Is it not still a crime to shoot at people, even if you don't hit them?
If you rob a bank, regardless of how much you steal, is it still not a bank robbery?
It is only great good luck that Manning did not get very harmful sensitive documents published online.
Arguing there is no crime because no one got hurt is naive and overly simplistic. It is after the fact judgement. Knowledge in retrospect.
Stealing hundreds of thousands of files to find a half dozen that might show war crimes might be commendable, if those half dozen files were then brought to the public. But that is not what Manning did, he stole all those files and then without any investigation, he sent them out in bulk.
Yes, I agree he did look at many of the files, but there is no mathmatical way he looked at even a large percentage of them. It is not a diversion, it is a mathmatical Fact. He did not look at and understand all those files.
Usually military intellegence analysts are not required to go back through old, saved, sensitive, "Friendly Forces" correspondance to analyse anything. Their job is to view data collected about the enemy and the area the enemy opperates in and try to predict what the enemy will do. You have to understand that Manning was a Specialist (E4) at the time and would be doing only mundane intellegence tasks. The senior intellegence NCOs (non-commissioned officers) and the Officers would be the ones reading communications interceptions and reviewing higher level data.
Except that most of the files given over were not incidental files associated with specific events, they were bulk stored email, cables, and other correspondance. To understand what would be in any one of these files, he'd have to read it.
Nope. Manning is guilty of sending out data he'd not read. He's guilty of espionage also, as he looked for stuff that Assange asked him for. He's guilty of stealing those confidential files. The fact that many, if not most of those files shouldn't have been confidential is irrelevant. Just as it does not matter how much you stole from a bank.
Edited by DieChecker, 31 July 2013 - 08:48 PM.