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  1. #1
    Klingon Warrior Princess Patches's Avatar
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    Default Bradley Manning, Wikileaks, and sharing classified information

    So what are your thoughts on his detainment? If you don't know who he is, Wikipedia has a pretty good summary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_Manning

    After his arrest, Manning was flown out of Iraq and detained in a military jail in Kuwait. He was transferred to the United States in July 2010, and since then has been held in "maximum custody" solitary confinement at the Marine Corps Brig, Quantico, Virginia, awaiting medical reports and a pre-trial hearing.[4] Amnesty International expressed concern in January 2011 about the conditions in which he is being held, calling them harsh and punitive.[1]"
    Yesterday I got linked to this WL website protesting his incarceration, calling it cruel and unusual punishment:
    http://wlcentral.org/bradley-manning

    If so, Manning has done the public an inestimable service, and for this, he is enduring vindictive and harmful pretrial treatment, and severe criminal charges at the hands of the United States government.

    This is not how a democracy should act towards those who exemplify - or who are alleged to exemplify - our core values. Bradley Manning's cause is the cause of all advocates of democracy, of justice, truth and liberty, and of all opponents of torture and the cruel and inhumane treatment of human beings. If you find Bradley Manning's story troubling, please use the materials below, and act today, and together we may alleviate his situation, and vindicate the good name of democracy, in whose interest we all share, and for which Bradley Manning has sacrificed so much.

    What are your thoughts? Is this guy a patriot and a hero? Is he a criminal? Is his solitary confinement cruel and unusual?
    “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside
    them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.” -Neil Gaiman

    ~

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patches View Post
    What are your thoughts? Is this guy a patriot and a hero? Is he a criminal? Is his solitary confinement cruel and unusual?
    I would say he's neither, he's just some guy, a guy who broke the rules and will have to deal with the consequences and I'm not really prepared to say his confinement is cruel and unusual, it could be to keep him safe as much as anything else and I believe that if I were imprisoned I'd actually prefer confinement to being in the general population. So long as I had books or an internet connection.

  3. #3
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    He's a soldier, one who took an oath.

    While I have no problems with Wikilinks, nothing changes that what Manning allegedly did is illegal. No one could do that and not consider, and therefore accept, the consequences of getting caught.

    The conditions of his imprisonment are entirely separate from anything else, there are global standards that need to be met.

  4. #4
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    "I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

    That oath kind of broke itself when the Government and his officers started doing really cruel and inhumane things.
    Seriously, this guy is a hero who dared to stand up against a corrupt system.
    The US has been doing really nasty shit for a long, long time now. I wouldn't say that the founding fathers would be very proud.
    They're probably turning in their graves if they knew of this shit.

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    "I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

    That oath kind of broke itself when the Government and his officers started doing really cruel and inhumane things.
    Seriously, this guy is a hero who dared to stand up against a corrupt system.
    The US has been doing really nasty shit for a long, long time now. I wouldn't say that the founding fathers would be very proud.
    They're probably turning in their graves if they knew of this shit.
    I dont know whether they would or not Howard Zinn suggests that the US state was capable of cruelty and realpolitik from the get go not just recently in its dealings with the illiberal world were those standards or norms persist.

    I've highlighted the other component of the oath too because I suspect that if the US army is similar to any of military or similarly hierarchical institution abiding by the orders of superiors will be the norm.

    There are serious questions of conscience at stake here but whistle blowing isnt going to prevent that, it hasnt and wouldnt, now practically he should have known that and the question is whether or not he is prepared to deal with the predictable/natural and logical consequences of the course of action that he took, of the choices he made. Which really is the only question there is for any individual ever.

    I can understand people wishing to see change and resist oppression and corruption, I can understand the impetus there is for that but did he exhaust every single other mechanism? Perhaps some of them could have had the desired effects or been a start, instead of going down a blind alley.

    I'm reading a book by someone called Gustav Le Bon at the minute about the psychology of revolution, he's also written another one about the psychology of crowds, he's clearly very, very hostile towards reform and revolution, the sort of hardcore conservative or counter revolutionary which is only born once in a blue moon and man does he not pull his punches.

    However, in the kingdom of the blind the one eyed man is king, and I think he's managed to provide serious food for thought for me about just how often reformers or revolutionaries have invested collosal amounts of resources, efforts and sacrifices into total and utter blind alleys.

    Wiki leaks strikes me as being one of these, it also stinks to high heaven of being like the fifth column in Orwell's 1984 which turned out in the end to be an invention of Big Brother in the first place.

  6. #6
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    Well, perhaps. But would you rather see the nice old nazi concentration camp mentality? "We were only following orders"...

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  7. #7
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    Well, perhaps. But would you rather see the nice old nazi concentration camp mentality? "We were only following orders"...
    There is a fine line between using your own morals and following orders when it comes to doing the right thing and what is best for those around you. Anything you do as a soldier that impacts on those around you needs to be done with conscious intent and acceptance of disciplinary action if you are not going to simply follow orders. I'm ok with him following his own morals here as it appears he has but there are consequences that affect those around him and he must face his behind bars. You cannot afford to have soldiers making their own choices in contradiction to orders and regulations without regard and without penalty.

    What would you be saying if instead of giving these to Wikilinks he sold them to China or wherever? What difference does his moralistic intent make on his actions?

  8. #8
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    ^ Well, if the United States wasn't a corrupt rogue-state run by giant corporations, i'd be inclined to agree.
    The wikileaks documents has only begun to uncover the dirty laundry, I really hope that the key to opening the "Insurance" file gets released soon.

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  9. #9
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    I think he committed acts of espionage against his own country, so he needs to be held accountable.

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