Article:Whistleblower's treatment exposes dark side of Obama

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Article:Whistleblower's treatment exposes dark side of Obama

Postby Dan74 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:10 am

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/whistleblowers-treatment-exposes-dark-side-of-obama-20121202-2aowh.html

OVER the past 2½ years, all of which he has spent in a military prison, much has been said about Bradley Manning, but nothing has been heard from him. That changed late last week, when the 23-year-old US army private, who is accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, testified at his court martial about the conditions of his detention.

The oppressive, borderline-torturous measures he endured, including prolonged solitary confinement and forced nudity, have been known for some time. A formal UN investigation denounced them as ''cruel and inhuman''. President Barack Obama's State Department spokesman, retired air force colonel P.J. Crowley, resigned after condemning Manning's treatment. A prison psychologist testified last week that Manning's conditions were more damaging than those found on death row, or at Guantanamo Bay.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politi ... z2Dwiii5VA


I am trying to understand what compelled Obama who campaigned as an Washington outsider, as a supporter of grass-roots power, to go along with this retribution from the military establishment. Manning's actions after all have not aided al Qaeida have they? So is Obama so beholden to the military, or is there another reason I am missing?
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Re: Article:Whistleblower's treatment exposes dark side of Obama

Postby Sam Vara » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:29 am

Obama who campaigned as an Washington outsider


That was the campaign. He's an insider now.
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Re: Article:Whistleblower's treatment exposes dark side of Obama

Postby Ben » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:33 am

Thanks Dan.
I read that article earlier today and I thought it was very interesting.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Article:Whistleblower's treatment exposes dark side of Obama

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:18 pm

I saw an interview on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart about area 51 and it was said that the president of the United States has to ask permission to have access to information on area 51. Because of this and other imperialist policies of the USA, aparently, although there is some power in the hands of the president, there must also exist power from the military that has priority over the president's.
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Re: Article:Whistleblower's treatment exposes dark side of Obama

Postby poto » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:00 am

I think some perspective is in order.

Bradley Manning while enlisted in the military leaked classified military secrets, which is a serious crime in the military. The Uniform Code of Military Justice is much more strict than civilian law.

Just a few decades ago the same offense he committed would likely have seen him tortured and executed in short order. During the height of the cold war or before I doubt he would have been sitting idly in a prison cell for months or years. I think that shows how far we have come as a society that he is still alive and has been pretty much unharmed. Although, he will probably end up getting a lengthy prison sentence, possibly life in prison, he could be much worse off.

One thing that article left out is that he's threatened suicide numerous times. Being on suicide watch in a military prison is no picnic. I would expect his living conditions to be quite bad. The 'forced nudity' thing sounds terrible, but in context of a suicidal inmate, you can't very well have them trying to hang themselves with their pants legs.

Also, I don't know if I'm recalling it correctly, but I vaguely remember reading something about some of the information he leaked included the names of undercover operatives and local allies in Afghanistan. I can't remember if any of them were killed as a result of their names being made public or if they were able to be pulled out beforehand, but that seemed to be the justification for the 'aiding the enemy' charges. I would have expected the same types of charges to be laid on anyone who outed the names of our Russian spies during the cold war.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Article:Whistleblower's treatment exposes dark side of Obama

Postby Dan74 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:23 am

poto wrote:I think some perspective is in order.

Bradley Manning while enlisted in the military leaked classified military secrets, which is a serious crime in the military. The Uniform Code of Military Justice is much more strict than civilian law.

Just a few decades ago the same offense he committed would likely have seen him tortured and executed in short order. During the height of the cold war or before I doubt he would have been sitting idly in a prison cell for months or years. I think that shows how far we have come as a society that he is still alive and has been pretty much unharmed. Although, he will probably end up getting a lengthy prison sentence, possibly life in prison, he could be much worse off.

One thing that article left out is that he's threatened suicide numerous times. Being on suicide watch in a military prison is no picnic. I would expect his living conditions to be quite bad. The 'forced nudity' thing sounds terrible, but in context of a suicidal inmate, you can't very well have them trying to hang themselves with their pants legs.

Also, I don't know if I'm recalling it correctly, but I vaguely remember reading something about some of the information he leaked included the names of undercover operatives and local allies in Afghanistan. I can't remember if any of them were killed as a result of their names being made public or if they were able to be pulled out beforehand, but that seemed to be the justification for the 'aiding the enemy' charges. I would have expected the same types of charges to be laid on anyone who outed the names of our Russian spies during the cold war.


Thanks, Poto.

I looked but couldn't find evidence that the information he leaked included the names of undercover operatives or endangered lives. This is not to say that what he did was a laudable act, but the punishment in this instance does appear to be particularly cruel.
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Re: Article:Whistleblower's treatment exposes dark side of Obama

Postby nibbuti » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:06 pm

Dan74 wrote:but the punishment in this instance does appear to be particularly cruel.

At least, not as cruel as the 'Baghdad strike' video where two Reuters journalists were killed and a young girl shot, whose disclosure has led to persecution & 'punishment' of the whistleblower.

Poto wrote:During the height of the cold war or before I doubt he would have been sitting idly in a prison cell for months or years. I think that shows how far we have come as a society that he is still alive and has been pretty much unharmed.

I doubt it has anything to do with improvements since the cold war. It is rather due to the elevated media attention, not wishing to create a martyr. Also there are many harmful ways that do not leave traceable marks or a body. I think it shows that there is still a long way to go samsara-wise.

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Re: Article:Whistleblower's treatment exposes dark side of Obama

Postby poto » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:21 pm

Dan74 wrote:Thanks, Poto.

I looked but couldn't find evidence that the information he leaked included the names of undercover operatives or endangered lives. This is not to say that what he did was a laudable act, but the punishment in this instance does appear to be particularly cruel.


Not sure if this was the original article I vaguely recalled, but a quick google search turned this up:

In just two hours of searching the WikiLeaks archive, The Times found the names of dozens of Afghans credited with providing detailed intelligence to US forces. Their villages are given for identification and also, in many cases, their fathers’ names.


source: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/asia/afghanistan/article2662444.ece

nibbuti wrote:I doubt it has anything to do with improvements since the cold war. It is rather due to the elevated media attention, not wishing to create a martyr. Also there are many harmful ways that do not leave traceable marks or a body. I think it shows that there is still a long way to go samsara-wise.


The main point I was trying to make was this man was enlisted in the military. He wasn't an ordinary civilian and was not afforded the same liberties and protections as most civilians take for granted. When I enlisted in the military it was made perfectly clear that my conduct would be held to a higher standard and that should I break any laws while in the service, I would be punished much more severely than in civilian life.

Also, I'm fairly sure he's not being randomly beaten or tortured. The media attention might actually be making it worse for him though. Being so high profile the military will probably feel the need to make a example of him and punish him more harshly than they would otherwise as a warning to others.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Article:Whistleblower's treatment exposes dark side of Obama

Postby Dan74 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:47 pm

poto wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Thanks, Poto.

I looked but couldn't find evidence that the information he leaked included the names of undercover operatives or endangered lives. This is not to say that what he did was a laudable act, but the punishment in this instance does appear to be particularly cruel.


Not sure if this was the original article I vaguely recalled, but a quick google search turned this up:

In just two hours of searching the WikiLeaks archive, The Times found the names of dozens of Afghans credited with providing detailed intelligence to US forces. Their villages are given for identification and also, in many cases, their fathers’ names.


source: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/asia/afghanistan/article2662444.ece


Poto, firstly Manning is not accused of leaking these files, so you seem to be conflating things. Secondly the wikipedia article says this:

In October, the Pentagon concluded that the leak "did not disclose any sensitive intelligence sources or methods", and that furthermore "there has not been a single case of Afghans needing protection or to be moved because of the leak."[57] Both Wikileaks and Greenwald pointed to this report as clear evidence that the danger caused by the leak had been vastly overstated.[58][59]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_War_documents_leak#Informants_named
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Re: Article:Whistleblower's treatment exposes dark side of Obama

Postby poto » Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:40 pm

Dan74 wrote:Poto, firstly Manning is not accused of leaking these files, so you seem to be conflating things. Secondly the wikipedia article says this:


Ah ok, but he did leak those files along with the multitude of others. They must not be able to easily tie him to those so they charged him with something else. That seems like splitting hairs though. At the bottom of the wikipedia page you linked to the leak is attributed to him.

Dan74 wrote:
In October, the Pentagon concluded that the leak "did not disclose any sensitive intelligence sources or methods", and that furthermore "there has not been a single case of Afghans needing protection or to be moved because of the leak."[57] Both Wikileaks and Greenwald pointed to this report as clear evidence that the danger caused by the leak had been vastly overstated.[58][59]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_War_documents_leak#Informants_named


Good to hear that nobody thus far has been murdered as a result of the leaked informant names. The Taliban must not be very much on the ball. The ol Russians would have hunted em all down within hours.
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