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Thread: Bradley Manning Offers Guilty Pleas

  1. #31
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    Re: Bradley Manning Offers Guilty Pleas

    Bradley Manning is a hero for revealing the crimes of the government, in the same way that Daniel Ellsberg is a hero for revealing the crimes and deception of the government.

    This plea strategy might be good, especially considering how UCMJ military trials are nothing but kangaroo courts.

    I wish him all the best!

  2. #32
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    Re: Bradley Manning Offers Guilty Pleas

    Quote Originally Posted by HonestJoe View Post
    Where is the idea that Manning is a whistleblower coming from? He didn't identify specific incidents of wrong-doing and selectively leak information relating to them, he copied data in bulk, much more than he could have personally read, and passed it all to a third party. Even if there was no major harm as a result of any of the information he passed on (which is somewhat disputed I believe), the fact is that there could have been. That's why leaking information like this is illegal.
    You do not understand what a whistleblower is.

    Daniel Ellsberg was a whistleblower with the Pentagon Papers. Manning is a whistleblower with Collateral Murder, or whatever the tape was called.

    The tape revealed war crimes committed by the gunship crew and their chain of command.

  3. #33
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    Re: Bradley Manning Offers Guilty Pleas

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry David View Post
    You do not understand what a whistleblower is.

    Daniel Ellsberg was a whistleblower with the Pentagon Papers. Manning is a whistleblower with Collateral Murder, or whatever the tape was called.

    The tape revealed war crimes committed by the gunship crew and their chain of command.
    But he didn't just release one tape. He also released a whole slew of State Department cables that had absolutely nothing to do with "collateral murder." Most of these documents didn't expose any wrongdoing whatsoever, they were just embarrassing for the State Department and for foreign governments. Just because a document is secret does not necessarily mean it's hiding something nefarious and needs to be exposed to the public.
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  4. #34
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    Re: Bradley Manning Offers Guilty Pleas

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    But he didn't just release one tape. He also released a whole slew of State Department cables that had absolutely nothing to do with "collateral murder." Most of these documents didn't expose any wrongdoing whatsoever, they were just embarrassing for the State Department and for foreign governments. Just because a document is secret does not necessarily mean it's hiding something nefarious and needs to be exposed to the public.
    I cannot disagree with you on that, but the question is raised, "Why should routine communications at the State Department be classified "Top Secret"? Why should they be classified at all?

    If the government can read my email, why should I not be able to read its email?

    Even Robert Gates admitted that no harm was done by the Wikileaks and Manning affair, so where's the harm you seem to perceive? Why should a man be sent to prison and tortured for having harmed nobody?

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    Re: Bradley Manning Offers Guilty Pleas

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry David View Post
    I cannot disagree with you on that, but the question is raised, "Why should routine communications at the State Department be classified "Top Secret"? Why should they be classified at all?
    Because it encourages open communication and candor among government officials. If they thought they were constantly being monitored and anything they said could leak into the public, they might start self-censoring...and this would be a huge disservice to our diplomatic efforts all around the world, which need the most honest and accurate assessments of foreign countries/situations/leaders that our diplomats can offer.

    If the government can read my email, why should I not be able to read its email?
    I don't think either of those should be allowed, generally speaking.

    Even Robert Gates admitted that no harm was done by the Wikileaks and Manning affair, so where's the harm you seem to perceive?
    Harm is not always easy to perceive...you can't always draw a direct line from the cause to the effect. For one example, the leak exposed Zimbabwean political dissident (now prime minister) Morgan Tsvangiarai for secretly advocating for sanctions against his country, even while he publicly opposed them. Zimbabwe's brutal dictator Robert Mugabe tried to have him impeached and imprisoned when it was discovered. Mugabe ultimately failed in that goal, but who knows what damage it may ultimately do to Zimbabwe's democratic movement.

    More indirectly, there's the harm that comes from what I mentioned above: Our diplomats will self-censor if they think their words will become public, which will be very bad for foreign relations because our State Department will have to rely on less-than-candid assessments. Similarly, foreign leaders might be very cautious about what they say to our diplomats if they think that THEY could be embarrassed when their words become public, which will make it harder to reach multilateral agreements and make it more difficult to understand what foreign countries actually want.

    Why should a man be sent to prison and tortured for having harmed nobody?
    For what it's worth, I think that Manning should only be sentenced to time served and/or just a few more years in prison. His leaks were illegal and they damaged the reputation of the State Department, but I don't think it warrants an especially harsh sentence like life in prison, as some have called for. Partially because (as you stated) the direct harm is pretty hard to pinpoint, but also because of his young age at the time of his crime.
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    Re: Bradley Manning Offers Guilty Pleas

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Because it encourages open communication and candor among government officials. If they thought they were constantly being monitored and anything they said could leak into the public, they might start self-censoring...and this would be a huge disservice to our diplomatic efforts all around the world, which need the most honest and accurate assessments of foreign countries/situations/leaders that our diplomats can offer.



    I don't think either of those should be allowed, generally speaking.



    Harm is not always easy to perceive...you can't always draw a direct line from the cause to the effect. For one example, the leak exposed Zimbabwean political dissident (now prime minister) Morgan Tsvangiarai for secretly advocating for sanctions against his country, even while he publicly opposed them. Zimbabwe's brutal dictator Robert Mugabe tried to have him impeached and imprisoned when it was discovered. Mugabe ultimately failed in that goal, but who knows what damage it may ultimately do to Zimbabwe's democratic movement.

    More indirectly, there's the harm that comes from what I mentioned above: Our diplomats will self-censor if they think their words will become public, which will be very bad for foreign relations because our State Department will have to rely on less-than-candid assessments. Similarly, foreign leaders might be very cautious about what they say to our diplomats if they think that THEY could be embarrassed when their words become public, which will make it harder to reach multilateral agreements and make it more difficult to understand what foreign countries actually want.



    For what it's worth, I think that Manning should only be sentenced to time served and/or just a few more years in prison. His leaks were illegal and they damaged the reputation of the State Department, but I don't think it warrants an especially harsh sentence like life in prison, as some have called for. Partially because (as you stated) the direct harm is pretty hard to pinpoint, but also because of his young age at the time of his crime.
    Pardon my cynicism, but at age 65 I am impressed in all the wrong ways by our "diplomatic efforts" around the world. I'm all for good diplomacy, but I just haven't seen any of it since Jimmy Carter left office.

    I do recognize the need for privacy in matters of diplomacy, but in this case we're talking about Bradley Manning and what he did.

    I'm glad you don't think either should be allowed, but the fact of the matter is that the former has been going on at least since the early days of Dubya's administration. That is getting close to the heart of the matter.

    I am happy to read your opinion regarding an appropriate sentence for Manning. On that point we agree completely.

  7. #37
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    Re: Bradley Manning Offers Guilty Pleas

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry David View Post
    You do not understand what a whistleblower is.
    I understand perfectly well and I understand what condescension is too.

    If Manning had only released material related to suspected crimes or serious misbehaviour and had at least considered the existing whistle blowing routes or respected media organisations before approaching Wikileaks, you'd have a very good argument. The fact remains that he did not.

    He didn't blow the whistle on anything, he released whole batches of data with absolutely zero idea of who would ultimately get acres to it or the potential consequence of it being released. Nobody was killed as a result but people very easily could have been. That is why leaking that kind of information without specific reason is illegal and that is why he is being tried.

    If anything, Manning's actions have actually harmed the abilities of true whistleblowers.

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    Re: Bradley Manning Offers Guilty Pleas

    Quote Originally Posted by FinnMacCool View Post
    I guess that is also why he deserved to be thrown in isolation for 9 months as well? Because he broke the law?

    And, by the way, where is the moral outrage for those who were exposed as war criminals in that apache helicopter video?
    A big part of why he is in isolation is for his protection. People are not fond of those who harm their country.
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    Re: Bradley Manning Offers Guilty Pleas

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar
    Because it encourages open communication and candor among government officials.
    It also encourages a secret-culture whereby everything must be classified to be hidden from criticism for this very reason, i.e. "encourag[ing] open communication and candor among government officials."
    "I do not claim that every incident in the history of empire can be explained in directly economic terms. Economic interests are filtered through a political process, policies are implemented by a complex state apparatus, and the whole system generates its own momentum."

  10. #40
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    Re: Bradley Manning Offers Guilty Pleas

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    A big part of why he is in isolation is for his protection. People are not fond of those who harm their country.
    And what's the other big part? Maybe to punish him prematurely for crimes which people, including you, have already decided he needs to be punished for?

    The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention - Salon.com
    "Idealists foolish enough to throw caution to the winds have advanced mankind and have enriched the world.

    "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue. "

    "The motto should not be: Forgive one another; rather understand one another. "
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