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Zeitgueist
Aug 8, 2003


http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentis...ed-progressives

quote:

"With respect to Private Manning, I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. They assure me that they are." - Barack Obama, White House Press Conference, March 10, 2011.

_________

Few if any articles that I've written produced as much backlash as my 15 December 2010 column reporting on the oppressive and inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning's detention, the first time that story was reported. The anger at my article primarily came not from right-wing venues but from the hardest-core Obama supporters, who (as they always do since 20 January 2009) reflexively defended the US government. Led by former Obama campaign press aide and now MSNBC contributor (the ultimate redundancy) Joy Reid, these particularly fanatical Democratic partisans literally adopted the anti-Manning rhetoric from the further right-wing precincts and repudiated the liberal tradition of defending whistleblowers and opposing oppressive detention conditions - all in order to insist that Manning was being treated exactly how he should be (this warped reaction was far from unanimous, as many progressives protested Manning's treatment).

Since then, an internal investigation by the Marine Corps - which operates the brig in which he was held - found that Manning's jailers violated their own policies in imposing oppressive conditions. The Obama administration's own State Department spokesman, PJ Crowley, denounced the detention conditions as "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid" and was then fired as a result. Amnesty International called for protests over Manning's treatment. The UN's highest torture official formally concluded after an investigation that the US government was guilty "of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment towards Bradley Manning" and "that the US military was at least culpable of cruel and inhumane treatment in keeping Manning locked up alone for 23 hours a day over an 11-month period in conditions that he also found might have constituted torture" - exactly what I reported at the end of 2010.

And now, on Tuesday, the military judge presiding over Manning's court-martial found, as the Guardian's Ed Pilkington reports, "that he was subjected to excessively harsh treatment in military detention" and is thus entitled to a reduction of his sentence if he is found guilty.
Pilkington notes:

"[The military judge's] ruling was made under Article 13 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that protects prisoners awaiting trial from punishment on grounds that they are innocent until proven guilty. The recognition that some degree of pre-trial punishment did occur during the nine months that the soldier was held in Quantico marks a legal victory for the defence in that it supports Manning's long-held complaint that he was singled out by the US government for excessively harsh treatment."

This is far from a real victory for Manning. He was seeking dismissal of all charges, or a far greater sentencing reduction, based on claims of unlawful detention. And the judge, while accepting some, rejected many of his claims of abuse on the grounds that there was no intent to punish him before trial. But that's hardly surprising: this is, after all, a military judge presiding over a case where an Army Private is accused of "aiding and abetting al-Qaida." The entire proceeding is stacked against Manning: a military judge presiding over a military tribunal in this case is about the least objective and trustworthy arbiter on these questions.

That's why this ruling is so significant: even the military judge recognized that, in multiple ways, the treatment of Manning was unfair, excessive and illegal. Politico's Josh Gerstein explains:

"The decision is a significant victory for Manning's defense and a vindication for human-rights groups that complained the intelligence analyst was being treated unfairly. The ruling also runs counter to President Barack Obama's statement at a March 2011 news conference that Manning's treatment at the brig was 'appropriate.'"

Amazingly, Obama's defense of Manning's treatment - repudiated even by this military judge - came less than a week after the New York Times first reported that brig officials had begun stripping Manning of all his clothing and forcing him to remain naked.

The willingness of some of Obama's most devoted followers to justify all this and lash out at critics surprised even me, and underscored just how blindly supportive they are no matter how extreme and odious the behavior. As Charles Davis detailed in an excellent analysis at Salon last April, these Obama-defending progressives - in order to attack Manning and defend his detention conditions - copied almost verbatim the playbook used by Nixon officials to malign Daniel Ellsberg and anyone else who exposed wrongdoing on the part of the US government. Just as Bush followers did for years with the controversy over torture, these Democratic partisans alternated manically between denying that these oppressive conditions existed, justifying their use, and mocking concerns over them.

John Cole, one of President Obama's most steadfast supporters (and a former Army soldier), repeatedly condemned the abusive treatment of Manning, and in doing so, continually provoked the scorn of his Obama-supporting readers. Yesterday, after reading news of the military judge's decision, Cole sarcastically wrote:

"I don't understand how this is possible. What kind of commie liberal is this judge? Is she from Code Pink? For months, when I said he was being abused, all the keyboard commandos assured me that military protocol was being followed and that if they didn't abuse him like this and keep him naked and without his glasses, if he killed himself firebaggers like me would blame Obama.

"Many of you internet tough guys continued with this line of invective even when the DOD Inspector General said he was being treated not in accordance with rules. . . .

"Anyone with half a f****** brain could tell he was being treated differently than any other person in custody at Quantico, and the reason for it was he had embarrassed the Brass and the National Security State.

"For alleged liberals, there's not a dimes worth of difference between many of you and [Bush torture advocate] Marc Thiessen."

Watching self-proclaimed progressives attack and malign a courageous whistleblower, while defending the US military's patently abusive detention practices and steadfastly defending the government's extreme secrecy powers, is one of the most potent symbols of the Obama presidency.

An equally potent symbol is that at the very same time that Bradley Manning is prosecuted and threatened with life in prison for exposing serious war crimes, a government official who supported if not participated in those war crimes is being promoted to CIA director. This takes place in the same week when, as FAIR put it on Monday, "the only person to do time for the CIA's torture policies [John Kiriakou] appears to be a guy who spoke publicly about them, not any of the people who did the actual torturing.

As usual, those who commit serious crimes in government are not punished but rather rewarded. Only those who expose those crimes are punished. That's the story of Bradley Manning, and what makes it all the more remarkable and telling are the hordes of Democrats who have spent several years justifying and cheering for this.

Bolded a few choice parts, but honestly it's not long, read the whole thing. Just because I didn't bold doesn't mean I didn't feel it was important.

There's been hardly any coverage of this and Greenwald rightly points out that he's been at the forefront of trying to keep this in the media. We are currently torturing someone who should be a hero, and even supposed liberals are defending it.

I think it's fair to say that if this were happening under Bush, we'd be having serious protests and blowback over this, but honestly, maybe we wouldn't. It's already hard to talk to progressives about prison reform, people simply don't care about what happens once someone gets accused of a crime and this is an extension of that.

~~~~~~~~~~

Note

1) Private Breanna Manning identifies as female. Her legal name is still Bradley, her legal gender is male, but that is not relevant, unless you claim rights as The God of Gender Assignment to arbitrarily tell people they're wrong about themselves.

Supporting articles regarding her gender(you better have some good refutations if you disagree):
http://nymag.com/news/features/brad...1-7/index4.html
http://globalcomment.com/why-does-t...ansgender-hero/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zinni..._b_2241741.html

2) The previous version of this thread had a lot of shitposting. The Manning case is an important one, and it reflects strongly on the Obama administration, the military, and the American government. Here's the word from a moderator:

evilweasel posted:

This thread has a ridiculously low signal to noise ratio so for all future posts in this thread you should really ask yourself "is this a contributing post that is interesting or is it white noise" because I'm not going to be real tolerant of the white noise posts.

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FIRE CURES BIGOTS
Aug 26, 2002

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Why was manning tortured? Maybe Obama will pardon him? Right?

Here is what I posted before.

Obama is part of the problem. He's not some progressive who misplaced his testicles at the end of the 2008 campaign, he is a spokes person for the elite. And the elite want whistle blowers gone.

What I mean by the elite is this. We are ruled by a depraved culture of think tanks and industrialists. They go by many different names but the are completely unprincipled and care about only one thing, American money and power. Republican or Democrat, the ideology is money and power. Its not like we have secret leaders in smokey board rooms. Its not a conspiracy, it is a culture.

It is an intellectual culture that apologizes for the worst excesses of colonialism and imperialism, expresses apathy for the externalities of the business community in favor of "the economy," sees the destruction of the incomes of working class people in favor of cheaper labor costs overseas as progress, sees the middle class and the working class and the poor as focus groups to be manipulated, sees America as exceptional and above the concerns of having to hold up our part of treaties, be held accountable for human rights abuses other countries are held accountable for, and sees these elite views as the "mature" or realpolitik way of looking at the world rather than the abhorrent and contemptible hubris that people outside of their clique sees it. And the last thing that this culture is willing to tolerate is a naive whistle blower airing their dirty laundry and private wheeling and dealing over diplomatic cables.

vacation in kabul
Dec 6, 2009

by Y Kant Ozma Post


He, and all of his supporters, should consider it a blessing that he is still alive. In all seriousness he should be drawn and quartered for what he's done, if only to send a message to anyone else thinking of collaborating with douchebags like Julian Assange in the future.

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

Zeitgueist
Aug 8, 2003


Fire posted:

Why was manning tortured? Maybe Obama will pardon him? Right?

Here is what I posted before.

Obama is part of the problem. He's not some progressive who misplaced his testicles at the end of the 2008 campaign, he is a spokes person for the elite. And the elite want whistle blowers gone.

What I mean by the elite is this. We are ruled by a depraved culture of think tanks and industrialists. They go by many different names but the are completely unprincipled and care about only one thing, American money and power. Republican or Democrat, the ideology is money and power. Its not like we have secret leaders in smokey board rooms. Its not a conspiracy, it is a culture.

It is an intellectual culture that apologizes for the worst excesses of colonialism and imperialism, expresses apathy for the externalities of the business community in favor of "the economy," sees the destruction of the incomes of working class people in favor of cheaper labor costs overseas as progress, sees the middle class and the working class and the poor as focus groups to be manipulated, sees America as exceptional and above the concerns of having to hold up our part of treaties, be held accountable for human rights abuses other countries are held accountable for, and sees these elite views as the "mature" or realpolitik way of looking at the world rather than the abhorrent and contemptible hubris that people outside of their clique sees it. And the last thing that this culture is willing to tolerate is a naive whistle blower airing their dirty laundry and private wheeling and dealing over diplomatic cables.

Obama has been extremely harsh on whistleblowers, even compared to recent awful presidents.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentis...er-persecutions

quote:

For several decades, protection of whistleblowers has been a core political value for Democrats, at least for progressives. Daniel Ellsberg has long been viewed by liberals as an American hero for his disclosure of the top secret Pentagon Papers. In 2008, candidate Obama hailed whistleblowing as "acts of courage and patriotism", which "should be encouraged rather than stifled as they have been during the Bush administration".

President Obama, however, has waged the most aggressive and vindictive assault on whistleblowers of any president in American history, as even political magazines generally supportive of him have recognized and condemned. One might think that, as the party's faithful gather to celebrate the greatness of this leader, this fact would be a minor problem, a source of some tension between Obama and his hardest-core supporters, perhaps even some embarrassment. One would be wrong.

http://www.salon.com/2011/05/16/whistleblowers_6/

quote:

When President Barack Obama took office, in 2009, he championed the cause of government transparency, and spoke admiringly of whistle-blowers, whom he described as “often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government.” But the Obama Administration has pursued leak prosecutions with a surprising relentlessness. Including the Drake case, it has been using the Espionage Act to press criminal charges in five alleged instances of national-security leaks — more such prosecutions than have occurred in all previous Administrations combined. The Drake case is one of two that Obama’s Justice Department has carried over from the Bush years.

Gabriel Schoenfeld, a conservative political scientist at the Hudson Institute, who, in his book “Necessary Secrets” (2010), argues for more stringent protection of classified information, says, “Ironically, Obama has presided over the most draconian crackdown on leaks in our history — even more so than Nixon.

Woozy
Jan 3, 2006


I'm not super sure how to ask this but can we get some guidance in terms of which pronoun is appropriate to refer to Manning for this thread? Either one seems presumptive and without being able to ask Manning directly I'd just assume er on the side of "her" but I have no idea what the appropriate way of figuring that out is.

Zeitgueist
Aug 8, 2003


vacation in kabul posted:

He, and all of his supporters, should consider it a blessing that he is still alive. In all seriousness he should be drawn and quartered for what he's done, if only to send a message to anyone else thinking of collaborating with douchebags like Julian Assange in the future.

What has she done that merits execution, other than collaborate with someone you don't like?


edit: poo poo, even messing up my own pronouns.

FIRE CURES BIGOTS
Aug 26, 2002

by Y Kant Ozma Post


vacation in kabul posted:

He, and all of his supporters, should consider it a blessing that he is still alive. In all seriousness he should be drawn and quartered for what he's done, if only to send a message to anyone else thinking of collaborating with douchebags like Julian Assange in the future.

I don't dispute that Julian Assange is a douchbag. He ruined his own credibility and the credibility of his organization by committing that surprise sex, which served as an easy out that kept the media from paying attention to any of the revelations of the cable release.

But what Manning did was brave and heroic. We should be proud of her. Our government lies to us on a daily basis, conducts imperialist wars of choice against the poor and uses an apparatus of secrecy that needed to be brought down. The Collateral Murder video revealed a cover up. The diplomatic cables revealed a sociopathic attitudes by the people that represent us to the world. It revealed torture done in the name of the American people in stark contrast to our stated values.

Zeitgueist
Aug 8, 2003


Woozy posted:

I'm not super sure how to ask this but can we get some guidance in terms of which pronoun is appropriate to refer to Manning for this thread? Either one seems presumptive and without being able to ask Manning directly I'd just assume er on the side of "her" but I have no idea what the appropriate way of figuring that out is.

me posted:

1) Private Breanna Manning identifies as female. Her legal name is still Bradley, her legal gender is male, but that is not relevant, unless you claim rights as The God of Gender Assignment to arbitrarily tell people they're wrong about themselves.

Supporting articles regarding her gender(you better have some good refutations if you disagree):
http://nymag.com/news/features/brad...1-7/index4.html
http://globalcomment.com/why-does-t...ansgender-hero/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zinni..._b_2241741.html

Manning identifies as female, so we should be OK with "she", but since she hasn't specifically made a statement on pronoun usage in public(how could she?), non gender-specific pronouns could also be appropriate.

I don't want this to become a discussion about whether or not she is transgender. She has stated so previously. However, I do think her gender status figures into this discussion, so I don't want to say it's completely irrelevant to the thread.

The thread is about Private Manning's mistreatment. I'd imagine that gender identity has figured into that. I've specifically seen service-members on Facebook use gender and sexuality slurs against her.

Mercury_Storm
Jun 12, 2003

Internet is only an instrument and there is no ruling on it.



What does Obama even have to gain by coming down on whistleblowers? The whole situation seems pretty ridiculous, especially after all his talk about transparency prior to being elected.

vacation in kabul
Dec 6, 2009

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Zeitgueist posted:

What has he done that merits execution, other than collaborate with someone you don't like?

He was convinced to blindly hand classified material to an egomaniac with a website, which, while being an order of magnitude or two lamer than actual espionage, shows insanely poor judgement on his part and a lack of fear or misunderstanding of what waited for him once he did it. The military can not operate safely if our servicepeople do not understand the importance of not collaborating with outside agents, and I would hope that a public execution would send an adequate message.

Zeitgueist
Aug 8, 2003


Mercury_Storm posted:

What does Obama even have to gain by coming down on whistleblowers? The whole situation seems pretty ridiculous, especially after all his talk about transparency prior to being elected.

If he's culpable to what they're blowing the whistle on, nothing. Which it seems self-evident he is, given how hard he's cracked down on them.

It's mostly being pointed out because he very loudly and specifically complained about Bush doing the same, yet here he is doing arguably worse.

Zeitgueist
Aug 8, 2003


vacation in kabul posted:

He was convinced to blindly hand classified material to an egomaniac with a website, which, while being an order of magnitude or two lamer than actual espionage, shows insanely poor judgement on his part and a lack of fear or misunderstanding of what waited for him once he did it. The military can not operate safely if our servicepeople do not understand the importance of not collaborating with outside agents, and I would hope that a public execution would send an adequate message.

He gave evidence that we are endangering our service people and lying to the public they protect.

You seem to be saying that obeying orders is more important than doing what is right, even if the goal is still to protect the US and it's soldiers.

Mr. Wynand
Nov 23, 2002

DLT 4EVA

Zeitgueist posted:

He gave evidence that we are endangering our service people and lying to the public they protect.

You seem to be saying that obeying orders is more important than doing what is right, even if the goal is still to protect the US and it's soldiers.

In case any of you aren't already aware of this, this is, by the by, exactly what the Nurenberg Trials took German service members to task for. Would be great to see the U.S. follow it's own legal tradition, as I happen to agree with Nurenberg....

Captain Kirk agrees!

Only registered members can see post attachments!

Tubgirl Cosplay
Jan 10, 2011

Drama Llama

Mercury_Storm posted:

What does Obama even have to gain by coming down on whistleblowers? The whole situation seems pretty ridiculous, especially after all his talk about transparency prior to being elected.

The same thing any agency head or executive has to gain, the reason whistleblowers are so systematically abused that we need specific (ridiculously weak) legal protections against retaliation against them - a chilling effect against other potential whistleblowers. Obama's presidency has been to a remarkable extent about having talk and action going in opposite directions; he gains much by being perceived as a reformer and a progressive even while he covers for the atrocities perpetrated under the previous administration and substantially continues or accelerates their policies overseas, and even in the case of stuff that is already broadly recognized the power of the state to use official secrecy to pretty much force everyone into denial and avoid any kind of accounting over it is pretty powerful - everyone who cared knew there was still torture going on, that much of what was done in Iraq targeted civilians, that American reps held the buffoons in Saudi Arabia in contempt, but it's one thing for everyone to know and another for it to actually be documented fact publicly acknowledged, as we saw in the diplomatic fallout after the leaks. People calling attention to what he and the ruling class he represents are up to and revealing privileged knowledge without approval are a threat. If there was a Wikileaks information blowout every year it'd make it impossible for him to do his job.

man thats gross
Sep 4, 2004


vacation in kabul posted:

He was convinced to blindly hand classified material to an egomaniac with a website, which, while being an order of magnitude or two lamer than actual espionage, shows insanely poor judgement on his part and a lack of fear or misunderstanding of what waited for him once he did it. The military can not operate safely if our servicepeople do not understand the importance of not collaborating with outside agents, and I would hope that a public execution would send an adequate message.

Maybe this isn't the time to get into the fact that capital punishment is a terrible deterrent, but you do know that capital punishment is a terrible deterrent, right? Do you not think this would be particularly true in the case of people who volunteer to serve in the armed forces in war time?

Zeitgueist
Aug 8, 2003


Mr. Wynand posted:

In case any of you aren't already aware of this, this is, by the by, exactly what the Nurenberg Trials took German service members to task for. Would be great to see the U.S. follow it's own legal tradition, as I happen to agree with Nurenberg....

In all seriousness, the US didn't even follow this at the time, as no Allied soldiers committing war crimes were prosecuted that I know of, and we did not prosecute certain figures that we found helpful.

However it's a good point, morally and ethically Manning had a duty to what was right, even in the face of orders and the chain of command. Few have the courage to do this, and that's why she's commendable.

You could make the argument that she should have leaked to an American source, but I can understand using WikiLeaks, given the history of US media collusion is government propaganda.

Chantilly Say
Apr 18, 2008

Coup.


Zeitgueist posted:

In all seriousness, the US didn't even follow this at the time, as no Allied soldiers committing war crimes were prosecuted that I know of, and we did not prosecute certain figures that we found helpful.

However it's a good point, morally and ethically Manning had a duty to what was right, even in the face of orders and the chain of command. Few have the courage to do this, and that's why she's commendable.

You could make the argument that she should have leaked to an American source, but I can understand using WikiLeaks, given the history of US media collusion is government propaganda.

Regardless of the moral and ethical obligations Manning was under, her actions still constitute a crime. While her treatment by the government has been deplorable, the government can still argue at the fair trial which she deserves that she ought to serve a term of incarceration for exposing classified information.

Mr. Wynand
Nov 23, 2002

DLT 4EVA

Zeitgueist posted:

However it's a good point, morally and ethically Manning had a duty to what was right, even in the face of orders and the chain of command. Few have the courage to do this, and that's why she's commendable.

He absolutely is. The one bright spot about all this is that if he ever manages to get out of prison, plenty of people will welcome him as a hero. Of course, he'll probably also have to dodge more then a few assassination attempts.

(edit: changed pronouns back to 'he' as that turns out to be the preferred pronoun)

Zeitgueist
Aug 8, 2003


Chantilly Say posted:

Regardless of the moral and ethical obligations Manning was under, her actions still constitute a crime. While her treatment by the government has been deplorable, the government can still argue at the fair trial which she deserves that she ought to serve a term of incarceration for exposing classified information.

Oh, I have no illusions that she'll somehow get out of jail anytime soon. My issues are her treatment in jail, and the idea that she deserves execution.

There's no way any administration, and especially this one, was going to exonerate her.


You can think someone's a hero, and still realize the law never will.

Xeom
Mar 16, 2007


I really hope she gets out soon, but I am not that hopeful. This is not a country of law's.

Charlie Foxtrot
Aug 24, 2002

Talk to the hand, cause the Receiver isn't listening.



Zeitgueist posted:

However it's a good point, morally and ethically Manning had a duty to what was right, even in the face of orders and the chain of command. Few have the courage to do this, and that's why she's commendable.
The Army has "right" procedures for everything, including what to do when you're in a situation you think is wrong from a legal, moral, ethical, or regulatory standpoint. Not only did he fail to do what was right, he actively did what was wrong by releasing classified information without authorization. Failing to do right and actively doing wrong is not commendable.

Incidentally, from The Bradley Manning Support Network:

quote:

Everything we know from Bradley Manning’s friends, family, and legal defense team, is that he wishes to be referred to as Brad or Bradley until he’s able to get to the next stage of his life. Bradley has indicated that he’s not interested in publicly addressing this issue. . . . He didn’t ask us to start referring to him as Breanna. Advocates for Manning have an obligation to respect his agency and use the pronoun he had preferred prior to his arrest. None of us has the right to switch pronouns for Manning unless he tells us otherwise.

The Betrayer
Jan 1, 2005



In the eyes of the law and the UCMJ, which Manning is subject to, Manning is male and will be tried as such. There is nothing to suggest that his gender and sexuality is playing any role in his treatment, and derailing the discussion of his crime by sanctimonious discussion on whether we should accommodate his gender preference is silly.

FIRE CURES BIGOTS
Aug 26, 2002

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Charlie Foxtrot posted:

The Army has "right" procedures for everything, including what to do when you're in a situation you think is wrong from a legal, moral, ethical, or regulatory standpoint. Not only did he fail to do what was right, he actively did what was wrong by releasing classified information without authorization. Failing to do right and actively doing wrong is not commendable.

Incidentally, from The Bradley Manning Support Network:

On the second issue, that is a good and credible point, I will reserve judgement until I have more information.

On the first point, that is of little use when the problem is the whole post 911 culture of the military is hosed up.

Emden
Oct 5, 2012

by angerbeet


"Mistreatment"? The man is not only a proud traitor but mentally ill too. The fact that he has not been killed for his actions is astounding and shows how far we've come in terms of ethics.

Charlie Foxtrot
Aug 24, 2002

Talk to the hand, cause the Receiver isn't listening.



Fire posted:

On the first point, that is of little use when the problem is the whole post 911 culture of the military is hosed up.
Please explain.

Mr. Wynand
Nov 23, 2002

DLT 4EVA

Emden posted:

"Mistreatment"? The man is not only a proud traitor but mentally ill too. The fact that he has not been killed for his actions is astounding and shows how far we've come in terms of ethics.

Sorry? We're commending people for not killing the mentally ill?

Mr. Wynand
Nov 23, 2002

DLT 4EVA

Charlie Foxtrot posted:

The Army has "right" procedures for everything, including what to do when you're in a situation you think is wrong from a legal, moral, ethical, or regulatory standpoint. Not only did he fail to do what was right, he actively did what was wrong by releasing classified information without authorization. Failing to do right and actively doing wrong is not commendable.


I would like to know more about these procedures. What are they, how effective have they proven in the past, what is their track record when dealing with potentially embarrassing complaints.

Spacedad
Sep 11, 2001
Probation
Can't post for 6 days!


Charlie Foxtrot posted:

Please explain.

He can probably explain more, but one area is that we started letting troops and CIA operatives conduct interrogations who basically just pulled whatever they thought might work out of their butts. The truth is none of them knew anything about interrogation and they were using a handbook of ineffective torture methods used on our own troops in POW camps by the enemy from the vietnam war. Troops being able to brutalize and bully people while acting like a kind of improvised police improperly trained police force was not a good idea, and changed the culture of the military to one where torture, something we had expressly outlawed via the geneva conventions, was seen an accepted part of one's duty. It was a big change for our military and its culture.

It's funny because if they'd talke to the FBI or police forces in the US, they would have found out about methods of interrogation that actually work, in addition to the fact that torture doesn't loving work, ever. Quite the opposite in fact; rapport-building being the most effective means of interrogation by far. Make the suspect/prisoner think you are their friend and they'll spill everything.

Anyway, there's also other aspects to the whole thing - mainly that the troops were given a lot of leeway to do things that require a high amount of training and discipline, such as running a prison. When you give poorly trained individuals a lot of freedom to run things however they want, you wind up with a grotesque 'stanford prison experiment' scenario. (I.E. Abu Gharib) Since our military was given a "WE CANT SLOW DOWN WE HAVE TO GO GET THE BAD GUYS AS FAST AS WE CAN" green light, this resulted in huge colossal fuckups as any sort of serious protocol for human rights flew out the window.

What's funny is that, in spite of the hollywoodified depiction of torture leading to Bin Laden's capture in 'zero dark thirty', it was after we stopped torturing and engaged in RAPPORT-BUILDING that gave us the actionable intelligence we needed to catch Bin Laden. In fact, we likely would have captured Bin Laden during the Bush years if we'd engaged in rapport-building during that time instead of torture. So literally every argument about torture being the fast-track to 'protecting' us is worthless since torture actually slows us down and makes things worse.

Anyway, bringing us to Manning - his treatment is partly a reflection on the changed culture of the military, where human rights of our enemies and traitors is no longer respected, and where our troops are given a large amount of 'freedom' to abuse and brutalize captive individuals. Once upon a time we didn't torture P.O.W.'s and similar captives - now it's commonplace.

Uglycat
Dec 4, 2000


Here's a question:
Is the world a better or worse place as a result of Manning's decision? Feel free to break the question down into short, medium, and long term outcomes (or anticipated outcomes).

Related question: is America stronger or weaker as a result of Manning's actions?

The Betrayer
Jan 1, 2005



Uglycat posted:

Here's a question:
Is the world a better or worse place as a result of Manning's decision? Feel free to break the question down into short, medium, and long term outcomes (or anticipated outcomes).

Related question: is America stronger or weaker as a result of Manning's actions?

These questions are completely irrelevant. Manning broke the law, there were avenues by which he could voice his displeasure (although how much of his displeasure can be chalked up to "I'm the lowest ranking around here, nobody gives me any of the respect I'm entitled to" remains to be seen), and he chose to break the law and do things in an irresponsible manner.

He didn't do what he did out of survival--this isn't a case of stealing bread to feed his starving family. He did it out of arrogance, and he deserves to be punished for it.

Mr. Wynand
Nov 23, 2002

DLT 4EVA

The Betrayer posted:

These questions are completely irrelevant. Manning broke the law, there were avenues by which he could voice his displeasure (although how much of his displeasure can be chalked up to "I'm the lowest ranking around here, nobody gives me any of the respect I'm entitled to" remains to be seen), and he chose to break the law and do things in an irresponsible manner.

He didn't do what he did out of survival--this isn't a case of stealing bread to feed his starving family. He did it out of arrogance, and he deserves to be punished for it.

Feel free to answer my question from earlier as well then:

Mr. Wynand posted:

I would like to know more about these procedures. What are they, how effective have they proven in the past, what is their track record when dealing with potentially embarrassing complaints.

Obama Africanus
Sep 9, 2001


If we can't get them out, we'll breed them out.


quote:

Why was manning tortured? Maybe Obama will pardon him? Right?

Here is what I posted before.

Obama is part of the problem. He's not some progressive who misplaced his testicles at the end of the 2008 campaign, he is a spokes person for the elite. And the elite want whistle blowers gone.

What I mean by the elite is this. We are ruled by a depraved culture of think tanks and industrialists. They go by many different names but the are completely unprincipled and care about only one thing, American money and power. Republican or Democrat, the ideology is money and power. Its not like we have secret leaders in smokey board rooms. Its not a conspiracy, it is a culture.

It is an intellectual culture that apologizes for the worst excesses of colonialism and imperialism, expresses apathy for the externalities of the business community in favor of "the economy," sees the destruction of the incomes of working class people in favor of cheaper labor costs overseas as progress, sees the middle class and the working class and the poor as focus groups to be manipulated, sees America as exceptional and above the concerns of having to hold up our part of treaties, be held accountable for human rights abuses other countries are held accountable for, and sees these elite views as the "mature" or realpolitik way of looking at the world rather than the abhorrent and contemptible hubris that people outside of their clique sees it. And the last thing that this culture is willing to tolerate is a naive whistle blower airing their dirty laundry and private wheeling and dealing over diplomatic cables.

I think you are confusing unprincipled and different principles, Fire. To broadly paint all individuals that work for think tanks, and inhabit the board rooms in the United States as morally depraved money driven is silly, and pretty conspiratorial. This is a pretty good example of "otherizing", it just so happens that you are otherizing up the socio-economic ladder, rather than the more oft used downward otherizing. You follow this with an unironic lambasting of American (in your words, "intellectual") Culture as imperialist, and colonial. I think this is not only inaccurate as a description of American culture, but also the culture of individuals with a great deal of influence and power in the U.S. There is a lot that could be reasonably criticized about America's governmental policies, and it's policy makers-- to resort to simplification and hyperbole isn't the most intellectually honest way to do so. I can appreciate your passion on the topic, but it really clouds any meaningful debate or discussion on the topic if before we even talk about this, we have to overcome such overwrought statements.

quote:

He, and all of his supporters, should consider it a blessing that he is still alive. In all seriousness he should be drawn and quartered for what he's done, if only to send a message to anyone else thinking of collaborating with douchebags like Julian Assange in the future.

Right. Because due process and civil rights for U.S. citizens should be set aside in favor of.. What exactly? Also, drawing and quartering hasn't been the most effective deterrent to dissent throughout history, if you bother to look into it.

This young man has rights, after all. Which is sort of the point of the thread as far as I can gather.

Zeitgueist posted:

If he's culpable to what they're blowing the whistle on, nothing. Which it seems self-evident he is, given how hard he's cracked down on them.

It's mostly being pointed out because he very loudly and specifically complained about Bush doing the same, yet here he is doing arguably worse.

The vast, and I mean VAST majority of the material leaked has nothing to do with the Obama administration directly, or even it's policies. It does however shed light on a lot of sensitive operational information, intelligence sources and methods, and a lot of diplomatic and geopolitical information. This stuff being out there makes it very difficult for the U.S. to do business with other countries, and to maintain the operational security of any number of people.

I don't believe the administration came down hard on this because it was embarrassing personally regarding their policies, or their politics. They came down because it was the largest leak of classified information in the history of U.S. classified information-- and it directly harmed national security.

I don't believe this was whistle blowing. We have a lot, and I mean a lot of avenues to pursue in order to whistle blow. There are multiple parallel and overlapping methods for handling anything that this young man objected to. Just for starters he could and should have started with: His chain of command, then the inspector general, his congressional rep, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Select Intelligence Committee, The Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, and both of the foreign relations committees, or the government oversight committees. If he got no traction there, he could lodge complaints with legitimate international agencies. The ICC may not have jurisdiction, but there is also the UN in general. He could have made contact with these parties and lodged complaints there.

Bradley manning did none of this. Bradley Manning, a mentally ill young man serving in the Army, felt ostracized, isolated, and persecuted. He decided to clandestinely download as much classified information as he could off of the State Departments SIPRNET site, and the CENTCOM operations database. He then proceeded to place these classified documents in the hands of a foreign national for the purposes of leaking all of this classified information on the internet at large. Afterward, in what I can only assume was a fit of grandiosity or a desire for even a little bit of infamy, he bragged about this to a computer hacker he met on the internet.

None of Bradley Manning's activities are indicative of a person whose intent was to bring about direct changes in policy and governmental actions- at best he appears to have sought to embarrass the U.S. government and military which he felt personal animus towards and felt persecuted by. In this, he succeeded. This does not however make a whistleblower.

Hubris and what I assume is a desire for companionship or praise ended up being Bradley Manning's undoing.

If Bradley Manning believes he is a whistle blower, and that what he did was righteous, even in the face of all of the laws and agreements he broke, then why is his only effort at ownership of his whistleblowing to a stranger on the internet? Why did he not himself lend credence to his whistleblowing by offering his own testimony and name to his leak of classified information?

Because he feared retribution, right? He should. Because he ignored and bypassed every legal and proper avenue for whistleblower status, and instead made himself a criminal, and depending on who you ask, a traitor to his country. The administration coming down on a criminal who has committed this large of a crime, and done as much damage to the United States as he did has little to nothing to do with being embarrassed about Obama Policy and action specifics being leaked, and is instead the proper prosecution of a criminal. To not prosecute him to the full extent of the law, and likewise also prevent him from further damaging national security would be a gross shirking of duty. To pretend otherwise is silly.

There will never be a ticker tape parade for this man, the rest of his life is going to be spent in isolation inside of federal prisons. If he didn't want this to be the case, he certainly should not have done these things.

Zeitgueist posted:

He gave evidence that we are endangering our service people and lying to the public they protect.

You seem to be saying that obeying orders is more important than doing what is right, even if the goal is still to protect the US and it's soldiers.

To ascribe this as his primary motivation you really have to ignore everything he did, and how he did it. Ultimately, for this young man, the why really doesn't matter. And it never will.

Mr. Wynand posted:

In case any of you aren't already aware of this, this is, by the by, exactly what the Nurenberg Trials took German service members to task for. Would be great to see the U.S. follow it's own legal tradition, as I happen to agree with Nurenberg....

Captain Kirk agrees!



This is one very small step removed from calling U.S. servicemembers nazi's. I don't really see what it adds to the discussion. And to use your own logic here-- Bradley Manning would be on trial with the rest of the military. Unlike most Nazi soldiers, Bradley Manning freely and willingly joined the military and deployed to Iraq. If it goes that U.S. servicemembers are war criminals, than your patron saint of whistleblowing is himself a war criminal.

man thats gross posted:

Maybe this isn't the time to get into the fact that capital punishment is a terrible deterrent, but you do know that capital punishment is a terrible deterrent, right? Do you not think this would be particularly true in the case of people who volunteer to serve in the armed forces in war time?

I agree with you here. And for what it is worth capital punishment for non violent crimes is itself highly questionable from a moral standpoint, even if one supports capital punishment.

Zeitgueist posted:

In all seriousness, the US didn't even follow this at the time, as no Allied soldiers committing war crimes were prosecuted that I know of, and we did not prosecute certain figures that we found helpful.

However it's a good point, morally and ethically Manning had a duty to what was right, even in the face of orders and the chain of command. Few have the courage to do this, and that's why she's commendable.

You could make the argument that she should have leaked to an American source, but I can understand using WikiLeaks, given the history of US media collusion is government propaganda.

It is a reality that the victor determines who the criminals are, as far as legal proceedings go. I make no claims as to the righteousness of this, but it's more or less a fact.

I disagree that what Bradley Manning did was commendable. In my view, it was deplorable. I really don't see his acts as having been done in a courageous light, given the methods he employed, what he leaked, etc. His actions changed nothing, nothing more at least than government wide information security policies. He achieved nothing, other than notoriety and his own incarceration. From where I sit he was a subpar soldier, with behavioral and discipline problems, and he dishonored himself by breaking his trust with his fellow soldiers, his service, his government, and his country. He is an unfortunately mentally ill young soldier, who should have sought and received good care for his problems. In my view, the very fact that he won't own his own infamous actions make him all the less commendable.

Chantilly Say posted:

Regardless of the moral and ethical obligations Manning was under, her actions still constitute a crime. While her treatment by the government has been deplorable, the government can still argue at the fair trial which she deserves that she ought to serve a term of incarceration for exposing classified information.

I can mostly agree here. I'm not 100% sold that his treatment has been entirely deplorable- parts of it sure, but not all of it has been. And it's been corrected. He is being afforded counsel, and a fair trial, and the deficiencies in his treatment during his detention that were brought to light have been corrected. There will certainly be a price to be paid by the individuals that are responsible for his poor treatment- and they too will be afforded due process. Hopefully this never happens again.

Zeitgueist posted:

You can think someone's a hero, and still realize the law never will.

You certainly can do so. However while it is your opinion that he is a hero, ultimately it will be a fact that he is a convicted criminal when it is all said and done. And that as they say, is that. He really screwed himself.

man thats gross
Sep 4, 2004


Okay, now I really want to know what these "procedures" are. Is there really a procedure that covers "hey I've got a video of our boys firing on Reuters employees and a van full of kids" that doesn't get the whole thing buried under so much poo poo that it'll never see the light of day?

Would you go through official channels when you start seeing poo poo like this?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_War_documents_leak posted:

On 4 March 2007, in the Shinwar shooting, U.S. Marines opened fire on civilians after witnessing a suicide bombing and supposedly coming under small arms fire. The Guardian reported their actions: "The marines made a frenzied escape [from the scene of the bombing], opening fire with automatic weapons as they tore down a six-mile stretch of highway, hitting almost anyone in their way – teenage girls in the fields, motorists in their cars, old men as they walked along the road. Nineteen unarmed civilians were killed and 50 wounded." The military report of the incident (written by the same soldiers involved in it) later failed to make any reference to the deaths and injuries and none of the soldiers involved were charged or disciplined.[34]

I tried bolding the important bits, but ended up just changing the entire bottom 2/3rds of the whole god drat thing, so I left it as-is.

Seriously, how can you sit there and say "he should have gone through the proper channels" when the proper channels are part of the whole problem to begin with?

CharlestheHammer
Jun 26, 2011

VOTE FOR HILLARY OR I WILL POST AGAIN


GAS CURES KIKES posted:




You certainly can do so. However while it is your opinion that he is a hero, ultimately it will be a fact that he is a convicted criminal when it is all said and done. And that as they say, is that. He really screwed himself.

I am not sure what point you think you are making here. Other than he is a criminal according to the US government, which is kind of a duh, and not worth all that much. Unless you are making the argument that you shouldn't do something right (whether you agree with him being right or not) if it might have negative consequences.

Obama Africanus
Sep 9, 2001


If we can't get them out, we'll breed them out.


man thats gross posted:

Okay, now I really want to know what these "procedures" are. Is there really a procedure that covers "hey I've got a video of our boys firing on Reuters employees and a van full of kids" that doesn't get the whole thing buried under so much poo poo that it'll never see the light of day?

Would you go through official channels when you start seeing poo poo like this?


I tried bolding the important bits, but ended up just changing the entire bottom 2/3rds of the whole god drat thing, so I left it as-is.

Seriously, how can you sit there and say "he should have gone through the proper channels" when the proper channels are part of the whole problem to begin with?

I have gone through official channels and gotten commanders fired, tried, and convicted. And I've gotten policies changed. Again, using official channels.

I can't really say more than that on most of the specific issues, but I can attest to the swift action of our oversight apparatus.

AreWeDrunkYet
Jul 8, 2006

I am a strawman spewing, non listening, logic challenged douchebag supreme trolling TFR. Ignore me.

Say whatever you will about Manning or the methods involved with the leak, the world is a better place for having that information out in public. Anything that undermines the foreign policy the US is conducting under the table is a net gain for humanity.

Obama Africanus
Sep 9, 2001


If we can't get them out, we'll breed them out.


CharlestheHammer posted:

I am not sure what point you think you are making here. Other than he is a criminal according to the US government, which is kind of a duh, and not worth all that much. Unless you are making the argument that you shouldn't do something right (whether you agree with him being right or not) if it might have consequences.

Just highlighting the difference between facts (Him being a criminal) and opinions. I don't think the opinion is invalid, I just disagree with it, and I was trying to assure that we don't lose sight of the facts in this debate and discussion.

AreWeDrunkYet posted:

Say whatever you will about Manning or the methods involved with the leak, the world is a better place for having that information out in public. Anything that undermines the foreign policy the US is conducting under the table is a net gain for humanity.

All foreign policy of the U.S. government is evil, and it must be undermined at any opportunity? Is this your stated position?

Chantilly Say
Apr 18, 2008

Coup.


GAS CURES KIKES posted:

I can mostly agree here. I'm not 100% sold that his treatment has been entirely deplorable- parts of it sure, but not all of it has been. And it's been corrected. He is being afforded counsel, and a fair trial, and the deficiencies in his treatment during his detention that were brought to light have been corrected. There will certainly be a price to be paid by the individuals that are responsible for his poor treatment- and they too will be afforded due process. Hopefully this never happens again.

I only wish I were as confident as you that the people responsible for Manning's treatment will be called on to answer for their conduct.

CharlestheHammer
Jun 26, 2011

VOTE FOR HILLARY OR I WILL POST AGAIN


GAS CURES KIKES posted:

Just highlighting the difference between facts (Him being a criminal) and opinions. I don't think the opinion is invalid, I just disagree with it, and I was trying to assure that we don't lose sight of the facts in this debate and discussion.

He never denied this? He just said it wasn't worth much and it isn't. Him being a criminal is rather irrelevant to the discussion overall HTH.

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Boogaleeboo
Sep 13, 2011

DON'T LET THIS PICTURE OF AN ADORABLE KITTEN FOOL YOU INTO THINKING I'M NOT AN INSUFFERABLE AUTIST

AreWeDrunkYet posted:

Say whatever you will about Manning or the methods involved with the leak, the world is a better place for having that information out in public. Anything that undermines the foreign policy the US is conducting under the table is a net gain for humanity.

But it didn't undermine poo poo, we are still doing all the same terrible things. Only thing that changed is now we are doing some of them to Manning. Unless you think people were under the mistaken impression the US was squeaky clean before the leaks, and that really set them straight.

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