Manning lawyer questions how sensitive leaked files really were
Supporters of suspect Bradley Manning protest outside Ft. Meade
December 16th, 2011
12:39 PM ET

Manning lawyer questions how sensitive leaked files really were

By Larry Shaughnessy reporting from Ft. Meade

Update: The investigating officer has denied defense request to recuse himself from overseeing the proceedings.

After a recess of more than two hours on the first day of PFC Bradley Manning’s first crucial court hearing since he was accused of leaking thousands upon thousands of classified Defense and State Department documents, Manning’s attorney said “this case rises on falls on whether information was properly classified.” (our ongoing story on the proceedings can be found here)

David Coombs point is that if Manning did leak any documents, they are documents that should not have been classified.

It’s a point that none other than former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates seemed to support during a news conference shortly after Manning’s arrest.

"Problems identified and the issues raised in these documents relating to the war in Afghanistan have been well known in and out of government for some time," Gates said in 2010.  "These documents represent a mountain of raw data and individual impressions, most several years old, devoid of context or analysis. They do not represent official positions or policy. And they do not, in my view, fundamentally call into question the efficacy of our current strategy in Afghanistan."

But Gates never said that the documents should not be classified.

And others have taken a more serious view of the impact of their release.

At that same news conference, Adm. Michael Mullen, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said of the leakers “"They might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family. Disagree with the war all you want, Mullen said.  “But don't put those who willingly go into harm's way even further in harm's way just to satisfy your need to make a point."

The hearing is in it’s second recess as the investigating officer in the case, Army Reserve Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, considers a defense motion asking that he recuse himself.  The recess is expected to last until after one this afternoon. So far more than three hours after the hearing began, no witnesses have testified.

And Coombs told Col. Almanza that if he does not step aside from the case, he will ask that the hearing be stayed pending an appeal of the matter.

If Amanza were to recuse himself or grant a stay it could mean the entire hearing, which was expected to last until at least Friday before Christmas if not into the new year, would grind to a halt.

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Filed under: Bradley Manning • Legal • WikiLeaks
soundoff (149 Responses)
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  10. warcriminal

    I think its great that all that fraud, incompetency, dumb tactics, billions in dollars in cash missing type stuff went on under a secret classification. That way the dumb public don't get to know how much we mooched off the taxpayer & how many troops lives were wasted, terrorists created & how many dead marines they dumped in the trash back home in Va. There's just so much profit in the field, keep everything secret. See you on the Riviera.

    December 18, 2011 at 6:50 am | Reply
  11. Chinatown

    It is a fact that the Govt is more secretive now than it was 3 yrs ago...also a fact, that CONgress has passed an almost unanimous bill that states it is lawful for US citizens on home soil to be arrested by the military, interrogated, possibly use torture methods as are used on Gitmo detainees, and thrown in a military prison indefinitely without a trial if the Govt just even SUSPECTS them of being a terrorist.....what does this mean?? Martial Law has come to America without even being declared Martial Law.....and Obama has said he will not veto it.......this is attached to a $662 BILLION defense budget for ONE YEAR!!! Sadly there is a mainstream media blackout regarding this.....this is the worst piece of legislation that will be passed in the history of this country.....Most slobs in America are too dumb/lazy/ignorant/apathetic to care or even look into this as the Constitution is crapped all over and the very freedoms that the Founding Fathers and subsequent Patriots have fought so hard for is wiped away......Goodbye America, hope your TVs, video games, and cushy lifestyle was really worth it as the door to dictatorship and a Police State is about to be opened for the Future.....Bye bye liberty!!!!

    December 16, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  12. mvet6870

    What gives thiis addle brained, retarded excuse for a lawyer the right to say there were too many classified documents? Did he serve in the military and have access to classified material? Just like an arrogant, stinking and stupid lawyer to say that?

    Whatever possessed Manning to leak claive a life sentence with ssified material to begin with? He is guilty and should receive a life sentence without parole or Life plus 25.

    December 16, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  13. lgwelsh1

    Manning committed TREASON. He will be tried in a Military court and they will decide his future. Nothing more to talk about.

    December 16, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  14. Reggie from LA

    All hail @IntelGuy, because he has it right. ALL military personnel (the service men and women we love so much) are indoctrinated and trained constantly on information security. It's CONSTANT. Now young Manning there was even more immersed (probably daily) with regard to info security in the field in which he worked. That's all they do. You can be sympathetic, but what he did was absolutely wrong, more specially a violation and is punishable under the UCMJ How many people died because of his treason? Don't know do we? Could be none, could be 500. Why don't some of you go knock on the doors of families of dead service men and women and tell them how Manning is getting a bad deal.

    December 16, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Reply
    • Cassandra Chu

      ... the whole thing is humorous. this kid saw the BIGGER picture and did the right thing. the american police state might end up punishing him, but at least he exposed the TRUTH. he did more good for America than the entire state dept combined!

      December 16, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Reply
      • Rob327

        lol "police state". how you throw words around to which you clearly are clueless to their true form

        December 16, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
      • Tom in Santa Fe

        "he did more good for America than the entire state dept combined!" Um, since when did the State Department become the do-good department of America? The State Department is the collective representative of the American government, specifically, the Executive Branch. You stated elsewhere on this blog that you were an American citizen, but, are you an American? Do you have any idea how America works?

        December 16, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  15. Cassandra Chu

    dude, this guy is actually a true HERO. he did more for America with one action than the CIA, state dept and foreign service did in a decade. When did America get away from telling the truth, anyway? these aren't the cold war years anymore and people are stupid. Good for Manning... a true hero!

    December 16, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Reply
    • Rob327

      its the way he went about doing it that is the problem. he is no hero, but a criminal.

      December 16, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Reply
    • PerryW

      He is only a hero to other traitors. And if the shoe fits, wear it.

      December 16, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Reply
    • Specs

      Heroes save lives and promote 'good' and overall 'positiveness' what the heck did Manning do exactly?

      December 16, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Reply
    • Tom in Santa Fe

      You're so right – people are stupid especially the one's you see in your mirror... If breaking oath to duty and honor makes him a hero and at the same time the soldiers that willingly put their life on the line are considered the evil ones, I'd rather dance with the sinners then pray with the saints.

      December 16, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  16. Amazed

    He should get the death penalty if he's guilty. I'd volunteer to be on the firing squad if I were still active duty. Traitor!!!!!

    December 16, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  17. Dan Bowen

    I've got news for Private Manning. I spent 15 years as an enlisted intelligence analyst for the Air Force and it's real simple, if something you're looking at has a classified stamp on it, it's classified. You don't get to decide for yourself whether or not you think it shouldn't be classified, it is and you don't get to change that fact.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Reply
    • Rob327

      and people think its rocket science. well said.

      December 16, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Reply
    • Cassandra Chu

      ... yeah, but as an American citizen, Ive got news for you. We're all sick and tired of the lies, lack of transparency and just a few stupid politicians abusing power. Manning is a HERO!

      December 16, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Reply
      • Rob327

        in reality there is a reason for the lack of transparency, because the masses are dumb

        December 16, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
      • Dan Bowen

        So you believe you should be able to choose which laws to abide by and which ones you shouldn't? Manning is far from a hero, in fact, I hope he never sees the light of day again. I've seen first hand the consequences of the unathorized release of classified information and to suggest that what he did is honorable is little different than suggesting Charles Manson was innocent of murder because others actually did the killing. Manning knew what the law was when he entered the career field, he knew the consequences of his actions because we are all very well informed about what it means to have the honor of working in intel...he made his choice just like a when a robber decides to point a gun at someone to steal something...there is no gray area here, he needs to go away.

        December 16, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
      • Reggie from LA

        Transparency wasn't even invented until the Obama watch. I'm sure your scope is limited. I have news for you. As natural born citizens we don't have to raise our hands and promise and pledge, but when we join military services we swear and/or affirm that we will play the game by the rules of the military complex. WE DO NOT GET TO CHOOSE AND EXERCISE OUR OWN DISCRETION WHEN IT COMES TO REASONABLE AND LAWFUL REGULATIONS. He's no hero. Have you served in the military?

        December 16, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
      • Tom in Santa Fe

        I am an American, not just an American citizen, and quite frankly, you do not speak for me or my peers. I too am sick of lies, but they are the lies that come from the whiners that will always find fault in the government, the military, or anyone who is not in your class. "… a few stupid politicians abusing power" – well that has been happening for a long time, especially the past 2 years 10 months 27 days… Manning is a disgrace to the uniform he wore and the country that he swore to protect. It would be real interesting if you and all of you Manning supporters left America, started your own country, and see how long before a Manning-like incident occurs. What would that person then be to you? A traitor or a hero?

        December 16, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  18. mike johnson

    Bradley Manning should be applauded for helping expose corruption and cover up of incompetence at the highest level. There is absolutely no proof whatsoever that anybody was hurt as a result of this ... except the prides of certain buffoons. They use classification to hide screw ups and that is immoral since the taxpayers have the right to know.
    PFC Manning ... I salute you.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Reply
    • Rob327

      its not about the impact of his actions, its about the crime he committed in executing those actions. there are other means to achieve a goal than commit a crime

      December 16, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Reply
    • Rob327

      and dont "salute" as you clearly are not a member of the uniformed service. that right is reserved for the respected men and women courageous enough to be in uniform.

      December 16, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Reply
    • Phil Dunphy

      I have to disagree with you. No one should be applauding or saluting anyone who went against their own country. Whether or not they believed something is right or wrong, including corruption. Those documents may or may not have gotten anyone one single person endangered or killed. But I also believe that the person who said he should get the death penalty is an idiot. What's with everyone these days, thinking just black and white. There are thousands of shades of grey. The death penalty is stupid and out of date. There are many ways of disciplining someone. They would rather kill someone to save a few pennies of tax dollars. People in the US are so damn ignorant they don't even know what's going on around them. I was in the Air Force and saw and did many things. I have been around the world and experienced so much. When I came home, this land wasn't what I remembered it as. Its now a bunch of whining people who bitch and complain about everything, all the while people around the world have almost nothing and complain about it even less. Grow up America. Read some books. Think outside our borders. This is a global economy we live in now.

      December 16, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Reply
    • Reggie from LA

      So what was Julian Asange's NEED TO KNOW? That's part of the program. Any information of a classified nature (and it all is), in addition to it level of classification when shared will be on a basis of NEED TO KNOW. That's part of the regular training, Mike. What was Julian Assange's need to know? Uhm, he's a smart journalistic kinda guy? Oh yeah. We should show him everything? Why don't you post your Social Security Number? Don't you think WE have a need to know?

      December 16, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  19. sproove

    The arguement that the documents were not properly classified doesn't hold water. There are established procedures to challenge the classification of any DoD information... so even if the documents were improperly classified, if they can't show that he tried to challenge the classification through proper procedures then he acted improperly...

    December 16, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  20. Samurai Cowboy

    ‎"Is Army Pvc. Bradley Manning a whistleblower or a traitor? "

    He is neither. He is a Scapegoat. P.F.C. A Private First Class. At the bottom of the ladder. At best a PFC would hold a Secret Clearance. But would have NO ACCESS WHAT SO EVER to State Department documents. Why? Because HE DID NOT WORK FOR THE STATE DEPARTMENT, nor was he assigned to the State Department. He was set up.

    December 16, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Reply
    • TXSLDR29

      Actually, depending on your MOS or the unit you are assigned to, a Private First Class can easily have a Top Secret. One of my Soldiers was originally going to have a job in military intelligence, but changed his MOS. He has a T-SCI.

      December 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Reply
    • temuchin

      Get a life. Many MOs's require a TS/SBI. I started as a 33R which was MI and almost every soldier in MI needed TS/SBI.
      Get fact straight before you look like an idiot.
      Also, depending on where you work and access, you can have documents from various agencies

      December 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Reply
    • nodat1

      wow you really don't know what your talking about? Manning holds a TS/SBI with several special program access caveats. a requirement for intell annalist ....
      With is position as annalist he could very easily acquire the documents through false pretenses or could have weaseled his way onto a program that granted him access to the documents

      December 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Reply
    • Specs

      Uh, nope...he was a uniformed member of the United States Army for military intelligence (that means he worked for the Department of Defense). How was Manning 'set up?' In various Media outlets (i.e. Reuters, CNN) they report he worked with a team of people to essentially access classified information...information he had access to but technically wasn't allowed to be going through. Anyone in the MI field possess at least a 'Top Secret' clearance...stop making stuff up and if you don't know something...state it in a question or don't post it at all.

      December 16, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Reply
    • Tom in Santa Fe

      Now he is a PFC, but when he got caught he was a Sgt. – he got busted down. Therefore, he had greater clearance then just Secret Clearance.

      December 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  21. government cheese

    When California teaches homosexuality history in their grade schools, I wonder if they will mention Manning.

    December 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • Rob327

      I wonder when they teach about heterosexuality if they will mention Hitler? can you say unrelated to this article.

      December 16, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Reply
    • nodat1

      I'm sure Berkly college will treat him as a hero

      December 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Reply
      • Montana

        Berkly?

        December 16, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  22. Bob

    Manning should be hanged for treason.

    December 16, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply
    • Lj

      No, he should not.

      December 16, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • Rob327

      tried yes, hanged no

      December 16, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • AmericanSam

      If you'd read Robert Gates' response, you'd know that he didn't exactly give anything away with all of those files. It's silly to say we should hang someone over that.

      December 16, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • Mark S.

      Only if you hang the neo-con bas*tards and their lackeys in the Bush Admin that lied us into a war, spent a trillion dollars that could have built infrastructure and helped people here, got 4,500 of our people killed and 30,000 wounded and then consistently lied about everything from Abu Graib to whatever happened to billions of dollars in cash that fell of a truck over there one day. I don't personally believe in "my country, right or wrong." That's the road to the Nuremburg Trials.

      December 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Reply
      • mike johnson

        .. and that is not even taking into account how many innocent civilians got killed over there. And some people wonder why they hate us. If terrorism is defined as state sanctioned or intentionally organized killing of a civilian people .. where does that put us in their eyes? Or where does it pout us in our eyes?

        December 16, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
      • Specs

        Please help yourself to the other fine countries of the world then. The United States is far from perfect, but that doesn't mean it can't change for the better. Perhaps George W. Bush wasn't the most popular President...invading Iraq against the better judgment of his then staff (see Colin Powell). Committing wrong-doing is still wrong. Manning knew that, he just decided to believe in someone's ideology...and got used much like a pawn in a game of chess...however...he was ultimately responsible for the loss of classified information (based on various reports from Media and investigative outlets that report he purposely deceived and circumvented various security protocols for his own personal gains).

        Second, what was the 'good' of releasing all the classified information?

        December 16, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • longshot

      and Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld for war crimes

      December 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  23. slowbro

    Wikileaks need so find out about this government coverup.
    The original Climategate emails - correspondence stolen from servers at a research facility in the U.K. and released on the Internet in late 2009 - shook up the field of climate research. Now a new batch posted in late November to a Russian server shows that scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit refused to share their U.S. government-funded data with anyone they thought would disagree with them.
    Professor Phil Jones asked a colleague to delete e-mails relating to a report by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
    Making that case in 2009, the then-head of the Research Unit, Dr. Phil Jones, told colleagues repeatedly that the U.S. Department of Energy was funding his data collection - and that officials there agreed that he should not have to release the data.
    “Work on the land station data has been funded by the U.S. Dept of Energy, and I have their agreement that the data needn’t be passed on. I got this [agreement] in 2007,” Jones wrote in a May 13, 2009, email to British officials, before listing reasons he did not want them to release data.
    Two months later, Jones reiterated that sentiment to colleagues, saying that the data "has to be well hidden. I’ve discussed this with the main funder (U.S. Dept of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data.”
    A third email from Jones written in 2007 echoes the idea: "They are happy with me not passing on the station data," he wrote.
    The emails have outraged climate-change skeptics who say they can't trust climate studies unless they see the raw data - and how it has been adjusted.
    "In every endeavor of science, making your work replicable by others is a basic tenet of proof,” Anthony Watts, a meteorologist and climate change blogger,said. “If other scientists cannot replicate your work, it brings your work into question.”
    Is the Department of Energy to blame? The Climategate emails reveal correspondence only between Jones and his colleagues - not between him and the DoE.

    "What’s missing," Watts said, "is a ... directive from DoE that they should withhold station data gathered under their grant. The email may be there, but ... still under lock and key.”

    Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, wants that key. He recently filed Freedom of Information acts with the DoE, requesting the emails they exchanged with Jones.
    "So far no administration department has bothered to respond, indicating they … believe the time bought with stonewalling might just get them off the hook for disclosure," Horner said.
    "Not with us, it won't," he said.
    The Department of Energy has until December 29 before it must legally respond to Horner's request.

    When contacted, DoE spokesman Damien LaVera declined to comment.

    However, climate change researcher and blogger Steve McIntyre forwarded an email exchange from 2005 in which climate scientist Warwick Hughes asked an official at a DOE lab if he could get the data that the government paid Jones to collect.
    "I am asking you to provide me with the following data … DoE has been funding [the data] since the 1980s," Hughes noted in his request.
    But Tom Boden, of the DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, told Hughes at the time that the DOE itself did not have the data, and that "you will need to contact Phil [Jones] directly. I spoke today with the DOE program manager who indicated Phil was not obligated under the conditions of past or present DOE proposal awards to provide these items."

    McIntyre said he himself later had a similar exchange with the DOE, after which "I suggested that they amend this as a condition of further financing."

    "I was surprised that the new emails show them actively taking the opposite approach," he added.

    Watts said that while much of the data itself is now available, the methods of adjusting it - statistical modification meant to filter anomalies, "normalize" the data, and potentially highlight certain trends - remain a secret.

    "Much of climate science, in terms of the computer processing that goes on, remains a black box to the outside world. We see the data go in, and we see the data that come out as a finished product - but we don’t know how they adjust it in between.”

    Watts said he would like to be given the adjustment formulas to make his own determination.

    "The fact that they are trying to keep people from replicating their studies - that's the issue," Watts noted. "Replication is the most important tenet of science."

    December 16, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Reply
    • echopolitics

      nobody actually read your post...you should try to be concise

      December 16, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • nodat1

      thanks for wasting space on the internet

      December 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Reply
    • longshot

      I got one line into it, saw "climategate" and knew I was reading a rant from a birther-type...end of reading

      December 16, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Reply
    • Prozac For Toothless Trailer Park Dwellers

      Waste of Bandwidth. You feel me?
      It's stressful reading all that on a Friday. Keep it short. Will ya?

      December 16, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Reply
    • Tom in Santa Fe

      Good job at the Plagiarism. Don't want to cite who's work you stole? Make' perfect sense that you are a Manning supporter – break the law and not shive a git.

      December 16, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Reply
  24. Rajiv Shaw

    Why has the judge thrown out 36 out of 38 witnesses for the defense?

    December 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • Rob327

      good question that i would like to know. I am guessing a lot of people will have their extreme unproven theories. wait and watch the post come

      December 16, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Reply
    • Heavy_Cavalry_Sgt

      I had read it as "all but 10" witnesses. Either way, we'll find out during the hearing.

      December 16, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Reply
      • Mike R.

        There were 46 witnesses on the defense list. 36 were unique witnesses, and 10 were already on the prosecution's witness list. They threw out all of the 36 that were only on the defense's witness list.

        December 16, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
      • Todd C

        It's in binary.

        December 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • haloguy628

      Because this is Art. 32 hearing. He will have the chance to present all the witnesses he desires at the trial.

      December 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • TXSLDR29

      It's not a judge doing the Article 32(b) hearing (which is similar to a grand jury hearing); it's an impartial investigating officer, and I can promised you the I.O. would probably much rather be doing his job than trying to muck through all this mess.

      December 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  25. MalcmXcremnt

    Thank you Bill Clinton for your foolish DADT law. This flaming homosexual, who had a chip on his shoulder because the army didn't embrace his perverted lifestyle, caused the executions and imprisonment of countless informants that he exposed. Justice would be served if the army took this scumbag out behind the court and burned him.

    December 16, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Reply
    • Chuck in Jasper, Ga.

      at least part of your posting is factual.. countless.. because that is how many people were compromised.. you can't count what does not exist. Prove even one person was effected adversely by the documents that were released. Just one, any one. You can't because it hasn't happened, any more than there were WMD's in Iraq.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Reply
      • Rob327

        chuck prove that it didnt

        December 16, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
      • bdc

        Rob, the burden of proof is on the accuser not the accused.

        December 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
      • Rob327

        this isnt court, its public opinion. In court, he should be charged for his actions not the suppose impact it could of had because that cannot be measured.

        December 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
      • Military 101

        It is not a civilian court. This is a military article 32 hearing. The accuser just needs to look at the facts and see if military regulation was followed or not.

        December 19, 2011 at 7:25 am |
    • Rob327

      you are a moron for bringing unrelated unproven pig headed comments into this debate. another moron

      December 16, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Reply
      • Rob327

        fyi post is at malcomx bigot, not chuck

        December 16, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
      • MalcmXcremnt

        Rob, I really am sorry if my pointing out the elephant in the room had unforseen consequences on your obviously tender feelings. I don't mean to leave a bad taste in your mouth, but I am bending over backwards to accomodate you.
        This is what happens when the military succumbs to public pressure to do what is wrong, but what is politically correct.
        The results speak for themselves. And all the name calling in the world by homosexual apologists like you won't change that.

        December 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
      • Rob327

        there's not elephant just you, the bigot who cannot use proven facts to make an argument. educate yourself and stop hating other people because you are such a failure

        December 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
      • Rob327

        oh, and you obviously have never served, that is apparent by your language. so until you do, stand down civilian

        December 16, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • AmericanSam

      Maybe if everyone would just be cool with everyone else even when they disagree with them then we wouldn't have people like you.

      December 16, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Reply
      • Specs

        This isn't California where every other day there is 'work place violence' or homeless terrorist preventing blue-collar workers from doing their actual job under the guise of 'fighting evil corporations'.

        December 16, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • longshot

      I suppose that's why Bush/Cheney outed Valerie Plame too, right?

      December 16, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Reply
    • Montana

      I don't believe his orientation had much if anything to do with his actions, and probably most people with brain wave activity don't either. I find his actions reckless and self-serving trying to get even with "the man" for all his perceived wrongs. He has earned years in prison for releasing this information; but death, no.

      As for your homophobic remarks, I suspect either you or your son is gay and you don't like it so much. Too bad for you.

      December 16, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  26. vinny

    He will never see the light of day again, and rightfully so. what he did is treason. He could have gotten fellow soldiers killed and thats disgusting.

    December 16, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  27. dave

    Well technically he committed a crime, for which he will face punishment. I admit we can't really let him off, but it's sad that revealing corruption is illegal.

    December 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Reply
    • Rob327

      its the way he went about doing it that is disturbing.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  28. Ben

    Hopefully he will get a fair trial, but it will probably be a jury hand picked by his accusers. Welcome to the totalitarian society, introduced by Bush Sr as the new world order. Face it, the military was busted on video killing innocents in the middle east. If he followed the chain of command, he would never have saw the day of light again... Too bad his sacrifice will go unthanked.

    December 16, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
    • Rob327

      oh, a sensationalist conspiracy person. lets us know when you come back to reality. plenty of whistleblowers have existed without your theory of mystery disappearance. stop watching movies.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Reply
    • Rob327

      and definitely unthanked for people others in harms way

      December 16, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Reply
      • Ben

        You act like a "message enforcement agent" so keep earning that fiat paper buddy.

        December 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
      • Rob327

        "message informant agent" ha ha, you really have to lay off the 007 movies. curious, would a message informant agent call you an imbecile that prob lives in his moms basement

        December 16, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
      • Rob327

        sorry, "message enforcement agent", either way your sensationalist movie watching theories are hilarious, don't forget to put your tinfoil hat on so no one steals your thoughts

        December 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Ed

      The video that you are referring to was edited by Wikileaks to show the military killing supposedly unarmed people. The full version shows them with RPG's and other weapons.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
      • Rob327

        Ed, dont even bother, the video Ben is thinking of is probably a bond movie, reality is not his strong suit

        December 16, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
      • Ben

        The comments made by the soldiers on the video, just shows their lack of respect for human life. And proves that when the NDAA is in acted against US citizens that those will be the type of soldiers that will happily fire upon their citizens.

        December 16, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
      • Rob327

        BEN -"will happily fire upon" is an assumption of action to place based on your subjective interpretation. try again. I know the debating is not working out like it does in the movies, but you will get there.

        December 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Bob

      He abused his clearance, he endangered his fellow soldiers, he is a traitor to his country.

      December 16, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  29. Know-It-All

    It should not be a crime to tell the American people what their emloyees are doing on company time.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Reply
    • 75 year old VET

      Sorry, but, this type of thinking is out of touch with reallity. Certain information must be held clsoe for the protection of others including you who Our Good Soldiers are defending!

      December 16, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Reply
      • Mike

        Brigadier General Smedley Butler (USMC) said it best: War is a racket.

        December 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
      • 75 year old VET

        The good General used his theme "War is a Racket" as the name of a book he wrote AFTER he left the Marines. In it he did not divulge military secrets. Even so this was a book, I believ, written in about 1935 before even I was born!

        December 16, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • E-rock

      Yeah, sure. The problem was this "man", if that's what you want to call him, leaked documents that contained "employee" names and other vital information putting their lives at risk. I bet you would view this incident differently had your name been leaked as an informant after being promise anonymity. I have no respect for what manning did.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • Rob327

      you just call a soldier your employee. how about you keep your mouth shut till you take arms and defend

      December 16, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Reply
    • echopolitics

      Ignorance is bliss...the government has the right and responsibility to maintain state secrets, especially during war time. This soldier's actions undermined our war efforts and should be seen as an act of treason

      December 16, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Reply
      • Chuck in Jasper, Ga.

        Yes, who needs to know there were no WMD's in Iraq nor ties to Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, after all, the President declared it to be true. This government nor our elected officials would ever lie to the general populace. "Mission Accomplished" "Everything is going well". Everything is going as planned". We will be victorious". etc. etc. etc.....

        December 16, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
      • echopolitics

        @chuckinjasper,
        I am no fan of the Bush administration, and I see your point, but there is a difference between keeping classified state secrets and lying to your country to validate an unnecessary war.

        December 16, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
      • Rob327

        CHUCK it was no secret that we had no proof of WMD and that the war was predicated on the threat of using them even if we did not know if they had them or not

        December 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Cassandra Chu

      the so-called "secrecy" in foreign relations actually puts americans at risk... this manning fellow is a true patriot. the lazy slob politicians promised transparency, but the army had to deliver it.

      December 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Reply
      • Rob327

        "the army" did not deliver it

        December 16, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Specs

      Why don't you tell that to Congress...people like Pelosi...who are robbing you blind under the guise of 'helping the common man'. Then when you think you're going to receive 'free' health care...I'll be the first to assist...by video tapping someone shooting you in the groin and waiting to see how long you have to wait bleeding in the ER for assistance.

      December 16, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  30. Ritchie

    It really doesnt matter how classified somebody "thinks" a document should be. The only declassifying authority is the DNI. Outside of that, it really doesnt matter. Manning was given a Clearance and signed the paperwork before gaining access to the classified material. It pretty much states, under punishment of UCMJ you swear to safeguard classified material and will not let anybody who does not have the appropriate clearance and need to know. Manning has a spot in Ft. Leavenworth waiting for him, and he deserves to be there for rest of his pathetic life....

    December 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Reply
    • Rick101

      Spot on

      December 16, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Reply
    • Rob327

      2nd that

      December 16, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • Chuck in Jasper, Ga.

      You seem to have forgotten the oath of enlistment.. I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; I would suggest that Manning felt obeying orders of those appointed above him, took second seat to the Constitution. The people of America have the "right" to know what our government is doing, not to mention given our history, the need to know. History details quite clearly that our government is not exactly forthright with our citizens when it comes to telling us what is truth versus what they want us to hear. "Proof of WMD's" is just one example of how those in power tell us what they want us to hear versus reality....................

      December 16, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Reply
      • Rob327

        yeah defending the Constitution means you should know what it actually says instead of think you know what it says

        December 16, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Ed

      I was an Intel Officer in the Army. The fact that the infomation should or should not of been classified is irrelevant. One of the things they taught us is that intel is based upon taking several bits of seemingly unrelated information and connecting the dots to create a piece of actionable intel. Gathering intel is about one piece verifying another which verifies another. A good example could be supply requisitions. If you look at enough of them you can identify a troop build up - maybe for an attack on you. If you see requisitions for repair parts, you can identify a pattern of equipment being broken down which may lead you to plan an attack. If Manning was so concerned, he could have gone up the chain of command, to his congressman or to the Army IG without releasing any documents. The folks at Wikileaks played him for a patsy.

      December 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
      • Rob327

        most articulate post on here

        December 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • History

      You fools need to re-learn your history. The government works for us, not the other way around. If you like totalitarian rule, by our Financial Oligarchy, then you deserve the dictator that will come. It's not hard to see... open your eyes because you’re going to feel really stupid when you realize (if you ever do), that the whole war on terror was a lie to begin with. Now your neighbor could be a "terrorist".... them damn terrorist, huh? They are popping up everywhere! lol. Maybe after ww3 starts and you see what war is really like, on our own soil, you might reconsider. When a family member gets killed in an "accidental" bombing, then YOU will be the terrorist you hated so much. But some people have no clue and never will. This country has been co-opted and most can’t even see it. Our Republic is GONE and has been replaced. Welcome to reality.

      December 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply
      • Rob327

        I love when schizophrenics like yourself talk about reality

        December 16, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
      • Specs

        Why don't you move to Libya or Egypt or pretty much anywhere in Europe...I hear its getting very interesting this time of year. Why don't you claim you should be President because you banged you're own sister while you're at it.

        December 16, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • mike johnson

      ... I really wonder how Thomas Jefferson would have responded to that. I have a feeling he would not have agreed.

      December 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  31. Prozac For Toothless Trailer Park Dwellers

    Set Manning FREE!
    An Israeli-American sold very sensitive classified infos. and docs. to the Israeli Gov. And what did imbecile GWB and Dracula Dick Cheney do? Nothingggggggggggggggggggggggg! This Israeli-American is currently living in Israel, hailed as a hero and sunbathing there.
    We Toothless Trailer Park Dwellers in America strongly urge the Gov’t. to set Manning FREE.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Reply
    • 75 year old VET

      Manning took an Oath and joined the US Military. He was sworn to defend this country. The other guy was not even a US Citizen. Big Difference. The Other guy along with his Govt. likely offered "Quid pro quo" Manning cannot!

      December 16, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Reply
      • Prozac For Toothless Trailer Park Dwellers

        What "OATH"?
        A corrupt "OATH" to invade a weak Sovereign Country and its leader that has absolutely NOTHING to do with 911? The last time we checked, Hitler and his commanding forces took similar solemn OATH. And what did we witness? Delusional Evil souls on rampage. When was the last time you had your brains examined? So far you lack logic.

        December 16, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
      • Specs

        That's irrelevant. PFC Manning took an oath like any other service member and his actions are placed under UCMJ. Paraphrasing, his job is to support the Army for the needs of the Army. Last I checked, joining the Army isn't a draft process or conscription...its volunteering. If he was truly concerned, there's a whole process he could have gone (i.e. Inspector General etc.)...but he chose to be used by someone elses goals...and is ultimately responsible for classified information being leaked.

        December 16, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
  32. Ir8american

    "David Coombs point is that if Manning did leak any documents, they are documents that should not have been classified."

    And who is he to decide?

    I echo Mikey's posting.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Reply
    • Prozac For Toothless Trailer Park Dwellers

      @Ir8american, the last time we checked, the USA Gov't goes about in every corner of the World preaching and urging Gov'ts of other countries to be Democratic, Transparent and Truthful to its citizens and the World at large. You being a hypocrite and a war monger you missed what your own Gov't (aka USA) urges Govts of other countries to abide and obey. If our enemy Iran behaves this way, you and your war monger GOP imbecilic idiots will be crying for Pres. Obama to carpet bomb Iran as we speak. How come you folks always want to impose your silly will on people? Get this thru. your head, PFC Bradley Manning did what’s RIGHT for RIGHT …….. Period!
      You think the World at large gives a crap what coward war mongers like you thinks? Hell NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

      December 16, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Reply
      • davec.0121

        No, PTTPD, you have missed the point of this exercise completely. Points for you to ponder as you wallow in your self-righteous indignation:
        1) Whether the documents should or should not have been classified is not relevant. Legally they were classified and so Manning had the duty and obligation (I'll explain those concepts if you need me to) to obey the law, the applicable regulations, and follow his oath. He willfully didn't.
        2) Possibly (probably) some of the documents should not have been classified. However, Manning had neither the authority nor, more importantly, the knowledge to determine which should have been classified and which should not have been. In fact, given the sheer volume of documents released, he obviously made no attempt to vet them. Instead, he egregiously decided that, in his opinion, they should all be released. In doing so he obvioiusly did not care how the information in some of the documents could seriously affect other people.
        3) He's not being tried for revealing government secrets. He is being tried for violating numerous laws, military regulations, and direct orders that he had sworn to obey when he voluntarily joined the Army.

        There were numerous other ways that he could have expressed his anit-war feelings without stealing the documents. He chose not to follow them, perhaps because they might have been too difficult.

        December 16, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
      • Reggie from LA

        First of all, I'm not a war monger, but know more about it than you ever will. Second, I would match my wit and education against what you have at any time. There's rules. When you break the law, and considering the circumstances, your sorry a$$ is going to jail. Military laws and regulations do vary a bit and there are reasons and they are not developed by hicks and war mongers, but lawyers. Manning broke many of them and what you should know Sherlock is that HE KNOWS IT. BRADLEY MANNING KNOWS HE BROKE THE LAW, so his sorry a$$ will be going to jail...period.

        December 16, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  33. snowdogg

    Access to classified documents is ALWAYS based on the "need to know" principle. The general public should not be privy to confidential information in any case.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  34. Mikey

    Having served in the military I know what most American's fail to realize, he is not under normal United States laws. He signed his name on a line and accepted the United Code of Military Justice to rule his life. Under that code you are held to a higher standard: lying to a superior, cheating on a spouse, etc. can not only get you Court Marshalled but can also land you jail time.

    To me it is intent that matters here. If I was on a battlefield and saw an atrocity occuring I would have tried to stop it, even at the cost of my own life (its your responsibility as a soldier and a human being). I can also see if you find out of a cover up taking on that cause. The issue here should be that he leaked so much information he had no idea what was in all the documents. It was everything from atrocities to real names and locations of informants. You think those people who were named are helping us anymore (if even alive at this point)? Probably not.

    Which again, is besides this point. If Pvt. Manning had wanted to shine a light on atrocities he could have grabbed specific documents about those. Instead, he grabbed everything he could with no regard as to what was on them and who it would hurt. That's blantant disregard for his fellow soldiers lives as well as those helping them...sounds like treason to me, no matter if the documents were "classified" or not.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Reply
    • SilverHair

      Agreed. An oath to protect and defend means just that.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Reply
    • 75 year old VET

      Well stated. He failed in living up to his oath. Period!

      December 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  35. neoritter

    How classified the material really is doesn't matter. If it says classified it's classified and people entrusted with these secrets are bound by law to keep them.

    December 16, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Reply
    • snowdogg

      Correct!

      December 16, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Reply
    • NoWay

      SilverHair said it.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • Prozac For Toothless Trailer Park Dwellers

      You will be a good soldier for Hitler's Army and his commanding officers.
      You have NO soul. Go to church on Sunday and ask for forgiveness from your maker.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Reply
      • TXSLDR29

        Troll.

        December 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
      • jim

        You're an IDIOT!!!

        December 16, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
      • Prozac For Toothless Trailer Park Dwellers

        To TXSLRDR29 and Jim; are you looking yourselves in the Mirror? It’s pretty short like okro isn’t it? Impotent Texas Shoe wax Midgets!
        Heheehehehehe!

        December 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  36. dmnewsi

    Nice that CNN finally got around to this. Your coverage and that of the lame-stream U.S. media is shameful. I had to go to the BBC and the GUARDIAN to actually find out what is going on. Why are you people covering this up? GET OUT OF HILLARY AND BARRACKS BED and COVER THE NEWS!

    December 16, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • CandyHar

      there is no cover up. This is not OJ. It is a military hearing, therefore it is limited on any press releases until it is over. Furthermore, this is not really a huge story. The kid violated the UCMJ, game over.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • snowdogg

      Did you drink the Kool Aid?

      December 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Reply
      • IntelGuy

        As an intel analyst he definitely signed a nondisclosure agreement that clearly states what will happen if he releases classified info to those who don't have a need to know. The Constitution or any other US law doesn't come into it. It is ALL Uniform Code of Military Justice. And if you understood anything about the military or what it means to take an oath to be a part of something greater than yourself and protect your country with your life you might not make such immature comments.

        December 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Mikey

      CandyHar is right for the most part it is a military trail, so no OJ cameras allowed.

      Plus, media outlets are all international corporations owned by the same people. They all have their specific slant on any situation. That's why you SHOULD read several different foreign newspapers. They are slanted for their people but you might learn something that isn't being widely coveraged to you.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Reply
    • davec.0121

      The Guardian - a truly unbiased and strictly objective source of information indeed. (Note – that's sarcasm).

      December 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply

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