The Guy's An Idiot!
I always figured that former submariner Ariel Weinmann had to be a few clowns short of a circus, but reading this article about his testimony at his court-martial today convinced me he's dumb enough that he'll be continually fooled by the "would you be willing to hide my pickle?" trick at Leavenworth for most of the rest of his life. Excerpts:
After fleeing the Navy in summer 2005, Weinmann first thought he would try to get asylum in Austria by exchanging classified biographical information and weapons systems manuals. After dropping that plan, he approached the embassy and offered a three-ring binder of secret military data, he told the court.And...
The embassy was identified in court only as belonging to “Country X.” A Pentagon source who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that the country was Russia.
“This was just a cold approach on your part? You just rang the bell?” asked the military judge, Capt. Daniel O’Toole.
“Yes, sir,” Weinmann answered.
He rented an apartment in Vienna with a German citizen, who was not fully identified, and was planning to trade the classified information, including the biographies of unidentified military employees, for expedited asylum, he admitted.Unfortunately, their are a lot of kids out there who don't have any idea about how the world works -- most of them are seen at "Kucinich for President" rallies and other such places. Very few of them have the discipline needed to get their dolphins. Luckily, though, whenever someone is convicted at a court-martial like this, they also get their submarine qualifications removed and aren't allowed to wear their dolphins anymore. This guys will have a lot of time to think about it while he's biting his pillow over the next several decades.
The information, which Weinmann downloaded from the military’s Secret Internet Protocol Network before leaving the sub, contained nicknames and childhood pets which “could tip people off that they were in contact with American intelligence,” he said...
...But the German citizen “laughed at me” after seeing the information in August 2005, he said.
“That’s why I didn’t do anything further,” Weinmann said.
That October, he buzzed the foreign embassy in Vienna and met with “a member of the state department of Country X,” Weinmann said. In a reception room, Weinmann handed over the binder full of secrets. He did not say what, if anything, he received in return.
Asked the purpose, he said, “I had reason to believe it would aid Country X.”
He said he had previously made friends with people from “Country X” and decided that was where he wanted to live.
Update 1750 06 Dec: Twelve years?!? Twelve freakin' years?!? And the possibility of parole in four? Either the Navy didn't have as strong a case against him as they let on, or someone screwed up on some legal technicality, or maybe someone just decided that he really is just a poor naïve goober who didn't really understand what he was doing. I guess I should wait to hear what really happened, but for now, I find myself hoping the prosecutors get really bad fitreps for screwin' the pooch on this one.