By Seth Richardson
As Private Bradley Manning’s Article 32 hearing gets underway, Manning’s defense attorneys are throwing in every thing but the kitchen sink at the bench in an attempt to persuade the court that a) the information Manning stole and release wasn’t really all that classified; b) that the government really shouldn’t be classifying all those documents; c) Manning was upset because he’s either gay or has a sexual identity disorder or both and therefore can’t be held responsible for his actions; and d) that the Army is responsible for Manning’s actions because it is lax in its security measures for classified information.
However, the one thing they aren’t arguing is that Manning didn’t do the deed. That would be a hard claim to support, given the fact that Manning has admitted on several occasions that he did it. With that in mind, let’s review a few other salient points:
“I, Bradley E. Manning, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
That is the oath that the Army Private First Class who is charged with leaking classified documents swore when he became a soldier.
One of those orders from officers appointed over him, and one of the regulations he swore to abide by was to keep classified information secret. The oath he took does not give him the right to make an independent judgment about the intelligence policies of the United States or the right to violate those policies because he feels slighted as a gay soldier ro because he disagrees with how the United States prosecutes a war or engages in diplomacy.
No, Private Manning’s duty was clear, and it’s just as clear that he knowingly and deliberately violated orders, regulations, laws and his oath. In doing so he substantially aided America’s enemies, placed his fellow soldiers at additional risk, and damaged our diplomatic efforts to an extent that is still not fully known.
Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution states that, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” The penalty for treason is death.
The espionage law, 18 U.S.C. 784 states that, “(a) Whoever, with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation, communicates, … transmits… to any foreign government, or to any faction or party … either directly or indirectly, any document, or information relating to the national defense, shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for any term of years or for life.
If Manning is convicted of either espionage or treason, he should be executed, as should any other person involved in the leaking of classified documents to Wikileaks, including the founder of Wikileaks and any other co-conspirators involved with Wikileaks, who should be tracked down by the FBI, taken into custody and transported to the United States for trial, regardless of where they may be found.
The First Amendment protects freedom of speech and the press, but it does not protect traitors or spies.
© 2012 Altnews