Published: Wednesday, July 31 2013 10:30 a.m. MDT
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
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.
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".
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
@ Joe5You 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.
Re: "Manning and Snowden have violated the law. But, have they betrayed
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
And yet our last President, who shared NonForns with the Saudis, an act of
Treason, will have no penalty whatsoever.
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