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Postby mike byers » Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:18 pm

U.S. Sailor Charged With Espionage
By MICHAEL FELBERBAUM, Associated Press Writer

2 hours ago

RICHMOND, Va. - A sailor accused of taking a Navy laptop containing classified information and peddling its contents to foreign governments is being held for possible court-martial, the military Wednesday.

The Navy said that Petty Officer 3rd Class Ariel J. Weinmann gave the classified information, containing national defense data, to an undisclosed foreign government before he destroyed the computer.

Weinmann, 21, of Salem, Ore., was confined at Norfolk Naval Air Station on six charges, the Navy said in a statement.

The charges include three counts of espionage, including a suspected March 2005 visit to Bahrain, where Weinmann tried to pass along classified information to a foreign government, the Navy said.

Months later, the Navy said, Weinmann deserted his submarine, the USS Albuquerque, for more than eight months and traveled to Austria and Mexico to "communicate, deliver or transmit" the information.

Weinmann used a mallet in March, near Vienna, to destroy the computer's hard drive, the Navy said.

Naval attorneys for Weinmann, a fire control technician previously assigned to the New London, Conn.-based sub, declined to comment Wednesday.

Ted Brown, U.S. Fleet Forces Command spokesman, would not comment on which government Weinmann was charged with spying for, what he was seeking in exchange for the information, or how he obtained the computer.

Weinmann was picked up at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport March 26 and transferred to Norfolk, the Navy said.

The Navy also charged Weinmann with failing to properly safeguard and store classified information, making an electronic copy of classified information, communicating classified information to a person not entitled to receive it, and stealing and destroying a government computer.

Weinmann could face the death penalty if his fleet commander decides to press for a court-martial.

I think the death penalty would be appropriet
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Postby Kapleun Val » Wed Aug 09, 2006 11:15 pm

I admit the charges are pretty severe, however the death penalty could prove the wrong result.

Whilst i am English and we do not have the death penalty here i do fully agree with it for certain crimes as puting prisoners in jail for life is a drain on resources and offers the oppertunity for them to gain leniency in future years, for some reason the life sentence here is rarefly life, its more like 24 years which i find disgusting!

Anyhow, for this crime i am unsure if the death penalty woudl be appropriate as his actions have not endangered or killed any personell. If this information had have caused people to suffer then he should be put to death. If not then perhaps a dishonourable discharge, a long prison stint and then deportation/ revoking his citizenship?
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Postby Bob the Builder » Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:40 am

Well, I am not American either, but to say that his actions have not endangered anyone may be a bit premature. Who knows what classified information he let go or whom it will endanger when and if that information is acted on by the foreign power that got their hands on it?

He's a 21 year old opportunist who made some bad choices. I doubt he really fathomed the consequences of his actions when he committed them. That having been said... he's gotta live with the consequences of his decisions, no matter how poorly thought out they were. If his actions warrant the death penalty as set out in the military's handbook, then he's got a dim future ahead of himself.
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