Manning the barriers

Biased BBC contributor Alan observes;

“Mark Mardell joins the chorus of BBC voices vouching for the integrity of Bradley Manning, accused of leaking (should that be stealing ?) massive amounts of US intelligence material.

It seemed yesterday on the Today programme that as with the UK ‘residents’ who were enjoying a stay at a Cuban detention centre the BBC were determined to get British political figures involved in the defence of Manning…..he had a Welsh mother, went to school in Wales for a bit…..Cameron must do something!
Mardell tells us of his trial that:

‘I doubt whether the defence lawyer really has high hopes of getting a more favourable investigating officer, one who will dismiss the case, deeming it not worthy of a court-martial. Instead, it seems he is making his case to the world that this is not a fair trial.’

So not worthy of a court martial…and even if it was it won’t be a fair trial.

It is strange that Mardell shows so much interest in the US judicial system and yet he missed this story from a couple of days back (and I don’t think the BBC covered it at all in fact) about the Blessed and Best Beloved Obama locking up Americans without trial in Guantanamo:

‘Barack Obama has abandoned a commitment to veto a new security law that allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantánamo Bay. Human rights groups accused the president of deserting his principles and disregarding the long-established principle that the military is not used in domestic policing.

The law, contained in the defence authorisation bill that funds the US military, effectively extends the battlefield in the “war on terror” to the US and applies the established principle that combatants in any war are subject to military detention. The law’s critics describe it as a draconian piece of legislation that extends the reach of detention without trial to include US citizens arrested in their own country.

“It’s something so radical that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration,” said Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch”‘

Perhaps there’s an election coming up?

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18 Responses to Manning the barriers

  1. ltwf1964 says:

    Lardarse’s first missive on the poor boy last night set the scene for a new bbc cause celebre

    he’a a homosexual atheist from a strongly eveangelical christian town,bleats the loveable mark

    all lefty boxes ticked there,then


  2. john in cheshire says:

    David Vance, please don’t shout at me, but what did Bradley Manning to that was so wrong? Why shouldn’t we know what is being said by people who we (whether the US taxpayer of the UK taxpayer) are paying for. The enemy probably know this stuff already, so why should it be kept from us? And why should the leaker be subjected to such harsh punishment? I’m equivocal about the subject, so that’s why I ask. And you should have gathered by now, that I’m antagonistic towards the bbc, so I’m not trying to support them.


    • John Anderson says:

      I cannot believe that the huge amount of stuff Manning stole was available to other countries. 

      And some of it has probably led to deaths – eg to people who worked for NATO in Afghanistan or the Coalition in Iraq.

      Mardell FAILED to report properly the gravity of the stolen stuff.

      And even if Manning had stolen a mere fraction of the total,  his actions were totally against the country in whose armed service he was supposed to be serving.

      Simple,  really.  If you sign on as a soldier,  you take an oath to serve your country.  He totally transgressed the oath he made,  he has betrayed his country.   And that country happens to be our only solid ally with real power.  An old-fashioned view, maybe,  but why be squeamish.  

      The fact that he is now whining,  and he has loads of whiny supporters,  does not in any way excuse his treachery.


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        John Anderson, in fact Mardell thought it was better to tell you the line of defense that the publication of the stolen documents did no harm. It’s not Mardells’s job to report facts. He’s there to give you the spin and his personal opinion on political angles. Delivering quality first.


    • John Horne Tooke says:

      Sorry John, but there must be a principle here.

      “Manning, who turns 24 on Saturday, is facing charges including espionage — which carries a life sentence — for releasing to WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and at least two videos that marked one of the largest security breaches in U.S. history.”

      Read more:

      I don’t know what was “leaked”, but it sounds serious to me. Imagine if you had to rely on people like this to defend you from the enemy. Does he have the right to decide what to put in the public domain? Imagine if he is not tried on the grounds that “the enemy probably know about it anyway” what message does that send?


    • Louis Robinson says:

      John in Cheshire: “What did Bradley Manning do that was so wrong?” You ask:

      I could say: “By leaking confidential and secret information he put at risk many clandestine operations which are/were being conducted on your behalf. People risk of their lives to keep Cheshire safe. Many of these people are now dead.”

      I could say: “When joining an organization like the military or a commercial company or even the BBC, certain facts are necessarily confidential. Manning signed a document which was legally binding. He broke his oath, committing a crime. What part of ‘illegal’ don’t you understand?”

      I could say: “He is a traitor to his country because he knew he was working on behalf of its enemies and against its interest, even though these days ‘traitor’ means nothing.”

      But I cannot say any of the above because BRADLEY MANNING RELEASED OVER 750,000 DOCUMENTS. He didn’t and couldn’t know what was in them all. What he did was a spiteful, stupid display of peek at least and an act of blind treachery at worst. 

      Think about this: somewhere in those documents may have been a piece of information that could have led to harm being down to Manning’s family or yours, John. How could he be a hero if HE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT WAS IN THE DOCUMENTS??? wHAT WE HAVE HERE IS AN ACT OF BLIND HATRED. AND I MEAN BLIND.

      I’m pleased to see the self-serving, narcissist Julian Assange offered $30,000 towards Manning’s defense, none of which has been forthcoming.  So having conned the younger man and chewed him up, Assange spat him out.

      Meanwhile, somewhere in the world no-one, least of Manning knows, a widow weeps over a confidence betrayed and a husband murdered.

      Manning should be stuck inside a 12”x12” cell for a good long time. 


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      john in cheshire, Manning illegally obtained a bunch of classified documents. It was an illegal act, compunded by the fact that he’s in the military.

      He wasn’t exposing Watergate or Kim Philby. He was merely trying to harm his country simply out of personal spite.

      The question of whether or not the public has a right to know about classified information is irrelevant here. That’s another debate entirely.


  3. London Calling says:

    The release of Manning’s hoard by Wikileaks was orchestrated across the European left wing media by none other than The Guardian. Public interest or Guardian left wing America-hating agenda? Has the Guardian run with Climategate II? No.

    I don’t think a public interest defence holds good here – America was at war, real lives of people doing their duty at risk, in my view in a just cause. Manning is a “traitor” attacking his own country, not a “whistleblower” revealing fraud like FOIA.


    • ian says:

      I’d just like to add that as the Guantanamo Bay detainees were enemy combatants (students indeed!) then of course they should have been locked up. Whether they were wearing badges saying that they were in the Taliban or not is completely irrelevant.

      Similarly enemy combatants can be citizens of one’s own country, or residents of that country. Irrelevant – lock them all up. As for spies, the acid test should be  whether they are harming the security of the state. If so, nationality irrelevant – shoot them or trade them.


  4. David Preiser (USA) says:

    The fact that there’s basically zero hand-wringing or frowning over how the current President has not only continued all of Bush’s war policies but taken them up a notch or two tells you all you need to know about the BBC’s integrity.

    When it comes to The Obamessiah, they have none. No Newsnight segment, no cross-examinations of Administration officials on Today, no squealing from any of the Beeboids who couldn’t shut up about Bush, no weekly laughs on Have I Got News For You, who were always good for a Bush joke.. They won’t do it because it’s Him.


  5. Number 7 says:

    On the other hand………..

    I have yet to hear any comment from the beeboids on the case of blogger “Tallbloke”.  His house was searched and computers taken by UK Police in, what appears to be,  an operation in conjunction with Barry’s Dept of Justice.

    Full Story:-


  6. DJ says:

    Again with the obvious: the Climategate e-mails revealed that – if nothing else – publicly-funded researchers were conspiring to evade freedom of information statutes. Meanwhile, Manning’s info dump has revealed… not much at all by way of criminality, and certainly not considering the context.

    There’s no upside here. People were betrayed and murdered as a result of Manning’s actions, and people will undoubtedly die in the future as a result of the perception that supplying the US with information is a good way to get your name splashed across the broadsheets. Meanwhile, there’s no downside to Climategate – if future researchers refrain from hiding the decline, then that’s a good thing.


    • Number 7 says:

      How many people are going to die this winter from fuel poverty?

      I would suggest more than those engangered by Manning – and,  if in the spook industry, they knew the risks when they joined.


      • RGH says:

        All those old folk don’t have families, do they? You know, children, nephews, nieces etc. The sort who they looked after in past years. Why should the tax payer play that role?.

        My mother stays with us for the winter. The least one can do for an aged parent if heating is an unaffordable problem.

        As for fuel poverty, ask the green lobby. They have views on just about everything.

        Manning broke the law. If guilty he will face the penalties set down in law.

        If found guilty. Prison.


      • London Calling says:

        Strange equivalence here. Less will die by virtue of reason A than by reason B, so A is “exonerated”. If you join the intelligence service you accept the risk of death and betrayal, so it’s tough luck, and hazard of the job.

        Its those Open University courses isn’t it, Number 7? I should ask for your money back.


  7. cjhartnett says:

    I wonder if this case splits us depending on old instincts?
    Coming from the far left of old, my natural intinct is to side with the soldier…after all, there is so much we should know when there`s a war on…and if soldiers are shooting at unarmed civilians, then I think it only right to know!
    Yet this soldiers revelations could well cost lives if they have not done so already..and I`m sure that it has…the life of one Afghan/Iraqi interpreter is not worth the vainglorious blabbing of some “leaker”.
    But I appreciate and defend the NHS whisteblowers don`t I?
    Bit complex for me this one as yet…for once I`m sounding like a bloody liberal…and it`s not nice at all!
    Thankfully, I`ve the luxury of not needing to decide…but 180 degrees to the BBC might not work in this case.


  8. George R says:

    Another reason why BBC-NUJ is keen to support Bradley Manning:

    “Pfc. Bradley Manning’s status as gay soldier is key to defense”


  9. George R says:

    I know BBC-NUJ is very concerned with defending the American soldier accused of crimes against the state; but BBC-NUJ has no interest in the case involving a non-Muslim European woman who is being tried for expressing opinions about Islam:

    ESW: Thoughts Before Trial