hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Bush officials' 'lack of recall' thwarted Tillman, Lynch probes

Mild reprimands in Tillman case won’t be in officers’ records

People lied in the aftermath of Pat Tillman's death. No one was ever charged with anything. And I don't think they should have been. Even though people were technically in violation of the UCMJ, I think the prosecuting authorities were right to use judgement, discretion, and common sense, and not pursue violations to the full extent of the law. I wish they would use similar judgement, discretion & common sense in Bradley Manning's case. No matter how many times the prosecuting authorities try to bully people who disagree with them with words like "treason" and "aiding the enemy", the simple truth is that what Bradley Manning did, is not 1/100 as serious a violation as what Charles Graner did, and Graner got 10 years. A just outcome to the Bradley Manning case would be some sort of reprimand or possibly a dishonourable discharge, and a thorough reform of the system of classifying information. Anything more is immorality, injustice, and abuse of power on the part of the prosecuting authorities.

The whole world is watching, and the whole world knows this stinks. Our eyes and ears are recently too full of other people in other lands claiming "treason" and "aiding the enemy", to be impressed by our people in power using the same big words in order to avoid accountability for using their power properly.

Glenn Greenwald - Bradley Manning could face death: For what?

. . .the Military Judges' Handbook specifically requires that if this theory is used -- that one has "aided the enemy" through "indirect" transmission via leaks to a newspaper -- then it must be proven that the "communication was intended to reach the enemy." None of the other ways of violating this provision contain an intent element; recognizing how extreme it is to prosecute someone for "aiding the enemy" who does nothing more than leak to a media outlet, this is the only means of violating Article 104 that imposes an intent requirement.

But does anyone actually believe that Manning's intent was to ensure receipt of this material by the Taliban, as opposed to exposing for the public what he believed to be serious American wrongdoing and to trigger reforms?. . .

It's at least intellectually coherent (though quite misguided) to see both Ellsberg and Manning as criminal demons who deserve to be locked away forever . . .But it's incoherent in the extreme to praise Ellsberg while condemning Manning (particularly since everything Manning is accused of leaking bears a much lower secrecy designation than the massive amounts of Top Secret material leaked by Ellsberg). . .

. . .Richard Nixon -- when justifying the attacks on Daniel Ellsberg -- denounced him for having provided ""aid and comfort to the enemy." . . .

The Law Office of David E. Coombs - PFC Manning Forced to Strip Naked

Last night, PFC Manning was inexplicably stripped of all clothing by the Quantico Brig. He remained in his cell, naked, for the next seven hours. At 5:00 a.m., the Brig sounded the wake-up call for the detainees. At this point, PFC Manning was forced to stand naked at the front of his cell.

The Duty Brig Supervisor (DBS) arrived shortly after 5:00 a.m. When he arrived, PFC Manning was called to attention. The DBS walked through the facility to conduct his detainee count. Afterwards, PFC Manning was told to sit on his bed. About ten minutes later, a guard came to his cell to return his clothing.

This type of degrading treatment is inexcusable and without justification. It is an embarrassment to our military justice system and should not be tolerated. PFC Manning has been told that the same thing will happen to him again tonight. No other detainee at the Brig is forced to endure this type of isolation and humiliation.

From the comments, explaining where this is coming from:

"So. He is a traitor. He deserves no respect."

". . .It is pretty sickening that a Traitor to this country has so many fans. The Blood of some of our soldiers is on his hands. . ."

Not true, but a lie that some apparently believe.

another comment:

"This is very, very scary. If we have secrets that conceal wrongdoing, they need to come out. The US has become such a scary place to live. People are afraid to speak their piece. . ."

It's worth noting that Oliver North stole weapons from the army, sold them to the Ayatollah Khomeini, and used part of the proceeds to spruce up his vacation home. Not only did he somehow avoid the "Traitor" label, the prosecuting authorities spared him a dishonorable discharge, and he eventually got a show on Fox news. The venom directed at Manning is not a reasoned response to heinous criminal conduct, it's some people who have been whipped into a frenzy, brandishing the word "Traitor" with intoxicated fanaticism, and other more sober people, too scared of the accusations of "Treason" to say a moderating word against it.

Bradley Manning is not a traitor. He may not be a hero. What he certainly is is someone who leaked the lowest level of classified documents, documents which had zero protections or safeguards, with intent to expose abuses and the reality of war. Maybe he was unwise to do so. But a common criminal he is not, still less a traitor. He may deserve a reprimand, but the attempt to make him out to be a heinous criminal is misguided and immoral.

Comments: Post a Comment