Bradley Manning Hearing Shows Military Bosses More Concerned About Media Attention Than Manning's Conditions

from the but-of-course dept

Kevin Gosztola has been providing detailed updates on the latest Bradley Manning hearings, focused mainly on the conditions associated with the treatment of Manning after his arrest, and whether or not it amounted to "unlawful pretrial punishment" or involved reasonable precautions by the military. Specifically, as we had discussed, Manning was held in conditions that amounted to torture under key definitions of torture -- held in "intensive solitary confinement" in total isolation, not allowed to have a pillow or sheets for his bed. Over 250 legal experts condemned his treatment and the State Department's spokesperson even lost his job for saying publicly that Manning was being mistreated, and that it wasn't productive.

The legal issue is that if this treatment was seen as punitive then that's a problem. People can be held pre-trial, but they're not supposed to be "punished" as part of the process. The Defense Department has been trying to claim that the treatment of Manning had to do with fears that he would harm himself, and the latest hearings were to figure out which version of the story is really accurate. The details look pretty damning for the Defense Department. For example, it appears that officials were more concerned about the media, not about Manning's condition:
Going through emails, it came out that Lt. Gen. George Flynn, superior officer, was concerned with media and not Bradley Manning’s conditions. For example, when David House and Firedoglake editor-in-chief Jane Hamsher were harassed at the gate of Quantico, Flynn was in on this incident. He was up on what the public affairs planned to say to any questions from media on the incident. But, he was not up on weekly updates coming from officers in the brig.
Later, the same Lt. Gen. Flynn apparently got upset that the NYTimes had information on Manning's mistreatment and he hadn't been forewarned about the media situation:
Lt. Gen. Flynn was upset that he read about Manning standing outside his cell naked in the New York Times. “It would be good to have leadership have heads up on these things before they’re read in the early bird!” Lt. Col Flynn wrote in an email. The “early bird” is a military synopsis of various news stories/press releases.
And then there's the fact that the "psychologist" relied on to assess Manning's mental state... wasn't actually a psychologist but a dentist. Huh?!?
Also, a “forensic psychiatrist” that the Brig was consulting was a Dentist. She didn’t really have qualifications as a psychologist. She was a doctor on staff there and they went to her for assessments on Manning’s condition.
On top of that, evidence was presented of guards joking about taking away Manning's underwear in response to comments Manning had made. It certainly raises significant questions about why they were treating Manning this way and if it actually had anything to do with his own safety... or if they just liked taunting him.
One Quantico Brig officer (female) sent email where he joked about the removal of Manning’s underwear after comments he made on March 2, 2011. Here’s a version the press pool currently believes we heard read in court:

“As Dr. Seuss would say I can wear them in a box, I can wear them with a fox, I can wear them with socks. I can wear them in the day so I say. I can’t wear them at night. My comments gave the staff a fright.”

It is Green Eggs & Ham.

Coombs asked Choike if he believed joking about the underwear was something that an officer should have done. Choike then said something to the effect that he realized this could be brought up by Manning with his attorney and it might become “another media issue.”
Even if you think Manning violated the law, it seems pretty damning to see him treated this way pre-trial.

Separately, prior to the discussion about Manning's conditions, the government officially opposed Manning's attempt to plead guilty to certain lesser charges (as discussed earlier) in the hopes of speeding up the trial and getting potential leniency on some of the more serious charges. This issue more or less got tabled for procedural reasons, as Manning is still arguing that the government failed to provide a speedy trial and the court notes that if it excepts the plea, that would also waive the speedy trial issue. So, the court will handle the issue of whether or not the government failed to offer a speedy trial before taking on the plea issue.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 5:39am

    Manning was held in conditions that amounted to torture under key definitions of torture -- held in "intensive solitary confinement" in total isolation, not allowed to have a pillow or sheets for his bed

    I wonder how many people living in poverty in Third World countries do without pillows, sheets and even a bed? Sorry, I reject the notion that not having a pillow and sheets somehow equates to torture. That is simply absurd.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Mel, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:04am

      Re:

      From what I read he was woken up at 5 AM and forced to stand up all day until 10 PM without being allowed to sit or lean against a wall. That, to me, including solitary confinement, seems like a form of torture.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:10am

      Re:

      What you're talking about is a public health issue. And I would consider it torture when done by regimes who use poverty to quell their populations. Forcing people into camps that have no basic services by bombing their homes is certainly a form of torture.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:13am

      Re:

      "I wonder how many people living in poverty in Third World countries do without pillows, sheets and even a bed?"

      So you admit that he is being subjected to unacceptable living conditions?

      You know what's funny? Even death row convicts get better living conditions. And they are "dead"!

      What a screwed up country...

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:20am

        Re: Re:

        My point was that substandard living conditions to not equal torture.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          anon, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I seriously do not understand how this could not be seen as torture.

           

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually they can. And that is a reason that there are various groups ensuring that there are no substandard living conditions happening in America. Comparing substandard living conditions to every day living conditions in third world countries and then basically saying, "If those AIDS infected Africans can do without pillows then so can Bradley Manning" DOES NOT excuse his treatment or make it any less torture.

          You also, sorry to say, have to take it into context with EVERY OTHER THING they are doing or have done to him while he has been in confinement. Solitary confinement with absolutely no human contact for extensive periods of time IS considered torture.

          The problem with "torture" is that a lot of people think if you aren't being physically brutalized day in and day out then you aren't being tortured. I'd say you seem to fall into this category of people, those who think if Manning isn't be physically brutalized then anything that happens is acceptable and not torture. Which is a shame.

           

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

          •  
            icon
            btr1701 (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            > Comparing substandard living conditions
            > to every day living conditions in third
            > world countries and then basically saying,
            > "If those AIDS infected Africans can do
            > without pillows then so can Bradley
            > Manning" DOES NOT excuse his treatment
            > or make it any less torture.

            Leave the Africans out if it, then. Not having sheets or pillows is something our soldiers have to deal with on deployment in the field all the time. Are they being tortured?

            If the troops in theatre can manage, it's hardly torture for this guy to go without a pillow, for god's sake.

             

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

        •  
          icon
          Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          substandard living conditions to not equal torture.

          When they are enforced upon a person by an authority which can easily provide adaquate living conditions they are.

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            At some point he was classified as a suicide risk, which is likely why his bedding was removed. You also need to realize that the UCMJ is different than civilian law. And military detention is different than the county lockup. When you're sentenced in the military, it's not simply to incarceration. It's to "hard labor". Meaning that you literally may be making small rocks out of large ones, day in and day out for your entire sentence. Just as the military life is harsher and more demanding than civilian life, so is the prison experience.

             

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

            •  
              icon
              FarSide (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "At some point he was classified as a suicide risk,"

              Oh, right... by that dentist...

               

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

              •  
                icon
                Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:20am

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

                Well, if that anecdote about dentists being more prone to suicide than other kinds of doctors or professionals, maybe they do have qualifications.

                (yes, I'm joking)

                 

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:12am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              " When you're sentenced in the military..."

              Which, if you haven't been following the news, still has not happened.

               

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Don't be so ingenuous. When the authorities in control of the situation taunt, torment, and torture someone into a sarcastic (or possibly even real) suicide-related verbalization and then use it as a patently "concern troll" removal of his bedding, it's torture. And when it's obvious the authorities in control of the situation are freaked out by the idea that the press is going to get the real scoop on what's going on and do everything they can to keep the situation opaque rather than transparent, you can tell they *know* darned well it's torture.

               

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

            •  
              icon
              John Fenderson (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              At some point he was classified as a suicide risk, which is likely why his bedding was removed.


              In prison, if you're considered a suicide risk they don't take away your bedding.

              When you're sentenced in the military


              All well and good, except that he hasn't been sentenced. That's rather the point.

               

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

        •  
          icon
          Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:48am

          Re: Re: Re:

          substandard living conditions to not equal torture.

          When they are enforced upon a person by an authority which can easily provide adaquate living conditions they are.

           

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

          •  
            icon
            btr1701 (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:35pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            > When they are enforced upon a person
            > by an authority which can easily provide
            > adaquate living conditions they are.

            No, they're not. The legal definition of torture has never been so ridiculously expanded.

            They could also easily provide Manning with a Blu-Ray player and a library of movies. The fact that they don't isn't torture, either.

             

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 3:39pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              18 USC § 2340 - Definitions


              As used in this chapter—
              (1) “torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;
              (2) “severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from—
              (A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
              (B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
              (C) the threat of imminent death; or
              (D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality; and
              (3) “United States” means the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the commonwealths, territories, and possessions of the United States.

              Yes... yes it is torture...

               

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

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 3:41pm

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

                Thanks, but go look at the UCMJ to see what applies to Manning.

                 

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

                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2012 @ 12:50am

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

                  Doesn't matter. You were arguing against inhumane treatment being 'torture.' I'm telling you that you are wrong. UCMJ doesn't mean shit to me, and it shouldn't to you, either, since he's now protected under a law the president just signed.

                   

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

                  •  
                    icon
                    btr1701 (profile), Dec 1st, 2012 @ 9:06am

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

                    > You were arguing against inhumane treatment being 'torture.'

                    There's nothing inhumane about not having a pillow.

                    What's next? We accuse them of torture if Manning's sheets don't have at least an 800 thread count?

                     

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

              •  
                icon
                btr1701 (profile), Dec 1st, 2012 @ 9:02am

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

                Thanks for quoting that. Pretty much clears up once and for all that not having a pillow is not torture.

                 

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

        •  
          icon
          John Fenderson (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 10:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Just because there exist populations of people who are subject to a condition doesn't mean it's not torture. There are vast numbers of people starving daily, people suffering from medical conditions that are readily treatable. I personally saw a man who had frozen to death on a sidewalk.

          If you intentionally inflict any of these things on another human being, that's absolutely torture. That people suffer them unintentionally doesn't enter into it.

           

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

    •  
      identicon
      Michael, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:14am

      Re:

      How many other prisoners in the United States are deprived of these things?

      They are considered basic necessities in prisons in the US. Any treatment that is different than that given to other prisoners should always be scrutinized.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      herbturbo (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:46am

      Re:

      Many people in Third World countries do without a whole lot of things, including drinking water. Doesn't seem like anything to compare Manning's situation to.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:47am

      Re:

      @ #1

      i bet you would very quickly change your mind if it were you freezing your nuts off every night!

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 10:29am

      Re:

      people in the third world also don't live in a small, dark, concrete box where a pillow would be necessary to not be in considerable discomfort or pain at all times.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      FuzzyDuck, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 2:32pm

      Re:

      "I wonder how many people living in poverty in Third World countries do without pillows, sheets and even a bed? Sorry, I reject the notion that not having a pillow and sheets somehow equates to torture. That is simply absurd."

      Yeah because all poor people in the 3rd world are also kept in isolation cells for 23 hours a day and permitted only 1 hour of exercise in another cell each day.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 4:18pm

      Re:

      they aren't locked in a cell for exposing their fucked up government you excuse of a human.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Michael, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:11am

    More importantly...

    How are his teeth?

     

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Ezekial, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:29am

    They should have executed the treasonous SOB already instead of wasting tax money storing him for the rest of his life

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:38am

      Re:

      Bitch.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Spaceboy (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:48am

      Re:

      How is it treason for exposing the fact that DynCorp, a US Security contractor, was pimping little boys to Afghan men at US Taxpayer sponsored parties? He should be given a medal for what he did.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      That One Guy (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:01am

      Re:

      Funny then, that for all the screaming about him acting treasonous, they have yet to actually bring him to trial over his actions.

      If it was even close to that cut and dried, the court-case would have been long over with by now, but instead they've been treating him worse than even death row inmates are.

      Why, it's almost as thought they know they don't have enough to actually get a conviction, or worry that some 'inconvenient' facts might come to light during the case, and so are putting the guy through hell like this just so he'll be willing to agree to any plea bargain they offer just to avoid going back.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:21am

      Response to: Ezekial on Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:29am

      So providing evidence of misdeeds, fraud waste and abuse are grounds for treason? Quick, line up all reporters and journalist for execution.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:47am

        Re: Response to: Ezekial on Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:29am

        Well, at least there's an economic rationale for the assertion, I guess.

         

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

    •  
      icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:34am

      Re:

      If he's treasonous, then take him to court and give him a sentence. That's how it works.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 9:01am

      Re:

      Execute him for what? They refuse to charge him with anything! That's how it's supposed to work here in the US: you charge someone with something, try them, find them guilty, and only then are you allowed to execute them.

      The activity you're suggesting is seen in all the better banana republics, which I wish you'd stop trying to turn my country into, my little chicken-hawk.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      John Fenderson (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 10:34am

      Re:

      'No, no!' said the Queen. 'Sentence first - verdict afterwards.'

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:35am

    Even if it's not torture, it's still inhumane. Even if he did commit a crime, two wrongs don't make a right. Our nation loves to boast about stuff like freedom, equality, human rights, etc. yet look at how our military treats people.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:41am

    No, doesn't matter how military viewed it: absolutely was punitive.

    "The legal issue is that if this treatment was seen as punitive then that's a problem."

    Get based in common law. The facts are that Manning was held in highly unusual conditions that meet a definition of torture, and that's final: we can't let criminals in the military weasel. Lies and legalisms to avoid responsbility are precisely the problem. The military every day makes decisions to kill people, absolutely black and white, so don't let 'em claim this easy area is at all gray.

    Reach a decision, Mulling Mike. Can't you even agree here with "250 legal experts"? One of your biggest flaws is hemming and hawing as if equally afraid of being right or wrong. It undercuts even when I want to commend you for this re-write.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:56am

      Re: No, doesn't matter how military viewed it: absolutely was punitive.

      So it's ok for members of the millitary to torture, kill and murder innocent people but then that same millitary then holds someone captive in dire conditions. That guy over in Norway who killed all those people is being treated way better then this Manning but tha's all ok to you!

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 10:17am

        Re: Re: No, doesn't matter how military viewed it: absolutely was punitive.

        Of course. After all, out_of_the_asscrack is one of those people who think you should be punished more harshly for copyright infringement than, say, murder.

         

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

    •  
      identicon
      Another AC, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:25pm

      Re: No, doesn't matter how military viewed it: absolutely was punitive.

      Even when you agree with Mike, you find a way to disagree. That's a rare skill indeed.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:27am

    There are many things happening in the US that make me think "regime" not "republic". Many judicial decisions, law enforcement practices and comments and actions from the DoJ, DHS etc. in seemingly harmless areas like copyright, patent law or school administration are obviously terribly dangerous. "Land of freedom"? Good one, tell another! I really don't know if anyone in the USA still believes this, but here in Europe, your image is anything but. Depending on who you ask (and I only talk about normal people here, not anyone with a special anti-American bee in their bonnet), the USA is alternately associated with insanity (million dollar awards for hot coffee, legal fights over pets in microwave ovens), militaristic war-mongering (middle east), religous fundementalists (intelligent design, homophobic discrimination) or one of the most dangerous, silent and secretive emerging opressive regimes on the planet (Bradley Manning, attacks on civil liberties from copyright maximalists, law enforcement, intelligence agencies and educational institutions).

    Which is bad enough in and of itself, but things like data espionage via the patriot act on foreign data (because most major digital services belong one way or another to an American company), the ongoing arrogant attempts to enact and enforce US law on the souvereign territory of other nations (O'Dwyer, Megaupload) and meddlings in foreign politics (UK/Swedish Assange drama, Spanish copyright law, TPP/ACTA/CETA) combined with absolutely no respect for even their own laws evident in your law enforcement, executive branch and even parts of your courts (Megaupload, Manning)... that makes you dangerous to us. An enemy to be wary of.

    And it worries me alot that even though Americans I have any kind of personal contact to, even one as superficial as reading their blogs, generally seem opposed to those developements and wary of them, too, but there is absolutely no sign of any of this awareness and wariness in your government, military, courts and law enforcement. Ok, there is some, but... like drops in the sea. Meaningless. And if people around here go on a rant about those insane/idiotic/paranoid/fascist/megalomaniac Americans it gets ever harder to argue against that, because if I tell them again and again "You got it wrong, the people are allright, it's just their country that's nuts" it sounds stupid even to me. How can a country full of normal, sensible people be at the same time a dangerous, agressive, hostile nation? If people talk about democratic states based on a fair and equal rule of law around these parts, noone includes the USA anymore. And the threat from this worries me far more that a hundred hijacked planes and explosive stuffed cars ever could. Because terrorists just threaten my life, but regimes threaten my freedom.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:07am

      Re:

      Fair enough, as in the US many Europeans are regarded as feckless socialists- who are by and large lazy, incompetent and fiscally irresponsible. Unwilling and afraid to confront aggression, much less international terrorism you cower in the corner begging the US military to do the heavy lifting for you, including in your many failed former colonies. While the US has many flaws, it is still the country that most people seek to emigrate to. Perhaps they know something you don't.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:47am

        Re: Re:

        I would rather deal with the international terrorism than have the US military doing the "heavy lifting". Yea, a few extremists have managed to set off a few bombs... they managed to hijack a couple of planes. Do you honestly believe that you've made it any safer in the world?

        No all you've really done is made things more difficult for the average person. The US is like a bad example of DRM. They push for heavier restrictions in the name of public safety and good intentions. Sadly all they manage to do is inconvenience those that are innocent of any wrong doing.

        The international community should collectively be telling the US to F off, unfortunately no one trusts that such a move wouldn't result in a large number of nuclear missiles being launched in retaliation. The sooner the US crumbles upon itself to refind it's own roots, the better off the rest of the world will be.

        I welcome the few terrorists and all the risks that entails over tyranny of the US military

         

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

      •  
        icon
        Dionaea (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:50am

        Re: Re:

        I recently decided against applying for a job in Florida which I'd probably have gotten, since the person doing the hiring asked me whether I'd be interested. Why? Because of everything AC stated. I don't want to go to your country and get sued for millions of dollars for having done something which is legal here. Perhaps I know something they don't.

         

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

      •  
        icon
        John Fenderson (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 10:37am

        Re: Re:

        Pardon me, I think your bigotry is showing.

         

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

      •  
        icon
        JMT (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 5:50pm

        Re: Re:

        "While the US has many flaws, it is still the country that most people seek to emigrate to."

        Got anything to back up that wild conjecture?

         

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:45pm

        Re: Re:

        "...lazy, incompetent, and fiscally irresponsible". Sounds like you just described the US government.

        "...it is still the country that most people seek to emigrate to. Perhaps they know something you don't". Perhaps I know something THEY don't. A lie is a lie no matter how many people believe it. I don't believe the hype.

         

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2012 @ 6:19am

        Re: Re:

        I completely fail to see what your generalizing insults to Europeans have to do with anything I wrote about. What worries me is not some personal flaw in Americans, but the ample signs of a corrupt and oppressive governement that is just as dangerous to it's own people as to anyone else. I explicitly stated that the actions of the USA as a country and it's citizens as people seem totally alien to each other from my view point. And while your rant about Europeans consists of unfounded insults, my worries about the USA stem from well documented problems, documented by Americans themselves I might add. Because of all that, don't be surprised if I judge your answer as generally trollish :)

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    relghuar, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:55am

    More Concerned About Media Attention Than Manning's Conditions

    I'm willing to bet the Bosses are very much concerned about Manning's condition.
    Namely, they're pretty concerned he's not dead and forgotten yet.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:56am

      Re: More Concerned About Media Attention Than Manning's Conditions

      I think they will want to assure that PFC Manning is well cared for until after Assange's trial.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 10:24am

        Re: Re: More Concerned About Media Attention Than Manning's Conditions

        Whence, he gets fired out of an aircraft carrier at great speed into an ocean. Or a mountain. Pick your exploding death.

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:07am

    and the 'free world' were of the opinion that The Gestapo disappeared at the end of WWll! regardless of what he did, or what he is accused of doing, he should be treated like a human being! what the hell is wrong with governments today? millions died to remove the tyranny associated with Fascism and keep freedom as the main advantage of the democratic world. now look what we have. people being treated worse than scum, locked up with no clothes, no contact other than with prison guards, every ounce of dignity taken away. as a society, it seems to me that we are back peddling to the days of the cave man!

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Chuck, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:43am

    Solution long lost

    Should have placed a rope and a chair in the room and let the soldier do the right thing.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 9:00am

      Re: Solution long lost

      As a veteran, I'd say the reason he is in the predicament is because the soldier *did* the right thing.

      It takes a lot of balls for one person to throw his life away to stop injustice. We can bicker all day long on if he released too much information, but if I were in his position, I'd also be more likely to grab more information than was needed to shed light on the situation, than too little-- because I'm sure he knew he was going to jail, regardless.

      There is a difference between loving one's country, and loving one's government.

      The fact that you'd already tried and sentenced him in your mind, before was given his constitutionally guaranteed rights, makes *you* less of a patriot than him.

      He has my full support. All patriots do.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 9:26am

        Re: Re: Solution long lost

        You know what, The Infamous Joe? I truly find your comment insightful. I know a number of people who have served in the military and a number who are still serving, and the hatred I've seen and comments they've made about Manning and Assange has truly bothered me.

        And your comment has reaffirmed my belief that not all those in service of the country are "bad" people. I put that in quotes because I don't mean bad, I just mean that way too many have a mindset which I find truly disturbing given that these are people we are arming and putting in the position of fighting for and defending our rights. And the mindset seems to be with a majority that questioning the government is the same as saying you hate America. Or, "If you don't like it, you can get the f*ck out." Another comment I've seen way too often on various forums and sites when it comes to Manning/Assange. Is that what we've come to? Questioning or taking issue with his treatment means we don't deserve to live in this country? If anything, such thinking is as un-American and far from patriotic as you can get. In my opinion that is.

        And while the military might have a different way of doing things from civilian courts, I think it goes without saying that locking someone up and doing so in a manner that some see as torturous goes against the founding ideals of this country and in no way should it be seen as acceptable/okay. No matter what the crime may be. Or better and more correctly said, ALLEGED crime may be. If things truly were as cut and dry as they're being made out to be, a trial would be pretty straight forward and determining Manning's guilt would require no effort. The fact that he still hasn't had one says a lot more to me than anything about how not cut and dry things are.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 9:38am

          Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

          You obviously have no concept of the conditions that existed in this country's prisons and jails when the Eighth Amendment was written. By the standards that existed at the time the men who wrote and ratified the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, Manning is living at the Hilton. Sorry about his blanky.

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 11:15am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

            I actually do have such a concept, I also have been incarcerated (for a few days) myself and have a significant portion of one side of my family living in prison. And while things have come a long way from how they used to be, that DOES NOT excuse what has been done to Bradley Manning. Saying, "He's got it made compared to how things used to be," DOES NOT excuse his treatment.

            The fact that you, a self admitted veteran, are saying the things you're saying is rather disheartening. But of course, I'm sure if the shoe was on the other foot, you'd just grin and bear it, right? (I highly doubt you would.)

             

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

        •  
          icon
          Gwiz (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 11:24am

          Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

          Questioning or taking issue with his treatment means we don't deserve to live in this country? If anything, such thinking is as un-American and far from patriotic as you can get. In my opinion that is.

          In my opinion also. Questioning authority is one of the MOST patriotic actions a US citizen can do.

          "It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority." ― Benjamin Franklin

           

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 9:42am

        Re: Re: Solution long lost

        As one former soldier to another: You have forgotten about the chain of command and the oath we both took.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 10:18am

          Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

          I forgot nothing.

          "I was just following orders" does not make dishonorable actions permissible, and there is more to honor than following the letter of the law.

          Not to mention, the UCMJ makes blowjobs illegal. Wanna take a guess at how many people follow that rule?

           

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 10:20am

          Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

          Chain of command? More often than not, that exists solely to obfusticate the processes of getting anything done. Almost literally, shit will flow down from the top until it all settles at the bottom with no place else to go. Sergeant Major treats the Lieutenants like garbage, Lieutenants treat the Sergeants like pond scum, Sergeants treat the Privates like some forbidden plague. The chain of command is no more than a procedure to make sure those at the bottom always get the shit end of the stick.

           

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

        •  
          icon
          John Fenderson (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 10:39am

          Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

          You have forgotten about the chain of command and the oath we both took.


          You mean the one about defending the citizens and the Constitution? When the chain of command is at odds with that, fuck the chain of command.

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 10:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

            I wonder what branch you served in?

            "I, XXXXXXXXXX, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

            Which article of the Constitution do you claim is violated?

             

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

            •  
              identicon
              Digitari, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 11:47am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

              Jarheads say it TWICE

               

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

            •  
              icon
              John Fenderson (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

              Manning claims that he was revealing crimes and Constitutional violations that were being kept secret. If he believed this, then he was upholding his oath.

               

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

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:05pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                Oh so the douchenozzle who complains about the overreach of US law enforcement is contending that the US Constitution is conclusive on foreign soil?

                 

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

                •  
                  icon
                  Gwiz (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:52pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                  ....is contending that the US Constitution is conclusive on foreign soil?

                  I would argue that the Constitution does protect anyone and everyone who has dealings with the US government, regardless of citizenship.

                  The Constitution doesn't apply to a person or groups of people at all, per se. It only grants and denies power to the US government itself. The wording of the document uses "people" instead of "citizens" and is not limited only to citizens in any way. Therefore the Constitution is applicable everyone who has dealings with the US government.

                  This simple fact seems to be overlooked or purposely misinterpreted in this day and age because it would mean that the foreign nationals being held and tortured at Gitmo and other places would have Constitutional protections of due process and a speedy trial. And that's not even considering at the Constitutional implications of torturing prisoners.

                   

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

                •  
                  icon
                  John Fenderson (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 2:03pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                  I'm not sure I understand your point, but I'll try... I'm assuming that by "douchenozzle" you mean me?

                  First, yes, the US Constitution constrains the actions of the US government everywhere on the planet when dealing with people of any nationality, not just on US soil or when dealing with US citizens. This is not even remotely incompatible with thinking that the US overreaches in applying US law to other countries.

                  But, in any case, I was not commenting about whether or not Manning was correct in his beliefs. I'm only saying that if those were his beliefs, then he was acting honorably and in accordance with his oath, even if he's wrong in those beliefs.

                   

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

                  •  
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 3:23pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                    Iraqis were the ones being detained by the Iraqi police. Where does the US Constitution come in?

                     

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

                    •  
                      icon
                      John Fenderson (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 10:03am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                      That wasn't the only issue, and there are legitimate questions about who was running the show.

                      But all of that is entirely beside the point I'm making.

                       

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 11:09am

          Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

          ""You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with until you understand who's in ruttin' command here." ―Jayne Cobb

          That's essentially the argument you're bringing to the table. Follow orders and do as you're told or you'll get it. That's not an argument, nor is it validation that Manning was in the wrong.

          And as was pointed out during the Nuremburg trials, "I was following orders," is NOT an acceptable excuse. Saying Manning should just have done what he was allowed to is the same thing. If there is a wrong being done, regardless of any oaths taken, it is the duty of EVERY American citizen, be they in uniform or not, to make sure the people find out.

          Since I'm quoting scifi might as well go with the gem, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." And sorry to say, but contrary to what some like you might have us believe, no legitimately harmful information was ever revealed. That any was revealed at all, contrary to any oaths or orders taken/issued by/to Manning is irrelevant.

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 11:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

            He wasn't ordered to do anything illegal. He failed to bring his concerns up through the chain of command. He wouldn't be in this mess if he had raised his issues properly, was rejected then acted as he did.

             

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

            •  
              icon
              The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 11:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

              He says he did. (Found via this post.)
              02:35:46 PM) Manning: was watching 15 detainees taken by the Iraqi Federal Police… for printing “anti-Iraqi literature”… the iraqi federal police wouldn’t cooperate with US forces, so i was instructed to investigate the matter, find out who the “bad guys” were, and how significant this was for the FPs… it turned out, they had printed a scholarly critique against PM Maliki… i had an interpreter read it for me… and when i found out that it was a benign political critique titled “Where did the money go?” and following the corruption trail within the PM’s cabinet… i immediately took that information and *ran* to the officer to explain what was going on… he didn’t want to hear any of it… he told me to shut up and explain how we could assist the FPs in finding *MORE* detainees…(emphasis mine)
              I'm going to assume you're on Team Manning, now, yes?

               

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

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:03pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                Is he charged regarding that matter? I'll jump on the Manning bandwagon as soon as you explain the role of the chain of command in the release of the thousands of classified documents and privileged communications.

                 

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

                •  
                  icon
                  The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                  Holy shit. Bravo Zulu, my friend. I honestly thought you were more than a troll, but I refuse to believe any human is so dense as to not be able to connect these dots. If his CO slapped him down once for trying to bring up something he felt wasn't right, you think he should continue to bring things to his CO? I'd call that a break down of his chain of command. Everything after that is whistle blowing.

                  10/10, troll. You had me hook, line, and sinker.

                   

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

                  •  
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:19pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                    It is a CHAIN of command. Stopping at your platoon leader (a first or second lieutenant) is not exactly a stunning example of due diligence. He could easily taken this all the way to battalion level. You know that if you served. Stop pretending to be an idiot to score a point.

                     

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

                    •  
                      icon
                      The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                      That is up for debate.

                      Debate, that would occur at a trial.

                      A trial that has not occurred in the 919 days since he was arrested.

                       

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

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:13pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                So are you saying that the detention of these guys and the actions of the Iraqi Federal Police were governed by the US Constitution?

                 

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

                •  
                  icon
                  The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:19pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                  A democratic society does not jail people for political dissent. Since all parties involved claim to be democratic, I think the right action would be to go my CO. Which he did.

                  The wrong action is to be told to shut up and find more people exercising free speech for the IFP to jail.

                   

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

                  •  
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:22pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                    So again I ask: Is he being charged regarding this incident?

                     

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

                    •  
                      icon
                      The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                      I feel like we're arguing different things.

                      It doesn't matter what incident he's charged with; The question is whether he is a "leaker" or a "whistle blower". Since he went to his CO with concerns and was told to get back in line, he is, in my mind, a whistle blower, which affords him several protections. (Like, not being in jail.)

                       

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

                      •  
                        identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                        Read my post about the CHAIN of command again, Pvt. Pyle.

                         

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

                        •  
                          icon
                          The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:51pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                          So, how many people should he have to go through before he's justified? Two? Five? Should he have just have cut to the chase and called the President?

                          He went to someone in charge and said "I think this is wrong." and that person, in charge of him, said "Shut up and find more people to oppress."

                          I feel like you wouldn't have even said anything-- I mean, Iraq isn't a real democracy, so who gives a fuck if some brown people go to prison for looking into government corruption, right? They're not 'mercuns, so they don't deserve the rights we claim "all men" should have.

                          Sometimes breaking the law is the moral and just action.

                           

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

                          •  
                            identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 3:31pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                            Platoon leader, XO, company commander, Battalion XO, Battalion commander at a minimum. You make partners along the way and by the time you hit the battalion XO you are likely dealing with a career officer. Alternatively go see Top.

                             

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

                            •  
                              icon
                              The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:45pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                              I feel like you're trying to hard to stick to the result you want to arrive at.

                              Don't worry, I'm sure you were an excellent follower. I'm sure it will serve you well in the civilian sector. The world needs more people who shut up and do as they're told.

                               

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

                        •  
                          identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:29pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                          You aren't a patriot. You aren't even pretending to be one. Go hide in your corner.

                           

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

                  •  
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:37pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Solution long lost

                    China claims to be a People's Republic. Iraq a democracy? You are kidding, right?

                     

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

      •  
        icon
        art guerrilla (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 9:57am

        Re: Re: Solution long lost

        THANK YOU!

        you sound like one of the few -like manning- who put basic morality and human decency first, rather than abject obeisance to authority figures...

        it has ALWAYS bothered me that SUPPOSEDLY any/all military members are SUPPOSED to question or refuse to obey illegal/immoral orders, and yet that almost NEVER happens: we have atrocities by the score (of which i'm certain we only ever hear about a small percentage), we commit war krimes on a daily basis, we violate our own -and international- laws as a matter of course, but NO ONE ever speaks out...

        but the FACT of the matter is, you are conditioned by the military to follow orders WITHOUT question, no matter what... theoretical objections over legality or morality are ignored or vilified... the few like manning who dare to question such illegal actions are demoted, railroaded, or otherwise harassed into silence...

        they give lie to their so-called 'honor' and 'duty' by their actions which are 180 degrees from those values...

        our forefathers had it right: NO STANDING ARMIES...
        (no sitting ones, either!)
        if you have an army, you ARE going to use it, doesn't matter if it is 'necessary' or not...

        art guerrilla
        aka ann archy
        eof

         

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 9:08am

      Re: Solution long lost

      You're either a troll poking the lion thru the bars with a very long stick to get off on the reaction or you're a chicken hawk who's trying to turn my country into a banana republic. Please stop either or both activities.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 5:33pm

      Re: Solution long lost

      You aren't a patriot. You don't even care about justice. Mob rule all the way for idiots like you. You could do yourself a favor and take your own suggestion.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:26pm

    Huh?

    > Lt. Gen. Flynn was upset that he
    > read about Manning standing outside
    > his cell naked in the New York Times.
    > “It would be good to have leadership
    > have heads up on these things before
    > they’re read in the early bird!” Lt.
    > Col Flynn wrote in an email.

    So is Flynn an LTC or an LTG? Kinda hard to take a media outlet seriously when it can't report basic stuff like this correctly.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

    And another one...

    > One Quantico Brig officer (female)
    > sent email where he joked about the
    > removal of Manning’s underwear

    So is the brig officer a she or a he? Can't be both. This Firedoglake outfit is a real jounalistic winner.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Brendan (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:35pm

    excepts the plea

    Should be accepts theplea

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    (A)nonymous, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 4:32pm

    America deserves to die. I just hope I live long enough to see America get what's coming to it. Burn baby burn!

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Gene Cavanaugh (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 9:29am

    Manning again

    So, once more, why aren't we urging Obama to pardon Manning, and fire the officers that have allowed this unConstitional torture?

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This