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  1. #51
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    I'm still not sure where he's coming from though:

    I can understand if he has a problem with length of imprisonment, but it also then sounds like he's against any punishment (time served is almost like pretending he got all the charges dropped). And if he is, fine, but justifying it with saying the government is corrupt is kind of silly when anyone can accuse anything/anyone of being corrupt; and I'm sure there's different levels of corruption almost anywhere. He just happens to be focusing on this one because it's prominent.
    I don't pretend to be knowledgeable about the breadth of this kind of topic. I did read up some on Manning in the last month, so I'm a little more acquainted with this one but I'm sure there are nuances I am missing. I'm assuming the "corruption" arguments are built on far more circumstances than just this particular one, though.

    But if, on one hand, he believes in all kinds of information being free, then it makes a lot more sense to me why he'd be bothered and why he'd feel any prison time is unjust. And I can understand Manning being used as an example to discourage other people from doing something similar (long prison time) being a fucked up thing to do (I never liked the idea of punishing someone for what someone else would be LIKELY to do). Personally, in the case of a military though, leaking secrets about the operation and technology of the weaponry is a pretty serious thing to do; there's more of a reason to keep a lot of information private, even if it bothers people to do so; and I'm not sure
    Well, a big problem here as I mentioned is in the severity of the punishment. The main gist of what Manning released, in my understanding, was far more EMBARRASSING to the US than dangerous per se. There are some web sites that actually cover the scope of what information got released. The information did not jeopardize specific agents and put their lives at risk, etc. The biggest revelations were involving war atrocities performed by the US, its covert involvement in particular activities during war time, secrets about Guatanemo (sp?), our awareness that our allies were torturing and physically abusing prisoners but that we specifically chose to look the other way, etc. It was all secrets that could color how the US civilian population would view our government and provide us with information that could color our support for our own government's activities. i.e., very much the "whistleblower" kind of information to expose our government's duplicities for the purpose of cleaning it up. And Manning got no compensation for this, Manning did all this for free with the goal of empowering the common person.

    This is in contrast to some of these other convicted spies/secrets sellers who actually SOLD their information for profit, and who sold it to active enemies of the United States (like the KGB), and who had been entrusted with much higher levels of authority (because, face it, Manning was pretty low down on the totem pole), and who actively put people in danger by selling out.

    In terms of scope, Manning's punishment is ridiculous. It seems obvious that intentions were good and there was no profit involved, as opposed to these other people entrusted with far more responsibility and who proved to be traitors of the highest kind, for the basest of reasons. The only possible reason I can see for imposing such a ridiculous sentence, in comparison to past precedent + severity of the crime, is because now that Manning did it, it would be easy for someone else to get the same idea (dumping classified info for free on a web site), and the punishment is supposed to be a massive deterrent.

    I guess it comes down to the degree of trust you have for your government, despite all the crazy stuff that is going on. Should the American public know that we shot up civilians who stopped to help the wounded? And that we condoned torture and bodily harm of prisoners in wartime? Etc. Would that change what level of support we are providing our government, would we want to install some more safeguards or higher scrutiny, etc? Or are we willing to keep our heads under the pillows and trust that they'll do the right thing so we don't have to think about it? There is always a tradeoff between secrecy and scrutiny. But knowledge is power, and the American people cannot exert power over the government without knowledge.

    Lateralus has even bothered to address this other than to say there's no proof of any harm being done from the act, which may be true, but still shouldn't be encouraged (by not punishing the act); cause obviously, discouraging it has the potential to prevent harm, while encouraging it allows harm to happen because nobody really knows what harm might be caused until it happens, and even then it's not always going to be obvious; that doesn't seem very smart to me. Do you happen to understand his position at all by any chance?
    I am guessing his opinion is that far worse harm is coming by allowing the US gov to operate in secret (based on what we've discovered it habitually covers up, after dragging us into a 10+ year war we didn't really belong in anyway) than by this kind of exposure, and that whistleblowing is kind of a "balance" for gov secrecy -- since can you imagine what the gov would do if it REALLY thought it could get away with it? Whistleblowers and people bucking the system are the only thing that provides ANY kind of check right now.

    But that is just my guess, and I cannot speak for him. I just noticed that he was clear about what he intended in the comment you were asking about, so I responded to that.

    My overall opinion is that Manning should both be criticized for breaking a trust while also being honored for the reason the trust was broken. i.e., a dishonorable discharge from military and not being entrusted with government security in the future, yet also highly commended for performing a service to the American people. It's disturbing that a teacher can be sentenced simultaneously to merely one month of jail time for raping a student and some severe crimes receive only 10-20 years, while a whistleblower can be sentenced to 35 years for a non-profit crime that mainly has only served to expose some things our government was doing that we might feel uncomfortable about.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  2. #52
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Is this the guy who has decided that he's always wanted to be a woman?

    I sort of think that its funny what the media chooses to seize upon when reporting developments in these cases.

  3. #53
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Is this the guy who has decided that he's always wanted to be a woman?

    I sort of think that its funny what the media chooses to seize upon when reporting developments in these cases.
    That's American media for you.

    It's been clear about that aspect since Manning was investigated and taken into custody in 2010. Wired had the chat transcripts that clearly discuss the matter and held onto them until 2011, when it was clear other media had picked up on that aspect of the story through other sources, and then released them. So anyone who read the transcripts with Lamo two years ago would have seen Manning discuss her gender dysphoria and future plans in clear detail.

    Manning sat on it until after the trial and brought it up publicly after sentencing, once everything was over. I think it came up in the sentencing phase only to reaffirm that she wasn't releasing info out of a desire to be a traitor to the US but that there were mitigating circumstances that impacted her judgment. I understand why not talking about it publicly was meant to be a good thing, but in the end it seemed to catch many of the uninformed as a surprise and seem overly sensationalistic or as some bizarre plea for clemency. However, she didn't ask to be transferred to a woman's prison, she merely asked for HRT and her name to be officially changed. Remember that she had no idea what her sentence would be until that Wednesday.

    The length of the sentence is such that it made sense to announce this now and change what she can, to make prison life endurable at least, until she gets out in 9-35 years.

    About the only thing that killed THAT media frenzy was Ben Affleck being chosen to play Batman. Conspiracy... or NOT? Bwa ha ha.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  4. #54
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    That's American media for you.

    It's been clear about that aspect since Manning was investigated and taken into custody in 2010. Wired had the chat transcripts that clearly discuss the matter and held onto them until 2011, when it was clear other media had picked up on that aspect of the story through other sources, and then released them. So anyone who read the transcripts with Lamo two years ago would have seen Manning discuss her gender dysphoria and future plans in clear detail.

    Manning sat on it until after the trial and brought it up publicly after sentencing, once everything was over. I think it came up in the sentencing phase only to reaffirm that she wasn't releasing info out of a desire to be a traitor to the US but that there were mitigating circumstances that impacted her judgment. I understand why not talking about it publicly was meant to be a good thing, but in the end it seemed to catch many of the uninformed as a surprise and seem overly sensationalistic or as some bizarre plea for clemency. However, she didn't ask to be transferred to a woman's prison, she merely asked for HRT and her name to be officially changed. Remember that she had no idea what her sentence would be until that Wednesday.

    The length of the sentence is such that it made sense to announce this now and change what she can, to make prison life endurable at least, until she gets out in 9-35 years.

    About the only thing that killed THAT media frenzy was Ben Affleck being chosen to play Batman. Conspiracy... or NOT? Bwa ha ha.
    I did think it was a little sensationalistic but I also thought that the British media choose, probably rightly so, to be very to the point, the punishment meeted out to and judgements in relation to esponiage against western governments, particularly by western citizens, I find does not get a lot of air time at all.

    So when I heard it I thought well, there's the media reporting anything other than what the story is, ie that the US has been spying and gathering information on EVERYONE, again but I also thought that there was some sort of implication too, ie that people ratting out their own governments are not in their right minds or the process of being dealt with by the authorities had left him that he was not in his right mind. That's not any association between his gender reassignment wishes and sanity, just how it was reported and covered by the media here.

    Coverage of stuff like that I've found has been used to consciously freak people the fuck out, I know that reportage on the other guy who worked with wiki leaks I think who has already been sentenced to incarceration in some military facility underground who was told he would not see natural light again for the rest of his days struck me as being about more than simple reportage but you know.

  5. #55
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I did think it was a little sensationalistic but I also thought that the British media choose, probably rightly so, to be very to the point, the punishment meeted out to and judgements in relation to esponiage against western governments, particularly by western citizens, I find does not get a lot of air time at all.
    Right. I basically saw it picked up here by the smaller media outlets and the TV pundits. It seems like challenging gov has been left to the op-eds.

    So when I heard it I thought well, there's the media reporting anything other than what the story is, ie that the US has been spying and gathering information on EVERYONE, again but I also thought that there was some sort of implication too, ie that people ratting out their own governments are not in their right minds or the process of being dealt with by the authorities had left him that he was not in his right mind. That's not any association between his gender reassignment wishes and sanity, just how it was reported and covered by the media here.
    yeah. I thought the obsession with Manning was a notable distraction away from the government actually addressing the issues that resulted in Manning's trial and sentencing. It's all spin, and apparently the more that Manning could be the center of attention and behavior attributed to being off-kilter, the less the actual story of government secrecy and abuses had to be faced.

    My impression of Manning (as I probably mentioned elsewhere) is that of a young idealist without a military mindset, who was in the army for the wrong reasons, given a much higher level of clearance without proper security, and under a hell of a lot of stress due to her temperament mismatch with her job and her gender issues. That's more the "cause/effect" than any excuse. So I don't think she was stable at all (she had already lost a rank for unstable violent behavior, when she lost her temper at one point), but it doesn't mean she wasn't right about what the government was doing.

    of course, she kinda just dumped it all online (or had WikiLeaks do it) and let everyone else sort it out.

    Coverage of stuff like that I've found has been used to consciously freak people the fuck out, I know that reportage on the other guy who worked with wiki leaks I think who has already been sentenced to incarceration in some military facility underground who was told he would not see natural light again for the rest of his days struck me as being about more than simple reportage but you know.
    Do you meant Snowden or someone else?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #56
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Thanks for the perspective. I can understand where people are coming from now.

  7. #57
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Jennifer described my position pretty well.

    What Manning is guilty of is releasing classified information (and he actually confessed to that). He's not really guilty of treason, espionage, or anything that threatened national security (despite the government convicting him). What is the prescribed punishment for such an offense? There is none. There is only a prescribed punishment when it involves espionage/treason/etc. Manning was convicted of espionage, but not treason. Now, obviously Manning did not actually commit espionage (he didn't sell information to a foreign power), but that didn't stop the government from convicting him in that kangaroo court.

    By the way, the government releases classified information to the public all the time. But it's done to portray the government in a positive light. Manning's problem was this portrayed the government in a negative light. That was his true crime.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  8. #58
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Well, a big problem here as I mentioned is in the severity of the punishment. The main gist of what Manning released, in my understanding, was far more EMBARRASSING to the US than dangerous per se. There are some web sites that actually cover the scope of what information got released. The information did not jeopardize specific agents and put their lives at risk, etc.
    Revealing classified information to someone without proper authorization is against the law, period. That being said, classifying something to prevent embarrassment to the government is also against the law. I see Manning is requesting a pardon from the president. I don't think that is warranted, but clemency is, for instance in a shorter sentence, and reasonable accommodation of her gender issues.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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