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View Diary: Bradley Manning - In His Own Words (104 comments)

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  •  Manning is an ideal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, 4kedtongue

    Rorschach test.

    If you see a hero, you're a liberal.
    If you see a traitor, you're a conservative.

    •  Ron Paul is a liberal? (7+ / 0-)

      Good to know, thanks.

      Must be nice to live in such a black and white world.

    •  Bullshit (5+ / 0-)

      Stuff your purity test.  Is it too complicated for you to understand that while he provided a good service, he broke the law and likely committed treason?  His actions didn't save even one life so not sure what's so heroic about him.  

      •  Where are you folks (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ask, 4kedtongue, BradyB

        getting this treason claim?

        Not even the Obama administration is making that charge.

        As for "breaking the law," that itself means nothing. Some laws should be broken.

        •  I'm as entitled to my (0+ / 0-)

          opinion as all you Manning worshipers are.  He was in the military and broke ranks to post secret documents - in my eyes it's treason.  That the Obama administration didn't bother with that charge is likely that he'll get enough of a sentence to satisfy them.

          •  Of course you're entitled to your opinion... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            But if the Government, who is prosecuting the guy, isn't charging him with Treason, then doesn't that make you think that your opinion is perhaps totally fucking wrong?

            There is a definition of Treason in the Constitution.  I suggest that you go read it before you embarrass yourself anymore.  It is obvious that you are intellectually unprepared for this debate.

            •  Absolutely not (0+ / 0-)

              Coming from a family of lawyers taught me one has nothing to do with the other.

              •  Coming from a family of lawyers... (0+ / 0-)

                ...doesn't add one bit of intellectual heft to your opinions.





                And as far as you knowing what's important, I'm glad to know you don't come from a family of lumberjacks, because you certainly can't make out the forest for the trees.

                •  Oooooh - that really hurts (0+ / 0-)

                  Cuz what some anonymous poster has to say really keeps me up at night.

                  •  You're under the false impression... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...that my comments are meant to hurt you.  I disagree with you -- and I really disagree with the idea that simply being related to lawyers gives you some special legal insight.

                    Btw, the time stamp on your reply indicates 2:27AM, which I would present as evidence that would undercut the biting sarcasm of this statement:

                    Cuz what some anonymous poster has to say really keeps me up at night.
                    If my comment didn't keep you up last night, what did?


                    •  Are you under the impression (0+ / 0-)

                      there is only one time zone in the US?  It was 5:27am and I'm an early riser.  Do try and keep that ego of yours in check.

                      And now I'm bored with this entire conversation.  Manning will get what he's asked for - martyrdom in prison.

                      •  Glad to know... (0+ / 0-)

                        ...that responding to me is a top priority in your morning routine.


                        Sadly, you are correct regarding what Manning will receive.  Sad because he'll be a political prisoner of the US government.

                        Now you can put the finishing touches on your gushing letter to the president, commiserating with the satisfaction of the yet-to-be-determined prison sentence of a young, conscience-driven patriot.

            •  So you can stuff (0+ / 0-)

              your intellectual superiority attitude.  I know what's important is what can be proved.

              •  Still haven't read the definition of Treason yet? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ask, 4kedtongue

                Please take a moment and go read it now.

                Notice that there are only two ways laid out in the Constitution to commit Treason:

                The first is to levy War against the US. The second is to adhere to the US's Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

                Since Manning clearly didn't wage War against the US, if Manning committed Treason (as you repeatedly claim) then he must have done the latter.

                Which leads to a very simple question:

                To which Enemy did Manning give Aid and Comfort?

                There seems to be only two options in this case.  Either Wikileaks is the Enemy and Manning committed Treason by giving them the documents directly, or Al Qaeda is the Enemy and Manning aided them by making the documents available to the general public.

                I would like to think that we can both agree that considering a news organization like Wikileaks an Enemy of the US is preposterous.  Wikileaks, prior to the Bradley Manning incident, routinely published and reported on disclosed documents just like the New York Times and Washington Post.  To claim that Wikileaks is an Enemy of the State for doing exactly what the NYT does would be ridiculous.

                Therefore we are left with Al Qaeda being the "Enemy" and Manning being guilty of Treason since the former could have read the documents after they were made public.  Once again, I hope that you can agree how silly it would be for this to be considered Treason.  

                To claim that Manning's actions are Treason via this reasoning, would be to claim that all whistleblowing that reveals Government malfeasance to the public is also Treason.  Since any type of effective Government whistleblowing allows our "Enemies" to become aware of our Government's misconduct, all Government whistleblowers would be guilty of Treason according to this logic.

                Let's not forget that even Ellsberg, who released documents from a more secretive level of Classification than Manning and of more importance to National Security, wasn't charged with Treason.

                I hope that you can now see why your opinion is based out of pure ignorance.

                •  Careful... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  ...I think he said he's related to Nancy Grace (or is related to a bunch of lawyers), so he knows why Manning's prosecutors aren't charging him with Treason.

                  I mean, since Manning confessed to releasing the cables to WikiLeaks -- and hasn't implicated anyone else in his actions -- and we know precisely what was leaked and how helpful it was to 'The Enemy' (not very -- unless 'embarrassing' is the same thing as 'aid and comfort' -- according to Obama's first Sec. of Defense), there's NO WAY prosecutors could ever prove something like Treason because, you know, they know EVERYTHING he has done because he told them he did it during his Kangaroo Kourt appearance.

                  Jesus Christ -- it's not bad enough that the government is charging him at all (and engaging in an all-out, unprecedented WAR on Whistleblowers) -- some here seem to be UPSET that he isn't looking at charges that could result in the death penalty.

                  •  I'm a she (0+ / 0-)

                    and it certainly doesn't surprise me you would make a stupid assumption.  According to you, prosecutions NEVER overcharge.  Must be why so many murderers are charged with 1st, 2nd degree as well as manslaughter.

                    He broke the law  - he admitted it and belongs in prison.  Period.  Now feel free to continue with the kindergarden playground part of your program with lame and pathetic insults and taunts.  

                    •  Your gender on an anonymous blog... (0+ / 0-)

             incidental to this debate -- not to mention impossible to determine.  Deferring to the masculine isn't an assumption, it's a common default, sexist as that general rule may be.

                      2nd, you're the one speculating (based on your legal acumen as someone related to a host of lawyers) as to the reason Manning's prosecutors haven't charged him with Treason -- not me.  In this instance I happen to agree with the prosecutors:  Manning did not commit an act of treason.

                      And C,  I don't need a lecture regarding Kindergarten critical reasoning ('He broke the law...Period') and pathetic insults and taunts from a potty-mouthed person who tells people to 'stuff it'.

                      Carry on.

                      •  Sorry, I had no idea (0+ / 0-)

                        I was conversing with a child who can't handle adult words.  I'll try and remember to only use PG-13 language around such a delicate flower.

                        •  No apology for the vulgar language... (0+ / 0-)

                 necessary.  Just pointing out that you by no means have staked out the adult portion of this debate:

                          Now feel free to continue with the kindergarden [sic] playground part of your program with lame and pathetic insults and taunts.  
                          I might be many things, but a shrinking violet ain't one of them.  You may curse and tell people with whom you disagree to 'stuff it' to your little heart's content.  You simply can't pretend to be the grown up when doing so.  That's all.
      •  I'm wondering how you know this: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eddie L, PhilJD, 4kedtongue
        His actions didn't save even one life
      •  Apparently breaking the law in the banking (4+ / 0-)

        world results in a manageable fine, but no one will spend the remainder of his/her life behind bars.  HSBC aided and abetted drug cartels.  How many injuries and deaths are they responsible for?

        His actions didn't save even one life
         How do you know this to be true?
    •  What if he's a little of both? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BleacherBum153, artmartin, mallyroyal

      Look, I understand, completely, why people think he's a hero. But nobody put a gun to his head and forced him to go into the Army. You take that step, you follow the rules. I'm the exact opposite of an authoritarian...but that's why I never went into the military. I knew better. You sign up for that, you're signing up for an organization that does--that must--be authoritarian in nature.

      So: morally correct? Most likely. Treasonous? Yeah. Sorry, but it was.

      "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

      by ChurchofBruce on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:02:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe we should... (0+ / 0-)

        ...reconsider whether military service should be a pathway to citizenship.  

        Maybe we should get rid of all military recruiters who swarm economically depressed areas promising a way out of poverty and a higher education.

        Maybe some people didn't have the same opportunities as you did and joined because there was nowhere else to go except the street corner.

        Not everyone who enlists in the military is an authoritarian.  Some people enlisted after 9/11 because they felt it was their patriotic duty to DEFEND the United States.

        There are MANY incentives for poor people to join the military -- and making a claim that ANYONE who signs up for military service must have at least a little authoritarian in him or her is a preposterous statement without an iota evidence to back it up.  Actually, Manning's actions belie your nonsensical assertion.  But it is a convenient way to draw a distinction between Manning and a REAL liberal or a REAL patriot or a REAL person of conscience...after all, he must be a little authoritarian for having joined the military in the first place.  Ridiculous.  There are MANY kind, generous, thoughtful, righteous people who sign up for military service.

        Manning's actions were not treasonous.  I would argue that the people who, when properly made aware of his concerns and confronted with his evidence, ignored or rebuffed him -- or those who purposely and illegally mis-classified information to cover up crimes and hide embarrassing actions,  are the only traitors in this episode.

        •  Is the military itself an authoritarian (0+ / 0-)

          structured organization? The answer is yes.

          Our military may be the military of a democracy, but it itself doesn't run on democratic principles. It's top-down. One would hope that anyone that goes into the military realizes that.

          I wasn't saying that people that go into the military themselves want to be on the top of an authoritarian structure. I'm saying that if you go into the military, you'd better realize that the military now OWNS you, for your term of service.

          And Manning went in not only after we were well hip-deep in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and while Bush and the rest of the slimeballs were still running the place. If he didn't know what he was getting into, that's on him.

          And, of course there are kind, generous, thoughtful, righteous people that are in the military. But they've given their lives to a top-down authoritarian organization. As long as they realize that.... And, no, people that join the military are far more patriotic than I am. I'm not patriotic at all. I'd move to Sweden in a fucking heartbeat if I could.

          "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

          by ChurchofBruce on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:14:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  By your definition... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...most, if not ALL, institutions are 'authoritarian' to one degree or another...which makes the argument a little weak.

            Isn't someone who goes to work for a tobacco company OWNED by that company?  Don't they sign all kinds of non-disclosure contracts?  Does this preclude him or her from running to Mike Wallace with a report commissioned and hidden by that tobacco company linking smoking to lung cancer?

            Obviously, Manning, by his own admission, stated that he BELIEVED that what we were doing in Iraq was proper PRIOR to his service in the military.  He discovered that he was mistaken while serving because he was witness to the lies that were being told on a daily basis.  This is important because there is a HUGE segment of the population that never questions the pronouncements or actions of the government (especially the military), and these people VOTE.

            So no, I still don't buy the argument that joining the military means you have to accept some sort of authoritarian mind-set...or any more of an authoritarian mind-set as when you obey your company's 'Dress Code' or submit to a drug test as a requirement of employment.

            He is paying -- and will continue to pay -- a great price for having the courage to oppose that very mind-set by acting according to the dictates of his conscience.

            •  As someone who is completely (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              anti-authoritarian, I agree with you that most institutions are authoritarian to some degree or another. And, yes, dress codes and pee-in-a-cup apply to a degree.

              But the military is a number of steps above that. Your tobacco executive example is a good one, because it shows the similarities and differences. There would be consequences for violating the non-disclose agreement. What are they? Depends on the terms of the agreement. But there would be consequences. If you're comfortable about exposing yourself to those consequences because you have a moral imperative to do so, good on you--but don't pretend you didn't know the consequences.

              So, what are the consequences for passing along classified material when you are an employee of the US Army? I think we all know what they are. I think Manning does, too.

              For the record, I get the impression Manning knows there are consequences to what he did, he's just trying to mitigate them. (I don't blame him--this shouldn't be anything close to a capital crime, or even life in prison--as I said elsewhere, time served or even a couple more years on top of that I think would be fair justice.) However, I get the impression that some of his supporters think there should be no consequences. I don't agree with that.

              He signed on the dotted line for an organization that has one of its major tenets, "Obey orders and keep your mouth shut."

              As for him thinking what we did in Iraq was proper before he signed up--he signed up after Abu Ghraib blew up.

              After many years in retail, last July, I finally got sick of the abuse and told a nasty idiotic customer who was screaming at me to fuck off. Did I know the consequences? You bet your ass I did. I got fired. I knew I would. I didn't mind at all--but I didn't expect to keep my job.

              "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

              by ChurchofBruce on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:03:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  :) First thing... (0+ / 0-)

                ...I'll start with your last point, because I certainly empathize with your scenario because I want to tell clients to fuck off at least 20 times a day, and I live in constant fear of the consequences were I to give in to that impulse:

                A major, if not DEFINING, component of working in a service-related field is customer service.  You weren't fired because of some insidious authoritarian mind-set, but because you failed to perform your job properly -- as much as I would have supported you in telling someone to fuck off.  And believe me, in 99% of the situations where I see someone in retail roll their eyes, the customer usually ALWAYS has it coming.  :)

                Second, I'm not among the Bradley Manning supporters who think there should be no consequences for his actions.  Quite the contrary, I think there should be swift and severe consequences:

                They should pin a medal on his chest and promote him as soon as possible.  

                Also, the people in the chain of command who rebuffed his actions when he took steps to make his superiors aware of the illegality he was witnessing should see the inside of a brig and receive a court martial.


    •  Bullshit. (0+ / 0-)

      If you see a hero, you're a fool.

      •  Bullshit. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Don midwest, 4kedtongue

        If you see a traitor you're a fool. Manning is a patriot. You can have your opinion and your USA cheerleading flag. It won't get you into heaven. If you think that we are in some God given righteous war of justice, then obviously there is a reality gap.

        A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

        by onionjim on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:01:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  to be consistent (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I just took David Misner to task for painting this in black and white on the other side of this argument.  Your statement is just as divisive.  Can we all just agree that this is a complex issue and let the Redstaters be the black and white folks?

        "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." -- Carl Sagan

        by artmartin on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:11:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It is hardly that simple (4+ / 0-)

      If you don't think too hard, maybe you have the knee jerk reactions down.  However, if you believe in democracy, then you are highly suspicious of Manning.  

      As with Wikileaks, the issue is the same:
      1) States do have to keep secrets
      2) in a democracy, the policy decisions on what to keep secret and how are made by democratically elected and accountable officials.  This includes the policies on secret keeping.
      3) the remedy is for the people of the United States to elect officials and press for fewer secrets.  Until there is a consensus among the People to do otherwise, those decisions are delegated to the President

      Therefore, Manning and Wikileaks are taking it upon themselves to circumvent our constitutional system and at bedrock usurping the authority of the People to govern ourselves by making those decisions for us.  This is no different than the corruption from corporate spending or any other force that subverts democracy.

      Those who throw them up on pedestals because they don't like the determinations from the democratic process are in reality very much following in the same path as the nullificatonists and states rights folks who wanted to over turn democratic decisions they didn't like about segregation and the like.

      Therefore, I would say, if you are a liberal, you are very suspicious of Manning.

      Of course, Manning should be set free immediately because the judiciary and executive branches have made an absolute mockery of our proper judicial processes as well.  This is so egregious that all charges should be thrown out.

      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 Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:54:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  and there are those of us (4+ / 0-)

      that aren't quite sure what to think of Manning.  Had he only exposed a handful of clearly heinous acts one would be much more sympathetic to his plight but he unleashed this torrent of information that had potential to cause true harm to people and the conduct of our international relations at a time when our government was trying to slowly change our perception in the world.  I get his outrage and he's probably as infected with PTSD as a soldier out walking in a minefield.  Across his computer came very disturbing things daily.  War is horrific and men turn into animals during its conduct.

      My guess is that this is an extremely complex issue and not a one of us can fully get into the mind of Bradley Manning at the moment he committed the actions he did.  I have my own experience with standing up to the military and experiencing their strange form of justice, spent time in a Naval brig, seeing all kinds of good and bad and I can assure you the military is not some monolith of authoritarian rednecks out for blood lust although those people exist in larger numbers than the general population.

      But at the end of my ordeal I fully acknowledge that I knew the consequences of what I did ahead of time and accepted the results and the effects on my life.  I also hold my head up proud that my "crime" put no other person in danger and that I held fast to my convictions.  

      David your statement is divisive and I'm pretty sure that's your intent given other things I've seen you write.  The question is why?  Why do you post such things?  Why would you want to tear apart this marvelous site where we can share and build?  If that happens what will you be left with?

      "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." -- Carl Sagan

      by artmartin on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:08:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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