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  •  That's not true (20+ / 0-)

    He didn't do this because of his mistreatment but because of his moral revulsion, although the former may have lessened his loyalty.

    Willing to go to jail to expose crime - pretty much the definition of heroic.

    •  Until he tells us (6+ / 0-)

      very directly we can't know why he did it. (If we choose to believe him.) Which is why it's impossible to really know motive.

      Was there a crime he wanted to expose?

      My deepest gratitude to all the Kossacks that supported my fundraiser for marriage equality in Delaware.

      by Scott Wooledge on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 09:10:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How would we know considering he's (10+ / 0-)
        being kept in solitary confined, no?
      •  How would we know considering he's (7+ / 0-)
        being kept in solitary confined, no?
      •  "until he tells us." That's rich. (5+ / 0-)

        He'll never have the chance to.

      •  There have been credible (10+ / 0-)

        2nd hand accounts testifying to his moral opposition to the government's actions/policies related to war and torture. These accounts are why Greenwald and others have said that his actions looks like classic whistle-blowing.

        Motives are complicated things. Perhaps a desire for retribution was in there, but that wouldn't mitigate his heroism, only adds nuance.

        At the very least, we shouldn't do what Kestrel does, claim without evidence that his motive was related to his own treatment. That's not merely right-wing spin, that's antigay right-wing spin in that it seeks to depict him as motivated by selfishness, anger, and emotion generally.

        •  Here's Greenwald (17+ / 0-)

          on the topic, using Manning's chats with Lamo as his source. Sorry for the long quote, but I think it's important.

          The plight of Manning has largely been overshadowed by the intense media fixation on WikiLeaks, so it's worth underscoring what it is that he's accused of doing and what he said in his own reputed words about these acts. If one believes the authenticity of the highly edited chat logs of Manning's online conversations with Adrian Lamo that have been released by Wired (that magazine inexcusably continues to conceal large portions of those logs), Manning clearly believed that he was a whistle-blower acting with the noblest of motives, and probably was exactly that....

          To see why that's so, just recall some of what Manning purportedly said about why he chose to leak, at least as reflected in the edited chat logs published by Wired:

          Lamo: what's your endgame plan, then?. . .

          Manning: well, it was forwarded to [WikiLeaks] - and god knows what happens now - hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms - if not, than [sic] we're doomed - as a species - i will officially give up on the society we have if nothing happens - the reaction to the video gave me immense hope; CNN's iReport was overwhelmed; Twitter exploded - people who saw, knew there was something wrong . . . Washington Post sat on the video… David Finkel acquired a copy while embedded out here. . . . - i want people to see the truth… regardless of who they are… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.

          if i knew then, what i knew now - kind of thing, or maybe im just young, naive, and stupid . . . im hoping for the former - it cant be the latter - because if it is… were fucking screwed (as a society) - and i dont want to believe that we’re screwed.

          Manning described the incident which first made him seriously question the U.S. Government: when he was instructed to work on the case of Iraqi "insurgents" who had been detained for distributing so-called "insurgent" literature which, when Manning had it translated, turned out to be nothing more than "a scholarly critique against PM Maliki":

          i had an interpreter read it for me… and when i found out that it was a benign political critique titled "Where did the money go?" and following the corruption trail within the PM’s cabinet… i immediately took that information and ran to the officer to explain what was going on… he didn’t want to hear any of it… he told me to shut up and explain how we could assist the FPs in finding MORE detainees…

          i had always questioned the things worked, and investigated to find the truth… but that was a point where i was a part of something… i was actively involved in something that i was completely against…

          And Manning explained why he never considered the thought of selling this classified information to a foreign nation for substantial profit or even just secretly transmitting it to foreign powers, as he easily could have done:

          Manning: i mean what if i were someone more malicious- i could've sold to russia or china, and made bank?

          Lamo: why didn’t you?

          Manning: because it's public data

          Lamo: i mean, the cables

          Manning: it belongs in the public domain information should be free it belongs in the public domain - because another state would just take advantage of the information… try and get some edge - if its out in the open… it should be a public good.

          That's a whistleblower in the purest and most noble form.  

      •  In his online chats with Adrian Lamo (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Uberbah

        (the guy that turned him in), Manning says that he read about deeds (he had a low level security clearance) that were so morally repugnant to him that he felt he had to expose them.

        FireDogLake has merged transcripts from several sources:

        http://firedoglake.com/...

        Sorry to be OT to your diary -- just thought you might want to see these.

        Action is the only agent for change -- talking without action has never effected change anywhere, in any way, at any time.

        by rubyr on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 10:38:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And if the only things he had released.... (3+ / 0-)

      ...had been things that show evidence of actual wrongdoing, I would be inclined to agree with you.

      But he released a lot of other stuff too - stuff that embarrasses his country on the world stage and potentially compromises its security, but that doesn't reveal any wrongdoing. That leads me to believe that his motivations were something other than those of a whistleblower. If he cared about his country, he would only have released evidence of actual wrongdoing.

      What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

      by mistersite on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 09:42:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He could not possibly have filtered that many (8+ / 0-)

        communiques by himself, but knew many were relevant. His turning over a large number of them could have been out of a need for help in finding the relevant ones. Are you really saying his that by not being a more selective leaker that he is not a whistleblower. I'm one who's disinclined to label him a hero (though very disinclined to say he's a villain either) but at the very least he is a legitimate whistleblower revealing, malfeasance within our government. The fact that he had to steal cables that indicate the dictator of Libya has a voluptuous Ukrainian "nurse" to get the relevant ones too is immaterial to his legitimate status as a whistleblower.

        "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

        by craigkg on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 10:03:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then he shouldn't have released them. (0+ / 0-)

          It was simply irresponsible to release all that documentation to someone who will make it public.

          If he wanted to make public evidence of wrongdoing, he should have taken the time to do it right.

          What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

          by mistersite on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 11:53:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Authoritarian apologia, noted. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            musing85, blueoasis

            It was simply irresponsible to release all that documentation to someone who will make it public.

            Nevermind that he released them to Wikileaks, who have been vetting the documents.

            If he wanted to make public evidence of wrongdoing, he should have taken the time to do it right.

            Nevermind that even the Pentagon hasn't bothered to claim that the leaks have resulted in any actual harm.

            "Pragmatists don't DO things! They explain to you how things CANNOT be done." - AndyS In Colorado

            by Uberbah on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 12:29:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So? (0+ / 0-)

              Nevermind that he released them to Wikileaks, who have been vetting the documents.

              Who appointed them the arbiters of what should be public? I don't recall an election giving them that authority. From where do they claim the right to decide what information deserves to be released?

              What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

              by mistersite on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 12:51:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So, you contradict yourself. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                musing85, svboston

                The complaint is that Manning stole and released documents indiscriminately.  Except that the people he gave them to have been releasing them slowly and carefully.  Which means you're complaining for the sake of complaining.

                "Pragmatists don't DO things! They explain to you how things CANNOT be done." - AndyS In Colorado

                by Uberbah on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 01:03:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, it means that... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...I think that neither the person who stole them and put them out indiscriminately - Manning - nor the people who have now appointed themselves to be the arbiters of which pieces of that material - Assange/WikiLeaks - had any authority, from the standpoint of small-r republicanism, to decide what should and shouldn't be public.

                  What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

                  by mistersite on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 01:23:14 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  If it embarrasses our country, then it's (10+ / 0-)

        stuff we ought to know about.

        I'm sorry that you think there is such a thing as embarrasing behavior by our employees while they are acting as our agents that we should not know about.

        If he'd been exposing their private corrospondence, I'd agree with you wholeheartedly, but he revealed only what they have done in our name.

        "It is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence"

        by JesseCW on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 11:19:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You assume there.... (0+ / 0-)

          ...that it is impossible that there could be something that would be embarrassing to our government if made public, but which is also done in good faith and completely in line with the job our foreign service should be doing.

          You also assume that it is only these people's employers - the American people - who would see the leaked documents. If there were a way to restrict their release only to Americans, you'd have a point. But the rest of the world doesn't have a right to see what's being done in the name of the American people, if it isn't evidence of actual wrongdoing.

          What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

          by mistersite on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 11:55:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You assume that I care whether or not (5+ / 0-)

            idiots have acted "in good faith".

            For the most part, I don't.

            You also assume that it is only these people's employers - the American people - who would see the leaked documents

            No, I don't.

            Thank you for stating that you think I'm entirely unaware of global media, and that you suspect that I am probably severely cognatively impaired.

            But the rest of the world doesn't have a right to see what's being done in the name of the American people, if it isn't evidence of actual wrongdoing.

            Wait.  Our Rights should be waived so that State Department employees can avoid having the rest of the world see what they've done?

            Governments derive their just authority from the consent of governed.

            The only meaningfull consent is informed consent.

            The Government which acts without your knowledge, acts without your consent.

            "It is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence"

            by JesseCW on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 12:22:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So you're suggesting... (0+ / 0-)

              ...that every single act of the American government should be completely open to the public?

              We have a republic and not a democracy precisely so that we can, in some way, delegate our responsibility for governing (and for keeping the nation's secrets) to a few.

              What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

              by mistersite on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 12:49:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  We have a Republic in order that our (0+ / 0-)

                Representatives can conspire in secret to decieve us?

                Someone should have told this to our founders.  Any of them.

                None of them shared your belief that this was why we have a representative democracy, rather than a direct democracy.

                It's good to see you finally openly and clearly state your belief that The People are unfit to rule themselves and must be insteaded saddled and ridden like beasts by their "betters".

                "It is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence"

                by JesseCW on Mon Jan 17, 2011 at 11:03:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  He gave a number of indications (11+ / 0-)

      that he didn't do this for reasons of revenge.

      (02:20:57 AM) Manning: well, it was forwarded to WL
      (02:21:18 AM) Manning: and god knows what happens now
      (02:22:27 AM) Manning: hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms
      (02:23:06 AM) Manning: if not... than we’re doomed
      (02:23:18 AM) Manning: as a species
      (02:24:13 AM) Manning: i will officially give up on the society we have if nothing happens
      (02:24:58 AM) Manning: the reaction to the video gave me immense hope... CNN’s iReport was overwhelmed... Twitter exploded...
      (02:25:18 AM) Manning: people who saw, knew there was something wrong
      (02:26:10 AM) Manning: Washington Post sat on the video... David Finkel acquired a copy while embedded out here
      (02:26:36 AM) Manning: [also reason as to why there's probably no investigation]
      (02:28:10 AM) Manning: i want people to see the truth... regardless of who they are... because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public
      (02:28:10 AM) Lamo : I’m not here right now
      (02:28:50 AM) Manning: if i knew then, what i knew now... kind of thing...
      (02:29:31 AM) Manning: or maybe im just young, naive, and stupid...
      (02:30:09 AM) Lamo: which do you think it is?
      (02:30:29 AM) Manning: im hoping for the former
      (02:30:53 AM) Manning: it cant be the latter
      (02:31:06 AM) Manning: because if it is... were fucking screwed
      (02:31:12 AM) Manning: (as a society)
      (02:31:49 AM) Manning: and i dont want to believe that we’re screwed
      http://www.wired.com/...

    •  Bullshit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lady Kestrel

      willing to go to jail to expose crime.
      In the massive document dump he is accused of taking out on cd's, he didn't even know what was there, he just felt there had to be SOMETHING.

      "Acting on Hate does not require guns" - Deoliver47

      by kestrel9000 on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 10:16:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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