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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Sunday, March 06, 2011
We're sometimes told that since Bradley Manning is under the UCMJ, what's happening now is perfectly just and appropriate, and we civilians just don't understand. If that's the case, why wasn't Oliver North executed for selling weapons to Ayatollah Khomeini? Why was he even spared a dishonourable discharge, if there is "no choice" but to enforce the UCMJ, no matter what the circumstances? Why was no one charged from the UCMJ for lying in the aftermath of Pat Tillman's death? (in an apparent attempt to cover up the circumstances of his death, not only was his uniform burnt, but so was his diary) In reality, no law, no code, can work without judgment, discretion & common sense. Those who pretend they have no discretion are in fact the worst abusers of their discretion.

Bradley Manning leaked the lowest level of classified documents, documents which had zero safeguards and protection, with intent to expose abuses and the reality of war. Maybe he was wrong, but to try him as a serious criminal, let alone a "traitor", is immoral and unjust. Charles Graner got 10 years for what he did. Andrew Warren got 5 years for sexual abuse. If the powers that be think what Bradley Manning did is comparable to what Charles Graner or Andrew Warren did, or even close, they are revealing a skewed sense of priorities, that in the judgment of the prosecuting authorities, actually commiting violent crimes is not as serious as leaking documents which might challenge the official version of the story.

Vincent Bugliosi - Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O.J. Simpson Got Away With Murder

p. 175:

The irony is that those who say they never lie usually (not always) lie more than those who are at least truthful enough to admit they lie. And they lie in the very worst way possible, to further their own interests at the expense of others. One is reminded of Ralph Waldo Emerson's remark that "the louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons"

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