US Is Apparently Torturing Bradley Manning, Despite No Trial And No Conviction

from the this-is-not-the-america-we-were-told-about dept

While there's been a ton of attention paid to Julian Assange's arrest and situation, much less attention has been paid to Bradley Manning, the Army Private who has been accused of being the source of many of Wikileaks' more recent leaks concerning the US government and military. It seemed like a reasonable question to ask, upon his arrest, whether or not he was simply whistleblowing or breaking the law. Certainly this is a question that is open for debate. What is pretty clear is that his intentions were absolutely to be a whistleblower.

In his internet chat with Adrian Lamo (the guy who turned him in), Manning made it clear that if he was trying to cause problems for the US or had malicious intentions, he could have sold the info to foreign governments. However, his reasoning for leaking the info was clear, saying he was hoping it would cause "worldwide discussion, debates and reform." He also noted that he was driven to do this after being involved in detaining Iraqis who had simply done a scholarly critique of the current government, which he believed went against basic free speech principles. Again, no matter what you believe about his specific actions, it's pretty clear his intent was to whistleblow. He was upset about what he felt were illegal activities and his goal was to get that information out and to create discussion leading to reform. That's the classic definition of whistleblowing.

I knew Manning had been arrested and was being held somewhere, but Glenn Greenwald is now covering how he is being tortured, despite the fact he has not been tried. He has been held in intensive solitary confinement, meaning he spends 23 hours of the day in total isolation. He has not even been given a pillow or sheets for his bed. As Greenwald highlights, there is widespread agreement that such prolonged solitary confinement is well beyond the standard level of torture, is forbidden in many modern civilizations, and leads to long term psychological issues for those who go through it.

And all this for a guy who has not even been convicted of anything.

Again: I recognize that some people believe that Manning is a "traitor" or some sort of "enemy." But even if that's the case, why should he not be put on trial for it, before he's put into solitary confinement? As Greenwald notes, "Manning has been a model detainee, without any episodes of violence or disciplinary problems." Solitary confinement is normally used as punishment for such outbreaks for those already convicted. Putting Manning in such conditions is a purely punitive attempt to torture him, without him even being convicted.

We've already covered just how bad the Defense Department is at protecting whistleblowers, but this goes way beyond any of that. The message being sent here is that, even if your intentions are to expose wrongdoing, the military may lock you up and torture you for months without end and with no due process. This is not what America is supposed to be about. We're not supposed to support torture. We're not supposed to ignore due process. We're supposed to encourage whistleblowing. Instead, we're locking it up and torturing it with no trial or conviction.

This is, frankly, horrifying.

I'm not convinced that Manning did the right thing in leaking all of those documents. Rather, I think there's a compelling argument that he went way too far in releasing way too much. But it's a point that can be debated. However, Manning has no such opportunity to debate it. Instead, he's being psychologically tortured with no method of even making his own case.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:54am

    Assange is also being held in solitary confinement in the UK, with (according to what I read) only thirty minutes exercise time a day.

    It is astonishing... whip the world up into a frenzy and they forget the basic humanitarian values and ideals we all claim to share.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:59am

    Don't bury the lead here....

    You're writing critically and strong, just not strong enough. The United States Government and military are torturing a UNITED STATES CITIZEN. I'm fairly in line with you on his actions, mostly because it would have been far more clear a whistle-blowing case if he'd released to Wikileaks ONLY the files that show illegal or questionable behavior, rather than some massive cable dump.

    But none of that is the point. He's a US citizen, what the govt. is doing falls under the category of torture, and I'm about as fucking pissed off about this as I've been in a looong looong time....

     

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  3.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 11:35am

    Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    How's it go...
    "As the size of an explosion increases, the number of problems it is capable of solving decreases."
    ...or something like that.

     

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  4.  
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    wallow-T, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 11:49am

    Torture is THE American virtue. It's what we stand for.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 11:52am

    Is it being done by jack bauer?

     

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  6.  
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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 11:53am

    Re:

    Just to play devil's advocate, sometimes people are kept in solitary for their own protection.

    Not condoning it but sometimes there are reasons. Denying bed sheets would seem to not be something done for his own protection.

    Though, one could strangle oneself with a sheet. Any insight on the conditions a suicidal or possibly suicidal prisoner is kept in?

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re:

    Hmm... yes, you raise a good point. However I think that if it were being done for his protection, the gov't would be making damn sure we all knew that. Also the description of the conditions doesn't sound right - like you said, removing sheets is confusing unless he is suicidal, and the whole concept of "total isolation" 23 hours a day seems to go well beyond what would be necessary to protect his safety if it were at risk.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re:

    Just to play devil's advocate, sometimes people are kept in solitary for their own protection.


    The article says there are no such indications (or there weren't early on -- since being in confinement so long, he's now on anti-depressants).

     

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  9.  
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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    to be fair US Citizens give up some of their liberty when they sign on the dotted line with the military.

    The snarky answer is the 'hostile work environment' of being shot at.

    They get tried in military courts, not civilian courts, etc.

     

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    Transbot9, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:04pm

    Re:

    At least Assange was finally let out on bail...which puts an emphasis on how terrible this situation is.

     

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  11.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    Writing to my representatives is slightly less useful than writing to Santa Claus. What can really be done to fix this?

    Side question: How hard is it to get Icelandic citizenship?

     

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  12.  
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    Alfred, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:12pm

    Yes, intent is all that matters. Now we can accept those people that kill abortion doctors because THEY believe that they are saving the lives of hundreds of unborn babies. I am glad we all agree on that.

    Seriously, this guy is responsible for actions that are going to cause the deaths of people. But who cares about those people? This guy is who we need to worry about, after all, he is an American citizen. Why do we need a trial? We know this guy did it. Nobody is saying he didn't.

    Damn Liberals, it's going to get to a point where a guy is gunned down committing a robbery and your going to complain he didn't get a fair trial and how do we know he is guilty if he didn't get a trail.

     

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    Free Capitalist (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:12pm

    Awful

    What Manning is going through is no joke, I have no doubt, even if the article is completely wrong.

    The harsh reality is he is being held under military jurisdiction and with the rights of an accused soldier, not a citizen. This type of torture sounds like something they may very well be able to do without repercussion.

    Also, is there such a thing as a soldier whistle blower and protections for the same? I'm doubting it but I do not know.

    If he leaked, he did bring this on himself, as heinous as it may be.

     

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    Geoffrey Thomas, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:13pm

    is there any kool-aid left?

     

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  15.  
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    noesbueno (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:14pm

    having been in both civilian jails and military brig/stockade i can say there are vast differences in how you are treated, and what "rights" you have.

     

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    David, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:15pm

    Manning

    A whistle blower? He'll be lucky if he doesn't get life. Revealing classified information is clearly a crime, though publishing it (via NYT, etc) is not.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    What in the world does that have to do with being tortured?

     

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  18.  
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    A Dan (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    Re:

    Those Damn "Liberals" and their "Constitutional" "rights". In my day, we didn't have a constitution! Or rights! And we liked it that way!

    Note: I don't think presumption of innocence is a "Liberal" concept.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:18pm

    Re:

    how does a private have access to such info?

     

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  20.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:21pm

    Re:

    "Yes, intent is all that matters. Now we can accept those people that kill abortion doctors because THEY believe that they are saving the lives of hundreds of unborn babies. I am glad we all agree on that."

    That might be the single dumbest thing I've ever read on this site....

    "Seriously, this guy is responsible for actions that are going to cause the deaths of people."

    Name just one case where that has happened or is likely to happen....

    And now let's go back to the drinking game I talked about before, where you have to drink everytime someone says two things in one post that are incredibly at odds w/one another. In this case:

    "he is an American citizen. Why do we need a trial?"

    DRINK!

    Seriously, go away. You're getting your nationalism all over my country....

     

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  21.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:22pm

    Yes, I'm aware it's just a nit-pick and not to concede that solitary confinement is torture but what does a trial/conviction have to do with torture? It's not like it would somehow be more OK to torture someone because they were tried or convicted of a crime. Generally it would be less so because by that point any information they had that you might have used for justification from the person is pretty damned stale.

     

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  22.  
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    Richard Kulawiec, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Awful

    The harsh reality is he is being held under military jurisdiction and with the rights of an accused soldier, not a citizen.

    Incorrect. The Constitution doesn't get suspended merely because someone's in the military.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:22pm

    Army Property

    He is the property of the US Army and they can do with him what they wish.

     

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  24.  
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    A Dan (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    I thought the idiom was generally spelled "Bury the lede".

     

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  25.  
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    Richard Kulawiec, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Army Property

    He is the property [...]

    1860 is calling. It wants its Zeitgeist back.

     

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  26.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re:

    Pretty soon somebody is going to sue you because you killed their 20 something kid with this drinking game. =\

     

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  27.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Re:

    Why do we need a trial? We know this guy did it. Nobody is saying he didn't.

    That's some great satire there. You sound just like your average Amer'cun!

     

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  28.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Awful

    The Constitution doesn't get suspended merely because someone's in the military.


    “(The Supreme Court of the United States) has long recognized that the military is, by necessity, a specialized society separate from civilian society…(t)he rights of men in the armed forces must perforce be conditioned to meet certain overriding demands of discipline and duty.”
    Parker v. Levy, 1974

     

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  29.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    It defines different standards throughout the entire justice cycle than what most citizens would expect. At least that's what I think he was trying to say.

    About solitary being torture though, don't be so quick to jump to conclusions there. Put this guy around other incarcerated soldiers and his life would be in very real and immediate danger.

     

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  30.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    Meh, it probably is. I think this is the first time I've ever actually written it out. Always thought it was like "lead in"....

     

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  31.  
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    crade (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:35pm

    "I'm not convinced that Manning did the right thing in leaking all of those documents."
    Well, if Manning had any doubts or regrets about whether or not it was the right thing to do before, I would hope his treatment by his own government with no due process would lay those doubts to rest.

     

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  32.  
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    chris (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re:

    how does a private have access to such info?

    that's how military intelligence works: low ranking enlisted members with the ability to change the outcome of a war.

    intelligence systems are so complex that they can only be operated by trained specialists, so military leadership relies on prepared reports, not raw intelligence.

    it's the collision of outdated hierarchical military thinking and modern warfare.

     

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  33.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    The spelling "lede" is an occasionally-used Americanization of the original spelling ("lead") to avoid confusion with the homonymic metal used in printing presses -- but overall "lead" is still by far the dominant choice, and either is correct.

     

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  34.  
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    Jay (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    Military tribunals are a true pain.

    I've seen people in brigs before they're dishonorably discharged...

    In terms of caloric intake, in terms of their wills...

    It is NOT a joke. Damn near torture for people that served their country and did something to threaten their fellow men.

     

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  35.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Screw that, I'm going to sue him for pain and suffering from all the AC-induced hangovers.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:40pm

    Wartime treason calls for military tribunal and possibly execution. Who cares what his intent was, the spoiled little brat. Screw him.

    When I was in the NG, I was shown a little piece of fine print on my ID badge, it said Property of US Gov't. I was then informed that it did not refer to the card..

     

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  37.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    "Put this guy around other incarcerated soldiers and his life would be in very real and immediate danger."

    If that was the motivation, the CYA specialists in the military would have been shoutting that through a megaphone since the moment he was locked up....

     

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    CM, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:41pm

    You forgot "Theft" "Conspiracy" "Espionage" and "Treason" under your keywords.

    Unsubscribing from TechDirt....

     

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  39.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:43pm

    Re:

    You're a moron, guardsman. No matter what he did, torture violates international law. It was horrible when we did it to foreign nationals. It's only slightly worse IMO now that we're doing it to one of our own citizens....

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    I love stories like this.

    The guy isn't being tortured, he is being held in maximum security and maximum detention possible. Considering his crimes, you wouldn't want him near anyone else, you wouldn't want him wandering around in public, and you certainly wouldn't want him in any general population.

    To suggest it is torture is really going way past the point. He is getting the minimums required in detailment. 1 hour per day out is actually pretty good, considering that many maximum detention prisoners US state and federal facilities often get less than that, and only on every 3rd day.

    As for the time of his inprisonment, considering he will not get bail pending trial, he can be like all of the other nasty criminals in the system, who often spend years locked up waiting for their trials to start and complete.

    I have to say that commentaries like the one on Salon and the post made here are certainly good at whipping up a frenzy, but honestly, what else do you do with a man who has treasoned his country, put every one of his military peers at risk, and divulged almost a quarter of a million state secrets? Would you like to give him a medal and a pat on the tush to send him on his way?

    Wake up people!

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    Aparently when Obama opposed the torture of pows in gitmo he actually meant he was going to spread the torture around. Now that is change I can believe in...

     

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  42.  
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    mosch, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:46pm

    Re:

    I'd like to point out he has yet to receive a conviction. Regardless if this is/isn't torture, it is a highly severe form of punishment. I would never expect to see this being brought upon someone who has yet to be judged by his/her peers in a court of law. Such an ignorant comment to state you don't need a fair trial to determine guilt. There is a reason why a legal system exists. It's to prevent snap judgement from people like you; however I'm sure you have adequate research, knowledge and understanding of this case to make such a quick verdict.

     

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  43.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:46pm

    Re:

    I see no evidence that due process is lacking. It's not uncommon for several months to pass before trial in civilian courts and the military justice system tends to be harsher. It's also not uncommon for someone whose life would be in serious jeopardy around other prisoners to be kept sequestered off by themselves, even in the civilian system. Where, precisely, is the lack of due process?

     

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    Free Capitalist (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re: Army Property

    1860 is calling. It wants its Zeitgeist back.

    I'll see your zeitgeist and raise you two paradigms. When you join the military you are, in effect, property of the U.S. government.

     

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  45.  
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    TheStupidOne, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:48pm

    Re:

    As trollish as your post is, One point does really need clarification. Intent is obviously not all that matters, but it very clearly does matter, and our judicial system takes that into account. This about the large variety of charges that accompany one person killing another. Everything from premeditated murder to accidental killings worth of a manslaughter charge. Think about all the 'action' with intent to 'action' charges.

    While a crime is a crime, the intention of the criminal often does weigh into the judicial system's treatment of him, and should weigh into any reasonable person's opinion of said criminal.

    Much more to the point, whistleblowing is a protected action, but treason is (obviously) not. So what he intended to do is relevant. He might have gone way overboard with the cable dump, but that is for a court to decide.

     

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  46.  
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    Jay (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Awful

    You can still say no to things in the military. You just have to accept the consequences.

     

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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:49pm

    Re:

    Thank god. We need less inane posts around here.

     

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  48.  
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    John Doe, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:49pm

    Re:

    Goodbye.

     

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    CM, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:50pm

    Sold it to a foreign government or give it to a foreign citizen, what is the difference? Are we sure Assange did not compensate him? Why didn't he go to the Attorney General, (or Ron Paul) instead? How is a massive document theft and dump 'whistleblowing'? Exactly what was specific crime was he blowing the whistle on? not saying there weren't any, but his actions are not those of a concerned whistle blower.

    I am not defending those who were exposed/embarassed by this, but Manning and Assange are no freedom fighters.

     

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  50.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Mike, if the article said it was not at least partially for his protection, the author had no clue what he was talking about. He would already be dead if he had been put around other prisoners.

     

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  51.  
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    DSchmeling (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:51pm

    Re:

    I really hope you're joking. Yes he leaked the documents and that's why he's being detained, and yes, he's part of the military which puts him into a different set of rules than the average citizen, but as a US Citizen he is still absolutely guaranteed a number of rights by the US Constitution. A fair trial by his peers for example. He may be and in fact is held to a higher standard than the average US citizen, but he is still guaranteed those rights.

    And yes, intent does have some bearing in cases like these. Especially as a whistleblower and someone who is trying to change something he viewed as illegal and wrong. He will likely still be punished unless it can be shown that he was in the right, but until that point he should not be treated with such utter disregard for the fact that he is a human being.

    Furthermore, your snarky comment about liberals is unnecessary and out of line. I'd hope that EVERYONE regardless of political stance recognize that people are guaranteed due process, and a fair trial. The point of the trial is to prove that a wrong was committed, even if the circumstances, before a trial, shows what happened. Lord knows your 'guy' could have been forced into what he did by some other party, and not taking the time to ensure he was solely responsible for what happened could have far worse consequences than having a fair trial for him.

     

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  52.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    Possibly. Or not. It wouldn't be the first PR gaff the government's made.

     

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  53.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:54pm

    Re:

    Would you like to give him a medal and a pat on the tush to send him on his way?

    False dichotomy much?

    "Either we torture him, or we'll have to throw him parties with hookers and cocaine! Is that what you want your taxes going towards? HUH?*"

    *Incidentally, the answer is yes, but only if I'm invited.

     

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  54.  
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    Jim C, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:55pm

    Solitary is torture???

    Placing Pvt Manning in solitary is hardly torture. I suggest you read about the conditions in which Japan, Korea, and North Viet Nam held American prisoners and compare.

    By keeping Pvt Manning away from other military prisoners he is being spared certain verbal and most likely physical assault. I would even go so far as to say putting in with the general population would but his life at risk.

    At best Pvt Manning violated many regulations concerning classified documents any one of which could result in many years in prison. It would not be difficult to make a case for treason, during war time. The penalty for that is the firing squad or hangman's noose.

    Some will think this harsh, and it is, but Mr Manning voluntarily swore and oath. In violating the trust placed in him he committed a heinous crime in the eyes of his fellow soldiers. He will made an example of so that no else is tempted to do the same or worse.

    As for the statement "Manning made it clear that if he was trying to cause problems for the US or had malicious intentions, he could have sold the info to foreign governments". I have never heard such a ridiculous lie. Unless they have forgot how to use the internet, he has given our secrets to them.

    As soldier the law that applies to him is the Uniform Code of Military Justice or UCMJ. It is far different from civilian law. Given the attention this case will generate and the number of charges they will most likely bring, the military will want to make sure it has researched and prepared the case.

    Also even if they are not charged, this will end the careers of Pvt Manning's supervisors.

     

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  55.  
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    Zack, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:55pm

    Re:

    Damn Liberals, it's going to get to a point where a guy is gunned down committing a robbery and your going to complain he didn't get a fair trial and how do we know he is guilty if he didn't get a trail.

    Actually that is a problem. Corrupt officials can easily plant drugs or alter crime scenes. Do you know it is to film an arrest even to prove the officers did break the law in many states? What if the NRA was labeled a terrorist organization since it condones violence? (hunting) Does that change your opinion?

    If the law does not protect ALL citizens then who ever writes the law can justify rounding up and quelling dissenting opinions. That is why defending RIGHTS in ALL cases is important.

    I want to live in a democracy. I saw your "free speech zones" firsthand and they were terrifying on so many levels I can not imagine how you consider yourselves free. You are chained by your ignorance of current affairs. FOX news and the uninformed american populace is becoming the laughingstock of the world...

    Your ignorance of the constitution and why people have fought and died for it sullies your dead. You would throw away what they died for because someone else telly you the right is inconvenient when used to defend people who exposed corruption in your own government.

     

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    TheStupidOne, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:55pm

    @ Mike

    I have one issue with your post ...

    Your title and write up imply that it is OK for our government to torture us if we are convicted. I feel strongly that our government should never torture anyone.

     

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    crade (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re:

    Well, in my eyes, if I was being tortured thusly for blowing the wistle on the govn't without even a trial, I would definately feel vindicated.
    You can only stand so long in the hole without going insane.
    Bullshit excuses about "for my own protection" notwithstanding.

     

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  58.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    Isn't the Geneva Convention pretty clear when the subject of torture is addressed - it's NOT allowed.

     

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    Richard Kulawiec, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Awful

    Thanks for making my point for me. The most important thing about that decision is not what it says: it's that it exists. The fact that Levy was able to seek judicial relief via the court system demonstrates prima facie that he retained his Constitutional rights during and after being in the military.

    Now as to the content of the decision: like nearly all Supreme Court decisions, it's written quite narrowly, and it absolutely does not, in any way, shape or form, state the Constitution is suspended merely because someone's in the military. What it does say, in circumscribed, precise language, is (a) articles 133 and 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice are not unconstitutionally vague under the due process clause (b) those same two articles are not unconstitutional on their face because they're overly broad and (c) Levy's contention that he avoided participating in a war crime is not a Constitutional issue. But don't take my word for that; read it here: http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/comm/free_speech/parker.html

     

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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's not a bullshit excuse. I was a soldier. I know soldiers. He would be dead by now.

     

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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Solitary is torture???

    Placing Pvt Manning in solitary is hardly torture. I suggest you read about the conditions in which Japan, Korea, and North Viet Nam held American prisoners and compare.

    Using bad behavior by others to justify ours? Pathetic.

    At best Pvt Manning violated many regulations concerning classified documents any one of which could result in many years in prison.

    Allegedly.

    I have never heard such a ridiculous lie. Unless they have forgot how to use the internet, he has given our secrets to them.

    He didn't sell them, though. In other words, he wasn't trying to sell out his country for personal gain, like he very well could have by shopping the data around. That gives him a much stronger case for whistle-blower status (although he'd have to explain exactly what he thought he was blowing the whistle on, since the huge cable dump was unlikely to be related to anything he knew about personally).

     

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    James Carmichael (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:03pm

    Re:

    Thanks!

     

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    Overcast (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:03pm

    What if these were private personal documents?

    What if they were private corporate documents?

    What if in both of the above cases; they clearly showed corruption - would the person leaking them be jailed?

    Doubt it.

    It seems little are really related to 'national security' - but most have a very direct relationship on the personal security of job and positions held within government.

     

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  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    Um as a US Soldier you give up your Constitutional rights In order To Support, Protect and Defend them, but surely you would know that because you served, Yes?

     

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  65.  
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    David Liu (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:04pm

    Re:

    I'm pretty sure one of the rules of whistleblowing is to not go to the people who are involved. You go to an outside party who has authority over those involved. Since the data involves pretty much everyone in government, the next best bet is to release it to the public who hopefully still has some power over the government.

     

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  66.  
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    James Carmichael (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:05pm

    Re: @ Mike

    His post makes it pretty clear that he's against torture in any way shape or form. He's only protecting himself from retarded commenters by saying that Manning may possibly be in the wrong here, and may possibly deserve to be incarcerated, but NOT before a getting a trial, and certainly NOT with torture involved.

    In other words, Manning's actions are debatable.
    Torture is not.

     

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    TDR, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:05pm

    I think I know why a lot of gung-ho military types really hate people like Manning. Because he did something they can't understand, something they don't believe should even be possible. He questioned orders. He thought. He listened to his conscience rather than follow orders he knew were wrong.

    Maybe he went a bit far with how much he leaked, but his intent was to cause reform, not harm. And no one has yet provided any empirical, detailed evidence that anyone has been harmed or was put at risk of harm because of his leaks. That is something that needs to be factored into his trial.

     

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    Richard Kulawiec, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:06pm

    Re:

    To suggest it is torture is really going way past the point.

    Read: http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/14/manning/index.html

     

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    Jay, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:07pm

    Re:

    Calling Bradley Manning a whistleblower is a real stretch. First off what he leaked were secret US military and State Department documents. None of which uncovered any criminal behavior that could lead to a prosecution of anyone involved. In fact the leaked documents didn’t uncover anything that wasn't previously reported in the mainstream media. Did he think that the World didn’t know that the Iraqi insurgency was much worse than the Bush administration was saying 7 years ago. It is no longer even pertinent as far as whistleblowing is concerned.

    What he did do was provide all of our enemies a clear understanding of how our military gets information in the field. It even provided the names of people who helped us and in some cases the names of covert American agents. Don’t even get me started on the leaked State Department documents.

    Bradley Manning is no hero, he’s a tool.

     

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  70.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:07pm

    Re: Re:

    I want to live in a democracy.

    The only part I'd nitpick is this. I'd change it to "rights-based society" or somesuch, since democracy just means that people generally vote to do bad things as a collective, instead of individually.

     

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    interval (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:09pm

    Re:

    Even with a conviction we're not supposed to be torturing people, or so I thought...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re:

    ..Well granted bail but not let out yet. the Swedes still have the right to appeal.

     

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    JTO (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:15pm

    If the US is holding him because he is an undeclared espionage agent, which I'm guessing they are doing, he's screwed. He has no rights or protections. Many of our laws and the Geneva Convention pointedly exclude spies.

    His case for being a whistleblower falls apart when Assange and Co. say that they were given, and refused to publish, battle plans, critically sensitive documents, etc. that had nothing to do with the illegal capture and interrogation of dissidents.

    While Manning's conditions seem a little harsh, I would really hesitate to call it torture. He's obviously on suicide watch and kept isolated from other inmates. So what? He's not being water-boarded, beat, frozen, or sleep-deprived. When I'm kept in solitude without a pillow or sheets, I usually call that backpacking, but that's just me.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:16pm

    Manning made it clear that if he was trying to cause problems for the US or had malicious intentions, he could have sold the info to foreign governments. However, his reasoning for leaking the info was clear, saying he was hoping it would cause "worldwide discussion, debates and reform."

    Looking at the crimes he is accused of...

    Under UCMJ Article 92 he is guilty if there was in effect a lawful order, he had a duty to obey it, and he disobeyed the order. Intent is irrelevant, and it is a strict liability offense.

    Under 18 U.S.C. 793(e) he is guilty if he has information that could be used to injure the United States and then he "willfully communicates" that information. Intent is certainly relevant here, but not in the way that you suggest. They do not need to prove that he intended to injure the United States since this is not a specific intent statute. Instead, it is a general intent statute and it is enough to prove that his communication of the information was willful. His intentions otherwise are irrelevant.

    Under 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(2) he is guilty if he "knowingly" accessed a computer to obtain restricted information in a way that exceeds his authorization and then "willfully communicates" that information. This is also a general intent statute, and it is enough to prove that he intended to access and communicate the information. His intentions otherwise are irrelevant.

    Under 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(2) he is guilty if he "intentionally" accesses a computer in excess of his authorization and obtains information. All they need to prove is his intent to access the computer and obtain the information. His intentions otherwise are irrelevant.

    I think his intention to cause "worldwide discussion, debates and reform" would come into play at his sentencing, but it doesn't play a part in determining his guilt. He could have the absolute best intentions and still be guilty of the crimes.

     

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    Hugh Mann (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:19pm

    Whistleblowing? Nah, I don't buy it.

    I might go for "whistleblowing" if there had been some discretion in what was taken and released. While there certainly does seem to be some evidence of wrongdoing that might very well qualify what Mr. Manning did as whistleblowing, the vast majority just seems to be a massive disclosure of anything and everything he was able to get his hands on, whether it was relevant to any actual wrongdoing or not. And "whistleblowing" protection has never, as far as I'm aware, been applied to those who disclosed confidential materials merely because of concern of a moral - rather than legal - nature.

    So, let him argue that some of it was whistleblowing, but I think there is a whole lot that is merely breaking the law.

    As for his current detention, I would like to see some corroboration before I jump on the "he's being tortured" bandwagaon that I suspect will quickly get rolling here. Is he actually in solitary confinement? Or is he merely in some form of segregation from the general prison/jail/stockade population - potentially for his own protection? Is the lack of bedsheets (assuming this is true) some form of legitimate effort as part of a suicide watch? Does he have reading materials, decent food and contact with legal counsel and/or family?

    And if he's a "model prisoner", good for him. I give him some credit for manning up (pun un-intended)and dealing maturely with the consequences of his actions. Even if he is eventually determined to be a legitimate whistleblower (which I do not stipulate), he still took an action he knew to be illegal, and SHOULD have been prepared to deal with being treated like a suspect in a very, very serious criminal matter until such time as his name is cleared.

    Personally, I suspect he is going to grow old in the stockade.

    HM

     

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    Richard Kulawiec, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re:

    What he did do was provide all of our enemies a clear understanding of how our military gets information in the field. [etc]

    You have no evidence to support that.

    You don't have that evidence because it doesn't exist.

    As I've explained several times here, the fact that Wikileaks (and the newspapers it's partnered with) have 250K diplomatic cables constitutes an existence proof that a leak vector exists.

    Only a fool would presume that there's only one.

    So if government X turns up in possession of cable number 13,832, that doesn't mean that they got it via this leak. Maybe they did. Or maybe they got it via one of the others.

    And then we have to consider that every government has intelligence services that spend all day, every day trying to lay their hands on material like this. They spy, they steal, they bribe, they blackmail, they seduce, they drug, they hack, they do whatever works the best because after all...it's why they exist. Some of them are pretty good at it. (In a fair fight in a dark alley, I'd take Mossad over the CIA, 5 to 3.)

    So there is no reason to presume that ANY of this material wasn't already read a long time ago in 17 different countries. C'mon, a private had access to it here, do you REALLY believe that generals there weren't reading it too?

    The naviete' and conceit over these "secrets" is stunning. It's as if people actually believe you can open a large and valuable database to a couple of million people and then still pretend that it's magically "secret".

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Um, can you back that assertion up with anything? Seems rather extreme.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    Did you? While you were a soldier, were you not still protected under the Geneva Conventions from torture?

    And btw, you sure as shit don't give up ALL of your Constitutional rights as a soldier, so why don't you tell me exactly where I'm wrong here....

     

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    Free Capitalist (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Awful

    While it is academically interesting that Levy was allowed to use the civilian judicial system, you should note that this very decision pre-ambles the military's description of your curtailed rights which you must agree to when you join up.
    PDF

    Also note the content of the SCoTUS decision is basically telling Levy, "What the hell are you doing here, you're a soldier, not a civilian. We've been over then before."

    While Manning might some day get to go to the SCOTUS himself, he will most definitely be held by the military and tried in a military court first. His rights and the process are very different from those of a civilian citizen. Until he is discharged from service, that is.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I was a soldier too, and I applaud this man's bravery. He saw what he thought as a wrong that the most powerful government in the world was doing and instead of keeping his head low and carrying on smartly he put his freedom and his life on the line to see that light was shed on the situation.

    "Treason" assumes that the government you are betraying is doing the right thing. We applaud men and women who stand up to governments like North Korea and China because we feel that those governments are in the wrong and we aknowledge that their citizens should stand up against those wrongs. Should we not do the same if we feel our government is in the wrong?

    Honor. Courage. Commitment. He has displayed them all, whereas you, my carion-eating friend, have only displayed that you would murder a man based on Truthiness instead of Truth.

    For shame.

     

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    Revelati, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:25pm

    Manning, traitor or patriot? It comes down to which of these quotes makes more sense to you.

    "Our Country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but right or wrong, our country!" -Stephen Decatur

    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -Carl Schurz

     

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    Hugh Mann (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re:

    People accused of serious crimes are often kept in fairly harsh conditions with bail denied until the trial actually takes place. It's not "punishment". It has to do with the nature of the crime, the flight risk of the defendant and whether the defendant himself may be in danger from other prisoners.

    Of course, there is still the issue that Manning apparently hasn't been charged yet. Even that is permitted under some circumstances. However, if necessary, I suspect a charge of treason (among many others) could be levied against him in fairly short order. He, as a soldier, disclosed information during a time of armed conflict ("war"?) that arguably provided aid to the enemy. Seems like there's at least enough there to justify a full-on trial/court-martial, even if he is eventually acquitted.

    HM

    HM

     

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    DCX2, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    Re:

    Seriously, this guy is responsible for actions that are going to cause the deaths of people.

    There are a few hundred thousand dead Iraqis who would like someone to be held responsible for the war based on lies that lead to their death.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    We're supposed to encourage whistleblowing.

    Huh? Accessing and communicating restricted information in the way that he is accused of is a crime. Are you making a normative argument that it shouldn't be a crime? If so, perhaps you should be more clear about it.

     

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    clownfart, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Re: Army Property

    Zeitgeist? He just won Time's Man of the Year, dint he?

     

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    Carol, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:31pm

    Manning

    And all this is done by the so called "honest" or "just" government... Need I say more?

     

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    sgtbk, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re: Awful

    Actually, it does to some point. The UCMJ is a seperate legal system from civilian courts. When you become a soldier, you are held to a different level of accountability and a different standard of justice. What he did is commit treason by releasing those documents. There is no whistleblower statute for him. Hopefully, just the firing squad.

     

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    Chris in Utah (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    I was wondering if Geneva was going to be brought up my someone. And people wonder why the U.S. was kicked out of the Human Rights branch(actual name escapes me) of the United Nations.

     

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    AvrageJoe, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Alfred

    The point is yes he did leak the information. Yes he is an American citizen and he still has the rights given to him by the constitution. It should give you some concern when the government can decide you did something wrong and just lock you away without any due process.

     

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    DCX2, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Solitary is torture???

    If you were in solitary confinement for a few weeks, you would be singing a different tune.

     

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    Daniel, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Awful

    Your Right. However, The Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) governs the actions of a soldier. Depending on the act, the military can take actions that may not be seen as constitutional to the public. Although it is sometimes harsh, the military must take action to ensure national security and give you the rights to bad mouth the methods they may choose to take. Do not use the constitution as an argument mechanism, as the UCMJ is the governing document for the military.

     

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    Ed W, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Awful

    US Constitution Article 1 section 8 "To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces"

    Uniform Code of Military Justice, 64 Stat. 109, 10 U.S.C. Chapter 47

    This applies to soldiers but not civilians

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re:

    Richard, a small lesson in critical thinking. Look at the URL. Notice the term "opinion" in the URL. The piece isn't news, it's an opinion. There is a similar story now running on the Huffington Post as well. Entirely opinion. I would suspect that his lawyer or someone close to him decided to stir the cauldron.

    As a side note, all of this and nobody is upset that Wikileaks appears to be renegging on their promise to help him with legal fees?

     

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:39pm

    Back to basics

    I think Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin would be smiling right about now. We have far exceeded what either of those two were trying to do in suppression of individual freedoms. And to think that Barack Obama is not fighting this tooth and nail makes me really angry - I supported him with significant time, $$, and in other ways to get him elected. Sorry B, but you won't be getting my vote in 2 years. Neither will the Republicans. I think I'm going to vote for "None of the Above".

     

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    Chris in Utah (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:39pm

    Re:

    I'll make it perfectly clear.

    Make a choice.
    See, hear, or otherwise sense your enemy in front of you out in the open without restrictions. aka anarchy?
    or
    Keep it all hush hush in the sake of morality? aka "shoulda,coulda,woulda"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re: @ Mike

    if there was any actual torture going on. The entire story comes down to that he doesn't like being in solitary, doesn't like being in prison. Idiot should have thought about that before he committed potentially the single largest act of treason against the US in history.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:42pm

    Re:

    Hmm let's see.. an American solider made a sacrifice to expose corruption in the government that's sole individual purpose is to protect the interests of the American Citizens. The actions of the corrupt government tarnish the reputation of our nation and through those actions seed the hate that brings us harm.

    Why do you think the Middle East hates us so much? Well open your damned eyes and read then you might find out that we're locking up, torturing, and killing THOUSANDS of those countries citizens. If anyone did that to any American you'd be pretty damned pissed the fuck off too and want to see all those motherfuckers die, no?

    So yes, give this guy a medal for being the only person with a spine, integrity, and true American patriotism left. People are meant to control the government, not allow it to control them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Alfred

    It's called the Patriot Act, go ask the US citizens in Gitmo about it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:44pm

    Re:

    As you have so often been fond of saying in the past, that is not for you to decide. Go blow a weasel.

     

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    Jay (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re:

    Dyncorp's true actions disagree with you, Jay.

    O_o

    Wait, I'm talking to myself!

     

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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:46pm

    Re:

    Though in general I disagree with most of what you post, I do have to say that your summary of the legal issues facing Mr. Manning is a good one.

    Intent, in the legal realm, is generally about whether or not you intended to do the deed in question, and not about whether or not you thought you were doing the right thing.

    If he did what he is alleged to have done, there is no question he intended to do it.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:47pm

    Re:

    oh for fucks sake... WHAT RISK?!?

    Hey DH... mind if I borrow your 'nationalism' comment?

     

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    Jay (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:48pm

    Re:

    The retarded thing:

    The military allowed him to keep that access even after his first reprimand.

     

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    Jay (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Back to basics

    Why not vote Independent? Perhaps Libertarian or even Pirate Party?

    Start sending messages that neither party represent your beliefs?

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    While I am not in favor of torture under any circumstance, the Geneva conventions apply to prisoners of war (or more specifically people captured during a military conflict), and civilians in and around war zones. It also specifies treatment for wounded, and medical and religious personnel.

    Under legal definitions, they don't apply to Manning. What applies to Manning is the Uniform Code of Military Justice. 'Coercive self-incrimination' is prohibited under the UCMJ, however, so if anyone is attempting to get Manning to talk by torturing him, they should be charged and court-martialed.

     

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    Richard Kulawiec, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    First, it's doubtful that I require a "lesson in critical thinking" from you. However, if you have the courage to drop your "anonymous coward" label and contact me directly, then I'll assess your qualifications.

    Second, of course it's an opinion piece. Duh. However, unlike many other opinion pieces, it's well-written and well-researched: agree or disagree with Greenwald, you must admit that he's a very smart guy who does his homework (and is the first to issue a correction when he makes a mistake).

    Third, of course any evaluation written by a lawyer -- or for that matter, any statement produced by a court -- would also be "an opinion". It might be a more rigorously argued opinion, but still an opinion.

    So instead of trying to dismiss this because it happens to be an opinion, how about reading it for content and analyzing it on its merits?

     

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  107.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:53pm

    Re:

    No... the whistle blowing defense is a way to make the exception to the law, not to repeal it. If military personal were required to blindly follow orders, they would not be able to raise moral objections to questionable orders... i.e., blow the whistle.

     

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  108.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re:

    As you have so often been fond of saying in the past, that is not for you to decide. Go blow a weasel.

    Huh? What I'm saying is true as a matter of law. His intent to cause "worldwide discussion, debates and reform" is irrelevant in determining liability.

     

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  109.  
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    Richard Kulawiec, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Awful

    Also note the content of the SCoTUS decision is basically telling Levy, "What the hell are you doing here, you're a soldier, not a civilian. We've been over then before."

    Please cite the portions of the decision that you believe say this. (I do recognize that you're paraphrasing.)

     

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  110.  
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    crade (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The fact that they are forbidding him from exercising pretty much makes any claims of "for his own protection" bullshit. If they were putting him in solitairy for his protection, they wouldn't be trying to make the conditions of solitairy worse by forbidding him from exercising and other normally allowed activities.

    Plus, he gets to go out for an hour each day, just kill him then.

     

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  111.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re:

    Right. The statutes in question are general intent statutes, so it's enough to show he intended to commit the criminal acts themselves. If he's really telling people that his intent was to cause "worldwide discussion, debates and reform" then that is an extremely stupid thing to be doing--by doing so he is admitting that he had the requisite mental state to be found guilty of the crimes.

     

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  112.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Read what I typed rather than what you want to argue with. I didn't say I'd be of a mind to kill the man. But someone would and I'd bet money you know exactly the type of guy I mean and saw several instances of that type during your service.

     

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  113.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re:

    "Hey DH... mind if I borrow your 'nationalism' comment?"

    Shit, of course!

     

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  114.  
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    BJ Berry, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:09pm

    Bunch of BS

    What a bunch of BS.

    He is being held in Gitmo in Solitary Confinement - which is not torture... it's punishment.

    His trial is scheduled for Spring of 2011.

    He has an attorney.

    He can be considered a TRAITOR to the USA for leaking confidential and classified documents. If he felt the way things were being done wrong - there are better, legal paths to reform.

    Sharing CLASSIFIED documents with potential enemies of our country is considered treason and is punishable by death.

    If he had done this for the other side, he would have been beheaded by now - so let's not call this torture.

    Bunch of babies.

     

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  115.  
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    The Invisible Hand (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:09pm

    Re:

    "Unsubscribing from TechDirt...."

    Yeah...right...

     

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  116.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Re: Back to basics

    Do what I do, vote for yourself by writing your name on the ballots.

     

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  117.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    He likely gets to go out for an hour each day into an empty and heavily guarded basketball court or some such. This is not an uncommon thing for high risk prisoners even in the civilian world.

    Plus, being a soldier, he has extensive experience with exercise he can preform within the confines of a cell. I can personally remember enough different ones to make me feel tired just sitting here thinking about them.

     

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  118.  
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    Eugene (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Maybe you could go read the article for yourself seeing as HE LINKED IT IT'S RIGHT THERE IN THE POST GOOD LORD why do people do this, they just make these comments like: "well I'm going to make a second-hand criticism about how, hypothetically, the source work is probably wrong - acting as though I myself have no access to said source even though the author GAVE IT TO ME - thus dismissing both articles through nothing more than speculative rhetoric."

    Then someone calls the person on their bullshit and they're all "Oh yeah well I DID read the provided material, BUT [insert ad hoc justification based on unspecified or vague details that allow person to maintain their ridiculous position]"

    So annoying.

     

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  119.  
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    crade (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    hehe "solitairy"

     

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  120.  
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    citizen consumer, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:14pm

    Re:

    "Unsubscribing...."

    Subscribed?

    Good riddance.

     

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  121.  
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    crade (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah I know, but (according to the article) he is monitored and strictly restricted from exercising within the confines of his cell.

     

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  122.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:17pm

    Re:

    How bout read the actual article and open your fucking eyes:

    "For reasons that appear completely punitive, he's being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch)."

     

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  123.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Given: any statement presupposing the actions of other humans is going to be an opinion.

    What I have to back it up is the time I served and the people I knew while serving. I can think of about half a dozen people in my last unit that I would not be surprised to hear had killed him in custody. Which is about as informed an opinion as any other you're likely to find on either side of the argument.

     

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  124.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, I misunderstood what you were implying. I take back that last part then, my apologies.

     

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  125.  
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    Jay (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Bunch of BS

    Please volunteer yourself to go through the same punishment. Then we can see who's the baby.

     

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  126.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I can think of about half a dozen people in my last unit that I would not be surprised to hear had killed him in custody."

    The frightening part is I believe you. I respect the hell out of our soldiers bravery, but if what you're saying is true, then we need to be doing something to weed these potential murderers out....

     

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  127.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Eh, I don't appreciate salon's quality enough to care what they have to say. Unlike techdirt, they're generally not worth my time to even read.

     

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  128.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Bunch of BS

    I am very surprised that the powers that be at TD (and the Huffington Post) are stupid enough to fall for what appears to be a ploy to get this guy press. This is, frankly, horrifying.

    What is more horrifying is that the sheeple posting comments on this blog (and others) are too quick to call the government out, without considering either the validity of the information or the reality of the situation.

    We the sheeple, indeed. TD included.

     

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  129.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    between TAM, AC I & II, Average Joe, Alfred and other troll types how could you possibly get a hangover? I mean seriously there isn't enough time between their posts to sober up!

     

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  130.  
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    Former US serviceman, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:24pm

    Torture? Says who?

    I normally enjoy Mike's postings and agree with 90% of them but this article and it's "shocking" headline are a bit much.

    From my knowledge, TFA is written by someone who is not an expert in any relevant field such as psychology, law enforcement, corrections, or something similar. He expresses his opinions as if they are fact.

    He mentions "widespread" agreement that solitary confinement is a form of torture without giving much in the way of evidence of just how widespread this opinion is.

    He also does not have any first-hand knowledge of the situation of PFC Manning. He writes about things that he heard from others and although he says that a Quantico official confirms his story, he doesn't tell us what questions he asked of the official nor does he quote the official's exact response.

    That makes this whole thing a tabloid-style story about fourth-hand unsubstantiated hear-say and rumor.

    -5 mod points for pandering...

     

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  131.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No worries. Beers and smokes all around.

     

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  132.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Putting them in solitary confinement seems to be an effective method of weeding out undesirable people in this specific adventure of trying to avoid facing the truth!

    What really concerns me is the half of this guys unit that is apparently in prison with Manning. What the hell did they do to get there? Just curious...

     

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  133.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    Thank you for the clarification.

     

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  134.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Democracy

    Chris Rhodes wrote:

    I want to live in a democracy.

    The only part I'd nitpick is this. I'd change it to "rights-based society" or somesuch, since democracy just means that people generally vote to do bad things as a collective, instead of individually.

    And who is going to guarantee your rights? Are you going to trust some “benevolent dictator” to uphold them? Good luck 1) finding one, and 2) finding an immortal one.

    Democracy is the only system we’ve been able to come up with that comes anywhere close to such a guarantee. Deal with it.

     

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  135.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:36pm

    This is torture? Really? I was expecting to read that he was waterboarded, had his fingernails pulled out, was being beaten up.

    I do have to say, America is becoming the land of the pussies. In Philadelphia, there is a big debate about the kid who was Taz'ed and how that was too much force. Hell, 20 years ago the Philly police would have beaten the hell out of him.

    In the military, there are brigs that are known as Red Line Brig, Quantico is one. There are red lines panted on the floor and any "guest" that crosses the red line will either be shot or need a visit to the hospital. Military brigs are a bit different than the nice confines we call prisons. Military folks also don't have the same rights as a regular citizen, and yes, parts of the constitution don't apply to them. Thems the breaks, they explain that to you in boot camp.

     

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  136.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, that would suck a bit but mostly from a boredom standpoint. An hour is technically enough time to get in two miles worth of running and still push yourself to muscle failure on half of the major muscle groups every day. I guess boredom might bother some people more than it does me.

     

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  137.  
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    Richard Kulawiec, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Bunch of BS

    which is not torture... it's punishment.

    Thanks for making the point for us. He's being punished even though he hasn't been convicted of anything.

    That churning sound? It's the Founding Fathers spinning in their graves upon learning that the nation they struggled so mightily to build has been overrun with cowards, weaklings, and fools who simply Do Not Get It.

     

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  138.  
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    Jim In Texas! (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:49pm

    Manning will get a VERY fair trial

    With an hour or two of his arrest Pvt Manning was assigned an experienced military defense lawyer, paid for by the military. He can also hire civilian lawyers and certainly has given the six figures that have been donated to his legal defense fund. He would be allowed daily contact with his attorneys.

    Note that his attorneys had not played the 'torture card'.

    His confinement situation is no different than that experienced by any solider accused of a serious crime.

    He will be tried before a jury of his military peers.

    If he really did release this document collection to civilians then he is in no way a 'whistle blower'.

    Glen Greenwald knows nothing about the military.

     

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  139.  
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    Jim In Texas! (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:53pm

    Has an article 32 hearing been scheduled?

    Clearly the author of this post knows nothing about the Manning situation, but perhaps a commenter might know if an Article 32 hearing has been scheduled for Pvt Manning.

     

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  140.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re:

    I'll make it perfectly clear.

    Make a choice.
    See, hear, or otherwise sense your enemy in front of you out in the open without restrictions. aka anarchy?
    or
    Keep it all hush hush in the sake of morality? aka "shoulda,coulda,woulda"


    That didn't make anything clear. There are proper channels for whistleblowing in the military. From what I know about his case, he did not follow these channels.

     

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  141.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 2:59pm

    Re: Re:

    No... the whistle blowing defense is a way to make the exception to the law, not to repeal it. If military personal were required to blindly follow orders, they would not be able to raise moral objections to questionable orders... i.e., blow the whistle.

    Huh? Of course there are ways for them to "blow the whistle" in those kinds of circumstances. See, for example, the Military Whistleblower Protection Act.

     

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  142.  
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    Wayne Myer (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 3:00pm

    It Has a Lot to Do With Being Tortured

    Military personnel don't give up "some" of their liberties when signing on the dotted line. They surrender almost all of their liberties and constitutional rights. It is surprising how insidious the terms are.

    My partner is retired military and the terms to which military personnel agree go so far as to cover permitted sexual positions. Almost all rights are suspended.

    This usurpation is not right and I regard Manning's actions as heroic and forward-looking, but the unfortunate fact of the matter is that he agreed to the terms. He needed to better shore up his defense before he took action. That and we citizens need to rally to his side.

     

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  143.  
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    Rich, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re:

    Why do people keep asking this? Rank has NOTHING to do with clearance level. I am a civilian, but hold a secret level clearance. A person needs a proper clearance level, and a need-to-know, to see classified documents. A private can have a higher clearance level than his superiors, and they cannot order him to divulge information that they themselves do not have clearance (and NTK) for.

     

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    crade (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How bad it sucks not being able to exercise isn't really my point.
    In my humble opinion, by taking measures like these to ensure the torture aspect of solitary is worse for him
    (if that part is true.. I have a bit of a hard time believing this part of the article.. the only purpose I can imagine would be to make his suffering worse), they have made any claim that the reason is for his protection bullshit.

     

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  145.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Complicated topic there.

    Being trained to kill and being told it's not only acceptable but damned well expected of you to kill when ordered to, it doesn't leave you the happy-go-lucky guy you were when you entered. Even if you never have to fire on anything but targets at the range, it still leaves you more willing to kill another person than before you enlisted.

    That's a damned good trait to have in a soldier because a soldier who won't kill isn't a soldier, they're a very expensive sandbag.

    Then there's the concept that it's fine to kill someone when ordered without any moral justification other than the order but it's not OK to kill someone without an order even if you do feel morally justified. It's not a concept that suits a healthy human mind particularly well. But it's necessary that it be instilled in every soldier.

    Top that all off with no two minds are created equal or react exactly the same and you end up with hundreds of thousands of people in different states of normality or even sanity.

    Some people will go in fine and come out slightly less fine. Some will go in fine and come out borderline sociopaths. But it's not a case of look what the bad government has done to them or look at the monster who needs to be put down. It's a sacrifice each of them made willingly to protect you, me, and everyone else around us. Which is important and deserves respect but doesn't change the fact that each and every one of us comes out more dangerous than when we went in.

    Like I said, complicated.

     

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  146.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    between TAM, AC I & II, Average Joe, Alfred and other troll types how could you possibly get a hangover? I mean seriously there isn't enough time between their posts to sober up!

    How am I a troll exactly? Am I making inflammatory or off-topic posts? Please, let's hear your reasons for saying that I am. I post what I honestly believe to be true, backed with reason and research. It never ceases to amaze me how much venom and anger I get in response to my posts from people on TD. I'm called names and accused of all sorts of things for stating my beliefs. In lots of people's minds, apparently, anyone who disagrees with them is (1) evil, (2) lying, (3) stupid, (4) a sorry sack of shit. Unreal. And by the way, your post, the very one I'm responding to now, is inflammatory. Are you a troll?

     

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  147.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I miss TAM. He was hilarious.

     

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  148.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    -1 Flamebait

    The preceding was a joke. Anyone offended should look into acquiring a sense of humor as soon as possible.

     

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  149.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Bunch of BS

    Sharing CLASSIFIED documents with potential enemies of our country is considered treason and is punishable by death.

    Seriously... ever heard of Pentagon Papers?

     

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  150.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Fair enough. I'm even more or less in complete agreement. Assuming he turned over the information, he'll almost certainly be convicted and face some severe consequences. There's no real need to screw with someone you may very well execute. It's just petty.

     

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  151.  
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    Rob, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 3:46pm

    Re:

    I'm an American, and torture is not what I stand for.

     

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  152.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 3:55pm

    Re:

    The pentagon papers: massive document theft and dump, and being heralded as whistleblowing.


    Deep Throat and the Watergate scandal: someone speaking to the press rather than his superiors about a criminal act done by their own country leaders.

    If you don't trust your superiors to act responsibly on you blowing the whistle, who do you leak the information to? To your superiors? I didn't think so.

     

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  153.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 4:09pm

    Re: Re: Bunch of BS

    Punishment starts from the moment of arrest, even if not found guilty. Have you ever heard the term "time served"? It's because people end up in jail pending trial, and the time they are there counts towards their sentence.

    Keep trying. When you get tired, you can admit that this entire story is a shock value pile of bull crap, probably started by a wikileaks supporter.

     

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  154.  
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    Cecil, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 4:12pm

    Solitary is not torture. Period. Sniff, sniff, his "torture" will come to a twitching conclusion at the end of the traitors noose.

     

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  155.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Re:

    What he did do was provide all of our enemies a clear understanding of how our military gets information in the field. It even provided the names of people who helped us and in some cases the names of covert American agents. Don’t even get me started on the leaked State Department documents.

    Wow. You've never even read a word of the leaked cables. You have no idea what's in them. I like how even the Pentagon disagrees with you, stating unarguably that there is not one single verifiable instance of harm to any agent of the United States to come from the leaks.

     

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  156.  
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    Meats, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 4:16pm

    Re:

    @Alfred - are you seriously saying that despite all the various guarantees of the right to a speedy trial, that it's ACCEPTABLE that he's been locked up for this long without a court martial board even being convened? The reason america is going down the shitter is because of attitudes like yours.

     

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  157.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 4:23pm

    Re: Whistleblowing? Nah, I don't buy it.

    Wikileaks has released only a very small fraction of the cables in their possession. All releases have been vetted by their team of editors to remove sensitive information that may endanger anyone's life, as they do for everything they release. Wikileaks also asked the U.S. government for help in redacting any potentially sensitive information before releasing it. The U.S. refused.

    Manning did not dump all the cables on somebody's doorstep. Instead he gave them to an international organization with a long-running career of releasing sensitive information in a manner that employs both rigorous responsibility and maximum impact. That he gave it to a widely trusted organization is highly indicative of his intentions.

    I also challenge your notion that exposing corruption is not "whistleblowing" if it does not meet your personal definition of "discretion". I argue that he did use remarkable discretion, but even if he hadn't, vetting such a body of information by himself would have been an impossible task. Releasing the entire body would have been indiscreet. Instead, he chose to give them to an organization capable of doing the work needed to properly expose the information.

    Whistleblowing is still whistleblowing, whether I tell one person or the world, and if you have more information on corruption than you can handle yourself, it is not indiscreet to seek help from an organization with a history of editing and releasing such information.

     

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  158.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 4:25pm

    Re:

    Interesting perspective.

    Would you care to share details on how the Lockerbie bomber was released?

     

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  159.  
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    Cecil, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 4:29pm

    Meats,

    Do you have any info on the average time before trial in say a civillian murder trial? How about average time for court martial in serious charge military trials? Civi trials can take years to come to court. This isn't even delayed at this point.

     

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  160.  
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    Cecil, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 4:37pm

    "Manning did not dump all the cables on somebody's doorstep. Instead he gave them to an international organization with a long-running career of releasing sensitive information in a manner that employs both rigorous responsibility and maximum impact. That he gave it to a widely trusted organization is highly indicative of his intentions."

    In this sense intentions matter not one iota. Once the infomation is released he has no control over its distribution. How many eyese are at wikileaks? How many in the fold of wiki are foreign agents, buyable, pressurable? How many copies have been made? Can we even know that the full unredacted content has never been sold to a third party/government? It is irrelevant what this institution's rep is or what they claim to want to achieve. The information and the secrets within are 100% unprotected upon release. No matter the kind of harm he "intended" to do, he was aware that once released all the information is presumed to be known in its entirety by anyone and everyone.

    He knew what he released. He knew to release it was to break the law. He had no way to insure things that he didn't intend to get out would not. He has no way to know whether it has gotten out or not. Intentions here are worthless to the defense of this crime.

     

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  161.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 4:38pm

    Re:

    Do you know anything about solitary confinement or sensory deprivation? Do you know why the CIA spent so long researching it?

    Solitary confinement is terribly stressful to the mind. Solitary confinement is not sensory deprivation, but it is close to it, and to contrast, 15 minutes of sensory deprivation results in visual and auditory hallucinations. A day results in altered states of the mind and a bucketful of symptoms like paranoia, anxiety, depression, temporary schizophrenia, hallucinations, withdrawal. A week of sensory deprivation results in insanity.

    The brain needs sensory input. Solitary isn't just being bored and confined. It is incredibly stressful and fatiguing. It is very hard on the mind. Your opinion would change if you actually experienced it.

     

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  162.  
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    Cecil, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 4:44pm

    If it were torture, by definition, there would be a wing in every maximum security prison that would have to be closed and millions paid out in civil penalties. They're open, nothing is being paid. It's not torture. You can harp all you like but were you really leading a charge against solitary confinement in US prisons or is it an unbearable stain on our society now because of the specific sympathies for this person? Sorry, that last one is rhetorical.

     

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  163.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 4:48pm

    Re: Re: Bunch of BS

    Do you work in government? Do you want to practice incredible corruption to the maximum extent your post will allow you? Just classify everything! That should make it ok with captain BJ there. Nobody will ever hold you accountable, because his moral rule is that exposing secrets is invariably wrong. So, lie, steal, enslave, and murder to your heart's content. If anyone tries to call you on it, just talk about how treasonous it is to reveal information that you classified. Your world will never have any Pentagon Papers, no Watergate, no Contra scandal, no savings-and-loan scandals. In fact, there will be no essential tool at all to keep you from practicing all the tyranny you desire.



    All I can say of people like that is that they absolutely deserve the government they have.

     

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  164.  
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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 4:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Awful

    Wait, did Manning confess to this treason? When did Fox run that story, I must have missed it!

    He needs a trial before anyone can say "committed treason". Actually, he needs to be charged with the crime of treason before you can even say "alleged traitor".

    Talk about the ignorant court of public opinion...

     

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  165.  
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    Cecil, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 5:03pm

    3 of those 4 aren't about national security, nor include the military. Whistleblowers may uncover political skuldugery and crime from protected sources but those are substantially different in most anyone's eye from national security/defense items.

    If you don't like classifications the railing should be against the power to classify and the proper methods/timing to unclassify. Otherwise we have the rule of men not laws. We can't be OK with this leaker and then imprison someone who profited from selling to the Chinese. The damage isn't controlled by the "intent" of the leaker and we can't situationally prefer one guy vs another becuase we like his or her politics. We can debate what and how things should be classified and who should have oversight but there's no basis to let this guy off the hook because he's meek, gay and liberal with the best of intentions.

     

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  166.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Re:

    I could link medical articles, but this New Yorker article from 2009 may provide a more compelling read about the effects of solitary.

     

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  167.  
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    athe, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 5:27pm

    Re:

    Has a war been officially declared?

     

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  168.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 5:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Very well, but at the same time, if the details of this story are true (and they are only somewhat confirmed, it must be admitted) then it seems like there should be a way to keep him safe without also putting him through -another- psychologically damaging experience.

     

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  169.  
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    Joe, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:26pm

    comment explosion on this post so apologies if this has been mentioned already, but I don't really feel comfortable with the line

    now covering how he is being tortured, despite the fact he has not been tried.

    I don't think it's the intention, but that comes out as this treatment would be ok if there was due process. it's not.

     

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  170.  
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    Nova, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 8:06pm

    Re: Put things in perspective

    Actually this guy is responsible for revealing just how many thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians your government has killed and instead of locking up the Government and Military officials who were responsible, they lock up the guy who exposed their crimes and torture him endlessly.

    My only hope is that this will all eventually lead to the prosecution of some of the criminals in positions of power in the military and government. Sadly, I hold little hope that it will.

    Justice for all huh?

     

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  171.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 8:49pm

    Where is the ACLU in all this?

     

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  172.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 9:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I was wondering what your excuse was.

     

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  173.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 9:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    Possibly. Or not. It wouldn't be the first PR gaff the government's made.

    It's not the first time they've tortured somebody either.

     

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  174.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 9:53pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm an American, and torture is not what I stand for.

    "You're either with us or against us." If you don't support torture, you must be against us. Quick, somebody grab him!

     

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  175.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I post what I honestly believe to be true, backed with reason and research.

    No, it's NOT backed with reason and research. You just claim that it is, but it often turns out not to be. That's why people call you those names.

     

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  176.  
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    KG, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:01pm

    Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    As a soldier he doesn't get the rights of a citizen. He committed treason. Do you know what the law says is the punishment for treason?

     

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  177.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:01pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    People accused of serious crimes are often kept in fairly harsh conditions with bail denied until the trial actually takes place. It's not "punishment".

    Yes, it is. Conditions need not be harsh in order to secure, but it sure makes for a convenient excuse.

     

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  178.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Honor. Courage. Commitment. He has displayed them all, whereas you, my carion-eating friend, have only displayed that you would murder a man based on Truthiness instead of Truth.

    Agreed. Some soldiers forget that they're sworn to protect the US Constitution. They seem to think instead that they're supposed to collect benefits for protecting the US Government.

     

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  179.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:22pm

    Re:

    Are we sure Assange did not compensate him?

    Are we sure the whole government hasn't been replaced with pod-people?

    See, I can make stuff up too!

     

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  180.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:26pm

    Re: Solitary is torture???

    Some will think this harsh, and it is, but Mr Manning voluntarily swore and oath. In violating the trust placed in him he committed a heinous crime in the eyes of his fellow soldiers. He will made an example of so that no else is tempted to do the same or worse.

    Punishment before conviction, eh? Why even have trials?

     

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  181.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:30pm

    Re: Re:

    In fact the leaked documents didn’t uncover anything that wasn't previously reported in the mainstream media.

    Then what's the problem?

    What he did do was provide all of our enemies a clear understanding of how our military gets information in the field.

    Again, if that was "previously reported in the mainstream media", then what's the problem?

     

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  182.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:33pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So there is no reason to presume that ANY of this material wasn't already read a long time ago in 17 different countries. C'mon, a private had access to it here, do you REALLY believe that generals there weren't reading it too?

    Yeah, but the American *people* didn't know. That's what they're upset about, not foreign governments.

     

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  183.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:42pm

    Re:

    If it were torture, by definition, there would be a wing in every maximum security prison that would have to be closed and millions paid out in civil penalties.

    And if water-boarding were torture, they would have never done it. So that proves that water-boarding isn't torture either!

    Yeah, I see how that works.

     

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  184.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:01am

    Re: Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    Under ucmj a suspect is considered guilty until proven innocent.

     

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  185.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Filthy freetard, communist. Didn't you know murdering every rag head, A-rab on the planet is every US soldiers goddamn given right.

    USA!!! USA!!! USA!!! USA!!! USA!!! USA!!!

     

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  186.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Willingly gave you the insightful vote - but still curious why all these guys you served with are imprisoned to the point where you wouldn't be surprised if " ...half a dozen people in my last unit that I would not be surprised to hear had killed him in custody."

     

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  187.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    STFU you evil, lying, stupid, sack of shit troll.

    PS. there are meds to help out with that vagina you have...

     

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  188.  
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    teka, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:32am

    Re: Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    gee, that is funny. So even according to you even the UCMJ is just a bunch of silly rules.

    Trial? who needs a trial? KG says that this guy is guilty of treason, somebody gimme the rope!

    813. ART. 13 PUNISHMENT PROHIBITED BEFORE TRIAL No person, while being held for trial, may be subjected to punishment or penalty other than arrest or confinement upon the charges pending against him, nor shall the arrest or confinement imposed upon him be any more rigorous than the circumstances required to insure his presence, but he may be subjected to minor punishment during that period for infractions of discipline.

    Important Part Freakin BOLD here, man.
    put simply, ever so simply.. you have to be found guilty of breaking a law before you can be punished for it.

     

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  189.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    AJ - on a very rare occasion, I have actually agreed with you, but, on the whole (notice I don't say because you're an "butt hole" here), you come off as a shill for the entrenched lobbyists (big media/ entertainment industry)with virtually no regard for "society as a whole" over the right of the monopolist/copyright/content creator to be paid repeatedly for the same piece of work. I understand both sides of the story and my opinion falls on the opposite of yours (we should simply agree to disagree here) but I don't actually "attack" you on a personal level. Living in a democracy (term used quite loosely considering the last 9 years of the US gov't actions {since 9/11}) I'd be willing to put my characterization of you up to a true democratic vote of the regular readers here at TD. I would be willing to publicly apologize here on TD if the TD community thought I had in any way overstepped a somewhat reasonable boundary in our disagreements here in print (since we don't communicate any other way).

    I offer my condolences for your loss (of your sense of humor - regarding my immediate previous post, that is!)

    Care to point out where my post is of a troll-ish nature?? I'll defer to you, the expert here
    {Smile! All humor has a glint of truth!}

     

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  190.  
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    Lachlan Hunt (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 3:23am

    Re: Re:

    He hasn't been let out on bail yet. The UK prosecutors are appealing the decision and fighting for him to be detained until his extradition hearing.

     

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  191.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 4:55am

    Re: Re:

    The waterboarding thing never works out.

    Waterboarding was deemed torture by every adminstration and every president for the last 40 years. Only when Shrub Bush was in power, was it suddenly not torture, and that was done on the basis of a single legal opinion. In his own words, paraphased "I am not a laywer, I follow what the laywers told me, and this one gave me an opinion that it was legal". Since that time, it has once again by deemed torture by the current President and is not in use.

    But the whole thing is a bit of a misdirection, because you miss the point. The assumption being made is that maximum confinement (23 hours per day solitary) is torture. It is not. It is not pleasant, and some people have issues with it, but it is something that is used in almost every state and federal prison.

    Are you saying, example, that Charles Mason is currently being tortured?

    Are you saying that Ted Kazinski is currently being tortured?

    Please think before you post.

     

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  192.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 5:04am

    Re:

    "what else do you do with a man who has treasoned his country, put every one of his military peers at risk, and divulged almost a quarter of a million state secrets?"

    Well, Bush committed treason by leading us into two unjust and senseless wars, which put not only the entire military but the civilian population at risk. Cheney leaked the fact that Valarie Plame was CIA.

    So, in response to your question, you elect them President and make sure they never ever face any criminal charges and remain rich for the rest of their nasty little natural lives.

    Manning did none of what you accuse, except divulge secrets.

     

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  193.  
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    John Duncan Yoyo, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 5:22am

    Re:

    So far torture has managed to destroy the governments abilty to get a conviction in the courts.

    It was stupid for the Bush administration to torture but that was expected since he was never the sharpest spoon in the drawer. It is insane for the Obama administration- He claimed to know that it was wrong when he was running.

     

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  194.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 5:28am

    Re: Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    "As a soldier he doesn't get the rights of a citizen. He committed treason. Do you know what the law says is the punishment for treason?"

    Not word for word, but I'm guessing the words "trial/tribunal" or "conviction" appear in there somewhere....

     

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  195.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 5:33am

    The Real Reasons This Came Up

    I finally figured out why this all came up this week, it is pretty simple.

    Why the sudden concern for someone who has been locked up in solitary for months? The answer is pretty simple:

    Julian Assange was being held in Solitary (until his release moments ago). Don't you think someone was trying to set up a case to show that solitary confinement would be torture? After all, we wouldn't want to torture dear leader, would we?

    The timing is so perfect. Could TD and all the others have been suckered into it? Looks like it.

     

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  196.  
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    Andy, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 5:40am

    So...

    Is this story hocus pocus? I just spent 20 minutes reading all the interesting comments and I don't know if I should believe all the "Hoo rarhhhh Urrrmerricaaa soldiers" or "Those liberal types"...

    ...DH just makes me laugh. Ta for that!

     

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  197.  
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    Richard Kulawiec, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 5:41am

    Re: It Has a Lot to Do With Being Tortured

    Military personnel don't give up "some" of their liberties when signing on the dotted line. They surrender almost all of their liberties and constitutional rights. It is surprising how insidious the terms are.

    Let's run with this for a moment -- that is, let's presume it's completely accurate.

    Then it's wrong. A military which cannot operate effectively while preserving ALL the rights of its members is an incompetent military. The proper response to this isn't to tolerate it; the proper response is to dismiss the chimps and baboons in charge, and replace them with intelligent, capable people who understand that their first duty -- the one that trumps all others at all times -- is to defend the Constitution. They must be willing to die for that, they must be willing to send others to their deaths for that.

    Because the day that's gone, it really doesn't matter if our troops take such-and-such a ride or capture such-and-such a person. We've lost.

     

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  198.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I am pretty sure TAM is still here, just posting as one of the Anonymous Cowards.

     

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  199.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    One of the more profound things I have read that somebody typed here on Techdirt. (this being posted after the clarification with TMB, but that doesn't change your first two paragraphs profoundness)

     

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  200.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 7:06am

    Richard, you have no clue. Members of the military do surrender almost all of their liberties and constitutional rights.

    I don't know what this kids intentions were (and neither do you) but it really doesn't matter. If he had a beef with what was going wrong, he should have taken that to his superior. If his superior didn't act on it, he should have taken it to his superiors superior. It goes on and on, its called following your chain of commmand. Violating that is a big problem.

    Why a demoted private had access to this information is beyond me. One would think that someone that was demoted might just have their clearance pulled, but this kid is in for a rough life.

    Personally, I hope he is given a break, give him time served and a bad conduct discharge. I seriously doubt that will happen though.

     

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  201.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 8:24am

    Re: Torture? Says who?

    He mentions "widespread" agreement that solitary confinement is a form of torture without giving much in the way of evidence of just how widespread this opinion is.

    Look it up bunnie boy, it's been a known fact for many years and there's plenty of research to back it up. There's a reason it is used as punishment.

     

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  202.  
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    Not an electronic Rodent, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Democracy

    And who is going to guarantee your rights? Are you going to trust some “benevolent dictator” to uphold them? Good luck 1) finding one, and 2) finding an immortal one.
    It's me on both counts... I shall rule you all forever! Bwa Ha ha haaaaa!!!

     

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  203.  
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    Alex, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 9:07am

    Re: Alfred

    Even when there is 100% certainty that someone committed a crime, they are still legally entitled to a trial. The purpose of the trial is to decide the extent of their punishment, and to officially try them with the crime. A murderer can get anywhere between a few years to life in prison or the death penalty. it all depends on how the judge/jury interprets the person's actions. If it was a premeditated murder in cold blood, chances are they get life. If he walked in on his wife trying to drown their child, maybe it would be looked at differently. Intentions are not everything but they DO matter.

    Moreover, we cross a dangerous line when we start saying, "well, he's guilty. we don't need a trial." You sound conservative, so I'd imagine you are for smaller govt. So why on earth would you want your govt. arbitrarily deciding who's guilty, who's innocent, and what punishment to deal out?

     

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  204.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, yes, clearance != rank.

    But as you say, a clearance doesn't automatically give you access rights to all information at that level. Why did this guy need to have access to [i]every[/i] secret diplomatic cable?

    It isn't like a classified network is one big database where you just log in and type "gimme everything marked 'SECRET'" and the computer returns you a zip file.

     

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  205.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: Democracy

    I never said I didn't want to live in a democracy. I just said that I wanted to live in a rights-based society. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

    Merely being a democracy is no guarantee of freedom. It needs to be a rights-based democracy to have any lasting chance of upholding justice.

    I strongly agree with Churchill: "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."

     

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  206.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 9:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Are you saying, example, that Charles Mason is currently being tortured?
    Are you saying that Ted Kazinski is currently being tortured?


    1. They aren't being subjected to the same harsh conditions as Manning.

    2. They were convicted of crimes and are serving sentences. Manning has not and is not.

    Please think before you post.

    Indeed.

     

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  207.  
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    Not an electronic Rodent, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 9:27am

    Re:

    Thank you General Melchett.
    As for solitary confinement, the subject has been pretty well explored for it's pychological effects and I'm pretty sure that an interrogator you happen to know will tell you that psychological tortures are far more effective (and have often longer term effects) than physical torture. If you don't believe I suggest you try and explain what you *would* consider torture and perhaps try such a solitary confinement/deprivation regime as is described.

     

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  208.  
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    djheru, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re:

    "First off what he leaked were secret US military and State Department documents...In fact the leaked documents didn’t uncover anything that wasn't previously reported in the mainstream media."

    Contradict yourself much?

    Either the documents were secret and revealing them damaged US interests OR Manning is not a whistleblower because the information was already widely available.

    You can't have it both ways.

    Also, too - I think a lot of people are pretty ignorant about the actual content of what was provided to WL. The news media (as is their wont) focused mostly on the petty gossip and diplomatic faux paus but this site has a number of important revelations that Manning provided: http://sowhyiswikileaksagoodthingagain.com/

    Not all of these are coming from Manning, but they all do illustrate the point that when the news organizations abdicate their responsibility to provide the information that citizens need in order to hold their government accountable, the government will act in ways to increase and consolidate its power, to the detriment of the citizenry.

     

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  209.  
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    j9, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 9:51am

    Perhaps both Manning and the Government represent the return to lawlessness the Bible predicted centuries ago.

     

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  210.  
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    DH's Love Child (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    or 'confession'

     

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  211.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Seems like that was uncalled for. He gave a thoughtful well-written response. Why go for the low blow?

     

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  212.  
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    Cecil, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 10:36am

    If "torture" as a crime is going to have meaning, in a democracy it can't be defined by each person situationally. So this:
    "what you *would* consider torture and perhaps try such a solitary confinement/deprivation regime as is described..."

    is irrelevant.

    If solitary was torture it would long since have been ceased in our prisons. It hasn't, therefore by our legal definition, the only definition that matters, it is not. It's irrelevant if other countries call it torture, if HR orgs do or if peoole on this thread are horrified.

    As a word totrure can be defined very very broadly, as a crime, not so much. And, no one has made the case that his solitary isn't for his protection from the other inmates and that as such it is protective rather than punishment.

     

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  213.  
    identicon
    James, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:36pm

    Evil America

    America won't change until the old FoxNews idiots finally die off. I smile every time I see a funeral procession. If you want to help Wikileaks and irritate the pigs in the US, run a Tor Relay and a Freenet node.

     

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  214.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: It Has a Lot to Do With Being Tortured

    A military which cannot operate effectively while preserving ALL the rights of its members is an incompetent military.

    Well, the military have no authority over me as a civilian (unless I'm on a military base or martial law has been declared). I have the right to refuse anything any member of the military might tell me to do. I don't think we can afford that right to members of the military.

    It seems reasonable to me to curtail other rights as well. Freedom of speech (to an extent), freedom of travel (almost entirely, with the exception of time off/passes/whatever). Maybe some others. But we should offer them every freedom possible, and only curtail them where it's absolutely necessary to make the military function properly.

     

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  215.  
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    James Carmichael (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: @ Mike

    "the single largest act of treason against the US in history"

    That's the biggest exaggeration in the history of the Universe.

     

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  216.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: @ Mike

    What you did there, I see it.

     

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  217.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 3:32pm

    Nasch, as a civilian, when exactly would someone in the military ask (or tell) you to do something?

    One law here in the US is that the military doesn't police their own people (State National Guard are not Federal Military)and that is a very good law.

    There was a dickwad Lt. Col. that refused to deploy because he said Obama had no right to be president. He was convicted in his court marshal.

     

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  218.  
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    Karl (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 5:49pm

    Re:

    Under 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(2) he is guilty if he "intentionally" accesses a computer in excess of his authorization and obtains information.

    One point of contention:

    My understanding is that he was authorized to access the information. So 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(2) wouldn't apply.

    I could certainly be wrong, of course.

    Either way, the guy's OK in my book. Not the brightest bulb in the box, perhaps, but his "treason" is far less serious than the activities revealed in the leaked documents.

     

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  219.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 8:29pm

    Re: Re:

    One point of contention:

    My understanding is that he was authorized to access the information. So 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(2) wouldn't apply.


    The statute says the access in question must have been in excess of his authorized access. I don't really know what exactly that means, but apparently they thought it applied here. If it doesn't, I'm sure his lawyer will be pointing that out.

    Either way, the guy's OK in my book. Not the brightest bulb in the box, perhaps, but his "treason" is far less serious than the activities revealed in the leaked documents.

    I don't think it's treason, or even "treason," but he's not OK in my book. I hope he goes to jail for a very long time. Whistleblowing can be a good thing. If he felt a need to blow the whistle, he should have done it through proper channels. We can't have people who are entrusted with classified information just spilling the beans in public when they don't like what they see. That's not how it works.

     

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  220.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 8:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wow, if that was a joke, then the joke was on me! LOL! Sorry I overreacted.

    you come off as a shill for the entrenched lobbyists (big media/ entertainment industry)with virtually no regard for "society as a whole" over the right of the monopolist/copyright/content creator to be paid repeatedly for the same piece of work

    And I generally think many people on techdirt have little regard for society as a whole, so the feeling's mutual I suppose. Honestly, I couldn't care less what the copyright laws are. What I do care about is people thinking it's OK to infringe because they disagree with the law. Actually, I don't even care if people infringe. I just don't want to hear any whining if they get caught. It's not so much that I'm pro-big media. I'm pro-law and order. If you don't agree with the laws, work to change them. If you can't get them changed, then too bad. It's part of our social contract that we have a duty to follow the law whether we agree with it or not. To me, that is how you respect society as a whole--if you respect it, then you'll follow its rules. Otherwise you're just taking the law into your own hands and you're putting your needs ahead of those of others.

     

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  221.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 8:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, it's NOT backed with reason and research. You just claim that it is, but it often turns out not to be. That's why people call you those names.

    Are you referring to my views of copyright? If so, then I think you misunderstand my position. I don't claim the research proves copyright is the right choice. I don't know what the research says. I let other people worry/argue about that. The bottom line is that Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to create copyright laws. Courts will review those laws with great deference since Congress is exercising an enumerated power. That being the case, I don't see any real possibility that Congress is all of the sudden going to do away with copyright. Nor will the courts strike down copyright as unconstitutional. In other words, copyright isn't going anywhere and there's pretty much nothing anyone can do about it. I look at it pragmatically.

    If you weren't talking about copyright, then you're statement is too vague for me to address directly since I don't know what posts of mine you're referring to.

     

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  222.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry. I'm in the middle of final exams and I have a newborn who only sleeps in the daytime. My mind is mush at the moment.

     

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  223.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 11:08pm

    Re:

    That's kinda my point. The military has no authority over civilians. They have complete authority over military personnel, which is appropriate. We were talking about differences in rights and liberties between the two groups.

     

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  224.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 11:09pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Did you read the story about how terrible the military is at protecting whistleblowers when they use proper channels?

     

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  225.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 11:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The practice of civil disobedience has a long, widely esteemed, and effective history.

     

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  226.  
    icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 4:17am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If he felt a need to blow the whistle, he should have done it through proper channels.

    The "proper channel" for whistleblowing, by definition, is *outside* the organization you are whistleblowing. Generally (and typically) the media.

     

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  227.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 4:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And I generally think many people on techdirt have little regard for society as a whole

    It must be nice to live in a world where everything is black and white. In the real world, our president has to be told he can't violate the constitution while trying to spy on citizens. In the real world, corporations are treated better than citizens, with more rights and less taxes. In the real world politicians can be bought and traded like baseball cards and laws are made to benefit special interest groups with little to no regard to how it might affect society as a whole.

    If there was every a time on this planet where a person could trust his government to have his best interests in mind, it certainly has come and gone. How does the saying go?
    There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury and ammo. Please use in that order
    Well, after reading the Espionage Act we clearly have lost the soap box. As I hinted before, this country's politicians are corrupt. If elections actually are in our control (which I am beginning to believe they aren't) then the choices we have are between two evils. We are now on the "jury box" using our power as citizens to strike down bad laws by nullifying them or outright ignoring them. I would rather not need that last box, thankyouverymuch.

    If you can't get them changed, then too bad. It's part of our social contract that we have a duty to follow the law whether we agree with it or not.

    This is the most retarded sentence you've posted in a while, though, to be honest, I rarely read what you post these days, so maybe you've said something dumber and I missed it. So, would this have been you advice for slavery, too? "Sorry guys, we gave it a good shot but they wouldn't budge. Back to the fields with ya, best of luck!"

    The "social contract" is void if they don't keep their end of the bargain.

     

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  228.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't buy the "slavery was bad so that means I can infringe" argument. Is that really how you rationalize it? By that logic I can break any law I want, right? Give me a break.

     

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  229.  
    identicon
    Not an electronic Rodent, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 6:23am

    Re:

    If solitary was torture it would long since have been ceased in our prisons.
    Well I can't comment on detail of US law since I'm not american. Except to say that while I was following links about this kind of treatment some of the articles suggested that many US states have> made solitary confinement illegal or at least restricted the maximum period it can be used for. There were also several medical studies that defined serious long term effects for prolonged restricted confinement of this type (as little as 60 days).

    In an argument between "standard practice" in US penal institutions and a bunch of doctors telling me it's not good which correlates with other sources, I'm inclined to go with the doctors and say that whether you call it torture or not, it's not something that should reasonably be done to anyone without extreme justification.
    If the aim were to "keep him alive" as suggested, there really ought to be a better way to do so without psychologically damaging him don't you think?

     

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  230.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Who said anything about infringing? I'm saying that it can be right to break the law. Some systems cannot be fixed from within, hence the need to go outside the system to fix it. This country was founded because people were being over taxed and under represented. Doesn't that sound eerily familiar? And they had to go outside the system to fix it. Are you suggesting they should have just obeyed the law, too?

     

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  231.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: @ Mike

    "That's the biggest exaggeration in the history of the Universe."

    That's the most awesomeist comment in the history of the multi-verse....

     

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  232.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 9:01am

    Re:

    If solitary was torture it would long since have been ceased in our prisons. It hasn't, therefore by our legal definition, the only definition that matters, it is not.

    Hang on, you're saying that because we're doing it, therefore it isn't illegal? Have you not been paying attention for the last several years?

     

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  233.  
    identicon
    Charles, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 9:11am

    It doesn't matter if he's been convicted, why he did it or even if he did it.

    Torture, cruel and unusual punishments, are immoral and indeed illegal.

    Detaining someone without an expedient and just trial reminds me of another such incident, that is ongoing. Why can the US detain people without trial or prosecution of evidence? When North Korea did it they sent a former president to get the poor sods out.

    Bad form, really bad form. The founding fathers would be ashamed.

     

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  234.  
    identicon
    Zeno, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    "But none of that is the point. He's a US citizen, what...."

    He may be a U.S. Citizen, but he is a member of the armed forces no longer protected by the same rules as you or I. The UCMJ is rather more harsh than the constitution and lawfully allows all sorts of "treatments" that would otherwise be prohibited.

     

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  235.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 2:31pm

    Bh uhb

     

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  236.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 2:34pm

    As a soldier who held a clearance he could legally be put to death for what he's done. And in my opinion should. How about you spend more time thinking about the innocent lives that will be lost because oof the information these scumbags gave out.

     

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  237.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 18th, 2010 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Why is it "whistleblowing" sounds perfectly normal, but "whistleblow" sounds like some kind of gay sex act?

     

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  238.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2010 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I realize the whole 30's - 40's German era gets abused in arguments far too often, but you must realize that if you strictly follow this line of thinking then ...
    You yourself would have turned Ann Frank into the authorities, because that was the law at the time.

     

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  239.  
    identicon
    Haywood G Blowmee, Dec 18th, 2010 @ 6:32pm

    Torturing Manning?

    Oh please, it's not torture, it's called PC (Protective Custody) in state prison, I was stripped of my clothes, denied a bible no covers, pillow, not a stitch of clothes and the light was left on 24 hrs a day and this was ordered by a psychiatric nurse. It's not a war crime and it's not torture.

    The US jail and prison systems can do anything they want to do as long as they want to do it. They have reasons that justify it under the laws. I survived it and so will manning. I was committed for a misdemeanor to a state prison on a "safe keeping order" and went through far more hell than Manning and my crime was nothing compared to his.

    Stop whining. The dude committed multiple felonies, broke his oath, stole documents that didn't belong to him and gave them to an asshole that published it.

    He knew the consequences of his actions when he did it so he can live with it. He's no hero, the men and women fighting and keeping their honor in tact are the heroes and he put them in more danger.

    Crawl out of your diapers and get over it.

     

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  240.  
    identicon
    Stephen Martens, Dec 19th, 2010 @ 4:52am

    BM

    Your BM take is BS. What should anyone care about an object, such as he, who should feel lucky that he it not do something like this in the 20Th century. I am outraged that the anti-American media should even have access to the conditions that it is surviving in. He really should be shot in the head and flown half mast in your front yard.

     

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  241.  
    identicon
    Haileigh M., Dec 20th, 2010 @ 1:21am

    Just a couple of things to say.

    No matter how you look at it, 23 hours-a-day without human contact is torture... especially for someone who hadn't stood trial... let alone actually been CONVICTED of anything. Not only that, but they took away any sort of comfort as well. Not even a semi-comfortable bed to lay on, no exercise... they actually had to put him on anti-depressants because of their treatment of him. How easy is it to say 'awe... he doesn't have his bwanky and piwow?' when you have enough freedom in your everyday life to get on the internet and read about the things going on in the world? Imagine actually being in his shoes (does he have shoes?). No one to talk to, no contact with the outside world for months... no exercise, not allowed to even say 'hello' or 'happy birthday' to your family... suddenly something as comforting as a pillow sounds heavenly for a potentially-innocent man.
    Solitary confinement is used for people who are a threat to themselves or others (with special cases and such), but at no point (that I'm aware of, at least) was he violent in any way that would make someone fear for their safety or his. It's terrifying that we can now be locked up for months on end with about 90% of our day in utter silence... and not even see a trial of any kind. Whatever happened to our right to a speedy trial?
    It's sad to hear what has happened, and is still happening to him... and honestly, this makes me ashamed to admit that I am a member of the United States.

     

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  242.  
    identicon
    Andrew Hopt, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 1:16am

    WTF kind of headline is that, TechDirt?

    Your headline is misleading, and the prospect that you don't realize just how misleading it is disgusts me. Are you saying that "he should have been tried and convicted before being tortured", or are you saying that "he shouldn't be tortured"?

     

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  243.  
    identicon
    Frank, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 9:05am

    Re:

    "Seriously, this guy is responsible for actions that are going to cause the deaths of people."

    Don't make shit up. This is not the case and NO one has been killed.

     

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  244.  
    identicon
    Jared Lorz, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 9:49am

    solitary confinement is not considered torture under US rules.

    When we signed into the non torture convention they US stated their interpretation meant that solitary confinement was acceptable. This was to protect our horrific supermax prison system that doesn't work. You want to know why they build so many jails and imprison minor drug offenses? It's preparation for when they start detaining political protesters for utilizing free speech. The rich will do anything to enslave the rest of us.

     

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  245.  
    identicon
    David Bond, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 9:56am

    Root cause?

    What kind of democratic country incarcerates without trial and tortures it's OWN citizens? Perhaps one where voters only get to choose between two alternative despotic dictatorships? I blame the structure of the voting system. Don't agree? Then *how would you vote to prevent this from hapenning*?

     

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  246.  
    identicon
    Len, Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 3:35pm

    Re:

    ... since we're censoring everything, can we censor dumbass commentors as well?

     

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  247.  
    identicon
    Chuck, Dec 24th, 2010 @ 12:40am

    Assange was the publisher, no different than NYT, Guardian, etc.,

    Two words. Patriot Act.

     

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  248.  
    identicon
    Phil, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 10:39pm

    And all this for a guy who has not even been convicted of anything.
    -----------

    The corollary to this is that it would be ok to "torture" Manning had he been convicted.

    His treatment, however harsh, is irrelevant to his guilt or innocence.

     

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  249.  
    identicon
    mirshafie, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 7:16am

    Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    May I ask exactly how his nationality is relevant to the fact that he is being tortured?

     

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  250.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 7:47am

    Re:

    The corollary to this is that it would be ok to "torture" Manning had he been convicted.

    Logically speaking, "it's not OK to torture someone who hasn't been convicted of a crime" does not imply that it is OK to torture someone who has been. Though Mike could have made that more clear, and I think he did in later posts on this topic.

     

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  251.  
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    nasch (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re: Don't bury the lead here....

    It would be less surprising to discover that the US government is torturing a citizen of some other country, because it's well known they've been doing that for a while.

     

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  252.  
    icon
    tomahawkGOD (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 2:36pm

    Re: It Has a Lot to Do With Being Tortured

    UCMJ et al does not address sexual positions...urban legend.

     

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  253.  
    icon
    tomahawkGOD (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wow, that was WELL put. Too bad most won't understand it. I spent 23 years in the USN in a job that meant putting TLAMs down range. Mil DOES change you...not a lot of research about that.

    I held high clearances and saw stuff that I wish I hadn't. My opinion of the GOVERNMENT went down the toilet. Same same with some of the Military leadership. There needs to be a wholesale weeding out of the upper chain of command (starting at about E-7) not a wholesale dumping, but EVERYONE in that range needs to be looked closely at.

    Now, to address Bradley. Not saying I agree with WHAT he did, but I can understand WHY he did it. Not defending it at all, just stating I can see what drove him to it, assuming that he is HONEST about the 'why'. I saw a lot of stuff that turned me from UBER (Rush Limbaugh) right winger to an UBER Libertarin (a la Robert Heinlein - ALSO a Navy guy).

    What they are doing to this guy is a crime - but shit, look at what they (USG) started off doing down at GTMO, Abu Ghraib, and the 'stans. We've gone off the reservation a long time ago. Torturing prisoners? And how is calling them 'Unlawful Combatants' make them something other than prisoners?

    This ain't the US I was defending.....funny thing. That Oath I took? Never had an expiration date on it. Neither did anyone else's. How much of what's going on rises to conduct being done by 'Enemies of the Constitution'? THAT was what we swore to do - protect the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC.

    Just words to consider.
    Mucro publicus.

     

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  254.  
    icon
    tomahawkGOD (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Assange was the publisher, no different than NYT, Guardian, etc.,

    One word
    Unconstitutional

    Mucro publicus

     

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  255.  
    icon
    tomahawkGOD (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Root cause?

    You can't vote to do or not to do specific things. In a representative democratic Republic, you as a citizen have, at the behest of the framers, ceded certain rights to the government. Your input is who you vote for. You have, in effect, delegated decision making to them. You, theoretically, vote for those who appear to think most like you.

    Now, the downside is when no one else, or a minority, thinks as you do. So then you have to settle for writing your elected representatives. Have you? I know that it carries little weight on it's own, but my little email to my reps along with others, when they bother, may affect the decisions they make. Maybe.

    The root cause of why we are where we are at, is that we have, a majority of us, have decided NOT to be actively involved in the political process. It is easier to yell at the TV about those 'damn union members coerced by Obama and the crooked union leaders' up in Wisconsin, but think about this. Who was out there protesting? I didn't see a lot of Conservative Republicans out there. Blame the media? Tired excuse.

    WE have abrogated OUR RESPONSIBILITY to be INVOLVED! It's much more fun to yell at the TV, watch 'Idol' and go to church on Sunday and hear how the godless liberals will burn in hell.

    Yeah, we are all SO good.

    Mucro publicus

     

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  256.  
    identicon
    Mary Jarin, Jun 5th, 2011 @ 1:25am

    If the US manages to get their grubby little hands on Assange. No doubt this is exactly what they would do.

     

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  257.  
    icon
    bigtiny524 (profile), Dec 8th, 2012 @ 8:38am

    personal experience marine brig guards can be sadistic little punks

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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