Wikileaks. Because of Julian Assange’s carelessness, Bradley Manning now faces the death penalty.

6 Responses

  1. Response… I think the article and DoD press announcement all say that prosecutors will not be recommending a capital referral. Certainly that’s something the Article 32 could develop and circumstances could change depending on the evidence adduced at the 32.

  2. Yes, this all has to do with “unprofessional news outlets” . . .
    “Federal investigators trying to find out who leaked information about a CIA attempt to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program obtained a New York Times reporter’s three private credit reports, examined his personal bank records and obtained information about his phone calls and travel, according to a new court filing.
    The scope and intrusiveness of the government’s efforts to uncover reporter James Risen’s sources surfaced Thursday in the criminal case of Jeffery Sterling, a former CIA officer facing federal criminal charges for allegedly disclosing classified information.  Sterling is accused of giving Risen details about what Risen describes as the CIA’s plan to give Iran faulty nuclear blueprints, hoping to temporarily thwart the regime’s ambitions to build an atomic bomb.”

  3. But doesn’t this mean that Manning is being charged for the actions of WikiLeaks?  Surely using this logic WikiLeaks should be charge with aiding the enemy not Manning?

  4. BFA

    I think Kevin’s post above answers your question.

  5. The heart of the matter is the “national security” bias of the reporters of the mainstream media.  If what Greenwald says and Goldsmith salutes is true, then such a whistleblower who did NOT go to a Wikileaks would not be likely to get his/her information out.  Maybe if they went to a non-Us outlet other than Wikileaks (i.e. one not hung up by a US oriented national security bias) he would have a more quality entity to do that kind of legwork for him.  But, I suspect the information costs of auditioning people for this kind of receipt of whistleblown stuff is not really something one can do at one’s leisure.

  6. “Because of Julian Assange’s carelessness, Bradley Manning now faces the death penalty.”

    I beg to differ.  Manning was flagged by Adrian Lamo after allegedly (and stupidly) admitting to releasing classified data.  I’ve seen no evidence that Assange’s system would have failed otherwise.

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