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View Diary: How the US Military Tortured Bradley Manning (227 comments)

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  •  Ok, I'm gonna say it. (3+ / 0-)

    I know exactly how these things came about.  I'm not saying they're RIGHT, but I know the thought process that led to them.

    1.  Manning was being punished.  True, he was not found guilty of any crime, but there are soldiers who take their duty of "Teaching a Lesson" extremely seriously.  

    2.  The anti-suicide measure was in place because Manning MENTIONED how he could kill himself.  Unfortunately, there is a paranoia about the appearance of a suicide in a high profile case, and as a result the guards were instructed not to take any chances.  True he was on 24-7 watch, but he had not specified how he would kill himself with his underwear, and so precautions MUST be taken.  (In other words, a bullshit excuse to punish more. )

    3.  Manning was not subjected to any treatment with regards to sleep deprivation that his fellow soldiers on patrols were not subjected to.   I'm willing to bet that whoever awakened him was thinking about those soldiers who did 2 eight hour patrols a day, plus a four hour watch.   (No, I am NOT making up that statistic.  I have first hand experience with it.  It's horrible but about right for a front line combat soldier. )

    4.  Number four probably had the same justification as the underwear confiscation.  Since Manning had claimed suicidal tendencies, no possibility would have been excepted.

    5.  Again, Manning was being punished for his actions.  

    Overall, this is symptoms of a military culture which prizes obedience over good soldiering.  I am not saying that the military is without its uses, but as it is right now, the true military honor has been lost in the goal of "Warrior Ethos" when what we really need is a sense of "Honorable Tradition."

    That's just my opinion.  I support the Army, but loathe many of the things they do.  Just like America.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:42:47 PM PST

    •  Since when did we grant any soldier (4+ / 0-)

      the authority to meet out punishment to an incarcerated and not convicted person?

      How/why has this become their "duty"?

      I thought he said he would could kill himself because of the conditions he was being subjected to.

      What does a "front line combat soldier" have to do with this? False comparisons.

      Manning was not on the front lines.

      I did rec your comment because I respect the conversation you present to us.

      As for this:

      I support the Army, but loathe many of the things they do.  Just like America.
      Agreed.

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 06:35:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We don't grant it, but we do have... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gerrilea

        NCOs who take their authority over their subordinates to the extreme.  It's not right, but they gleefully break regulations, then feel fully justified in retaliating against any who complain.   (I had a SSG over me who insisted that his soldiers buy their cars from his friend and noone else.  I knew enough to know that was a completely illegal order, but some did not.  Those that ignored the order got extra guard duty)

        It's not their duty, but they see it as "Enforcing Discipline", and being a "Good Sergeant".  Unfortunately, complaining up the chain usually does nothing, because of the system in place in units that protects those who have been there a while.

        Absolutely a false comparison.  However, the logic train goes something like this.  "If he was in combat, he'd be getting no sleep.  Since he's slacking off in jail, he'll be treated like a soldier in combat, which he should be."  The idea is that he should feel the same pain as others of his rank.

        Thank you for the discussion.  I totally agree that this train of thought makes no sense, but unless you've been in the service with a bad Chain of Command, you have no idea how isolated and put upon you can be.  I was lucky that I had a good Captain who kept an open door policy and listened to every soldier.  Not every soldier is lucky enough to have that.

        I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

        by detroitmechworks on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:23:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The system dehumanizes anyone whom (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          detroitmechworks, aliasalias

          steps out of line and that includes anyone you're told is the enemy.

          "Anyone with a towel on their heads is fair game"
          ~Quoted from the video link I posted above.

          It's the rationalization of evil.  

          How do we crawl out of this darkness we've created?

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 10:00:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's the major problem with Authoritarian systems (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gerrilea

            While a top down system can and does do great things when properly guided, the exact opposite is also true, and horrid, horrid things also can and do happen.

            Soapbox/

            When the military is involved, the concept of honor is paramount.  When the Army abandoned the concept in favor of it's new "Army Values" what they essentially did was to declare anything not explicitly forbidden to be OK.

            Moral creep sets in, and as a result even the most hideous of actions are considered acceptable, provided that you're one of the folks that are not questioned.

            The army needs to separate the "legal" from the "Acceptable".  Unfortunately, for over 12 years now, the example given has not been one of honorable people doing what was needed because of horrible situations, but rather people who do what they can get away with because they can.

            Without accountability for the highest levels, we will never see the behavior at the lower levels of the army at a higher standard.  Essentially, I feel that everyone is doing pretty much the same thing now, the only difference is that those with the political coinage can spend it to avoid punishment.

            SOME soldiers and officers hold themselves to higher standards, but they are quickly weeded out by those that favor appearance and proper boot licking to initiative and honor.  I wish I was being purely cynical now, but the truth is that the service is hemorrhaging the soldiers it NEEDS and rewarding those that merely follow all orders, no matter how stupid or illegal.

            /Soapbox

            I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

            by detroitmechworks on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 11:01:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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