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Manning is accused of releasing numerous pieces of classified military information to Wikpedia for publication. That is a serious offense and well worthy and deserving of harsh confinement and punishment.
Please remember that every servicemember is a volunteer. They are informed of the difference in law between a civilian and a servicemember. The Uniform Code of Military Justice is not the same as the US Criminal Code. It's harsher. It has to be because a servicemember is in the unique position of being able to cause great harm to their country. However, whether or not you agree that this has to be the case, the fact is that this young man chose to live under the UCMJ. And his actions will be judged and dealt with according to the UCMJ, not the civil liberties that civilians rightly expect. And his choice to violate the UCMJ was one he made on his own knowing the consequences. It's not really up to the individual servicemember to decide which secrets are worth keeping and which are leakworthy. And it doesn't take much imagination to understand why this has to be the case.
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