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.

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Friday, March 18, 2011
Two comments in the Radley Balko comment thread on Bradley Manning.


Part of me views Manning as a Kevin Mitnick case of someone who did commit a crime and then was so severely fucked over so hard and so much that the original crime is really trivial in comparison. The question is, who has done the greater evil? . . .

. . .Lots of whistleblowers leak information because they have a grudge or are vindictive, and I don’t think that appreciably cheapens the value of the truth that eventually comes out. Holding governments accountable would be a lot harder if we only used information leaked by altruistic whistleblowers. . .


. . .I have not seen any credible information that would lead me to believe that Manning should not be considered a whistleblower. In fact, in the partial chat logs released (from the chat that led to his arrest), when Lamo asks Manning why he didn’t sell the information…

Manning: because it’s public data

Lamo: i mean, the cables

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

Manning may have been wrong, but in no way can he be considered a traitor, and the attempt on the part of the authorities to paint Manning as a worse criminal than Charles Graner (Abu Ghraib) or Andrew Warren (sexual abuse) is a serious, and totally avoidable and unnecessary, injustice.

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