Comments about ‘In our opinion: A prudent verdict for Pfc. Bradley Manning’

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Published: Wednesday, July 31 2013 10:30 a.m. MDT

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Ajax
Mapleton, UT

Having served in the military, I fully agree with the DN editorial.

How is a troubled young private in the U.S. Army acting under the influence of Julian Assange ever justified in arbitrarily deciding what classified military documents best to be openly broadcast worldwide? Altruism as an excuse is further evidence of a disturbing loss of perspective.

For those lauding the exposure of excesses at war please be advised that first and foremost war is about killing in the most terrifying and chaotic of circumstances. Atrocities are what combat soldiers one side and the other do. Nothing is more damaging to the soul. If that bothers you, consider greater discretion in the glorification of war as a noble and heroic pursuit wrapped in patriotism.

Cruzer7
Santa Cruz, CA

The first thing we need to understand is war is terrorism. As was indirectly stated by Ajax. Bradley Manning was a innocent soul in the time of conflict. However American aggression against Iraq and other nations in the middle east are not a war as commonly understood. The enemy we seek to destroy is an idea not a nation or a person. Using brute force against an idea is terrorism in the truest sense. The US wants to control the middle east alongside Israel. What Manning did was expose the raw material of this effort. At it's base this effort by the US is illegal, wrong and does not serve the interests of the American people. We've gained nothing but debt. I believe what Manning did was right. Certainly the US bombing and killing of civilians and the video attack on unarmed civilians in Iraq show true criminal behavior on the part of US service personnel. Those acts were war crimes. Manning should be pardoned. We are better than this.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Manning was not "an innocent soul in the time of conflict".

-He was not in the conflict... he was working at a desk.
-He was not innocent... he knew the rules regarding the data. He knew he was breaking the law. He intentionally broke the law (that's not defined as "Innocent").

The US does not want to control the middle east. We just want to protect our oil supply and stop terrorist organizations originating from there. Afganistan and Iraq would not be the targets if we wanted to control the middle east.

I would respect Manning protesting the war. But what he did... was not legal. Was not innocent. Was not "the right thing to do". And evidently the court agreed with me.

We are warned about people that, "call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter", and what will happend to them in the end.

What he did was not "innocent".

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Keeping the government's secrets safe would be so very easy if they would treat classified information like Obama's college transcripts. Totally safe from anyone ever seeing them. Its like they don't even exist!

Baccus0902
Leesburg, VA

John 8:32

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

The most dangerous thing that Manning did was to show us what is going in real war. How WE are supporting horrible acts. In the Hollywood movies those actions are limited to Nazis, Japanese, or other representing the evil side of the plot, we are usually in the right side..

Manning showed us that WE can also be and we are in the evil side. In war all parties involved commit crimes. The worst crime that Manning committed was to put us in front of the mirror of truth.

The DN editorial talks about 'patriotism". What is patriotism? In my book at least, is to work hard for the well being and improvement of your nation. Lies, crimes and civilian massacres are not things a patriot should hide but reveal.

Truth can be quite uncomfortable, but knowing the truth is the only way to become free.

Should we expose all secrets? Of course not, it would be inconvenient and naive. However, to show our faults is an act of bravery and yes! Naivete! We are not prepared to know the truth.

Dragline
Oream, UT

The Iraq war was started with biased, inaccurate information, and in the eyes of the world an immoral and illegal war for oil and political standing (yeah, check out Hunt oil's contract for Kurdish oil). It cost hundreds of thousands of lives and will cost us over $2 trillion dollars before the last veteran is cared for.

The Bush administration stopped coverage of the war and the media couldn't or wouldn't perform their responsibilities. So who is left to throw back the covers and expose this crime? Thank your Bradley Manning. You, like all patriots, are paying the price for doing the right thing.

joe5
South Jordan, UT

Baccus: Your last paragraph confuses me. Do you expose all your faults? Do you have the bravery to do so? Or do you, like most people, show your better side and downplay your flaws? Why is it an act of courage to tell the world what's wrong with you? Do you reveal the flaws of your children or wife? Wouldn't that be courageous, too? Help them become free?

Dragline: I don't understand why people persist in making every single conversation something about party politics. Virtually all the inaccurate information that led to the Iraqi War came from the Clinton administration. Have you conveniently forgotten that or willfully blinded yourself to it? Also please explain to me what a moral and legal war would look like. And what about the "hundreds of thousands" of lives you claim have been lost? Slight case of exaggeration, maybe?

If you think it is patriotic or courageous to reveal secrets that you've sworn not to reveal, then I doubt you have ever been trusted with any information of real value. At least not more than once.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

There’s a fundamental difference between reporting criminal acts or ethical violations and leaking classified information that's vital to security. To do the former is one’s duty as a citizen. To do the later is and should be a criminal act.

Blurring the distinction is becoming a worrisome issue that calls for sharp definition of where the line is. Activities that are legal and crucial to the security of a free state must have reasonable and enforceable provisions for needed secrecy.

Baccus0902
Leesburg, VA

@ Joe5

You asked:"Do you expose all your faults?" No! I try to overcome them and admit my mistakes when made.

We live in a society that is used to be misinformed,lied, and love to look the other way when necessary.

Mr. Snowden is at an airport in Russia for revealing that we the U.S. citizens are being spied upon by our government. I decried that action when the Bush administration started it and I am deeply disappointed by its continuation under Obama's.

The current Pope was asked about why he doesn't allow a strong security i.e. no papa-mobile. He answered he believed it was better to die at the hands of a crazy person that to give in to the insanity of extra security and constant fear.

After September 11 we as a nation gave in to the insanity, we are oppressing ourselves, killing people abroad and being paranoid in the name of national security.

Manning and Snowden have violated the law. But, have they betrayed their country?

I don't think so. However, we as a nation may have betrayed our ideals and principles.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Manning and Snowden have violated the law. But, have they betrayed their country?"

Yes.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

In my faith we belive in "obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law".

Maybe this is part of why the FBI and many other situations where it's important they can trust you will obey the law (instead of applying your own rules, rationalizations, and situational obedience) look for LDS people.

I think it's good to know you will obey the law when you pledge to obey the law. I think it's hard to trust people like those in this thread who think breaking the law is OK (when it fits their political agenda). How could you trust somebody like that?

IF when we pledge to obey the law, and not reveal secret data we are given access too as part of our job... and then we decide it serves our political agenda to expose it... and we expose millions of megabytes of secret data to Wiki-leaks... It's still breaking the law.

And calling breaking the law "Good" (just because it serves our political agenda"... is calling evil good, and good evil (IMO)

Protesting the war is one thing. But he should have found a way to protest without selling all this data to Wiki-leaks.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

How could a police department conduct a criminal investigation if one of its detectives, out of a sense of duty to greater transparency, supplied a local news outlet with daily leaks of the latest evidence when they still had no identified suspects?

Lightbearer
Brigham City, UT

Re: "Keeping the government's secrets safe would be so very easy if they would treat classified information like Obama's college transcripts. Totally safe from anyone ever seeing them. Its like they don't even exist!"

According to Factcheck, as of July 31, 2012: "Obama hasn't released them, but neither have other presidential candidates released their college records. George W. Bush's grades at Yale eventually became public, but only because somebody leaked them to the New Yorker magazine. Bush himself refused to release them, according to a 1999 profile in the Washington Post."

So unless some presidential candidate released his college transcripts after July 31, 2012 - I couldn't find Romney's online -, no presidential candidate has released his college transcripts. But Obama should? Why? What do his opponents hope to find? And say that he did release them. If they didn't contain what his opponents hoped they contained, would they promptly be declared fakes?

DougB
Spanish Fork, UT

Did *anybody* on the Deseret News Editorial board actually read or watch much of what Manning released. It seems quite evident that they did not.

Manning was a true "whistleblower" deserving of protections (and a pardon!) in every sense of the word. If you take the time to research what he released, then you find yourself asking the kind of questions that every citizen should be demanding of their elected Federal representatives: why are we sending so many patriotic volunteers overseas to the Middle East? What is their objective? What is our endgame? How are things going over there big picture?

These things should have caused honest discussion and reflection.

Bradley Manning tried time and again -- starting with when he first discovered that his fellow volunteer servicemen were being ordered to wipe out and kill a group of alleged "terrorists" that his own unit had discovered were not terrorists at all -- they were merely peaceful citizens publishing pamphlets about local corruption who ticked off the corrupt officials and ordered up American help in wiping them out -- he tried time and again to use the chain of command properly and failed.

Thoughtful Voter
Spanish Fork, UT

The judge got the verdict right when she found that Manning had neither intended nor -- crucially -- actually aided the enemy with any of his careful leaks.

Paraphrasing Twain: Patriotism is supporting your country all of the time and your government only when they deserve it.

Manning definitely did the former and wisely not the latter. He is a true whistleblower and deserves a pardon.

DaveGarber1975
Provo, UT

I advocate clemency for Bradley Manning. His leaks did nothing to endanger our national security, as both journalists and bureaucrats have repeatedly confirmed, and did much to expose our federal government's practices of ineptitude, deceit, corruption, and potential war crimes, including by killing hundreds of foreign civilians. I watched his "Collateral Murder" video last week and was absolutely astounded that American soldiers in Iraq in 2007, seemingly unable to tell the difference between a camera and either an AK-47 or a RPG, callously fired from an Apache helicopter upon an unarmed Reuters news team who demonstrated NO aggressive behavior whatsoever, as well as upon some other unarmed would-be rescuers (including children), and were afterward exonerated by their superior officers, who ludicrously claimed that this was an engagement with "insurgents" within the rules. Such federal atrocities should be revealed to us, not concealed from us. I note that, unlike Bradley Manning, both our previous Presidents have arguably both trampled the U.S. Constitution and initiated unjust military action (a.k.a. large-scale "legalized" murder) against foreign nations that never attacked our nation, and were not prosecuted but reelected---and the latter even won a Nobel Peace Prize.

conspiracygirl
FPO, AE

So, on the one hand the article says that what Manning revealed was nothing. He only revealed what we all know -- that war is nasty, innocent people sometimes die, people involved in war can be calloused and diplomacy is a delicate game. And then in the next breath it says that revealing what we all know cannot be tolerated!!!! Oh brother.

Bradley Manning was under OATH to reveal war crimes. What the government demands is contradictory. They said, "you must reveal war crimes and disobey illegal orders" -- and then they punish anyone who disobeys illegal orders and reveals war crimes.

Like many whistleblowers before him Manning tried to go through "proper channels" but was ignored. He did the right thing. Nobody was harmed from the revelations, much to the disappointment of those who were accusing him of causing the deaths of government agents.

Americans have become such a lame and unprincipled people. The few real Paul Reveres out there who have both courage and conviction are maligned by sniveling cowards in the media. It's deplorable.

tommysez
elyria, OH

And yet our last President, who shared NonForns with the Saudis, an act of Treason, will have no penalty whatsoever.

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