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I am also hoping that maybe a few insightful commenters will venture an opinion about what kind of shit-storm would fall on the President if he pardoned Bradley Manning.

I assume it would be a HURRICANE of shit!

But isn't it strange that the otherwise entirely unknown and apparently insignificant Bradley Manning is the focal point around which so many enormous forces are suddenly spinning?

Originally posted to Frank Whitaker on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:05 AM PDT.

Also republished by Wikileaks Informationthread.

Poll

Should President Obama pardon Bradley Manning?

57%175 votes
42%132 votes

| 307 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kevin k, radarlady, bronte17, corvo, ichibon

    Elizabeth Warren for President 2016!

    by Frank Whitaker on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:05:19 AM PDT

  •  absolutely! (6+ / 0-)

    it might be one of the few truly hope and change things President Obama ever does

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:15:44 AM PDT

  •  By all means, he should (7+ / 0-)

    But his record is one of an authoritarian.

    I don't think he's going to go all Kumbaya on us now.

    I can't see it happening.

  •  No, President Clinton Should. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frank Whitaker, david78209, Delevie

    Needs to simmer a few years.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:41:21 AM PDT

  •  face reality (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MartyM, david78209

    The chance that Obama pardons Manning is about the same as him defunding Obama care!

  •  If the President pardons Manning, then what? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, ichibon

    I was hoping that maybe a few insightful commenters would venture an opinion about what kind of shit-storm would fall on the President if he pardoned Bradley Manning?

    I assume it would be a HURRICANE of shit!

    But isn't it strange that the otherwise entirely unknown and apparently insignificant Bradley Manning is the focal point around which so many enormous forces are suddenly spinning?

    Elizabeth Warren for President 2016!

    by Frank Whitaker on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:54:50 AM PDT

  •  Only if you want a malcontent to forever be face (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MartyM, JackND

    of gays or gender identity issue people in the military. At least as far as the media is concerned who will forever conjoin his whistleblower actions with his sexuality or gender identity. An inept soldier who let his personal life consume his duty to his unit and corp, would not be the soldier I would want as the image of gays in the military.

    “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” Richard Nixon, 1977.

    by Kvetchnrelease on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:59:44 AM PDT

    •  I see it exactly the opposite. (9+ / 0-)

      A soldier who saw his duty to his country as one in which he valued the spirit of the law, a whistleblower who is so concerned with the ongoing criminal actions of his fellow servicemen without any response from leadership that he risked everything to shed light on what was going on in the GWOT.
      And that is the image of a real soldier,  someone who places honor to country and the ideals of the founding fathers above his own interests. He stands on the wall, where few others are willing to go. The wall that defines who we are as a nation, not the one that says 'just stop thinking and follow orders blindly, whether that means torturing prisoners or shooting journalists and children from a helicopter'.
      YMMV


      Q: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” A: “Anonymous”

      by Lisa Lockwood on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:19:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see it differently yet (4+ / 0-)

        I see a poor little guy with mental issues who never should have been a soldier in the first place who got set up by forces outside his control who had agendas that didn 't involve Manning's future.
        as such I think he deserves  a little mercy. I think an appropriate thing would be for Obama to reduce his sentence to 10 years or less.

        Happy just to be alive

        by exlrrp on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:31:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not a bad suggestion! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          exlrrp

          I can't agree with your assessment of Manning, exlrrp, but I would be glad to see a reduction of sentence to ten years, as you suggest, and that sort of compromise might even slip by the very powerful interests arrayed against Manning.

          Would they scream? Yes. Would they consider a coup? Probably not.

          Elizabeth Warren for President 2016!

          by Frank Whitaker on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:40:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Time served (6+ / 0-)

          Chelsea Manning has suffered enough already and has paid a heavy price.

          Pres. Obama committed unlawful command influence and a mistrial should have been declared immediately after he made a public statement about Manning's guilt.

          And then on Pres. Obama's watch, a UN rapporteur declared that the treatment at Quantico was torture.  Another reason why the charges should have been dropped and the prisoner freed.

          And now three years have been served.  And the war crimes Manning exposed have resulted in no accountability. Manning is the only one serving time.  Enough of this.  If the president wants to, ever again, speak of morality or moral standing, Chelsea Manning must be freed. Now.  


          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:50:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'd be OK with that but it won't happen (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Frank Whitaker, IndieGuy

            He's not going to be pardoned, don't get your hopes up.
            Manning committed too many military crimes to go unpunished---not my opinion, just reality.
             But I think reduction of sentence can be there. Perhaps one of those Last Day things and  considering  time served.
            Obama has to please many people here---whatever happens, somebody's going to be unhappy

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:56:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  That's an excellent comment, Lisa Lockwood! (4+ / 0-)

        I can't imagine a better symbol for any group than the brave soldier Bradley Manning!

        People keep inventing more and more pathological "reasons" why Bradley Manning leaked (for example) that godawful video of the helicopter gunning down 15 civilians...

        People keep inventing more and more pathological "reasons" why Bradley Manning did the right thing, and what does it say about our poor crazy country, that we have to invent a strange pathology to explain why anyone would report crimes against humanity and war crimes?

        Elizabeth Warren for President 2016!

        by Frank Whitaker on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:31:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you, Frank. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Frank Whitaker, ichibon

          We have lots of issues regarding authority figures and following orders and legal vs moral and letter vs spirit and looking forward rather than accountability for criminals in positions of power.

          I hope discussing these issues helps shed light on problems we face as a nation, and how to solve them.


          Q: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” A: “Anonymous”

          by Lisa Lockwood on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 07:40:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  That would be fine if indeed that was his defense, (0+ / 0-)

        but it appears his troubled identity issues were a greater part of his legal defense than what you claim.

        “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” Richard Nixon, 1977.

        by Kvetchnrelease on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:34:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  His 'legal defense' is what his (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Frank Whitaker, ichibon

          legal team advised their client might provide the best outcome for Private Manning. I did not address that in my comment, because my comment was a direct reply to yours. I made no 'claim' about his legal defense because his legal defense was not the subject. I stated my disagreement with your description of Manning as the 'inept soldier' and you not wanting his to be the 'image of gay or gender identity issue' service people in the military.

          If you'd like, I'll address my opinion regarding Private Manning's legal defense, however, IANAL.

          Private Manning's legal team may have observed (my understanding being that they are not, nor were they ever, comatose nor isolated cave dwellers) that in the United States of America, current anti-whistleblower policy is more vigorously applied than ever before, whether said whistleblowers follow chain of command or use 'approved' means or not, and that whistleblowers get shit upon regularly, pursued to the ends of the earth, punished severely and used as 'examples' to deter further whistleblowing.

          Whatever my opinion,  I agree that this, from joanneleon, above should have had far more weight in the outcome.

          Pres. Obama committed unlawful command influence and a mistrial should have been declared immediately after he made a public statement about Manning's guilt.


          Q: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” A: “Anonymous”

          by Lisa Lockwood on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 07:37:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Or reduce his sentence (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frank Whitaker, IndieGuy

    which he could also do. I think this would be the likelier choice he could make

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:27:11 AM PDT

  •  At the very least he should commute his sentence. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frank Whitaker, corvo, TLS66

    Leave the conviction if he must--the guy did leak a whole bunch of classified shit--but he's also been through hell the past 3 years. I think it's safe to say that he's "learned his lesson" at this point.

  •  That Would Be Like Telling Every Federal Worker (8+ / 0-)

    and military member that you can go out there and leak thousands of US classified documents and get no punishment for it because you thought it was for the good of your country and that makes it right.  That says that taking an oath to your country means nothing.  It is like spitting in the face of every person who took an oath to guard US classified secrets whether you agree with what the US did or not.  Manning was not a whistleblower because he did not go thru a legal process for whistleblowers.  He was a leaker, someone who broke a breach of trust.  I am not defending the US on not being transparent when it comes to their record on prosecuting those who commit war crimes, I am defending millions of military and civilian workers over the years who have taken an oath and kept it to the US in good times and bad.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:28:37 AM PDT

  •  No pardon, ever. (0+ / 0-)

    I could see clemency, though that would probably come in the final days of an Obama administration.

    Libertarianism is just Fascism with a facelift. Scratch the surface of Libertarianism and you will find the notion that corporations should rule supreme, just as it was with Fascism..

    by Walt starr on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:46:10 AM PDT

  •  BTW, one other thing. We should support Manning (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy, Christy1947

    by calling her Chelsea Manning. She has chosen to live as a woman. I think it;s important that we recognize this and comply with her wishes.

    Libertarianism is just Fascism with a facelift. Scratch the surface of Libertarianism and you will find the notion that corporations should rule supreme, just as it was with Fascism..

    by Walt starr on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:47:49 AM PDT

    •  He wishes to be called Bradley until he gets (0+ / 0-)
      •  Not true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IndieGuy

        "Subject: The Next Stage of My Life

        I want to thank everybody who has supported me over the last three years. Throughout this long ordeal, your letters of support and encouragement have helped keep me strong. I am forever indebted to those who wrote to me, made a donation to my defense fund, or came to watch a portion of the trial. I would especially like to thank Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network for their tireless efforts in raising awareness for my case and providing for my legal representation.

        As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition. I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility). I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back.

        Thank you,

        Chelsea E. Manning"

        I'll respect her wishes when referring to her.

        Libertarianism is just Fascism with a facelift. Scratch the surface of Libertarianism and you will find the notion that corporations should rule supreme, just as it was with Fascism..

        by Walt starr on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 07:32:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  oops scratch that, this is apparently old news nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frank Whitaker
  •  I think a commutation would be more correct (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frank Whitaker

    My only reason for saying this comes from my perspective as a veteran. Pvt. Manning knew the risks and civil disobedience is not without consequence even as a civilian. As a soldier, one voluntarily submits to an augmented set of rules.

    I believe commutation to time served plus 24 months would be just. A pardon strikes the conviction and I don't think that'd be a good precedent at all. Further, the material was released in one massive dump, which I do believe was foolish and placed people at risk who were at the time still in theatre.

    I also -- and this is important -- believe those involved in the scandals Manning revealed should be indicted and tried, and if convicted, should serve a much higher sentence.

    I'm just Double Tapped the hell out.

    by pajoly on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 07:13:03 AM PDT

  •  Hell No!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frank Whitaker

    "Because I am a river to my people."

    by lordcopper on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 08:44:57 AM PDT

  •  I don't think anything will happen until l'affaire (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frank Whitaker

    Snowden is resolved, because there are similarities, and huge differences, between the two, although they are both hot button issues in the same week, and anything done for Ms. Manning will be demanded for Snowden here as well, although he claims he took the job from which he did the thefts in order to be able to do them, a whole different kettle of fish.

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