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View Diary: ‘You Failed to Break the Spirit of Bradley Manning’: An Open Letter to President Obama (217 comments)

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  •  Does releasing classified docs automatically... (8+ / 0-)

    qualify one as a "whistleblower"?

    Manning released 700,000 documents, most of which he didn't even look at.

    Are there any standards at all for determining who is a whistleblower and who is simply releasing documents to foreign governments?

    •  If we like 'em, they're a whistleblower. n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG, lunachickie, CS in AZ
    •  The standard should be (at the very least)... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WinSmith, TLS66, misslegalbeagle

      ...some reasonable level of personal knowledge of the activity that is being exposed. Like you mention, it's literally not possible for Manning to have had personal knowledge or experience with the vast majority of the material he downloaded and released. My own opinion is that constitutes a fairly flimsy platform for being called a "whistleblower".

    •  What Was Exposed? (11+ / 0-)

      Perhaps not automatically. But in those classified docs were lots of secret abuses that need exposure and correction.

      It's possible to be an incompetent whistleblower. And to be an overreaching whistleblower. For comparison, just because the Pentagon is an incompetent, overreaching defender of liberty doesn't mean it's not a defender of liberty. Just because Obama is sometimes a defender of tyranny doesn't mean he's not also sometimes a defender of liberty.

      Which is why Manning, Obama and the Pentagon all require correction - but not total obliteration. Life is complex. Manning deserves jail time, and he got a lot of it. But he also deserves the parole option he got, which could see him free within a decade.

      Manning's dignified statement that he is willing to pay the heavy price he's paying for liberty is the most inspiring. He is keeping his oath of service to sacrifice his own life to protect our country and our Constitution. I wish more tough talkers, including Obama and his Pentagon officials, were as true to their oath.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 10:46:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well said (4+ / 0-)

        It's nice to see nuance here on Daily Kos, as this is an issue that requires nuance.

        Not the PATRIOT/TRAITOR bullshit binary that the media loves to spew.

        Manning should be free by the time she is 35 years old.  This seems eminently fair.

        •  I Agree With the Sentence (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TheMomCat

          As I said in "You're Probably Right":

          I actually agree with the sentence. While I laud Manning's integrity and courage, and despise his treatment, I do think he released much material that wasn't actually whistleblowing, and exposed only routine (even if necessarily covert) international government communications. A lot of the release was damaging in a way that was neither helpful nor necessary, except in demonstrating the unmanageable size and scope of our secrecy and its exposure to people who could blow it like Manning did. Given that the maximum sentence would have been 90 years, that the prosecutor asked for 60, and only 35 was sentenced, with time served applied and 112 days extra credit (though too little) for persecution while detained, with 1/3 sentence before parole, all shows the mitigating circumstances were included in calculating the sentence.

          I also said

          All of which makes the pre-conviction abuse by the military - ultimately under Commander in Chief Obama - even more clearly unjust. Once the judicial branch had its turn to apply the rules set by the legislative branch (and signed by executives previous to Obama), the treatment (so far) has become a lot more just.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 01:50:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  If we agree with the person, it does. If we (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      misslegalbeagle

      disagree, it doesn't. I thought it was obvious.

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