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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 12:44 AM

19. Claims that he was a principled whistleblower might have had some credibility,

had Manning's releases been organized around a few definite issues. But his statement this week makes clear that he downloaded and released hundreds of thousands of documents indiscriminately, and he laid out a timeline that proves he cannot possibly have known what he was releasing. He didn't know what he was releasing in his five minute chat with a WaPo reporter, and that's why he didn't tell her anything definite. He didn't know what he was releasing when he chatted with Lamo, and that's why he merely told Lamo he expected Wikileaks to release a searchable database of cables, rather than providing any specific information. That Wikileaks did release the cables as a searchable database, and made efforts to enroll major newspapers in a search through the cables for headline-grabbing stories, without any prior unifying malfeasance narrative, shows the same thing: Wikileaks had no idea exactly what Manning had handed to them, because Manning himself really didn't know what his data-dump contained

His position, under the law, will be uncomfortable, as he has seriously abused his security access. The idea, that we should look sympathetically upon him as a whistle-blower, might have been more attractive to some of us, had his releases focused on specific instances of evident malfeasance. But following Manning's statement, that idea cannot be entertained any longer

Every single country in the world expects its ambassadors to be able to communicate secretly with the home government, and international law respects and supports such expectations of diplomatic privilege. Manning lacked all the experience, training, and skills to make any specific decisions whatsoever about the appropriateness of various diplomatic secrets -- and, in fact, the record today shows that he made no such specific decisions: he simply downloaded whatever diplomatic materials he could easily download (numbering hundreds of thousands of cables) and then released them to Wikileaks. He did this deliberately, despite earlier warnings from higher level officials about his failure to follow security protocols, and despite additional training on security. The principle, that the US military answers to civilian government, implies (among other things) that members of the military (at any level) are not allowed to subvert the international diplomatic work of the civilian government: PFC Manning, however, apparently believed he was entitled to do just that

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kpete Mar 2013 OP
mike_c Mar 2013 #1
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LineReply Claims that he was a principled whistleblower might have had some credibility,
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