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War Against War: A Meditation on Bradley Manning’s Mind

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Posted on Jun 2, 2011
Associated Press

Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private suspected of being the source of some of the classified information disclosed on WikiLeaks.

By Scott Tucker

“Bradley Manning’s Mind.” I took a deep breath when I read that title over this brief item recently posted on Truthdig:

“An investigative video created by The Guardian examines alleged WikiLeaker Bradley Manning’s psychological condition before he was dispatched to Iraq, concluding that he was probably not fit for overseas duty and that security at his station was remarkably lax. The additional reporting provides a fuller picture of Manning’s motivations—and discloses just how easy it was for him to hijack all that classified ‘intelligence.’ ”

Without our defense, a prisoner such as Bradley Manning is defenseless against the media, the military and the government. We can at least spread the word about the Bradley Manning Support Network.

There has already been online discussion among gay folks and the queer left about the “Frontline” show that pathologized Manning, and now The Guardian video report features a soldier with blurred face saying Manning pissed in his pants and curled up on his bunk “in a fetal position.” Maybe he did, after being repeatedly insulted and assaulted by fellow soldiers, by the account of this same anonymous informant.

Why is Manning’s mind the only relevant site of weakness, disability and pathology in the big media stories so far? Why not the sorry condition of our corporate state passing as a democratic republic? And maybe the “Frontline” program, which was distributed through the Public Broadcasting Service, and The Guardian should have given us a fuller picture of the motivations that drove their own reporters to recycle the official military narrative about Bradley Manning.

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If I take a detour from the very mind and person of Manning, I assure readers we’ll return to him later; by this roundabout route we may view other figures in the landscape more closely, figures who stand tall in the light of a setting sun and who throw long shadows over the republic.

What is the “normal” psychology of soldiers entitled to beat up someone because he’s not much above 5 feet tall and gay? Why not question what the hell is in the minds of “progressives” who will vote by rote for Barack Obama in 2012, even though he just signed an extension of the Patriot Act? Obama was far away from Washington when he used a high-tech version of the autopen (invented by Thomas Jefferson) to ratchet up surveillance of potential traitors and terrorists. In this way the corporate state casts a dumbfounding spell over the Democratic Party, but Obama’s keenest partisans can always claim that the devil made him do it. Necessity is thus the mother of “pragmatism.” The Patriot Act truly makes patriotism the last refuge of scoundrels.

A shame, really, that only Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., held out so stubbornly against the bipartisan majority on the issue of individual rights. Above all, gun rights! As Corey Boles reported in Dow Jones Newswires on May 27, “Before they moved to a vote to finalize the legislation, lawmakers first had to deal with a Paul amendment that would have excluded gun sales from law enforcement officials’ ability to monitor business transactions. Paul said this was a violation of individual rights protected by the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

Ultimately, 22 senators joined Paul in voting against the bill. (In the House of Representatives, 250 voted “yes” and 153 voted “no.”) Rand Paul is an Ayn Randian in the realm of economics, and he argued in Congress that demanding “the right to health care” means demanding the “slavery” of nurses and doctors. The “principled” opposition to the Patriot Act extension was thus spearheaded by a true believer in Ayn Rand, Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman. Yet the erosion of civil liberties is one ripe consequence of the very class system defended in Congress by Rand Paul, and by his “libertarian” father, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. This erosion has advanced under both Republican and Democratic presidents. If an officially Libertarian president was elected, the real cost of the “free market” would still be gated communities for the rich and a strip-mined planet for the poor.

What about the faction that passes for the left wing of the Democrats in Congress, and what about their loyal base of voters? Did they lose their wits when the blade of a guillotine dropped all at once? No, on the contrary, a whole generation of “progressive” frogs got boiled alive one degree at a time, so they just had the strength for a croaking chorus while they thought they were getting an uncomfortably hot bath. And then that Jeffersonian autopen was wielded by the candidate of “hope and change,” a fine finishing touch to the slow crash and burn of the American republic.

Already some “progressives” are claiming the next election will be a referendum on racism, and no doubt they will be right since every big election in this country is always about both race and class. But it does not follow that Obama’s loyalists are thinking clearly about the racial construction of class politics, or that the first black president has the nerve to command his generals or to challenge the corporate state. In this respect, Obama is not much different than any other Clintonista would have been in the Oval Office, including Hillary Clinton. The testy relations between Obama and the Clintons come down to party faction fights, and not to deep disagreements on domestic and foreign policy.

The refusal to think clearly about class politics will lead us instead to think that a shattered “glass ceiling” in a corporation or in Congress or in the White House is as good or better than an uprising of class-conscious workers from below. That is precisely the level of class consciousness among so many status-conscious cultural entrepreneurs, Ivy League political imbeciles and Democratic Party apparatchiks.

Once upon a time, Bill Clinton became “our first black president,” and white liberals had full permission to be the echo chamber of words that were launched in public by novelist Toni Morrison, an African-American, writing in The New Yorker in October 1998:

Years ago, in the middle of the Whitewater investigation, one heard the first murmurs: white skin notwithstanding, this is our first black President. Blacker than any actual black person who could be elected in our children’s lifetime. After all, Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald’s-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas.

 


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LocalHero's avatar

By LocalHero, September 24, 2011 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

It doesn’t take a very close reading of this to realize that Bradley Manning is a much bigger man than his father will ever be.

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M Henri Day's avatar

By M Henri Day, June 9, 2011 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

«The West made excuses for Milosevic and signed peace deals with him to which he responded by killing 200,000 defenseless civilians in the siege of Sarajevo, ...» Wow, «diamond», 200000 persons would amount to approximately half the pre-war population of the city proper ; you certainly don’t seem to have any compunctions against employing the most wild exaggerations in order to make a point ! But if you can’t be trusted when it comes to so central a matter, how can you be trusted with respect to anything else ?...

Henri

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By Cliff Carson, June 8, 2011 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

Katstevens

I remember this well and I also remember the failure to find any mass graves.  The figure of 2108 you mentioned was very close to what I remembered. 

A couple of things not mentioned in your link was that the KLA was basically a Drug cartel led bunch.

This is just one of the many wars our Government has ginned up since WWII.  Innocent people were killed, a sovereign nation was eradicated, and as I recall one of the Mercenary Corporate Armies ran a forced Prostitution ring.

Although the Corporate PR vigorously denied the reports of the forced Prostitution charge, they later admitted that “some members of their Corporate Army did run a forced Prostitution Ring”.

This Corporation wasn’t charged, The U S wasn’t charged, Clinton wasn’t charged for the loss of innocent life, but somebody had to pay, so the Serbian General was chosen to be the fall guy.

Where you have wars for profit, the profiteers get richer, and members of the common public die.

Anybody remember the Prostitution ring and what Company owned the Mercenary Army?

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By katsteevns, June 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

@ diamond

Slobodan Milosevic may have been tried in The Hague, but not by the World Court. From what I understand, Serbia was the only place where ethnic cleansing DID NOT occur. But, you can believe what you wish.

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/International_War_Crimes/WhereBodiesBuried_NATO.htm

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By diamond, June 8, 2011 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

“Slobodan Milosevic was bringing together a very convincing defense when he died suddenly.”

Milosevic had no defense and if you don’t believe me read ‘Milosevic: The People’s Tyrant’, which was written by a Serb, Vidosav Stevanovic. It reads like a satire/thriller but it’s all true. Milosevic and his family stole over a billion dollars from the people of Serbia, leaving them to live in poverty as they tried to survive the kind of hyperinflation that led to a 500 billion Dinar note being printed. All it could buy was a box of matches. The West made excuses for Milosevic and signed peace deals with him to which he responded by killing 200,000 defenseless civilians in the siege of Sarajevo, presided over the setting up of rape camps, the slaughter of 8,000 men and boys at Srebrenica and the rape and pillage of Kosovo. NATO only acted (without Congressional approval, naturally) when Milosevic sent terrorists into Kosovo to slaughter men, women and children in their own homes - four years too late. I’m pleased NATO has reacted so speedily to Gaddafi’s murderous activities in Libya, which mirror those of Milosevic’s. Not surprising since both show the usual traits of psychopaths.

You left out the most important fact: Milosevic died in a cell in The Hague where he had been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. He died of a heart attack. The only mystery in that is the revelation that he had a heart.

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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, June 7, 2011 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

@ Go Right Young Man

My apologies for the insults and thank you for the ones you returned.

You speak as if the US and Britain had nothing to do with the rise of Hitler or Stalin . And, of course, we saved the Philippines from Spain, not because we wanted the markets, but because we are humanitarians. We refused to sign a hands off policy with Britain over Cuba not because we felt it was an island we couldn’t live without, but so the Cubans could fashion their own independence….Right? No.
  Funny you didn’t mention Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos with their 2.5 million dead.
  Saddam Hussein was a CIA creation. Iran had a successful revolution in 1953, but we fixed that one good, didn’t we? Slobodan Milosevic was bringing together a very convincing defense when he died suddenly. Hmmmm.

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blogdog's avatar

By blogdog, June 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

Dear Young Man, pointing to the mythical success story of the American Age of Global Imperialism is an
embarrassing endeavor. Suggesting that it’s all about protection of the so-called ‘free world’ is specious at best,
pernicious at its heart and a blatantly unsupportable pack of lies. One need look no further than the late-70s,
European series of heinous tragedies, known as Operation GLADIO.

During a lull in the Cold War, with global focus on America’s struggle through the shock of its insane Vietnam
adventure and the horror it wrought, with over 3 million dead in SE Asia, even before Pop Pot took his toll —
another despot the US supported when Vietnam’s military tried to rein him in, Europe was relatively calm.
Parliaments were electing officials intent on serving their people over business interests. Socialists and
Communists were being legitimately elected across Europe. But, NATO wouldn’t stand for it. Using their Stay
Behind Networks, they launched the GLADIO wave of terrorism, then fingered so-called ‘radical’ Commies to
ignite a Red Scare - well documented in 1990 Italian Parliament hearings.

The Cold War you invoke is nothing like the real thing. Psychopathic best describes the intelligence networks
behind it - ON EVERY SIDE - and their nuclear legacy is what we’re left with. ‘Good luck’ you write. Indeed we all
need all the luck there is, if there’s any hope for peace in the wake of what these madmen have wrought.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, June 7, 2011 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns,

I typically end any dialog when odd and irrational insults is the order.

-

We live in completely different worlds.

You live in a world full of hope that humans will not continue to be human. After thousands of years of evidence to the contrary.

You reside in a world wherein the United States is the cause of all global ills. You believe I don’t understand your “enlightened wisdom”.

-

Context: The universe does not allow a vacuum.

The world is a better place because Adolf Hitler did not preserve his conquest of the European continent, and because the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere of Hideki Tojo and his militarists imploded at Midway, Guadalcanal, and Okinawa. Italy and the Mediterranean were far better off without Benito Mussolini and his mad plans for a renewed but debased Roman Empire, which ended on his own Italian soil at exotic-named places like Anzio and Monte Cassino.

The dream of Soviet rulers from Stalin to Brezhnev was a global gulag overseen from the blood-stained Communist Kremlin. It ended only through the 50-year deterrence of the American military. South Korea, the Philippines, and Taiwan are somehow still free and independent — and would not be without American carriers, jets, and submarines.

Our generation’s own rogues’ gallery of killers — Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic, Manuel Noriega, and the Taliban — have lost their tyrannies. If South America chooses to become Communist, it will be by its own volition and not because of an unfettered cross-border invasion from Cuba, Nicaragua, or Venezuela. Even U.S. enemies can export or import oil freely from the Middle East without worries of armed intervention or piracy — as long as an American carrier is nearby in the Gulf.

It seems as if the more Europe disarms and gnashes at the United States, the more we are there when it needs us. If an ascendant China decides to bully Japan or Taiwan in earnest, only one country can thwart it. No one will call the European Union or Russia should North Korea tomorrow cross the 38th parallel or Iran decide to launch a missile. If Turkey rearranges the border in Cyprus or claims airspace over the mid-Aegean, anti-American Greece will turn pro-American.

We would all do well to remember that in the present age of cynicism and nihilism, recalling that nothing has really changed, as some Americans - not you of course - seek to foster something better than Saddam Hussein, the Taliban, and Moammar Qaddafi. Behind every American soldier, dozens of their countrymen tonight sleep soundly — and hundreds more in their shadow abroad will wake up alive and safe.

I wish you luck in your safe and phat Age of Enlightenment.

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By diamond, June 7, 2011 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

“The treatment of Bradley Manning has been a dishonorable and disgraceful way to treat a soldier in the U.S. Military.”

What it most reminds me of is the boys in ‘The Lord of the Flies’ and their treatment of Piggy. That book’s entire thesis was that nationalism and war were dead, but they wouldn’t lie down. But that book was written not that long after World War II and it’s a feature of the human race that they re-write history so they can continue to have unnecessary wars and commit atrocities and torment those who try to make them stop. The other purpose of history is to make these things look heroic. And bear in mind that Manning hasn’t been found guilty of a single crime yet.

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BR549's avatar

By BR549, June 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns, June 7 at 12:26 pm
“Bush didn’t go in there to spread democracy or representative government. Those jewels where an afterthought to appease the tax paying duped at home. He went in there to enable PNAC, construct a pipeline, decrease the population and make money.”

Well put. The added emphasis did well to translate the anger and frustration, that citizens of this country have had under Bush and are continuing to have under Obama, in dealing with politicians who claim to be leaders, yet only their position for self advancement.

And on top of that, what country in the world would trust the US after we adopt childish plans like PNAC. It only shows that, while our politicians all smile for the camera with their shiny new red, white, and blue lapel pins, the slimy bastards are still behaving like troglodytes with high tech titanium clubs and $3,000 wooly mammoth suits. At some point, man has to actually decide NOT to go down that road. It’s a decision, a spiritual commitment, having taken an oath; one that these pontificating pusillanimous political parasites can’t seem to fathom.

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By katsteevns, June 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

@ Go Right Young Man

Don’t give up so easily, my man. Concluding that others are nuts when the fire gets too hot is how we allow our military and Xe to massacre hundreds of thousands of Muslims. When will you realize that putting a price tag on human life is a death sentence for everyone? The sad truth is, as a country, we won’t until it is too late.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, June 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns,

So ends my hope for an open, sane, dialog.

Good luck to you in all things.

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By katsteevns, June 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

@ Go Right Young Man

Representative governments like the one that is crumbling here at home in our soon-to-become third world police state that pledges allegiance to the corporate goon squad and banksters?  Don’t make me laugh, cuz it’s not funny. Bush didn’t go in there to spread democracy or representative government. Those jewels where an afterthought to appease the tax paying duped at home. He went in there to enable PNAC, construct a pipeline, decrease the population and make money.
  Borders may have been drawn with guns in the past, but it doesn’t need to be so in the present. You who are neanderthals born with clubs attached to your arms had better wake up, grow up, holster your guns, and stick your corporate person-hood where the sun don’t shine because you are well on the way now to making this planet unlivable(not that you care), God on your side or otherwise.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, June 7, 2011 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

katsteevns - “To say that the “pressure cooker of the Middle East” would have remained so without the help of Bush is pure speculation.”

-

Absolutely it’s speculative.  Which is not to say that that speculation is incorrect. 

As time passes the causes of today’s volatility will be less speculative.  With that said, it’s hard to imagine historians noting the number of times President Bush spoke of fostering democracies in the Middle-East (unlinking security with stability) and not note that almost immediately after leaving office tens of millions of Africans and Arabs began to rise up and demand an end to tyranny.  Or how the many calls for representative forms of government began in earnest.

You nearly said it yourself.  You have speculated that Bush set fire to the Middle-East region.  If the region explodes tomorrow the blame will lay at President Bush’s feet.  If, however, 2 to 5 representative forms of government arise from the turmoil Bush’s legacy, like it or not, will look much different.  Ironic, nay?

-

Iraq will be considered “stable” ten years from today if it remains whole, not fighting a civil war, and not a threat to neighboring nations.

As an aside: Diplomacy at the point of a gun is indeed diplomacy.  In fact it is a common diplomacy amongst man.  Ask anyone from India or Pakistan.  Or Taiwan, Turkey-Cyprus, Russia, Georgia, Japan, Kosovo, South Africa, Venezuela, Greece, Kuwait, Serbia, Gaza, Poland, Germany or the Balkans.

We can’t simply pretend humans don’t live and work on the planet.  And we can’t dismiss the fact that nearly every nation’s borders are what they are do to the gun.

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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, June 7, 2011 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

If Bush Jr. ever appears to the world to be “brilliant” in any sense of the word, I feel sorry for them. Unfortunately, there are a majority here in the states who DO think the guy was a genius, evidenced by him getting a second term. Hence, very little worthwhile gets accomplished.
  Conservatives take pride in their ability to restrain themselves and others from what THEY ALONE consider deviant behavior. They think they know most of all there is to know about the human struggle, and don’t want to know any more. The last thing a Conservative wants to hear is that their thinking has become obsolete and that they now do more harm than good. A hard pill to swallow for anyone who has “divine providence” and an inflated ego. They trust no one outside the circle(tribe).
      It’s about time they woke up and joined the living.

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By katsteevns, June 7, 2011 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

@ Go Right Young Man

That all depends on your definition of “stable”.
To say that the “pressure cooker of the Middle East” would have remained so without the help of Bush is pure speculation.
You don’t seem to understand that we have no business sending troops or drones over there in the first place.
Diplomacy at the end of a gun barrel is not diplomacy at all.

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BR549's avatar

By BR549, June 6, 2011 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

@ MarthaA, June 6 at 6:40 pm
But Martha, torture has been approved. The legislature loves it. Bush and Cheney loved it. Even Obama loves it. I hear it’ll be the next fad on the Carnival Cruise Lines behind wall climbing and shuffleboard. It’s so good for our health and well-being that Barry will being trying it on Michelle, Malia, and Sasha during their next picnic on the White House lawn.

No, ..... sadly, I agree with you. As a country, and because of the moral wasteland that our three branches of government have chosen to wallow in for the last hundred years, our moral fiber is in the toilet; at least for those we have elected to know better and have chosen to do worse.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, June 6, 2011 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

“If Iraq looks largely like a stable representative form of
government in the coming 10-15-25 years, George Bush’s place in
history, like it or not, will appear brilliant.” —GRYM Right-Winger June 6 at 7:31 pm

“If” and “appear” are small and insignificant words, GRYM
Right-Winger
and all that matters to Right-Wingers is what
can be made to appear this or that—you’re day dreaming, it won’t
happen.  Domestically, Bush is the absolute worst (most
destructive) President the United States has ever had and on the
foreign side, Bush put Israel in more jeopardy than any other
president in history, making Bush the all around worst President of
the United States, EVER.  Bush will be remembered as the worst
president ever, unless history is rewritten and that must not be
allowed.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, June 6, 2011 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns, - “Your buddy, Bush, set the whole God damned house on fire. And Obama is keeping it stoked.”

-

My buddy?  What an odd thing to write.

History will certainly record that George W. Bush set the Middle-East and parts of Africa in motion.  Autocrats and tyrants are finding it more difficult to blame the West for their own corruption and brutality.  Bush set a dramatic policy change wherein stability for security would no longer be the order of business. -
A bold move with substantial risks.  Some say dangerous and rooted in evil intent.

For better or worse history will record that within two years of Bush leaving office the Middle-East pressure cooker began to show tremendous fatigue.  Millions in the region began rising up in favor of representative forms of government after decades, in some cases centuries, of tyranny. 

Irony

If Iraq looks largely like a stable representative form of government in the coming 10-15-25 years, George Bush’s place in history, like it or not, will appear brilliant.  If Iraq and the Middle East entire remains unstable he’ll be the bane of human existence. - The irony being we all have to hope Bush will be seen as brilliant.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, June 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

As for Bradley Manning’s mind, it is amazing that
he has a mind at all,
after reports about Manning having been kept so
long in solitary
confinement by the U.S.
Military under unreasonable conditions like taking
away his clothing
then trying to
sleep without clothes or cover but not being
allowed to sleep, being forced to
stand for hours and never allowed to relax for
lengthy times prior to
being moved to the new location, and has been
assumed guilty but has NEVER been
found guilty.  The treatment of Bradley Manning
has been a dishonorable and
disgraceful way to treat a soldier in the U.S.
Military.

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By BR549, June 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns, June 6 at 3:14 pm
As an addendum to your response to GRYM, when he projected that the Iranians were asking the following: “When is Bush going to stand up for Iranians and remove our murderous leaders as he did for Iraqis?”, I’d just add that because he happens to personally think that Bush did a great job, so must each and every living Iranian, and if they don’t believe Bush did a great job, they must not be Iranian.

This one was priceless. To quote Iranian TV on a May 20, 2011 broadcast:
http://www.lenziran.com/2011/05/20/osama-bin-ladenbarack-obama-and-george-bush-in-iranian-animation-film/
“Channel 2 of the Iranian state run TV animation for children, in which Osama Bin Laden was commissioned to explode the twin towers by George Bush and his communication with President Obama over the money , while Bush is absent from the political scene.”

Now, if they are putting this is a kiddies cartoon program, and the Iranian people are that same an honest, friendly, and God fearing people, then GRYM must have staggered off the bus in Kuala Lumpur or some place because he ain’t expressing the sentiments of the Iranians.

Let’s try this from the Washington Wire:
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/11/04/in-iran-mixed-feelings-on-obama-vs-mccain/
“.......... an Obama victory would reduce the likelihood of war between Iran and the U.S. and could bring stability to the Middle East.”
“and ... some members of the country’s economic elite–upset about the negative impact of the Bush Administration’s sanctions on the Iranian business sector—said they fear a Democratic victory could mean more sanctions and more economic pressure on Iran.”

or this one by USA Today author Behzad Yaghmaian:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/2005-02-21-iran-distrust_x.htm
“Those recollections include a coup d’état in 1953 that led to a distrust of America that lingers today.”

Are we talking about the same Iran, here, the one GRYM “claims” to have lived in?

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blogdog's avatar

By blogdog, June 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

Dear Young Man,

So, you really think anyone here is a big enough fool to take this bait?

“President Obama has presided over a threefold increase in the number of detainees being held at
the controversial military detention center at Bagram Air Base, the Afghan cousin of the notorious
prison at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. It’s the latest piece of news that almost certainly
would be getting more attention—especially from TruthDig regulars—if George W. Bush were still
president.”

If so,  how’s this for chumming? I submit that every puppet POTUS for the last 40 years is a wholly
owned asset; and if there’s any doubt, the fate of brothers John and Bobby K should be seriously
studied:

Below is an excerpt from the Guardian
James Randerson, Washington DC
guardian.co.uk,    Friday 22 February 2008 12.58 GMT

- it can be found here
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/feb/22/kennedy.assassination

[excerpt]

But the lone gunman explanation has always looked shaky. The autopsy of Kennedy’s body
suggested that all four shots that hit him came from behind, and powder marks on his skin showed
they must have been from close range.

But Sirhan was in front of Kennedy when he fired, and after shooting two shots was overcome by
hotel staff, who pinned him to a table. Also, Sirhan fired eight shots in total, yet 14 were found
lodged around the room and in the victims.

“There is no doubt in our minds that no fewer than 14 shots were fired in the pantry on that
evening and that Sirhan did not in fact kill Senator Kennedy,” said Robert Joling, a forensic scientist
who has been involved with the Kennedy case for nearly 40 years. He and Van Praag have published
a book on the killing this week entitled “An Open and Shut Case”.

The inconsistencies in the case have bred numerous conspiracy theories, including the involvement
of the CIA and the idea that Sirhan - who claims not to remember the shooting and pleaded
insanity at his trial - was a “Manchurian Candidate” assassin who was hypnotically programmed to
kill the senator.

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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, June 6, 2011 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

By Go Right Young Man,

  “When is Bush going to stand up for Iranians and remove our murderous leaders as he did for Iraqis?”

None of the many millions displaced in the last decade, resulting from events directly linked to US foreign policy, must ever have set foot in their vicinity.

Your buddy, Bush, set the whole God damned house on fire. And Obama is keeping it stoked.

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M Henri Day's avatar

By M Henri Day, June 6, 2011 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, Scott Tucker, for writing this article - and thanks, Truthdig, for publishing it….

Henri

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BR549's avatar

By BR549, June 6, 2011 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

@ Go Right Young Man, June 6 at 9:38 am
“A proud, loyal, and loving people not equipped to handle your view of President Bush.  Yes, you believe the Average Iranian is “not equipped” to handle your view of the former President.  ..... And you think me arrogant.”

If you keep choosing to make an ass of yourself with slanted statements like that, no one can help you. On one hand, you state that the Iraqi “liberals” are very much in support of Bush. Knock yourself out with that one , but the world has changed a lot since you claim you were last there. Many people over there would tell you you’re full of BS. What you perceive as liberals may just be a raft of crony conservatives who happen to see things your way. I digress.

And none of that has anything to do with the fact they, as a nation, are a friendly people with many similar ideals as our own. You always try to bait and switch one topic into something else. It’s become your trademark. Are you still laboring under the notion that because you toss up some unsupportable statement along with a valid one, that it mesmerizes everyone here on TD into believing both statements have validity?

As far as the Iranians, they suffer from the same leadership woes as do many other countries; only the whackos apply for the job and then those whackos want more. They are a spectrum of people with a variety of understandings of the world ...... just like here.

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By Cliff Carson, June 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

There is no need to argue with GRYM.

He is a Shill for the Republican Party and all its thievery.  He has his script to go by and he’s sticking with it.

From Wikipedia

“While the word troll and its associated verb trolling are associated with Internet discourse, media attention in recent years has made such labels subjective, with trolling describing intentionally provocative actions outside of an online context”.

I think that description fits GRYM perfectly.

He is an excuse maker for Republican corruption.

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By katsteevns, June 6, 2011 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

@ Go Right Young Man

I don’t remember where I learned about Manning, probably DemocracyNow. Alternative media is too often stuck with critiquing mainstream news because that is where the bulk of the populace get their information. It must be dissected for the motives of timing and choice of facts presented in order for people to make informed choices.
  I don’t watch mainstream because they only tell you what they want you to hear. Opinion pieces rarely have guests from the Left, or anyone who asks “why?”. Stories are presented in a vacuum, as if they have no connection to each other.
And maybe we know so much about Manning because some people feel it may help the Republican party. Main stream media is not a public service, though they use the airwaves that belong to the public and profit from it.

The U.S. Constitution, guarantees the accused in all criminal prosecutions the right to a SPEEDY and PUBLIC trial, including the military justice system.

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By gerard, June 6, 2011 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

GRYM:  Good idea: Let’s get serious here and “discuss real solutions” as you suggest.

1.  Shall we discuss how to stop killing people, how to simply get out of Afghanistan and cease threatening to use military force forever? How to stop wasting vast sums of money on planning, manufacturiing and sponsoring deals that involve multiple worldwide deaths every day, week, year?
2.  Shall we discuss specific plans for how to rearrange the U.S. economy and plow some of the vast sum the Pentagon uses into peacetime industries, occupations, initiatives worldwide (such as outlawing all nuclear weapons and destroying those presently on hand)?
3.  Shall we discuss how to “level up the playing field” so that all the world’s people have at least enough to eat and a decent clean place to live, plus medical aid when they need it? Shall we do something about global warming?
4.  Shall we discuss how to establish educational committees, groups,  everywhere in the world with people of all nations, ages, financial abilities etc. to share and have access to, information, problems and feelings of helplessness, injustice and hope with each other in situations that are truly conciliatory, not motivated by self-interest?
5.  Can a person with your mind-set even accept that such beginning steps as these could be taken, should be taken, would be worthwhile if, tomorrow, the United States of America were willing, on equal terms and without pressure or bribery,to enter in with—say, Cote d’Ivoire, or Iran, or Laos, or Venezuela or Cuba or China or Russia or Yemen or ...? stop saber-rattling and try to unload our national superiority coplex and learn how to approach differences and disagreements without doominating?  Further, that the U.S. owes it to humanity (because of our relative wealth and because of the many professions of love for “democracy” and “justice for all” that we have made) to take such initiatives, and to drop the military-industrial-surveillance-threat tactics and admit that Americans are fully as good and bad, as clean and dirty, as sensible and crazy as any other nation in the world—no better,  no worse. ??
  Seriously, although I think we would probably learn a lot in such an exercise here, as I write I can’t help wondering why some person or persons in our government, with the clout to get the world’s attention beyond the blogosphere, isn’t doing one damn thing in this direction????  That’s the key. Maybe you can explain this to me in words of one syllable.  That’s what I mean when I say “I want my country back.”  I want the people I help elect to work for peace and get off the military-industrial killing machine—now—beginning today at 11:44 a.m. California time.

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By Go Right Young Man, June 6, 2011 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

BR549,

A proud, loyal, and loving people not equipped to handle your view of President Bush.  Yes, you believe the Average Iranian is “not equipped” to handle your view of the former President. 

And you think me arrogant.

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By Bobadi, June 6, 2011 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

The right-wing in this thread is acting like a slick salesman, as they attempt to influence our young by their work at obfuscation. Splashing neocon candy colored red-white-blue paint to cover-over their blood drenched iconography. 

It’s not sticking though, and is rather an ugly streaking mess.

I do not doubt his personal palate of pro-US right-wing group of friends in Iran speak to him of the need for US to provide them with more blood on their canvas, as is his like.

However this poll tells us that two-thirds of the Iranian people do not trust the US to provide a better picture then what they have now, 9 in 10 are satisfied with their government as it stands now, and so would prefer diplomacy to work out our differences rather then our gun.
“Eight in ten say the United States seeks to weaken and divide the Muslim world (unchanged from 2008). Three in four say the United States has the goal of imposing American culture on Muslim society.”
http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brmiddleeastnafricara/639.php

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By sallysense, June 6, 2011 at 8:02 am Link to this comment

they’ve saddled up ideas…
to ride on the minds of men…
changing the bridle’s mouth bit…
for the reins to pull them in!...

folks sit upon these say-so’s…
as horsemen lead them down the line…
and while paths may look like fresh new input…
they’ve been used a thousand times!...

~~~

(from tongues that cannot speak for themselves…
come battle cry echoes charged by everyone else…
as switch ‘n’ bait tactics change the focuses viewed…
fading leaders’ misdoings to slay opinions accrued!)...

~~~

http://www.bradleymanning.org  for bradley manning support!... smile

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By BR549, June 6, 2011 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man, June 6 at 4:01 am Link to this comment
“A proud, loyal, and loving people not equipped to handle your view of President Bush.”

MY view? Hello! .....  You’ve either been spending too much time overseas and have no idea what has happened here in the US since 1980, OR you’ve been here all along and never saw the decline of the Great American Dream. Which is it? Did you ever play the comedy circuit as Prof. Irwin Corey?

Saddam was surely a threat; they hated the guy, but he was a US puppet with US armament and with US support (at least at the start). The US is still using Iraq as a strategic chess position in the Gulf, all in line with Brzezinsk’s book, and he was merely disclosing the tip of the iceberg. We may talk about our two peoples having much in common, but our two governments don’t seem to have ever gotten that message and our government has no respect for the people of either Iraq or Iran. It is all about oil and control, and Iran, to those in control in the US, is nothing but a chess position.

“It’s been my experience that nearly every Iranian man, woman and child viewed Saddam Hussein as a threat like no other single individual on the planet.  A context, a well deserved point of view, I think you have a hard time fully summoning.”
> .......... Could you be a little more dismissive, here. As it is, I’m having a difficult time discerning the difference between my “obvious” ignorance and your inflated arrogance. As I understand you, the liberals you “claim” to have interacted with in Iran appear to have been ideologically on par with our grain and bible belt conservatives who still believe that Bush was doing a great job.

“I strenuously believe you belittle in thinking Iranian plumbers and PHD’s are too ignorant to see the world as you do.”
Those are your words, pal, not mine. You can twist my gist all you want, just peddle it somewhere else.

“Iranians love America and Americans.”
Finally, we agree on something, although I dare say that our corporate controlled media has successfully vilified Iran in the eyes of that same US grainbelt population that supported and still support Bush.

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By Go Right Young Man, June 6, 2011 at 6:07 am Link to this comment

katsteevns,

An item from the “Alternative Media”.

The Gitmo no one talks about
Not only has Obama not closed Guantanamo, he has also vastly expanded a similar prison in Afghanistan

President Obama has presided over a threefold increase in the number of detainees being held at the controversial military detention center at Bagram Air Base, the Afghan cousin of the notorious prison at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. It’s the latest piece of news that almost certainly would be getting more attention—especially from TruthDig regulars—if George W. Bush were still president.

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By Go Right Young Man, June 6, 2011 at 4:27 am Link to this comment

katsteevns,

From which alternative media outlet did you learn that Manning has been mistreated and which media outlet did not report that some believe Manning is being held illegally?

I don’t watch much television, however, I can honestly say that the above points of interest has been reported by ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, Fox, New York Times, Miami Herald and the S.F. Chronicle. - All considered “mainstream”.

Is it not true that everything you know of Manning, his actions and reported intentions, his incarceration and conditions of incarceration has come to you by way of the media?

-

I have been an investigator for roughly 25 years.  I am one of the few here who will openly admit I know very little of the Manning situation.

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By Go Right Young Man, June 6, 2011 at 4:01 am Link to this comment

BR549, - “They are a proud. loyal, and loving people but I don’t think they were equipped to handle the truth about what Bush represented.”

-

A proud, loyal, and loving people not equipped to handle your view of President Bush.

It’s been my experience that nearly every Iranian man, woman and child viewed Saddam Hussein as a threat like no other single individual on the planet.  A context, a well deserved point of view, I think you have a hard time fully summoning.

Some of the most liberal-minded Iranians, who spoke of a desire to hold hands in public, admire Western music, sciences, and opportunities, who passionately believe imprisoning and killing homosexuals is an outrage, curious to know how to go about getting a Western outsourced job like India I was asked constantly; “when will your president do the same for Iran”? - That was five years ago. 

It’s also been my experience that most teenagers in Hamadan know a great deal more of global events than do most American adults.  Geography demands that common Iranians think of the globe in terms of regions. - As long as I’ve been listening on TruthDig it’s been plain to see that it’s not the same here.  At least not in this circle.

I strenuously believe you belittle in thinking Iranian plumbers and PHD’s are too ignorant to see the world as you do.

Iranians love America and Americans.

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By drbhelthi, June 6, 2011 at 12:14 am Link to this comment

It means you validate any given narrative by precisely meeting your perceptions of the United States as evil and murderous.= gorightyoungman

Which United States is in reference in your blog? 
Certainly not the legal citizenry of the United States, nor the patriotic sample among the illegal inhabitants.

Your idea fits the WWII NAZI group, led by the GHWBushSr entourage, that has been slowly overtaking the U.S.A., with the aid of Zionists and their string-pullers who own the world banking system and the major media.  Your blogs represent this grouping very well. 

Is your cubicle on the big Bush ranch in Texas, the Bush library, or elsewhere in a USGOV bldg. ?  Or, do you hide out in one of the D.U.M.B.s ?

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By diamond, June 5, 2011 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment

“It wouldn’t hurt to lose that angry anvil you labor on”

You mean my conscience? No, I’ll be keeping that. I know you get along all right without one but that’s not how I choose to live.

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By katsteevns, June 5, 2011 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment

@ Go Right Young Man
We know from alternative media, who’s stories are more thoroughly checked against facts because their anti-authoritarian/anti-status quo nature attract scrutiny. Most alternative media outlets are not driven by the profit motive or owned by just a few people who are in cahoots with policy makers. But, you know all this.

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By BR549, June 5, 2011 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

@ GRYM
“When is Bush going to stand up for Iranians and remove our murderous leaders as he did for Iraqis? “

I realize you were speaking of Iranian perception here, but were they really aware of their place in Brzezinski’s grand chess board? I didn’t get that impression when I was there. Despite some measure of isolation, these were a reasonably wordly people, yet I don’t think the majority of them were up to fathoming the depth of corruption and evil that Bush, our legislature, and the globalists were capable of; not unlike the majority of folk in our own grain and bible belts. That was my perception. They are a proud. loyal, and loving people but I don’t think they were equipped to handle the truth about what Bush represented.

I think the body of the Iranian people are very close to that of many Americans, despite the vilification by the media.

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By Go Right Young Man, June 5, 2011 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

Gerad, - “what does “before it begins validation” mean?”

-

It means you validate any given narrative by precisely meeting your perceptions of the United States as evil and murderous.  If any given narrative fits your view of the United States it must, necessarily, be valid.  Your last post is a good example.

You are fond of writing that if your narrative is not agreed upon by others, well, those others are too ignorant.  Or have somehow been coerced by the monstrous United States. - Anything but the possibility that you may simply be one of the misunderstood minority who sees the world differently.

-

I view the world differently.  I come on this honestly.  You treat me as the enemy.  Then you write of peace.

I lived over seven years in Iran.  I’ve learned a lesson first hand that you have yet to see for yourself.  I learned that the vast majority of Iranians LOVE the United States and what she stands for.  What you have no way of knowing is that the most common question put to me was one you currently cannot fathom.  “When is Bush going to stand up for Iranians and remove our murderous leaders as he did for Iraqis? 

Still intact?  Has your head exploded?

Let me share with you another narrative you’ve yet to consider.  Nearly no one in Iran talks of the United States the way you write.  When the U.S. is the topic it’s more about how you can travel to any grocery store within ten miles of your home and purchase a chicken you worked less than an hour to obtain.

I wish you would incorporate everyday Iranians into your narratives.  I wish you would discuss real solutions over the constant refrain on how we can’t all get along; while you do your best to teach others that the United States, first and foremost, wishes them dead.

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By gerard, June 5, 2011 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

GRYM June 4, 3:28:  RE:  Your accusation of that date:  “I’m beginning to believe that retribution against, what you perceive to be, the murderous United States is where your true passions and intentions lay.  That all subjects must be viewed through that lens before it begins validation.”

Several tens of millions of people throughout the world “perceive” the U.S. to be “murderous,” having observed first hand for themselves or second-hand, having lost a loved one or two or three to the “murderous” wars the U.S. is maintaining—and making profits on—here and there.  Seemingly the U.S. prefers to take on countries smaller and much less powerful that itself, so that adds the impression that the U.S. may be a bully.  And even at that, the U.S. prefers not to “go it alone” but manages instead to drag in some sort of “alliance” to create an image of cooperative action for as long as the image can be sustained.

But people who die or suffer irreparable damages (and there are many kinds) from these wars are fairly tired of images by this time.  As in any neighborhood (and the world is a neighborhood, just a little bigger than West Side or Plaza Centrale) the people observing or suffering the damage (“collateral”, of course!) wish the U.S. would just cease and desist. Ask them.  They’ll tell you.
  Retribution, no.  You got that all wrong.  Whatever retribution that comes will be the natural result of these inhuman and shameful profit-driven, wars and the sale of weapons to others to “fight for their security”—a contradiction if there every was one.  The people are fooled because they are ignorant—and that’s where the bulleying comes in—those with power using it against those less poerful, making them even more helpless. 
  I feel much the same way because I never expected my country to become the bully of the world. The ubiquitous mark of this bulleying is the shaking finger and the exhortation to “do what we say or else”—“mark my words”—“if you don’t this, then that will happen” etc. ad nauseum. 
  I am hugely disappointed, disillusioned and distressed. I “want my country back” from the Pentagon, the spineless Congress and Wall Street,and the know-it-alls in the “think” tanks—please, and thank you. Have a good day—but be careful not to step on any corpses.

By the way, what does “before it begins validation” mean?

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By Go Right Young Man, June 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

Diamond,

My contempt for Gandhi?

If I could say this privately I would.  Listening requires the ability to suspend your own views in favor of another.  Authentic listening requires not that you prove another wrong, but to prove yourself wrong.

It wouldn’t hurt to lose that angry anvil you labor on.

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By Go Right Young Man, June 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns,

Media is bias, yes.  So how do we know Manning is locked up illegally and being mistreated?  From media reports? 

I ask with all sincerity, how have you personally come to the conclusion that Manning has been held illegally?  That he’s been mistreated?

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By diamond, June 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

“Why absolve Manning of his alleged crimes and not Kools?  Both, presumably, did what they felt was moral and just.”

You’re just being mischievous. Kools, presumably, meant to kill people, what Manning is accused of did not involve him killing anyone, it involved him revealing misdeeds by the US military in which they killed unarmed civilians. And we don’t even know that he did it. We only have the word of the Pentagon for that and their word is worthless. Your contempt for Gandhi says all that needs to be said about your judgement of who matters in history.

“According to media reports there are extensive writings from Manning stating his wish to effect global governmental relationships and put an end to, what he considered to be, an unjust war.”

You lost me at ‘According to media reports’. You may accept anything they tell you on faith but I don’t. As for your belief that why people do things doesn’t matter, remember Martin Luther nailing his condemnations of the Catholic Church up on the door of a German cathedral and causing some wars and a split in the Christian faith? Are you seriously claiming that it doesn’t matter why he did it? That his statement before the tribunal that wanted to burn him as a heretic, “Here I stand, I can’t do anything else”, is irrelevant?  One of the main reasons why the majority of countries in the world condemn America’s invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan is because they know the reasons they put forward at the time were not the real reasons they did it.

“He’s a traitor. Light him up.” Mr.
Williams is openly gay.

Yes, Alan, he’s openly gay and also openly a psychopath with no empathy for anyone. The real traitors are people like Williams who can use the phrase “Light him up” as a joke, knowing ‘Light ‘em up’ was used to cause the deaths of unarmed civilians in Iraq. He’s an empty headed shill who wouldn’t know a moral if he fell over it. He also probably doesn’t know that the reason gay men were called ‘faggots’ is that they were often burned at the feet of witches. Light him up, indeed.

Katsteevns, I hope the children survived but if they did it certainly wasn’t because of anything the military did. In fact, the soldier who took them out of the van was refused permission to send these seriously wounded children who should never have been shot in the first place to the American hospital. Just another one of those damming facts that GRYM thinks he can spin off into space.

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By katsteevns, June 5, 2011 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

@ Go Right Young Man

Let me clarify. I am assuming you were referencing the Mainstream Media which rarely receives an objective critique by those who deliver it. It is bias, to say the least. We are only hearing one side of the argument because Manning is locked up. And we know that he is locked up illegally and being mistreated.
      All other factors and arguments aside, Manning needs to be released. First things first. If the government can not follow the most basic of laws, how can it be trusted to preside over an entire prosecution? The citizenry needs to stand up and demand fair treatment for Manning. Otherwise, they are all complicit in this grave injustice and in the demise of civil liberties for all, not just Manning.

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By Go Right Young Man, June 5, 2011 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

DBM, - “Given your stand that crimes should be assessed on their merits rather than their motives what do you make of the fact that none of the revelations in the Wikileaks documents has resulted in an investigation let alone prosecution?”

-

Hey DBM.

Good to see you join in.  I have twice referred to you as one of the few on this Web space that will discuss a subject with honor.  Without debasing yourself in name-calling and petty insults.

Just so that we are both clear.  What are the crimes that have been revealed by Pfc. Manning?

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By blogdog, June 5, 2011 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

@BR549 - that’s right, theatrical music from the Mighty Whrilitzer

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By BR549, June 5, 2011 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

RayLan,
“In fact the charge of treason will logically have indict many more than Manning.”

What we are seeing then is nothing more than a large puppet show for the benefit of the unconscious and sports addicted masses. Some people will continue to bring issues like this into the public light, others will dutifully write their congress people, but when it all comes out in the wash, those congress people will have read or heard the news, but will remain moot on the subject during discussion on the floor for fear of becoming a political outcast by the power elite or losing votes at home ....... but all the while wishing they could muster enough courage to claim they had two testicles. But, save for a very few, they can’t.

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By RayLan, June 5, 2011 at 7:39 am Link to this comment

In criminal law - the rule of evidence is ‘beyond a reaonsable doubt’; not only motive but full knowledge of the act has to be established. It isn’t even clear whether there was an intent to do anything more than what other media like the New York Times had revealed. In fact the charge of treason will logically have indict many more than Manning.
Materially there has been no de facto endangering of US security, just an exposure of its complicity in terrorism. This is an important and critical truth which undermines the administration’s self-righteous nationalist rhetoric about democracy promotion.
Thank you Bradley.

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By Ehrenstein, June 5, 2011 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

I should like to thank Bradley Manning for bringing this to our attention—

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0

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By DBM, June 5, 2011 at 6:37 am Link to this comment

Hey Go Right!

I thought I’d weigh in on this one although I may not have time to follow through.  I take your point that the principle of prosecuting an alleged criminal should not hinge on a value judgement on the motives involved.  A good point and well made. 
In this case I would question whether the severity of the accusations is not based on judgements of Manning’s motives themselves or perhaps on the perceived effect of his actions.  Release of low classification material for political purposes is common in government (as with whoever Scooter Libby was hiding).  This particular “crime” is perceived as egregious because Manning is powerless and the material in question proved embarrassing to the powerful.  Hence he is charged (I think ... has he formally been charged yet?) with treason and so forth.  Irregardless of his unproven guilt he has been severely punished as an example to any likeminded people (I’m not aware of any bail hearings for Manning as were extended to the charming Strauss-Kahn).

However, the point is well made that motive could come into sentencing but should not be relevant to an assessment of guilt.  I think the anger this situation engenders is because of the clear double-standard for the powerful and powerless.  When Bradley Birkenfeld revealed crimes in a U.S. subsidiary of a foreign bank (UBS) enabling thousands of wealthy taxpayers to avoid paying tax, HE was imprisoned while not one banker or tax-evader was punished.  Now Manning is accused of releasing communications which could be used to show that U.S. officials (for instance) aided and abetted the military coup in Honduras.  They show that U.S. officials were complicit with theft and corruption (not to mention torture and murder) by the Mubarak regime.  Clearly one could go on at length about what has been proven if not revealed (since almost all of what is shown in the released documents was already assumed to be the case).

Given your stand that crimes should be assessed on their merits rather than their motives what do you make of the fact that none of the revelations in the Wikileaks documents has resulted in an investigation let alone prosecution?  Are the revealed crimes Ok because they support the motives of the powerful?  Given your principled stand on other matters I suspect you’d be in support of such investigations and prosecutions.  But the double standard so clearly revealed, in that they are not happening while Manning is being severely punished without proof of guilt, is the reason why this case upsets people so much.

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By Go Right Young Man, June 5, 2011 at 6:28 am Link to this comment

katsteevns,

In my last post the ending sentence was supposed to end with a question mark.  Not an exclamation.

Stop Right There?

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By Go Right Young Man, June 5, 2011 at 6:14 am Link to this comment

Arouete, - “Gee, don’t you just love the easy-way-out ‘According to media reports…......’ citation to ‘authority’?”

-

Clearly my intention was in pointing out that what I understand of Manning’s writings are based on “Media Reports”.  Not a citation of authority.  I could not have been more clear.

Those calling for Manning’s release are making that call based on various media reports.  Those who believe young Manning a hero are basing that belief on media reports.  Those opining on the intentions of Manning arrive at that narrative based on media reports.  Those who herald Manning one of a long list of “test cases” for the CIA/Pentagon come to that conclusion via media reports. 

Every word, every sentence, every opinion and every narrative on this entire thread is based on Media Reports.  None of it based on “authoritative” or demonstrable evidence.  Is this not correct?  Yet you take umbrage with how I point out Media Reports?

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By Ehrenstein, June 5, 2011 at 5:44 am Link to this comment

drbhelthi:

“I find it sad that folk who have adapted to homosexuality have not
adapted to heterosexuality.  However, homosexuality continues to be
abnormal to the human race.”

I find you typical of the Heteorsexuals who rule the world that you have not adpated to the fact of life called “homosexuality” ( see Jonathn “Ned” Katz’s “The Invention of Heterosexaulity” for the whole story) which is quite normal to every living species on this planet.

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By Go Right Young Man, June 5, 2011 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

diamond, - “How does this have any bearing on what I’ve said?”

-

I admit I am unable to follow your circular arguments and constant attempts to change the subject after bits of your narratives are shown to be porous.

You argued the differences between the honorable intentions of Manning and the intentions of Hanson and Kools.  You then changed your angle dramatically by claiming those differences don’t matter.

Now you conjure up Gandhi?  Come now.

I believe it’s not possible that you missed my point.  Those you have determined to be less than honorable, Hanson and Kools, are glorious heroes to a GREAT many people. 

The only difference in intentions between Manning, Kools and Hanson is how you personally view their goals and actions.

Why absolve Manning of his alleged crimes and not Kools?  Both, presumably, did what they felt was moral and just.

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By Go Right Young Man, June 5, 2011 at 5:11 am Link to this comment

katsteevns,

Stop Right There.  You have shared many opinions on Pfc Manning and every bit of it based on “media reports”.  You go so far as to call for his release, condemn how poorly manning has been treated, how he is being held illegally, and all of it, from beginning to end based on media reports. 

Perhaps this story should not have been printed.  This is yet another media report.  Perhaps you have no real opinion on Manning based on the fact that everything you know is rooted in media reports. 

Stop Right There!

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By drbhelthi, June 5, 2011 at 12:05 am Link to this comment

Oh I remember it all very well. And you should also know that ALL the
Psychiatrists who got the association to declassify"homosexuality” as a
“neurosis” in 1973(!) were gay themselves.
@ Ehrenstein

-  which was the basis of the original, altered classification
-  homosexuality defrauds the word “gay,” which does not reflect an      
abnormality
-  while genuine physicians increasingly state that psychiatry is a
flop, the medications don’t work, and cause side reactions similar to the
symptoms (sometimes worse) 
-  psychiatry is similar to oncology; it employs millions, who feed
on the confused and dying, turning enormous profits for the pharma
industry, while healing no one
-  Oncology, with a success record of 4%, less than spontaneous
recovery; while Dr. Ralph Moss has written six books, proving the
Oncology neither extends life nor improves quality
                                                     
I find it sad that folk who have adapted to homosexuality have not
adapted to heterosexuality.  However, homosexuality continues to be
abnormal to the human race. Covering up the abnormality with the word
“gay” assists no one.  Just another cover-up, begun by psychiatry.

In the case of PFC Manning, applying the term “homosexual” to any
extended teenager in the U.S.Army is a bit pre-mature, as the conditions
of life do not foster heterosexuality.

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By diamond, June 4, 2011 at 11:42 pm Link to this comment

‘Suggesting that Manning’s intentions are more honorable is a personal judgement.  A judgment you just happen to agree with.  Well, look deeper.  There are a GREAT many people who will unequivocally disagree with you.  There are a great many people who support both Kools’ and Hanson’s actions.’

How does this have any bearing on what I’ve said? A lot of people supported Hitler and Pol Pot: how does that have any bearing on what Manning did? He is not Hitler or Pol Pot, in fact he is the anti-Hitler and the anti-Pol Pot. I did not suggest his actions were more honorable, I suggested that they are entirely different both morally and legally (as was stated in the case of Daniel Ellsberg, where the judge held that the public was entitled to know the truth about the Vietnam war) and that he should be regarded as innocent until proven guilty, a nicety you clearly don’t give a damn about. It’s all the more ironic that you set yourself up as the defender of the rule of law.

As for people disagreeing with me, you should remember what Gandhi said: “Even if you’re a minority of one, the truth is still the truth” and Orwell said, ‘In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” Those are the times we’re living in and, of course, those who are practicing deceit don’t want anyone to tell the truth because it is indeed a revolutionary act to do so. We have no proof whatsoever at this time that Manning even sent those emails to Lamo who is a longtime FBI informant. They needed someone to make an example of someone and anyone could have sent those emails. I wouldn’t trust Lamo as far as I could throw him in a stiff breeze and I certainly don’t trust the Pentagon.

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By Arouete, June 4, 2011 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

Gee, don’t you just love the easy-way-out “According to media reports…......” citation to ‘authority’?

Sorry but hearsay and gossip do not suffice for credibility. Could it be the “media report” was a super market tabloid? And, oh yes, WHO would dare question the integrity of a journalist - especially an anonymous one. How silly.

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By divakarssathya, June 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment

Once again, welcome all you hyper high minded and
articulate people to show a little curiosity for the
plight of young Vikram Buddhi currently rotting in a
US prison.

http://www.petitiononline.com/freevb/petition.html

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By katsteevns, June 4, 2011 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

By Go Right Young Man,

“According to media reports…......”

Stop right there.
Let him write his OWN story.
Let the guy out of jail, he is illegally incarcerated. Let’s start from there, huh?

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By Cliff Carson, June 4, 2011 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

BR549

Well said.

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By Cliff Carson, June 4, 2011 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment

Bradley Manning did something good for the common people of the world.

Those who support their Party Line ( like GRYM and most likely Lafayette) seem to want to convince those on this thread that the U S Government has done nothing wrong- ever.  Because when they did do something wrong it was for the good of the people.

That is basically their message.

That is shameful rhetoric.  They make excuses for the corrupt.  Was it Bush that said “You are either for us , or you are against us”?

Who is so embellished by perfection that we have to make excuses for their sins?  And if we do make those excuses what does that say of us?

Those words are for you GRYM and Lafayette.

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By BR549, June 4, 2011 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

GRYM,
The citizens of Japan and Germany are no better equipped to defend their perception of soveriegnty, whether personal or national, than we are, ........ and look what happened to us at the end of the civil war and from 1933-1937.

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By BR549, June 4, 2011 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

Unfortunately, capitalism is being used to justify the worst that human behavior has to offer and yet under the pretense of a civilized society, but it isn’t capitalism that is a fault. For those more conscious individuals, those who choose to participate in a higher level of whatever governmental system they were in; socialism, communism, a compassionate dictatorship, capitalism, even a just monarchy; all of these systems could be used with a high degree of efficiency and compassion. The problem is with human greed. It contaminates every system of government no matter what it is. So, the problem isn’t about Islam vs. capitalism; it’s about fear and greed, on both sides of the fence, and unfortunately, the fact that we have thus far stolen so many countries’ resources to keep us on top of the pile to intimidate everyone is not exactly a shining success story, no matter which yardstick we use.

For those who would condemn the Quran, there is just as much reason for the rest of the world to fear another outbreak of Judeo-Christian insanity to justify the slaughter of millions of people in the name of God; its engine powered with the plundered resources of over half a millennia of sociopathic English and American foreign policy . While we might occasionally have reason to fear religious zealots from the Sikh or Muslim communities, to name but two, it is interesting to see how the rest of the planet fears us using Christianity and Judaism for the very same reasons.

It is human greed that drives the less conscious in our societies to exhibit the worst that mankind has to offer. Imagine for a moment a socialist (or some other type) of state where leaders put in their two cents and then willingly step down to help bring in new blood that would better our nation and the world. Instead, what we have is a continually festering pus-filled boil in London and Washington which only manages to attract the pathogenic bacteria of government. They infect the body keeping it from healing itself and we go on, year after year, decade after decade, forcing the immune system (Homeland Security and the TSA) into overload and believing that parts of the body itself are the enemy. This is where the London and Washington are what is causing our collective auto-immune disease, one that eventually kills the whole body. What a legacy, and all because unconscious people become obsessed with fear and greed.

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By Divinepoet, June 4, 2011 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment

I do agree with John 100 per cent. If we really mean and believe that civilisation has progressed much and humanity should be respected there can not be any society or state without accountability. If people, society and states atart believing ” Might Is Right ” than what happens to this time and civilisation which has been achieved after centuries of struggle. Thanks John , work hard for the mankind ,I am with you.

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By Go Right Young Man, June 4, 2011 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

BR549, - “The US returning sovereignty to Germany and Japan? Ha! Really. How did you ever arrive at that conclusion?”

-

From practically every American, German and Japanese historian to date.

If your next response is something in the form of how the MIC controls thousands of historians scattered about the planet we’ll have no more to discuss.

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By Arouete, June 4, 2011 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment

“Nothing is more useful to nation than lies, nothing more harmful than the truth” Diderot

All this is worthy of consideration but presuming it’s all true, presuming Manning is a troubled gay man, presuming he was mentally unstable, if a lunatic is sane enough to recognize a war crime does his insanity negate the truth? That is, is it insane (even for the insane) to expose crimes against humanity? If a complete lunatic blew the whistle on the ‘final solution’ would it have been wrong to tell the truth? Would any sane man have a moral duty to tell the truth?

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By Go Right Young Man, June 4, 2011 at 7:49 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns, - “Do we know Manning’s intent?”

-

According to media reports there are extensive writings from Manning stating his wish to effect global governmental relationships and put an end to, what he considered to be, an unjust war. 

This is not a play on words.  Does it not appear that this young Pfc. desired to conduct his own sense of foreign policy?

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By katsteevns, June 4, 2011 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

@ Go Right Young Man

Capitalism is the engine being used to transform the world, not by the US, but by those who use the US as their tool. Capitalism is not sustainable and as a citizen of the US, it is my duty to hinder that process. We clean up our own back yard first, then you and I can speak about China.

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By katsteevns, June 4, 2011 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

@ BR549

I am also a member of Oath Keepers. I feel it is one of the most important organizations of out time.

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By katsteevns, June 4, 2011 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment

By Go Right Young Man,
“What each of the above did is illegal due to their deleterious effects.”

In Manning’s case, you must ask, what harmful effects would perpetuate if he had NOT released that information. What about the legality or illegality of secret policies that never see the light of day. You must figure these effects as well. The story is much bigger than Manning himself and putting him in front of a firing squad will only serve the blood lust of those who hide behind the cloak of “national security”, a phrase used as a blanket excuse for most international black ops.
  Our legal system is broken in this regard. If Obama can usurp the laws and Constitution of this country and the laws of international behavior, then why isn’t he in solitary 23 hours a day and not permitted to excercise in his cell? Obama is not above morality as so many ascribe to his position.

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By Cliff Carson, June 4, 2011 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment

Doesn’t the Manning case reveal the truth of these two quotes?

“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison”. - Civil Disobedience   Henry David Thoreau


“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive”.  C. S. Lewis

Bradley Manning is in Prison without a Trial because he exposed “a Government which imprisons unjustly”  and about that there should be no debate.

So you have to consider:  Is our Government committing atrocious acts against Humanity and excusing itself by stating that it is doing these evil acts only in protecting us? I believe that they think it is so.  Does the Government sincerely believe that they must oppress the American people in order to protect them? 

Then if that be true we have to consider the second quote by Lewis.  Hasn’t it been proven true in case after case that a Government that claims Omnipotence quashes any freedom that differs from the Government directives and the common man must be subjected to the Governments desires.

If I am in prison, I don’t have freedom.  If I am locked up in a prison for my own good I am still in a prison.  If the decision point is “does my freedom come from the Constitution or from the Government?”  I assume that if not from the Constitution then the Government has usurped authority not given by the Constitution.

If from the Government and not allowed by the Constitution our Dictator is our Government.

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By BR549, June 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

Ehrenstein, June 4 at 5:02 pm
“So you prefer Rand Paul to Barack Obama. Brilliant! Next you’ll direct me to the line where they’re ladling out the Kool-Aid.”

You seem to have gotten those two names reversed.

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By BR549, June 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

GRYM,
The US returning sovereignty to Germany and Japan? Ha! Really. How did you ever arrive at that conclusion?

As for Manning, Kat seemed to say it best and I would elaborate that Manning appears to have held a conviction to do his part in keeping this country an honest one, in spite of the moral sewer that our legislature resides in. I suppose you think that Ellsberg and Gravel should have gone to prison for exposing the lies of Viet Nam.

I don’t know if you were ever in the service, so correct us if we happen to think you missed out on that less than pleasurable experience, but I happen to recall having taken that oath that specifically addressed the “foreign and DOMESTIC” part. As a member of Oathkeepers, I find the oath that I took back then just as important today as back then. For me, taking that oath was to also enter a different state of consciousness, not only about myself, but about the larger picture of what our culture and our Constitution represented. Many guys, I know, got out of the service and I guess thought that was the end of their responsibility, and many members of the population who never served now selfishly believe that the system somehow owes them something. It’s a two way street.

I’m not going to put words in Manning’s mouth about his motivations, but on face value, he had an obligation to do what he did, just as the legislature has totally failed in its obligation to keep its office moral and with integrity. You may suggest that Manning was disclosing foreign policy secrets; many of the rest of us, however, seem to feel that Manning was exposing the lies that were being increasingly told to the American public about exactly what that foreign policy entailed; domestic murder, foreign assassinations, human trafficking (as is the case with Dyncor), drug trafficking, extortion; are you getting the picture yet?

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By Ehrenstein, June 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

“Manning has indeed done more practical good in the fight against war and empire than the great majority of “pragmatic” bleeding hearts will ever do by voting as instructed by MSNBC, The Nation and deadbeat Democrats in Washington.”

NO GAY OR LESBIAN PERSON SHOULD JOIN THE MILITARY!!! WHY WOULD ANYONE SYSTEMATICALLY EXCUDED FROM THE SOCIAL ORDER SEEK TO SUPPORT SAID SOCIAL ORDER AS IT WRECKS HAVOC WORLD WIDE?

“The Guardian video opens with a s-l-o-o-o-w pan of Bradley Manning at a party full of hipsters and computer hackers, where he looks like a clean-cut choirboy.”

Now you sound like the AP—devoted to lookism.

“An editorial decision was made at “Frontline” to slow down the moment when Manning looks at the camera and flirtatiously passes his hand over his hair.”

Cleary they’ve seen “My So-Called Life” and regard Manning as “Ricky” So what? We are ALL Ricky to the Heterosexual Dictatorship (Chistopher Isherwood’s ever-useful term.)

Manning was doomed before he entered the military. Now all that’s left is to shovel the dirt over the corpse.

Say Good Night Gracie.

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By Ehrenstein, June 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

“If by any chance I turn up on a “suspect” list at the airport this June when I try to fly to Europe, no doubt the agents who guide me to a fluorescent cube will have a neat file ready for reference, listing the dozen or more times I enjoyed the hospitality of the state behind bars.”

Hpney, how old are you? I’m 64. I went to the High School of Music and Art (aka. “Communist Martyrs High”) class of ‘64. On my very first day my classmates pointed out the “Red Squad” car to me. If you rushed it, it would puall aay - only to return a short time later. It was there to monitor students—“Red Diaper babies” most of us—and take our pictures. That day in 1961 the scales fell from my eyes AND THEY HAVEN’T GROWN BACK!!!

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By Ehrenstein, June 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

“Some of us even remember the days when gay activists fought the “expert” knowledge enshrined in such a scripture as the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”

Oh I remember it all very well. And you should also know that ALL the Psychiatrists who got the association to declassify"homosexuality” as a “neurosis” in 1973(!) were gay themselves.

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By Ehrenstein, June 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

So you prefer Rand Paul to Barack Obama. Brilliant!
Next you’ll direct me to the line where they’re ladling out the Kool-Aid. Or make a package of pudding laced with an overdose of Fenobarbetol.

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By Go Right Young Man, June 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

diamond, - “Manning’s case is entirely different. Manning did what he did (if indeed he did it) out of conscience. Hanson was paid at least a million dollars to do what he did.”

-

No.  Actually it’s no different at all.  That is precisely the point.

Suggesting that Manning’s intentions are more honorable is a personal judgement.  A judgment you just happen to agree with.  Well, look deeper.  There are a GREAT many people who will unequivocally disagree with you.  There are a great many people who support both Kools’ and Hanson’s actions.

Absolving Manning, Kools or Hanson when it fits your own personal sense of right and wrong is not the way.  What each of the above did is illegal due to their deleterious effects.  There is no rationalizing that issue away.

-

Does a White House Aid or Staffer have a duty to publish White House communications when the individual agrees or disagrees with policy set by the President?  This is not an easy question. 

Let’s not assume Pfc. Manning has an automatic right of absolution. Particularly if he released 250,000 State Dept. cables he could not possibly have edited for their potential effects.  Good or bad.

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By katsteevns, June 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

@ Go Right Young Man

Do we know Manning’s intent? Until that is established by setting him free, having a trial and letting him tell his story, we are grasping at straws. Due process, not Stalin gulags, rendition and sanctioned assassination.

@ diamond
Not to take away from your excellent argument but didn’t the children survive? I thought I heard that at least the boy did.

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By Go Right Young Man, June 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns,

You live in a dangerous world.  A world of man.

It is my belief that you’re taking the entire globe out of context with your focus so intent on the United States.  The same United States which lives amongst a world of men.

If I were to ask you to discuss how many people have been intentionally starved in China in the past 50 years would you be able?  That is without once mentioning the United States?

If I asked you to write a few words on a World Health Organization study which reports that the U.S. has saved 50 million lives in Africa, would you be willing to do that without adding your personal feelings on the many ills of the U.S.?

-

I’m not suggesting the United States does all things right.  It certainly does not. It is governed by man.  I’m saying there is murderous corruption all over the world and the United States is not the cause. 

People are governed by man all over the globe.  In fact, little do most Americans realize that China effectuates more human lives about the globe than does the U.S..  So too with India at this time and in this space.

I would suggest that a firm argument can be made that the United States is at its height of prestige because it completely destroyed Germany and Japan only to spend terrific amounts of American sweat to build them both up again and return their sovereignty.  Neither Russia, China, Japan, Germany, Italy or South Africa would have done the same in this world of man.

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By diamond, June 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

“Let us be clear.  You’re saying that any soldier*, CIA agent, FBI Agent, DOD and Energy executive, Microsoft engineer, Coca-cola employee, Roto-Rooter technician, Plumbers Union representative and White House employee can and should decide which information is to be held close and which should be disclosed to the entire globe?  All based on each individual’s personal view of the world?  If this is your true intention, well, I guess I’m asking, does that same rationale apply when you personally don’t agree with an individuals views or actions?

Mark Fidel Kools too held strong personal beliefs.  He rationalized that it was his “duty” to throw a grenade into the Headquarters of the 101st Airborne Division while stationed in Kuwait in 2003.  In fact that’s what he did.  -  There are a great many people who applaud Kools actions and believe him a genuine hero for being so firmly principled.”

Very devious but it won’t wash. Manning’s case is entirely different. Manning did what he did (if indeed he did it) out of conscience. Hanson was paid at least a million dollars to do what he did. And releasing information (if he did it, he hasn’t been put on trial and even the charges against him are unclear at this point) to reveal a war crime or to reveal many war crimes is not the same as selling secrets to a foreign power for money. The information, such as the ‘collateral murder’ video, does not contain details about weapons or military actions planned, but it does reveal a systematic disregard for the lives of civilians and shows some of the truth about what’s really gone in and is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. The argument you’re putting forward is the same one put forward by dirty cops, that they all have to stick together and cover us each other’s crimes. All this does is allow the crimes to continue, unreported and unpunished. And the attempt to link what Manning is alleged to have done with rolling or throwing a hand grenade into a place where people will be killed by it is outrageous. Manning hasn’t killed anyone but the soldiers in the ‘Collateral Murder’ video have -  two of them were children and one of them was a Reuters journalist. Where is your outrage and condemnation over that? It doesn’t exist: it only exists when you’re smearing a man who should be innocent until proven guilty and who hasn’t killed anyone. Yes, let us be clear. And let us not draw comparisons that are inaccurate and misleading.

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By Go Right Young Man, June 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

gerard,

You write much on the subjects of peace and diplomacy.

With all due respect, it seems to me you willfully dismiss a few core issues inherent in the subject of Mr. Manning.  Specifically the real-world ramifications of his actions.  It’s as if you were to acknowledge the downsides and dangers in Manning’s actions your own interpersonal cause(s) will be threatened or overshadowed.

You also write a tremendous amount on the dangers of manufacturing enemies and monsters while writing incessantly about the evil and monstrous enemies of the human race at the highest levels of American culture.

Your most consistent theme: If it proves to harm the U.S. you are most often in favor.  If it’s of benefit you’re consistently opposed.  It rarely matters the subject. 

I’m beginning to believe that retribution against, what you perceive to be, the murderous United States is where your true passions and intentions lay.  That all subjects must be viewed through that lens before it begins validation.

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By RayLan, June 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

The only symptom of any disorder of Manning’s mind is that, this young gay man, with a contempt for ourangutan macho culture and abusive authority, joined the military.

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By katsteevns, June 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

Right, gerard. They are using Manning as a guinea pig to see just how much they can get away with. If America will accept mistreatment of one of it’s own on it’s own soil, it makes it easier to expand the program. Blur the lines between right and wrong and you can get away with much.
  But America is not ready to be a just society, too many here don’t know what justice is, or that it resembles justice at the end of a gun barrel or a rope. If we let our military run around the world killing innocents, we will surely accept it happening at home. That is what those in power are counting on. Human life has less value than ideals or beliefs.
  If Manning is released, he will talk, and we can’t have that. We can not have too many people identifying with his plight, it may cause an unrest that may threaten the power structure and get people involved in the thinking process. We don’t want people thinking, it’s bad for business.

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By Go Right Young Man, June 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns, - “Didn’t Manning take an oath to “protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic”? - “Was his intent to ‘conduct foreign policy’ or to fulfill his oath?”

-

Let us be clear.  You’re saying that any soldier*, CIA agent, FBI Agent, DOD and Energy executive, Microsoft engineer, Coca-cola employee, Roto-Rooter technician, Plumbers Union representative and White House employee can and should decide which information is to be held close and which should be disclosed to the entire globe?  All based on each individual’s personal view of the world?  If this is your true intention, well, I guess I’m asking, does that same rationale apply when you personally don’t agree with an individuals views or actions?

Mark Fidel Kools too held strong personal beliefs.  He rationalized that it was his “duty” to throw a grenade into the Headquarters of the 101st Airborne Division while stationed in Kuwait in 2003.  In fact that’s what he did.  -  There are a great many people who applaud Kools actions and believe him a genuine hero for being so firmly principled.

Robert Hanson too claims he’s a “principled” man.  He claimed to believe that by stealing and disseminating protected FBI information he would be exposing the incompetency of the Justice Dept. and it’s handling of information technology.  The effects of his beliefs was of great benefit to others and equally harmful to the FBI. - Many people on this Web space applaud Hanson.  He did harm and that’s a good thing.

Kools, Hanson and Manning.  Each felt passionate enough in their cause to act.  Each are considered great heroes by many.

So it’s settled.  The President of the United States, and his State Dept. by extension, has no right to a private conversation with world leaders and diplomats.  If a White House aid or staffer disagrees or agrees with policy it is their personal duty to publish any and all communications at their discretion.

-

*According to media reports Pfc Manning wrote to others that he desired to effect global governmental relationships.  Foreign policy.

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By gerard, June 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

A country geared for war has to make enemies.  If not enemies abroad, it will even turn to making enemies at home by choosing to fight or persecute those within its own population for either words or acts that it can twist and construe as opposition or betrayal.

A country geared for war cannot recognize or condone efforts toward openness and understanding because to promote peace is to acknowledge that war itself is a non-sane and counterproductive pursuit that itself can be defeated.

Keeping up the pretense that war is “inevitable” requires constant conspiracy to maintain conformity to the lie that those who advocate and work for peace are “enemies.”  The moment when that lie is successfully exposed, human beings with compassionate intent can build a better world.

It is going to be a long, hard struggle because of our financial dependence upon the military-industrial complex—but what a dirty business that is—to promote killing and to make profits from the destruction of relatively helpless “others” who are, in fact, our brothers and sisters.

Defending Bradley Manning is the first step in this struggle toward a better tomorrow.

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By katsteevns, June 4, 2011 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

By Go Right Young Man,

“This is not about a soldier’s obligation to disobey illegal or immoral orders.  This is about a young soldier conducting his or her own foreign policy when he or she agrees or disagrees with policy.”

I don’t know, but isn’t this just a play on words? Didn’t Manning take an oath to “protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic”?
Was his intent to “conduct foreign policy” or to fulfill his oath?

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By Alan, June 4, 2011 at 11:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was taken aback the other day when I heard Jimmy
Williams on a discussion panel on the Dylan Ratigan
show about Manning’s alleged treason. Williams, a
lobbyist who knows full well the dysfunction in Wall
Street Washington and often decries the corporate-
state system as the reason America is in peril,
simply said, “He’s a traitor. Light him up.” Mr.
Williams is openly gay.

The only thing I can think about this sentiment by
Williams is the basic idea that traitors are the same
as murderers. They have broken their oath of secrecy.
Manning had access to secrets, was sworn to keep
them, and endangered fellow military persons in
disclosing them. He committed treason. And that is
the ultimate military sin in most nations, no matter
what side they’re fighting on. And there lies the
irony of the whole idea of “treason”: One nation’s
treason is another nation’s heroism. Tim McVeigh was
a hero in our military, but a criminal when he blew
up the Murrah building. In his own mind, he was only
doing well what he was trained to do, in either
situation. It’s all a mind-boggling knot and
“justice” by perspective.

The other side of this question involves the fate of
Julian Assange who seems to believe in an idea of
total disclosure and transparency that is available
in a free Internet as the ultimate tool of democracy
and honesty. Disclosure as the road to a more just
world.

All this at a moment when the Middle East is groaning
toward supplanting theocratic and autocratic
governments with some form of democracy while America
seems to be sliding in a fascist direction with
whatever we had of democracy in serious jeopardy.
There is a sense that we are in a battle of the
titans: oligarchy vs. the people.

The outcome of this struggle signals where America
and the nations are headed. Could the promise of
democracy be derailed again? And at a promising
moment when it could actually be achieved?

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By Go Right Young Man, June 4, 2011 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

BR549,

Support Manning in that he took a stand.  Contribute to his defense.  Call him tremendously brave.  Absolving him of his actions, however, is not the way.  The effects of that is not worth any interpersonal cause(s).

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By Cliff Carson, June 4, 2011 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

Thank you BR549 for your excellent and on target comment.

What Bradley Manning’s motives were makes no difference.

Whether he was/is Homosexual is beside the point.

Good health, bad health, psychological problems, again doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that he is being punished for helping reveal that the United States is being run by an immoral murderous regime equally as bad as any Dictatorship on Earth.

And he is being punished by those criminals who he revealed as the gutter types they are.

What is important, and the only thing that is important, is that he did more than rant about the immoral actions being committed in the name of Democracy and Humanity.

He put his future life on the line for you and me.

There is no other truth.

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By BR549, June 4, 2011 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

GRYM,
This the same military establishment, in the same country we had chosen to serve in, as Manning had, only the rules that were hiding the corruption and abuse were not something that we were ever made aware of during our oath taking ceremonies.

The majority of individuals join up, go through their whole tour(s) of duty and the only thing they question is if their paycheck arrived in time to pay off the debts they had incurred during the last two weeks. That “rule book” that so many armchair patriots seem to think exists is all smoke and mirrors; it’s a modern day delusion that has been contorted over time to make those who don’t understand how the military works think that it is some super efficient killing machine and a necessary part of a country’s lifeblood. NOTHING could be further from the truth. The Afghanis were there before the Russians came, they were there when they left. They were there still when the US decided to pursue its hegemonic occupation, and they will be there when we leave except that, we are poor losers and as is typical “turd in the punchbowl” fashion,  we illegally dump tons of radioactive waste in the country to discourage anyone from wanting to go in there. (I say “we”, I mean the spineless lawmakers that allowed this all to happen.)

At some point, people like Pat Tillman, Jessica Lynch, and Manning are confronted with the truth and have had the testicular (or ovarian) fortitude to stand up against what they know to be wrong. Supporting these lies is NOT what I signed up for 40+ years ago, either, and apparently I wasn’t the only one. I was threatened with an Article 15 over a similar but far less crucial issue. I was furious. I stood my ground, as had these people, and at least in my minor case, all charges were dropped. It’s what you do when you know other people are abusing the system and lying about it to others in the population who expect more out of their tax dollars. It’s an integrity issue; not that we can expect anything of the sort from our legislature or the MIC.

We find that the Los Angeles times new of soldiers getting off the boat in ‘64 corroborating the fact that we were never attacked in the Tonkin Gulf. Admiral Stockdale, Perot’s running mate and lead pilot for the mission in question, would later state that he never saw any boats upon which he was ordered to fire, yet the next day we went about attacking the Vietnamese oil fields. The total number of dead in that conflict wasn’t just our 58,000; well over a million others, many of them innocent civilians, would wind up dead to support Standard Oil’s need to research the oil rich deposits off Viet Nam.

Now, if it is found that Manning was being paid for the information, that I would have a problem with, but I don’t think that has even entered into the issue. If we have to lie to get what we think we need, then we don’t stand for much as a population; certainly not as citizens claiming to be a part of a democratic republic.

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By katsteevns, June 4, 2011 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

Excellent work, Tucker!!
Obama is a complete and utter loser, in my view.
Someone must have pinned him down, ripped out his backbone through his mouth, and replaced it with a forked tongue.
  And I fear he actually thinks he is virtuous. He simply has no clue about the human condition besides that of the elites. If he spent any time in poverty, he learned nothing that could be of any value to a country in crisis.

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By Jim Yell, June 4, 2011 at 6:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If it is true and probably is that Bradley Manning was judged to be too unstable to be assigned overseas and he was even about to be released from the military, than this whole episode is the total fault of the officer class and politicians.

He hasn’t been charged or convicted yet and yet his civil rights and humanity are under attack by a bunch of SS type goons. At the very center I do not believe the government should have the right to hide their crimes behind “TOP SECRET”.

The way the government is going about this is an affront to every fair minded person, every person who believes in human rights. It is disgusting and proves that Obama lied to us when he said he was concerned for the American People. He seems only concerned about keeping us in our place. This is not Democracy moderated by a Bill of Rights.

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By Go Right Young Man, June 4, 2011 at 5:17 am Link to this comment

Bradly Manning is entitled to his convictions.  As many here are entitled to see Manning as a hero.  The problem comes in calling this something other than it is.

Every argument I’ve seen to date in young Manning’s favor finds its roots in the perceived righteousness of his actions.  His cause.  Manning was right in his actions because, it is assumed, he believed in what he was doing. - Not unlike most on this Web space believe.

This rationale has numerous problems.  It runs disastrously against itself when turned over.  For example:  It was widely considered wrong when Robert Hanson stole and disseminated protected information when Mr. Hanson believed it was the right thing to do.  It has been well understood that Robert Hanson had no right to make such a decision.  Not at all unlike pfc Manning, the dangers in Mr. Hanson’s actions far exceed his personal cause or individual beliefs. 

This is not about a soldier’s obligation to disobey illegal or immoral orders.  This is about a young soldier conducting his or her own foreign policy when he or she agrees or disagrees with policy.  If Bradly Manning knowingly released protected information to the wild he is likely guilty of numerous Felony charges and, very possibly, treason.

-

Support Manning in that he took a stand.  Contribute to his defense.  Call him tremendously brave.  Absolving him of his actions, however, is not the way.  The effects of that is not worth any interpersonal cause(s).

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By Larry Snider, June 4, 2011 at 3:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As someone who has only been a casual observer of the Wiki/Manning explosion I can only say that the Frontline piece was disturbing, that the challenge of Julian Assange to the ability of the United States government and its military and any government and its military to conduct foreign policy is also disturbing. I don’t consider myself a kneejerk liberal, I struggle defending our freedoms and yet see the limits of the promise of any candidate representing either of our two political parties to enact meaningful CHANGE against the backdrop of the multifacited ever hungry American capitalist system that he/she represents. It is tough to swallow what’s happening to a young gay PFC. unless he is thoroughly brutalized by the media at the same time he is being brutalized by the US military. That said I have serious problems trusting my future to a world of junior computer hackers led by Julian Assange. If I want to open the door and peer into the dark side for a moment I could easily say that it is a symptom of the decline and fall of the American Empire, but that would be giving too much credit to the editors of Truthdig…

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By drbhelthi, June 4, 2011 at 2:01 am Link to this comment

@  D.R. Zing

Interesting blurb!
Neat, rambling speculations.

Might prove to be even more interesting, if PFC Manning is
proven to have actually done what he is charged with. 

It would not surprise me if his situation was entrapment.

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By D.R. Zing, June 3, 2011 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment

Hmm.  You know,  I mean I get the gist of this article but don’t really agree with it.  It seems kind of—how to say it?—stoned. 

Conflating Frontline with the national mainstream news media is a bit like conflating John Waters with Francis Ford Coppola. I mean, they are just two different animals.

Sure The News Hours Hour is about a sixty percent regurgitation of the barely digested news of the day, but Frontline is heads and shoulders above The News Hour. 

It’s also weird that Mr. Tucker takes a squint-eyed jab at Frontline and then proceeds to quote information that came from Frontline as well as cite background information that came from Frontline—without crediting Frontline as the source.  That’s weird.

Oh, I see he put a link to the The Guardian where the quote also resides and that makes it okay. 

So what if Bradley Manning wasn’t fit for duty.  We got lucky that he slipped by.  There have been scientific studies that show depressed people in stressful situations often have a more objective view of reality than their upbeat counterparts.  Think about Aron Ralston, the subject of the movie 127 Hours. Think he was in a dandy mood when came to the conclusion he had to compound fracture his own arm and then saw off the ligaments,tendons and muscle with a dull knife?  Hell no! 

Granted, it’s a different case.  Ralston was a narcissist, not depressed, when he went into that canyon, but still, a horrible situation brought out the depression. 

It’s very likely that Mr. Manning had the guts to do what he did because he was depressed, because his life had been horrible, because his father probably was a real jerk, because he had been forced to join the military, because he realized the wars are horrible and amoral and absurd, because he knew something had to be done and because he felt bad enough and was pissed off enough to do it. 

The fact that he may suffer from depression in no way discredits what he did. He still did us and Tunisia and Egypt and the world a wonderful service by inspiring people and pissing off people enough to fight dictators. Good for him. 

If in any way he can help hasten the exit of all our service men and women from the Afghanistan and Pakistan then I vote for adding his bust to Mount Rushmore.

As for the problems gays face in the military, I get that.  There are sadistic, sick, ignorant people all over and certainly in the military who have it out for gays. They are disgusting and reprehensible and should be imprisoned when they abuse people. So, yeah, I understand that. 

But going after Frontline as if it were the Washington Post? Yeah, John Waters is just like Francis Ford Coppola. They’re both directors, aren’t they?  Just don’t follow.

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By Psychobabbler, June 3, 2011 at 10:49 pm Link to this comment

The man in the ‘Guardian’ side show who pointed out that he ‘pissed himself’ was the most remarkable to me. As I type these words, he is probably driving his big truck to the wilderness to growl like a grizzly while he shits a brick (what a bunch of crap!)

I am not meaning to discard the guys Masculinity as far as it has potential to entertain me on ESPN2 via chopping wood like a lumber jack.

When the laws are preventing crimes against humanity from being inhaled by the people to digest properly, then the act of breaking these laws reflects the only legitimate reason for law and order.

You obviously must be racist against white people if you think it is only appropriate when Rosa Parks did it.

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