The Obama Administration is reportedly offering a possible plea bargain to the detained Pfc Bradley Manning, if he agrees to testify against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that Assange pressured him to release the various classified documents.
Manning is facing several decades in a military prison over his alleged role in the releases, but as an active duty member of the military he is being charged under the military’s legal code, not the civilian one.
Which makes charging Julian Assange, who seems to be the administration’s primary target, considerably more difficult, as he is neither an American citizen nor a member of the American military, nor indeed were any of his alleged misdeeds committed on American soil.
This makes the Justice Department’s hopes of prosecuting him extremely difficult, but right now those efforts seem to be centering on claims Assange could be charged with conspiracy for “encouraging” Manning. The only evidence to that effect is a chatlog, and would almost certainly be dismissed as hearsay unless they can convince Manning to testify as well.
Sources say that the administration has yet to determine exactly what sort of plea bargain it is planning to offer Manning for incriminating Assange, but the bidding may well begin with a pillow and sheets, both of which Manning has been barred from having in detention. Amid reports of his deteriorating health, it remains to be seen how the administration may be able to coerce him into cutting a deal.
31 thoughts on “US Offering Manning Deal to Testify Against Assange”
Merely the latest in an endless series of outrages perpetrated by the evil US government. These people are out of control.
Let's hope his brain hasn't been turned to mush by the drugs and the isolation.
If you actually read the Espionage act of 1917 it talks about "To convey information with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the armed forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies." It is not clear to me that influencing American or international public opinion by releasing historical information counts as interference with the operation of the US armed forces. So it does not matter what Manning says about Assange. Needless to say if they are trying to bankrupt Assange they might be successful, or they might cause a torrent of donations further solidifying Assange's reputation as a hero.
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is even more of a stretch as it deals with computer hacking.
What they seem to be shooting for is: Manning did something illegal, and Assange offered material assistance to Manning, so Assange is guilty too.
You hit the nail on the head. They're trying to make Assange guilty by association. Absent tangible proof, they're trying to coerce a "confession" out of Manning. Sometimes, the answer is right in front of your eyes and it's the simplest of 'em all.
He should take the plea bargain. If Assange ever goes to trial in the US, his lawyers will have a field day questioning Manning about the plea deal he made and the months of torture (isolation) that caused him to take the deal.
What planet have you been living on? The standard mode of conduct of the US govt is to designate everything as "classified" or privileged "state secret". Access to Pfc Manning will be designated thus. Good luck with Assange's attorneys trying to get even 2 nano seconds of Manning's testimony!
By the time they would get around to actually prosecuting Assange, Manning will be a basket case – and most likely deemed unable mentally to testify – that is if he hasn't conveniently committed suicide – after deposition, of course.
Make me real proud to be an American. Real proud.
Yeah, right. Like that will happen.
Have you been following their kangaroo courts of the Guantanamo inmates? That should tell you something.
I thought we just proved that confessions elicited under coercion were inadmissable anyway! Certainly be depriving Manning of certain everyday things and then offering his humanity back to him in return for fingering someone else is a form of coercion? The circumstances of his imprisonment are inhumane anyway, and should already be an item for human rights groups everywhere to demand answers for.
It's sadly humorous to see that these cables in which there's 'nothing to see' can bring so much hatred to our once-great nation, and how the government must be exerting extraordinary pressure on one young man in an attempt to save what's left of its dignity.
There's the great irony of it all. The cables "don't reveal much" except they have brought out the worst in the US government, have finally made them drop all pretense and bare their black souls for all to see.
Dignity? What Dignity?
They will commit every kind of unethical manipulation of people and facts–whatever it takes—including lies and misinformation, to get their conviction of either Manning, Assange, or both. As Mr. Hogan [#1 above] says, "these people are out of control".
Integrity, justice, are out the window.
Reports today suggest Pfc. Manning is extremely happy with his new subscription to Scientific American. He's under great stress, isolated, and surely this counts as torture. But his mind isn't mush… yet, if it pleases any of you… and to hear people go on about the prospect of such occurring for whatever reason I find somewhat unsettling. If you're able, send him some reading material; some of the articles floating around today include Manning's reading wish list.
Wow the more regimes change, the more they stay the same, true to form, predictable, big black SUV'ed forces of darkness we always suspected they might be eh?
We hate you for your freedoms.
Congress will pass a new law and make it retroactive to Wiileaks behavior. If not retroactive then they will pass a new law and just wait for wikileakes to do it again. Don't assume that the law's Assange will be held, tried and convicted on are currently on the books.
If they get Assange will they offer him a plea deal to throw Manning and other "leakers" under the bus?
Betcha it won't be on courttv 😉
Stalin would be proud of his American disciples, he who sent zombies to their deaths or to Siberia.
What parents raised these monsters?
I spent 465 days in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) pronounced as SHOE. They did that to punish me because they couldn't place me in the MAX even though I never committed any crime. I am one of the post 911 victims, however, my mistake when I was in detention in Milan Michigan my neighbor was a government witness in another terrorism trial. He revealed to me he was paid for by the government with green card, money and not face 80 years in prison for fraud. I testified against the government making the FEds get angry which caused me five years of my life. I am sure Manning can handle the isolation if he is real man with strong will. I did make it through and I will never return to the US as long as I am a live. These people are ruthless with no conscience. They can kill you and attend your funeral. Good luck to Manning. He should take the plea and testify because the Feds will lose its case against assange but they have to honor their contract with manning. It's his key to freedom.
I can understandyour reasoning behind "take the plea and testify" in order that this can be used as evidence against the dreadful US administration by Assange's lawyers in his defence. However, there I suspect that US admin may U turn on their offer to Manning if he were to testify against Assange and keep him imprisoned. What is the likelihood do you think?
Honor? Did you not describe what you went thru with these beasts? I'm so sorry for what you have gone thru but these animals are incapable of the most basic of human emotions, honor being one of them.
Unfortunately, the u.s. cannot be trusted to honor any such contract. The american d.o.j. is notorious for (mis)using "superseding indictment"[s]. Superseding indictments are normally meant to issue as a means of charging someone who is already under indictment (possibly, already incarcerated) for crimes the prosecution has only recently learned of. All sounds very innocent – just the government enforcing the law and protecting society. Right? Wrong; the misuse of superseding indictments is apparently something the u.s. d.o.j. simply cannot resist. Intentional misuse occurs when they are putatively handed down after the plea agreement is made and, as such, are not covered by the agreement. Oops, it just worked out that way. These things are sprung upon unsuspecting victims during the critical time after the government has gotten what it wanted and before the unwitting victim is actually released.
Stepping further back from the situation, we can get an even clearer picture. The u.s. has a constitution which, in practice, should be honored as a contract. The u.s. government is famous for its systematic violations of this 'contract'. The u.s. bill of rights is another 'contract' that is obviously despised by the u.s. government and routinely violated.
If the u.s. government honored contracts, agreements, its domestic law, international law, or anything else designed to constrain such rogue regimes, Mr. Manning would not have had any interest in blowing the whistle on the government's activities because those activities would have been legal and the cables detailing those activities would have been non-incriminating. Nor would the u.s. government be attempting to claim jurisdiction over the entire planet or insisting that journalism as practiced by Mr. Assange is somehow illegal – worldwide yet.
"The only evidence to that effect is a chatlog, and would almost certainly be dismissed as hearsay unless they can convince Manning to testify as well."
Jason, I don't think the chatlog will be dismissed as hearsay. Could be admitted under party-admission exception of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
The only problem is that, thus far, the chatlog says nothing that incriminates Assange which is the reason why they're leaning hard on Manning.
In the u.s., criminal cases are tried in accordance with the Federal Rules of CRIMINAL Procedure. These rules comprise a mere pamphlet when compared to the vast rules for civil procedure. Here's a link for you: http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcrmp/
In both civil and criminal cases (u.s.) however, it is the Federal Rules of Evidence that governs admissibility of hearsay and the associated exceptions. Here's a link to those rules for you: http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/
It should be noted that the hearsay exception threshold in criminal cases is 'traditionally' a much higher bar – a more stringent standard, if you will – owing to the fact that people's lives and / or liberty are at stake in criminal matters as opposed to mere money or property in civil matters. Matters of admissibility of evidence in criminal cases are of such importance that decisions to admit certain items are routinely appealed to higher court during the trial itself. (interlocutory appeal)
Of course, all rules are cast by the wayside whenever the government needs a little leeway. That's the sad part. We can expect the u.s. government to implement every dirty trick in cases such as that of Mr. Manning and Mr. Assange.
Oh yea, keep Bradley Manning in prison forever but free Jonathon Pollard ASAP.
The hypocrisy of the AIPAC/JINSA crowd shows no boundaries,
Apparently the U.S. is urging their chaplains to make contact with the Devil. They're hoping that a deal can be made whereby the Devil will deliver Assange to them already in a cage and ready for torture.
The chaplains it seems are mixing up God with the Devil!
WOW Obama turned out to be a real turd.
Don't you thing the GOU has an upper hand in handling Wikileaks? Have you noticed that all of us behave as the empire wants us to behave? Why? We are talking about Julian, Bradley, gossips of impending espionage charges, Amazon etc. rather than about what was revealed, the lies, deception, crimes, support for dictators, planned theft of UN officials credit card numbers etc. The issues revealed by heroic individuals must be discussed and kept alive by commentators rather than following sensational tabloid stories produced for our consumption. We are obliged to do it for many reasons including to honor those who risked their well-being, and perhaps lives, in order to inform us.
Here's a Belated Happy Birthday, to young Bradley.
Peace, Love & Respect.
Did Manning in fact download US Govt. owned information ,as alleged ? And did he in fact know that such info would be damaging to the US ? Did he infact give that info to Assange's organization , and did Assange know it was stolen and classified info , belonging to the U S ?
If so , and Assange rather than making any attempt to return such info , but instead disseminated it , then BOTH are GUILTY . Manning of treason , and Assange , an accessory to theft .
LOL…and does free speech actually exist on this blog , if one is NOT towing the line ?
Comments are closed.