Posted By RichC on July 30, 2013
FORT MEADE, Md.—A military judge acquitted Pfc. Bradley Manning of the most serious accusation against him—that he aided U.S. enemies—but found him guilty Tuesday on most other charges related to his disclosure of documents to the antisecrecy website WikiLeaks. (WSJ)
No matter which side of the argument you come down on in dealing with soldiers or personnel with “clearances” who expose confidential military or government data, the recent trial of Bradley Manning and the current in limbo man Edward Snowden highlight the risk. In PFC Manning’s case, the presiding judge, Col. Denise Lind “convicted Private Manning on charges related to taking information from government databases, bypassing security mechanisms and using classified information for other than its intended purpose.” His most obvious “leak” was to provide WikiLeaks a video of a 2009 Iraqi airstrike. Most seeing the video are appalled at how our military functioned, as no doubt did Manning. On the other hand, there is a appropriate change of command and implication for the security of our country as well as troops in harms way. The way I see it, those appropriately serving around the world receive the brunt of any reaction from our enemies when others are not professional or leakers bypass the chain of command and release confidential information. To Mannings favor, judge Lind acquitted him of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.
In the current case of Edward Snowden, he is reluctant to return to the U.S. and face charges. He continues his “vacation” at a Moscow airport attempting to negotiate the best option for his decision to leak files of secret information about U.S. surveillance programs to the foreign press. Snowden faces criminal charges of stealing and passing secret information.