he U.S. military has charged alleged WikiLeaks collaborator Pfc. Bradley Manning with 22 new crimes, including one — "aiding the enemy" — that could earn him the death penalty. Though prosecutors are not recommending execution for Manning, a former intelligence analyst accused of leaking classified U.S. documents to the WikiLeaks website, the military judge presiding over the case will make the final decision. Manning is already being held in what some call inhumane conditions (he was reportedly stripped and left naked in his cell for seven hours earlier this week). If Manning is found guilty, should he be put to death?
Absolutely. Traitors deserve death: Manning isn't merely a "whistle-blower," says Confederate Yankee. Judging from the "overwhelming preponderance" of evidence, he acted like "an information terrorist," leaking secret documents to hurt America. "The treasonous weasel deserves nothing more than a fair trail and a fair execution."
"Bradley Manning faces possible death penalty"
Nonsense. Manning is not in the enemy camp: The 23-year-old was not "a foot soldier in the war against the United States," says Kevin Jon Heller at Opinio Juris. He wanted information about U.S. foreign policy and the war effort to reach the American people, not al Qaida. If he "aided the enemy," The New York Times and every other news outlet that "published the information he allegedly stole" is guilty, too.
"Did Bradley Manning 'aid the enemy'? Did The New York Times?"
Relax. He will not be executed: The military can pile up the charges, says Joseph Pedro at Passport Magazine, but it's extremely unlikely the judge will give Manning a death sentence. "The military has less than 10 inmates on death row, with zero being executed since 1976." So if it's any comfort to Manning's supporters, his real worry is that he'll be confined in isolation for life.
"Bradley Manning may face the death penalty"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy
- Why would a young person today be religious?
- Israel and Russia are getting along. Have the neocons noticed?
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Which states get screwed worst by the Electoral College?
- 10 things you need to know today: April 18, 2014
- Why Good Friday is so important to Christians
- How moderns celebrate Good Friday and Easter
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
Subscribe to the Week