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View Diary: CNN Losing Bradley Manning Story: Manning Was Reporting a War Crime, "The Van Thing" (286 comments)

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  •  Two wrongs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    dont make a right and that is assuming there was a first wrong.

    I have not seen the video nor will I.  It remains a classified document and I would be in violation of my own NDA to access it.  Having said that, there are almost always circumstances that we know little about.  Beyond that, the probation against violence against sick or injured is void if the person involved has the means to resist.  After shooting someone, I dont have to check if they are ok before shooting them again.  A person crawling, no matter how badly injured, is going to get more bullets sent his way and in an active fight anyone trying to evacuate injured is going to attract LOTS of bullets.  Why do you think we give so many medals for heroism that involve evacuating someone from an active fight?  It fricking dangerous and everyone knows it.  

    The short version of what an army does is "kill you and break your stuff."  Its not "hurt you badly and let you fight another day."  The last thing you want is for someone with combat experience to live and bring that knowledge back to the fight.  Who would you rather play against in a tight game late in the 4th Quarter - a rookie QB or Payton manning? Despite that, there is nothing better than rescuing and caring for your enemy.  You can take that experience off the battlefield and make that person never want to fight again.

    In the end, PFC Manning broke his oath and violated the UCMJ and for that he faces punishment.  His motivations for doing so do not matter.  He had multiple paths to reporting a war crime without divulging classified information and he choose not to.  

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:26:08 PM PST

    •  Very well stated, ksuwildcat (0+ / 0-)

      I think a lot of people watch the tape and feel bad for the guys who were obviously just trying to evacuate their wounded comrade from the scene - and that's human nature.

      What they aren't considering, perhaps, is that soldiers aren't cops, and a battlefield isn't a crime scene. Different rules apply, and for a lot of good reasons.

      What the tape does show VERY clearly is just how bad war sucks, and how impossible asymetric war is to wage from the uniformed side.

      A couple of Apache helicopters shot up a bunch of un-armed civilians walking in the street after mistaking cameras for guns and a telephoto lens for an RPG rocket launcher.... that's my take on it

      Were they following their rules of engagement? Yeah, probably, and that just shows how badly those rules of engagement were.... but how could they have been different on a battlefield?

      The problem is that the Iraqi civilians obviously didn't think they were wandering around a battlefield, even though Apache helicopters were circling and Army troops were nearby in Bradley IFVs and HumVees. And they didn't start acting like they were on a battlefield, even AFTER 8 of their friends were gunned down from above. What did they do? They came back a few minutes later in a van (unfortunately with 2 kids in it, further proof they still didn't realize they were in the middle of a battlefield) to try to get their buddy to the hospital.

      And that's a lot of what just really sucks about asymetrical warfare - it's a different scene for every participant (willing or accidental), and the scene shifts unpredictably.

      That, in large part, is why it is so impossible for the uniformed side to 'win' this type of war, no matter how many wonderful sounding theories and plans our military cooks up.

      The whole damn war was a war crime, but what was shown in the tape was nothing but one more unfortunate incident in a fucked-up war - not a war crime in and of itself.


      Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. Friedrich Schiller

      by databob on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 02:07:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  War sucks (1+ / 0-)
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        its supposed to suck
        its supposed to suck so much you dont choose it unless there is no other way
        I cant stand people who want to make a war nicer
        Dont you understand that if its easy, people will do it more?
        Dont you understand that making it terrible make sit less likely?
        Our goal should be to impose the maximum amount of violence for the shortest possible time not the opposite.

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 02:17:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What a fantastic rewrite of history. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow, aliasalias

        There were no "guys trying to evacuate their wounded comrade".

        There was a non-combatant who stopped to help a wounded man.  

        The shit you do would make me vomit if tried to do it for an hour.

        "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

        by JesseCW on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 04:32:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  They can take into account when (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      databob, ksuwildkat

      it comes to sentencing that he was a messed-up kid with emotional issues, thought he was doing the right thing, etc. But in terms of charging him with crimes, I just don't see how some people here think the system should work. Should all people who commit crimes get go first appeal to some jury's sense of touchy-feely "good intent" before prosecutors decide whether to move forward? If we let off a liberal Brad Manning, what about a neocon intelligence analyst who decides to release classified information in order to further the neocon goals he thinks represent "doing the right thing"?

      It is pretty clear to me that violations of these types of serious laws need to happen whatever the theoretical intent of the suspect. And with Manning releasing hundreds of thousands of documents, it would be a betrayal of justice to NOT charge him. The only point I agree with his supporters about is that perhaps his solitary confinement was excessive (though the use of the term torture is debatable).

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