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Manning trial shines light on a culture of secrecy

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posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 10:19 AM
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The conservative media elites have tried to downplay Bradley Manning's trial and keep it out of the MSM, but information is slowly getting out.

This article looks at the implications of the Manning case and its possible outcome:


The low-key coverage the US media seems to have given to the Bradley Manning case suggests the country that holds itself up as a beacon of democracy is struggling to come to terms with what the trial reveals about America itself, writes Jane Cowan.

For a case centred on the biggest leak of secrets in American history, a massive data dump that sent the US government into a tailspin, the Manning court martial has a remarkably anticlimactic sense of going through the motions. As far as courtroom drama goes, the first week saw hardly a flourish.

There's no shortage, though, of dramatic characterisations of how damaging Bradley Manning's leaks were. Hillary Clinton has described a kind of diplomatic Armageddon, saying "disclosures like these tear at the fabric of responsible government."

Barack Obama's highest ranking military commander, the then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen suggested Bradley Manning might have "blood on his hands".

But by some calculations what Private Manning leaked was less than 1 per cent of what the US government classifies every year.

...Eugene Fidell, a military law teacher Yale has described the Manning trial as "a train that's run badly off the tracks". It plays out at what he says could be a tipping point for the military justice system, with dismay over its handling of sexual assaults.


(Source).

It's worth reading the whole article. I was quite shocked. Great comments from the readers, too. You won't get this kind of coverage in the US MSM.
edit on 7/6/13 by Sankari because: typo...




posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 10:39 AM
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reply to post by Sankari
 


A brilliant comment from one of the readers on your link:


People can only cause embarrassment to a government that lacks the grace to be embarrassed by its own actions and its over-zealous defense of those actions.



...and there in lays the whole point of this fiasco. It is the least thing talked about.


Good article.

edit:
this case has really made me completely understand the term "elephant in the room".
edit on 7-6-2013 by MarioOnTheFly because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 10:43 AM
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Yeah, I think this article deserves the widest possible audience—particularly among Americans.

Some of those readers' comments are just superb.




posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 10:54 AM
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I'll never really understand the sympathy for this little traitor. He's freely, of his own choosing, admitted to the core of the case against him and his own actions for it. He's admitted to 20 years worth of prison time. He's guilty, not because I think so...but because he's already plead guilty. This trial is just trying to run him clean over and flatten him like a cartoon with the whole truck load of charges. That's overkill, IMO....but only because he's already got enough time stacked on him from his own admissions to make him a middle aged to old man when or if he ever comes out of Military prison alive.

As far as the media not focusing on this? Well.. hell.. how many dozens or hundreds of other stories are being lost in the mix? It's called a massive feeding frenzy of political scandal in Washington at the moment and short of doing something of world worthy notice? Not much else IS getting a whole lot of attention. Nothing much being hidden though. I'm on one of many sites covering the developments in detail with paperwork and court filings to boot, daily. It's interesting to watch develop.....but again, he's admitted the core of what he's done as a series of crimes here and accepted the likely sentence that takes the majority of his life to do time for.

How many other self-admitted convicts do we weep for? If he's had class and judgment to stick to things like the Apache gun camera footage and not just vomit whole databases of classified information it took whole staffs of people, weeks to even get through skimming for the first go through? He might have something of a life left.

He made his own bed. Now he can sleep in it. My sympathy lay with the Iraqis and Afghanis his information named for the enemy to murder. Those are the people I weep for. Not this convict. He's a number now...in search of a cell to be plugged into for a couple decades at least.



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 10:56 AM
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I want to share an additional comment, maybe up for discussion concerning the subject.

This is what bothers me....


Actually, he didn't tell the truth - he stole it. That's the issue, not the truth or otherwise of what the stolen documents revealed.


This commenter claims...

I don't get that. I know many people here on ATS agree with this...but is it really so?

Stealing evidence of a crime and going public with it is worse than the crime itself ???

I just don't get that. Guess I'm just hardwired that way.

I've always led my life according to the doctrine that only truth matters. It is the only real thing. Everything else is just opinions.

Somehow...it reminds me of "Les Misserables"



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 11:20 AM
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I've noticed that the only people who attack Manning are anti-Americans: the radical liberals, neocons, and disinfo agents. Food for thought...

Manning exposed criminal activity by the government. That makes him a patriot, not a traitor. Only those who support the government and its actions could possibly consider his actions treasonous.

Was he naive? Yes, of course. Was he reckless? Yes, of course. Was he motivated by a love of his country? Yes, of course.

Is the government above the Constitution, or is the Constitution above the government? I think we know the answer to that one. If Manning exposes unconstitutional behaviour by the government, surely he is respecting the higher authority.

Manning's attackers give the government a free pass. They excuse the media cover-up and recite the official story without question. I have to ask: how can anyone defend the government under these circumstances? How can anyone support the actions of Bush and Obama?

Yet that is exactly what Manning's attackers do. They embrace big government at the expense of constitutional rights, and when big government is caught abusing those rights they blame the victim instead.

Manning is a test case for every patriotic citizen who resists the military-industrial complex and its financial cabal. If he loses, all Americans lose.



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 11:35 AM
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reply to post by Sankari
 





I've noticed that the only people who attack Manning are anti-Americans: the radical liberals, neocons, and disinfo agents. Food for thought...


You think? Why anti-Americans?



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 11:40 AM
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reply to post by Sankari
 



Manning exposed criminal activity by the government. That makes him a patriot, not a traitor. Only those who support the government and its actions could possibly consider his actions treasonous.

Was he naive? Yes, of course. Was he reckless? Yes, of course. Was he motivated by a love of his country? Yes, of course.


Yes, he did expose illegal activity. He exposed wrong doing at the level of outright sickening and a culture of tolerance to it that is inexcusable. However, he's done so much beyond that noble effort that what he did right notes an asterix to a footnote. If he'd stopped by exposing wrong doing...he'd not have been charged with a whole raft of criminal counts ...He'd not have knowingly plead guilty to the majority of them, in clear evidence of his guilt.

The problem is..he didn't stop at criminal activity. His crusade became one of just burning the whole house down with everyone still IN IT. In doing so, he's effectively gutted U.S. ability to function, diplomatically (That's the stage before shooting and killing people, historically) anywhere in the world. Hundreds of Thousands of cables from the U.S. State Department carrying back decades....didn't detail criminal activity in those war zones. They just destroyed trust between nations. Ours and others ....since not all those cables were just indicating things between the U.S. and other nations but among themselves, as well.

Notice when, by PURE coincidence :shk: pretty much all diplomacy went to hell and became a lost cause? I sure did...and so did many many others. Thank you Bradley. Now war pretty much IS the only option.


No...I can't respect that kid. Perhaps if he'd been a Daniel Ellsberg (Ala the Pentagon Papers) and at least given a passing glance to what he'd released? Perhaps I'd think of his crimes differently. I respect Ellsberg's choices and actions along with his willingness to stand for the consequence at the time. It was worth it to him.....and unlike Manning? He didn't hide like a punk until investigators had to drag him into the light to admit what he'd done. He took a stand......while Manning took a hidey hole to hope he was missed.



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 11:47 AM
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I think it's fair to say that the Manning trial has shone a light on America's infamous culture of secrecy.

The more we know, the safer we'll be. The less we know, the more power the government has over us.

Manning understands this. I wish more people did.



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 11:52 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 





Yes, he did expose illegal activity. He exposed wrong doing at the level of outright sickening and a culture of tolerance to it that is inexcusable.


Everything else after that sentence is largely irrelevant in regards to severity of crimes and arrogance revealed.

There must be no leeway when it comes to the truth. Sometimes it's ugly...especially then. It is the only thing that can save us...

...the truth.

Sorry for sounding over dramatic. But if you go to the core of things. If we want to make progress as species...the only way is through the truth...not by lying, killing and covering it up.



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 01:31 PM
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reply to post by MarioOnTheFly
 


Well, with respect here, I think your approach is everything wrong with this world and what spawns evil within it. It's also the very logic used by those Manning exposed to commit the crimes he started out, well intentioned, to make public. What logic?

Any means to the right end. Or...the ends justify the means. If that theory is held to, there is NO evil and NO wrong that cannot be justified and held up as acceptable, if the end results that come from it are deemed sufficient to overlook what had to be done in the process of getting there. Evils from the most bloody periods of human history to the worst backfires of protest and things like Manning did ...often start with the kernel of good intentions, but seeking the ends without honor and without consideration to the damage done in getting there? Leads to harm far greater than what was trying to be addressed in the first place.

That's where I come down on that general approach. The ends NEVER justify the means as a defense of bad conduct.



posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 06:27 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


If the means are just and produce the truth...than by all means....YES



posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 06:33 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


In the end...courts are often interested in the motive. Even if the leak did harm anyone...was this his intention?

you can argue about his motives...but in the end...did he do this to bring harm? Even if he did hunt for glory...which I'm nit claiming..is it that bad? he didn't lie...he didn't cheat...he didn't hoax...and for the most...he DID NOT profit from this.

He had everything to lose...and so little to gain if anything...

How do you explain that? Simply crazy?
edit on 8-6-2013 by MarioOnTheFly because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 06:41 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 





the ends justify the means



There were no other means. You well damn know that no US news agency or any other institution tied to the US Gov or military would have never allowed for thins content to go public.

Please don't play dumb. with all respect. You are an old member, and I often don't agree with you...but you can't be that innocent.



posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by MarioOnTheFly
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


Even if the leak did harm anyone...was this his intention?

Since when did strict intention matter with harm to others when it's a foreseeable outcome to one's actions? He dumped the full action report databases he had access to for the Iraq and Afghan operating theaters, for God's sake. They had names. Details. Locations. Like what local on a day may have communicated or worked with a U.S./Coalition patrol. Which Iraqi Police or Military unit may have been on a given action on a given day. That, among just a few of the many details those held in such all encompassing quantity that he couldn't have seen a fraction of them, and had no concern whatever to bother screening any of what he released.

That is outrageous misconduct and negligently putting innocent people at risk. Statements by the other side made clear, they were going through that material with precisely that in mind. To assume no one was killed by it would be assuming to an extreme, IMO.


you can argue about his motives...but in the end...did he do this to bring harm?


No, I don't think he meant to do the degree of harm he did. I think he was indifferent to it though and saw his own personal definition of a higher cause to be superior to that of what he'd sworn an oath to. He didn't get to make that decision at his level. Not like this. His intent is why I think the trial to make it Life in Prison IS going to far, to be fair. He EARNED the 20 years though. Absolutely he did...and he's admitted to that, himself.


he didn't lie...he didn't cheat...he didn't hoax...


He didn't stand like a man. He didn't release it like Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. He betrayed his Service and he honestly did betray those he worked with in his immediate area. He absolutely did hide and play games and obstruct in whatever way he could until he was outright busted. Sorry, it's just another strike against him in my book here.



How do you explain that? Simply crazy?

People are odd ducks. They do things for all kinds of reasons. The Son of Sam killer was following orders from his neighbors dog. Others do great things while motivated by their own God. Whatever drove Manning is something he already, by his own plea, bought 20 years for. He'll have all that time to think about it. As well he should, IMHO.



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