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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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  •  you are clueless (3+ / 0-)

    You think you are anti war
    I know I am
    I hate it
    I hate it with my very being
    I hate it so much I joined the military to prevent it
    No one hates war like a soldier does
    No one pays the price a soldier does for war
    What do you know of war?
    how many of your friends wont ever see their families again because of war?
    how many nightmares have you had because of war?
    How many YEARS have you been separated from those you love because of war?
    How many YEARS have you spent not knowing if today, this hour, this minute is your last?
    How many times have you had to think about what to do if the next few minutes dont go well?
    How many times have you told someone to do something knowing it might get them killed?
    How many times have you gotten up and done your job when all you want to do is hide in a safe place?
    How many times have you lived and relived those decisions?
    How many times have you woken up and been surprised you were alive?

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 03:37:07 PM PST

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    •  Do you think you're poetic or are you just trying (5+ / 0-)

      to scroll as much page space as possible in an effort to keep people from reading much of the actual discussion that's going on below?

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

      by JesseCW on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 04:14:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You hate war... (7+ / 0-)

      But love to punish those who expose war crimes.

      "I'm not scared of anyone or anything, Angie. Isn't that the way life should be?" Jack Hawksmoor

      by skyounkin on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 06:01:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rule of law (0+ / 0-)

        We cannot exist without it.  I have had the opportunity to see first hand what happens when we follow "ends justify the means" rather than rule of law.

        In the end, what PFC Manning did may be a net positive for the nation.  May.  But his methods were wrong and violated the law.  Therefore no matter his good intent, he will suffer consequences for his acts.

        It might interest you to know that I feel the same way about the invasion of Iraq.  In the end, the people of Iraq were freed from a tyrant but that end result does not justify an unjust war.  We had no just cause, did not execute comparative justice, lacked competent authority, had no right intention and were not at last resort.  That leaves probability of success and proportionality and passing both of those does not make the war just.  The ends of removing a terrible dictator do not justify the mean of an unjust war.

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 09:03:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  you illustrate perfectly the problem. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, aliasalias, FloraLine

      Respect for a system that deserves no respect.

      You hate war?

      Then don't defend the criminals going after the people trying to stop it.

      It's kind of like when Butcher started the wars.  Every supposed anti war argument was supposed to start with "I support the troops", nobody ever heard "But this war is illegal, immoral, criminal, military dictatorship at it's worst".

      Nobody ever heard that.  All anyone ever got out before getting "schooled" by pro war nuts was "I support the troops".

      It's interesting that you say you are anti war and you hate it because I read several of your comments before I posted mine and all I could see was defense of the crimes committed against Bradley Manning.

      By the way I don't need to be in a war to know it's wrong.

      It's wrong.  I have a brain, I use it, I studied our wars, I know why they were fought.  Almost all of them have not been for self defense.

      Our latest 2 wars are completely criminal offenses of the highest order for a nation that touts it's "Exceptionalism" and "Democracy".  It seems we're too busy fighting with each other to stop the wars.

      •  Mark Twain (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Each must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide it against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may. If you alone of all the nation shall decide one way, and that way be the right way according to your convictions of the right, you have done your duty by yourself and by your country — hold up your head! You have nothing to be ashamed of.

        Only when a republic's life is in danger should a man uphold his government when it is in the wrong. There is no other time.

        This Republic's life is not in peril. The nation has sold its honor for a phrase. It has swung itself loose from its safe anchorage and is drifting, its helm is in pirate hands.

        Part VI: "Two Fragments from a Suppressed Book Called 'Glances at History' or 'Outlines of History' ".

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

        by JesseCW on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 08:19:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Lets be serious (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        PFC Manning had no desire to stop any war or report any war crime.  Its a nice tale after the fact.

        PFC Manning was angry and confused.  He has some serious personal issues and was in a high stress position.  He choose to act out in a way to get attention for himself and to get back at people he felt were less than nice to him.  The fact that he got to that point was a failure of his leadership.  They should have been able to identify that he was a problem and remove him from a position where he could do harm.

        Personally I cringe every time I hear "I support the troops" because it has become a cover for doing the exact opposite.  99% of those who say it have no "skin in the fight" and would not think twice about cutting benefits to families.  I dont need a yellow magnet on a car or a speech from someone in office.  I want the equipment to do my job, fair pay and good medical care for my family.  I do my job because it is my profession and I love it.  I dont need thanks, parades or praise, I need doctors, pay and retirement.  

        As for "crimes" committed against PFC Manning, there are none.  He committed a crime and is being treated like every other criminal in the military justice system.  Prior to being convicted and sentenced he is subject to the exact same military discipline standards as any other soldier.  He has failed to uphold those standards and is being punished as such.  I have said here before I think the Marines were excessive but they are still within the boundaries of military discipline.  Believe it or not we still have bread and water diet on the books as a tool.  Given the high profile nature of PFC Manning's case, I can understand that the commander in charge of the detention facility would error on the side of caution in ensuring he had no means to harm himself.  PFC Manning has only himself to blame for the behavior that placed him in isolation and suicide watch.

        You can read about war all day and know nothing.  Spend a day in war and you will know everything.  Now do that for years.  We have learned that everyone has a limit, a point where they are full of war and cant take any more.  I found out mine was 18 months.  Unfortunately I found out 3 months after finishing a 22 month tour.  It took me another year to get "right" and then I got deployed again for another 12 months.  Pills and perspective got me through that tour without incident.  After that was over I had the wonderful opportunity to withdraw from Paxil, something I would not wish on my worst enemy.  Now I am "normal" but I am never going to be "right."  I will never be who I was before I hit my limit and I fight my demons every day.  

        You will get no argument from me about the Iraq war but Afghanistan still has the chance to end up being a just cause with a just outcome.

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 09:29:23 PM PST

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        •  you make a lot of statements about Manning's case (0+ / 0-)

          and I'm curious as to how much you've been following his trial . Firedoglake has been the best at coverage as far as I know and if you know a better source I'd like to hear about (I'm sure they would too as Manning's lawyer posts there sometimes).
          I don't see how you can have been seriously following the case (especially in the last two days) and say this...

          He committed a crime and is being treated like every other criminal in the military justice system.  Prior to being convicted and sentenced he is subject to the exact same military discipline standards as any other soldier.
          You've been watching a different channel.

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 12:27:46 AM PST

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          •  Its my job (0+ / 0-)

            I follow every counter intelligence case because that is what you pay me for.

            This is a pretty good description of his detention:


            Now for some perspective.  When I was in Kuwait I was afforded roughly 6' x 4' and there was no TV, internet or bathroom in that space.  Because I was not a prisoner, I could travel to all those.  In Afghanistan I had 6' x 8' and again, I was not a prisoner.  Kuwait was not set up for holding prisoners long term and his behavior from the time he was first detained made it extremely difficult to safely control him.  You have to understand that in Iraq and Kuwait EVERYONE is armed so the normal program of assigning an escort/guard doesnt work.  

            I have seen the "shark attack" once in person.  It is not pretty but it has a purpose.  Military prisoners are not like normal ones.  Some of us have been specifically trained to survive detention and all of us are trained in the basics.  The "shark attack" is designed to strip away any sense of self and sense of control so that the prisoner is completely at the mercy of the guards and understands that they are in control.  I was on the receiving end of the exact same thing my first day in Basic Training.  The difference there was it was 20+ drill sergeants for 20 recruits.  At a detention facility its normally 4-6 detention sergeants and one prisoner.  The one I saw lasted three hours and at the end the person - an experienced Staff Sergeant who was about 6' and fit - was on the ground in the fetal position sobbing.  No one touched him during that time.  It was all mental and very effective.

            The linked article provides a good description of how PFC Manning has consistently made his situation worse though his own actions.  Whether anyone here believes it or not, his safety and well being is a primary concern for the military.  First, it is a professional obligation.  Second, if he harmed himself it would be a public relations disaster.  Finally, he knows things that we want to know - the mechanics and extent of his betrayal.  Even he seems to acknowledge that his statements during intake in Quantico were not the smartest thing to do.  And yet once he got to Leavenworth and his conditions improved he still managed to get into trouble.  He seems to lack the ability to stay out of trouble - a trait he had before he decided to betray secrets.  

            Not everyone should be in the military. Of those in the military, not everyone should be in military intelligence.  We work very hard to screen out those who dont belong - PFC Manning was in fact selected for discharge at one point.  In peace time, we probably would have caught and screened out PFC Manning but many of the behaviors that would normally trigger discharge are the same for someone scared to deploy.  I assume that his command looked at him and decided it was deploying that was causing the issues.  They were wrong but it is an understandable mistake.  

            We in the CI community are actively reviewing his case because in hindsight there were lots of indicators that he was a problem.  What seems to have thrown us off is that he never had contact with any foreign actors and was missing all the normal motivations - money, sex, ideology.  He is quite possibly the first person to "give away" secrets instead of selling them.  

            Never forget that PFC Manning found himself in the military, in Iraq of his own doing.  He actively sought out and choose to be there.  No one forced him to sign up in January of 2008 and he cant say he didnt think he would deploy.  The news was filled with stories of people deploying too often, not stories of bored soldiers wanting to "get in the fight."

            It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

            by ksuwildkat on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 09:07:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  He is a square peg in a round hole. (0+ / 0-)

              Round off his edges, break him, and you will have the authority and moral standing of the armed services in Iraq restored!  (That is snark) Real life means he will get some kind of multi year penalty, otherwise the system looks like crap.

              It really devolves down to making sure the machinery of permanent war and profits there from are protected. You, me, Manning, Petraeus, the rest are simply actors in the political theatre to keep it going.

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