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View Diary: Bradley Manning - In His Own Words (104 comments)

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  •  I would say, yes, it's treason; (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ask, mallyroyal

    but unless the State is the ultimate source of all that is good and right, perhaps there are occasions in which treason is morally necessary.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 07:10:43 AM PDT

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    •  If we were (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Heart of the Rockies

      to accept that: "..the State is the ultimate source of all that is good and right".." - then maybe.

      But as you suggest, that is simply not the case. Transparency is an overriding concern unless it poses an immediate threat to national security.

      Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid. You step out of line, the man come and take you away. - S. Stills

      by ask on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 07:15:15 AM PDT

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      •  Exactly. I don't accept that anyone or anything (5+ / 0-)

        is the ultimate source of all that is good or right.

        Sometimes the only right way to do something is to commit a crime.  To any authoritarian who finds that horrifying or outrageous, I would say only that (1) this is not a license to unlimited lawlessness, and one almost inevitably will be punished for such actions; and (2) is that not what our Founding Fathers did?

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 07:21:16 AM PDT

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        •  I agree with you (0+ / 0-)

          except for two things.

          1) A lot of the defense of Bradley is, to my mind, undercut by the fact that he voluntarily joined the military. If you're uncomfortable with authoritarianism and you don't think the state is all that's good and right--Jesus Christ, what the fuck are you doing in the Army?????

          2) I get the impression that lots of people here think he should not be "punished for such actions".

          "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

          by ChurchofBruce on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:08:56 AM PDT

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          •  And I disagree with you (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ask, ChurchofBruce, Eddie L, SilentBrook

            on both of those matters.

            Joining the Army is not the same thing as surrendering your conscience entirely, for one thing; for another, yes, I think he is probably guilty of whatever he's being charged of having done -- and that the punishment should be time served, or less.

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:13:12 AM PDT

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            •  I'll actually completely agree (0+ / 0-)

              with you on the second. Time served. Although I wouldn't find it a miscarriage of justice if he got a few years on top of that. (Anything more than that would be.)

              But we're going to disagree on the first. Joining the Army inherently means that you may be required, as part of your job, to kill another human being--and that doesn't constitute surrendering your conscience? Does to me.

              "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

              by ChurchofBruce on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:19:06 AM PDT

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              •  Depends on the conscience (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ChurchofBruce, SilentBrook

                and the circumstances, I think.  I do believe there are actions that are entirely wrong and at the same time entirely necessary; killing a war-waging Nazi would be among them.

                Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                by corvo on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:39:56 AM PDT

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      •  When you can convince (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Don midwest

        the American people of that, then that will be law.  Until then, be aware that you are acting in opposition to democratic principles.  I suppose we all have a little authoritarian in us.

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:57:15 AM PDT

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        •  Orwellian statement... (0+ / 0-)

          ...considering what was exposed by Manning's actions when compared to the actions which led us to war with Iraq and the REAL reasons THIS Democracy keeps much of what it does a secret.

          Do not confuse the alleged need for secrecy with core Democratic principles.

          •  right (0+ / 0-)

            The democratically elected representatives of the US set this policy, which is the REAL reason things are secret.  But I suppose you know well enough to be able to decide for all 300 million of us what we should do, right?  Shall we just call you "Emperor" or would you prefer something more grand?

            IN fact, we should not ignore that the vast bulk of what Manning release showed nothing whatsoever except a lot of diplomatic dealings.  He got most of those calls completely and utterly wrong.  Another portion got edited beyond recognition by activists who also were never elected to anything by anyone.

            Amazing how people who decry how unelected corporate leaders can set policy go all dewey eyed when people they like do it.

            I guess not many people actual believe in representative democracty after all.

            Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

            by Mindful Nature on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:01:04 AM PDT

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            •  This is funny: (0+ / 0-)
              But I suppose you know well enough to be able to decide for all 300 million of us what we should do, right?
              How in the hell am I supposed to know what's good for all 300 million of us when I don't even know what the government is doing in my name?  And to claim that exposing the corrupt and illegal actions of those who act behind an inappropriate veil of secrecy is somehow anathema to core Democratic Principles and undermines Democracy itself is LAUGHABLE.

              Of course, the data dump exposed much of what is considered to be the banal workings of the diplomatic coprs., however, a lot of what the release of those cables exposed is the utter chicanery and duplicity and LIES of those TRUSTED to do what's right in our name and granted the veil of secrecy to accomplish that task.  The abuse of that privilege is astounding and does much more damage to core Democratic principles than its exposure does.

              Manning pulled back the curtain -- and yes, he WAS in a position to know more about what was going on in secret than either you or I.  He's brave and acted in the most honorable spirit of Democracy: INFORMING THE VOTERS.

              •  yes (0+ / 0-)

                it involved chicanery and lies because the American people elected representatives who decided that that's how we want to run our government (for pretty reasonable reasons).  It may offend you personally, but the electorate has spoken (indirectly) on this issue.  Want a different policy?  Win at the ballot box.  Don't go complaining if you violate the law and suffer consequences, and don't look to me for sympathy for arrogating the authority of the American people by deciding you know better on these issues than the people elected to do the job of making this determination.

                Your position is that any totally unelected and unaccountable person has a right to make up US policy more or less on the spot according to their own whims.  That is neither workable nor democratic.  You may not like the decision of the majority of the American people, but if you believe in democratic processes, then you must respect that decision, even when it is wrong, or even especially when it is wrong.

                (Personally, I think you have kind of a skewed notion of democratic process that seems to only be ok if the results comport with your personal preferences.)

                Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

                by Mindful Nature on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:49:32 AM PDT

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                •  You're interpretation... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...of what the American people have voted for is just that:  your interpretation.

                  To state with unequivocal confidence that the American people accept any single aspect of how the government is run based on an election is ludicrous.  People vote for their representatives based on a NUMBER of issues and can vote for someone even if they disagree with them on any number of single issues.  That's like saying Bob Casey was elected because he's pro-life and not because Rick Santorum was an idiot.  

                  The fact that we have laws which protect whistle-blowers means that there are circumstances which The People have acknowledged require an act which may expose malfeasance that might go undetected due to a misuse of secrecy laws (there are also laws which make willful mis-classification illegal).

                  Bradley Manning did not make policy when he gave those cables to Wikileaks.  I don't understand how you equate his actions with making policy.  What he did was expose the lies that policy was based upon.  The same thing that Ellsberg did when he gave The Pentagon Papers to the New York Times.  Now the American people have an opportunity to go to the voting booth more informed.

                  I might not like the fact that it might not make a difference in how people vote (given the number of issues one has to weigh and the limited number of choices we have when it comes to candidates) , but I certainly am glad to have the information so I can cast a more informed vote...and I can work for more transparency wrt how the government functions.  I don't expect that things will change overnight or even with the next election.  However, the government now has a much harder field to hoe when it comes to convincing me (and many others) that what it says should be accepted without question or without a lot more scrutiny.

                  •  Who has more legitimacy to decide (0+ / 0-)

                    what is secret and what is not?

                    a) The man who was vetted and examined for years by the American people and received 65 million votes
                    b) a guy working alone in a room that know one knows about and no one voted for?

                    Yes, people don't vote on single issues, but they do vote on general approach and philosophy, which isn't terribly correlated.  In any event, there is no possible way to argue that some random dude has more legitimacy to make the determination for all of us than the elected representatives.  It may not be a perfect correlation to what we'd do if we had a plebiscite on the issue, but it's better than the random or negative correlation with some random guy.

                    Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

                    by Mindful Nature on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:44:07 PM PDT

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    •  Phil Ochs, The War is Over: (0+ / 0-)

      So do your duty, boys, and join with pride
      Serve your country in her suicide
      Find a flag so you can wave goodbye
      But just before the end
      Even treason might be worth a try

      This country is too young to die

      *

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:00:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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