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tv   Headline News  RT  August 21, 2013 10:00am-10:30am EDT

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the fate of whistleblower bradley manning is about to be decided a u.s. military judge will parse down a prison sentence for the former on the private accused of handing america's secrets to weak elites. are too good to have you with the fatal whistleblower bradley manning will be decided at any moment now a u.s. military judge is about to pass down a sentence which could see the former army private spend decades behind bars manning was has been found guilty of most of the charges he faced over the leaking of government secrets but was cleared of aiding the enemy and his news i have
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across and our correspondent lisa catherine of here with me in the studio to discuss the show and also we're joined by michael korda who is president and general counsel for the national whistleblower center as well as a reporter and columnist james kirchick so welcome to the program all of you and let me yes let me address our gas first michael calling and and james kirchick sir michael please tell us quickly your position on bradley manning to just to turn the stand what actually your grounds. mr manning in the middle of room war he acted out of. he did not go about it the right way however the government overreach when to charge him with espionage he was not involved as he was involved with the leak of classified information and i think the government has overplayed its hand and i'll be very disturbed if the sentence is anything near what the government is seeking yet james and let me ask you the same
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the same position establishing question. yeah well harvey firestone is a very famous american playwright and after he said that being silent in the face of evil something that we can't do and so and you know being here on a kremlin funded propaganda network i'm going to wear my gay pride suspenders and going to speak out against the horrific anti-gay legislation that vladimir putin has signed into law that was passed unanimously by the russian duma that criminalizes homosexual propaganda difficulty makes it illegal to talk about homosexuality in public you see the spate of violent attacks on gay people russians will discuss and they didn't spend a lot of what about bradley manning plus i exist i don't i'm not really interested in talking about bradley manning i've been talking about the horrific environment of homophobia in russia right now and to let the russian gay people know that they have and they have friends and allies and solidarity from people all over the world and we're not going to be silent in the face of this horrific repression that is
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perpetrated by the payment by your paymasters by vladimir putin that's what i'm here to talk about all right that's what you're talking about and i don't know how as a journalist you can go to sleep at night and seen what happens to two journalists in russia who are routinely harassed tortured sunshades the hospital background i can see how you can call yourself a terrorist and how you can go to sleep at night i find that abominably trying to keep everyone out of this network should be ashamed of yourself going to jail so they should cover what's happening in russia you should have a horrific and and divide six. way. you know you have twenty four hours a day to lie about about the united states and to ignore what's happening in russia you have twenty four hours a day to do that i'm going to take my two minutes until people the truth saying those are the facts you have no doubt about saluting. are you ready to have a conversation about bradley manning right now with the panel that we've assembled our two years been twenty of our two has been bradley manning and edward snowden twenty four seven i haven't seen anything on your network about the anti-gay laws
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of bastion russia. james what islands and still ahead towards gay people james already that we're not going to have a panel discussion james lost the panel discussion on the program about the laws i think you'll find it very informative you can find it on you tube. we had representatives from the community. i think it's you know it's an issue we all take very seriously and so you know you can say what they say on your and they can say they can comment on russian television well they can write these things and rightly so i do want to get all the time and i think russia now where do you see you have your point you know since we are waiting at the moment for the party to be announced i sort of want to go through what we're actually potentially expecting for mr charlie manning now for some he is facing ninety years potentially behind bars for leaking more than seven hundred thousand classified iraq in afghanistan battlefield reports state department took him out of cables. back in two thousand and ten when he was working as an intelligence analyst now we did hear from the prosecutors they had actually asked for a sixty year prison term and this is significantly lower than the one hundred
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thirty six years that he was facing but it is still been described as a far longer prison term than their soldiers have received in recent decades for sharing information so this is the information that hopefully will be getting the verdict will be getting within this hour so the prosecution claims manning's revelations damage to the u.s. but how much damage was actually done and is a deserving of a life sentence so that's now a question to michael calling. well i think the first is a few issues one how was bradley manning treated when he was arrested i think about should be taken into account and i think that the prosecution should not have been allowed to go forward given the treatment he was initially subjected to and second it we're talking about leaking classified information that perhaps a lot of it should have been out there anyway when you have a war you can't hide behind classification for ever or else no information gets out
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and this is a very difficult issue america has been not been able to deal with in a very. effective manner national security has been. you know the third rail if you touch it you die in this country whistle blowing in all of the segments has been opened up and people have avenues to raise concerns bradley manning there was one avenue available to him he could have gone to congress and that would have been protected and he could have gone to the i.g. so there were some avenues but in reality in the middle of a war zone there's very little you can do remember the. whistleblowers they were. sentenced in fact they were not harassed their information went out of the correct way through congress so there is one avenue available to to military was
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a blowers that's one they have to learn to use bradley manning didn't he didn't i don't think he understood that he went to wiki leaks which offered no protection and had a much wider release of information than may have been necessary for the. so i think it's a shame that the information that should have gone to the public didn't get there in the correct way however i think the military and the government prosecution and it's an attempt to put him in jail essentially for life is just wrong this is release of classified information this is not espionage and that's what the national whistleblower center is a most concerned about is charging with espionage when it's just merely linking classified information michael you've you said early on you you raise an interesting point there that in your opinion bradley manning did not go about this in the right way i followed that up with the comment about the options that were open to him through congress in the i.g.
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do you view his relationship with wiki leaks as a mistake in that respect do you see him as a principled whistleblower who simply made the wrong call choosing the wrong publisher of the wrong platform. absolutely and wiki leaks was that was new on the block and no one under stood exactly what it was or how it was going to fully respond to information and that was his mistake had he gone through congress he would not be sitting in a jail cell and that is a great shame they would have also been a better way to vet the information to make sure the information that should be released under the first amendment got out but that information that maybe should have been withheld for proper classification reasons was withheld i think still most important i don't believe any information was released that jeopardize american troops and so i think that has to be taken into account this is a leak of classified information and very upset with my government having charged
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him with espionage is over reaching it's trying to clamp down on a society society saying if you try to release information we're going to go after you as hard as we can instead of doing a balancing test and looking at the nation's right to freedom of speech in the first amendment versus the government's legitimate need to protect its interests just on that if i could follow up guys if you don't mind on the point about julian assange and about wiki leaks you saw them as really as a loose cannon in that respect we need to see a sign do you see we can leaks as an organization does mature as a whistle blowing platform in the interim. yes i do believe it's matured however when you're leaking classified information you have to go up you know one if you say you're leaking it that's the problem if you're following
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the regulations and rules that allow you to release it to congress and to the i.g. you're not leaking it and that's the difference and it's a serious difference as far as the criminal prosecution of the whistleblowers go and the same goes with a lot of laws that protect whistle blowing the united states if you do it the right way you can get protected if you step out of bounds in any way you won't be protected in this case when we're looking at the sentencing we're looking at someone all right he stepped out of bounds clearly under the laws of the united states however we're talking about release of classified information and the government's attempt to scare the entire military population into being afraid to release any information is what i'm most concerned about there's no discussion about the right way to release it about saying soldiers should be free to release information to congress it's it's you're going to go to jail for sixty years or
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life if you release information that we don't want released that's the wrong message to go in for and there are several issues here aren't there because it's not just about the leaks themselves i mean there's a it's been described by critics at least within that within the u.s. government at the moment that there isn't a sort of a push towards over classifying information i mean in the year two thousand and eleven this is long after manning was done in the custody of the u.s. classified ninety two million documents so that sort of makes that very difficult to decide you know where that fine line should be drawn and the other issue that we should keep in mind is of course that bradley manning at least according to his own statements he did try to approach the new york times the washington post with the leaks initially before going to wiki leaks he was rejected and so he felt at that time that wiki leaks was his only option definitely several. issues to consider here overclassification being one of them and then of course it's not just the military guys that we're going after here there's also been a push to essentially make it more difficult for journalists to go to this government. and also just just talking about bradley manning himself obviously not
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only. of innocent people being killed by u.s. military but also he leaked thousands of diplomatic cables do you think he went too far what do you think talking about. the diplomatic cables were were quite salacious i think they were they were they were gobbled up by the media i think diplomats who journalists are notoriously squeaky relationship with. the catchphrases and the. terms they use the off matter in which they wrote sometimes in the way they referred to some key actors. in an not entirely respectful way i think was gobbled up by the media and people quite like that i'm not necessarily sure what damage they might have done or to their journalistic value other than that salacious element i'm not sure what you saw a lot of michael for example do you think that the diplomatic cable follow up after
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the collateral murder video was was perhaps counterproductive as far as we can make some concerned or indeed money yeah and also just in the government or not whether right or types of it was yes it was it was it michael that ok michael chugg been sorry you know i think it was crowded. i believe there was counterproductive it took the issue off of the war and turned it into a more international you know. how you say bad things about people and i'm certain if you read the diplomatic cables from the other countries you got the same type of language going back and forth that's what happens when people talk behind closed doors. a glimpse of it came to light is not a bad thing people understand how these how these systems work a little better than they used to so i don't think it's a horrible thing and we're talking about diplomats and individuals who have faced much hard criticism and words from their own people and from around the world so
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yes it was a t.v. you know sound bite that detracted from the real issue which was the continuation of the war and what was happening in iraq and if i could jump and i'm just curious whether you think what you think the difference is between for example what bradley manning leaked and what daniel ellsberg leaked and how the leaks of all to us actually over the decades. well daniel ellsberg is the first real leaker of classified information united states and with him. he would have faced the same type of prison sentences that we're looking at now and the only difference is that in the white house. the president the time nixon had created a plumbers unit who went in there was engaging gross criminal misconduct one of the criminal misconduct it did was to break into daniel ellsberg psychiatrist's office
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and take these files so they could figure out how to paint daniel ellsberg in a horrible light to the media when this and this only came to light because of the watergate tapes that were released and when that happened the prosecution the judge threw out the prosecution for misconduct on the part of the government so the issue of what type of sentence and what type of first amendment rights the public should have was never crossed and we're really only crossing that bridge now and instead of having a real vigorous debate on the part of the u.s. government or you have is the government and the ministration jumping up and down seeing how long and how hard they can throw someone in jail forever that's what is causing the national whistleblower center the biggest amount of concern is the the dialogue is not on how information over classified what rights
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to the american people have to get this type of information how do we go about and really look at the laws why are we subjecting bradley manning to nine hundred seventeen espionage act laws which were overbroad and overreaching back then and why haven't we come into the twenty first century when it comes to national security whistle blowing that's the debate that hopeful. this trial can spur in the united states all right michael cohen now who's president and general counsel for the national wilson blows center and just to remind you of the fight a whistleblower bradley manning and it will be decided any moment while waiting for the verdicts and of course will be bought could the same panel of guests after a very short break to stay with us.
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if you refuse economic down in the final. days the deal shanghai and the rest because i meet casey will be every week.
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all right welcome back this is and we continue discussing the bradley manning budget which is coming up very shortly with hope and case has sparked intense debate within the u.s. as well as internationally over whether he's a hero or a traitor and now as his fate is to be desired it also is more important i went to ask people in new york will days think about them last. it's very important what he did is really important and i don't think he should be punished for doing something that's very american i will join as a trial but he you know what he did was against the law he's a young guy and he's got his whole life ahead of him and it's not like a serious thing where you deserve so much jail time seems harsh sixty years this is
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a long time i mean he obviously had his reasons for doing what he's doing and the government has a. reasons for doing what they're doing mostly just to i guess protect themselves protect the state's i think he's guilty i think he should go to prison not for sixty years we should go to prison you know the sticky situation but sixty years sounds a little harsh i mean you have people feel that committed worst crimes against other people being sentenced to last south but i mean i would definitely have mixed feelings as well because i see the importance of national security. at the same time revealing work crime is always an important thing also for. just generally a human rights so i'm really kind of torn on the issue he's not a threat to people i think he is not going to stop somebody had for me but i think he could be put to work for communities around us and putting people in prison it's
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ridiculous and of course on his knees as i look across here and our correspondent lisa catherine if are with me here in the studio here to discuss they share and. right before before we continue discussing the break breaking news we're getting now that bradley money's sentenced to sixty five years in jail this is the latest well. here's the but. we should also keep in mind that he was credited that we're hearing for about one thousand two hundred ninety four days that he had already spent in confinement that helps explains the little bit of the lower sentence that we received the prosecutors had asked for sixty years this is after was taken down from ninety from one hundred thirty six so lower than they were asking but still not only a lengthy sentence he's no social life yet not life in prison right now you can give us the details of the sentence and we're going to go in and we can go live to
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washington d.c. and. count is joining us now live and i can you hear us. yes yes i can you ok i got so high that so can you give us the details of the sentence and was going on and cool trite now. well you know thirty five years. that's what bradley manning was sentenced to prosecution was asking for sixty years the maximum sentence under the charges that he was convicted of was ninety years in jail the sentence manning has received will be reduced by. by more than three years because of the time that he has already spent in custody since his arrest in may two thousand and ten a further one hundred in twelve days will be deducted part of a pretrial ruling in which the judge compensated manning for the excessively harsh treatment that he endured during his detention including long stretches of solitary confinement sleep deprivation and forced nudity
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a treatment that the un special rapporteur on torture has has condemned many prosecution was in many ways show trial and part of a wider effort by the obama administration to discourage officials from. passing the information to journalists and nobody expected much leniency in his sentencing so to many of his supporters there is good news that bradley manning is not going to spend the rest of his life in prison prosecution has failed to prove. any harm was actually done to those who have been maimed in many releases and also the judge limited the admissibility of evidence regarding the so-called chilling effect the. actions had on the u.s. diplomacy and possibly the apoel the the apology bradley manning has recently made may have also affected the judge's decision but six months ago when manning admitted to leaking most of the classified material he offered more of a defense of his actions rather than an apology he spoke of his shock at what he
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called it was the light full do blood last displayed by u.s. military personnel the new video of a two thousand and seven helicopter attack that killed a dozen people including journalists and at that time he told the judge she believed that releasing classified material to stimulate a debate about wars in iraq and afghanistan was quote the right thing to do and manning was convicted of passing over seven hundred thousand documents to secrecy website we can leaks and he was found guilty of twenty counts several under the espionage act and. he was acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy . a guy i would say likely to be the public reaction to the sentence. well many people support. i don't know any a lot of his supporters would say that anything you know. shorter for twenty years in prison would be would be good news for them because i mean everybody understand
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that this is a show trial i mean people support bradley manning because they support the public's right to know when they don't necessarily support the fact that he broke the law but they realize that there are things that. i would have never been exposed debated had it not been for bradley manning now generally speaking americans don't care that much when it's about their government wrongdoings abroad they care a bit more about domestic policy so maybe that's why bradley manning. supporting a poll says it's not is not the majority of americans definitely but bradley manning may have actually gained more support in the wake of edward snowden's revelations snowden manning is not the only one i mean being. the second probably the most famous leaker of our generation he has felt that manning is not the only one willing to sacrifice his career his lifestyle. is freedom to start a debate on issues that matter that the government would be happy to sweep most of
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those issues under the rug u.s. troops may have never left iraq government granted them immunity from prosecution something that the obama administration was trying to negotiate around the same time when bradley manning leaked all of those documents that obama president obama would not have and now i'm wondering if you'll find us a surveillance program see if it weren't for edward snowden whether or not that review is just a symbolic gesture is that yes yes all right thank you very much i will have to leave it there thank you very much for bring us up to date and right now when i was joined live by the leader of pirate party u.k. laws a. lot thank you very much for being with us this hour. does the pursuit of manning sent to whistle blowers in the u.s. will do you think. well the sentence well pretty well it was something of a foregone conclusion but let's face it this is decades in prison bradley manning
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is facing decades in prison this is a devastating blow for him of course but of course all of us who have supported the work of whistle blows and support of the importance of actually protect. the work of whistleblowers let's not forget that that was the reason why bradley manning did what he did it was very he was very clear about it it was about holding power to account this is an attempt to actually put a chilling effect on the work of journalists and to intimidate sources but nevertheless i think what we've seen recently is that actually people are not willing to be intimidated. and why isn't the first year i saw a symbol of course but the first one to get such harsh sentence why do you think. well i think it's absolutely about sending out a message it's what we've seen and i think it amnesty international were absolutely
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right when they said that the united states has their priorities upside down with the conviction of bradley manning we can see that they're willing to subject to all to mass surveillance when it comes down to actually us trying to hold them to account they actually try to squeeze out the people that would hold power to account we have to ask ourselves what kind of world is it that we are making now that we are actually willing to put people who are exposed to war crimes in prison for longer than those who commit. bradley manning edward snowden and recent events where the guardian newspaper being targeted for its coverage of surveillance should there be concern about a wider war and free speech well to thing. yes absolutely we can see that there is it's that whistleblowers have been collateral damage in the in the attempts to
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actually close down information but there's something altogether more malign going on now we can see with for example in the way that the united states. the united kingdom held member around here and actually the destruction of the hard drives in the guardian newspaper there is a real attempt to try and block out these vital stories whether it's about mass surveillance or whether it's about crimes that are already out and so that for this case thank you very much indeed for joining us here at tsotsi and a quick explanation now for the beginning our coverage of the brownlee mining sentences we invited aghast on to discuss the fate of the whistleblower but we use the chance to express his views on other unrelated issues and that's why we have taken all that and i would like to say sorry for any confusion caused and just to
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remind you rodney manning the former u.s. private believes thousands of classified documents to wiki leaks has been sentenced to thirty five years in prison and he also had his rank reduced and was desirea discharged. up next it's our special report. diamonds drilled into its.

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