UnNews:Bradley Manning mulls plea-bargain
10 March 2011
QUANTICO MARINE CORPS BASE, Virginia -- The Army has brought a total of 1.2 million charges against Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, the former intelligence analyst accused of leaking classified military and diplomatic documents to the “truth” web site WikiLeaks.
But prosecutors will not seek Manning's dishonorable discharge if he pleads guilty of "aiding the enemy," officials said. Under the terms of the plea bargain Manning would only have to face the firing squad, and would not lose his honor.
Though the statement did not specify the enemy, Manning, 23, is accused of giving secret documents to WikiLeaks that related to lies and illegal activities of the US Government in misconducting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The charges, filed under the Uniform Code of Military Megalomania, also include wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet, a crime that was specifically forbidden by the American forefathers in the Constitution, knowing that it will be accessed by the media, and violating Army regulations on hiding official shenanigans and hogwash.
"He knows that his options are limited," Capt. John Haberland, a spokesman for the Military District of Washington, said in the statement. “Death or dishonor!”
Manning's supporters reacted to the plea bargain with dismay. "I'm shocked that Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was accused of sabotage, has been offered a plea deal with the Army for death over dishonor. That’s insane!”
Jeff Paterson, project director of Courage to Resist, which has raised money for Manning's defense. "The military is downplaying the fact that the plea bargain has Manning facing the death penalty, rather than dishonoring his good name, it is also rushing the case through to the penalty phase.
Paterson added that "it's beyond absurd that leaked U.S. State Department cables have contributed to revolution and revolt" in the Middle East, "yet an American kid will be executed in a plea bargain for being the primary whistleblower."
In the wake of releases of classified documents by WikiLeaks, lawmakers have all along insisted on the death penalty for Manning. But the prosecution's decision to offer Manning the death penalty as part of a guilty plea bargain makes such a bargain highly idiotic.
- Ellen Nakashima "Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks' alleged source, faces 22 new charges" Washington Post, March 2, 2011