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View Diary: CNN Losing Bradley Manning Story: Manning Was Reporting a War Crime, "The Van Thing" (286 comments)

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  •  He released over 400,000 cables. (5+ / 0-)

    He had no idea what was in the vast, vast majority of them. So how is he a whistleblower? He released truckloads of information, and some of it shows bad acts by the US military. But he didnt seem bothered by releasing hundreds of thousands of documents completely unaware of what was in them, who could be compromised by the information, etc. He was a messed up kid who made a very bad decision that was clearly illegal. Given the absolute amount of volume of information he decided to release, i dont understand those who think him some sort of hero.

    •  Well, I'll tell you why I think he's some sort (5+ / 0-)

      of hero.

      He exposed many instances of lying and deception. He exposed the war crimes committed and written about in this diary.

      He exposed the classification system for the evil clusterfuck it is.

      It was a huge amout of info, and he didn't know much of it. However, the goddamn U.S. Military needs a LOT more sunshine shown on it.

      Then, his abominable treatment by the marines is a crime in itself.

      And who was compromised by the information? I don't give a rat's ass if someone was embarrassed, WHO DIED?

      Besides the Iraqis, of course.

      If you don't understand what I've written, you are not someone whose opinion I would care about anyway.

      "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

      by glorificus on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 03:05:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But... (3+ / 0-)

        All that said, he broke a law. And its a good law, not an unjust one. The law cant be "people with security clearances may disseminate any information they decide to disseminate". I think everyone here is smart enough to understand why that cannot be the law.

        •  Government derive their just authority from (4+ / 0-)

          the consent of the Governed.

          Uninformed Consent is an oxymoron.

          To the extent that our Government acts without our knowledge, our Government acts unjustly.

          I do find it interesting that those with the lowest regard for an individual right to privacy are almost universally those with the most religious dedication to the protection of state secrets.

          Warrantless wiretaps?  Hell yeah!!!

          Release of information that wasn't Secret or Top Secret, but merely classified?

          Fry the fucker!!!

          "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

          by JesseCW on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 04:21:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would not be in favor of executing the guy, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wordsinthewind

            and especially not for electrocuting him. Not sure where you got that from. He just should get whatever others who would commit his crimes would get, no more no less. Thats pretty non-controversial, unless you believe that the law shouldnt apply to liberals,

            •  I do not support the Empire you support. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              84thProblem, glorificus, aliasalias

              I do not support Governance by secret laws and secret acts, as you do.

              I am an American.

              "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

              by JesseCW on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:12:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  wow..not a fan of American history eh? (4+ / 0-)
                I am an American.
                So anyone who disagrees with you isn't?

                jeezus

                Obama 2012 http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/

                by jiffypop on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:34:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  WTF does "not a fan of American history" (0+ / 0-)

                  mean?

                  I don't know if there's a Daniel Ellsberg for every Tuskegee Airmen story, but your comment smacks of trying to take a cheap shot because you've nothing else of substance to argue.

                  "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

                  by glorificus on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 08:41:43 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  The law is a secret? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Wordsinthewind

                Even i know that military intelligence analysts are not allowed to decide on their own to release 400,000 classified documents. It is no secret.

                And as an american, i thought that i get to participate in elections to choose our leaders. I dont recall ever voting for Manning, yet he assumed the power only presidents have to declassify information. He decided, on behalf of all of us, what he thought we should release. I doubt you would be so dismissive of the law if he were a neocon rightie as opposed to a gay leftie. But that is irrelevant.

          •  HEre's the problem (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            doc2

            he broke laws enacted by the duly elected representatives of the American people.  

            To the extent that our Government acts without our knowledge, our Government acts unjustly.
            This is naive foolery, because a large majority understand precisely why OUR government must have the ability to keep secrets.  

            Want to change that law? Run for office, or make your case, and if you change the minds of the American people, then the law will change.

            Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

            by Mindful Nature on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 09:44:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  do Bush, Cheney, Rice, Banksters on White House (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              glorificus

              Street that committed massive fraud (as itemized in Senate Report) face any charges?
              More of that the law is like taxes, it's for the little people.

              without the ants the rainforest dies

              by aliasalias on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:00:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If the fraud violated laws, they should be proscut (0+ / 0-)

                prosecuted by our Representatives.  Which is why I'm a little irked certain of our Representatives with the duty to uphold the law.

                Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

                by Mindful Nature on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 07:09:32 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  hell even 'savvy businessman' lied to Congress (0+ / 0-)

                  but nothing happens to these guys and that includes from the Senate Report by Sen. Carl Levin's two year study using terms like "massive fraud" to describe what they found.

                  without the ants the rainforest dies

                  by aliasalias on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:10:38 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly. Cant have, as a matter (0+ / 0-)

              of public policy, everyone in the military deciding what to publicly release and when. So we must make it illegal to do so. No exceptions. Not even for liberals.

          •  some of us (0+ / 0-)

            understand and appreciate democracy.  An appreciation you apparently do not share.

            Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

            by Mindful Nature on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 09:44:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If we had elected Manning president, (0+ / 0-)

              He'd have the power to declassify these documents (though if he were responsible he'd first order all of them read to ensure it safe to do so). He ain't the president though. He was democratically elected to nothing. He just assumed powers. That is why he will, and should, serve many years in prison.

            •  and I apologize for the snotty tone, FWIW (0+ / 0-)

              though Doc captures the argument well

              Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

              by Mindful Nature on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 07:08:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  I agree that the whole MIC, wars, and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Garrett, databob

        war mongering companies, the mess needs more sunshine, and that whistleblowers need avenues and intermediaries to interrupt corruption, but their needs to be some kind of editorial judgment in between the raw evidence and disclosure.

        That there is some important benefits to the US and to the world to expose war crimes, yes, that is clear.

        But you and I can not possibly know who paid the cost for the gross volume, indescriminating data dump.

        I don't see how any government can function without confidential diplomatic meetings and reports.  The fact that many of the diplomatic cables were not top secret, and were merely confidential, doesn't mitigate the fact that the documents were STOLEN by someone under a duty to safeguard them.

        The break down in military discipline was evident long before Bradley's alleged theft/whistle/data dump.

        •  As a user of the information, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LilithGardener, aliasalias

          I very specifically like the "indiscriminate" and "gross volume" aspects of some of the Wikileaks data dumps.

          Quite formally: someone else's editorial judgment, prefiltering the raw data, wrecks the data's usefulness for inductively drawing conclusions.

          •  I agree that any kind of raw data has value (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Garrett, wenchacha

            for it's own sake, without any imposed biases or filters, a fresh pair of eyes can sift, filter, identify patterns that others did not see, or could not see.

            It's an immense challenge, how to deal with the break down in the rule of law, the wide-spread breakdown in military discipline, the likely number of war crimes, and graft, and so on. When so many actors each seeking to establish their own spy network, with intelligence that can be held against others, I suspect we will be sorting out the modern "J Edgar Hoover" age for many decades to come.

            Question for you: How do you know the raw data is authentic? How do you know some was not held back? How do you know false information wasn't intentionally planted?

            Understand where I'm coming from?  A whistleblower platform that has no knowledge of the source, can not possible be a secure source of knowledge.  It would be too easy for one organization to feed prejudicial information into it about it's competitor.

            How do you deal with the possibility of fake data?

          •  Even if BM did hand off 200,000 documents (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Garrett, databob

            and even if he claims that yes, he did, and even if some intermediate says, yes, I received X gigabytes from BM, and gave them to Wikileaks, there is authentication in that chain.

            Bradley can't point to each page, and say for certain, yes, that's one of the pages I stole and gave to my contact.  

            I'm not invoking CT, I'm just suggesting that except for a few indelible memories, he can't certify which files are exact copies. Only someone with access to the original source or personal knowledge of the events recorded can certify that copies weren't edited.

          •  One aspect that makes me very sad, is that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Garrett, wenchacha

            I believe most people serving in the military are honorable people who, most of the time, attempt to do the right thing, in shitty circumstances.

            BM should never have been sent to combat. I watched the video of the interview with his father and I felt really sorry for BM, although he's not entirely blameless either. It seemed evident from about age 7 his father was not around much. His mother was isolated and completely dependent.  I think his father didn't know how to have a father-son relationship.

            BM is very bright, and if he had remained stateside, with a company commander who looked out for him, gave him enough structure, but also guided him to channel his creativity and drive in a useful direction, he might have matured into a decent soldier, doing some kind of geeky office work.

          •  The conditions of his detention are a disgrace - (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Garrett

            I feel ashamed, again, about what some in our military are willing to do to their fellow man.

            At the same time, it was also mildly disturbing to read accounts of his testimony, where he answered in such a way that the people present laughed.  Laughter? It made it sound like he was well prepared to tell his story, and "entertain" them.  He has every right to present himself as a sympathetic and likable person. But that seemed off to me. And could mean many different things, an intelligent person under enormous stress, coping with a surreal experience, or it could mean the story of his life is now bigger than he had ever dared to dream and he's working it for full effect, with sarcasm, etc. as if it's a game.

    •  The facebook entries - if they are truly his (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      awesumtenor, doc2

      entries, suggested to me that he was young, defiant, and reflexively rebellious, AND wanted to be recognized as a vocal challenger of Don't ask, Don't tell. He may have been an activist, or he may have been pulling the classic, "I dare you to catch me."

      Yes, DADT was a horrible policy, and I was very happy to see it repealed. But the sense I got from reading his FB was that this was a teenager, with a reflexive rebellious impulse and a desire for recognition (and love, experiencing his first love).

      If the chat logs were really Bradley Manning, that also suggested to me a compulsive desire to be known for his crime of stealing the largest cache of classified documents EVER. (Like awesome! OMG, I can't believe I'm telling you this! His motivation seemed to be part glee, part loneliness, part compulsively trying to engage, and part spinning emotionally out of control.)

      That was something unsettling to me, again, if the chat really was Bradley, that seemed like a desperate desire for fame, a desire to be SEEN as a hero/martyr.

      The "van thing" - he knew that video was important, because it was in a JAG officer's folder. I'm not convinced that he was motivated by a moral conviction to stop the war.  Rather, he seemed hell bent on a little anarchy, especially as his personal life was falling apart and he was so emotionally overwrought, and being reflexively rebellious, he grasped at leaking to cement a place for himself in the hacker hall of fame.

      Except he wasn't a hacker either. He didn't break in anywhere. If indeed, it was him, who gave the docs to someone, to give them to WL, he stole the documents.

      He had no desire to remain anonymous and get away with it.  

      Unless he has been completely framed, (which seems unlikely), it seems to me that he wanted to be KNOWN for doing it, even if he got himself killed in the fallout.

      •  he was a messed up young person (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener

        who could not have done a better job of destroying his life. It is indeed sad, and i think he is to some extent a sympathetic character. But these are serious laws, and he violated his oath, and simply must be deverely punished.

    •  call the prosecutor and explain how YOU know (0+ / 0-)

      what HE knew.

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 12:55:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know that he did not read (0+ / 0-)

        400,000 documents. I know that because that would have been impossible. Do you think he read 400,000 documents; do you even think that such a thing is possible?

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