The trial of young soldier Bradley Manning drags on but is nearing its completion. Tuesday there are reports that the prosecution wants Manning to receive a 60-year sentence. Captain Joe Morrow says that Manning's offences were serious and that he deserves to spend the rest of his life in jail.
Thanks for clarifying Capt. Morrow that the sentence will not encompass rehabilitation but purely be an act of revenge. SSG Bales however who is accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians in their homes is trying for a sentence which will incude parole after serving just ten years.
Does this mean that the US values its secrets more than the lives of foreign nationals? It seems that way. You can argue the toss that Bales was suffering from PTSD but perhaps Manning was also, having viewed US soldiers brutally mowing down Iraqi civilians as part of his military analyst work.
All may not go swimmingly for Bales however. Victims relatives will attend the trial. News Tribune reports: "Prosecutors said they have a tape of Bales and his wife, Kari, laughing about at least one of the criminal charges the Army pressed against him. Prosecutors also have a tape of a conversation in which the couple discusses a possible book deal for Kari. Defense attorneys said the excerpts need more context if a jury panel hears them. As a result, more than two hours of Bales’ conversations with his wife could be heard in court so the military jurors can understand what they were saying."
Bales Defense will highlight his tours of duty, injury and mental health but the prosecution will try to portray a different man, one who before enlisting "was accused of defrauding an elderly couple and an arbitrator leveled a $1.5 million fine against him. He reportedly ignored the penalty. He was arrested in Tacoma in July 2002 following a drunken fight at a local casino. The incident happened before his first deployment. He was arrested again on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol in University Place in 2005. In 2008, he was cited for a misdemeanor hit and run in Sumer."
Bradley Manning has faced a worse character assassination in court for simply leaking information
Sky News reports "He betrayed the US and for that betrayal, he deserves to spend the majority of his remaining life in confinement" said Morrow. Take heed Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and other would be whistle-bloweras your actions are vital but greatly feared by governments and the military. They after all have damning secrets and lies to hide from we "the little people".
The report continues: "Manning leaked more than 700,000 documents, including Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and State Department diplomatic cables, while working in early 2010 as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. He also leaked video of a 2007 US Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed at least nine people, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver."
Yes he exposed wrongdoing but the war criminals he exposed have not faced justice, nor are they likely to.
Manning is a young man who is likely to spend the rest of his life in jail. He has many supporters but not in the upper echelons of the US administration or the military. After all they have too much to hide.
By locking Bradley up and all but throwing the key away they hope to teach would be whistle-blowers a lesson. It is speak out and you will not escape. Your life will be over. It takes a very brave person to stand up against that.
Some people, such as Edward Snowden continue to show more backbone than whole governments and countries. Whistle-blowing continues.
Updates on Bradley Manning and SSG Bales sentences as available.