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Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:26 AM

Bradley Manning pleads guilty to leaking secret government documents

Source: Los Angeles Times

FT. MEADE, Md. – Army Pfc. Bradley Edward Manning pleaded guilty Thursday to 10 charges that he illegally acquired and transferred highly classified U.S. government secrets, agreeing to serve 20 years in prison for causing a worldwide uproar when WikiLeaks published documents describing the inner workings of U.S. military and diplomatic efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the globe.

The 25-year-old soldier, however, pleaded not guilty to 12 more serious charges, including espionage for aiding the enemy, meaning that his criminal case will go forward at a general court-martial in June. If convicted at trial, he risks a sentence of life in prison at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan.

A small, thin soldier in Army blues and eyeglasses, Manning admitted that he leaked the video of a helicopter gun battle, State Department cables, an Army field manual and Army documents on Iraq and Afghanistan that detailed the military’s patrol reports there.

He also admitted that he leaked confidential file assessments of detainees at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and five classified records from a U.S. bombing in the Farah Province of Afghanistan, which killed up to 30 civilians.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-pn-bradley-manning-pleads-guilty-20130228,0,5930297.story

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Arrow 44 replies Author Time Post
Reply Bradley Manning pleads guilty to leaking secret government documents (Original post)
IDemo Feb 2013 OP
orbitalman Feb 2013 #1
hack89 Feb 2013 #10
struggle4progress Feb 2013 #2
msanthrope Feb 2013 #4
struggle4progress Mar 2013 #33
Octafish Feb 2013 #3
cstanleytech Feb 2013 #7
msanthrope Feb 2013 #9
Kelvin Mace Feb 2013 #5
Diclotican Feb 2013 #6
Kelvin Mace Feb 2013 #12
hack89 Feb 2013 #15
Kelvin Mace Feb 2013 #16
hack89 Feb 2013 #17
Kelvin Mace Feb 2013 #19
struggle4progress Feb 2013 #8
Kelvin Mace Feb 2013 #11
struggle4progress Feb 2013 #14
LiberalLovinLug Feb 2013 #20
Kelvin Mace Feb 2013 #21
struggle4progress Feb 2013 #28
Kelvin Mace Feb 2013 #31
struggle4progress Feb 2013 #32
Kelvin Mace Mar 2013 #36
Ash_F Mar 2013 #41
struggle4progress Mar 2013 #42
Ash_F Mar 2013 #43
struggle4progress Mar 2013 #44
Whats_that Feb 2013 #13
struggle4progress Feb 2013 #18
Whats_that Feb 2013 #22
struggle4progress Feb 2013 #23
Whats_that Feb 2013 #25
cpwm17 Feb 2013 #24
Peregrine Feb 2013 #27
Arctic Dave Feb 2013 #26
LineNew Reply .
blkmusclmachine Feb 2013 #29
rachel1 Feb 2013 #30
struggle4progress Mar 2013 #34
Whats_that Mar 2013 #35
ronnie624 Mar 2013 #37
struggle4progress Mar 2013 #38
ronnie624 Mar 2013 #39
struggle4progress Mar 2013 #40

Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:39 AM

1. After ALL this time, they've f-i-n-a-l-l-y broken him :(

I don't think he could be considered any more than a whistle-blower at the most.

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Response to orbitalman (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:30 PM

10. Whistle blower has a specific meaning in US law

the fact of the matter is that he ignored US whistle blower laws - if he had followed them then he would not be in the mess he is in.



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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:47 AM

2. ... The judge, Col. Denise Lind, must decide whether to accept the guilty pleas,

which could carry a sentence of 20 years in prison ...
Manning offers pleas to judge in WikiLeaks case
Published: February 27, 2013
By BEN NUCKOLS — Associated Press

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:52 AM

4. It's a Hail Mary, but it's all the defense has got left before facing a massive trial on

22 charges. I don't think thhe judge will grant any more delays.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 03:50 AM

33. ... The judge, Denise Lind, accepted his plea to 10 charges involving illegal possession

or distribution of classified material. Manning was allowed to plead guilty under military regulations instead of federal espionage law, which knocked the potential sentence down from 92 years. He will not be sentenced until his court-martial on the other charges is over ...
Manning pleads guilty to 10 charges
By Ben Nuckols
From: AAP
March 01, 2013 6:51PM

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:51 AM

3. Poor guy probably thinks it's the best deal he can get.

The plea is understandable under the circumstances, where the judge won't allow the use of whistleblower status in his defense.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/17/bradley-manning-denied-chance-whistleblower-defence


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Response to Octafish (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:03 PM

7. But could the judge have legally allowed a whistleblower defense in light of the fact that Manning

didnt use the law on the books that protects whistleblowers as long as they report what they found to a member of congress and or the inspector generals office?

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Response to Octafish (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:28 PM

9. It's not a deal--the government didn't negotiate this. It's a proffer to the court by a defendant

who has very few options.

Mr. Manning doesn't get 'whisteblower' status because he did not act as he was legally required to do so, under the Military Whisteblower's Protection Act of 1988. Had he done so, he would have been immune to prosecution. I guess giving classified documents to Julian Assange was cooler than following the law.

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:55 AM

5. How greatful the Nuremberg witnessess

must be to not live in today's world where revealing the crimes of the Nazis would have resulted in their being charged with espionage.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:02 PM

6. Kelvin Mace

Kelvin Mace

Many who did told about the crimes, the Nuremberg Court later show the world, was indeed charget with espionage for the enemy - and excecuted, all up to the end of the war...

But in this case, I suspect 20 year, is better than excecution - at least he can survive it... Even though, I suspect he could have a hard time in prison.. The Poor man look broken and destroyed... Like he was tortured...

Diclotican

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Response to Diclotican (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 01:50 PM

12. Solitary is torture

And they will torment him until he kills himself, and then shake their heads and claim, "What a shame",

Despite all that has been revealed about criminal activity by the US Government, the US Military, and military contractors, I have yet to see a single prosecution.

Only Manning.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:47 PM

15. He has been out of solitary for nearly two years.

He has a normal cell and can mix with other inmates.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:49 PM

16. Doesn't excuse the torture they put him through

and no one will be prosecuted.

Once they have him safely back under their tender care, the abuse will probably resume.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:52 PM

17. Why would they want or need to abuse him once he is found guilty?

They want him to disappear from sight - to never be seen or heard from again.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 04:02 PM

19. Why do prison guards

abuse any inmate they don't like. And you can be sure they will not like Manning, who they have branded a traitor.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:05 PM

8. I somehow missed the embassy cable exposing the mass-extermination camps and crematoria

Could you provide a link, please?

Thanks!

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 01:47 PM

11. He provided video footage

of a helicopter gunship slaughtering people on the ground who were clearly NOT combatants. That is a war crime.

The files disclosed operations in Iraq that could also be construed as war crimes, child prostitution services provided to military contractors, the death of Canadian soldiers by US fire that was blamed on the Taliban, the cavalier disregard for civilian casualties (definitely war crimes), and the shell games the US was playing with prisoners who were tortured in "black prison sites".

Also, we learned that Pakistan, a country we were pouring billions of dollars into, was completely in bed with the Taliban and were providing them with military intelligence about US Military operations.

The Guantanamo files proved that the U.S. KNEW most of the people kept there were not terrorists.

The sum of what he revealed had it been revealed about any other country except the US, would have led to a new round of war crimes trials for all involved. Manning would have been a hero, not a "spy".

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:24 PM

14. If you want to oppose war, that would seem to me an entirely honorable position: one can take

the view that much of what happens in war should be regarded as criminal. But if you are not taking such a comprehensive anti-war stand, then I find your claims as unsupported

Whenever one engages in deadly assaults against persons who cannot be completely identified in advance, there is a chance of civilian deaths. This remark covers not only aerial bombing and drone attacks, but also many fire-fights. Civilian casualties are essentially unavoidable in war, and that (of course) is a very good reason to oppose war whenever possible

If you learned of the helicopter gunship incident from Wikileaks, then you were not paying attention: it got wide coverage at the time, because several journalists were killed:

2 Iraqi Journalists Killed as U.S. Forces Clash With Militias
... The two Reuters staff members, both of them Iraqis, were killed when troops on an American helicopter shot into the area where the two had just gotten out of their car ...


There's no reason to believe that the military deliberately and criminally targeted civilians in this case, though (of course) one can often make the argument, when deadly force is employed, that is has been employed hastily and carelessly (which is another anti-war argument)

Similar comments apply to friendly fire incidents: they are unavoidable, though with care they can be minimized. The incident to which you refer occurred on 3 September 2006: the Canadian military maintains it was not a friendly fire incident. It is natural to suspect military officials of covering up such incidents, but in fact the Canadians prosecute Canadians responsible for friendly fire incidents, and there are plenty of examples of friendly fire incidents where those responsible admitted responsibility immediately, including an incident on the following day, 4 September 2006. The Canadians dispute Wikileaks' claims regarding 3 September 2006, and in context there seems no reason to believe they are lying

Canadian soldier pleads guilty in Afghan friendly fire
1 killed, 4 wounded in 2010 training-range incident
The Canadian Press
Posted: Sep 13, 2012 7:55 PM ET
Last Updated: Sep 13, 2012 7:29 PM ET
... Maj. Christopher Lunney, 42, had to pause to compose himself several times as he told a court martial Wednesday of his shock and remorse over the friendly-fire incident in Afghanistan that took the life of Cpl. Josh Baker and wounded four others ...


Friendly fire that killed Canadian was 'freak accident': major
Last Updated: Monday, September 4, 2006 | 7:25 PM ET
CBC News
... Two U.S. aircraft mistakenly fired on a Canadian platoon taking part in NATO's massive anti-Taliban operation in southern Afghanistan on Monday, killing one soldier and injuring dozens of others ...


Military rejects WikiLeaks friendly fire report
Last Updated: Monday, July 26, 2010 | 11:55 PM ET
CBC News
... "The loss of four Canadian soldiers on September 3rd, 2006, was the result of insurgent activity in the Panjwaii district of Afghanistan," the defence minister's spokesman Jay Paxton said in an email Monday evening. "The only friendly fire incident from the time period in question occurred on September 4th, 2006, when Private Mark Anthony Graham was killed in the same district" ...


And nobody, who was actually paying attention, first learned about
* the CIA secret prisons, or
* that innocents had been hastily gathered and dumped at Guantanamo, or
* sympathies for Taliban among some Pakistanis

from Wikileaks



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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 04:34 PM

20. War Crimes appologists

and anti-freedom of information authoritarians who are afraid of the truth.
You find them everywhere.

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 04:37 PM

21. The entire premise for the war in Iraq

was a complete fabrication.

Waging war against a nation without provocation is a war crime.

So, anything that went on in Iraq was the continuation of an illegal war, and thus a war crime.

As for Afghanistan, the justification for invading was highly questionable, especially since there was concrete evidence that Al Qaeda support mostly came from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Why didn't we attack the REAL supporters of Al Qaeda? Well, one would cut off our oil and the other actually had nukes and was selling the technology to Iran and North Korea.

Beyond that, the war has been conducted incompetently and with disregard for innocent civilians. There have been no senate committees or special prosecutors appointed to examine the various allegations raised in the documents Manning leaked. The military simply claims crimes didn't happen (despite their own secret communication documenting crimes did happen) and everyone accepts it as gospel.

And while many of us were aware of the various issues involved with Guantanamo, torture, illegal kidnapping, black sites, Saudi/Pakistani collusion, etc, Manning's documents corroborated those suspicions (and despite this, except for a few small potatoes at Abu Ghraib, no prosecutions).

On the issue of "friendly fire" (a nicer term than "shooting your own people because you are a goddamned idiot!"), yeah accidents happen. However, some of these accidents wouldn't have happened if the rules were followed, and if we weren't alternately pumping "Go" and "No Go" pills (amphetamines and sedatives) into our pilots.

Also, if you do happen to shoot one of your own soldiers because you are a goddamned idiot, you own up to it and take your medicine, otherwise what is the the lesson? Screw up, kill people, and it's business as usual? You certainly don't LIE about it, destroy evidence, as was done in the Pat Tillman case. How many people were prosecuted for what happened to Tillman? Last I looked, filing false reports and lying to superior officers was a crime in the military.

These wars are rife with criminal actions, including war crimes, and yet the only people being punished is the odd guard or two at Abu Ghraib, and a private who gave us a peak at some of these crimes.

There is EVERY reason to suspect the military of criminally negligent conduct, because we have repeatedly caught them at it in the past, yet seldom punished it.

For the record, I oppose ALL war except those waged in self-defense in the strictest definition of the term. We have had no business being in any war since December 7, 1941.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 06:36 PM

28. Even very early in the game, there has been hardly anyone here at DU supporting the war,

though a number of former supporters have sometimes joined since then. Looking at commentary since then, it seems to me that Americans now largely agreed the war was based on false premises, though perhaps not everybody yet agrees with the view (properly held by many from the very beginning) that the entire fiasco was nothing but a deliberate and cynical hoax, designed to frighten Americans into a show of patriotic support for Bush. The resulting tragedy, of course, was enormous in scope, and perhaps there is no one image that summarizes the story better than the 2005 photo Chris Hondros took of tiny Samar Hassan, crying and covered in blood after soldiers fired on her family's car in Tal Afar, killing both her parents

There is little reason to expect an immediate accountability for the crimes of that era. Bush IMO effectively staged a coup in 2000, and requiring substantial support from media and a large swath of the political establishment to pull it off. And no large political establishment ever changes very quickly. Bringing perpetrators, associated with the 1970s South American dictatorships, to justice has required decades of careful work. Similar considerations apply to the US. Nothing in recent US history suggests we should be optimistic about these prospects. Lt Calley, convicted of the 1969 My Lai massacre and originally sentenced to life imprisonment, served only about three years of that sentence, and he did not serve it in prison: he served it under house arrest. Nixon completely escaped any responsibility for his own crimes, though some of his subordinates were sentenced; and the executive crimes of the Reagan era went similarly unpunished. Here's the bottom line: we might obtain some charges against the Bush era criminals several decades from now -- when they are all old and sick and can beg the courts for leniency on health grounds -- but it will require years of hard work to accomplish even that

Short term, the only thing that one can hope to accomplish is building a sufficient critical mass of citizens who understand what has happened in the past and are determined to act effectively when necessary to prevent such fiascos in the future. Effective action requires an ability to persuade others, which always involves trying to understand how other people think so that one can conversing with them where they actually are, rather than talking towards the place where one believes they ought to be. My own experience strongly suggest that credibility in such conversations can be hard to win and can be very easy to lose -- and I think nothing destroys credibility of a speaker faster or more permanently than the listener's conviction that the speaker is just a bullshizz artist

You're certainly entitled to support Assange and Manning if you like. But I will not, and my reason is very simple -- I regularly see a great deal of credibility-destroying bullshizz from Assange's and Manning's supporters

So my advice to you is: get your frickin facts right! For example: don't accuse folk of covering up the death of Canadian soldiers by US fire, and then blaming it on the Taliban, unless you really know what you're talking about! Failure to follow this advice really can limit your effectiveness as an activist





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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #28)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 08:59 PM

31. I am in almost complete agreement with all you have said here

however, I will address your last graf.

Here is my source for the Canadian friendly fire incident:

According to an incident report filed by the U.S. military unit, 205TH RCAG (Regional Corps Advisory Group), four Canadian soldiers were killed and seven others and an interpreter were wounded on Sept. 3, 2006, when a jet dropped a bomb on a building they occupied during the second day of Operation MEDUSA.

The Canadian military reported at the time that the four soldiers died in battles with Taliban forces.

The military's Maple Leaf newsletter also said on Sept. 13, 2006, that "four soldiers were killed September 3 during Operation MEDUSA, a significant combined effort between the Afghan National Security Forces, Canada and other NATO partners in the International Security Assistance Force as they fought to drive Taliban fighters from a region west of Kandahar City."

On Monday, Michel Drapeau, a former colonel with the Canadian Forces, said the WikiLeaks document is disturbing, because it differs from the information provided by the military at the time of the soldiers' deaths.

"There's a wide discrepancy, and we need to know," Drapeau told As It Happens on Monday night. "One of the reports has to be accurate," he said.

The veracity of the WikiLeaks document hasn't been determined, and Drapeau acknowledged that the incident report could be wrong and not corrected.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2010/07/26/wikileak-afghanistan-canada-soldiers.html

The story goes on to state that the Canadian military stands by its account. Then the story states that one of the families agrees with the claim that it was an RPG, but doesn't tell us what the other three families thought. Also, I can find no story detailing the incident that includes photos or other forensic evidence that would support an RPG attack.

In a more honest world, talking with a government that has a reputation for honesty, I would be inclined to give the benefit of a doubt. However, the Harper government has demonstrated it can be as war-mongering and perfidious as the Bushies.

So, I just didn't invent my view out of whole cloth, I have evidence to cast doubt on the "official" story.

Other than that last jab, I enjoyed reading your views, and agree with your sentiments about the credibility of activism.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with me on the issue.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #31)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:11 PM

32. Well, I'll drop it all now, since I think we largely agree on many issues, and it is not my object

to sow dissension -- I would just really like to win a few of these fights now and then!

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #32)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 09:02 AM

36. Any time a disagreement ends amicably on DU

I would call that a win.

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #14)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 02:02 PM

41. Hey, you are in this thread too. What's your rambling nonsensical apology for this one?

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #41)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 02:43 PM

42. Don't stalk me. I replied to you in the other thread:

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #42)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 03:00 PM

43. I did not stalk you, I read all front page threads.

I just find it funny that whenever there is a crime committed that right wingers like Limbaugh and the Fox parrots support, you are there, in support.

Yes I saw your defense of child rape in that thread and replied there. Let us end our discussion in this one.

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #43)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 03:13 PM

44. You're trolling: I never supported any rape or child prostitution, nor Limbaugh's nor Fox's BS

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:21 PM

13. Wandering the streets of Iraq with illegal RPGs...

 

... Was not a smart way to spend ones time.

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Response to Whats_that (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 04:00 PM

18. The gunship folk also misidentified camera equipment as weaponry

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 05:16 PM

22. That is not a camera...

 

That is an RPG...

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Response to Whats_that (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 05:33 PM

23. Yeah, that doesn't look like camera equipment, so I'll guess those aren't the Reuters guys

who died in the incident. I have no reason to think the military wantonly attacked civilians in this case, but it is nevertheless a fact that two journalists were among the dead

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #23)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 06:11 PM

25. Lie with dogs and you get fleas...

 

As journalists I expect that they knew the risks of associating with a group carrying weapons like that, especially during that particular phase of the war.

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Response to Whats_that (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 05:59 PM

24. So the US owns the world?

Illegally invading nations and murdering their citizens on their own land is an evil way to spend ones time.

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Response to cpwm17 (Reply #24)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 06:32 PM

27. I'm sorry, I missed that in law school

Where is it that it is an illegal war? Immoral, yes; illegal, no.

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 06:14 PM

26. I still think he is a true American Patriot.

 

I would be willing to serve a year for him.

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 06:43 PM

29. .

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 08:07 PM

30. Expose governmental criminality and receive torture & a prison sentence? How lovely!

You'd think people would have more sense in 2013 but that's not the case.

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Response to rachel1 (Reply #30)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 04:31 AM

34. Give me the single best example of government criminality you think Manning exposed

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #34)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 05:34 AM

35. You know...

 

... STUFF!!!

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #34)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 11:50 AM

37. The crimes

are the sum total of all of the atrocities that flow from the acts of aggressive war and such. What is exposed, is a glimpse into the inner workings of the corruption and duplicity that enable the crimes. Some of us think this is important to the desperately needed process of reforming our government.

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Response to ronnie624 (Reply #37)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 02:33 PM

38. I ask for a definite specific example and you produce vague generalities

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #38)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 01:14 AM

39. I know.

I'm not very good at jumping through hoops, though.

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Response to ronnie624 (Reply #39)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 01:47 PM

40. But it's your own hoop: you made a vague sweeping claim, and I asked for a specific example,

which you then declined to provide, apparently because you consider it unfair for me to ask what the fugg you are talking about

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