Julian Assange

Julian Assange on Bradley Manning Verdict: Treating Journalism Like Espionage Not Reasonable

Manning was found not guilty of aiding the enemy but guilty of espionage


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WikiLeaks' Julian Assange released a statement responding to the conviction of Bradley Manning, who leaked government materials, including a trove of State Department memos and several war videos:

The 'aiding the enemy' charge has fallen away. It was only included, it seems, to make calling journalism 'espionage' seem reasonable. It is not.

Bradley Manning's alleged disclosures have exposed war crimes, sparked revolutions, and induced democratic reform. He is the quintessential whistleblower.

This is the first ever espionage conviction against a whistleblower. It is a dangerous precedent and an example of national security extremism. It is a short sighted judgment that can not be tolerated and must be reversed. It can never be that conveying true information to the public is 'espionage'.

Read the rest of the statement here. Manning is one of six leakers that have been prosecuted during the Obama Administration, a group that also includes other government employees who passed information to journalists.  

President Obama's promise to protect whistleblowers was scrubbed from Change.gov as the Obama Administration made Edward Snowden the seventh person it has charged under the Espionage Act.

NEXT: Matthew Feeney Discusses the Bradley Manning Verdict on the Janine Turner show at 7:30pm ET

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  1. ” It was only included, it seems, to make calling journalism ‘espionage’ seem reasonable. It is not.”

    Manning was not a journalist. He betrayed the trust his superiors placed in him. He betrayed the trust of his country’s agents whose identities he exposed to the world He was no “whistleblower”, Assange is just rationalizing the crimes his organization encouraged Manning to commit.

    1. Oh bullshit. Nuremburg established the principle that “following orders” was not a valid excuse. There is no duty to follow illegal orders or cover up crimes, and any contract which included such clauses is no contract at all.

      Fuck off, slaver.

      1. What crimes?

        “Fuck off, slaver.”

        A tantrum, how cute.

        1. Funny that you seem so confident in the crimes Manning committed, but you can only make the vaguest references to betraying trust when referring to them.
          Did you get the entirety of your information from a handful of your favorite TEAM RED/BLUE cheerleaders and make your mind up from those tidbits?

          1. Peter King LOOOOMS

          2. Yes – we should all be confident in the crimes Manning committed because they are obvious.

            He was hired and as part of being hired he had access to information he knew was to be kept secret from the general public.

            He then conspired to steal and publicly publish more than 250K of these documents.

            & unlike Snowden, who released specific details on PRISM which he thought Americans should know about – Manning and wikileaks has yet to show even one of the 250K documents that says anything earth shattering enough that could be remotely seen as blowing the whistle on any specific government action.

            So his crime is obvious and his defense as a whistle blower non-existent.

            1. I’ll just refer you to Gordilocks’s multiple posts below on the governmental wrongdoing exposed. Now fuck off.

            2. Manning may have revealed crimes, but it sure seems like he fell ass backward into it. He just seemed like a young kid who grabbed up as much stuff as he could and leaked it to wikileaks. Maybe it’s all marketing/PR, but Snowden’s motives seem a little more principled and deliberate. All “journalism” arguments aside, I sympathize a whole lot more w/ snowden…

    2. Meanwhile, there was other news today about continued attempts to deport elderly “concentration camp guards” who kept their heads down and didn’t resign from the Nazi military forces. So what is it: follow orders or be branded a traitor, or follow orders and perhaps be branded a criminal for following orders?

      1. Depends entirely on who is in control, just as it always has.

      2. The take home lesson here is “never join the military.”

        1. Especially if you can’t hold yourself to your oaths.

          1. Implied take home lesson “do not swear an oath to the government.”

            1. Implied take home lesson “do not swear an oath to the government.”

              Actually, I swore an oath to the Constitution. And even today, under the right circumstances, I will recite the following:

              “I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America.
              And to the Republic which it creates,
              One nation, Fifty states, with liberty and justice for all.”

              … Dragoon, First Rifles “the Bearded Hobbit”, Jemez Militia

              1. concur, oath is to the constitution, not the govt. the rest is just non-disclosure “agreements”

          2. Well politicians don’t get in trouble for that, so how can they expect everyone else to do it?

            1. Because that’s what laws are for, Cali. The peons. The elites understand the proper nuance for selective oath-breaking that low-brows like use can’t be expected to manage. Really, they are just looking out for us.

            2. I don’t see anyone arguing that politicians shouldn’t get in trouble for lawbreaking. As far as I’m concerned, there should be a hell of a lot more Washington DC representation in prison cells.

  2. Bradley Manning’s alleged disclosures have exposed war crimes, sparked revolutions, and induced democratic reform.

    Really? Where? Certainly not in this country…

    1. Tunisia for one.

      1. Pretty sure the guy who set himself on fire had more to do with that.

        1. Michael Jackson started revolution in Tunisia? Huh – learn something every day.

          1. It was really about the cola vs lemon-lime schism that had plagued the society for generations, but the media never reports that part.

        2. Wikileaks info was the second to last straw before that.

      2. Ah — and how did that end up, again?

        1. End up? It’s far from “the end.”

    2. His leaks revealed:
      1. U.S. officials were told to cover up evidence of child abuse by contractors in Afghanistan.
      2. There is an official policy to ignore torture in Iraq.
      3. Guantanamo prison has held mostly innocent people and low-level operatives.
      4. U.S. Military officials withheld information about the indiscriminate killing of Reuters journalists and innocent Iraqi civilians.
      5. The State Department backed corporate opposition to a Haitian minimum wage law.
      6. Known Egyptian torturers received training from the FBI in Quantico, Virginia.
      7. The State Department authorized the theft of the UN Secretary General’s DNA.
      8. The Japanese and U.S. Governments had been warned about the seismic threat at Fukushima.
      9. The Obama Administration allowed Yemen’s President to cover up a secret U.S. drone bombing campaign.

      1. (1) Alex Spillius, “Wikileaks: Iraq War Logs show US ignored torture allegations,” Telegraph, October 22, 2010. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new…..tions.html
        (2) Foreign contractors hired Afghan ‘dancing boys’, WikiLeaks cable reveals,” guardian.co.uk, December 2, 2010, http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl…..ncing-boys

        1. (3) Scott Shane and Benjamin Weiser, “The Guatanamo Files: Judging Detainees’ Risk, Often With Flawed Evidence,” New York Times, April 24, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04…..risk.html; “US embassy cables: Don’t pursue Guant?namo criminal case, says Spanish attorney general,” guardian.co.uk, December 1, 2010, http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl…..nts/202776
          (4) Iraq War Logs Reveal 15,000 Previously Unlisted Civilian Deaths,” guardian.co.uk, October 22, 2010,

          1. (5) Steven Clarke and Joseph Bamat, “Leaked video shows US military killing of civilians, Reuters staff,” France 24, July 27, 2010, http://www.france24.com/en/201…..ters-staff
            (6) Robert Johnson, “WIKILEAKS: U.S. Fought to Lower Minimum Wage in Haiti So Hanes and Levis Would Stay Cheap,” Business Insider, June 3, 2011, http://www.businessinsider.com…..ion-2011-6

            1. (7) Gregory White, “This is the Wikileak That Sparked The Tunisian Crisis, Business Insider, January 14, 2011, http://www.businessinsider.com…..aks-2011-1
              (8) Daniel Tencer, “Cables: FBI trained Egypt’s state security ‘torturers,” The Raw Story, February 9, 2011, http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201…..torturers/

              1. (9) Gerri Peev, “Hillary Clinton ordered U.S. diplomats to spy on UN leaders,” The Daily Mail, November 29, 2010, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..aders.html
                (10) “Japan Earthquake 2011: WikiLeaks Reveals Government Warned About Nuclear Plant Safety in 2008,” Huffington Post, March 16, 2011, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..36529.html

                1. (11) “Cable reveals US behind airstrike that killed 21 children in Yemen,” The Raw Story, December 2, 2010, http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201…..dren-yemen

  3. Manning is no Snowden. Snowden revealed real crimes. Manning leaked interesting diplomatic gossip and the ‘crimes’ turned out to be total bullshit.

    1. Bullshit crimes like torture.

      1. 1) We already knew that 2) When used in a proper moral and legal framework, torture is not a crime and is even praiseworthy.

        1. What framework would that be? Professional interrogators would laugh at the claim that torture produces reliable intelligence, if there were anything funny about it.

          1. Torture helped get OBL. Also, torture only works when done professionally, by professionals. Torture does not necessarily mean battery cables. It can mean excessive AC.

            1. Professional torturers? Where does one go for torture training? Does it require a graduate degree like law?

              1. Go work for those who have experience in it and I’m sure they’ll train you.

                As for degree – they’d probably prefer psychology to law, though divorce lawyers are already trained torturers so that’s more a lateral move than one requiring extensive training.

        2. Eh, C+

  4. President Obama’s promise to protect whistleblowers was scrubbed from Change.gov…

    I would fucking love to see some journalist ask Obama point blank about this in an interview. Unfortunately he doesn’t give interviews to actual journalists.

    1. But in his defense, its pretty hard to find a “real” journalist. Not that he tried….

  5. A criminal who has never made restitution and continuously commits aggression has no right to cry foul.

    And that criminal is the US government. It has no legitimacy to prosecute Manning. It no legitimacy to take money at gunpoint used to drone, invade or to collude with other states. (If anyone themselves wants to, feel free to use your own resources or ship yourselves over)

    Not only do they steal from you, you have no say in how that money is used, nor what it’s used for. You cannot opt out if you disagree. As such, regardless of the value of the leaks they have lost any right to protect any secrets whatsoever, since all of those secrets are from the fruits of aggression.

    1. Well just try telling that to some of the “libertarians” here. Wait, you just did. nvm.

      1. Anarchos aren’t libertarians. Go back to Mises.org.

        1. Objectivists aren’t libertarians. Go back to Galt’s Gulch.

          1. You’re right. We’re better.

    2. The boilerplate response to that is, “You do have say over where the money goes. It’s called elections. And that’s the best way to organize a country, so if you don’t like the results, tough shit”

    3. You can opt out, you just can’t opt out of paying while still enjoying the fruits of your tax dollars. That would be stealing.

      1. Tony that was like a textbook statement of circular logic and the funniest part is that you can’t even see it.

        1. Asking to be able to opt out of paying for a society while still living in it is a bigger sense of entitlement than the ones you guys fume over. Nobody’s forcing you to stay. If you stay, you play by the rules. That’s only fair. If you want to live in a place with a virtually nonexistent government, stop trying to force it on the rest of us, go someplace that fits the bill, if you can find it. If you want to live in a place with a virtually nonexistent government that hasn’t been or won’t be inevitably invaded, go to Mars.

          1. You’re totally right, Tony, I shouldn’t be able to advocate for a government the operates in an Un-Tony approved manner. Thank you so much for reminding me that I should sit down, shut up, ask permission, and unquestioningly obey orders from my betters.

            Die In a Fire.

          2. Your comment could almost be used word for word as a summary of Creon’s argument in Sophocles’ “Antigone”. While the heroine, Antigone herself, claims that man, while owing loyalty to the society that has raised him and given him so much, owes higher allegiance to the “Laws of God”, which I suppose libertarians would translate as “natural law”. These two points of view have been debated for a very long time. The play “Antigone” dates to around the middle of the 5th century B.C., I believe.

      2. On the one hand, no taxes. On the other, I can’t prevail on the local constabulary to shoot my dog for me. On the one hand I won’t get SS checks when I turn 65 67 71, but on the other I earn much higher ROI privately. Where do I sign on for that?

        1. We’ll just assume nobody is born handicapped or in poverty. It works out better that way.

          1. So instead you substitute your own assumption that it’s my, and everyone else’s, responsibility to take care of those people.

            1. No, no, you’re missing the important point. He’s given us carte blanche to opt out once we figure out where the rat’s hidden the paperwork. The disabled and infirm, the widows and orphans on whose misfortunes he wants to build a temple to statism and clambor atop, they needn’t opt out. He and Warren Buffet and the rest of the progressive ilk can pay taxes what the rest of us will give away to charities.

            2. Of course the government is obviously the only entity capable of bringing people out of poverty or helping handicapped people

  6. Manning is a miserable jerk who acted out like an impetuous child because of his personal problems. You can celebrate the results of his crimes if you want but that doesn’t make him a hero. Julian Assange is a narcissistic jerk who doesn’t give a damn about freedom of the press unless it’s an opportunity to celebrate Julian Assange.

    Those of you that want to put these guys on pedestals are simply rubes who buy into their BS.

    1. THIS.

    2. “Putting up on a pedestal” and “wanting to see avoid serving time for whistleblowing government crimes” are different things.

      1. What crime did Manning blow the whistle on?

        Specifically -what of the 250K documents did they point to upon release as the reason for releasing the 250K documents and what crime was proved by said documents?

        1. I’ll just point you above to Gordilocks’s numerous comments about what wrongdoing, exactly, was exposed. It dwarfs anything I could say.

  7. “Gee thanks.”

  8. If people want to know about American atrocities abroad, they should turn off CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, or any other American news channel and turn to RT or Al Jazeera. There’s more than enough out there to inform the electorate. We are a fully propagandized country. That is the real problem. The government prosecuting massive leaks of (often) properly classified material is not. It really doesn’t have a choice in the matter.

    1. What Bruce Schneir refers to as CYA security?

      So Tony fellates security statism when his boy’s in power, and blames the electorate for thinking things are dandy, except the electorate and the media both are dupes until Mannings or Assanges or Snowdens make known the extent of federal involvement, and somehow this makes the latter three proper criminals in his cosmology.

    2. So replace some propaganda with more propaganda.

  9. So I’m just thinking Remy’s next magnum opus could be along the lines of “Try me, kangaroo clown court!” Whaddaya think?

    1. I think you’re showing your age. I actually heard this the other day on XM Fifties, and was horrified at how many of the words I remembered.

  10. Sometimes man yoi jsut have to roll with it.


  11. til I saw the bank draft which was of $6628, I accept that my friend woz like actually erning money parttime from there computar.. there best friend haz done this for under 14 months and recently repayed the morgage on their cottage and got a brand new Honda NSX. go to,….www.Day34.com

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