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For non-prior military (civilians who have never served) What is your opinion of Bradley Manning

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stevenleser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 12:01 PM
Original message
Poll question: For non-prior military (civilians who have never served) What is your opinion of Bradley Manning
This poll is one of two. It is for civilians who have never served in the military. The polls are designed to try to determine whether military service colors the reaction to Mannings actions.

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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stevenleser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. :kick: - Would like to hear comments with reasoning
:kick:
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. let's be clear-- the opposite of what Manning did is "maintaining willful deception..."
Edited on Mon Dec-27-10 12:17 PM by mike_c
...of the American people. Laws and regulations that enable those that hold power to more easily deceive those that do not have no place in a democracy, and they ESPECIALLY have no place in the military that supposedly defends democratic principles. In the application of those laws that we're seeing today, the American people are being equated with the "enemy" that "secrecy" was meant to deceive.

Manning's actions demonstrate the moral bankruptcy of the Pentagon, the degree to which it creates and serves power for its own sake. Manning is a hero of the highest order.
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stevenleser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. That's actually not correct Mike and is one of the reasons I created these two polls
Former military like myself know that there are other options that stay within the rules and the UCMJ to handle the few aspects of what Manning did that were whistleblowing. Those options are the subject of many and regular briefings that military personnel get.

My response to seeing the video of the helicopters would be (after chain of command) to take it up with the inspector general of my unit, and every command up the chain to include the inspector general of the army. If that did not work, I would call the various members of the armed services committee and start a congressional inquiry.

There are MANY, MANY options available to a military person who has a crisis of conscience. Non former military people wouldnt know any of that though.
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Dystopian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Chain of command....
Usually doesn't end well in the military.

The strange and consequential case of Bradley Manning, Adrian Lamo and WikiLeaks

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/...

Manning described the incident which first made him seriously question the U.S. war in Iraq: when he was instructed to work on the case of Iraqi "insurgents" who had been detained for distributing "insurgent" literature which, when he had it translated, turned out to be nothing more than "a scholarly critique against PM Maliki":


i had an interpreter read it for me and when i found out that it was a benign political critique titled "Where did the money go?" and following the corruption trail within the PMs cabinet i immediately took that information and *ran* to the officer to explain what was going on he didnt want to hear any of it he told me to shut up and explain how we could assist the FPs in finding *MORE* detainees

i had always questioned the things worked, and investigated to find the truth but that was a point where i was a *part* of something i was actively involved in something that i was completely against


(More at link)

The military needs to brainwash. Dehumanize. Bradley Manning didn't have a chance. In the military, one with a 'crisis of conscience' usually gets his ass kicked, ostracized, etc.

peace~
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stevenleser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. That is not true at all...
Everything you wrote is clearly from the perspective of someone who has never served and has no real knowledge of how the military works.

Approaching one's first sergeant or commander with a serious issue, as long as one observes the appropriate customs and courtesies (reporting statements, sirs, etc. as appropriate), is not met with punishment. Commanders and senior enlisted personnel are also governed by the UCMJ and thus cannot give punishment without reason.

The inspector generals in the military exist precisely so people can blow the whistle on fraud, waste and abuse and other malfeasance. The exposition of Abu Graib came about because a whistleblower went to the Army Inspector General.

The mechanism for Manning to be a whistleblower existed and he was briefed on that existence. He chose instead to break the law.
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Dystopian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. And he went through hell doing it.....
Promised anonymity

Joe Darby knew what he saw was wrong, but it took him three weeks to decide to hand those photographs in. When he finally did, he was promised anonymity and hoped he would hear no more about it.

Mr Darby feared repercussions from the soldiers in the photos
But he was scared of the repercussions from the accused soldiers in the photos.

"I was afraid for retribution not only from them, but from other soldiers," he says.
"At night when I would sleep, they were less than 100 yards from me, and I didn't even have a door on the room I slept in.

"I had a raincoat hanging up for a door. Like I said to my room mate, they could reach their hand in the door - because I slept right by the door - and cut my throat without making a noise, or anybody knowing what was going on, and I was scared of that."
When the accused soldiers were finally removed from the base, he thought his troubles were over.

And then he was sitting in a crowded Iraqi canteen with hundreds of soldiers and Donald Rumsfeld came on the television to thank Joe Darby by name for handing in the photographs.


More at link:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6930197.stm

He can never go home.

peace~
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Dystopian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #10
21. Would you please respond to my reply....#12
Yes, clearly what I wrote is from the perspective of someone who has never served. That is why I replied to this poll. I do, however, have some knowledge of how the military works.

I would appreciate your thoughts of the outcome of his actions, knowing that the abuse continued.

peace~
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stevenleser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. To what is there to respond? Your #12 proves my point.
Was he prosecuted by the military for going to the IG? No, he was commended. He FELT scared not of retribution through official channels or the chain of command, but by individuals. But no harm has come to him.

He did the right thing and should be commended, and he was. That is the difference between him and someone like Manning who did the wrong thing.
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Dystopian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. Thank you.
His fears were real, based on what he knew....being in the military.
He was outed by Rumsfeld.
He can never go home.

We can agree to disagree ......if that's okay with you.
I appreciate your respectful reply and opinion.

peace~
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
4. Actually, I don't know whether he did anything wrong, but he is a hero.
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stevenleser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
5. kick #2
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
6. What did he do?
Do we have any facts in evidence? I know that he's being held incommunicado by our military under conditions that we used to consider torture, but I'm unaware of anything he's done to merit such inhumane treatment. At least, anything that has been proved that he has done, which comes under the heading of a quaint old legal custom known as "due process" which in our modren world we ain't got time for no more 'cuz we're in a global war on terrorism, and you never know when a noun might pop up, so better safe than sorry, before a smoking Gund becomes a mushroom cloud to fog up our war.
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stevenleser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. The military version of being held over for trial is much more vigorous than the civilian world
Jail in the military is more "vigorous" in general.

My sense is, he is going to wish he was back in the conditions he is in now once he is convicted. He's going to get life at hard labor.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. So if he's innocent
This is just "vigorous" military protocol?

Damn, I'm so old I remember when the United States styled itself as a bulwark against things like this.
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stevenleser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Then you are unaware of US military history from its beginnings.
Edited on Mon Dec-27-10 01:48 PM by stevenleser
Military justice, even in Democracies and the west, is very harsh pick a country, England, France, pick one, they are all like that. AND, you get briefed on that when you sign up and again at regular intervals. There is no other way to play it in the military than 100% by the rules. If you want to engage in civil disobedience, dont do it in the military. dont join or get out at your first opportunity.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. But if he didn't do anything
And there is, at this point, no evidence (There's that word again! What could it mean?) of anything, just suspicion, which is apparently good enough for our government and our military to get out the rack and the thumbscrews, haul out the iron maiden, and fire up the forge for the iron pokers. Goodness, we've advanced so much over the centuries!
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
14. He was a whistle blower on wrong-doing. And he betrayed confidences on right-doing.

He should be punished for what he did wrong, but not for what he did right. So my answer is "all of the above".


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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
15. I have at present no definite opinion on the case, since I suspect
the actual facts may be rather less clear than might be indicated by public speculation: for example, I am not convinced that Manning released the diplomatic cables; I think it is possible he has been set up as a patsy; and I expect there is an extensive counter-intelligence investigation underway

One, of course, cannot imagine a functional military without an enforced chain of command, just as one cannot imagine a democracy with a military unless the military is under informed civilian control -- and these ideas are mutually contradictory, since military operations require some secrecy, since the chain of command will always use secrecy to cover its ass, and since informed civilian control requires a certain openness and a certain number of exposed asses

If Manning did release the Iraq war material, he might better have followed an earlier example:

... Ron Ridenhour, a former member of Charlie Company ... sent a letter detailing the events at My Lai to President Richard M. Nixon, the Pentagon, the State Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and numerous members of Congress ... Ridenhour learned about the events at My Lai secondhand ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_Massacre#Cover-up_a...

Going up the chain of command, or going to the civilian authorities, or leaking the material to the domestic press -- might have been understandable responses of a person convinced he had evidence of a crime. It is harder to understand the wholesale transfer of documents to a secretive organization run by a former hacker with no definitive address

The releases seems large and indiscriminate to me; the diplomatic cables will probably require staff shuffling costing millions of dollars, a nuisance vandalism on a grand scale: If A asks B for X, and B tells A it's not possible, ands then B quietly reports this conversation back home, it's the end of the matter; but if the report becomes public, and A has to deny the conversation in public, then B is no longer useful as an envoy to A



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Autumn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
16. I voted he is a hero,
My husband who did serve in Vietnam thinks he is a hero just as Ellsberg is.
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
17. Since he did contact his superior officers about what he discovered, then was rebuffed & dismissed,
he was astute enough to see the handwriting on the wall: no one in the military was going to be receptive. Additionally, I think Bradley got the information from someone in the State Department who may have advised him of that fact; thus, the course of action was to present the information to a third party, which turned out to be WikiLeaks.

Bradley may have committed a breach of military regulations, but the mitigating factor of his being a whistleblower against government waste, corruption, & other wrongdoing should cancel out his breaches against military regulations. Being simply discharged without further punishment would seem reasonable to me. Plus, I admire his integrity & grit; he is a hero.
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stevenleser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. See #'s 3, 8, 12, 21 and 22 which describes what he should have done
and be aware that military people receive regular briefings on the use of inspector generals for whistleblowing purposes.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. You don't have to be former military to understand
Edited on Mon Dec-27-10 10:17 PM by EFerrari
chain of command or an org board or even checks and balances. You don't need super secret special briefings to understand that.

Manning tried to go through channels and he was told to fuck off. By the same Pentagon that is committing crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan faster than they can be reported.

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stevenleser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. You still dont get it.
There were plenty of avenues for Manning to use and he refused to use them.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-28-10 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. Oh, I get it. You're defending the Pentagon despite the evidence.
There are plenty of venues on paper for him to go through. George Bush had a Justice Department, too, didn't he?

When he tried to go through the system, he was told to sit down and shut up. He didn't refuse anything.
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stevenleser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-28-10 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Why cant you admit that you just dont know what you are talking about?
That is the bottom line.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-28-10 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. What part of "they told him to shut up and sit down" is unclear to you?
Edited on Tue Dec-28-10 03:09 PM by EFerrari
He was processing Iraqi prisoners to be handed over to certain torture, something the Pentagon first denied and then, laughably, Geoff Morrell said was beyond their control because despite our occupation, the Iraqis were "in control"?

I have a good handle on the facts of this case that have been disclosed so far, thanks.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
18. I feel sorry for him. He's a kid.
I'm not convinced that he thought through what he was doing.
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
19. I find the whole narrative strange,
One of my friends is a career navy officer and has had a number of problems over the years where his security clearance didn't allow him efficient access to materials required to do his job. And this kid just uploaded the motherload it from his office computer?
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DutchLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
20. I wish there were way more Mannings in the military...
Okay, ideally, I wish nobody would join the military anymore, thereby making it impossible for our corrupt politicians and the corporations who bought them off, to wage war for their profit.

But if we're going to have a military anyway, I wish it was filled with Mannings. He's *not* "the universal soldier", and he is *not* "really to blame".
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truth2power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
24. Did nothing wrong. n/t
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 10:12 PM
Response to Original message
26. My spider sense says people requested not to vote in this poll are disregarding the request. -nt
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stevenleser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-27-10 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. I dont think so. The military poll looks like the mirror opposite of this one. n/t
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Duer 157099 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-28-10 01:24 AM
Response to Original message
30. If he broke the law, he should pay the penalty. That said, I consider him a hero.
Just because I think he ought to pay the price for any lawbreaking doesn't mean I think he did the wrong thing. I think he did the correct thing.

Does everyone know that Daniel Ellsberg was inspired to leak the Pentagon Papers as a direct effect of him seeing a conscientious objector being jailed? Sometimes it takes someone doing jail time for something they believe in, and that can often inspire others to do similarly heroic things.
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