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If WikiLeaks Suspect Manning Is Legally Guilty, What Punishment?

Displaying poll results.
Nothing, the truth will set us free
  6191 votes / 24%
Probation & time already served
  4954 votes / 19%
1-5 years in prison
  1204 votes / 4%
5-10 years in prison
  1002 votes / 3%
10-20 years in prison
  1183 votes / 4%
Life in prison
  1623 votes / 6%
Death penalty
  2055 votes / 7%
Force him to watch the Star Wars Holiday Special
  7492 votes / 29%
25704 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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If WikiLeaks Suspect Manning Is Legally Guilty, What Punishment?

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  • SW Holiday Special (Score:4, Informative)

    by sconeu (64226) on Saturday July 02, 2011 @10:00PM (#36644612) Homepage Journal

    Is unconstitutional Cruel & Unusual Punishment

    • by reboot246 (623534)
      It's not as bad as having to watch everything David Hasselhoff has ever done . . .
      or every episode of The Golden Girls . . .
      or The Partdridge Family . . .
      or every speech by George W. Bush.

      Star Wars actually looks pretty good!
    • by jonadab (583620)
      Agreed. Making someone watch something is an unusual punishment.

      However, I suspect you could legally sentence him to community service, which is not unusual at all, and make him produce a two-hour documentary on the making of the Star Wars Holiday Special, plus an extra hour's worth of inane "special features" for the DVD. Since he'd be producing something, it would technically be a service to the public and thus I imagine it would probably fall under standard community service guidelines, provided some s
  • Here is the list of charges []

    He won't spend another day as a free man.

    • agreed (Score:4, Insightful)

      by OrangeTide (124937) on Saturday July 02, 2011 @11:24PM (#36644818) Homepage Journal

      you are probably right. military law is generally very harsh. I don't know what that guy was thinking, as a civilian you can get away with a lot more.

      I think the vote was on what we think he deserves, not what he will actually get as punishment.

      • by Z00L00K (682162)

        And then - look at what some of the people did that was revealed - what were they thinking.

        Consider the amount of stupidity involved and money wasted on outing Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

      • It would seem that "military" or "police" are people called to use "force" - which is when law, diplomacy, deal-making, arm-twisting, etc are no longer options, for whatever reason, by whatever side. As such, once everyone has gone down that path, applying "law" as a rule for choosing courses of action is, well, after the moment for that has passed.
        Although there are "laws" in almost every activity - even among some criminal goups.

      • Re:agreed (Score:4, Interesting)

        by SwedishPenguin (1035756) on Monday July 04, 2011 @06:27PM (#36656040)

        Presumably he was thinking his principles and moral compass meant doing what's right meant more to him than any personal losses he may suffer as a result. It's a shame there aren't more people like him, war would be a thing of the past if soldiers had the guts to follow their own moral compass.

    • by mangu (126918)

      He won't spend another day as a free man.

      Most of those are article 134, "General Article", which could mean anything. I suppose most of the people found guilty under that suffer nothing more than a dishonorable discharge. Except for one charge of aiding the enemy, the others are failure to obey orders, which also normally do not have such a hard punishment.

  • by yacwroy (1558349) on Saturday July 02, 2011 @10:23PM (#36644664)

    Also, append a few million reward for his services to freedom to the above option.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Seraphim_72 (622457)

      You sully the Medal even with this suggestion. Better men have fought and died for less. Pissed off clerk != and will never = COH.

    • by Gonoff (88518)

      Also, he would have to appear as a prosecution witness in the trials of many.

      If he acted out of principle, he would want to.

  • If he's legally guilty, then of course he should go to jail. The duration will depend on what he is found guilty of.

    But, I don't know whether he has done anything wrong - or anything that SHOULD make him legally guilty. He might have only violated a law which is completely unjust (like many laws that exist). In that case, the law should be amended so that the same action in the future would not make him guilty. Then, he should get a pardon, or retroactive immunity.

    • Re:"Legally" Guilty (Score:5, Informative)

      by Altanar (56809) on Saturday July 02, 2011 @11:09PM (#36644778)
      Here's what he's charged with:
      • * Failure to obey a lawful order
      • * Aiding the enemy by knowingly giving intelligence to the them through indirect means.
      • * Causing intelligence to be published, knowing that it is accessible to the enemy

      Those will always be illegal.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        of course, it is the duty of any military person to report any and all corruption and illegal activities, it is also illegal for them to obey any and all unlawful orders, which include the obfuscation or concealment of any illegal activities. (yeah, it's right there in the U.C.M.J. if you bother to look, or were in the mandatory class on military law in basic training. It's usually mentioned in the first ten minutes of class.) (another thing hollywood always gets wrong, you don't do everything the higher r

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          No, the situation is that you have no obligation to obey an unlawful order. It's not illegal in and of itself to obey an unlawful order. This was established through the Nuremberg trials that "I was following orders" is not an acceptable answer for why someone commits an illegal act, but failing to refuse an unlawful order is not itself a crime. This principle is however not written into the UCMJ, it's simply accepted that one has a moral duty to refuse to follow orders to commit an illegal act.

          Now for the

  • by aarghj (783869) on Saturday July 02, 2011 @11:24PM (#36644814)
    He should get a medal for bravery and be honored for doing the right thing, no matter the cost. I hate to do this, but remember history. There were thousands of folks who went around killing innocent people and invading countries, starting world war, because they refused to do the right thing no matter the cost to themselves.
  • by Tony Isaac (1301187) on Sunday July 03, 2011 @12:21AM (#36645008) Homepage

    Those who do wrong always want secrecy. When governments do wrong, they hide behind classified documents.

    Dictators say "Trust me, I know what's best." A democracy can only thrive when citizens are able to see what officials are doing.

    Yes, there is a legitimate place for secrecy. But secrecy must be strictly limited, or corruption will certainly take root.

    • Those who do wrong always want secrecy.

      Careful with that reasoning. A person/group wanting secrecy proves nothing about the moral fibre of said person/group. I thought we agreed here that the "If you have nothing to fear, you have nothing to hide" inference was a fallacy?

  • I'm in a "let the punishment fit the crime" mood tonight! If he likes leaking so much, let's see how he likes reaking... On his forehead!

    I'd say "Star Wars Holiday Special", but I'm not a monster!

  • I voted for time already served. He violated a lawful order and mishandled classified data. I don't think the government can prove he "aided the enemy" or did any damage to national security.
  • Shindlers List (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stimpleton (732392) on Sunday July 03, 2011 @02:56AM (#36645338)
    I regard Manning as a modern day Oskar_Schindler []

    Both have committed similar crimes (within the context of the authority of the day), yet on the other hand saw what they thought to be a great moral wrong, and dealt with it within their own personal means.

    "A repentant opportunist saw the light and rebelled against the sadism and vile criminality all around him. "
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by matzahboy (1656011)
      I find the comparison offensive. There is a strong difference between saving lives from a genocide and releasing classified intelligence.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Without a doubt this is most ignorant statement I've read on Slashdot in a while. If you can't see the difference between defying the Nazis at the cost of your own life, and giving a bunch of electronic documents to some guy in a cheap suit so you can make a name for yourself, you need your head checked. This ignorance of history comparing Nazis to the American government not interesting or true.

      Manning will in all likelihood get life in prison. Good riddance.

    • Re:Shindlers List (Score:5, Insightful)

      by chrb (1083577) on Sunday July 03, 2011 @08:27PM (#36649244)

      I regard Manning as a modern day Oskar_Schindler

      I see him as more of a Mordechai Vanunu []. Both were given legitimate access to secret information about their country's military and then leaked that information. Both acted out of conscience - Manning believed that what he saw were war crimes being covered up - Vanunu believed that the people of the world had a right to know that Israel was secretly building weapons of mass destruction. Neither was motivated by money or a desire to betray their country - the motivation was in observing acts that they believed to be morally wrong, and the crime was in seeking to inform the general public about those acts. Vanunu spent 18 years in prison, with more than 11 in solitary confinement... we will have to wait and see what happens to Manning.

  • Disinformation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, 2011 @04:34AM (#36645564)

    Anonymous as modded. It is very noticeable in this discussion how many ACs there are saying Manning caused people's deaths or generally calling for the death penalty. Yet to see a single citation on damage done. Just whispers and rumours, dark voices from the shadows that wikileaks shone a light into. Scum.

  • The amount of death penalty votes suprised me, in a not so good way :/ Think I'm going to go have a shower..
    • by jandrese (485)
      It is unclear if the poll is asking what we think he deserves, or what we think he will get. What he did was pretty darn close to Treason legally, so it's just not conceivable that he will get away with just a slap on the wrist.
  • To be honest I don't really get the question. I sympathise with Manning. I think he did the right thing, but at the same time the law and penalties are probably about right, and anyway, what I think will have no impact on the number of years he gets.

  • by Nazlfrag (1035012) on Sunday July 03, 2011 @09:58AM (#36646374) Journal

    What I think Manning did was marvellous, heroic, of great benefit to society and noble. I voted life, as I don't believe in the death penalty. He was military personnel, he knew what he was getting into. Anything less than life for treason would be idiotic in a military court. If he were civillian, it would be a different story. I'm still proud of what he did, but he won't be free. I should add I think he's being held inhumanely, and perhaps should be freed on those grounds.

  • In general IMO the man did the right thing, but there should still be a small penalty involved so just anyone doesn't think about releasing all the stuff that passes through their control; if you're willing to be a hero, you should be willing to face the music if you really think it's worth it.

  • Is the poll about what punishment he should get, or what punishment he is likely to get?

    I can't even answer without knowing that so I voted for Star Wars Holiday Special at Cowboy Neil's place.

  • Oh the humanity!


  • Dunno. What's the law say? Whatever that says is probably what he should get. Since ya know, that's how we work.

  • by Voline (207517) on Monday July 04, 2011 @01:10AM (#36650238)
    I donated money to his defense fund []. Because a republic is not based on the consent of the governed if the citizens do not know what their government is doing.
  • It should be whatever the penalty is determined by the law.

  • Isn't it enough that he's already being subjected to harrassment amounting to torture, without even having been convicted? He should be discharged immediately and his torturers, and the people who authorised them, should replace him in the dock.
  • If WikiLeaks Suspect Manning Is Legally Guilty, What Punishment..

    Is it what punishment should he receive, or what punishment will he receive? Are complete sentences really too much to ask for?

  • First, as others have mentioned, the question of aid to the enemy or compromising the security of American soldiers is handily summarized by the Pentagon:

    > In October, the Pentagon concluded that the leak "did not disclose any sensitive intelligence sources or methods", and that furthermore "there has not been a single case of Afghans needing protection or to be moved because of the leak."

    Which leaves us with his actions as a whistleblower. To me, the standard that should be observed is simple: Is it rea

  • If he is guilty, then so is the NY Times. The idea that we are even contemplating putting journalists in prison ON THE 4TH OF JULY is making me physically sick.

We cannot command nature except by obeying her. -- Sir Francis Bacon


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