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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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  •  Hope your wrong. That's far too harsh imo, given (1+ / 0-)
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    Eikyu Saha

    the devestating effect of a dishonorable and felony convictions.  Little of what he released should have been classified and/or truly harmed real US interests.

    Many of the Gitmo defendant's who were active combatants and real supporters of our enemies (as opposed to the poor saps BushCo caught and kept in their ridiculously overlarge net) got less than 5 years, many considerably less.  Manning should not get more than that imo.

    Though I am not, of course, a member of his jury and so not privy to the actual evidence that will be admitted.  Perhaps it will justify more.  But, I haven't seen it.

    I do agree he has 'tweaked the nose' of authority, but then I expected no less from a computer nerd.  And frankly, I think that's pretty much the duty of any American. I understand the initial reactions of prison authorities to those things I'm aware of (the joke-underwear thing for example) but think they were far too harsh for far too long.  Often it appears they were punative and primarily serving interests of authority at the expense of need, justice and reasonableness.  Tho that is not unusual for the civilian prison system either.  (Remember the student 'guard-prisioner' academic experiments?)

    •  Its a tough case (0+ / 0-)

      Depending on how he is charged, he might be able to upgrade his discharge at a later date though community service.  If he is charged with disobeying a lawful order he would be eligible for upgrade as that is a military specific crime.  If I were his lawyer I would offer to plea to ten bazillion counts of disobeying and 15 years.  That way he has the chance of doing only 3-5 years and eventual upgrade and no felony.  If I were the government I would want one felony charge to deny him those things.  We will learn who was the better deal maker when he is sentenced.

      Gitmo is a false equivalence.  Funny thing is that the folks around President Bush were so clueless about the military they automatically assumed military tribunals were kangaroo courts.  Instead they got real soldiers who saw a lot of guys doing what they themselves would do if their country were invaded.  The sentences - which are usually the equivalent to time served - are a reflection of military professionals opinion of Gitmo.

      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 01:40:03 PM PST

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      •  I have a feeling we're actually close but coming a (0+ / 0-)

        t it from different sides.  I'd rather the certinty of a lighter sentence, versus the chance of early release and 'upgrading' later (which you seemed to say in prior post was not likely given what you feel is Manning's personality and likely behavior in custody).  

        And I feel that, based on info presently public that I've read/heard, that is the most likely the proper sentence, morally.

        As for 'equivalency'... your pt supports mine: military juries gave many defendant's sentences commensurate with what they expected soldiers to do in war, recognizing many of the defendant were just as much soldiers as they.  So too Manning: who claims to have been serving the 'higher law' recognized since at least Nuremberg, that 'following orders' is not a defense for military personnel to apparent war crimes.  And this includes failure to disclose war crimes.  Manning and his supporters claim following procedure would have been tantamount to a cover-up.  There is strong evidence that something like that occurred re: Abu Grab, at least in allowing some bigger fish to escape and delaying justice for those caught.  Indeed, that was the entire reason BushCo wanted the photos suppressed - bc their release made a cover up impossible (tho not the slow walk they then engaged in).  It could thus be argued that Abu Grab supports Manning's claims.  The only issue then becomes was the scope of the violation (going beyond eg the helo/van video) justifiable.  And to that must be added the (not irrational) claim that Manning's acts shortened the wars by helping turn public opinion against them, thus lending them further moral legitimacy.

        I am not saying that is a defense to all the charges (tho imo is to some), but it is surely mitigating and thus should imo reduce the sentence.  That imo strikes a proper balance bt military necessity and moral demands.

        Your mileage may vary.

    •  Manning should be released until (0+ / 0-)

      those whose crimes he reported have all been fully tried.  At that point, Manning can be tried.  

      If it turns out that the "crimes" he revealed were indeed criminal, and if it turns out that those crimes would otherwise have gone unaddressed, then he needs to be fully exonerated.  Why?  Because failure to report a crime is itself a crime; and reporting a crime to a "hierarchy" that fails to address the crime is the same as a cover-up.  

      The evidence that crimes were committed is, in my opinion, very strong.  If they weren't then I would like to see a full explanation.  And if the revelations happened to cause collateral damage, then tough.  Manning goes free.  

      •  If he were released (0+ / 0-)

        he would be dead in a week.  Remember he is still in the Army and would have to go to a regular unit.  That is a death sentence.

        As I have said before, he had methods of reporting suspected crimes without compromising security and placing himself in jeopardy.  Think about how we learned of Abu Ghraib.  That soldier was widely praised because he did it the right way.

        Really, he is not well and is probably in the best place possible for now.  

        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 02:32:44 PM PST

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