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U.S. Army Specialist Bradley Manning  (Source: AP via Facebook)

A new charge against Mr. Manning could carry the death penalty, though that is unlikely. Mr. Manning is accused of "aiding the enemy". The terrorist group Taliban has thanked Wikileaks and its source for the publication of U.S. war memos, which will be a useful recruiting tool and may offer info on local sources.   (Source: Getty Images)
Private specialist is subject to 22 new charges, including aiding the enemy

At a jail in Quantico, Virginia, Wikileaks confidante Bradley Manning received bad news sometime in the last couple weeks, according to the U.S. Army.  They have filed 22 new charges against the 23-year-old former U.S. Army Private.

I. A Capital Offense

Most notably, Mr. Manning has been charged with aiding the enemy.  According to the Army's Military Law manual (see link) this charge can be applied against someone who directly or indirectly, gives information to "the enemy".  

It is punishable by death or "other punishment", with the decision resting with the court martial committee.

In this case, "the enemy" could be hostile terrorist groups like the Taliban or Al Qaeda that may have benefited from the intelligence info revealed in the published Army field memos.  According to reports, the Taliban officials are aware of the leaks and expressed appreciation to Wikileaks and its sources for their publication, saying they will find them useful.

Or the "enemy" in this charge could also be Wikileaks itself.  Approximately 97 percent of the site's currently published leaked documents pertain to the U.S.  And site leader Julian Assange called on hackers to be anarchists and resist government influence in a seminal 90s book on the hacking scene.

The military manual states that the "enemy" can be a "hostile body" and "civilians as well as members of military organizations".

The Department of Defense was careful to point in a Twitter post out that one of the charges was a capital offense.  It is unlikely, however, that the Army will seek the death penalty, not so much because of Manning's age, but out of the basic fact that the U.S. seldom executes its spies.  
In the modern era the only people to be executed for espionage during the modern era were the Rosenbergs, who met the death penalty in the 1950s at the height of anti-communist fervor.

While Manning's case is exemplary, its unlikely prosecutors will seek death.  In fact, CBS News is reporting that the Army's prosecution team will not recommend execution to the two-star general who is in charge of proceeding with legal action.

II. Other Charges

While the "aiding the enemy" charge obviously carries the most gravity, Mr. Manning also faces a laundry list of other charges.  

The charges are split into sections labeled "Charge X", where 'X' is the roman numeral of the section.  Each Charge has additional sub-charges, dubbed "Specifications".  There are 22 Specifications in the new document (hence 22 "charges" in plain English).

Section I covers the capital offense, Section II covers the leaked documents, and Section III covers Manning's various computer crimes.

Capt. John Haberland, a legal spokesman for the Military District of Washington writes in a statement, "The new charges more accurately reflect the broad scope of the crimes that Pvt. 1st Class Manning is accused of committing."

Section II opens with a general charge in Specification 1 of publishing U.S. Military Intelligence.

Specification 2 accuses him of illegally leaking a video called "12 JUL 07 CZ ENGAGEMENT ZONE 30 GC Anyone.avi", a tape of a chopper attack that killed civilians.  This video became part of Wikileaks' "Collateral Murder" documentary.  Specification 11 covers the release of "a file named 'BE22' containing a video named 'BE22 PAX.wmv.'"  This likely is the video of the 2009 Afghani airstrike that Wikileaks published.

Specifications 4-7 line up with other significant Wikileaks publications.  For example the charges state that Mr. Manning stands accused of illegally sharing a "Combined Information Data Network Exchange Iraq database containing more than 380,000 records."  This is likely the 392,000 record database of Iraq War memos that Wikileaks published last year.  And other charges pertain to the release of 90,000 Afghanistan War memos.  

In both cases, the release of a small number of classified memos was separated into additional charges.

Similarly the U.S. State Department classified and unclassified cables that Mr. Manning allegedly released comprise Specifications 12 and 13.

Specification 8 refers to the release of "700 records" from the "United States Southern Command".  This likely refers to records of Guatánamo Bay detainees that Wikileaks allegedly currently has possession of and is preparing to release.

Interestingly, he also apparently illegally shared a massive database of U.S. Military personnel emails.  According to Specification 16 he obtained "the United States Forces -Iraq Microsoft Outlook / SharePoint Exchange Server global address list", which he passed along.

Charge III contains the most "pedestrian" accusations, language pertaining to computer crimes.  He stands accused of "attempting to bypass network or information system security mechanisms", "adding unauthorized software to a Secret Internet Protocol Router Network computer" (SIPRNET), "using an information system in a manner other than its intended purpose", "wrongfully storing classified information".

These charges, for the most part, seem straightforward.

III.  What's Next for Bradley Manning and Wikileaks

Our sources close to the investigation indicate that the chat logs in which Bradley Manning confessed to convicted ex-hacker Adrian Lamo were authenticated by the U.S. Military, dispelling conspiracy theories by the likes of Salon's Glenn Greenwald.  The Military was careful to verify the logs before it pressed forward with additional charges.

The logs were verified by forensic comparison of Mr. Lamo's hard drive with machine that Mr. Manning was chatting from.

Adrian Lamo says he will cooperate fully with the government investigation and says that history would indicate that the death penalty is unlikely for Mr. Manning.  He comments:

It's important that the charges be commensurate in penalty with the offense. This is a unique case, and right or not, will be seen as a test case for deterring others. The prosecutors are surely aware of the complexities of the matter. The length of time that has passed prior to bringing these charges shows the care and fairness that has gone into ensuring due process in this matter reflects the seriousness with which the government is treating the bifurcated issues of Manning's rights and the need to justly prosecute this case.

A trial date has not been set yet for Mr. Manning, as the Military continues its investigation.

Mr. Manning's attorney apparently expected the charges, commenting in a blog, "The defense has been preparing for the possibility of additional charges in this case."

In January he filed a complaint on behalf of Mr. Manning, accusing the Military of holding Mr. Manning in unpleasant conditions.  Mr. Manning comments in the complaint:
"I sit in my cell for 24 hours a day. I am stripped of all clothing with the exception of my underwear. My prescription eyeglasses are taken away from me. I am forced to sit in essential blindness...Additionally, there is a guard sitting outside of my cell watching me at all times."

Wikileaks was noticeably not named or discussed in the additional charges.  That's because the Justice Department is pursuing a separate case against Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange and it will deal with those charges separately.

Mr. Assange recently publicly claimed his site need $31M USD a year in donations to survive -- more than twice the budget of Wikipedia.  According to past reports, the site maintains less than five full time employees and enjoys free hosting.  It also maintains a small legal team.  It is unclear where the remainder of the requested donations would be applied.

Wikileaks responded to the charges with a Twitter post, remarking:

Capital charge 'aiding the enemy' is a vindictive attack on Manning for exercising his right to silence. No evidence of any such thing.

Mr. Assange faces charges of his own.  Recently bailed out of English prison by U.S. film director Michael Moore, he is awaiting extradition to Sweden for a sex crimes charge.

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RE: Big problems
By Denigrate on 3/3/2011 12:11:20 PM , Rating: 4
Or maybe it is entirely about Jihad, and religious intolerance. The same countries make it a crime to practice any religion other than Islam.

The self hate some show in our country is simply stupefying.

RE: Big problems
By nolisi on 3/3/2011 12:33:35 PM , Rating: 2
Or maybe it is entirely about Jihad, and religious intolerance. The same countries make it a crime to practice any religion other than Islam.

Another fallacious assumption.

There are plenty of other non-Islamic nations to attack. So again, why the United States?

If you follow the pattern of violence and rhetoric that Islamic terrists exhibit, you'll find that all the nations that they do attack or speak out against are ones that have one thing in common- we've screwed with them in some way.

Additionally, there are plenty of Christians all across the Middle East that are also upset at us.
A) The whole of the Middle East isn't as intolerant as you might think. It's places like Saudi Arabia (where we support a dictatorship in) which behaves like this.
B) We're not just pissing off Muslims.

RE: Big problems
By Omega215D on 3/3/2011 12:42:38 PM , Rating: 4
where have you been? the radicals have been violent with other countries, especially ones that are very westernized.

RE: Big problems
By nolisi on 3/3/2011 1:03:24 PM , Rating: 3
Please reread my comment:

If you follow the pattern of violence and rhetoric that Islamic terorrists exhibit, *you'll find that all the nations that they do attack* or speak out against are ones that have one thing in common- we've screwed with them in some way.

I stated that they do attack other countries. I'm pointing out that they've attacked or spoken out against countries that have interfered with the Middle East. The point is, it's not about religious intolerence.

RE: Big problems
By Omega215D on 3/3/2011 8:26:43 PM , Rating: 4
who rated this up? Religious intolerance plays a big role for these radical islamists. Note, the attacks are brought out by radical islamists not the whole group.

RE: Big problems
By AnnihilatorX on 3/4/2011 4:18:18 AM , Rating: 2
The rating system says worth reading, not I agree
It's a point worth debating.

RE: Big problems
By delphinus100 on 3/5/2011 9:01:02 PM , Rating: 2
It's not about resources, either. People in that part of the world have used violence to control it before there was a United States, before anyone knew oil was under it, they'll fight after the last drop of that oil is gone.

Mostly, it's our support of Israel they don't like. Pure and simple.

But don't assume that it would go away if that support (or Israel itself) did. That degree of 'success' would only embolden them. (Assuming the Islamist factions didn't then turn on each other, even more strongly than they sometimes do now.)

RE: Big problems
By Xcpus on 3/6/2011 5:10:25 PM , Rating: 3
How can you say that?

The problem with the more conservative minded you are... the less floating variables you seem to be able to compute at any given time. Your mental capability to compute multiple floating variables is seriously lacking.

Answer me this... why does it ONLY have to be ONE reason behind the tensions in the middle east? Resources most certainly play a role (if you listen to them speak and tell you of their grievances). Perhaps you should look to the history of Imperial Oil, Standard Oil and others in Iran for example (events leading up to the Iranian Revolution).

There is also the support, from the USA, for Despots who rule their nations with an Iron Fist. The USA and other Western Allies arm and train many of the soldiers/security personnel under the control of said despots.

The reasoning behind this is to secure the flow of oil which powers Western Empires. So yes Resources play a BIG role.

Much like here in the west... you have two opposing mindsets in the Middle East. You have the Social Conservatives (Islamic Extremists) who are not much different than Sarah Palin, Pat Robertson etc and you have the educated students (those behind the Egyptian, Tunisian, Libyan uprisings) who are mostly secularist liberal minded folks.

You point to the right-wing nut jobs in the middle east and exclaim "see look they're all crazy". They point to your right-wing nut jobs and exclaim the very same thing about you.

RE: Big problems
By Xcpus on 3/6/2011 5:21:46 PM , Rating: 3
In other words...

Right-Wing = Crazy... no matter where you are in the world. And by Right-Wing I mean Corporatism, Neoliberalism, Neoconservatism, Ayn Rand Objectivism and other Sociopathic/Psychopathic hierarchical belief structures devoid of any moral fiber and drowning in moral nihilism.

Don't mistake me for making the case for blind subjective morality. I am making the case for the Free Access to The Tools of Information and Knowledge. This leading to the spread of informed and critically thinking individuals.

Such individuals hold moral values which are rationalized and reasoned using Logic and Empathy (emotions/feelings) and are in keeping with Observable Empirical Facts (not the elusive "common sense" used by some right-wing folks as a euphemism for the continuation of traditional practices regardless of whether they are harmful or not to few/many).

We can agree on a whole slew of issues, values etc. We can form an inter-subjective consensus if only people were ready to set aside their fears and prejudices. We do have a collective enemy and that enemy is concentrated wealth. Whether we fight this enemy using the power of Democratic Government (Regulations) or by using Libertarian Free Market principles matters not. We ought to set aside blind adherence to ideological/philosophical beliefs and instead dabble in a bit of pragmatism.

RE: Big problems
By seraphim1982 on 3/7/2011 12:07:22 PM , Rating: 3
There are numerous problems against the US and their foreign policy, which leads to extremism against the US and the ignorance of US citizens..

1) US undying support of Israel. 3bill / year could go a long way to helping people in poverty, rebuild ghettos, etc.
2) US's need to claim stake to getting Natural Resources (Modern day Imperialism)
-Prime examples Iraq (Oil)& Afghanistan 3/4 of Trillion dollars of resources there....
3) Constantly saying NO CIVILIANS were killed when it is an outrageous lie... which means 0 CIVIL accountability. (Collateral Damage)
4)Filtered media outlets, which only give partial truths, look at journalists during Vietnam and WW2...vs. Interviews with soldiers forced to give a "Summary" vs actual fact or event.
5) Zero accountability of US based corporations..

Obama has done nothing to do resolve this, as a lot of his funding came from these large corporations funding both Repubs and Demos. This is a general flaw in the whole US democratic system, which leads to a state of "government ignorance" when it comes to the white collar crime of corporations. If they punished every white collar crime, like they do "pot smokers" half of corporate america would be in jail. Tell me, who does more harm to society, pot smokers or white-collar crimes... Don't get me started on the jail system....

With regards to Manning, I hope he lives and moreover, becomes a spokesman for Government accountability. Somethings, should be hidden (I understand the need for some secrecy), but somethings like human error resulting in the death of civilians, should NOT be hidden. These are the things that hinder our development as people, nation, and especially foreign policy. People will remember when someone they know was mowed down from helicopter, and that my friend is what starts extremism.....

RE: Big problems
By Denigrate on 3/3/2011 1:05:34 PM , Rating: 2
The poster is a soldier in the Hate America army and absolutely believes the propaganda machine that tells him it is a bad thing to be successful.

He completely ignores that most of Europe as well as India and Indonesia has had much worse Islamic Extremist terrorism attacks.

RE: Big problems
By nolisi on 3/3/2011 1:14:55 PM , Rating: 3
He completely ignores that most of Europe as well as India and Indonesia has had much worse Islamic Extremist terrorism attacks.

A)You're wrong- I didn't ignore this. Reread my comments. I cite "nations that Al Qaeda has attacked or spoken out against". This includes UK, India, and Indonesia. If you can't acknowledge what I've said.

B)Wrong again, most of Europe has not been attacked by Al Qaeda. Look at all the Eastern European countries (which number more than the western Europen ones) and tell me how many have been attacked. Then answer for me how many of them have interfered in the middle east.

RE: Big problems
By Denigrate on 3/3/11, Rating: -1
RE: Big problems
By nolisi on 3/3/2011 5:49:02 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, can you list cases where Al Qaeda attacked the likes of Poland, Prague, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, (I'm even listing countries that are not only Westernized, but countries various parts of Europe) etc?

As far as I know, these are just a few sample countries who have not been attacked, and I don't know that they have ever been targets.

The only country that could be (but is not generally) considered an Eastern Block country which has been attacked could be Turkey. But so far as I can tell, it's the only one.

Here is a listing of Al Qaeda's attacks:

This list may not be complete. If you have evidence that they've attacked- then perhaps you should contribute.

RE: Big problems
By mcnabney on 3/3/2011 12:43:25 PM , Rating: 2
They focus on the US because we are the largest and most obvious target. In practicality, Europe and India are targeted more often due to proximity and larger pools of indigenous supporters.

Their anger should really be focused at their own governments, especially now when the US president is not going to come to the aid of despots or monarchs against their own population. The US just wants to trade with everyone, and would prefer not getting involved with internal politics. If Al Qaeda stated that they wanted to topple all of the despotic regimes in the muslim nations, but that they wouldn't harm international commerce in doing it, I imagine that the US wouldn't do anything to stop them. We don't care who is in charge. We just want to buy your oil and sell you our products and services.

RE: Big problems
By nolisi on 3/3/2011 1:09:40 PM , Rating: 4
They focus on the US because we are the largest and most obvious target.

I agree with this cause, but theres one other cause to consider- we've interfered the most and have had the largest impact on the Middle East over any other westernized country.

Their anger should really be focused at their own governments, especially now when the US president

I agree with this idea, however, their view is different. After 50-60 years of interference, would you believe that this latest change of presidents/direction in American politics is going to convince them that it's a permanent one? Especially when we haven't stopped supporting the Saudi monarchy?

RE: Big problems
By Ammohunt on 3/3/11, Rating: -1
RE: Big problems
By nolisi on 3/3/2011 6:00:10 PM , Rating: 2
Wanna explain how that's a huge favor ;)? Do my commentaries have that big of an affect on public opinion that I scare you?

Or do you just really feel clever having said that?

RE: Big problems
By thurston on 3/3/2011 8:37:01 PM , Rating: 2
I think you misunderstand how he is using the word cause.

RE: Big problems
By fteoath64 on 3/4/2011 2:43:08 AM , Rating: 2
" If Al Qaeda stated that they wanted to topple all of the despotic regimes in the muslim nations, but that they wouldn't harm international commerce in doing it, I imagine that the US wouldn't do anything to stop them."

This is very naive. If the US "just wanted to trade" then why are there over 50 US military bases around the world costing your tax payers billions a year to up keep ?.
Why would USA not pump their own oil but buy from other countries and ensure that oil is traded only in US dollars ?
Why does the official line always exaggerate the foreign threat such as Iran (was Iraq before and you know what happened)?. Or North Korea for that matter.

RE: Big problems
By Skywalker123 on 3/4/2011 11:57:41 AM , Rating: 3
They target us because we support the Zionists in Israel, that's the major reason.

"The US just wants to trade with everyone, and would prefer not getting involved with internal politics".
LOL Are you serious? We involve ourselves in internal politics in EVERY nation possible, if they oppose our interests.

"We don't care who is in charge".
Here you are partially correct, we don't care if a dictator or democracy is in charge, as long as they support American interests.

RE: Big problems
By nolisi on 3/3/2011 12:37:31 PM , Rating: 4
The self hate some show in our country is simply stupefying.

By the way, this isn't self hate. This is logical thinking. If you screw with the people of a country in some meaningful way (esp over resources), they're going to respond. Have we behaved any differently when we were screwed with?

And it has been proven that we have been screwing with the Middle East (as well as other parts of the world) over at least the last 50-60 years.

RE: Big problems
By DrKlahn on 3/3/2011 1:54:17 PM , Rating: 2
Logical thinking only if you choose to look at those points that fit your opinion.

Yes, like any large country the U.S. has done bad things. It's done good things as well. It's as fallible as the people who make up it's government.

Consider this. What would happen if the groups in question decided to live in peace? Nothing stops them from doing so. There is nothing keeping them from simply coexisting with their fellow citizens.

What I'm getting at is that you are ignoring completely the ideology that drives these fanatical Muslim terror groups. They wish to inflict this ideology on others and destroy those who do not follow it. There is more to this than past actions of the U.S. or the other nations that have been attacked by these groups.

I think one of the big mistakes made when considering this issue is the tendency of those of us in the Western world to project our values onto these people. Most Western cultures today are taught tolerance to those who's views, religion, and culture differ from our own. It's hard for us to wrap our heads around the idea that someone could be killed for their sexual orientation or religion. Or that someone should be treated lesser than another because of their sex. I'm not implying that Western cultures are perfect or haven't had black marks in the past histories (slavery and women's rights immediately come to mind). Anytime you look at this problem, you have to take into account that these ideological differences exist and they are not treated trivially by these terror groups. These differences are enough to kill over.

RE: Big problems
By nolisi on 3/3/2011 6:09:30 PM , Rating: 1
It's hard for us to wrap our heads around the idea that someone could be killed for their sexual orientation or religion.

I think you're missing what I'm taking pains to point out. There are plenty of places in the Middle East and around the world where Muslims and Christians live in peace. Al Qaeda doesn't care about religion- they've even attacked and spoken out against Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Turkey- nations regarded as Muslim. Therefore this excludes faith as a cause.

RE: Big problems
By Etsp on 3/4/2011 10:55:46 AM , Rating: 2
they've even attacked and spoken out against Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Turkey- nations regarded as Muslim. Therefore this excludes faith as a cause.
Just like how all christian churches agree with the Westboro Baptist Church and its activities, there is only one interpretation of Islam, with no differences whatsoever.

It's also not like extremists are likely to quibble over the smallest differences in interpretation, or to interpret the passages of the Koran in a way that suits their own agenda best, and consider any other interpretation as a threat to them. That simply doesn't happen.


RE: Big problems
By myhipsi on 3/3/2011 1:06:15 PM , Rating: 3
Do yourself a favor and read the book "Blowback: The costs and consequences of American empire". Hell, even the 9/11 Commission Report mentions blowback (CIA coined term) in reference to the 9/11 attacks.

While I will agree that there are elements such as Jihad and religious intolerance that can motivate individuals to commit atrocious acts for no other reason than pure hatred, the motivations behind suicide terrorism are usually borne out of foreign military occupation and injustice.

You indirectly accuse the OP of being a self-hating American, however it is very much "American" to question why things are the way they are. Motive is the single most important question to ask in a murder investigation, why? Because 99.99% of the time, people don't murder other people for sh*ts and giggles, there is usually a reason (not a justification). The same applies to the U.S. and U.K. being the prime targets for terrorist attacks. You have to ask why. Only when you find the true answer and address it, will suicide terrorism truly be stopped. No amount of security and destruction of rights at home will.

RE: Big problems
By Denigrate on 3/3/2011 4:57:36 PM , Rating: 2
No, they murder most often for religion. If you have studied any history you would know this.

RE: Big problems
By nolisi on 3/3/2011 5:55:33 PM , Rating: 1
If you have studied any history you would know this.

No, they don't. Religion is only used to galvanize followers, it is not the cause- the root cause of terrorism/murder is almost always traced back to control of resources of some kind, whether it's land, oil, strategic holdings, or Imperialism in general.

There are plenty of Christians and Muslims living across the Middle East in peace. The theory of religious intolerence doesn't hold when you consider this.

There have been points in Middle East history where Christians have fought Christians and Muslims have fought Muslims. Every major event I have knowledge of have causes in resource control.

RE: Big problems
By roykahn on 3/4/2011 2:49:34 AM , Rating: 1
Nolisi, I just want to thank you for providing intelligent comments which are sadly often lacking on this site.

RE: Big problems
By RedemptionAD on 3/7/2011 5:23:27 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of deaths have been in the name of religion.12 historical Christian crusades. Muslim jihad and glorified martyrdom. Satanic sacrifices. Myans made human sacrifices to the gods. Egyptians did the same. Death is synonymous with religion historically.

RE: Big problems
By thurston on 3/3/2011 8:30:44 PM , Rating: 2
The leaders use religion as a tool just like the right does in America.

RE: Big problems
By thurston on 3/3/2011 8:21:11 PM , Rating: 3
Being critical of one's country does not equal self hate.

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