(H/T Fox News)
The U.S. Army soldier charged with providing troves of government documents to WikiLeaks was found not guilty Tuesday of aiding the enemy…however…Manning was convicted of five espionage counts, five theft charges, a computer fraud charge and other military infractions. The sentencing phase of his trial is scheduled to begin Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., and will likely go on for several weeks. The 25-year-old Crescent, Okla., native acknowledged giving the anti-secrecy website hundreds of thousands of battlefield reports, diplomatic cables and videos in early 2010.
This was a very good ruling; it was hard to prove that Manning had an evil intent, so the aiding the enemy verdict was a hard one for Bradley to be found guilty of. However, his 5 counts of espionage was the right verdict for a traitor like Manning. Yes, I am calling Manning a traitor to his country; for it is not as if he just leaked some files to an American news service, instead, he gave them to a foreign citizen! Now, lets be honest with ourselves; anyone who steals classified documents from their government and gives them to a foreign citizen (Julian Assange, who then intimidated the United States by threatening to release the documents in an “insurance file“, subsequently doing so in an encrypted version that was downloaded by thousands of people) deserves to be labeled a traitor.
But Manning did more than just give the secret files to a foreigner (a person who has no business being in possession of them); he gave them to a foreign entity who has no problem with his targets (in this case, the USA) balkanizing and ceasing to become efficient:
In a 36-minute interview with…Assange explained that exposing abuses can lead to positive change in two ways. When abusive organizations are in the public spotlight, “they have one of two choices,” he said. The first, he continued, “is to reform in such a way that they can be proud of their endeavors, and proud to display them to the public.” The second choice, he said, “is to lock down internally and to balkanize, and as a result, of course, cease to be as efficient as they were. To me, that is a very good outcome, because organizations can either be efficient, open and honest, or they can be closed, conspiratorial and inefficient.” What he left unsaid but clearly implied was that organizations of the second type eventually fail.”
Just in case people don’t understand what balkanization is, the official definition reads:
“To break up (as a region or group) into smaller and often hostile units”
This is what Assange finds to be “a very good outcome”; and this is the man that Bradley Manning turned to in order to leak the stolen documents he illegally obtained. Now some have questioned Manning potentially having to spend 128 years in prison for his crimes, by asking if what he did was any worse than was U.S. officials do to us; but this is really the wrong question to be asking. There is no doubt that U.S. officials do criminal things, and they deserve to pay for them; BUT that does not make Manning’s actions any less treasonous, and when you catch a traitor, you should deal with him or her accordingly, regardless of what others are doing. The real question we should be asking is: Can we seriously call the actions of Manning “good”, and “patriotic” when the man he gave the documents to would have no problem with his target breaking into smaller, hostile units? Surely not.
Bradley Manning committed crimes against the Untied States, and no matter what his intentions were, his actions are simply unacceptable. While we all want transparency in government, I can only imagine what the Founding Fathers would say if they were confronted with Bradley Manning; I find it quite hard to believe that they would condone the leaking of state secrets to a foreign entity, and have no doubt in my mind that they would approve of his being found guilty. When it all comes down to it, I can only come to one conclusion; Bradley Manning committed a crime, and he got the verdict he deserved.