Bradley Manning tortured

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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Oregonaut » Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:49 pm UTC

It is hyper-nationalism run amok. We're a very nationalistic nation, and China is even more so.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:53 pm UTC

Oregonaut wrote:It is hyper-nationalism run amok. We're a very nationalistic nation, and China is even more so.


We've all seen where that road leads... :shock:
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby morriswalters » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:03 pm UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:This is proper fucked... I would have no problem if he'd been properly charged, had a fair trial, and was assigned a punishment commensurate with his transgressions. BUT I'm highly disturbed at the lack of a trial, and beside myself with rage at the inapropriate use of solitary confinement.

Fuck you US, and to think I thought you might actually be able to behave like a real first-world democracy.

As usual passion outweighs reason. If the far right has it take on this then so does the left. If anybody can do it better than have at it. It's not a perfect system but it does give considerable freedom to it's citizens. Manning's Attorney has recourse if he feels his client his being mistreated. It may be difficult but it can be done. Salons ability to point this out to the public shows that the system is working. Manning committed a crime. A lot of the US see's it as treasonable. A lot don't. That's how it works. I'm sure at some level that Manning's method of incarceration may be a pressure tactic, but it is subject to challenge. If his Attorney has not forced the issue there may be a reason. I'm sorry that you feel this way about the US, but that is your prerogative.

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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Belial » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:05 pm UTC

"It's cool if we torture you, because you're allowed to complain (but we don't have to care)?"

Not really buying what you're selling.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby MEGAMANTROTSKY » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:17 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:This is proper fucked... I would have no problem if he'd been properly charged, had a fair trial, and was assigned a punishment commensurate with his transgressions. BUT I'm highly disturbed at the lack of a trial, and beside myself with rage at the inapropriate use of solitary confinement.

Fuck you US, and to think I thought you might actually be able to behave like a real first-world democracy.

As usual passion outweighs reason. If the far right has it take on this then so does the left. If anybody can do it better than have at it. It's not a perfect system but it does give considerable freedom to it's citizens. Manning's Attorney has recourse if he feels his client his being mistreated. It may be difficult but it can be done. Salons ability to point this out to the public shows that the system is working. Manning committed a crime. A lot of the US see's it as treasonable. A lot don't. That's how it works. I'm sure at some level that Manning's method of incarceration may be a pressure tactic, but it is subject to challenge. If his Attorney has not forced the issue there may be a reason. I'm sorry that you feel this way about the US, but that is your prerogative.


"Considerable freedom to its citizens?" I disagree. According to the article, he hasn't even been charged with anything, let alone treason. There's no need to engage in apologist rhetoric in favor of the US military's disgusting treatment.

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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Sero » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:25 pm UTC

Gotta side with Belial and MMT here. One of those 'considerable freedoms' is 'freedom from being punished for a crime without conviction' and 'right to a speedy trial'. And yes, while there are reasons to waive the right for a speedy trial which may be the case here, I think we can safely assume if he's trying his methods of recourse as to his illegal treatment while being detained, they aren't working, or aren't working fast enough.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Oregonaut » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:29 pm UTC

The right to a speedy trial may be being superceded by Article 32 proceedings, which would be determining the extent of his crimes, if any. This isn't a case that was built over years and is just now happening. The DOJ is only on the edges here, since the Army is using only the resources they can afford to investigate and develop the case.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby clintonius » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:32 pm UTC

I'm unclear on what recourse he would have, given that this case falls under the military's jurisdiction (doesn't it?).
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Oregonaut » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:47 pm UTC

The ADJ would, or at least should, be pressing for trial proceedings to begin. If he's being held without counsel, or if he has not been allowed access to his First Sergeant who would also be able to advocate for him, then I'd go back to his senator being contacted.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby sophyturtle » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:58 pm UTC

Sorry if I missed it, but here is a petition that either wants him to be put on trial or released.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby morriswalters » Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:44 pm UTC

Belial wrote:"It's cool if we torture you, because you're allowed to complain (but we don't have to care)?"

Not really buying what you're selling.


I'm not selling it, I'm stating my opinion. Not having any data but the Salon article I'm also a little hesitant about calling it torture. As I have stated several time he has legal recourse, since has has chosen a civilian attorney. He is evidently seeing at least some visitors. See this. I guess that's his torture break. [\sarcasm] Also his attorney is evidently keeping him up on current events. This article implies that he may well be seeing the news reports. Here is an article with some information about the military law on confinement. And here is some info on the brig he is being held in. Manning has also taken the fifth, so the investigation will take longer than if he cooperated. Thorny problem that. All in all it's going to be a slog doing no one any good and causing a great deal of harm to everybody involved. And that's the real world. I wish it could be different. Here's a profile of sorts on Manning done by that bastion of American oppression CNN.

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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby iChef » Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:56 pm UTC

Belial: Sorry if i made it sound like I was comparing what I went through to what Mr. Manning is going through. Although being in such cramped conditions is worse than solitary in some respects, I've never been in solitary for an extended period of time. What I was getting at is the fact that there are many, many others in solitary conditions for years at a time.

It's hard to believe that he couldn't be allowed in population. I could be wrong, but I doubt anyone would go after him while locked up. I don't know anything about the facility he is housed in, but in most jails (while waiting trial you don't go to prison you are in a regular jail, I don't know if this is the same for military) it isn't as violent as prison. People come and go more frequently so there aren't years for gangs and alliances to form, people are just trying to do their time and go home. Although I did see a guy get his head smashed into a metal bunk, knocking his front teeth out for stealing a brownie from another inmate. But out of all the horrible food the brownies were actually decent so i guess the guy deserved it.

I still think he did the right thing the wrong way. Much of the info on the wars were things that the public who is footing the bill for this fiasco should know about, the State Dept. cables not so much. But that is the fault of wikileaks more than Mr. Manning.

If anyone wants to support him the best thing you could do is see if the jail he's in has an I-care program. In jail you have to buy your own toothbrush/paste, soap, shampoo ect. You can also buy snacks which is nice because they just give you enough food to get by unless you are a master rat catcher. You have an account that friends and family from the outside can put funds in and you can order items once a week through the I-care system. This makes a HUGE difference in the quality of your stay. If I can find the info for where he's staying and what system they use I'll post it here. After being locked up for months eating jail food, getting a bar of soap, a snickers bar and a magazine feels like winning the lottery.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby sophyturtle » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:20 pm UTC

Some people I have spoken to who are/were in the military think that if he were not separated from the general population he would be in danger.
One of these people also thinks that the leaks were because Bradley is pissed at the government (cause he is gay) and just grabbed a handful of secret papers to be malicious. This is what he is being told by his superiors (air force I think?) and it makes him hate Bradley as a traitor. Any benefits of transparency is seen to him as an accident.

it is certainly complicated.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Dream » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:36 am UTC

sophyturtle wrote:Some people I have spoken to who are/were in the military think that if he were not separated from the general population he would be in danger.

He probably would be, but that's hardly unexpected in a military organisation. They should have protocols for holding prisoners charged with highly emotive crimes safely and humanely at the same time.
sophyturtle wrote:One of these people also thinks that the leaks were because Bradley is pissed at the government (cause he is gay) and just grabbed a handful of secret papers to be malicious.

Highly unlikely, considering that the earliest quotes from Bradley, from transcripts of his conversations with Lamo are about releasing the secrets documents because of what they are. He states that he's well aware of how big a deal this will be, and how widely it will impact. Not the actions of someone who's merely pissed at his superiors, and wants to be "malicious".

I don't see it as being complicated. Today's revelations included US knowledge of systematic torture by Indian security forces in Kashmir running into hundreds of victims, including sexual torture and electrocution. The US, needless to say, screwed its "ally" Pakistan by keeping this secret, and most likely acted in self interest over its economic and political links with India. US interests led to its complete silence in an issue of massive human rights abuse. It's not complicated to see that kind of thing day after day, and eventually decide to act, drastically. It's what anyone with a conscience would do, were there not consequences to consider. That a person disregarded the consequences in favour of their conscience is neither complicated nor far fetched.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Diadem » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:57 am UTC

Oregonaut wrote:Until someone points out a law that applies from the UCMJ, showing they are doing something illegal by doing what they are doing I can only say that I deplore it. I can't say it is illegal.

Wait, what? Are you saying the US constitution does not apply to the US military? Are you saying the Universal Declaration of of Human Rights (which the US signed and ratified) does not apply to the US military? I don't know what specific laws cover military tribunals in the US. I don't particularly care either. If those laws allow this, then those laws are in violation of the constitution, and thus null and void.

I always read your posts with interest, Oregonaut. You often say very insightful things about military affairs. But I simply do not understand how you can defend the US government's behavior in this case. Yes, isolating him is defensible, but he can not leak secrets to his bloody pillows. Nor are they a danger to his safety. And he still has the right to a fair trial, and other basic human dignities. Fuck, the US treated Hermann Göring better than they do Manning. That is scary.

Oregonaut wrote:Zamfir, you likely don't understand what it is like what it means to almost all American military personnel when someone breaks their word. I've been responsible for classified information. I've been responsible for sources and methodology. If I found stuff that I thought was horrendous, as he obviously felt he did, I can tell you that there are seven different ways for him to have done something about it that would have been legal.

Seriously, how can you be so naieve. Even after all this stuff became public the US military didn't do anything about it. We've all seen the videos of US soldiers murdering innocent civilians, even children. Those soldiers were, as far as I know, not even reprimanded. Neither were the people in charge of those soldiers, or the people who tried to cover it up, or the people who sanctioned it all. The US murders and tortures large parts of the world into submission. This is all covered up, and all the highest ranks in both the military and the cabinet support it. How naieve do you have to be to think that one private protesting this through official channels is going to be heard. At best he's gonna be ignored. More likely they'll just downgrade his security clearence and put him on some back-end assignment somewhere.

No matter what oaths Manning swore, exposion corruption and war crimes is not treason.

I cannot for the life of me comprehend how all of the people around him, every single person, saw the same information he saw and did nothing.

Manning was captured and disappeared without any trial or process. People who support him are harassed and their property seized. He himself has now been continuesly tortured for the better part of a year. And unless regime change happens in Washington he probably will be for the rest of his life. It really does not take a genius to figure out why most people stay silent on such issues. Also, do not ignore the effects of continued propaganda and indoctrination. If your only source of information is Fox and their ilk, it becomes hard to separate right from wrong. And also this kind of corruption has a way of sustaining itself. If you are a corrupt general, and nine out of ten of your immidiate subordinates are truthworthy, ethical, virtuous people, then when the times comes to promote someone, you're going to pick the tenth. And if the president advocates torture, he's not going to put someone who opposes it in charge of Guantanamo.

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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby morriswalters » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:54 am UTC

Dream wrote:I don't see it as being complicated. Today's revelations included US knowledge of systematic torture by Indian security forces in Kashmir running into hundreds of victims, including sexual torture and electrocution. The US, needless to say, screwed its "ally" Pakistan by keeping this secret, and most likely acted in self interest over its economic and political links with India. US interests led to its complete silence in an issue of massive human rights abuse. It's not complicated to see that kind of thing day after day, and eventually decide to act, drastically. It's what anyone with a conscience would do, were there not consequences to consider. That a person disregarded the consequences in favour of their conscience is neither complicated nor far fetched.


Do you seriously believe that Manning read every cable that he is accused of leaking? He would have to unless you mean that he randomly found disturbing cables. Assuming that it takes 2 min to read a cable and 250,000 cables, that's 500,000 min divided by (60 mins x 24=1440=1day) I make that 347 days. That's 24 hour days. Those numbers are causing me some problems. However based on a quick look at the cables available at the New York Times the date stamps have some as old as 1990 at which point Manning wasn't born or was a small child. It is possible that Manning's day to day work did not involve the cables or the other data he captured at all. He may have simply been fishing in a target rich environment, using his position to pry. If Manning simply looked into data bases and took the data from them he wouldn't have seen the cables at all. If that is the case he was looking because he could, which doesn't bode well for the idea that they passed in front of his eyes.

Diadem wrote:Fuck, the US treated Hermann Göring better than they do Manning. That is scary.

Yes they watched him really well, so well in fact that he managed to kill himself with poison.

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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Dream » Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:08 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:If Manning simply looked into data bases and took the data from them he wouldn't have seen the cables at all. If that is the case he was looking because he could, which doesn't bode well for the idea that they passed in front of his eyes.

If he hadn't read the cables, he wouldn't have known they were worth the risk he took to release them. He knew what they were, and what they contained. He said as much before they were public. We'll likely not know for decades what exactly he read that led to this, but the idea that he didn't read anything, and just grabbed whatever was to hand and came up with this is patently ridiculous. It would be like picking up a random CD marked "Software, non-disclosure" at Microsoft, and finding not just Windows 8, but Steve Ballamer's congressional extortion videos too.

Random chance doesn't explain the why, nor the what, nor the how. Reading some extremely bad things in the cables explains all three.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Brooklynxman » Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:36 am UTC

Dream wrote:
morriswalters wrote:If Manning simply looked into data bases and took the data from them he wouldn't have seen the cables at all. If that is the case he was looking because he could, which doesn't bode well for the idea that they passed in front of his eyes.

If he hadn't read the cables, he wouldn't have known they were worth the risk he took to release them. He knew what they were, and what they contained. He said as much before they were public. We'll likely not know for decades what exactly he read that led to this, but the idea that he didn't read anything, and just grabbed whatever was to hand and came up with this is patently ridiculous. It would be like picking up a random CD marked "Software, non-disclosure" at Microsoft, and finding not just Windows 8, but Steve Ballamer's congressional extortion videos too.

Random chance doesn't explain the why, nor the what, nor the how. Reading some extremely bad things in the cables explains all three.


Actually, more like picking up a few hundred thousand CD's at Microsoft and finding Windows 8 amongst them. Seeing as I have only seen the highly publicized ones so far, does anyone have statistics on how many of the leaked cables are actually "leak worthy".

Besides, if you think he read them all you obviously haven't done the math. Long explanation on why his actions (at least they way he carried it out) were wrong.
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When you work for the United States government, especially when you have clearance to look at files at all, you are sworn in. Part of that oath is that you will do your best to protect the citizens of the United States of America. By releasing these cables without checking them all and ensuring they do not endanger American lives, he blatantly disregarded this clause and endangered lives. You can argue all you want on how Wikileaks wouldn't release unsafe documents, but they are not bound by the same oath and do not have the best interests of America's citizens at heart. Wikileaks was not wrong in releasing the documents (though if they end up releasing the documents they held back for safety's sake, thats tantamount to murder), but Manning's action was a betrayal of the trust that the American people placed in him as a member of our government. Whistleblowing is fine, but you have to do so responsibly. He did not, and endangered lives.


That said, I agree this treatment was wrong.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Diadem » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:07 am UTC

Brooklynxman wrote:Besides, if you think he read them all you obviously haven't done the math. Long explanation on why his actions (at least they way he carried it out) were wrong.
When you work for the United States government, especially when you have clearance to look at files at all, you are sworn in. Part of that oath is that you will do your best to protect the citizens of the United States of America. By releasing these cables without checking them all and ensuring they do not endanger American lives, he blatantly disregarded this clause and endangered lives.

You are only looking at one side of the equation.

Yes, some of those cables might contain information that if released can cost American lives. And while wikileaks does seem to have been careful up until now, there's no guarantee they keep being careful. So yes, it is possible, and in fact very likely, that some people will die because of the information Manning leaked.

However those deaths are utterly dwarved by what will happen if democracy in the US is not protected. Serious political instability always costs a lot of lives, easily millions in a country the size of the US. And worse, the US is not just any nation, it's the biggest military superpower in the world. I do not want to see it ruled by triggerhappy generals not bound by constitutional safeguards. Democracy in the US is not just nice for Americans, it's essentional for the security of the entire world.

And of course the US won't turn into a military dictatorship over night if Manning hadn't leaked those files. Nothing as dramatic as that. But democracy needs to be constantly guarded, or it will slowly wither and die. The number of civil rights that have been eroded in the US over hte last few decades is already truly scary. And this is a trend that desperately needs to be reversed.

Warcrimes like these need to be exposed. I won't say 'no matter the cost', but the cost would have to be very, very high indeed for it not to be worth it.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Belial » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:15 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Yes, some of those cables might contain information that if released can cost American lives. And while wikileaks does seem to have been careful up until now, there's no guarantee they keep being careful. So yes, it is possible, and in fact very likely, that some people will die because of the information Manning leaked.


To be fair, they still submitted the leaks to the pentagon and asked them if they wanted to redact anything. And the pentagon declined. If there's anything in there that could cost lives, it's pretty much on the pentagon at this point.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Dream » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:57 pm UTC

Brooklynxman wrote:Actually, more like picking up a few hundred thousand CD's at Microsoft and finding Windows 8 amongst them. Seeing as I have only seen the highly publicized ones so far, does anyone have statistics on how many of the leaked cables are actually "leak worthy".
First of all, my point was about morriswalters' assertion that Manning must have just grabbed something and run in a fit of pique. It doesn't fit with the facts. But none of us are the arbiters of what is leak worthy. People who have suffered and been ignored in favour of US interests are. Even if the cable only tangentially refers to a situation that affected only a few people, for those people, it's important. And besides, even the uncontroversial minutae have immense value as a historical document, both in terms of US diplomacy and the subject nation's records.
Brooklynxman wrote:When you work for the United States government, especially when you have clearance to look at files at all, you are sworn in. Part of that oath is that you will do your best to protect the citizens of the United States of America.
When you're a human being, you have an obligation to act like one. Inaction in the face of injustice is itself injust, and especially so if you're safely ensconced in an office just reading about the crimes, rather than having to weigh your personal safety in the balance.

Also, if the US is following policies that risk the lives of its personnel, and is just hoping that no one finds out about it, I say the US is the most responsible party it they come to harm. It put the people at risk, and decided that that was worth whatever gain the America made by it. To say that anyone should remain silent to protect those people is essentially making them hostages of US foreign policy, which is very unsettling. It would be very like refusing to identify a child predator you have hard evidence on, because you think justice for the victim isn't worth the risk of inspiring a lynch mob.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:02 pm UTC

Dream wrote:
Brooklynxman wrote:When you work for the United States government, especially when you have clearance to look at files at all, you are sworn in. Part of that oath is that you will do your best to protect the citizens of the United States of America.
When you're a human being, you have an obligation to act like one. Inaction in the face of injustice is itself injust, and especially so if you're safely ensconced in an office just reading about the crimes, rather than having to weigh your personal safety in the balance.


Yeah, Yeah, Yeah... But if you're a serving soldier and believe yourself unlikely to be able to handle the ugly truth of the intelligence world *Don't Sign The [Whatever the US equivalent of the Official Secrets Act is] and accept the new posting you'll be forced to take*... Otherwise don't break the binding legal agreement (doing so can be, [but isn't always] Treason and could represent a capital offense), and should you be unable to cope: ask for a new post and deal with it.

I don't buy your argument that Manning didn't do something wrong, or that his action is somehow justifyable because other people are also doing things that are wrong. In disseminating classified information He broke his oath; which is wrong, and he broke the law; which is illegal. I am however more than willing to agree that the US is behaving thoroughly reprihensibly over the matter, and should sort it's self the fuck out in short order...

Edit: I'm really convinced that people have a sugar coated view of how a war, especially one as awkwards to fight as the current on is prosecuted and how human inteligence is gathered. I suspect that stems from the last 50 years in which the media has told them comforting lies about the nature of war, and has surmised whatever was glamourous or otherwise convenient about the intelligence community; People need to get over this and realise that in war, bad things happen, things worse than you'd care to imagine, and that sometimes these represent an operational necessity.

Now I'm ranting...

TL;DR: Manning did something wrong, I don't think you can rationalise it to being "not wrong". This doesn't account for the extreme severity of the US Govt's treatment of Manning, which is unacceptable. [TANGENTIAL RANT]
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby morriswalters » Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:14 pm UTC

Dream wrote:
morriswalters wrote:If Manning simply looked into data bases and took the data from them he wouldn't have seen the cables at all. If that is the case he was looking because he could, which doesn't bode well for the idea that they passed in front of his eyes.

If he hadn't read the cables, he wouldn't have known they were worth the risk he took to release them. He knew what they were, and what they contained. He said as much before they were public. We'll likely not know for decades what exactly he read that led to this, but the idea that he didn't read anything, and just grabbed whatever was to hand and came up with this is patently ridiculous. It would be like picking up a random CD marked "Software, non-disclosure" at Microsoft, and finding not just Windows 8, but Steve Ballamer's congressional extortion videos too.

Random chance doesn't explain the why, nor the what, nor the how. Reading some extremely bad things in the cables explains all three.


There's no doubt that he read some of them, but only after he searched for them and found them. The argument that they were part of his job in the Military is ludicrous. The same for the video. He was unhappy so he went looking for something to leak. What he leaked had nothing to do with what he did in the Military, by his own admission. He was being discharged for the inability to adjust to the service. A recognition by the military that he wasn't happy. They weren't going to punish him rather just let him go. Then he pops off and brags to a man that he doesn't know and confesses to multiple felonies. And gets popped. My sympathy meter is barely moving know.

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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Oregonaut » Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:15 pm UTC

Diadem, I'm not defending anything. I've said it, more than once, in the posts you've read. What I am trying to do is explain to the masses from a military perspective what is going on here.

The US Constitution does not apply in all facets to the US Military. I'm not making this up. There are different protections put in place, and they are there for solid reasons. I have said repeatedly that the treatment he is supposedly being given is not a good thing. I've called for people contacting their, and his, congresspeople to at least afford him walkies.

His decision to have civilian counsel is going to hurt him, unless this civvie is very well versed in military affairs.

Who's word do we have that he isn't suicidal?

I'm naive enough to believe that the system works because I've seen it work. I've experienced it punishing people who, while under my charge, were collecting trophies. If nothing else, I've stated repeatedly that his NCOs have been involved in one massive cluster-fail.

I'm really hoping that your last paragraph isn't indicating that my only source of info is Fox, because Luna do I hate those bastards.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Belial » Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:26 pm UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:Yeah, Yeah, Yeah... But if you're a serving soldier and believe yourself unlikely to be able to handle the ugly truth of the intelligence world *Don't Sign The [Whatever the US equivalent of the Official Secrets Act is] and accept the new posting you'll be forced to take*... Otherwise don't break the binding legal agreement (doing so can be, [but isn't always] Treason and could represent a capital offense), and should you be unable to cope: ask for a new post and deal with it.


So what you're saying is that, in order to know about the US's immoral activities, you have to be okay with the US's immoral activities and pinky-swear never to say or do anything about said immoral activities, and if you're the type of person who will have a problem with them, then you should never be allowed to know they're happening?

You, uhh.....don't see a serious problem with that?
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Dream » Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:41 pm UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:But if you're a serving soldier and believe yourself unlikely to be able to handle the ugly truth of the intelligence world *Don't Sign The [Whatever the US equivalent of the Official Secrets Act is] and accept the new posting you'll be forced to take*... Otherwise don't break the binding legal agreement (doing so can be, [but isn't always] Treason and could represent a capital offense), and should you be unable to cope: ask for a new post and deal with it.
And if you sign that naively on joining the military as a teenager, believing what you've been told about the inherent goodness of the United States, then later find out about things that morally outrage you, what do you do then? Shrug and think your oath is more important than your ethics, or innocent lives? Or do you do something? Even if Manning only found this stuff because he was looking for dirt to revenge a grievance, that's cool with me. Because it's like a hacker going after Microsoft just because they've grown up seeing it spelled with a "$", but accidentally finding and then publishing evidence of human rights abuses at MS facilities in developing nations. I'm just glad the evidence is out, and I'm glad the hacker had the common sense to see they were into something much bigger than they expected and act accordingly. Same with Manning. He could have just thrown a few embarrassing cables up on a BBS, or mailed a disc to the NYT anonymously. But he saw the possibilities of the access he had, and did the right thing.

TheKrikkitWars wrote:Manning did something wrong, I don't think you can rationalise it to being "not wrong".

What? He did something very right. He spoke out about abuse of human rights and manipulation of domestic situations by US diplomats. You're just rehashing the old illegal=wrong thinking to fit a morally binding oath.
TheKrikkitWars wrote:I'm really convinced that people have a sugar coated view of how a war...
Other things I bet you think are sugar coated: My views of Shell's interference in Nigerian democracy, Pfizer's killing of several people including children in developing world drug tests, the Vatican's non-cooperation with Irish religious child abuse tribunals, BP's failure to mention that other rig blowout in Azerbaijan, pressure from Arab nations to halt Iranian nuclear development, and I could go on for pages with this. These leaks aren't anything to do with the war, they were just likely made by a person involved with it. The leaks are about US foreign policy, which is just a little broader than Iraq and Afghanistan. Honestly, not realising that makes me think you're not thinking clearly about this whole situation.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Zamfir » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:03 pm UTC

Dream wrote:What? He did something very right. He spoke out about abuse of human rights and manipulation of domestic situations by US diplomats. You're just rehashing the old illegal=wrong thinking to fit a morally binding oath.

It's possible to do something very right and very wrong at the same time. Morality is not a simple line from good to bad. In this case, Manning arguably served the world at the cost of his country. He broke the trust people placed in him, in name of his country. That's a bad thing even when done for a greater good.

Under those circumstances, it seems completely OK for his country to sentence him for the crime he committed, while people can at the same time applaud him for what he did. Both people outside of the US who suffered from US actions, and people inside the US who do not want their country do such things.

Of course, it doesn't justify excessive punishment, or lack of trial. But that is true no matter what he did. Even murderers deserve a fair sentence and a trial, and what he did isn't in that league by far.

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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Dream » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:24 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:He broke the trust people placed in him, in name of his country.

I would argue that his country broke his trust in it, by using his loyalty as a means to co-opt him into assisting injustice. They've been promising him America is Awesome ever since he was born, and he swore his oath because he believed that. That America doesn't exist, and his oath to it is valueless.

If a person joined the US military to fight WWII, they joined to support freedom against tyranny. If, later in their career they were sent to Vietnam, they were no longer doing that. They were supporting tyranny against ordinary people, and all the war crimes committed in furtherance of that. The oath to serve that they swore to the people who were fighting and dying in WWII is hardly binding with regard to the people defoliating South Vietnam. It's the same here, swear an oath to your protectors in the fight for freedom, realise it's they're not what they claimed to be, and the oath is worthless.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Zamfir » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:32 pm UTC

Dream wrote:I would argue that his country broke his trust in it, by using his loyalty as a means to co-opt him into assisting injustice. They've been promising him America is Awesome ever since he was born, and he swore his oath because he believed that. That America doesn't exist, and his oath to it is valueless.

But in general, we do not let individuals determine when the law can be broken. Even if you think a law is injust, you still have to abide by it, because a world where people are only bound by their personal ethical views is unworkable.

Manning's actions are very close to vigilantism: taking the law in your own hands because you think the official channels are not working. But vigilantism is still wrong and punishable, even if it accomplishes a social good.

At some point, you might decide that the good you can achieve (in your own eyes) outweighs the bad of breaking the order of the law. But that doesn't nullify the bad of breaking the law, it only adds a counterweight on the other side of the balance.

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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:36 pm UTC

Belial wrote:You, uhh.....don't see a serious problem with that?


I do see that being a big problem, I see behaving treasonously as a big problem too... If he had wanted he could* have kicked up a stink inside his chain of command and even outside of his chain of command to an approriate place (like the armed services committee who if they felt it should be disclosed could have entered his evidence into the congressional record, placing him in the clear). If after having done all of those legitimate things he still felt that it was neccssary to release them, then I wouldn't be so quick to call his actions wrong.

*I say this, but the little evidence we have suggests he couldn't as that would have revealed he was looking at things which weren't strictly to do with his job, and would have got him disciplined at the very least.

Dream wrote:Honestly, not realising that makes me think you're not thinking clearly about this whole situation.
I did say very clearly that I was ranting and it was Tangential... Partway though I realised that Manning was quite possibly the source of the State Dept leak too which is altogether more interesting and less controvertial (yet for the US Govt. probably rather more embarrasing as they can't claim that all of those diplomats were acting alone, ignoring standing orders, or had become delusional due to sleep depravation induced by being required by their commanding officer to consume amphetamine based stimulants and continue flying [yup that's been used as an *actual excuse* before]).
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Роберт » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:37 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Manning's actions are very close to vigilantism: taking the law in your own hands because you think the official channels are not working. But vigilantism is still wrong and punishable, even if it accomplishes a social good.

Vigilantism is not always wrong.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Oregonaut » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:40 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
Zamfir wrote:Manning's actions are very close to vigilantism: taking the law in your own hands because you think the official channels are not working. But vigilantism is still wrong and punishable, even if it accomplishes a social good.

Vigilantism is not always wrong.


That depends on your point of view.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Dream » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:44 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:But in general, we do not let individuals determine when the law can be broken.

In general yes, but not in specifics. Mitigating and extenuating circumstances are written into just about every law. Good luck using an NDA to cover up a murder, or prosecuting for running a red light someone who was fleeing a bomb scare. It's illegal to escape from prison, but what if you're a political prisoner?
Zamfir wrote:At some point, you might decide that the good you can achieve (in your own eyes) outweighs the bad of breaking the order of the law.
That's not what's happening here. It's not a weighing up of sides, it's a bad thing actually becoming a good thing, because its nature has changed from being a betrayal to being a courageous blow for freedom and justice. In its true form, which I think we see here, whistleblowing is not a betrayal, but silence is.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:46 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
Zamfir wrote:Manning's actions are very close to vigilantism: taking the law in your own hands because you think the official channels are not working. But vigilantism is still wrong and punishable, even if it accomplishes a social good.

Vigilantism is not always wrong.

It's never right though...
(Those two statements do not; to my mind, conflict... If you think they do, I reccomend that you stop thinking in terms of binary options)
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Zamfir » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:52 pm UTC

Oregonaut wrote:
Роберт wrote:
Zamfir wrote:Manning's actions are very close to vigilantism: taking the law in your own hands because you think the official channels are not working. But vigilantism is still wrong and punishable, even if it accomplishes a social good.

Vigilantism is not always wrong.


That depends on your point of view.

Yeah, and it will always depend on personal views. That's the problem of vigilantism. Some people think breaking a certain law is justified, and others disagree.

The law is a structure to deal with those differences of opinion. But that will only work if people have to obey the law even if they disagree with it.
hat's not what's happening here. It's not a weighing up of sides, it's a bad thing actually becoming a good thing, because its nature has changed from being a betrayal to being a courageous blow for freedom and justice. In its true form, which I think we see here, whistleblowing is not a betrayal, but silence is.

I have no problem saying that someone did a courageous, good thing, and now they have to go to jail because they broke the law. Especially if the law they broke is not in itself a bad law. In general, a law that forbids people entrusted with state secrets to pass on those secrets is good thing, even if it can be used to hide bad things.

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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Роберт » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:09 pm UTC

Oregonaut wrote:That depends on your point of view.

Perhaps, but I like to think that "right" and "wrong" actually have a real, objective meaning, in addition to the subjective ones. And my personal opinion is that sometimes vigilantism is objectively right. I'm sure other people have the opinion that it is always objectively wrong.

It's hard for me to think that exposing Chinese mistreatment of Tibetan monks is wrong, and similarly, it seems hard to believe that exposing U.S. torture is wrong.

@Zamfir: a big point of trial by jury is so that if we decide someone rightly broke the law, they can be deemed innocent.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby morriswalters » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:28 pm UTC

How do you operate without secrets? What's important and what's not. The sheer volume of these leaks makes making sense out of them difficult. Say they leak a thousand a week. It will take them 5 years to release them all. 5 years. People will burn out long before that. The uncertainty until it's complete leave the US venerable in a way that difficult to defend. Pakistan has already tried to pass some forgeries of the cables. This will happen again and again. How does that help? Is Wikileaks or Manning preparing to stand up with a catalog and vet every time the question arises. Hell, Manning's not even sure what he leaked.

Dream wrote:Other things I bet you think are sugar coated: My views of Shell's interference in Nigerian democracy, Pfizer's killing of several people including children in developing world drug tests, the Vatican's non-cooperation with Irish religious child abuse tribunals, BP's failure to mention that other rig blowout in Azerbaijan, pressure from Arab nations to halt Iranian nuclear development, and I could go on for pages with this. These leaks aren't anything to do with the war, they were just likely made by a person involved with it. The leaks are about US foreign policy, which is just a little broader than Iraq and Afghanistan. Honestly, not realising that makes me think you're not thinking clearly about this whole situation.


I have linked to news reports about the various things you pointed out, note the dates, the one exception would be link to the actual cable about the leak at BP's rig. None of this was new and the BP problem was an injection well. Only a hermit wouldn't have known these things. In this world there are very few "secrets". If you want to know what's going on pay attention. In terms of US foreign policy, that would be put the US perceived interests above all else. Does this surprise you?

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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Dream » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:55 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote: Only a hermit wouldn't have known these things. In this world there are very few "secrets". If you want to know what's going on pay attention.

You can't see the difference between "some people say some things" and "US government officials report this activity officially"? Between "a newspaper gave this a few sentences in a general topic article", and "only a hermit wouldn't have known these things"?

Anyway, pay attention to the whole thread. I was responding to KrikkitWars' assumption that this was in some way related to the Iraq (presumably, that's the theatre Manning was posted to) War, when actually it has very little to do with it. It's about general foreign policy, and specifically what is being communicated privately as opposed to public statements with politically motivated aims.
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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby morriswalters » Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:01 pm UTC

No, I don't. Information is information. The fact that an Ambassador said it adds no mantra of "truth" to it. It's what it is. I expect at any level that any information is slanted, skewed, spun or otherwise fucked with. I watch what people do, not what they say. We talk about China but we buy from then and sell them bonds. What does that imply? That when push comes to shove that money may trump politics. Are you worried about oil spills in Nigeria, the US isn't, we buy oil from them. You think that the US is moral or not in bed with big business? I don't. Check out the origin of the phrase "Banana Republic". Check out our relationship with Chili. Think assassination. I know these things because they have been printed in our Newspapers and screamed about from the rooftops. We helped German rocket scientists after the war because it was convenient. We hid Nazi's. Would you like more? There are very few real secrets which last more than a few years.

I'm aware it's not related to Iraq, why would Manning leak about something which he had first hand experience? He's no more than a high tech peeping tom. Y'all have fun. I'm thru.

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Re: Bradley Manning tortured

Postby Wednesday » Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:39 pm UTC

A general point that needs to be made: Army politics fucking suck, guys. I know about some folk pretty high up the food chain and *all they do* is bitch about how fucking inept a lot of the people cutting orders are, how difficult it is to be reassigned to a new post or a new job, how quickly people from another corp can grab you from your post and change everything around.... Saying Bradley Manning could have just "asked for a new post" or a new job or something similar? Kind of way more difficult than it sounds. When you sign your first contract for the Army, you get a few choices, sure, but in the fine print it says "need of the army". They need dudes in Military Intelligence? Well, sorry, you're stuck there until other needs arise. I think it's extremely unfair to say he could have just asked for a new post.

Edit: Especially as a private. He was enlisted. He held no authority.
Last edited by Wednesday on Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:25 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.


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