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Crossposted from The People's View

Introduction

When I think of torture, I think of how horrible and degrading the African American experiences were during the Jim Crow era where black folks were whipped, lynched, dragged, castrated, mutilated and burned alive for having a black skin color. Those days may be over where brutality was embraced as a spectacular ceremony but the impact of that atrocity on the lives of black folks still lives on today not to mention today's moderner day enslavement and lynching exercised in our current Criminal Injustice System.

Black folks are still physiologically lynched with all the double standard that comes with having a black skin color.  Even the President of the United States is questioned about his birth and has to provide proof that he is legit. If it was a choice, the Donald Trumps of our modern day lynch mob will indeed embrace such pain on a sector of Americas minorities. In fact, to me these images come to mind instantly when torture is discussed. Torture is brutal and inhumane and does not have a place in a humane society. PERIOD.  A blogger, GenXangster, said it best when she said,

"Why do I always do that? I mentally erase the face of the lynching victim and replace it with my own child. I do that with every victim of torture and injustice that I hear about, historical, present, black, Jewish, etc"

Since I will be discussing Bradley Manning and since there has been a lot of accusation of torture and many fishing expeditions about whether Manning was tortured or not from vocal anti-torture advocates while Bradley Manning is held by the authorities and in isolation under the custody of the US Government, I think it is important to make sure my view on torture is expressed before moving to the real subject matter I want to address today - Bradley Manning's admitted criminal act.

Here is my believe on the many unsubstantiated torture accusation of Bradley Manning - The US Government is not torturing Bradley Manning. I will leave it with what the former State Department Offical, P. J. Crowley, whose prior comment had been taken out of context but nonetheless was used to sell this narrative that this Administration is doing what the Bush Administration has done in Abu Ghraib. P. J. Crowley said,  

Earlier this month, I was asked by an MIT graduate student why the United States government was "torturing" Private First Class Bradley Manning, who is accused of being the source of the WikiLeaks cables that have been reported by the Guardian and other news outlets and posted online. The fact is the government is doing no such thing.

Read more directly from P.J. Crowley at the guardian.co.uk

Stealing Government Secret

There are a lot of people out there who are trying to make Bradley Manning the hero he is not for breaking the law. Stealing Government secret that is protected by the Laws of the United States America is straight up a criminal act. NO ifs and buts about it. We can argue about whether the secrets should have been a secret to begin with or not but that is another argument that will require an evaluation of how Congress has defined what is classified and confidential State secret. While Manning's act take guts and some may argue he is a hero, someone with Top Secret access leaking indiscriminately all kinds of top secret Government information and sharing it to foreign entities better know of the consequences of such acts but I will get to Manning in a little bit.

The Pentagon Papers

Brief background history about the Pentagon Papers is that the DOD at the time of the Vietnam war under the Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, put together a top-secret task force to study the real history of the war in Vietnam and the United States involvement which was intended to be kept a secret from the public except top level officials within DOD. The study entitled "History of U.S. Decision-Making Process on Viet Nam Policy" was suppose to be a tell all project of US's involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967. It was intended to reveal what really had happened and was happening in Vietnam for insiders use only unlike the lies the Government told to the public and the United States Congress.

The study was kept secret from the Johnson administration including the Secretary of State but brought to the attention of the public making the front page story in the NY Times paper in 1971 at which time the full top-secret documents were leaked by a former United States military analyst, Daniel Ellsberg, to the NY Times and Washington Post while Nixon was the President.

Nixon, a crook he was, trying to score a political point was willing to let the predecessor Democratic Administration fry in hell for their lies and mischief to embarrass them for the things they had kept secret as documented in the Pentagon Papers until advised that his administration must defend these secrets from being released for a self serving reason so that the Nixon Administration can use the same standard to suppress and keep secrets in case they come under similar scrutiny that may be embarrassing and they don't want the public to know about it.

The NY Times Company vs. The United States Government case

Of course, the Nixon Administration lost the NY Times Company vs. The United States Government case by 6-3 Supreme Court decision giving the NY Times and Washington Post the go to publish the Pentagon Paperscalling any injunctions against the press/newspapers " a flagrant, indefensible, and continuing violation of the First Amendment".

Reading the opinion of JUSTICE BLACK, with whom MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS joins, concurring - selected opinions below:

I adhere to the view that the Government's case against the Washington Post should have been dismissed and that the injunction against the New York Times should have been vacated without oral argument when the cases were first presented to this Court. I believe that every moment's continuance of the injunctions against these newspapers amounts to a flagrant, indefensible, and continuing violation of the First Amendment... In my view it is unfortunate that some of my Brethren are apparently willing to hold that the publication of news may sometimes be enjoined. Such a holding would make a shambles of the First Amendment...Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. To find that the President has "inherent power" to halt the publication of news by resort to the courts would wipe out the First Amendment. The word "security" is a broad, vague generality whose contours should not be invoked to abrogate the fundamental laws embodied in the First Amendment...

You have to appreciate a US Supreme Court Justice who can speak for the people like this and I do HOPE we will clean up our RW crazy troll Justices in our current higher court, the likes of Scalia and Thomas, sometime in the next 6 years. Justice Black goes further ridiculing the Government's intent to censor the press...

In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell. In my view, far from deserving condemnation for their courageous reporting, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other newspapers should be commended for serving the purpose that the Founding Fathers saw so clearly. In revealing the workings of government that led to the Vietnam war, the newspapers nobly did precisely that which the Founders hoped and trusted they would do.

[you can read the opinion in its entirety here]

I agree that the press must be able to report freely all matters of interest that affect the People in a responsible ways including exposing the lies about our Government.  In the case of the Pentagon Papers leak, the NY Times and Washington Post should indeed be allowed to show the American people how the People have been lied to and how the Government's lies has caused the lives of many innocent Americans.

Let us look at this statement closely though...

"...the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy"

Has the press really fulfilled its essential role in our democracy? Well, to start with, you can ask Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and the rest of our MSM that feeds us drama day in and day out in order to win a rating bonanza rather than really educate our citizens reporting all the truth and nothing but the truth.

The Birth of Wikileaks

It is because we no longer have free press that protects the people's interest that Wikileaks was born. It is because of the heavy self serving corporate representing media that an alternative medium was sought out to share some shady business of our Government which Wikileaks has cashed-in thanks to the former President's (George W. Bush) illegal activities and Bradley Manning massive illegal leaks of classified documents.  

When the founders were talking about giving the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy, they were protecting essentially entities like Wikileaks to speak freely as the Founders hoped and trusted the Press would do. I think the actions of Wikileaks releasing confidential secrets of the US Government is no different than what the NY Times or Washington Post were trying to do in 1971 in their efforts to publish the Pentagon Papers.  However, I also think some of what Wikileaks is doing is amateur and irresponsible. I will get to the irresponsible part later but what is so dumbfounding is the effort by some Right Wing teabaggers and birthers who have forgotten about the First Amendment and ready to silence and/or wanting the owner of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, assassinated. Watch this fox porterage:

These inhumane characteristics of wanting to have Julian Assange taken out by some RW idiots is absolutely outrageous and must be rediculed indeed but the question also is, could Wikileaks have been able to avoid all this character assassination and demonizing had they done what they did responsibly? The answer to that is YES.  Wikileaks could have avoided all of these political backlash and organized attack from everywhere if they had done their homework, comb through the data (some 250K pages of classified information) provided to them by Manning and publish only the things that are lies and embarrassing to the Government.  As such, the Government won't make them thousands ofdiplomatic cables released by Wikileaks and frame the issue of the leak as something that created diplomatic fallout where now foreign officials are less than honest to fully engage with US diplomats or as something that put US lives in danger, which I think is a legitimate concern but also an argument that takes the steam out of few important details of mischief during the Iraq and Afganistan wars that was revealed via Wikileaks.

The Responsibility of the Free Press

As an entity protected by the constitution, the Free Press must also act to protect its people for the greater good and ensure that it fulfills its obligation to reporting information that won't put people's lives at risk.  If information is leaked indiscriminately like in the case with Wikileaks, while the freedom to report it is not illegal as past precedents has shown it to be the case with the Supreme Court decision noted above, I still feel it is irresponsible to put out just about any information that hinder the ability to advance or promote peace around the world. In fact, doing so is as good as tarnishing the very core principle of the First Amendment that protects an entity (the Free Press) that is suppose to protect our democracy. It is important to acknowledge that some secrets are important to advance the good and Wikileaks indeed has failed to identify the good from the bad and the ugly, in the process has failed in doing its job diligently and responsibly.

The Leak

However, the big question is how is that Wikileaks able to obtain such information that is so classified? Shouldn't the United States Government have a tight procedure to ensure that what is classified, sensitive and confidential data as defined by law are indeed secured? How is it that Bradley Manning, an employee of the Federal Government with top secret access, who has signed a non-disclosure agreement/contract with the Government able to leak thousands and thousands of pages of so information?

Well, I have heard so much about Bradley Manning being in solitary confinement or the many bogus and unsubstantiated claims that he is being tortured by the current Administration without any evidence but a hearsay. More over, I have heard that he does not deserve to be in prison until he is found guilty. I think some people mistaken the seriousness of the crime Manning has committed and in accordance with The Espionage Act of 1917, how it is consider a capital offense.

When the President said at a fund raising event in California a few days ago that Mannning "broke the law", he indeed was telling the truth. You can argue about the law that protects one until proven guilty but it does not mean we don't know one is, for example, a murderer after witnessing the act of murder. Was the President right for saying "He broke the law"? I say, damn right it was appropriate because he told the truth some just don't like to hear or have not seen the evidence.

Mannings Chat logs

Well, according to the chat logs of Manning's, this is why it is beyond a reasonable doubt that the man has committed theft, conspiracy and treason by disseminating 260,000 pages of classified State Department diplomatic cables and more videos and whatever else we may not know.

Here is an example of just one chat log:

May 22

Manning told Lamo that he had provided Wikileaks with 260,000 classified State Department diplomatic cables. Lamo asked him for details on what scandals the cables might expose. Manning didn’t provide a lot of detail, but he pointed to one cable (a “test”) that Wikileaks already published. He didn’t elaborate on what he meant by “test.”

(1:39:03 PM) Manning: i cant believe what im confessing to you :’(
(1:40:20 PM) Manning: ive been so isolated so long… i just wanted to be nice, and live a normal life… but events kept forcing me to figure out ways to survive… smart enough to know whats going on, but helpless to do anything… no-one took any notice of me
(1:40:43 PM) Manning: :’(
(1:43:51 PM) Lamo: back
(1:43:59 PM) Manning: im self medicating like crazy when im not toiling in the supply office (my new location, since im being discharged, im not offically intel anymore)
(1:44:11 PM) Manning: you missed a lot…
(1:45:00 PM) Lamo: what kind of scandal?
(1:45:16 PM) Manning: hundreds of them
(1:45:40 PM) Lamo: like what? I’m genuinely curious about details.
(1:46:01 PM) Manning: i dont know… theres so many… i dont have the original material anymore
(1:46:18 PM) Manning: uhmm… the Holy See and its position on the Vatican sex scandals
(1:46:26 PM) Lamo: play it by ear
(1:46:29 PM) Manning: the broiling one in Germany
(1:47:36 PM) Manning: im sorry, there’s so many… its impossible for any one human to read all quarter-million… and not feel overwhelmed… and possibly desensitized
(1:48:20 PM) Manning: the scope is so broad… and yet the depth so rich
(1:48:50 PM) Lamo: give me some bona fides … yanno? any specifics.
(1:49:40 PM) Manning: this one was a test: Classified cable from US Embassy Reykjavik on Icesave dated 13 Jan 2010
(1:50:30 PM) Manning: the result of that one was that the icelandic ambassador to the US was recalled, and fired
(1:51:02 PM) Manning: thats just one cable…
(1:51:14 PM) Lamo: Anything unreleased?
(1:51:25 PM) Manning: i’d have to ask assange
(1:51:53 PM) Manning: i zerofilled the original
(1:51:54 PM) Lamo: why do you answer to him?
(1:52:29 PM) Manning: i dont… i just want the material out there… i dont want to be a part of it
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In this chat, Manning discussed his role as a source for Wikileaks and his interactions with its enigmatic founder, Julian Assange. He also talked about two videos he claimed he provided Wikileaks — one of an airstrike in Iraq in 2007, which he said he gave Wikileaks in February and which Wikileaks said it spent three months decrypting before publishing it this last April; and another video taken during an air strike in Afghanistan in 2009, which Wikileaks has acknowledged it possesses but has not yet published.

(2:04:29 PM) Manning: im a source, not quite a volunteer
(2:05:38 PM) Manning: i mean, im a high profile source… and i’ve developed a relationship with assange… but i dont know much more than what he tells me, which is very little
(2:05:58 PM) Manning: it took me four months to confirm that the person i was communicating was in fact assange
(2:10:01 PM) Lamo: how’d you do that?
(2:12:45 PM) Manning: I gathered more info when i questioned him whenever he was being tailed in Sweden by State Department officials… i was trying to figure out who was following him… and why… and he was telling me stories of other times he’s been followed… and they matched up with the ones he’s said publicly
(2:14:28 PM) Lamo: did that bear out? the surveillance?
(2:14:46 PM) Manning: based on the description he gave me, I assessed it was the Northern Europe Diplomatic Security Team… trying to figure out how he got the Reykjavik cable…
(2:15:57 PM) Manning: they also caught wind that he had a video… of the Gharani airstrike in afghanistan, which he has, but hasn’t decrypted yet… the production team was actually working on the Baghdad strike though, which was never really encrypted
(2:16:22 PM) Manning: he’s got the whole 15-6 for that incident… so it wont just be video with no context
(2:16:55 PM) Manning: but its not nearly as damning… it was an awful incident, but nothing like the baghdad one
(2:17:59 PM) Manning: the investigating officers left the material unprotected, sitting in a directory on a centcom.smil.mil
(2:18:03 PM) Manning: server
(2:18:56 PM) Manning: but they did zip up the files, aes-256, with an excellent password… so afaik it hasn’t been broken yet
(2:19:12 PM) Manning: 14+ chars…
(2:19:37 PM) Manning: i can’t believe what im telling you =L

Some might think Manning is a hero to defying our Government and breaking the law.

Sorry. I don't.

The Law has been broken and it was done intentionally. Manning's actions has destroyed relationships that took many years of faith and trust between many countries who are now less willing to cooperate with the US. These relationships have saved lives in the past and has protected many nations interest. However, The diplomatic fallout all over the world if not already caused by the cowboy ex-President Bush before, it sure has ruptured and will definitely will take a long time to earn it back and that is if we are lucky.

Manning's actions will be handled in similar fashion to the ways the military handles its enlistees who have been charged with serious crimes and to think the Government is going to take these crimes lightly or be forced to let go of Manning free because of some fishing expedition that is currently going on using Rovian tactics to arm twist this Administration is ludicrous. There is a lot of evidence that has already been public that confirms admission of guilt by Manning, a reason why Manning and his lawyers are not denying the charges. In case, folks have not read the 22 counts of charges:

The charges, filed Tuesday but not disclosed until Wednesday, are one count of aiding the enemy, five counts of theft of public property or records, two counts of computer fraud, eight counts of transmitting defense information in violation of the Espionage Act, and one count of wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the internet knowing it would be accessible to the enemy. The aiding-the-enemy charge is a capital offense, potentially carrying the death penalty. Five additional charges are for violating Army computer-security regulations.

Reflection

This is what Daniel Ellberg said when he turned himself in for exposing the lies that were being told by leaking the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam war to the public knowing the consequences of his action could warrant him to face a total maximum sentence of 115 years under the Espionage Act of 1917, theft and conspiracy. He said:

I felt that as an American citizen, as a responsible citizen, I could no longer cooperate in concealing this information from the American public. I did this clearly at my own jeopardy and I am prepared to answer to all the consequences of this decision.

What Mr. Ellberg had done was leak the Pentagon Papers and it targeted specifically the illegal activities of the Government and the lies the Government told during the Viet Nam war.  He did not cause any international diplomatic fall out by releasing other confidential pentagon secrets of the Government which I am sure he had access to as well.

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. had said:

An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.

Mr. Ellberg did indeed break the law but he did it to "arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice" in the VietNam war. Was he a criminal? Yes for breaking the law by leaking information that is protected by the United State Government law. But, I would say he is a holy criminal in my book. Was he guilty and deserved a prison term. Yes, because we all have to abide by the law as we are a nation of law with all its short coming that are discussed at Criminal InJustice Kos and he broke the law.

However, for Mr. Ellberg, luckily during his criminal trial, "due to the gross governmental misconduct and illegal evidence", the Government's case against Daniel Ellberg was dismissed and today Daniel Ellberg is alive and still a free man at age 79.

On the contrary, what Bradley Manning has done leaking a whole host of secret Government data indiscriminately was not arousing the conscience of a community over the injustice. Yes, some mistakes during the war has been made where innocent people were killed and we must own up to them. However we must not forget that the kind of leaks made by Mannings' does not fit into the narration given by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., a symbol of "expressing the highest respect for the law". It was rather an act of treason that has tarnished many diplomatic relationships and cripple the United States Governments' standing in the world stage.

Yes, we are a nation of laws with all of its flaws but in the end we MUST follow the LAWS of the LAND that has a lot of fixing to do.

Originally posted to ThisIsMyTime on Sun May 01, 2011 at 10:23 AM PDT.

Also republished by The Yes We Can Pragmatists and Flame Free Zone.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Not sure what point you are making (30+ / 0-)

      Clearly nobody is guilty of breaking laws unless found so by a court. You may have a nice theory, but that's all it is: a nice theory.

      Well? Shall we go? At least that man is gone.

      by whenwego on Sun May 01, 2011 at 10:54:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama deems him guilty. (18+ / 0-)

        That's all this Diarist ever needed to hear.

        It's surprisingly hard to have a reasonable conversation with a person who considers you a cockroach and publicly fantasizes about killing you with neurotoxins.

        by JesseCW on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:00:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Really? He proclaimed:"Bradley Manning is GUILTY"? (8+ / 0-)

          I hadn't heard that.

          "I love Donald Trump. All comedians love Donald Trump. If God gave comedians the power to invent people, the first person we would invent is Donald Trump." ~comedian Jerry Seinfeld

          by second gen on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:21:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  typical post from you. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brit, ThisIsMyTime, Rustbelt Dem

          it is a pity you can't separate the issue from president obama.

          btw, your agenda is showing.....

          MOVE'EM UP! ROLL'EM OUT... MOVE'EM UP RAWHIDE!!! meeeoooow! mrraaarrr!! meeeOOOOOW!

          by edrie on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:54:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Ya know, Jesse, (7+ / 0-)

          that dismissive retort just doesn't fly anymore.  Here's what I think does fly and I hope we agree.

          That a) our criminal justice is overly harsh and b) military justice is worse.

          Now we can band together to change the system(s) or we can try to pin the "torture" of Bradley Manning on POTUS.

          Personally, I think that conflating harshness with torture undermines the significance of torture.  Also, I can't see what was so hellfire important in regards to our government's"lies and transgressions" that would catapult Bradley Manning's  decision to download classified into a cause celebre.  What makes him so "deserving"?  His alleged connection to Julian Assange?

          •  I agree with much of what you said (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MKSinSA

            And I find that comment above to be useless in the sense that it does not lead to any real discussion.

            However, I would note that I believe Jesse is merely using the President's statement as an attack on TiMT, not to try to 'pin' anything on the President.  So I think your either/or is unnecessary as well.

            Manning, like Assange is a 'cause celebre' because he's exposing ugly truths about the powers that be that they would far rather keep hidden, and that directly show that certain political decisions being made in all of our names proceed from petty power struggles and the desire to cover up criminal misconduct rather than from the actual needs of our country as a whole.  There's no 'deserving' to either of them in the sense of their individual personhood.  It's all in what they're letting the public find out about lies and deceptions spun by people in power.

            •  Here's the deal, Ezekial, (5+ / 0-)

              (Thanks for replying, btw).  IMO, there are no NEW ugly truths. Every single government, republican or democrat, has committed moral atrocities  Frankly, there was of  little of interest that would catapult Manning into a hero . I see no evidence that he was more than a disturbed young man who was retaliating against his Father via the government.  I mean, what earth shattering "secrets" did he reveal.  Did his action open the eyes of America as to effect its course?

              As I said before, I think the criminal justice system is abominable. I also believed the  effing Marines would be a thousand times in their separate code of justice.  I will join with anyone who works to reduce harshness and humiliation in the separate codes.

              What I don't get is how Bradley Manning gets to be the poster boy for this movement.  

              •  That may be part of our problem, in my books. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MKSinSA, kurt, Brit, wonmug

                We've grown too desensitized to the ugly truths, and we don't demand that atrocities be dragged into the light of day and punished.

                I don't think you can judge a person's actions by the way in which others respond to them, necessarily.  Whether or not Americans ever yawned, or took their eyes off 'American Idol' for 5 seconds, in no way affects what Manning tried to do.

                I can't speak to Manning's motivations.  Some claim transcripts show he felt he had to expose acts that he was morally outraged by, and may have felt were illegal, but were being 'covered up' by the chain of command to whom we could normally have expected him to report them.  Others suggest he was simply mentally unstable.  I've even seen it suggested that he was essentially merely an anarchist.

                But he, and to a similar extent Assange, get to be the 'poster boys' because they're the names and the faces we know about, and people like to tie names and faces to movements.

              •  That's right. Moral atrocities aren't new. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wonmug

                Your bizarre claims that you can read the mind of a young man you've never met?

                That's new, as far as i know.

                I mean, what earth shattering "secrets" did he reveal.

                http://www.wikileaks.ch/...

                For the last?  The manner in which Manning is being treated is a complete violation of the UCMJ.  

                This isn't a questions of needing to adjust "seperate codes".

                What I don't get is why you're so shocked that anyone cares about Mannings mistreatment.

                What is it about him that you find personally so unworthy of concern?

                The fact he may have thought you should know your helicopter pilots were blowing childrens guts out in Iraq and laughing while they did it?

                It's surprisingly hard to have a reasonable conversation with a person who considers you a cockroach and publicly fantasizes about killing you with neurotoxins.

                by JesseCW on Sun May 01, 2011 at 02:25:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  When you find yourself putting (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kurt, PhilK, priceman

            air quotes around the word "torture" while talking about abuses similar to those committed at Abu Ghraib, it's yourself you need to be having a talk with.

            It's surprisingly hard to have a reasonable conversation with a person who considers you a cockroach and publicly fantasizes about killing you with neurotoxins.

            by JesseCW on Sun May 01, 2011 at 02:19:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  wow! Obama JUST LIKE (0+ / 0-)

          NIXON:
          Photobucket

          Who'd a thought?

          "My case is alter'd, I must work for my living." Moll Cut-Purse, The Roaring Girl - 1612, England's First Actress

          by theRoaringGirl on Sun May 01, 2011 at 12:53:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah. Manson, Manning, whatever. (0+ / 0-)

            That makes sense.

            You do know that Nixon was not the Commander in Chief the Judge in the Manson case had to answer to, right?

            It's surprisingly hard to have a reasonable conversation with a person who considers you a cockroach and publicly fantasizes about killing you with neurotoxins.

            by JesseCW on Sun May 01, 2011 at 02:20:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yeah, and (0+ / 0-)

              neither is Obama. Obama did not say Manning is guilty, only that he "broke the law" all this knicker twisting is ridiculous.

              Huge difference between Obama's comment: Manning broke the law and what Nixon's comment: Nixon's nearly forced a mistrial and the assurance that Manson would never be tried.  See, Manson tried to use that headline to force a mistrial, when he brought that edition of the L.A. Times into Court.

              "BROKE THE LAW" ≠ "GUILTY"

              "My case is alter'd, I must work for my living." Moll Cut-Purse, The Roaring Girl - 1612, England's First Actress

              by theRoaringGirl on Mon May 02, 2011 at 06:34:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Jesse, wish you hadn't made that particular (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          daveusf, MKSinSA, Brit, foufou, ThisIsMyTime

          comment, and I wish others hadn't tipped it.  Whether or not you believe it (and I'm sure you do, really), it doesn't address the diary content, and is merely an ad hom on the diarist, which merely throws us right back into pie war mode.

          •  I'm sorry. I'm not willing to pretend (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            priceman

            a pile of odious hero worship is in fact political commentary.

            I'm not willing to be intentionally dishonest in the name of "civility", either.

            It's surprisingly hard to have a reasonable conversation with a person who considers you a cockroach and publicly fantasizes about killing you with neurotoxins.

            by JesseCW on Sun May 01, 2011 at 02:11:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Odious hero worship? (6+ / 0-)

              This is just reverse idolatory and petulant pettiness, no doubt fired up by some personal sleight in the past.

              I know the diarist is an Obama supporter (in general). But the diary only mentions the President in the first para apropos the Birthers. The rest is an analysis - partial of course - of the connection between the military and the criminal justice scheme. It's a pretty comprehensive diary, and should be argued with on its content, not just because you go around labelling people as 'hero worshippers'.

              I'm tempted to HR this as pure ad hominem, but I will forebear.

              Maybe on day you'll write a diary, rather than just a few carping comments, gather links, compose an argument, and spend some time creating something rather than pulling others down.

              "It is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given to us." Walter Benjamin. More sane debate on the Moose

              by Brit on Sun May 01, 2011 at 04:34:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You don't have to try to be intentionally (0+ / 0-)

              dishonest. You already are so help you God whatever religion you are into.

              ...We have many more issues that bind us together than separate us!

              by ThisIsMyTime on Sun May 01, 2011 at 07:36:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for that... (4+ / 0-)

            ...this is a serious issue, and really can't just rotate around sux and rox. I think Manning's treatment has been pretty harsh. But then again I think the whole US penal system is fucked up, brutal and exploitative, not to mention murderous.

            So while I won't spend time defending Manning's treatment, I'm not going to pay attention to those who only care about this issue, on this occasion, in order to throw pie in some stranger's face on the internet.

            "It is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given to us." Walter Benjamin. More sane debate on the Moose

            by Brit on Sun May 01, 2011 at 04:29:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  That about reflects your intellectual capacity (0+ / 0-)

          to reason. Gawd.

          ...We have many more issues that bind us together than separate us!

          by ThisIsMyTime on Sun May 01, 2011 at 06:23:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  the point he is making is obvious: (7+ / 0-)

        Manning is guilty before a trial. Which makes the last sentence of his diary a bit ironic. Even more ironic is the pathetic attempt to disconnect Manning's actions from those of Mr. Ellberg. The last full paragraph makes no sense at all, a non squitur at best, leaping from justified leaks to obeying the law to damning Manning with the broad brush of outrage.

        This sentence:

        On the contrary, what Bradly Manning has done leaking a whole host of secret Government data indiscriminately was not arousing the conscience of a community over the injustice.

        Is false on both ends- Manning supposedly leaked some secret data, but what of it was actually rose to the level of treason; and, sorry dude, a lot of people conscience got really aroused when they saw what the US was actually doing in wartime. It is this sentence that blows your whole case. You failed at smearing Manning right here.

        The diary is full of inflaming rhetoric and a bit short on the facts of the matter, dodging also the fact that Manning was tortured psychologically and treated like a convicted criminal, before trial.

        Further the diarist ignores the fact that wiki went through the material to make sure that sensitive information that could result in harm to agents, was removed. So the assertion of

        Note that the leaks Manning is charged with have one thing in common: they show the horror and crimes this country is committing. The US has huffed and puffed about espionage and betraying our spies, but so far, there is no evidence to support that assertion, and worse, this is a plain example of selective charges. Note again that Cheney actually exposed a US agent, and he avoided getting tried and convicted for an admitted act of treason.

        "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

        by azureblue on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:59:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  the man has not (25+ / 0-)

      been tried yet, let alone found guilty.

      so all this outrage, especially about his willingness or lack thereof accept punishment, is premature.

      manning doesn't have to be a MLK to deserve humane and legal treatment.  

      and if you are going to bring up Ellsberg, at least mention that he supports Manning to the max.

      I am awaiting delivery of my new DK4 signature

      by BlueDragon on Sun May 01, 2011 at 10:55:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Flame retardant gear on? (13+ / 0-)

    Hope so.

    Good analysis.

    T&R

    "I love Donald Trump. All comedians love Donald Trump. If God gave comedians the power to invent people, the first person we would invent is Donald Trump." ~comedian Jerry Seinfeld

    by second gen on Sun May 01, 2011 at 10:40:52 AM PDT

  •  As you have said: (13+ / 0-)

    Ellsberg broke the law.

    So it seems has Manning.

    And like it or not, the military is using the proscribed procedures for holding him.

    By. The. Book.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Sun May 01, 2011 at 10:44:28 AM PDT

  •  Bush and Cheney Broke the law in my book (23+ / 0-)

    but we are looking forwards, not backwards when it comes to their apparent crimes.

    Manning exposed evidence of war crimes: civilians gunned down intentionally. I suppose you would have him cover up those crimes in order to "follow the law".

    When the government commits war crimes, covering up those crimes is also crime.

    Manning was in an untenable position.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Sun May 01, 2011 at 10:53:11 AM PDT

  •  I like this diary... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, IL JimP, ThisIsMyTime, TBug, foufou

    even if I may not agree with all of it.

    As in the Pentagon Papers case, it will take time to unravel.  That case did not involve military justice, in which the norms may be different.

    If one cares enough to commit the crime, it seems they are committed to the consequences.

    Perhaps, in this case, the same gross governmental misconduct and illegal evidence will be found as with Ellsberg.

  •  In a world of nuance (10+ / 0-)

    people seem to overlook the subtleties involved in a course of civil disobedience.

    When one takes the oath of service, it is to do a couple of things: 1) to obey the lawful orders of those appointed above them and 2) protect the United States against all enemies -- foreign and domestic.

    On one hand the "lawfulness" of a thing is incredibly multi-faceted. There's judicial law and moral law and despite what people may believe about the military, the two are incredibly intertwined. You have to look no further than the SS troops in Nazi Germany to understand the difference between them.

    While an act may be deemed legally criminal IAW the UCMJ or any other law impacting on a soldier's conduct, a soldier's determination to disobey such orders comes with an understanding that potential punishment comes with the package.

    I think far too many people believe that points 1 & 2 are somehow interconnected but they're not. Far too often those things deemed "lawful" in military terms are not in keeping with protecting the Constitution or the US military. Allegiance is not pledged to the individuals in the chain of command but to the country -- whether it appreciates it or not.

    Trump / Palin 2012: "You're Fired / I Quit"

    by MKSinSA on Sun May 01, 2011 at 10:59:02 AM PDT

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

    “I’ll tell you who could beat you: 2008 Barack Obama. You would have loved him.”
    Seth Myers

    "You can almost judge how screwed up somebody is by the kind of toilet paper they use." Don van Vliet, Captain Beefheart

    by Muggsy on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:07:41 AM PDT

  •  When did they hold the trial? (12+ / 0-)

    Or are you judge, jury and executioner now?

    •  LOL. Let me know what TIMT's (5+ / 0-)

      opinion and analysis is enough to convict someone.

      Having an opinion of someone's guilt or innocence does not go against "innocent until proven guilty". That's a legal term and, as I'm not a prosecutor or a judge, or anyone that can affect Manning's conditions, one I'm not bound to live by.

      "I love Donald Trump. All comedians love Donald Trump. If God gave comedians the power to invent people, the first person we would invent is Donald Trump." ~comedian Jerry Seinfeld

      by second gen on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:14:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with that. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poligirl, badger, slinkerwink, aliasalias

        I feel Manning is likely guilty too, just as I feel Bush and Co. are likely guilty of war crimes.  it just irritates me that some little guy who exposes bad and sometimes possibly illegal behaviour gets tossed in the slammer without trial while those with power and connections simply get to walk free.  The folks who want to see Manning convicted often bring up 'all the people whose lives he endangered', but don't seem to care about all the people whose lives already were ended by the illegal actions of Bush, et al.

        Let's see some justice for all - actually investigate the crimes of everyone, not just the poor schmucks at the bottom of the chain.

        •  So, your issue is more the unequal (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          willibro

          treatment between a PFC and the former president of the free world.

          On that we can agree.

          I'm not so naive to think it would ever be different.

          "I love Donald Trump. All comedians love Donald Trump. If God gave comedians the power to invent people, the first person we would invent is Donald Trump." ~comedian Jerry Seinfeld

          by second gen on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:47:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, that and the fact that, just as in (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW, PhilK, triv33

            the release of Abu Ghraib torture photos, a lot of folks are more upset about the exposure of criminal acts than they are about the criminal acts themselves.

            And I'm not sure if your last line is meant as an insult or not.  I'm certainly not 'naive' to think otherwise either - I just want it to change.  Just because your jaded and cynical enough to expect injustice doesn't mean you should ever stop opposing it.

            •  No. It wasn't meant as an insult. Just (0+ / 0-)

              a general statement. I think the general public is naive about such things. I think everyone wants everything to be fair, and until they find out otherwise, they believe it is.

              I would like that to change, as well. I just don't see it happening. The only way we will ever see some changes we'd like to see is if we had a dictatorship and a leader who wanted those same things. There are so many cooks in that kitchen, we'll never all get the exact soup we hope for. (forgive the lame metaphor)

              "I love Donald Trump. All comedians love Donald Trump. If God gave comedians the power to invent people, the first person we would invent is Donald Trump." ~comedian Jerry Seinfeld

              by second gen on Sun May 01, 2011 at 12:23:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  That's the Presidents job now, actually. NT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willibro

      It's surprisingly hard to have a reasonable conversation with a person who considers you a cockroach and publicly fantasizes about killing you with neurotoxins.

      by JesseCW on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:16:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great post (5+ / 0-)

    Look for the Manning apologists to not listen to what you have to say, though. What Manning did was illegal. He signed an agreement not to divulge sensitive information. I understand that some people here may not agree with US military and foreign policy, but that doesn't give Manning the right to break the law like that.

    I don't think Manning should be subjected torture, though I really don't think he is. No matter what the authorities do, even if they put him in a 5 star hotel while he awaits trial, they would consider it torture. The reality is that they are just hostile to anything connected to the military. And so that's why Manning is their personal hero.

    Now that he is, however, in the general population of Ft. Leavenworth, I would venture to guess he is at more risk than when he was in solitary. I would venture to guess that a person suspected of treason in a military popular is just as popular as a child molester is in a civilian prison.

    But I don't think Manning did anything noble. I don't think he is a hero. And it's downright embarrassing to see so many people on this site glorify him into some sort of martyr.

  •  You presumably took a long time to write this (33+ / 0-)

    So how is it that you missed so many simple facts about this situation?

    1) Firstly, his name is spelled "Bradley."  Not a good start when you can't even correctly spell the name of the subject of your post.

    2) Manning had access to Classified, not Top Secret, material.  This is a significant distinction since Classified info is the lowest form of confidential information we have in the US, while Top Secret info is the most secretive form.

    3) The documents that Ellesberg released were, in fact, Top Secret.  And these documents were not only about wrong doing in Vietnam, they also included some of the most important cryptography and eavesdropping secrets that our nation possessed at the time.  To pretend that Ellesberg's releases of 42 Volumes of information only contained wrong doing of the US is either disingenuous or incredible ignorant.

    4) Wikileaks did not, as you claimed, publish 250K documents.  As of this moment, less than 3% of the 250K documents have been published.  How can you write a story like this and get such a simple, integral fact wrong?

    5) You selectively quote the Manning chat logs to pretend that he didn't have the same motives as Ellesberg and conveniently leave out this:

    (02:18:34 AM) Lamo: what’s your endgame plan, then?
    (02:18:36 AM) Manning: it was vulnerable as fuck
    (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

    You also fail to mention that Ellsberg has praised Manning for his actions.

    There are even more examples of blatant disregard for the facts in this post but I think I have made my point.

    This diary is essentially worthless.  If you want to have a factual debate about the legitimacy of leaking Government documents as a means of Accountability for wrong-doing, then let's do that.  But this half-assed, only tell the partial truth and sometimes outright lie, style of story telling is disgusting.  Go take a moment to get educated about this topic and then come back.

    •  You should make this a diary, and post it. NT (10+ / 0-)

      It's surprisingly hard to have a reasonable conversation with a person who considers you a cockroach and publicly fantasizes about killing you with neurotoxins.

      by JesseCW on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:17:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent comment. (8+ / 0-)

      Better than this diary deserves.

      "I almost died for the international monetary system; what the hell is that?" ~ The In-laws

      by Andhakari on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:32:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are wrong in one major factor (3+ / 0-)

      "Classified" is not security classification. Generally the US government grants clearances at these levels:

      Confidential
      Secret
      Top Secret
      Top Secret SCI

      Based on the fact that Manning worked in military intelligence I would venture to guess that he had access to TS/SCI information and higher level information. So he had access to very sensitive information.

      Here is how the US military classifies information:

      CONFIDENTIAL: Applied to information or material the unauthorized disclosure of which could be reasonably expected to cause damage to the national security.

      SECRET: Applied to information or material the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security.

      TOP SECRET: Applied to information or material the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.

      In addition to the above, some classified information is so sensitive that even the extra protection measures applied to Top Secret information are not sufficient. This information is known as "Sensitive Compartmented Information" (SCI) or Special Access Programs (SAP), and one needs special "SCI Access" or SAP approval to be given access to this information.

      ''

      So you are mistaken.

      •  You are correct (11+ / 0-)

        I intended to write "Confidential" but made a mistake while editing the post.  

        But while just double-checking myself I saw that Manning's access included Confidential and Secret information, so I was actually more wrong than I thought.  Manning's (alleged) leak included documents from both the Confidential and Secret levels of classification, but no documents have been published that were deemed Top Secret or Top Secret SCI.

        I'm sorry for the mistake.  Thanks for bringing this to my attention.  It is never good to make a factual error when correcting another person's inaccurate statements.

        •  Well (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hopeful human, TBug

          As Manning worked in military intelligence I am sure he had TS/SCI access. Even though he may have released information at a lower classification he still did something wrong. Even at the SECRET level, per the link above, releasing such information has the potential to cause serious damage to US national security.

          To me the point is that the US Army and Department of Defense entrusted him with safeguarding very sensitive information. And he broke that trust. His motivations may have been in the right place, though I can't speak for him; but that doesn't put him above the law either.

    •  You don't mind if I correct YOUR inaccuracies? (0+ / 0-)
      2) Manning had access to Classified, not Top Secret, material.  This is a significant distinction since Classified info is the lowest form of confidential information we have in the US, while Top Secret info is the most secretive form.

      Absolute horseshit. Manning was an Intelligence Analyst, and it is a prerequisite for them to have a TOP SECRET clearnace with SCI access.

      http://www.us-army-info.com/...
      (5) The soldier must meet TOP SECRET security clearance and Sensitive Compartmented information (SCI) access eligibility requirements.

      4) Wikileaks did not, as you claimed, publish 250K documents.  As of this moment, less than 3% of the 250K documents have been published.  How can you write a story like this and get such a simple, integral fact wrong?

      Wikileaks says they intend to release them all over time. More to the point, why does that matter? Manning leaked all 250,000 documents to an unauthorized recipient. How Wikileaks intends to handle the documents is irrelevant.

      "The Green Bay Packers failed to score 8 times in the Super Bowl." -- Purity

      by USArmyParatrooper on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:20:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Couple of things (9+ / 0-)

    1) Prolonged solitary confinement is torture, whether in a civilian or military  facility. It may not be physical torture but the damage to someones psyche cannot be understated. I have no doubt that Manning was mistreated at the Brig in Quantico. Where I differ from opinion with some is whether it was intentional and malicious or if it was just poor training and the fact that the facility isn't meant for long term incarceration. Anyone who cares about Mannings treatment should be relieved he has been moved to a facility at Leavenworth that is better suited to handle long term incarceration because due to the nature of the intel he may have dumped his trial is gonna take a while.

    2) I'm not positive, but isn't Lamo the one who released these chat logs? And couldn't he have simply created them? The only source I can see for the "Manning admitted it" is Lamo himself, again I could be wrong.  In any case, Manning still deserves a fair trial with the presumption of innocence. Now what the President said doesn't really get me bent out of shape, because I think Manning can still get a fair trial.

    Dailykos is Dead... Long live Dailykos!

    by Drewid on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:19:28 AM PDT

  •  I don't get why "true progressives" have been (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IL JimP, arizonablue, Escamillo, sviscusi

    saying lately that being kept in solitary confinement is torture. Isn't that routinely done in regular prisons?

    It's as if they just WANT to cry "torture" SOOOOO BAD that they'll come up with anything, and just CALL it "torture".

    As for the rest, I don't know. Maybe Manning WAS heroic, in some significant sense for what he did - maybe he was whistleblowing on illegal orders, or something like that. If so, use that as his defense. That's why they have trials, after all.

    I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

    by punditician on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:22:09 AM PDT

  •  We are a nation of laws? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger, Knarfc, aliasalias, ohmyheck, kurt

    Since when? Does fabrication of evidence to make a case for war constitute the rule of law? Does authorizing the use of torture? Does ignoring the FISA laws constitute the rule of law? Can you show me where anyone was prosecuted for those crimes? Remind me who made the decision to ignore those crimes ...

    And while you are on the subject of fair and just treatment, please explain why Manning has been treated more harshly than John Walker who sold highly classified military secrets to the former Soviet Union for almost 20 years.

    Your splitting of hairs to honor Ellsberg and castigate Manning makes no sense.

    Be radical in your compassion.

    by DWG on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:26:37 AM PDT

  •  well, (39+ / 0-)

    here goes.

    The State Department cables, as well as the earlier Wikileaks Iraq and Afghanistan releases, are all United States government documents (and films). That means they are the property of the American people. We pay for them, those who generated them acted in our name, and therefore we have a right to read and see them. Every last one of them.

    To my mind, Manning is a political prisoner, and the ongoing attempts at prosecuting Julian Assange, the face (and mouth) of Wikileaks, are likewise politically motivated. For it is not the leaking of the information that so concerns the government, but, rather, what information has been leaked. The government wishes to control what information it has generated that may become visible to those of us who pay for it, in all ways. To that I say, the government can bugger right off. That is my information.

    The key to Wikileaks is neither Manning nor Assange, but the material itself. Indeed, hopefully in the future we will have no further Mannings; Manning is only known to us as Manning because he unwisely confided online to someone who then went to the government and ratted him out. Silencio is the watchword for those who would leak such information. As for Assange, it should matter not to the Wikileaks project whether he is or is not a sexual miscreant; presumably he has arranged things so that the organization can survive without him. Meanwhile, a similar site set up by a disgruntled ex-compadre of Assange’s is currently in negotiations with the New York Times to provide that publication with its own purloined papers.

    What is important is the liberation of information. There is no putting that genie back into the bottle. What has been done, now that it has been done, will be done again . . . and again . . . and again. The leaks will not stop with Manning and Assange, no matter what may happen to those men personally. Now that people know that such a thing is possible, well, such a thing will repeat, and the tubes will hum with the sort of truths that power-people once packed away as “private.”

    In the early 1970s, Christopher Boyce, a low-level employee of TRW, which had a contract with the NSA, stumbled across information indicating that the Nixon/Kissinger reign of realpolitik was about destabilizing the government of Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Appalled, all Boyce could think to do was to pass on what he had learned to agents of the Soviet Union. No longer. Now, such a person can arrange for such news to go out over all the tubes. To everyone.

    At this juncture, I think the American people less appreciate the enormity of this advance in informational anarchism than do people of other nations. Although we won’t know for sure until the histories are written, it is said that the recent autocrat-rocking events that began in Tunisia, and have since spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, were occasioned at least in part by the unvarnished portraits presented by Wikileaks cables of those nations and their arrogant, complacent, ossified rulers. The people of Indonesia are currently aroil over Wikileaks cables that portray the nation’s first lady as the second coming of Imelda Marcos, and the former vice-president as a ham-handed bribe-dispenser. People have the right to know what their leaders are like. Not only in this country, but all over the world.

    As to the conditions of Manning's confinement, the root problem here is that BushCo succeeded in stripping the word "torture" of all meaning. It is now a tool of political discourse, rather than a description of what is. When Rush Limbaugh can ceaselessly portray "Club Gitmo" as a holiday resort, and describe what occurred at Abu Ghraib as "a fraternity prank"—and I have worked on criminal cases involving "fraternity pranks" that resulted in death, and that did indeed involve "torture"—then the concept of "torture" has been successfully consigned to lululand.

    What is most important about Manning's confinement is that President Obama was half right when he said that the Pentagon had assured him that "the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards." For they are surely not appropriate, but they do indeed reflect "our basic standards."

    Here is what prisoners in an Arizona federal correctional facility commonly encounter:

    The dry cell here at Phoenix is in the isolation unit. A bright light burns twenty-four hours a day. There’s no apparent ventilation, no running water, and no blanket. The room appears to be heated continuously, with the temperature hovering around a hundred degrees. It’s a virtual torture chamber furnished only with a bowl to defecate in and a rubber mattress to sleep on. The guards outside never take their eyes off the suspect.

    I myself worked on the case of a (black) woman held in pre-trail detention, not 12 miles from where I sit, who was, like Manning, stripped of all of her clothing, but in her case night and day, when the guards claimed they suspected she might be suicidal.

    What is being done to Manning is what is done to hundreds and thousands of criminal-justice suspects every day, and for the same reason: make life on him as tough as possible, in hopes he'll roll on somebody the government wants. In this case, Assange. This should not be excused in Manning's case, and it should not be excused in the case of the lowliest and least-known drug offender in the land.

  •  the US might not be torturing Bradly Manning (19+ / 0-)

    but the evidence is pretty strong that it was abusing if not directly torturing Bradley Manning.

    One would think if this is such a key part of your argument you could at least get his name correct.

    Oh, and as a matter of law, when he has not been tried and the President has ultimate responsibility for the criminal justice system, for Obama to declare Bradley (note the spelling) Manning guilty without a trial is pretty outrageous -  it is not the executive's function to make that determination, that is up to the trier of fact, which is under our system a jury unless the accused opts for only a judge.

    Were Congress doing this, it would be pretty much a violation of the Constitutional ban on bills of attainder.

    And since Manning has been being punished without having been convicted -  the treatment he was receiving at Quantico was a clear violation of both international standards and the UCMJ for accused prisoners - whether or not his treatment rose to be a clearcut violation of the international convention on torture, which as a ratified treaty is part of the Supreme Law of the Land under Article VI of the Constitution and which is also separately a matter of US Statutory law -  that in itself represents more than one violation of due process of law under the Fifth Amendment.

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:38:54 AM PDT

  •  I do have to give you kudos, though (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brit

    for writing a non-inflammatory diary this time.

    What exactly is your purpose in writing it, though?  I'm pretty sure everybody here is well versed in the circumstances and general case against Manning at this point, and have been for months.  Likewise, I'm fairly sure people who support Manning (and I include even those such as myself, who feel he does need to face an actual honest to god trial) are not going to change their views on the situation, and I would assume those who are outraged by his leaks are likewise not inclined to change their views.  So why this diary, why now?  Had this been posted months ago, it might have made more sense to me.  Is there some nuance of reason that eludes me for posting it now?

  •  I disagree as a member of our armed forces (6+ / 0-)

    he is duty bound to report illegalities. The fact that those he reports to covered up those crimes forced him to disclose to the tax paying public those crimes enabled by corruption.

    Read The Ten Thousand by Harold Coyle

    In that story officers that see what their superiors are doing is illegal make the decision to sabotage equipment instead of enabling an illegal battle.

    AFAIC Bradley Manning should receive the Medal of Honor for sacrificing his name and freedom for the cause of justice.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:59:10 AM PDT

    •  Dude, he released 400,000 documents (6+ / 0-)

      and cables. He couldn't have read 1% of them. The fact is that he had no clue what was in most of those files. Which is what makes his crime so serious, and what separates him from legitimate whistle-blowers. Plus, it has been acknowledged by both the military and his own lawyers that he was mentally unfit for duty. He's a sad, mentally ill young man, not a hero.

      I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

      by doc2 on Sun May 01, 2011 at 12:08:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ellseberg hadn't read the vast majority (4+ / 0-)

        of what he "dumped", either.

        And what's more, it was Top Secret.

        Was he a "legitimate whistle-blower"?

        It's surprisingly hard to have a reasonable conversation with a person who considers you a cockroach and publicly fantasizes about killing you with neurotoxins.

        by JesseCW on Sun May 01, 2011 at 12:20:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ellsberg helped (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doc2, hopeful human, Brit, ThisIsMyTime

          CREATE the damned study he released. It wasn't just a grabbag of whatever he could get his hands upon. He already knew what was in all of those documents - some intimately, others in passing.

          •  He hadn't read all of it. (0+ / 0-)

            But, you certainly know better than Ellsberg what he did or didn't know, or whether whoever leaked our State Departments nasty heap of secrets did something comparable to what he did.

            It's surprisingly hard to have a reasonable conversation with a person who considers you a cockroach and publicly fantasizes about killing you with neurotoxins.

            by JesseCW on Sun May 01, 2011 at 02:07:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You are missing my point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ezekial 23 20, willibro

        If this is ever truly examined I would speculate that it was the only way he had available to disseminate the information.

        I don't like it but he was challenging the largest military industrial complex in human history thus his actions need to be observed from the perspective of an ant fighting an elephant.

        Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Sun May 01, 2011 at 12:21:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Your presumptions and rational are more (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, ohmyheck

    like gobbledegook than any sound thinking.  You state that if Mr. Manning committed these acts that, "It was rather an act of treason that has tarnished many diplomatic relationships and cripple the United States Governments' standing in the world stage." and yet you also state,  "Mr. Ellberg did indeed break the law but he did it to "arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice" in the VietNam war. Was he a criminal? Yes for breaking the law by leaking information that is protected by the United State Government law. But, I would say he is a holy criminal in my book. Was he guilty and deserved a prison term. Yes, because we all have to abide by the law as we are a nation of law with all its short coming that are discussed at Criminal InJustice Kos and he broke the law.  However, for Mr. Ellberg, luckily during his criminal trial, "due to the gross governmental misconduct and illegal evidence", the Government's case against Daniel Ellberg was dismissed and today Daniel Ellberg is alive and still a free man at age 79."  This is called incongruous thinking.  

    I would state that if Mr. Manning committed any crime, the said act of conscience or crime as you state was not committed sooner rather than later...

    The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

    by Mindmover on Sun May 01, 2011 at 12:02:48 PM PDT

  •  Is there any concrete evidence that Manning is (0+ / 0-)

    being tortured?  Is PBO, Clinton, Gates, Petraeus, Congress in on it? Which Dem in Congress is going to hold hearings on this and if not, why not?

    Manning can release all the papers he wants but when he's caught, he shouldn't complain. He didn't join the Girl Scouts but an organization where they can legally put a bullet in your head under certain circumstances.

    In the absence of any evidence this is just another '9-11 was an inside job' type conspiracy.

    •  Is Manning complaining? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt

      First I've heard of it.

      People are disagreeing with the abnormalities of the way he was treated as opposed to other types of alleged criminals, and others are suggesting that another of his oaths, that about obeying illegal orders (in re keeping secret evidence of criminal acts), might have some relevance.  

      As to the torture allegations, see blueness' comment above.

      •  His lawyer is complaining which amounts to (0+ / 0-)

        the same thing.  I read the comment you mentioned but it seems to show that Manning's alleged treatment is SOP.

        Is being stripped naked and being exposed to bright lights 24x7 considered torture by the military? I suspect he was treated much more harshly during basic training.

        He's in 'military intelligence' where lying and misinformation are considered virtues and covering up murders and other atrocities are a part of the job.

        •  Um, ick. (0+ / 0-)

          I'd actually be interested in what the Geneva Conventions might say about his prior confinement.  Whether it's considered simply 'harsh' by the military is another issue altogether, as to just how autonomous the military gets to claim to be.  

          But as to your last sentence, I would consider the things you mention in the same vein as obeying illegal orders.  If they're 'part of the job', then the job description needs rewritten by people who actually believe in law and justice, and not simply power.

  •  I'd like to give negative tip points (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lunachickie, ohmyheck

    ...but there doesn't seem to be that kind of functionality.  

    First, this kind of lazy intellectualism is not progressive or liberal, so let's just call it what it is: lazy.  Shooting from the hip regarding ethics and rule of law, and then defending that approach because "laws are only for the little people".

    "Don't need a trial to call the person 'guilty' because I have a gut feeling they are."

    I'm sorry, if you're one of those who believes that God chose them to lead, so they are exempt from the laws of "men"...  There is nothing I can say through facts that is going to dissuade you from your disingenuous faith, but I know the laws of good vs. evil will smite you down.

    You're probably also the kind of self-proclaimed "liberal" or "progressive" who thinks it's okay that Obama declares himself legally able to execute American citizens without a trial.

    Sorry, but I'm not letting you ride my bandwagon.  Go get on the bandwagon at RedState, you'll fit right in.

  •  Innocent Until Proven Guilty (11+ / 0-)

    Several things about the Bradley Manning case are disturbing. The first of which is the tendency of certain people to assume that a man who has not gone to trial, and who I believe at this time has not even been charged, must be guilty of a crime.  If Bradley Manning is guilty of a crime, then he deserves to be punished. However, until such time as he has been convicted of a crime, he has only been accused of a crime and should be presumed innocent.  

    The proper way to refer to someone who has been accused of breaking the law is to say that her or she is alleged to have committed a crime.  This is why you will see news reporters refer to those who are accused of commiting crimes as "alleged", such as "the alleged serial killer Ted Bundy" until such time as the person is or is not convicted.  To say that someone broke the law when he or she has not been convicted is to open oneself up to criminal liability.  It is also unfair to someone accused of a crime to automatically assume that he or she is guilty just because they are accused of a crime.

    This is why during jury selection process, the defense lawyer will frequently ask potential jurors, "Do you think the defendant must have done something wrong or he would not be here today?"  Defense attorneys do it to weed out those people who think someone is guilty just because they are accused.  The courts allow defense attorneys to do this as part of the jury selection process because they know how important the presumption of innocence before trial is a crucial part of the judicial system.

    Furthermore, it is also unfair to the accused to assume that alleged evidence found in the media but not presented in a court of law is accurate.  Also, one should ask oneself, "If the evidence against Bradley Manning is so compelling, why has he not yet gone to trial?"    

    The second disturbing thing about the Bradley Manning case is the tendency of certain people to minimize the allegations against our government of Bradley Manning's treatment since his incarceration.  Regardless of what former State Department Official, P. J. Crowley may or may not think is torture, if certain allegations as to his treatment since his incarceration are true, there is no excuse for them, especially for a man not convicted of anything.  What this government has done to people who have not been convicted of any crime under the Bush and Obama administrations should scare any American citizen.  That regular citizens would attempt to justify this treatment in an attempt to protect the reputations of one or more elected officials is perhaps even scarier.

    Watching Bush's supporters defend "enhanced interrogation techniques" was sickening.  Watching Democratic supporters minimize the allegations about Manning's treatment is perhaps even more sickening because it is even more disappointing.

    Baja Arizona--An oasis of sanity in a crazy State.

    by StevenJoseph on Sun May 01, 2011 at 12:08:38 PM PDT

    •  I'll address those. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brit
      The first of which is the tendency of certain people to assume that a man who has not gone to trial, and who I believe at this time has not even been charged, must be guilty of a crime.  

      How can you hold such strong opinions when you don't even know the most basic elements of the facts? Manning was charged initially a few days after detention, and he was givin additional charges in March.

      As far as assuming guilt, do you feel the same about those calling him a "hero"? They are, afterall, basing that on the presumption that he did leak those documents.

      The second disturbing thing about the Bradley Manning case is the tendency of certain people to minimize the allegations against our government of Bradley Manning's treatment since his incarceration.  Regardless of what former State Department Official, P. J. Crowley may or may not think is torture, if certain allegations as to his treatment since his incarceration are true....

      IF certain allegations as to his treatment are true, sure.

      Watching Bush's supporters defend "enhanced interrogation techniques" was sickening.  Watching Democratic supporters minimize the allegations about Manning's treatment is perhaps even more sickening because it is even more disappointing.

      We are most definately NOT talking about apples and oranges here. The Bush supporters defended (ACTUAL) torture, which included brutal physical beatings, waterboarding, etc. The Democratic supporters are correcting factual inaccuracies.

      "The Green Bay Packers failed to score 8 times in the Super Bowl." -- Purity

      by USArmyParatrooper on Sun May 01, 2011 at 04:33:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I just wish what he did mattered. Evidently it (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, willibro, Shahryar, Ginger1, fidel, kurt

    doesn't one bit.  In fact, since then the war machine has ramped up into Libya and Manning himself has been allegedly tortured.  American citizens just don't seem to care about the killing of other human beings.  

    S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sun May 01, 2011 at 12:16:15 PM PDT

    •  Why would you make that particular connection? (0+ / 0-)

      True, Wikileaks earlier released war logs focused on Iraq and Afghanistan. But the diplomatic cables Manning was (allegedly) involved in releasing weren't really concerned with the American "war machine" but instead with the political and diplomatic secrets of countries around the world. And they have had significant repercussions in many places, for instance in Tunisia where revelations from the cables helped accelerate the fall of the regime.

      •  Interestingly enough, Manning never gets 'credit' (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bob Love

        for releasing docs that led to the overthrow of various dictators.

        Of the people we can claim we know died as a result of the document release, they've all been killed as a result of clashes between citizens and the troops of the dictators they were fighting to free themselves from.

  •  no question it would have been more astute (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blindyone, doc2, foufou

    on the part of the president if he had said, "We have every reason to believe that Bradley Manning broke the law."

    Meantime, I do agree with your one premise, that Bradley Manning is no Daniel Ellsberg.

    As for the rest of this tale? I reserve judgment until more facts are known.

    Simple.

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Sun May 01, 2011 at 12:24:56 PM PDT

    •  That's funny. (0+ / 0-)
      Meantime, I do agree with your one premise, that Bradley Manning is no Daniel Ellsberg.

      That's funny, of course, because Daniel Ellsberg himself disagrees with you.

      "Our enemy is generally al Qaeda, and they want these wars to continue," Ellsberg said. "The people who give comfort to the enemy are the people who sent troops there and are keeping the cost of the war from the people. Bradley Manning is acting in the interest of the United States and against the interest of our enemy al Qaeda."

      "There's a campaign here against whistleblowing that's actually unprecedented in legal terms," Ellsberg said.

      In fact he's disagreed with you on multiple occasions.

      DANIEL ELLSBERG: Well, the statements, that were very creditably made, with real candor, by the State Department spokesman, P.J. Crowley, were that the conditions under which Manning is being held, which clearly violate the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, even for someone being punished and having been convicted—and here we have someone, who has been charged but not yet tried or convicted, being held essentially in isolation, solitary confinement, for something over nine months, something that is likely to drive a person mad and may be the intent of what’s going on here.

      The WikiLeaks revelations that Manning is charged with having revealed, having to do with Iraq, reveal that in fact we, the U.S. military, in which Manning was a part, turns over suspects to the Iraqis with the knowledge that they will be and are being tortured, which is a clear violation of our own laws and of international law and makes us as much culpable in doing that as if we were doing the torture ourselves. Moreover, the WikiLeaks logs show the order is given, "Do not investigate further." Now, that’s an illegal order, which our president could change with—and should change and must change—with picking up one phone and changing that.

      Reportedly, Manning was very strongly motivated at one point to try to change this situation, because he was involved in it actively and knew that it was wrong and found that it could not—was not being investigated within the government and that it was not being dealt with at all. That’s a big difference of the WikiLeaks logs from the Pentagon Papers, which were higher-level things that didn’t reveal field-level war crimes and wrongdoing and criminality, as these actually do.

      So I guess you're right.  Ellsberg is saying that the conduct Manning is accused of revealing is not the same that Ellsberg revealed in the Pentagon Papers -- it's actually worse.

      And later in the same interview, Ellsberg draws explicit and direct parallels between himself and Manning:

      I was very dismayed that the President, faced with accusations at such a high level from his assistant secretary for public affairs, rather than investigating and discovering, as he easily could have, that the descriptions by Crowley’s counterpart at the Defense Department, the public affairs people there, have been totally false and that he has been misinformed, his—the President’s reaction was very dismaying. He was satisfied with having asked the Defense Department whether the conditions were, quote, "appropriate" and met reasonable standards, basic standards, and he was assured that they did.  It was very like asking—President Nixon asking the White House plumbers or his counsel, John Ehrlichman, "Was it appropriate and did it meet our standards for you to be burglarizing Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist in Los Angeles? Did that meet our basic standards?" and when told by Howard Hunt or G. Gordon Liddy, "Yes, no problem," that’s the end of that matter. It’s so absurd that it really raises very much a question about President Obama’s own understanding of the law or willingness to abide by it, in this case, and not for the first time.

      And oh, yeah, what Ellsberg thinks about the POTUS's unilateral declaration of Manning's guilt:

      DANIEL ELLSBERG: Well, nearly everything the President has said represents a confusion about the state of the law and his own responsibilities. Everyone is focused, I think, on the fact that his commander-in-chief has virtually given a directed verdict to his subsequent jurors, who will all be his subordinates in deciding the guilt in the trial of Bradley Manning. He’s told them already that their commander, on who their whole career depends, regards him as guilty and that they can disagree with that only at their peril. In career terms, it’s clearly enough grounds for a dismissal of the charges, just as my trial was dismissed eventually for governmental misconduct.

      Notice again the explicit and direct parallels Ellsberg himself draws between his case and Manning's.

      So I'll take Daniel Ellsberg's own assessment of whether "Bradley Manning is no Daniel Ellsberg" over your uninformed speculations.

  •  Rec for another point of view which is (5+ / 0-)

    hard to find on DKos regarding the Bradley Manning case.

    And, a rec for providing some historical perspective which is usually missing in most Bradley Manning diaries.

    And, a rec for reminding us that there are so many in our criminal injustice system experiencing worse torture every day.

    My people- we are legion!

    by blindyone on Sun May 01, 2011 at 12:25:36 PM PDT

  •  Psychological Torture of an American Hero (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, lunachickie, ohmyheck, kurt, 2020adam

    Your assessment that Bradley Manning wasn't tortured is incorrect, because you are only taking into account physical torture and not psychological torture. As a victim of psychological torture by an unscrupulous mental health facility I was forced to go to against my will as a teenager, I can tell you that psychological torture is not only very real it can have devastating, life long effects on a subject. I have seen the government admit to treating Private Manning in such a way that, while not classified as such by the US government, I would consider paramount to torture. Forcing him to stand naked for hours while they inspect his room, keeping him in prolonged periods of isolation. I wouldn't treat my worst enemy the way they are treating Private Manning.

    Yes, we are a nation of laws, and yes, Private Manning did break them. However, with all my heart I believe we are a nation of compassion and understanding. We understand that while the law may be black and white, the world is not. There are circumstances, and while they may not always excuse the actions, they help us understand that not every crime is the same, and allow us to show compassion from case to case.

    Our country is in two wars, one of which our nation's top officials lied us into. Our nation frequently abuses the state secret act to hide things from the general public not for the safety or well being of the American people, but because what they are doing is wrong and it would be an embarrassment if it got out. I believe if the government is doing something that would be frowned upon by the general public, rather than going ahead with it and classifying it, they should simply not do it. This is a constitutional Republic, not a military state, and the people have the right to know because if our leaders are doing things in secret, then we can't hold them accountable and democracy is lost.

    Private Manning did what he could to download as many classified documents as possible. He did so to expose the truth to the American public. While not all of that information was relevant, and at least some of them, like the diplomatic cables, did deserve to remain state secrets; when the government labels so much of it's dirty laundry as state secrets, some stuff that should be secret may get released in the efforts to show what the United States government has really been up to. So while Bradley Manning may have broken the law, he did so as a service to the American people and to preserving our republic, and deserves a medal, not incarceration.

    Isn't liberalism delicious?

    by SixDollarLiberal on Sun May 01, 2011 at 01:01:58 PM PDT

    •  I'd support him getting a medal some day. (0+ / 0-)

      Say, prisoner of the year from cellblock D.

      I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

      by doc2 on Sun May 01, 2011 at 01:15:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep, the loyal Bushies are coming (0+ / 0-)

        out of the woodwork again.

        Except the guy they're loyally supporting, and damn the facts, is no longer Bush.  But the damn-the-facts attitude and the viciousness of their rhetoric is certainly on par.

         

        I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

        QED.

    •  Actually, his assessment is totally correct. (0+ / 0-)

      If the conditions of Manning's detention amount to torture then I guess everyone who's ever been in maximum custody and/or prevention of injury watch at Quanitico have been "tortured"

      Manning is not the only detainee who was in maximum custody.

      Manning is not the only detainee who was on POI

      Manning is not special. Only certain people's zeal to have a martyr demands he is.

      I guess we'll have to agree to disagree about whether it's "heroic" for members of the intelligence community should be using their clearance to play political activist.

      "The Green Bay Packers failed to score 8 times in the Super Bowl." -- Purity

      by USArmyParatrooper on Sun May 01, 2011 at 04:41:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're right. (0+ / 0-)

        I guess we will have to "agree to disagree."  I will also "disagree" with your tendentious spin that Manning was "using [his] clearance to play political activist."  Unless of course you want to put Ellsberg in the same category, since he did the same thing.  Or maybe you think the Pentagon Papers shouldn't have been disclosed.  But I doubt it.

        Both Ellsberg and Manning were/are whistleblowers.  Which is what makes Manning different from other pretrial detainees.  What obviously has folks like you with their knickers in a twist is that this time, someone blew the whistle on the government headed up by Him Who Must Not Be Criticized (evar).  Which is not to be tolerated.  98% of those at DKos condemning or subtly (or not-so-subtly) smearing Manning would not be doing so if the President's name happened to be Bush (or McCain) and not Obama.  Only certain people's zeal to shield him from criticism demands that Manning be smeared in this way.

        So I'll take Ellsberg's assessment over yours, thank you very much.

        "Our enemy is generally al Qaeda, and they want these wars to continue," Ellsberg said. "The people who give comfort to the enemy are the people who sent troops there and are keeping the cost of the war from the people. Bradley Manning is acting in the interest of the United States and against the interest of our enemy al Qaeda."

        "There's a campaign here against whistleblowing that's actually unprecedented in legal terms," Ellsberg said.

        Indeed.  As for your "contribution" to this discussion, Paratrooper..... well, let's just say thanks for playing.

  •  I'd think this diary should raise some dust (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nashville fan

    and I doubt many recs. Well thought out and raises some good points none the less.

    One person in the business I talked to a couple months ago said some of the greatest damage going foreword is that it's much harder to exchange informations amongst different agencies, and the thought that every email might some day become common knowledge.

    "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Sun May 01, 2011 at 01:14:22 PM PDT

  •  Was this essay generated by a computer? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, bronte17, lunachickie, fidel, DWG
    Here is my believe on the many unsubstantiated torture accusation
    Mr. Ellberg had done was leak
    what Bradly Manning has done leaking

    Or it is all best explained by "luck"

    However, for Mr. Ellberg, luckily during his criminal trial, "due to the gross governmental misconduct and illegal evidence", the Government's case against Daniel Ellberg was dismissed and today Daniel Ellberg is alive and still a free man at age 79.
  •  I suppose the U.S. could stop engaging in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, PhilK, 2020adam

    immoral and secretive behaviour that behooves no one including the U.S.  But that's a story for another diary.

    I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

    by Lucy2009 on Sun May 01, 2011 at 03:36:00 PM PDT

  •  Modest proposal: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK, priceman

    Anyone who thinks that the treatment Bradley Manning has been subjected to doesn't constitute torture should be subjected to the same treatment, and then follow up with us all after the fact to tell us if they've changed their mind.

    AKA Big Tex *** If Barack Obama is the only adult in the room, then it must be his fault that the drapes are on fire and the cat's been shaved.

    by Maikeru Ronin on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:45:49 PM PDT

  •  Dressing on the side, please (0+ / 0-)

    Seriously, word salads like

    Nixon, a crook he was, trying to score a political point was willing to let the predecessor Democratic Administration fry in hell for their lies and mischief to embarrass them for the things they had kept secret as documented in the Pentagon Papers until advised that his administration must defend these secrets from being released for a self serving reason so that the Nixon Administration can use the same standard to suppress and keep secrets in case they come under similar scrutiny that may be embarrassing and they don't want the public to know about it.

    make one think the diarist has been taking composition from Sarah Palin.  Of course, if you don't have much of an argument to begin with, it can be easier to distract people from that fact by making it damn near impossible to follow and burying it in a lot of excess verbiage, peppered with a few buzzwords to rally the faithful.  As Palin has learned to do as well.  A masterful job, I must say.  Well played!

  •  "Damn right." (0+ / 0-)
    Was the President right for saying "He broke the law"? I say, damn right it was appropriate because he told the truth some just don't like to hear or have not seen the evidence.

    That's weird.  Because the White House now apparently disagrees with you.

    But White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said Obama was in fact making a general statement that did not go specifically to the charges against Manning. “The president was emphasizing that, in general, the unauthorized release of classified information is not a lawful act,” he said Friday night. “He was not expressing a view as to the guilt or innocence of Pfc. Manning specifically.”

    Now, I grant that this is a pretty lame walk-back, and in fact is a pretty transparent falsehood, given what the POTUS actually did say, as Greenwald points out:

    What Obama actually said was: "He broke the law." I'll leave it to readers to determine whether the White House’s denial is reasonable, or whether it's the actions of a President constitutionally incapable of admitting error (h/t auerfeld).

    But it's an attempted walk-back nonetheless.  Which raises the question of why they're trying so desperately to walk it back if all the POTUS did was "[tell] the truth some just don't like to hear or have not seen the evidence."

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