Pfc. Bradley E. Manning is NOT a Hero

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Not everyone who serves is deserving of respect.

Last April, WikiLeak.org and its owner, Julian Assange, edited and published a 2007 footage they entitled “Collateral Murder”, which purported to show an American Apache helicopter killing unarmed civilians, including news reporters, in Iraq.

While WikiLeak.org is slated to release a new video of an alleged “massacre” by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, a 22 year old Pfc Army intelligence analyst serving in Iraq was detained about a month ago, accused of being the source of the leaked “Collateral Murder” video. Charges have now been brought:

BAGHDAD — An American soldier in Iraq who was arrested on charges of leaking a video of a deadly American helicopter attack here in 2007 has also been charged with downloading more than 150,000 highly classified diplomatic cables that could, if made public, reveal the inner workings of American embassies around the world, the military here announced Tuesday.

The full contents of the cables remain unclear, but according to formal charges filed Monday, it appeared that a disgruntled soldier working at a remote base east of Baghdad had gathered some of the most guarded, if not always scandalous, secrets of American diplomacy. He disclosed at least 50 of the cables “to a person not entitled to receive them,” according to the charges.

You can see a complete list of the charges here on the Help Bradley Manning website. If you think that site is stomach-churning, check out the Facebook fanpage (another one here and here), with comments like this:

while its very easy to bash some soldiers as being cruel and callous, these soldiers were doing exactly as they were trained by the Army. The Army uses Racism, hatred, and nationalism to train their soldiers to dehumanize the people of Iraq (or Afhganistan)
Soldiers in a sense are re-programmed to feel no emotion for c…ivilians. Its a trigger mechanism that when soldiers do or see something that an average person (non military) would reel or anguish over, soldiers are taught to push through that emotion.
I think that instead of blaming soldiers for the actions that are not only sanctioned by but encouraged by the leaders of our government, we should be focusing on the system that trains these soldiers to behave that way. If we do not demand responsibility from the nations leaders then nothing will change, and soldiers will still be trained in Racism, and hatred!

So what is Manning’s beef?

With his custom-made “humanist” dog tags and distrust of authority, Bradley Manning was no conventional soldier.

Ostracized by peers in Baghdad, busted for assaulting a fellow soldier and disdainful of the military’s inattention to computer security, the 22-year-old intelligence analyst styled himself a “hactivist.”

~~~

Manning is a slight, boyish-looking son of divorced parents from Crescent, Okla., population 1,400. His Facebook page shows him smiling, with stylish, upswept hair and a stated affinity for gay-rights groups including Repeal the Ban, which seeks to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on homosexuals serving in the U.S. military.

Growing up in a house he shared with his parents and older sister, Manning had a sharp intellect and an interest in science, history and computers, said Jordan Davis, a boyhood pal. He said Manning also was determined at a young age to join the Army.

“It always seemed to me that Bradley was actually was more patriotic than probably even your average person,” he said.

Chera Moore, another childhood friend, described Manning as highly intelligent and helpful. But she said he had “anger issues” and could get furious when people disagreed with him.

When Manning’s parents split up in middle school, he left Oklahoma to live with his mother in Wales, Davis said.

After Manning graduated from high school and returned to Oklahoma, he quit or lost jobs in food service and retail in Tulsa, Davis said. Settling briefly in Chicago, Manning moved in with an aunt in Potomac, a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., and took community college courses before joining the Army in 2007.

Davis said Manning trained in Arizona, probably at Fort Huachuca, where he trained in compiling intelligence reports. Such reports help the military determine changes in enemy capabilities, vulnerabilities and probable courses of action.

In recent months, Davis said, Manning seemed to have grown more aware of social issues, including the gay-rights movement.

There’s some speculation going on, regarding Manning’s sexual identity as motive. So is this what it’s really about and not some “conscientious objection” to our war efforts, “terrorizing Iraqi and Afghan children”?

Check out his public profile and list of pages on his Facebook.

Manning’s family members declined interview requests from The Associated Press.

According to partial chat logs Lamo shared first with Wired.com, Manning started communicating with Lamo on May 21, a couple weeks after he was reduced in rank from specialist to private first class for assaulting another soldier.

In one of many personal asides, Manning told Lamo he had been the only nonreligious person in a town that had “more pews than people,” and that he had custom-made dogtags reading “humanist.”

Manning said he was pending discharge for an “adjustment disorder,” according to the chat logs, but Army spokesman Lt. Col. Eric Bloom said Manning wasn’t facing discharge when he was detained May 29.

The chats reveal Manning’s frustration at being “regularly ignored” at work.

“I’ve been isolated so long,” he wrote. “I just wanted to be nice, and live a normal life … but events kept forcing me to figure out ways to survive … smart enough to know what’s going on, but helpless to do anything.”

According to the chat logs, Manning’s turning point came when he watched Iraqi police detain 15 people for printing anti-Iraqi literature that turned out to be a scholarly critique of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

“After that … I saw things differently,” he wrote. “I was actively involved in something that I was completely against.”

Manning wrote he had copied onto compact discs “possibly the largest data spillage in American history” while listening and lip-synching to Lady Gaga’s “Telephone.” He wrote that he exploited “a perfect storm” of military computer vulnerability: “weak servers, weak logging, weak physical security, weak counterintelligence, inattentive signal analysis.”

His motive, according to the chat logs: “I want people to see the truth … because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.” Manning wrote that he hoped to provoke worldwide discussion, debates and reform, according to the chat logs.

Lamo told the AP he grew concerned “when it became apparent that he was leaking classified information to a foreign national” — Wikileaks’ Australian founder Julian Assange. Early in their online conversations, Manning told Lamo that he had sent 260,000 State Department diplomatic cables to Wikileaks.

Lamo said he turned the chat logs over to Army criminal investigators after consulting with a friend who had worked in Army counterintelligence.

“It was a combination of an act of conscience and an act spurred by my understanding of the law,” Lamo said. “I did this because I thought what he was doing was very dangerous.”

Ellsberg said he considers Manning and Assange heroes for publicizing information the government wanted suppressed. He said Manning’s alleged leak was possibly more significant than his own, which exposed the secret expansion of the Vietnam War.

“He is the first person in 39 years to do something comparable to what I did — and really better than what I did, because it’s current,” Ellsberg said.

Both Ellsberg and Gabriel Schoenfeld, an author who supports cracking down on leakers, said that the Obama administration has gone further than the Bush White House in pursuing alleged whistleblowers.

The charges against Manning follow April’s indictment of former National Security Agency worker Thomas Drake for allegedly lying and obstructing justice in an investigation of classified information leaks to The Baltimore Sun.

The Army’s decision to charge Manning also followed a federal grand jury’s reissuance in April of a subpoena seeking the names of some sources for journalist James Risen’s book, “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.”

Schoenfeld, author of “Necessary Secrets” and a senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute, said leaks of military information during wartime run counter to America’s interests.

“We’re serious about trying to win, and it’s extremely damaging to the morale of our troops,” he said. “It inflames the local opinion, where we have a real battle for hearts and minds.”

189 Responses to “Pfc. Bradley E. Manning is NOT a Hero”

  1. 1

    Craig Mc

    Chera Moore, another childhood friend, described Manning as highly intelligent and helpful. But she said he had “anger issues” and could get furious when people disagreed with him.

    Hey, he’s going to fit in with prison life just grand.

  2. 2

    oil guy from Alberta

    Manning and Ellsberg. Here’s a cigarette before we tie you two to the posts. You guys better wish that the sun doesn’t come up.

  3. 4

    jlfintx

    Growing up in a house he shared with his parents and older sister, Manning had a sharp intellect

    After Manning graduated from high school and returned to Oklahoma, he quit or lost jobs in food service and retail in Tulsa, Davis said. Settling briefly in Chicago, Manning moved in with an aunt in Potomac, a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., and took community college courses before joining the Army in 2007.

    Yep, that is what all those supersmart intellectuals do; lose jobs in food service and fail out of community college.

  4. 5

    Granny

    HMMMM – acting as an agent for a foreign power and hacking should buy him life in Leavenworth. To do this deliberately in a time of war makes him a traitor – and that still carries the death penalty.

  5. 6

    JR1984

    My wife landed back in the USA on 4 July after serving her tour in Iraq. This punk added to the danger she faced. I cast my hat into the ring and will return to active duty to be on his firing squad.

  6. 7

    Flyovercountry

    This boy is facing a possible excecution. I hope for his sake he has a decent lawyer. Although, I have the sick feeling that the Zero will get him off and award him the corrageous restraint medal.

  7. 9

    MataHarley

    premium_subscriber

    FTA:

    According to the chat logs, Manning’s turning point came when he watched Iraqi police detain 15 people for printing anti-Iraqi literature that turned out to be a scholarly critique of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

    “After that … I saw things differently,” he wrote. “I was actively involved in something that I was completely against.”

    Oh yes… it would have been MUCH better if Saddam just had them killed and thrown into mass graves. 😯 What a bozo.

    Death? Too good for a traitor, IMHO. I say lock him up, and only allow him “dial-up” internet privileges. That ought to make his life sentence seem extra long.

    Then again, if he gets off…

    Chera Moore, another childhood friend, described Manning as highly intelligent and helpful. But she said he had “anger issues” and could get furious when people disagreed with him.

    … it looks like he has all the eligibility to be POTUS.

  8. 11

    tfhr

    @Romeo13:

    Leavenworth is not a Navy brig.

    Besides – he should get the death penalty AFTER several years of dial-up connectivity (MataHarley). His trial should take quite a while and he can share a cell and mouse with another disgrace to the Army and fellow candidate for the death penalty, Nidal Hassan.

    While we’re waiting for that well deserved sentence, there ought to be no expense and effort spared in locating and arresting the creep that put this stuff on his web site, Wikileaks.

  9. 12

    Flyovercountry

    @Romeo13:

    This dolt should never make it to see Leavenworth. His fate should be to be staring down the business end of 4 bolt action rifles being wielded by 4 highly qualified marksmen. With only 3 wounds to the heart as one of those marksmen’s weapons will contain a blank and not a live round. Espianage against the flag anytime is unforgiveable, but especially during a time of war, is beyond any living punishment short of torture. Espianage against the U.S. is bad enough, but this man aided the enemy during combat thereby placing his comrades in arms in harms way. Those fellow soldiers would have selflessly sacrificed their own lives to save his, and he returned that trust with an act of treachory. When he’s dead, he deserves to have his ghost executed by the ghost’s of fallen soldiers again.

  10. 13

    Redsol1

    With his custom-made “humanist” dog tags and distrust of authority, Bradley Manning was no conventional soldier.

    Hrm…did anyone else catch this? “Humanist” is the term that LeVey said most accurately described the members of his Church of Satan and he advocated that the term “Satanist” should actually be “Humanist”. I’m not saying, nor do i have any proof, that Manning was a satanist, but that line jumped out at me.

    La’

    Redsol1

  11. 14

    Stephen R. Zimmett

    I believe that most of these comments are disgraceful. I believe that Bradley Manning did the right thing in releasing these videos to Julian Assange and Wkileaks. With out “Collateral Murder” we would never know what really happens in Iraq as well as Afghanistan.

  12. 16

    Ryan

    @ Stephen R. Zimmett,

    And I think that Lamo did the right thing by reporting Manning’s actions to the United States Army’s Criminal Investigation. If anything, Lamo is the honest one in this story. I mean, what about all those cases where military members were falsely charged with wrong doing and it turned out that the prosecution was tampering with evidence? As if people can not manipulate content from diplomatic cables for their own nefarious purposes and hatred of our military members.

    Take for example the alleged Haditha case, the prosecution was caught red handed manipulating evidence by attempting to dispose a video from a predator drone, because it showed that the Marines were being shot at from the direction of the housing complexes that they later raided.

    The predator video by the way, was delivered to the office of the agents investigating the incident using a diplomatic cable. In addition to the video validating the alibi of the Marines in question, the video showed explosions going off in the area and the Marines were trying to evacuate people on the streets to cover. Anyone who would think this was still a massacre with Marines killing indiscriminately, rather than a depressing mistake after the facts that have been brought to light, is hopelessly asinine.

    Sadly, this can honestly be said about a massive proportion of America’s general public.

  13. 17

    Ryan

    If Manning has an anger problem and is intolerant of those who go against his will, then I hope that Lamo can be kept at a safe distance from him.

  14. 18

    Stephen R. Zimmett

    And I think that Lamo did the right thing by reporting Manning’s actions to the United States Army’s Criminal Investigation. I DID NOT WRITE THIS!! WHO IS USING MY NAME??

    Mr Zimmett, what did you think REALLY happened in a war before you saw the video?

    I believe that in many cases, and this is not the first time , that the military has killed many civilians.

    I also saw on TV a statement that General Barry McCaffrey said about the Afghanistan civilians.

    Many civilians were killed by our US military. I can only guess how many of these poor people were killed.

    So much for fighting a war in Afghanistan. I believe that we should get out of Afghanistan as soon as possible. The war has no end insight. In Real Time with Bill Maher, he said a few weeks ago that we will have 50,000 troops in Afghanistan 2 years from now.

    So mush for the fighting!

  15. 19

    MataHarley

    premium_subscriber

    @Stephen R. Zimmett: I believe that most of these comments are disgraceful. I believe that Bradley Manning did the right thing in releasing these videos to Julian Assange and Wkileaks.

    No problem, Stephen Zimmett. Because frankly, I consider your comment a disgrace. One needs only envision the US military of your mentality – comprised of low level privates acting as self-appointed whistleblowers and second guessing theatre strategy and command.

    Should that US military ever come to fruition, I do hope it’s you leading the charge on any battlefield, and being knifed in the back by those you command.

  16. 20

    Stephen R. Zimmett

    No problem, Stephen Zimmett. Because frankly, I consider your comment a disgrace. One needs only envision the US military of your mentality – comprised of low level privates acting as self-appointed whistleblowers and second guessing theatre strategy and command.

    Just think. Because Julian Assange released the video “Collateral Murder”, now our wonderful government is trying to put an act together called
    National Security. Protecting Security as a National Asset Act

    So much for whistleblowers. Now Wikileaks, Salon.com and a number of other websites will be banned here in the US. So much for our 1st amendments rights. No telling what next will happen
    to our free speech.

  17. 21

    Flyovercountry

    @Stephen R. Zimmett:

    What the wikileaks video showed was a professional military doing its job. Those civilians were embedded with armed individuals who were engaged in warfare against our troops. It is a task well beyond reason to expect our, or any soldier to make real time decisions as to who is an enemy and who is just watching under battle conditions.

    Manning did not limit his leaks of information to just that video. He also actively diseminated classified material to the enemy. He betrayed lives that depended on his loyalty, and who would have unquestionably sacrificed their own for him.

    Go back to smoking pot and living worry free in the blanket of freedom provided by the military you so loathe. That apparently, is the only thing you are good at.

  18. 22

    MataHarley

    premium_subscriber

    @Stephen R. Zimmett: you’d better get those filaments in your cranium low wattage light bulb checked. There is a chasm between grunt military personnel deciding what should and should not be classified information, and private sector news. Were your hyperbole true, the NYTs would have been out of business a million times over.

  19. 23

    Stephen R. Zimmett

    What the wikileaks video showed was a professional military doing its job.
    DOING ITS JOB. KILLING INNOCENT CIVILIANS AS WAS TOLD IN THIS VIDEO.
    GIVE ME A BREAK.

    NYTs would have been out of business a million times over.TtHE NEW YORK TIMES DOES NOT TELL THE REAL STORY ABUT THE WAR. I WATCH FREE SPEEECH TV DAILY AND GET MORE INFORMATION FROM THEM THAN FROM NBC, CBS OR ABC NEWS. I SERIOUSLY DOUBT THE THE NEW YORK TIMES HAS A REAL IDENTITY IN AFGHANISTAN OR IRAQ OR ANY WHERE FOR THAT MATTER.
    AND BY THE WAY PLEASE CHECK OUT THIS WEBSITE ON HOW OUR WONDRERFUL GOVT. IS PREPARING TO SHUT DOWN THE INTERNET:http://gdmp.net/subdoms/gdmporg/?p=10985

  20. 24

    Ryan

    Out of curiosity Stephen, do you feel sorry for the poor people killed by suicide bombers? Most of the killing in Iraq is caused by sectarian fighters and terrorist cells. If crimes committed by our military are so common, then why are there so many incidents where the case against our troops had evidence being tampered with by those attempting to prosecute them?

    By the way, nobody is trying to put words in your mouth or use your name. When I said that I am glad that Lamo reported Manning, it was intended as a response to your initial statement. As for wiki-leaks and salon.com, find some reliable sources to learn from, like academic reports or something. You are not expanding your knowledge through websites like those you have listed, instead you are forming a cocoon to hide in from information that may require you to question your own biases.

  21. 25

    Stephen R. Zimmett

    Ryan: I discovered Wikileaks through Democracy Now on Free Speech TV. I feel that it has the best news information in the business. Do you feel that academic reports will give me the type of information I am looking for? Just like the news media, mostly full of crap. They only want you to see what they are told to tell you about. Honest reporting I seriously doubt it.
    I also like Thom Hartmann, who is honest about his form of news information as is Grit tv. So do yourself a favor and check out Free Speech TV.

  22. 26

    Wordsmith

    editor

    @Stephen R. Zimmett:

    Just like the news media, mostly full of crap. They only want you to see what they are told to tell you about. Honest reporting I seriously doubt it.

    And WikiLeaks is what you consider to be “honest reporting”? Why? Based on what evidence that it is honest reporting and not pushing an agenda and propagandizing the war?

    And let’s say “Collateral Murder” happened exactly and as senselessly as WikiLeak will have you believe (3 yrs ago). Let’s say the narrative they shape is the correct one. Does this expose an epidemic problem of what we are doing over there (i.e., murdering innocent civilians and covering it up), or is it an aberration that undermines actual good intentions we have had for prosecuting these wars?

    If WikiLeak gives aid and comfort to our enemies, is that a good thing? You can’t possibly believe “Collateral Murder” isn’t being used by the enemy as propaganda fodder, inflaming and emboldening the enemy and endangering our troops?

    Would it be a good thing for Iraq and Afghanistan if we fail? Will the civilian populace be better off? Would our failure in those countries make us safer?

  23. 28

    MataHarley

    premium_subscriber

    No wonder your cranium filament is burnt out, Zimmett. Anyone who lives on a political diet of “progressive and independent” TV is permanently consigned to living in the dark.

  24. 29

    ilovebeeswarzone

    STEPHEN R.ZIMMETT: hi, DID it occur to you, IF the civiliens where killed, IT’S because they
    where caught planting thoses roadsides bombs, or fabricating it, or helping the ennemy,
    or doing watch for the ennemy, or working for the ennemy, in killing our militarys. bye

  25. 30

    Wordsmith

    editor

    @MataHarley:

    Anyone who lives on a political diet of “progressive and independent” TV is permanently consigned to living in the dark.

    More like “the dark side”….

  26. 31

    Stephen R. Zimmett

    MataHarley: No wonder your cranium filament is burnt out, Zimmett. Anyone who lives on a political diet of “progressive and independent” TV is permanently consigned to living in the dark.

    I suppose you think The Nation Magazine sucks also, but anyway who cares!

  27. 32

    Smorgasbord

    @Stephen R. Zimmett: “I believe that Bradley Manning did the right thing in releasing these videos to Julian Assange and Wkileaks.”

    Watch the full video and follow Fox’s lead of “We report. You decide.” The full video is at:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=c1b_1270800204

    I call myself a neutralist in the sense that when I learn of something new I like to get as much info about it as I can before I come to any conclusions about it. The “Collateral Murder” video on YouTube is a good example. I watched it, but I wanted to see the rest of the video, but YouTube keeps blocking the sights that show it. Someone will put it up, then someone complains about it, and it is blocked. The shorter version is always available. Try to watch the video at the sight below and you will see what I mean. ONE person complained and it is now blocked.

    http://mountainrunner.us/2010/04/wikileaks.html

    Be sure to read the reason it was blocked, but the short version has the same stuff that the long version was blocked for.

    The WikiLeaks video didn’t tell you that there had been firefights in the area earlier a few minutes before this. Our guys had already been fired on in the area. One of the cameramen who was killed had just taken a picture of a nearby Humvee. It was still in his camera. These guys were getting ready to engage our forces. Who knows how many of our guys would have died if these guys weren’t stopped.

    It is guys like these who have given liberals the right to complain about our military without the fear of having their head cut off. Try that in a lot of other countries and see what happens.

    The van that was shot up had earlier dropped off people in the area. You don’t see that in the shortened version. Who takes kids into a known battle zone. Were they figuring on using them as shields when they were going to attack our guys.

    One reporter’s camera lens looked like an RPG. The two reporters were with armed enemy. AK47s and an RPG were clearly visible in the group. Reporters are supposed to wear BLUE helmets to make them easy to identify. Did either reporter have on their REQUIRED blue helmet? These guys were obviously wanting to take pictures of our guys being killed.

    Our guys have to ask if they can engage these guys. You hear them asking several times throughout the video. They didn’t just go in there and shoot up the place.

    When you hear our guys being a little cheerful when something happens to the enemy, they might have watch several of their buddies being killed or seriously wounded or how a trooper was taken prisoner and tortured then had their had cut off. The more of the enemy killed, the fewer of us they can kill, the sooner the war ends, the sooner they all get to go home.

    I don’t watch YouTube unless it is a link from a web sight because you can have your kids watch YouTube and learn how to be a terrorist and suicide bomber, but a lot of conservative material is blocked.

    Google owns YouTube and Google hates the military and conservatives. They have donated heavily to Obama. They decorate their logo on their home page for each holiday, except that they didn’t for Memorial Day or Veterans Day until the conservative blogs complained about it. They also edit their search help list for web sights they don’t want you to go to.

    They took their Street View car on Fort Sam Houston in Texas and took pictures. They are now banned from all military bases.

    They got caught all over the world, including the USA, catching unsecured WiFi info from their Street View car and storing it. This included people’s passwords and personal information. They said it was a programming error.

  28. 33

    Smorgasbord

    @Mike: After I stopped laughing, I imagined Mr. Zimmett’s face as he is trying to come up with an answer.
    If you guys keep a best response list, this has to go to the top. Short, but to the point.

  29. 35

    Hard Right

    I have seen footage of the aftermath. An RPG and an AK-47 were clearly visible. Those reporters embedded themselves with terrorists preparing to murder our soldiers. They died as a result. Manning is no hero. He’s just another self centered piece of garbage angry his self annointed brilliance wasn’t recognized by others.
    Mr. Zimmett, you are in severe need of a cranial-rectumotomy.

  30. 36

    headsup

    Agreed guys — what we know about Manning is as fake as Bin Laden and “Al-Queda”.
    This is all about goading chumps to their self-destruction.
    Some guys never learn you can’t kill a cartoon character.. too bad for them.

  31. 37

    Stephen R. Zimmett

    Smorgasbord: I BELIVEE THAT MOST OF WHAT YOU SAY IS CORRECT. HOWEVER:

    The van that was shot up had earlier dropped off people in the area. You don’t see that in the shortened version. Who takes kids into a known battle zone. Were they figuring on using them as shields when they were going to attack our guys. THE VAN WAS USED TO PICK UP THE FALLEN CIVILIANS THAT WERE SHOT. NONE OF THESE CIVILIANS HAD ANY WEAPONS, THIS WAS PROVEN!

    The more of the enemy killed, the fewer of us they can kill, the sooner the war ends, the sooner they all get to go home. I DO NOT BELIEVE WE WILL BE LEAVING AFGHANISTAN ANY TIME SOON PERHAPS IN 2 OR 3 EARS IF WE ARE LUCKY.

    When you hear our guys being a little cheerful when something happens to the enemy, they might have watch several of their buddies being killed or seriously wounded or how a trooper was taken prisoner and tortured then had their had cut off. A LITTLE CHEERFUL, ALL THEY DID WAS SWEAR UP AND DOWN ABOUT HOW GREAT A SHOT THEY WERE. I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW WHO WAS IN COMMAND AT THAT TIME.

    Wordsmith:And let’s say “Collateral Murder” happened exactly and as senselessly as WikiLeak will have you believe (3 yrs ago) I READ ON ONE WEBSITE THAT MOST PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT THE WAR IN IRAQ IS OVER, AS MOST PEOPLE DO NOT EVEN CARE ANY MORE. YOU’RE RIGHT 3 YEARS AGO

  32. 38

    ilovebeeswarzone

    STEPHEN R. ZZIMMETT: TELL me, which side are you? you TALK favorbly about the ennemy and negativly about the AMERICAN braves, who went there following order from this president to continue that war. they where being savagly exploded with the roadside bombs whyle
    the civiliens where watching on the road giving a signal to their positions. and I cannot beleive a guy like you, going around and shoot your mouth against the braves; THAT alone make you and your participated groups the lowest of this country and you should be all ashamed.

  33. 39

    MataHarley

    premium_subscriber

    Bees, Zimmett subsists on progressive socialist news sources… i.e. Free Speech TV and The Nation, as he has volunteered. I would think that would tell you “which side” he is on. He’s beyond lib/prog. He wanders in the socialist/Marxist circles by choice…. like his POTUS.

  34. 40

    MataHarley

    premium_subscriber

    Zimmett: I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW WHO WAS IN COMMAND AT THAT TIME.

    Big talk from an armchair socialist… like your sorry socialist butt would live thru even two weeks of our military basic training. You should be thanking whatever idol you choose to worship that our military protects even the likes of you.

  35. 41

    Ryan

    In Response to; “I feel that it(wiki-leaks) has the best news information in the business. Do you feel that academic reports will give me the type of information I am looking for? Just like the news media, mostly full of crap. They only want you to see what they are told to tell you about.”

    Mostly crap? Respectfully, I beg to differ. Academic reports don’t remove the findings that the researcher does not want the readers to see. They are very thorough which is why they are always quiet long, and why people tend to have a difficult time reading them. In addition to answering the issues of the study as thoroughly as possible, academic reports also raise questions for the readers and researchers alike, which perpetuates more research and thought on the issues examined.

    To answer your question, anyone who is looking to become informed, rather than taking what is on the mainstream media (such as wiki-leaks), will find what they are “looking for” in scientific research. If anything, wiki-leaks is more like the news, contrary to your statement than any other source that is not the news. As for your defense of wiki-leaks, lets take into account what they have to offer us as citizens active in political issues.

    Anyone can manipulate the contents in wiki-leaks, just as they can for all of the other wiki websites. As Smorgasboard has pointed out, the wiki-leaks video was edited to be shorter, and only included the parts that the publisher wanted the audience to see (a practice so common in professional news services). In short, they were caught red handed for making sure the audience saw exactly what they wanted them to see, and they are guilty of the misconduct that you are accusing the academic reports (and all other sources that fuel dissent from your beliefs apparently) of.

    Again, thanking Smorgasboard and giving him/her full credit for the findings, the wiki-leaks video was edited so that way it did not show that the target had RPGs and assault rifles. It did not show that the area had intense fighting when the troopers of the second U.S. brigade combat team had arrived and that they went straight into some intense urban warfare. Much like the Haditha incident that I had brought up earlier, the accusers had tampered with the visual evidence to make people think the troopers were killing indiscriminately.

    I do not want to jump straight into conclusions, but I have a hunch that Private Manning’s intentions for sending the diplomatic cables to wiki-leaks included knowledge that this website had veracity issues, since it’s users may manipulate it’s contents as they desire. Personally, and this is just me, I think that since Private Manning was a vengeful person who became “furious” towards those who disagreed with him, he was probably hoping that wiki-leaks would find something through the diplomatic cables. And that they would manipulate whatever it was into a tool to place guilt on the shoulders of our military members, which would be a perfect form of retaliation for his rank reduction as a result of assaulting his fellow soldier.

  36. 42

    Stephen R. Zimmett

    http://fora.tv/2010/05/25/Uncommon_Knowledge_Sebastian_Junger#fullprogram

    If anyone is interested, this FORA.tv interview with Sebastian Junger about his new book WAR
    might give you a different perspective about what I watch and what I listen to.

    Its 38 minutes in length and FORA.tv has many interviews about a host of things, not only the war, but some pretty darn good journalism. Peter Robinson from The Hoover Institution interviews Junger who has been in Afghanistan for some 5 years as a journalist.

    Any comments after you view this would be appreciated.

  37. 43

    MataHarley

    premium_subscriber

    You think that you watch an interview with Junger makes up for your initial foray into this forum, calling all the commentary “disgusting”? And then post countless ensuing arguments defending a military traitor who assumes his private rank gives him the wisdow to decide what should and should not be classified?

    That cranium filament of yours has just officially blew. Suggest you look for a eco friendly 15 watter to continue power to your thought processes.

  38. 44

    Average Infidel

    Mr. Zimmet, have you ever been in a combat zone, did you ever consider the ideas of these terrorist using their woman and children as sheilds, have you ever considered what you would do if you were the one being attacked for having the nerve to defend your turf, or are all of these types of questions beyond your current understanding of what makes a a war a battle field of not only the mind or the soul of a person?
    I have been there Mr. Zimmet, I can tell you first hand if you are unable to get in the minds of any Patriot of their country you have no business even commenting on the subject, let alone share your idea of what happened. You were not these and as many have alreasdy proven through links, memory and deed of the leftist mindset, you cannot say anything about our fine warriors who are currently keep them over there vrs. over here attempting to take your little infidel ass off to alla-la-la land without your fricken noggin. Please go back to idiots-r-us and talk to the hand because a mind is a true waste trying to analys your attitude. U.S. Marines, f*&k with the best die like the rest.
    Semper Fi.

  39. 45

    Ryan

    Funny, the title of that video you linked is self contradictory, Mr. Zimmett. “Uncommon knowledge” is what is presented in many sources we cite on this website, “uncommon knowledge” is what is presented in the Lieu Institute for Research on Global Issues’ Human Security Report and the military PTSD study from the University of Louisville. So far, all of the sources you have presented to vindicate yourself in this thread just fuels common fallacious opinions held by the general public, which can hardly ever qualify as “uncommon knowledge.”

    However, I truly appreciate you sharing where you get your information. It helps me understand where you are coming from. While I would beg to differ with what you consider reliable information, I choose to respect it. After all, if I don’t honor your right to read what you want and watch what you want regardless of the content’s lack of veracity, then I would be slapping the face of all those who gave up their lives, and brothers and sisters in arms for you to enjoy that right. Rights are privileges, privileges earned by military members and protected by them, as well as earned and protected by the right those military members gave me to question the information you are giving me, as opposed to just believing you (ie; Wiki-Leaks, Mr. Junger, etc.) without scrutiny. 😉

  40. 47

    Stephen R. Zimmett

    I Fix Typos: Hurray someone finally got it right. You have a typo in the title of this blog post. It should read, “Pfc. Bradley E. Manning is a Hero.”

  41. 50

    Flyovercountry

    @Stephen R. Zimmett:

    Ahhhhhh………
    Ron Paul, the crazy zenophobic uncle of the GOP. I just love it when the libtards tell us who our leaders should be on the right side of the aisle. Ron Paul isn’t even a true Republican. He is a Libertarian who runs as a Republican for the purposes of Getting elected. I am appologize to all of my Libertarian friends for lumping Paul in with you. That is your big argument which is supposed to sway anyone. By bringing up this zenophobic clearly insane boob, you are truly grasping for straws.

  42. 51

    Oh, get real

    His possible sexual identity, the shape of his mouth and his religious beliefs have nothing to do with this issue.

    Really.

    Should I repeat it? Ok. I will.

    His possible sexual identity, the shape of his mouth and his religious beliefs have nothing to do with this issue.

    I’m talking especially to you @Romeo13

    You boys should grow up. Commenting that you think prison rape would be an appropriate punishment for anyone really makes me wonder just how strongly you believe in the Constitution of our United States.

    Now, to the larger issue. The video that was released was the object of a Freedom of Information Act request and from what I could tell held nothing that would make it subject to one of the nine exemptions and three exclusions contained in the statute.

    Legally, that video should have been released by the government years ago. The real issue is – how many other similar videos are out there and why wasn’t our government forthcoming in providing them? Americans are financing this war and we have a right to know what’s going on.

    We shouldn’t be having this discussion because this video should have been made available long before it could be leaked.

    You may shake your head at this soldier (who may I remind you may have bragged online but has certainly not been convicted of a crime). You may disapprove of his actions and his means. But relishing the thought of him getting sexually assaulted in prison, explicitly or by implication, only makes you seem like teenage bullies in a bathroom locker.

    Provide concrete, intelligent arguments if you wish to prove your points and express yourselves well. That’s the only way to sway opinions.

  43. 52

    Stephen R. Zimmett

    Apparently neither of you read the Ron Paul website. Ron Paul may be a Libertarian and I would have voted for him in 2008. None of the news media, our great news media took him seriously.
    I have great respect for this man. Had he been elected president, he would have gotten us out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately. Too bad neither of you see the goodness in this man. Amen!!

    Justin Raimondo script Bradley Manning, American Patriot, tells it all. Our great government as written by Justin: This case has already generated considerable publicity, much of it seemingly put out there by the feds and their media operatives – yes, editors of Wired magazine, I’m talking about your pathetic rag – and designed to obfuscate the issue with personal attacks on Manning. How Manning was busted, and by whom, is a sickening tale of a government informant working in tandem with the hi-tech “media” to “out,” prosecute, and smear a brave whistleblower – go here for the full story. Suffice to say, in this space, that Manning’s detractors have stepped up their propaganda campaign: now that charges have been filed and the “mainstream” media is covering the case, the smears have migrated from Wired to the Associated Press. Check out this story, which begins rather oddly:

  44. 53

    anticsrocks

    I have great respect for this man. Had he been elected president, he would have gotten us out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately. Too bad neither of you see the goodness in this man. Amen!!

    Ron Paul might make a good Sec. Treasury, but a good POTUS? No effing way. Why leaving Iraq and Afghanistan immediately would be considered a good thing is beyond me. The power vacuum would just put the Taliban and Al Qaeda right back into a leadership role in those countries.

    Even a know it all Private, intent on demoralizing our troops and sabotaging our efforts in the Middle East would know that. One wonders why Stephen R. Zimmett isn’t smart enough to figure that one out…

  45. 54

    ilovebeeswarzone

    anticsrocks: hi, I was reading about that CONSERVATIVE, on the pannel beside, HIS name is TIM PAWLENTY, has a very well read backing, and his wife was a judge THEY look very sympa
    and well like,as he was in a bbq party,they are young with solid consrvative views, check it up,
    HE is looking at the presidency appointment, bye 🙄

  46. 55

    DougP

    So much misinformation in this discussion thread.

    Somebody mentioned Haditha. It is astounding the myths still being circulated by both ‘sides’ about that incident. Some people are desperate to damn the US soldiers while others are desperate to exonerate them no matter what. Finding an honest, complete account is near impossible and the comment above is not even close.

    In regards to the video of the ’07 air strike, the poster named ‘Oh, Get Real’ is absolutely correct. It should have been subject to release under FOI and not withheld. That’s the law. If you don’t like it then get off your butt and campaign or lobby to have the law changed.

    I have no idea how this impacts the charges against Manning since the charges seem to be principally focused on the cables or messages he copied. These are basically two very different issues.

  47. 56

    Missy

    @DougP:

    Let’s recap:

    Last April, WikiLeak.org… and its owner, Julian Assange, edited @<and published a 2007 footage they entitled “Collateral Murder”, which purported to show an American Apache helicopter killing unarmed civilians, including news reporters, in Iraq.

    Edited…..edited, get that. This jerk passed on classified information to WikiLeak and they sliced and diced it to attempt to portray our troops as killers. So, let’s release everything, we paid for it(per Get Real….”Americans are financing this war and we have a right to know what’s going on”), so, let’s see it all so others in the world with the same mindset can also distort it. Haven’t they told us that Abu Gharibe and GITMO are recruitment tools? Let’s just throw another log on the fire. 🙄

    An American soldier in Iraq who was arrested on charges of leaking a video of a deadly American helicopter attack here in 2007 has also been charged with downloading more than 150,000 highly classified diplomatic cables that could, if made public, reveal the inner workings of American embassies around the world, the military here announced Tuesday.

    Now would you kindly explain how classified information is subject to FOIA? What law demands that classified information be released? Oh yeah, we’re paying for it, almost forgot. 🙄

    Don’t know about you, but I have a loved one that drops in on those God forsaken countries we are fighting in for a year, sometimes more. I’d prefer that “ahem” soldiers like Pfc. Manning honor their oath and keep their damn mouths shut!!!!! Might save the life of a daddy of two little kids.

    BTW, You are right, you “have no idea.”

  48. 57

    DougP

    Missy,

    You don’t want ‘another log thrown on the fire?’ Then do as I said and work to adjust the existing law because as it stands, your presumptions aside, this video can not legally be withheld (though they did it anyways). The condition under which you wish the video was withheld is not a part of the law. The FOI Act like any law is worthless if the government decides to ignore it. Have you ever done anything to try to change this law?

    And you make a point of stating that the situation with the cables is different from the situation with the strike video which is the same point I ended with in my previous post. ?? Bizarre.

    In regards to your loved one, I sympathize but I’m not an American and his role is not sacred to me. My companies experiences in Iraq have left me with a pretty bitter view of all parties in this conflict. My opinions should be of little relevance to you so rather than pointlessly burden you with them further I’ll simply say I wish your loved one always comes home safe.

  49. 59

    Stephen R. Zimmett

    I watched the Thom Hartmann program the other say. He said that war is insanity. Rachael Maddow
    spent some time in Afghanistan and said that would you give up your sons life so that Afghanistan could have a better government. She then said, I do not think so.

  50. 60

    ilovebeeswarzone

    I think TO realease the video, has played in the hands of the people in MEDIA in helping the ennemy who for their own
    agenda, DISTORT the NEWS and the people who play a part in helping the ennemys,
    and thoses who want to abrutly end the war by discrediting the MILITARYS who are following ORDERS from THE PRESIDENT and his CREW: SO what is for anyone the end story after viewing
    that kind of video?: nothing good, only an amount of FILTHY words against the militarys who are doing a HEROIC job, in there, with the RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, they are submit to follows
    LET NO ONE FORGET THOSES HEROS,which many have been BLOWN UP BY thoses
    ROADSIDES BOMBS, which thoses MEDIA CALLED EIDS so conviniantly for them.

  51. 61

    Smorgasbord

    @Stephen R. Zimmett: @Stephen R. Zimmett: I don’t know if Thom Hartmann is a liberal or conservative. You didn’t say if you agree with him or not. I would rather have my son die fighting the enemy over there than waiting until they come over here and we have to fight them on our own land.

    Are you saying we should do like we did before World War I and World War II and wait until we realize that when the enemy takes over enough countries they will use those countriy’s people and resources to take over other countries?

    Let’s see how using the logic that we used before those wars and the liberal logic of today will work. Islam has taken over the middle east. It is taking over Europe and other countries. After they take over those countries they will stop and not go any further and leave us alone.

    Sorry, but it didn’t work that way in WW I or II and it ain’t going to work today. It’s like coming upon a pride of lions and giving them enough meat that they are all full, then saying to yourself, “Now, they will leave me alone.”

    The Muslim religion has already started taking over the USA, and I believe King Obama is one of them. If we don’t fight back we will become a Muslim nation. The Koran teaches Muslims to “convert or kill.” If they can’t convert you or your son to Islam they are REQUIRED by their law to kill you. Would you want your son to fight them, or have him convert to Islam?

    During WW II we sold war goods to Germany and Japan. We might have done the same thing in WW I, I don’t know. We are capitalist and want to make money. Who knows how many soldiers died from our own hardware! Did our hardware prolong the wars? That’s how gullible we are when we put profits over doing the right thing.

  52. 62

    Stephen R. Zimmett

    Smorgasbord
    I don’t know if Thom Hartmann is a liberal or conservative. You didn’t say if you agree with him or not. Hartmann is a progressive. He feels that more Democrats need to be progressive. I certainly agree with his principals that ALL WARS ARE INSANE.

    The Koran teaches Muslims to “convert or kill.” I THINK MOST RELIGIONS ARE A BIT NUTS ANY WAY.

  53. 63

    ilovebeeswarzone

    SMORGASBORD: hi, what you mention is very important to keep in mind, and round up what the majority of AMERICANS feels on that subject. thank you. bye

  54. 64

    Smorgasbord

    @Stephen R. Zimmett: I’m not a church goer myself, but I will put my moral values up against any church goer. I don’t even like to hear or read cuss words. For years I have wondered how there can be so many religions based on the SAME bible. I finally figured out that, just like today, one or more people figured they could make some money and gain power if they could convince people to follow them. I am guessing that the Muslim religion started that way.

    To me, the only “foolish” war would be one where the country being attacked doesn’t fight back. That would be foolish. But, I also say that when we go to war, we go in with everything we need, destroy the enemy as fast as possible with as few civilian casualties as possible, help get the country on their feet, then leave. None of this garbage of giving the enemy a time when we will pull out. That’s like telling crooks when you will be going on vacation and leaving the house empty.

  55. 67

    ilovebeeswarzone

    TO finish the above, they bought a land in ACADIAN and INDIANS territory and they said they wanted to build a village, and in the TOWN Hall,where all the small town people where, and the INDIAN CHIEF said, BUILT IT and I WILL DESTROY IT,he had the support of all the people
    THEY gave up on their plan and went away.

  56. 69

    ilovebeeswarzone

    SMORGASBORD: IT depends where in CANADA, but in the east, they are very well like by
    ACADIENS, having help thoses who stayed in the woods, when the BRITISH deported whole family to USA in a dangerous trip at the mercy of the sea elements, and they arrive in LOUISIANA
    at the end being called CAJUN there

  57. 70

    Wordsmith

    editor

    @Stephen R. Zimmett #23:

    TtHE NEW YORK TIMES DOES NOT TELL THE REAL STORY ABUT THE WAR.

    But of course it does! C’mon give NYTs a break: 32 consecutive frontpage articles on abu Ghraib? I suppose since it didn’t lose the war for us, that wart should have had an even greater magnifying glass shone on it. After all, it’s only the negative stories that deserves to define the war for us all. Those are the only ones deserving of consecutive frontpage headlines.

    [/sarcasm]

    @Stephen R. Zimmett #52:

    Had he been elected president, he would have gotten us out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately.

    And how would he have done this any faster than Obama (or Bush or McCain, for that matter)?

    @Stephen R. Zimmett #59:

    Rachael Maddow
    spent some time in Afghanistan and said that would you give up your sons life so that Afghanistan could have a better government. She then said, I do not think so.

    Oh, well why didn’t you just say “Rachel Maddow” in the beginning? I mean….if Rachel Maddow said it, then it must be true; her opinion must be the correct one. Because she’s Rachel Maddow and she’s been to Afghanistan! 🙄

    Btw: parents don’t “give up their son’s life” for Afghanistan, Bosnia, Somalia, Granada, etc. Sheesh!

    Adults make the adult decision to enlist themselves. Parents don’t make that decision.

    I suppose you’d like it if soldiers decide for themselves which wars they should fight and for how long the duration?

    @Stephen R. Zimmett #62:

    ALL WARS ARE INSANE.

    Does this mean that no war should ever be fought? And how would that work itself out, exactly?

  58. 72

    Bob Merkin

    Hot Damn! It’s Vietnam all over again!

    Except the music sucks.

    I like how you start by smearing Manning as a homoseexual or having sympathies for homosexuals in the military.

    What does a guy’s sexuality have to do with blowing the whistle on a war that’s just a pack of lies?

    Afghanistan and Iraq are just two more American wars in Asia against non-Christians. We lost Vietnam, we’ve shamed ourselves by our military conduct in Iraq, and after the Soviet Army had to crawl out of Afghanistan, we’re repeating its catastrophic mistakes.

    I’m thrilled that low-rank enlisted guys are blowing the whistle on our murderous conduct and our lies in Afghanistan. Just like enlisted men blew the whistle on My Lai and our military conduct in Vietnam.

    One thing that hasn’t changed after 40 years — American patriots in American uniforms are telling the truth about our genocidal, bigotted wars. What’s our next Asian or African or Latin American war? I guarantee it will have its Mannings, making sure the American free press and the American people learn the truth.

    Can America fight a war with honor, respect for civilians, and honesty? If we can’t — don’t start these wars. End them now, bring our troops home from Asia immediately.

  59. 73

    ilovebeeswarzone

    BOB MERKIN: you are very much underestimating the military all included in
    your comment; you are ingnorant I can detect, of what’s going on in a warzone, that is why people like you dishonord the militarys of all thoses wars where the braves hurt sweath and died for you to come and spit on them, you made yourself to be the lowest of all ,
    and you should be ashame and ask the veterans forgiveness directly to them.

  60. 74

    Missy

    Oh my, where do they come from? 😯

    @Bob Merkin:

    Here we have an “old dude, all hair, swell new teeth”( per his website, I kid you not,) defending the actions of a young man that swore to protect and defend this country and then, oh…..well….he decided to leak classified information. Apparently you gotta listen to Pfc. Manning aka.. realpolitik ace, capable of divining what’s best for the global war on terror, etc. Oh, btw how old is this Pfc. anyway?

    Coulda, shoulda, woulda, there are always menbers of Congess if his “truth to power” should fall on deaf ears within his immediate chain of command, but no, he chose another path and I hope he pays for it…..dearly!

    You see, Pfc. Manning isn’t the only one facing the enemy, many are out in the field having to face down the circumstances of Pfc. Manning’s very public issues.

  61. 75

    Bob Merkin

    Hi, I guess this is a test … I posted one thing favorable to Wikileaks and whomever may have leaked classified documents to Wikileaks. This was followed by two posts attacking my post …

    then I posted a reply, and it didn’t appear.

    So … if I praise Wikileaks and whoever leaks to Wikileaks … floppingaces won’t post my comments?

  62. 76

    Missy

    @Bob Merkin:

    So … if I praise Wikileaks and whoever leaks to Wikileaks … floppingaces won’t post my comments?

    No, your comment is stuck in the filter, all you have to do is say please and one of the authors will fish it out. Happens to me all the time, no biggie.

  63. 77

    Aye Chihuahua

    editor

    @Bob Merkin:

    No, the post in question was not simply some innocent praise of Wiki Leaks.

    The post in question was filled with bigotry and racial epithets that plainly violate the standards of acceptable behavior here at FA.

    If you wish to freely post those sorts of things, do so on your own blog, not this one.

  64. 78

    Eric

    This guy is a douche! He is a disgrace to the uniform that he wears. He has endangered thousands of local 3rd counrtry nationals who have helped us. I think he ought to be shot period!

  65. 79

    Eric

    First off BOB I dont think that any war can be fought without civilian casualties. Lets go back to WWII for a moment and see how many innocents lost their lives. Id say millions in massive carpet bombing of berlin and great britain. Since then through technological breakthroughs we have managed to minimize those numbers. But lets be honest in WARS PEOPLE DIE! The Talibans brutality is no different that Hitlers. Persecuting people who dont follow their ways. Keeping women submissive and uneducated. What we are trying to do is help those people be free from opression, and sometimes we make mistakes and innocent lives are lost. I served over there and I saw firsthand how much the people appreciate us being there and making their country better. I worked with interps who risked their lives to help us stabilize their country. These people could not even tell their parents where they worked for fear that their families would be killed. You see we are more humane than our enemy. They butcher families and rape the women of the people who fight to be free from their opression. They are fighting for a free country similar to what we once fought for. So lets be honest here what this douche did was not noble in any way. What he did was brag to a hacker that he could do all of this and not be caught. He in no way acted righteous. What he did was an act of treason and he did it in a time of war and I hope the military makes an example of him so that this does not happen again.

  66. 80

    ilovebeeswarzone

    ERIC, THANK YOU,FOR GIVING THOSES INFO, THAT WAS VERY IMPORTANT FOR ALL TO UNDERSTAND,WHAT HAPPEN, WE NEEDED THOSES TO TAKE SIDES,TO GIVE OUR OPINION.
    BYE

  67. 82

    Bob Merkin

    My missing or blocked comment introduced me as an honorable US Army veteran, 1969-1971, a fancy medal, a file stuffed with commendations, and a lovely thank-you note from my commander-in-chief Richard M. Nixon.

    Yeah, Missy, I’m an old dude. You seem to sneer at that as if it’s some kind of crime. Call me when it happens to you, and I’ll sneer at you.

    All of you who’ve served — thanks, sincerely, for serving. (I first heard that thanks-for-serving message 38 years after I’d served.)

    The racist references are what American troops call, and are encouraged up and down the chain of command, to call the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. During my service we were encouraged to call the Vietnamese — both the military enemy and civilians — gooks, dinks and slopes.

    I didn’t use the old terms, and I scrupulously don’t use the new terms for Afghanis and Iraqis. This is the sick and the sad part of PsyOps — before we can kill a group of people, we immunize ourselves into regarding them as subhumans — not as human as we are, not as important to keep alive.

    Some comments talk about America’s ideals in fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They’re noble and high-minded. They’re almost identical to the public ideals Johnson and Nixon used to justify contnuing the war in Vietnam. We tell the world, essentially, that we will project the force of the world’s most powerful military to transform Iraq and Afghanistan into parliamentary democracies identical to Pennsylvania or Iowa.

    The political criticism of such military missions calls them “nation-building,” and the highest and deepest levels of American politics have, since the Clinton administration — Balkans and Somalia — objected to “nation-building” as an inappropriate, impossible and devastatingly expensive mission for the US military. Afghanistan and Iraq will not become, within the next decade, Pennsylvania and Iowa.

    PFC Manning — and before we shoot him, I’d remind everyone that even under the UCMJ, there’s a presumption of innocence, for now he’s just a suspect — is accused of giving Wikileaks about 50,000 digital documents, diplomatic and military, regarding our conduct of the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010. (Before the Wikileaks stuff, he was reduced in rank from SPC(4?) for fighting with another soldier.)

    Wherever they came from, the Wikileaks publication of these documents is being compared to the release of The Pentagon Papers during the Nixon administration to The Washington Post and The New York Times. The White House sued to block further publication. The US Supreme Court, in the middle of the Vietnam war, ruled that the federal government did not have the Constitutional authority to prevent the publication of these documents.

    (The UK, by the way, does have such censorship authority; the Ministry of Defense makes a phone call, and no media outlet will publish what the MoD tells them not to.)

    In other words, even in wartime, the American people have a right to read the classified details of the war, so they can make up their own minds about supporting or opposing a war. Supporting a war in an atmosphere of classified ignorance is like judging a beauty pageant in the dark.

    It’s treason (well, the usual crime is espionage) to give classified military information to another country — a hostile nation like Russia or China, or a close strategic ally like Israel.

    But giving classified information to the American people, dragging the secret details of a questionable war into the American sunlight, isn’t espionage or treason. It’s Something Else, with Constitutional protection.

    Can America fight (and win) a war without hiding the details of the war from the American people?

  68. 83

    Eric

    First off Im not a “missy” I am a veteran as well. and if you look at the facts our nation has the most discriminate fire rules of any nation IN THE WORLD! Our rules of engagement state we cannot fire unless someone fires upon us first. So usually that is when a snipe KILLS A FRIEND AND BROTHER! So go bash China for killing innocents and North Korea for starving and enslaving their people or Iran for persecuting their people because they wanted fair and impartial elections. My father served in Vietnam and my Grandfather in WWII . Never once did they complain about the friggin politics of it all nor did they point fingers. So yeah thanks for your service but the american public has no business reading classified docs because they would not be happy just reading them they would want to share them with the world. They are called classified for a reason. We are not fightin the war for the american people we are fighting for another country and to keep terrorist out of ours.

  69. 84

    ilovebeeswarzone

    of COURSE THEY NEED TO KEEP THE STRATEGY SECRET and what they find under the cover,because of thoses who are willing to reveal their own secrets ;
    IS NT IT OBVIOUS. THE NEW TECHNOLOGY IS HELPING BUT IS ALSO A SWORD WITH TWO EDGE
    IT CAN SINK ANY IMPORTANT CONFIDENTIAL PAPERS,INTO OPEN VIEW FROM JOURNALIST THAT WOULD SELL THEIR SOUL TO GET THOSES.

  70. 85

    Missy

    @Eric:

    First off Im not a “missy” I

    Eric, the “missy” was a bit of a lash Bob Merkin was sending out to me because of my snarky response to him above where he referred to himself as an “old dude, all hair, swell new teeth”( per his website).

    He seems fixated on terms that some members of the military used to refer to the enemy in Nam and the WOT, but he then goes on to use an oddball phrase for himself and gets a bit put off by my snark.

    Now, I don’t know about what terms you may have used to define the enemy of today, I do know because I was the wife of a Green Beret during Vietnam, that they did use slang terms for the enemy.

    But, my nephew, one of Saddam’s guards, after his execution he served as a protector of prisoners in Abu Gharibe that were to be interrogated, has never in my presence used slang terms to define the enemy.

    His duty was to bring them from their cell to CIA interrogators, sit through the interrogation to make sure our guys never laid a hand on them, and then return them to their cells. When he got back to us, in all my conversations with him, never once referred to them in a slang term. He expressed that they were the lowest creatures humanity had to offer and hated them, but referred to them as either Al Qaeda, or Iraqi terrorists.

    He was a Sgt. during his time in Iraq, has since been promoted and while in this country is involved in training his troops, Knowing him, I seriously doubt that they are encouraged to use derogatory terms when referring to the enemy, perhaps you can shed some light on this issue.

    I heartily thank you and Bob Merkin for your service to this great nation, it is because of both of you and countless others that we are afforded our rights to offer our opinions through free speech as well as all our other rights under our Constitution. Big job, and you guys did your part, thank you!

  71. 86

    ilovebeeswarzone

    MISSY; I MUST SAY,I LOVE THIS BLOG,I LOVE THIS GROUPS OF TRUES AMERICANS COMMENTING HERE, THE BEST OF THE BEST, WITH THESE BRAVES WARRIORS”,WE HAVE NO FEAR
    BECAUSE
    THEY TAKE ON THE ENNEMYS WHILE WE SLEEP. FROM O.T.”
    MY KEY IS STUCK ON BIG LETTER ‘ WHAT CAN I DO?

  72. 88

    Eric

    Thanks Missy for your husbands sacrifice as well as Bob’s. We fight for everyones right to voice their opinion it is what makes our nation great!

  73. 89

    Flyovercountry

    @Bob Merkin

    I didn’t use the old terms, and I scrupulously don’t use the new terms for Afghanis and Iraqis. This is the sick and the sad part of PsyOps — before we can kill a group of people, we immunize ourselves into regarding them as subhumans — not as human as we are, not as important to keep alive.

    Putting aside for the moment whether or not you, or anyone agrees with the reasons for sending Americans into war, making certain that we do all we can to help them be successful should be our top priority. If the Army’s head shrinkers determine that dehumanizing whomever it is helpful to dehumanize, than so be it. If our sons and daughters freeze emotionally during battle, they would be more likely to get themselves injured or killed, rather than the enemy. A decorated veteran such as you claim to be should know that.

    Like it or not, wars are won by killing people on the other side, destroying their infrastructure, and breaking their will to fight. Smart soldiers also realize that they will be actively trying to do the same to us. Pfc Manning helped the enemy in that endeavor. When he did so, he risked the lives of Americans, (our sons and daughters,) without regard for anyone or anything but his own ego. This is unacceptable to me, as it should be for any American citizen. Manning deserves a slower end than the firing squad which he will face.

    Moral standards for waging war are for politicians. Prosecution of those conflicts and decisions for conduct of same should be for military leaders. By second guessing all of the above, Pfc Manning risked the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

  74. 90

    ilovebeeswarzone

    gee thank’s,it work,SO EASY AND I did’nt know, INGNORANCE is realy the the antibrain function
    MISSY, you save me, like an ANGEL do, bye

  75. 91

    ilovebeeswarzone

    BOB MERKIN: hi, MAYBE it save the soldiers to PTSD, because they would harden their feeling by calling thoses names and it remain a temporary recipy so when they come back to the country,they can forget the worse part by forgetting thoses names which they dont
    have to ever pronounce it, IT should make sense, and it’s required by phsychologue
    who study thoses behavior, and are the best who work for militarys.
    WE have still to much soldiers coming back with that PTSD, the RESEARCH MUST CONTINUE until it is eradicated. THE SOLDIERS are the very important backbone of this REPUBLIC and they diserve the best salaries and medical care over anybody else,because they are worthy,
    and they are not expandable, like bad politiciens are.

  76. 92

    Dawood Khan

    I’ve spent over 7 years in Afghanistan. Q-har, Kabul, Bagram, and all over Western Afghanistan.

    Manning is a twit and a traitor. He’s no hero. Just another criminally self righteous T R A I T O R.

    Zimmett, you deserve the fate that would come to you if those “civilians” were to capture your sorry tranzy-prog butt in the Stan or Iraq. You’re a complete idiot and the beheading that they would give you would only serve to improve your ability to think. I’ve not read such stupidity from an adult since the last time I spoke with one of your ilk. Unfortunately, there are far too many of your kind out there. Go hug an al Qaeda operative. You deserve that fate.

  77. 93

    Bob Merkin

    Dawood Khan, just making as educated guess as I can, but Ramadan Kareem.

    All of you who are angry as hell at this old vet’s opinions, but still said “Thanks for serving” — well, thanks!

    A war based on lies and corruption, a war with a hopeless strategy impossible of victory will ALWAYS generate whistleblowers. I don’t know what’s going to happen to Manning, but we’ll all be meeting here again, in six months, in a year, to scream about the next uniform whistleblower.

    It’s not the guy. It’s the bad war.

    Yesterday the USA ceased combat operations in Iraq.

    I pray tomorrow the USA gets its act together and ceases combat operations in Afghanistan, and brings the guys home safe.

    A very strange moment this year — more US armed forces suicides than deaths from combat operations, the first time that’s ever happened in living memory. Something is so wrong with these wars that soldiers and Marines are taking that way out.

    Manning? He’s being detained in Quantico, will almost certainly face court-martial, and I’d bet he’ll get 10 years in Leavenworth (but will quietly be released in 5). DoD won’t want to make him a noisy martyr. A lot of Americans are advocating for him, sending money for his legal defense.

    He won’t be executed. He won’t get a super-long sentence — because that will never deter other soldiers from whistleblowing during a f***ed-up “liars’ and scoundrels’ war” (Abraham Lincoln’s description of Polk’s Mexican War — Lincoln was a vet himself, of the Black Hawk War).

    I don’t think Manning’s a hero. I think bad, wrong, corrupt, hopeless wars make whistleblowers like him inevitable. The American people hunger for facts, on which to support or oppose far-away wars. Soldiers and Marines like Manning will inevitably feed the hunger of the American people.

  78. 94

    Dawood Khan

    Let me quote or paraphrase Will Sherman.

    War is all hell. There is not getting around it.

    The bad part of the war in Afghanistan and all other wars but especially those like Iraq is that we don’t prosecute them with that in mind.

    Fight the war hard. Not soft. Especially in places that are less educated.

    Come in hard. Then gradually introduce liberty, freedoms, republicanism, democracy.

    Germany and Japan are prime examples of this. We destroyed them and sought unconditional surrender. Then we gradually placed them back in control of their own destinies.

    We have done the opposite here in some misquided quest to conduct a PC TV War in both Afghan and Iraq.

    The more you kill in the beginning the fewer die in the end.

  79. 95

    Bob Merkin

    General William Tecumseh Sherman (still a detested memory in the USA Deep South) had a terrible but clear vision: The best war is the shortest war. To achieve this, he subjected the civilian men, women and children of the Confederacy to terrible suffering and starvation.

    The USA and its Nato allies have now been in combat in Afghanistan considerably longer than it took us and our allies to defeat the combined industrial military nations of Germany, Italy, Japan and their handful of Axis partners.

    The Pentagon has been discouraging the use of the phrase “Long Wars” which historians and scholars have been using to describe — well, starting with Vietnam (our longest war since the American Revolution), the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    You favor Sherman’s kind of war — war with that Vietnam-era tattoo: “Kill ’em all, let God sort ’em out.”

    This moment in Afghanistan is a wretched one. Afghanis sincerely hate the cruelty and injustice of the Taliban.

    But they hate Americans more. With the guns of both sides pointed at their heads, they must make a choice. And they’re increasingly choosing the side

    1. who worships as they do

    2. who speaks their language

    3. who will be there long after the Americans are gone — because however long we stay, Afghanis know the Americans are going home.

    The most powerful military in Eurasia, the Soviet Army, eventually marched out of Afghanistan after their brutal, Sherman-style Long War. No foreign army has conquered and pacified Afghanistan since Alexander the Great.

    All we can do is repeat the Soviets’ mistake — or choose to be even more brutal than they were.

    That’s not the message I want to send to the people of Afghanistan, to the people of Iraq, to the people of Iran. “Do our bidding, or die horribly by the hundreds of thousands.” — let that be a Russian message to the world, or a Chinese message to the world.

    It’s not an American message.

  80. 96

    Dawood Khan

    It is a most deliberate Liberal myth that Afghanistan has not been conquered since Alexander.

    It is still a myth. Either that or a deliberate lie of the defeatist element in the West.

    Afghanistan was conquered by Genghis Khan. It was conquered by Timur the Lame. It was conquered by the Moghuls starting with Babur.

    Before Babur, parts of what we call Afghanistan (it is a recent political invention of the West, afterall) was conquered by the Uzbeks of Shaibani Khan.

    There were others who conquered part of what we today call Afghanistan.

    That is not counting the Muslims who came up before Genghis and took the Afghan tribes and converted them forcibly to Islam.

    Again, learn history before you attempt to preach it.

    Genghis Khan desolated whole swaths of Afghanistan including Herat (Khorasan) and Iskander (Qandahar).

    As I said, it’s a convenient defeatist myth. Nonetheless, it is akin to one of Stalin’s/Mao’s “Big Lies.”

    Britain did not conquer it and neither did Russia. That does not mean that their version or the defeatist version of history is correct.

    I left Afghanistan early this year. I was a Police Mentor/Trainer. While I was in Afghanistan, I got the distinct impression that the people hated the Taliban. Especially the Tajiks, Aimaqs, Hazaras, Uzbeks and other non-Pushtoon tribes. You speak as if you speak for the whole of the Afghan people. I can say with a certain authority of having spent 7 years there that NO, the Afghans do not hate America or Americans. The true uncertainty of our commitment to the fight there began with Obama.

    Most Afghans aren’t to the point of taking a side in this war. The point of their existence is subsistence and security. They go with he who pays the most. That is their loyalty point.

    Like I said before, had we gone in and crushed the Taliban. Used Afghan leaders such as Rashid Doostum and obliterated the Talibs, we’d be finished by now. We could have begun introducing democratic reforms in the mold of Japan and Germany in the post World War II era. An era the successfully transformed two of the most Imperial Nations on Earth into Democracies and International Partners in the Peace Process.

    Instead, we PC’d our way into the war. We backed into it. We allowed whole Armies to evade us and slip into Pakistan.

    Don’t get me started on Pakistan. Or Saudi Arabia. Two of the greatest enemies of peace and democratic peoples of our era and of history.

    Afghans want a real country. Afghans want Democratic Reforms.

    We are giving them neither. We are giving them a corrupt, laughing stock of a leader in Hamid Karzai who is backed by Afghan Leaders who were once Taliban and who still harbor those Taliban impulses. Instead of giving them Democratic Republianism, we gave them Shariah laced faux Republicanism.

    What is the American Message?

    “Do our bidding or we will abandon you to the fates.” “Do our bidding or fuck ya, we’ll let the Taliban have ya back.”

    That is the message that we are sending now.

  81. 97

    Bob Merkin

    Dawood —

    Aren’t you frustrated that you know so much about Afghan culture, history, customs, language, attitudes, worship — and clearly you do, far better than me, your posts are remarkable for their knowledge — while 93 percent of Americans can’t find Afghanistan on a map?

    This may sound like a joke, but maybe it’s not a joke. The USA should never fight a war in a place most Americans can’t find, can’t spell, can’t speak, and never heard of before.

    And we should be doubly, triply hesitant about sending tens of thousands of American Christian soldiers to force a million Muslims to do our bidding. To the Muslims of Asia, our efforts are just our Holy 18th Crusade to crush Islam. You can say it’s not, you can say it has nothing to do with Western historical hatred of Islam. But that’s not what Muslims in Asia and Africa see and believe.

    I know Karzai very well. His previous names were Ngo Dinh Diem, Nguyen Van Thieu and Nguyễn Cao Ky. He’s our cooperative puppet. The “President of Kabul” is the USA’s Babrak Karmal.

  82. 98

    Dawood Khan

    You forgot Manuel Noriega and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi among others.

    America should never fight a war unless it intends to prosecute that war fully and to it’s complete ability. Employing all means to win swiftly with overwhelming fire power, man power and logistics support. Politically speaking, America must support the war and the war should be discussed realistically and honestly.

    Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan were discussed realistically.

    There are no good wars. There are just wars.

    Sometimes, you must fight them. Sometimes, you want to fight them. Sometimes, you can avoid fighting them. Sometimes, avoidance is mere delay and a guarantee of greater calamity when the fight finally comes.

    The best time to fight a war is when you are dreading it but are prepared for it.

    Geography doesn’t matter.

    There should be no place on the planet about which a high school graduate has not heard or been taught on at least a superficial level.

    The ignorance of the people is justification of nothing. It’s neither reason to do or not to do something.

    I’m not a Christian. I served over there.

    Religion should not matter either.

    I don’t care what the Muslims think.

    Who threw the fist blow in this 1300 year contest between Islam and Christianity/the West?

    Where and when?

  83. 99

    Dawood Khan

    I ask this because so many ill informed persons blame the whole conflict on either Christianity, the West or America.

    All Muslim lands except Arabia were once Christian lands and even Arabia had Christian dwellings and settlements who were either forcibly converted or made to pay the jizya.

    The conflict between these two cultures began with the Arabian forces of Muhammad and his successors riding out of the desert with the sword.

    The Crusades were an attempt to regain Christian lands.

    The Crusades were not a pre-emptive strike and nor were they a first strike.

    It irks me when folks use the crusades as some kind of terrible Christian or Western Crime. The Crusades were a response to many things but above all they were a response to the Islamic invasion of Europe.

    Had the Muslims not invaded Europe or conquered Eurasia, there would have been no Crusade.

  84. 100

    Dawood Khan

    Constantinople, now called Istanbul, was THE center of Christianity for centuries.

    In what country was the Councel of Nicea held? The council which decided the final form of the book of the Bible.

    There was no true Muslim claim on the city of Jerusalem until hundreds of years after the death of Muhammad. That claim is disputed even by Muslims. Saladin made that one stick in the 12th Century (I think).

    Now, I know that none of this has anything to do with PFC Wikileaks.

    You simply hit on a few pet peeves of mine. Historical inaccuracies and misinformation spread by Western Apologists. These people make me cringe with their lies and half truths.

    What I’m saying here is that the Muslims are not innocent babes who’ve committed no crimes.

  85. 102

    Coast2co

    My problem with Pfc. Bradley Manning is that is leaks and 50000 + documents have informers names and they are probably dead by now. So his actions cost there lives. There are other ways to expose the government but a intell dump on the INTERNET is really bad. So as far as I am concerned he is personally responsible for anyone killed because of there names being exposed. I see it no other way. If you don’t know it there are mistakes made in every war. Smart-in up folks. What was the name of the operation in UK during WW II oh yeah Operation Tiger it was covered up for 50 years how they were practicing D Day landing on UK beaches at night and were attacked by German U Boats and killed many. It was bad but it happens.

  86. 103

    Flyovercountry

    @Coast2co:

    Excellent point! The left is trying to paint him as some sort of saintly whistle blower. That would have meant taking his concerns to the proper authorities. He is nothing more than a treasonous punk who deserves what ever the court marshall determines.

  87. 104

    See_the_light

    I’m sure no one reading this gives a damn, because you all seem to believe whatever anyone tells you, but the article above is lying to you in an incredible number of ways, purely to character assassinate Bradley Manning so you despise and hate him. Before you comment on this post maybe spend just 5 minutes researching a little more, make your own decisions based on more than one article that has picked sources out of the sky, and written whatever they like whether or not it is based on any truth. Because some have stated otherwise, the Pentagon themselves have issued a statement saying that ‘to their knowledge no solider has been harmed as a result of the released documents’. I feel I should also point out that the Genève convention that the United States of America is obligated by law to follow, states, any witnessed human rights atrocities HAS TO BE reported by military personnel. The murder of civilians and the handover of detainees to groups known to carry out torture, as shown in the leaked documents, constitute this. Subsequently, Manning was obeying the law. If you believe any of these facts are wrong, please correct me on the interpretation of the Genève convention. Stop focusing on who leaked the documents and instead on what they show us.

  88. 105

    Old Trooper 2

    @ See_the_light, Reported to whom, Wikileaks media whores? How about the corrupt UN jokers that profited from the Oil For Food Scam? The Iraqi Forces do not answer to the US on their conduct as they answer to the sovereign Iraqi Government alone.

    Excusing Manning for his conduct is not acceptable. He could not offer sworn testimony on events or actions that he did not in FACT witness. Nice try but his testimony would not stand in any Court so he released information to media whores that had no way of vetting the information.

    Manning is just in violation of the UCMJ and must answer for HIS Actions, which may I add, were within the conditions of His Employment. He could not Report anything that he had not witnessed.

    You are not using a logical or legal perspective here. Manning is no hero. He may be a disgruntled Soldier but he volunteered and was not conscripted. He will be held responsible for His actions alone.

  89. 106

    Hard Right

    Geneva conventions do not apply to terrorists.
    Manning is no hero by his own admission. He did not do it out of some humanitarian cause. Call him a hero all you want, it just shows you are the one who believes whatever you are told. Now go back to DUNG, Puffho, or the KOSlim land. This site is for adults.

  90. 107

    Bob Merkin

    The thread came to life again!

    And just a few days after Wikileaks dumped another huge cache of Significant Action Reports sent up the chain of command (but not very far up) about the Iraq War.

    Here’s the deal, same deal since my war …

    If the war sucks, if the USA never should have waged it in the first place, there are inevitably going to be military personnel — from E-3 to O-5, with some warrants thrown in — who will blow the whistle on how our side is screwing the pooch, and lying about it, and covering it up to the American public.

    And they won’t care if you call them traitors.

    And they know they risk court martial when they send the documents to the free press.

    Some American wars, nothing like this ever happened, not a single person in military service thought it was a necessary response to a bad, out-of-control “liars and scoundrels war” (as Congressman Abraham Lincoln called James K. Polk’s Mexican War).

    AMERICAN soldiers aren’t robots. We obey MOST orders. We take our educational backgrounds and our civilian experiences, and our “Sunday School” training, and smell and sniff the others, and if they stink too bad, if they shame America and its military — we don’t obey them, or we blow the whistle on them.

    I like Wikileaks, I think it’s doing the public work these whack wars require.

    Americans can, if they wish, keep waging these wars.

    But now, Wikileaks has shown us some raw truth about the wars we’ve been paying for and suffering from. Now we know what we’re signing on to, now we know what we’ve bought.

    The latest Wikileaks release has been Page 1 / Top Network Story for two days. The top tier of the journalism profession thinks the leaks are Big, Important News. They’re routinely described as the most significant “leaked news.” in its potential to influence policy in the American democracy, since The Pentagon Papers.

    And a DoD analysis just concluded that no one, American, Afghan, died or was endangered by the Afghan War Wikileaks.

    Do we have the right to see the wars we’re buying? To look under the hood, to read the fine print, to know what the field grade and general grade officers, and most enlisted personnel, know about it?

    Or is every American war a war which only the authorized Pentagon version is the version our civilians are allowed to get?

  91. 108

    Hard Right

    “And a DoD analysis just concluded that no one, American, Afghan, died or was endangered by the Afghan War Wikileaks.”

    Not yet. That could quickly change thanks to the leaks.
    You imply you are a vet, but you sound more like a liberal. Then again this is the internet. You could be anyone pretending to be a vet. You may like Wikileaks, but all they are doing is showing that the leaks are generally much ado about nothing and hardly undermines the reasons we were and are fighting these wars.

    Wikilieaks/assange are not heroes. They are scum who want to hurt America any way they can and this is their attempt to do just that. BTW, there are some things that we don’t need to know about the wars we wage for security reasons. The fact you think otherwise makes me wonder about your veteran status claim.

    If I am wrong then I apologize.

  92. 109

    Hard Right

    Oh forgot to mention that Wikileaks edited the video “Colateral Murder” in an attempt to frame the helicopter pilots. So you think that is a good thing too?

  93. 110

    Old Trooper 2

    @ Bob Merkin, Your War? Against whom and when?

    I have been to Three of them, several of them were Peacekeeping Missions and depending on who you interview there are about a million different versions and sources for info.

    Just how much is the scope of your need to know and in what capacity?
    Do you believe everything you read or what you have personally witnessed?
    Can Wikileaks vet the info that they publish?

    And a DoD analysis just concluded that no one, American, Afghan, died or was endangered by the Afghan War Wikileaks.

    Cite your source.

  94. 111

    Dawood Khan

    wiki leaks is just another symptom of a weak liberal society

    we should never go to war

    we should simply obliterate our enemies and leave a vast desert

    with naught but a sign

    warning of our return if we should feel harassed or bothered again

  95. 113

    Old Trooper 2

    @ Hard Right, FA has become a ‘sock’ magnet as the election gets closer. Should we take that as a compliment?

    I thought that most of these juveniles spent their time on an X-Box instead of offering their childish views here. Granted, we do see a lot of cases of arrested intellectual development posting here but folks masquerading as ‘subject matter experts’ or fans of Traitors masquerading as Patriots?

    Nothing surprises me anymore. 😯

  96. 114

    Hard Right

    The lefties are lashing out as the election slaughter nears. Since we are a visible Conservative site we get the swoop and poop from the X-box playing, dope smoking idiots afraid they’ll have to work for a living.
    I hear you about not being surprised anymore. As it is two of our regular liberal posters actually think they aren’t liberals.
    🙄

  97. 115

    Bob Merkin

    What can I tell you? They knew I was a lefty when they drafted me, but they drafted me anyway … and gave me a couple of spiffy medals, and a thank-you letter from my Commander-in-Chief for my honorable service.

    Don’t be shocked: The woods are filled with honorable military vets who are liberals, lefties, even pacifists. The active-duty military’s filled with servicemen and women who voted Obama and will do so in 2012. (That’s the cool thing about the secret ballot,)

    Hard Right, I could be anyone, but I’m a Vietnam-era vet, I went where they sent me and carried out my orders. Thanks for serving; hope you wish me the same.

  98. 116

    See_the_light

    @Old Trooper 2
    “the corrupt UN jokers that profited from the Oil For Food Scam?”, seriously, why do you think America is in Iraq, I’m not the first to highlight that Iraq’s got a hundred years worth of oil to drill and now the US has military control. Anyway, saying that Manning “could not offer sworn testimony on events or actions that he did not in FACT witness” is entirely true, but he can swear testimony to the fact that these files were created by military personnel on the back of what US soldiers on the ground reported. This also answers your statement as to wikileaks can’t verify every last piece of data, you’re right they can’t, but they did come from the DoD. So even though it is not a complete picture of what occurred, it has been written and edited by a government I thought you trusted. Your statement that “Manning is just in violation of the UCMJ and the conditions of his employment” is correct. He is in violation of the codes of military justice. However the Geneva Convention supersedes any UCMJ law, this means that you CAN break the uniform code of military justice IF it is following the code of the Geneva Convention. Thus Manning’s leaked documents highlighting human rights abuses constitute this.

    @Hard Right
    your comment that the Geneva Convention does not apply to terrorists is wrong. They apply to absolutely everyone, it is at the very heart at what it stands for and written into the constitution. It was created after the dehumanisation of the Jews during the holocaust with the Nazi’s removing any rights they had. The Geneva Convention was put in place to protect everyone, a terrorist still constitutes a human and are thus protected.

    Secondly, seeing as you raised the video, why are you focused on what it is called? If it was called file 123 would that really change the fact that two Reuters journalists were killed, and unarmed civilian trying to give aid, and his two children seriously injured. They opened fire onto a civilian vehicle. By the sounds of it many on this site have served at some point, are you telling me that anyone of you would open fire onto a civilian giving aid? Is this debateable? There’s a video, we can see what occurred. There weren’t any extenuating circumstances. I like someone to give their definition of murder during a war. Or does anything go? In case you’re thinking the civilians weren’t so innocent, a US spokesperson quoted “we regret the loss of innocent life”, link: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6344FW20100406.

    Thirdly, your statement that “there are some things that we don’t need to know about the wars we wage for security reasons”, sounds straight out of speech by President Bush. These files compiled BY the US military, highlighted an extra 15,000 civilian deaths, put another way, five 9/11’s worth of causalities, completely ignored and not reported, even though they knew the true figures. I agree that soldier’s names should not be released, but what else. Have you looked into these files? They report the incidents that occurred, not strategic plans of their next attack. If we believe that the war is over and the troops are coming home, then surely you all see this as a history record which could not harm any US troops.

    Maybe see it in a different way for a second. If these documents released highlight that some soldiers have been conducting murder or conducting missions that recklessly endanger civilians and subsequently brought to justice, this would show democracy within the US military. It would show that they stand for justice and treat civilians with some respect. This may in turn reduce the number of ‘terrorists’ because you’re giving them less reason to fight because you haven’t just killed their family and loved ones. Wouldn’t THIS reduce the number of military deaths.

  99. @See_the_light:

    your comment that the Geneva Convention does not apply to terrorists is wrong. They apply to absolutely everyone, it is at the very heart at what it stands for and written into the constitution….The Geneva Convention was put in place to protect everyone, a terrorist still constitutes a human and are thus protected.

    Wow!

    You are painfully and woefully out of your element here.

    The GCs have very specific guidelines regarding protection as well as very specific guidelines regarding exclusion.

    For example: Terrorists or “unlawful combatants” (members of al Qaeda and the Taliban, et al) are specifically excluded from protections because 1) they are not signatories to the GCs, 2) they do not fight in uniform, 3) they hide among, as well as target, civilian populations.

    There are other exclusionary areas which apply to specifically to unlawful combatants as well.

    Again, those who fall into the categories laid out above are specifically excluded from GC protections. The only rights they are guaranteed is the right to a battlefield trial and punishment up to, and including, execution.

  100. 118

    See_the_light

    @ Aye Chihuahua
    I see you’ve done a little reading but unfortunately only within the realms of what America wants, not actually the law. I should have been clearer which I will do so now. Article 3 of the GC applies to everyone including ‘terrorists’ (See below). You are right that article 4 does not cover terrorists but you missed a vital point, the GC states that it protects the uncharged terrorist, noting that anyone who has been captured is entitled to protection until “their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.”

    So for example Guantanamo where all these terrorists are apparently kept, only 3 have actually been charged. Since October 7, 2001, 775 detainees have been brought to Guantánamo. Of these, most have been released without charge or transferred to facilities in their home countries. As of July 2010, 176 detainees remain at Guantanamo. Please provide me a list of all the names of the people who have been found by a tribunal to be deemed a terrorist, it won’t take you very long, and then I will send you back the names of the few individuals who aren’t covered by every section of the Genève convention. I apologise for not making myself clearer. Because the term terrorist is seemed to be used for anyone against the US nowadays it appears to get used out of context.

    Someone who does agree with you is Barack Obama’s selected Attorney General, Eric Holder. Who believes that terrorists are not uniformed combatants and subsequently not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Convention.

    “It seems to me that given the way in which they have conducted themselves, however, that they are not, in fact, people entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention.”

    The important part of this statement though is the first four words “it seems to me”, his opinion does not constitute the GC. I know America loves to believe this is the case but their word is not the law.

    Reference to Article 3:
    ‘Article 3 describes minimal protections which must be adhered to by all individuals within a signatory’s territory (regardless of citizenship or lack thereof): Noncombatants, combatants who have laid down their arms, and combatants who are hors de combat (out of the fight) due to wounds, detention, or any other cause shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, including prohibition of outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment. The passing of sentences must also be pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. Article 3’s protections exist even if one is not classified as a prisoner of war. Article 3 also states that parties to the internal conflict should endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of GCIII.’

  101. 119

    Flyovercountry

    @See_the_light:

    I swore off commenting on FA, but I can’t let your comment go unanswered. What the Geneva Convention has to do with this is beyond me, and by the way, also beyond the JAG. What Pfc. Manning did was not whistle blowing. Whistle blowing would have been Manning reporting his suspicions to his superiors, or the MP’s, (which I am guessing were in country in abundance at the time.) Pfc. Manning instead leaked classified documents during a time of war to civilian press and possibly enemy combatants. This placed his comrades in danger even if no casualties can be directly attributed to his actions. Pfc. Manning is now Prisoner Manning, as he deserves to be. When the Court Marshall decides his fate, It will be what he deserves.

  102. 120

    Old Trooper 2

    @ Flyovercountry, you are correct. The UCMJ applies to Manning and the Geneva Conventions do not. An Article 32 investigation is in progress on charges for Manning, the Military equivalent of a Grand Jury to determine the charges.

  103. 121

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Flyovercountry: Hi, I hope that It’s not something I said, for you to swear off, FA
    commenting, I don’t recall having done so, but I recall reading your very intelligent comments,
    and we miss it now: SO don’t stay away from the group anymore, would you?
    bye SR

  104. 122

    See_the_light

    @Flyovercountry

    “Manning did was not whistle blowing. Whistle blowing would have been Manning reporting his suspicions to his superiors, or the MP’s” – Really, is that so, I’m so glad you’re so well informed. By any chance have you ever heard of Daniel Ellsberg, known to lots as the biggest whistleblower in history. Do you know what he did with those Pentagon papers? He handed them to The New York Times, a newspaper. What did Manning do, he leaked to Wikileaks who subsequently passed it straight onto The New York Times and The Guardian as well as a few other newspapers. So if you don’t count Manning as a whistleblower then you can’t count Daniel Ellsberg as one, and if this is the case I think you really need to look into him and be better informed. You can watch Daniel Ellsberg here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/10420425 talking about Manning as a ‘fellow whistleblower’ if you want.

    What has all this got to do with the Geneva Convention, in case you missed the entire point, was that the leak brought to light human rights atrocities that the US and Iraq military were involved in, and that the government was aware of. So yes, Manning will be charged under the UCMJ, you are right. But the focus of all this should be on what he found, military personnel that should be held accountable for their actions. You all hate and despise this monster who stole files from a computer, but have no feelings for the 109,032 civilians who have died in this war, an incredibly large number of which died unlawfully and unnecessarily. But you know you’re right lets hang Manning for his computer crimes, forget the rest, forget say the attack on Fallujah in 2004 where they’ve admitted to using white phosphorus that burnt the faces off civilians, you’re right, let’s just not mention that bit. Even though how they used it is illegal (if you want the reference just ask). All fair’s in love and war I guess, even if its killing unarmed civilians.

  105. 123

    Old Trooper 2

    @ See_the_light, Manning will be charged under the UCMJ because he is subject to the UCMJ.
    Manning cannot offer sworn testimony on incidents that He did not personally witness. That would be perjury. That is also a UCMJ offense.

    As the information that he released to Wikileaks was Classified Information sent by both Individual Commands and Embassies it was subject to review by Military Commands and the US State Department the reports were ‘reported’ to higher authorities. That is the bottom line. The information was reports that were ‘reported’. The release of Classified Info to unauthorized recipients is a Crime. Period.

    The burden here lies with the Department of Defense and the State Department that are under the Command of NCA, National Command Authority, IE, the CiC, Obama. Further, any information that originated in Afghanistan is under NATO jurisdiction as well so there is NATO review involved.

    For PFC Manning to take it upon himself to release the information for publication without Authorization by NCA is the issue here. Alleged Offenses committed by Iraqi Forces/Police fall under the jurisdiction of the Iraqi Government to investigate or try offenders in Court. As Iraq is not a Geneva Convention signatory the GCs are not relevant.

    Things are not so clear cut as you attempt to make them. Do you want to charge Obama, the US Secretary of State, NATO, the Iraqi Government, Who???

    The real problem that you have here is establishing who knew what and when. Good luck on that. Things are a lot more complex than you can imagine but Manning was not a messenger.
    He was a Soldier that committed UCMJ Offenses.

  106. 124

    Hard Right

    Ah yes, the true thrust of your hate comes out. The evil America must be punished.
    The 100k dead was alllll America’s fault. The terrorists had nothing to do with their deaths what-so-ever. They were better off under Saddam, blah, blah, blah.

    BTW, IIRC we weren’t signatories to the part of the GC that you claim applies to terrorists. Fortunately for us it does not anyway. Now go back to KOS, DUNG, or huffpo because your BS doesn’t fly here.

  107. 125

    Flyovercountry

    @See_the_light:

    Ellsberg faced charges of espionage. He sat in prison for a full two years on those charges until a Federal Judge ordered the charges dropped in June of 1973. The charges were ordered dropped due to Liddy’s illegal wiretapping of government and nongovernment offices in connection with the case. In short, Ellsberg did not get off due to his innocence or being right in what he did. He got off due to a procedural technicality in civillian court. While this may seem like the same thing to you, and that the Ellsberg case should stand as some sort of perverted precedent, the differences are important. Had G. Gordon Liddy not been willing to break the law himself in order to collect evidence, Ellsberg would have been shot as a convicted spy.

    What this trial will be about will be what the JAG charges Manning with. If there were atrocities, he should have reported them to those people clearly spelled out to him and every soldier according to his unit’s operations manual. That means his commanding officer or the Military Police.

    I see you are still using this already discredited number for civilian deaths. That number is outrageous and balogna. Even if it were true, better them than American Troops. In case you didn’t know, wars are won by a)killing the enemy, b)destroying the enemy’s infrastructure,
    c)breaking his will to fight. The idea of a surgical war is politically correct nonsense designed to get our guys killed.

    Interseting that you mention Fellujah. My nephew died there. He was not burning anybody’s face off. He was serving his country. I bet if he actually had White Phospherous or Napalm at his dispossal, I would still have him around today. The interesting thing about all of your nonsensical catterwalling about war crimes and attrocities, is that the very people who you claim to care about support our liberation of their country. Even as we speak, the vast majority of them are engaged in begging the Zero to not pull out. While I respect your right to say what you want, I don’t respect your exageration of supposed war crimes as a means to convince people to do what is nescessary to win a war. Most especially since we sent them there to do it. If you have actual evidence of wrong doing, present it to the proper authorities.

  108. 129

    Hard Right

    I read the GC years ago when the controversy broke out about whether or not it covered terrorists. There were multiple versions, all of which we did not sign onto. After reading the ones where we did, it’s clear terrorists were not protected by it.
    To America haters like Light, America is the primary source of evil in the world and we must be stopped. That is how he comes to the insane conclusion that we are to blame for ALL civilian (even if they weren’t civilians) deaths. Any and all torture that the Iraqis committed is our fault and that we invaded illegally, even tho we didn’t. Facts don’t matter to it’s kind. All that matters is stopping America.

  109. 130

    Bob Merkin

    I’m thinking of going to rehab to stop posting on Flipping Aces, but I need to say this.

    At first I expected a hurricane of abuse for expressing approval for Manning and Wikileaks.

    But to my surprise and delight, Americans — mostly or all vets is my guess — have advocated for things that make me proud to be an American vet.

    * Humane treatment of enemy prisoners, and support for the Geneva Convention for the Treatment of Prisoners of War, regardless of legalistic refusals to honor Geneva in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    * Transparency of our government’s war actions overseas to the American people via our free press.

    Our benchmark and gold standard for waging war should be our unconditional victories in World War II. When it was over, the world saw the horrors our enemies had perpetrated on POWs and civilians alike.

    And the world saw how the American citizen-soldier behaved, with honor, generosity, restraint, humanity.

    Trying to fight an American war while forgetting that greatest moment in our history — What does America possibly have to gain by shaming the uniforms of the men and women who fought and won World War II?

    PS. Just my personal prediction, but if a court martial convicts Manning, he’ll be sentenced to no more than 5 years, and will be released sooner than that. The more unpopular these liars and scoundrels’ wars become with the American people, the less appetite the military will have for making a martyr of Manning and others who expose the truth about these wars.

  110. 131

    Old Trooper 2

    @ Bob Merkin, Thanks for your Service. A General Indictment of the US, the Military and the current CiC, as it is now His War, other ‘crimes’ real or imagined is not in your scope of employment. Go to rehab and good luck.

    PFC Manning’s Article 32 investigation is ongoing and he is subject to the UCMJ for his actions. The problem here is that certain Laws were broken and the Classified info that he furnished to Wikilealks was not within the Legal Scope of his Duty. It was Diplomatic Cables which fall under the purview of the Us State Department. Lets indict Hillary Clinton for failure to report this info to Congress under sworn testimony while you are at it with the finger pointing. How about them apples, Bob?

    There is a Chain of Command and a Chain of Responsibility. Did that fit into your scheme of things?

  111. 132

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Bob Merkin: hi, you don’t need rehab for sure compare to some other who come,
    YOU can teach them rehab instead, take care and stick around at FA, with the fine group we have,
    BRIGHT and well educated like you. bye

  112. 133

    Hard Right

    Bob, I also have to ask if you saw the Wikileaks version of “Collateral Murder.” If not I sugggest you do so, then view the unedited version.
    Perhaps then you would not be so supportive of Wikileaks after watching both.

    BTW, if you think WWII was “morally pure” or “fought cleanly”, I have a WWII vet relative who could tell you otherwise.

  113. @See_the_light:

    Copying/pasting portions of Facebook posts or select segments of Wiki entries will get you into trouble every time.

    You see, what happens is the people who create those posts don’t necessarily understand the topics upon which they are expounding, thus you perpetuate their errors making yourself look like a fool in the process.

    The GCs are very specific. You should read them sometime.

    Now, let’s get to the meat of your post:

    You are right that article 4 does not cover terrorists but you missed a vital point, the GC states that it protects the uncharged terrorist, noting that anyone who has been captured is entitled to protection until “their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.”

    Well, that’s not exactly what it says. That’s the last part of the sentence that you chose to snip.

    Here’s the whole thing:

    Art 5. Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.

    That completely changes the meaning now doesn’t it?

    If there is doubt as to whether a person falls into the categories of Article 4 then, and only then, is a tribunal necessary.

    What are the categories in Article 4 you ask?

    Well thanks for asking. Here they are:

    Art 4. A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:
    (1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

    (2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:[
    (a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
    (b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
    (c) that of carrying arms openly;
    (d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

    (3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.

    (4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization, from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.

    (5) Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices, of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.

    (6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.

    B. The following shall likewise be treated as prisoners of war under the present Convention:
    (1) Persons belonging, or having belonged, to the armed forces of the occupied country, if the occupying Power considers it necessary by reason of such allegiance to intern them, even though it has originally liberated them while hostilities were going on outside the territory it occupies, in particular where such persons have made an unsuccessful attempt to rejoin the armed forces to which they belong and which are engaged in combat, or where they fail to comply with a summons made to them with a view to internment.

    (2) The persons belonging to one of the categories enumerated in the present Article, who have been received by neutral or non-belligerent Powers on their territory and whom these Powers are required to intern under international law, without prejudice to any more favourable treatment which these Powers may choose to give and with the exception of Articles 8, 10, 15, 30, fifth paragraph, 58-67, 92, 126 and, where diplomatic relations exist between the Parties to the conflict and the neutral or non-belligerent Power concerned, those Articles concerning the Protecting Power. Where such diplomatic relations exist, the Parties to a conflict on whom these persons depend shall be allowed to perform towards them the functions of a Protecting Power as provided in the present Convention, without prejudice to the functions which these Parties normally exercise in conformity with diplomatic and consular usage and treaties.

    C. This Article shall in no way affect the status of medical personnel and chaplains as provided for in Article 33 of the present Convention.

    If civilians directly engage in hostilities, they are considered “unlawful” or “unprivileged” combatants or belligerents (the treaties of humanitarian law do not expressly contain these terms). They may be prosecuted under the domestic law of the detaining state for such action.

    Both lawful and unlawful combatants may be interned in wartime, may be interrogated and may be prosecuted for war crimes. Both are entitled to humane treatment in the hands of the enemy.

    Participants/captives must meet multiple conditions in order to qualify for protections under the GCs.

    If the captives do not fit into those categories then they are classified as unlawful combatants.

    The GCs have no “innocent until proven guilty” provisions.

    Furthermore:

    The four Geneva Conventions apply to situations of international armed conflict. It is the Third Geneva Convention which regulates the protection of lawful combatants upon capture by the enemy. Its procedures for determination of entitlement to prisoner of war status by a “competent tribunal” in case of doubt are mandatory.

    Unlawful combatants do not qualify for prisoner of war status. Their situation upon capture by the enemy is covered by the Fourth (Civilian) Geneva Convention if they fulfil the nationality criteria and by the relevant provisions of the Additional Protocol I, if ratified by the detaining power.

    This protection is not the same as that afforded to lawful combatants. To the contrary, persons protected by the Fourth Convention and the relevant provisions of Protocol I may be prosecuted under domestic law for directly participating in hostilities. They may be interned for as long as they pose a serious security threat, and, while in detention, may under specific conditions be denied certain privileges under the Fourth Geneva Convention. They may also be prosecuted for war crimes and other crimes and sentenced to terms exceeding the length of the conflict, including the range of penalties provided for under domestic law.

    Additionally, Protocol I states the following:

    Article 47 — Mercenaries
    1. A mercenary shall not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war.
    2. A mercenary is any person who:
    (a) is specially recruited locally or abroad in order to fight in an armed conflict;
    (b) does, in fact, take a direct part in the hostilities;
    (c) is motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain and, in fact, is promised, by or on behalf of a Party to the conflict, material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to combatants of similar ranks and functions in the armed forces of that Party;
    (d) is neither a national of a Party to the conflict nor a resident of territory controlled by a Party to the conflict;
    (e) is not a member of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict; and
    (f) has not been sent by a State which is not a Party to the conflict on official duty as a member of its armed forces.

    This issue has been specifically addressed and the ICRC disagrees with you:

    If civilians directly engage in hostilities, they are considered “unlawful” or “unprivileged” combatants or belligerents (the treaties of humanitarian law do not expressly contain these terms). They may be prosecuted under the domestic law of the detaining state for such action.

    Both lawful and unlawful combatants may be interned in wartime, may be interrogated and may be prosecuted for war crimes. Both are entitled to humane treatment in the hands of the enemy.

    ::snip::

    Unlawful combatants do not qualify for prisoner of war status. Their situation upon capture by the enemy is covered by the Fourth (Civilian) Geneva Convention if they fulfil the nationality criteria and by the relevant provisions of the Additional Protocol I, if ratified by the detaining power.

    This protection is not the same as that afforded to lawful combatants. To the contrary, persons protected by the Fourth Convention and the relevant provisions of Protocol I may be prosecuted under domestic law for directly participating in hostilities. They may be interned for as long as they pose a serious security threat, and, while in detention, may under specific conditions be denied certain privileges under the Fourth Geneva Convention. They may also be prosecuted for war crimes and other crimes and sentenced to terms exceeding the length of the conflict, including the range of penalties provided for under domestic law.

    ::snip::

    One of main achievements of Additional Protocol I concerns limitations on the methods and means of warfare introduced in order to better protect civilians. For example, it unequivocally prohibits acts of terrorism, such as attacks against civilians or civilian objects. The treaty also explicitly prohibits acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population. Needless to say, persons suspected of such acts are liable for criminal prosecution.

    Additional Protocol I does not grant prisoner of war status to persons who unlawfully participate in hostilities. It reserves this status to members of the armed forces of a party to an international armed conflict in the sense of the Protocol. Such armed forces must be organized, be under a command responsible to that party and be subject to an internal disciplinary system that enforces compliance with humanitarian law. Moreover, members of armed forces must distinguish themselves from the civilian population in order to be entitled to prisoner of war status upon capture. While traditionally the wearing of a uniform or of a distinctive sign and the carrying of arms openly was required, States parties to the Protocol agreed that in very exceptional circumstances, such as wars of national liberation, this requirement could be less stringent. The carrying of arms openly would be sufficient as a means of distinction.

  114. 136

    Smorgasbord

    @Hard Right: #133 The full video is at:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/22/apache-helicopters-kill-iraqi-civilians

    Be warned that the video contains THE TRUTH! Liberals will have to remove their truth deflecting vest and helmet or they will only see what you want to see and the rest of the time watching the video will be wasted. Listen to the report of a black vehicle at the 00:38 mark. It dropped off some people.

    Reporters are required to wear blue vests and helmets so we and the enemy know who they are. The two reporters didn’t have such vests or helmets. Why?

    There had been a battle going on just a short distance from where the enemy was. One of the last pictures in the camera of the dead photographer was of a US Humvee a short distance away, so we know they were getting ready to attack our guys. Remember, there had been a firefight in the area a short time before. The pilot mistook the photographer’s telephoto lens for an RPG. Could you have been able to tell the difference? Remember, he was supposed to have on a blue vest and blue helmet showing that he is a reporter.

    In the early part of the video the “civilian” van was seen dropping off people in the area. These were some of the same people who were later shot carrying weapons. They were getting ready to attack the US forces a short distance away. What father would take their kids into a known combat area? The instant our forces found out there were kids in the van they stopped shooting at it. Would the enemy have stopped shooting at us if they saw our kids in the area? No.

  115. 139

    Hankster58

    I think the problem is, we’re made “War” TOO CIVILIZED!!! You can sit in an Air Conditioned Command post, and plaster the target with Laser guided munitions, with pinpoint precision, reduce Collateral Damage to a minimum, and we slap ourselves on the back for it. We’ve taken the Brutal, Bloody HORROR out of war!! War is SUPPOSED to be Ugly, and horrendous! THAT encourages people NOT to engage in it frivolously, like seems to happen NOW!
    If forced to use swords and battle axes… who in his right mind would do it today?
    Look at the idiotic conflicts we have now… Korea… Middle East….Africa…. “Modern Warfare seems to ENCOURAGE “war”, because it’s SO EASY TO DO now!!!!! Push a button, waste a guy far away….
    Technology isn’t always so wonderful……..IMHO…. yours may vary…..

  116. 141

    Greg

    @ Hankster58, #139:

    We’ve taken the Brutal, Bloody HORROR out of war!!

    I think perhaps what’s changed is that the American public has been largely insulated from war’s horrific reality. The horror is still there, but the media reflection of war has been purposefully narrowed, controlled, and sanitized.

    I can’t for a moment condone Manning’s actions. I feel some sympathy for his motives.

  117. 142

    Hankster58

    Damn, I may actually have to AGREE with Greg here…. whoa! LOL… but I think it’s somewhat larger, a LOT of people in a lot of countries have been “insulated”.. where war is more recent an occurence, on THEIR soil… they get it all too well….. others, too old or have forgotten.. or too YOUNG to remember/know…. and TV and games have desensitized us… fantasy from reality…

  118. 143

    Smorgasbord

    @J. D. Hunter: #140

    It depends on who’s side you are on. John Kerry was North Vietnam’s hero. They have pictures of him in their war memorial. I can only guess who your other heroes are.

    That brings up another subject: Where are today’s TV and movie heroes? I miss them. It reminds me of the Statler Brothers song “Whatever Happened To Randolph Scott?” Did anybody ever figure out what happened to him?

  119. 145

    Donald Bly

    I have to weigh in on Mr Manning and his fate. As a former member of the intelligence community I find his actions appalling and of such weight that there is only one penalty suitable… not only as a punishment but as a deterence as well… FIRING SQUAD

  120. 146

    Flyovercountry

    @Donald Bly:

    As a citizen of the United States of America, I find his actions appalling and of such weight that there is only one penalty suitable… not only as a punishment but as a deterence as well… FIRING SQUAD

    What this person did was of such a horrible nature, it is a shame that we will only be able to execute him once. Putting aside all of the idiotic rationalizations, his treachery put the lives of hundreds of thousands of fine individuals at risk. All of those people were innocent of the crime of causing his temper tantrum. They were however our Sons, Daughters and Neighbors. We need to do the same to his accomplices also.

  121. 147

    ilovebeeswarzone

    BOB MERKIN, HI, i came back and read again your comments, and I must say, NO I dont agree with your stand to okay the release by wikie, for the MEDIA to pick up on it’s suggestive way of the troups not being professionals, in implimenting such difficult ROE IN THIS WAR,
    we all must stand behind the troups and give them the support they need to mentaly feel that they are fighting for all freedom, but if you hurt them by challenging the behavior of act of war it is treason of the outmost despicable way, deserving punishment you give only to TRAITORS,
    if it’s call transparant ,it surely is not other than wrong.

  122. 149

    ilovebeeswarzone

    BOB MERKIN, AS I reread your comments where you agree on releasing the wikie on the name of tranparent, I COME BACK TO DISAGREE ON YOUR STAND AND THIS IS GOING AGAINST THE WAY THE MILITARY ARE FIGHTING THIS WAR, WITH A RESTRAINING ROE,THA ONLY PROLONG THIS WAR, WILLINGLY BY THE TOP COMMANDER IN CHIEF, AND THAT IS WHERE YOU MUST WANT THAT TRANSPARANT KNOWLEDGE AT THE GOVERNMENT STAGE,
    at war they are doing very dangerous move to protect the civiliens and that put the military in great life threath, so they need the support of AMERICANS TO KNOW THAT THEY ARE NOT FIGHTING AGAINST THE WILL OF THEIR FELLOW COUNTRYMAN .

  123. 151

    Smorgasbord

    @ilovebeeswarzone: In the Statler Brothers song “Whatever happened to Randolph Scott,” it refers to the fact that there aren’t any “Good Guy” heroes any more. I don’t have cable, and I haven’t gone to a movie theater for years, so I don’t know what kind of heroes the kids have today except for the advertising they have, and I wouldn’t want my kids seeing today’s movies or entertainers. They are grown up and have kids of their own, so I don’t have to worry about that.

  124. 152

    ilovebeeswarzone

    J. D. Hunter: hoow sure is that truth until it’s determine by a judge, and he could have gone to his commander, not a public non secure place non reliable and completly disconnect with
    the war tactics making them ingnorant to the case and guilty by relasing those papers
    from MANNING AN STRANGE UNSECURE EMOTIONAL DISTURB MENTAL STATE RENDERING HIM AND HIS WORDS NOT TRUTFULLY RIGHT IN OTHER WORDS THE WIKIE SHOULD HAVE JUST DISCARD IT FOR BAD SOURCE.

  125. 155

    Stevie D

    Let me start by saying that Bradley Manning is a traitor to this country and deserves to be punished as such.

    There are a lot of opinions about the war and everybody is entitled to their own. Let me share a few of my own.

    1) The only involvement the media or politicians should have in a war is the president ordering the war. Other than that, they need to stay out of it. Case and point: Vietnam. Politicians set the rules that we could not follow the enemy when they crossed the border. Hit and run attacks became the way of the war for the enemy and politicians made it impossible to fight back. This just added to the myriad of problems in this war and helped make it unwinable. Media anywhere near a battlefield is ridiculous. They are a liability and an unnecessary distraction to the brave men and women who fight for this country.

    2) Anyone who believes that Wikileaks did not doctor the video is a fool. Those self-righteous fools will do anything to attack the government. While I am sure some or all of the documents posted are real, it is still no excuse to reveal secret documents to the world for the sake of public disclosure. There are some things that foreign nations and our general public do not need to know. Sure in a perfect world there would be no need for secrets, but surprise, its not. If the government told you all its secrets, the US would become the weakest nation in the world and I have no doubt we would quickly be attacked by other nations and taken over. Secrets are the advantage we have, and the reason we are a superpower and at peace domestically.

    3) Wars have casualties. Military and civilians. It is an inevitable fact. What makes it worse is that these terrorist scum use them as shields, and hide in the crowds. This just increases the potential damage. It is a sad fact, but we cannot focus on this.

    4) Terrorists and extremists are a minority. True Muslims who do not pervert the words of the prophet Muhammad do not share their beliefs. In fact, in Islam, the Jews and Christians are given a special place since they all worship the one God. They do not hate you or anyone for your beliefs. The scum on their jihad have no idea what true Muslims are. They are brainwashed fools.

    5) This is something I have been wanting to get off my chest for the longest time. For those idiots who say that we invaded Iraq for oil not WMDs, you are wrong. Saddam used chemical weapons on his own people the Kurds. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/16/world/middleeast/16cnd-baghdad.html (just for those who have no idea what I am talking about) Some might say, But we didn’t find any. Lets think about this: Tell Saddam for months that we are going to come in and search for these weapons, and when we finally do get there the weapons are gone?? What? No way the guy sneaked them out of the country or did God knows what with them..

    So Bradley Manning enjoy prison, or your execution. I don’t care as long as traitors like you never see the light of day again. Whistle blowing is one thing if there is legitimacy to their claim they can take it through proper channels and ensure our secrets stay safe. And for those who doubt anything I say, find reliable sources and make your own decision.

  126. 157

    anticsrocks

    Firing squad is too good for Manning. Since he obviously hates America so much, deport his ass to Iran. Let him go live where he seems to have his loyalties.

  127. 159

    Flyovercountry

    @Smorgasbord:

    An even more fitting end, let him go to Iran to see how they treat homosexuals. It anit no, “we’ll look the other way by not asking, and you don’t tell us,” bs. They will put him in a burlap sack and bury him up to his neck. Then they will through rocks at his head until he dies. A lot less humane than the firing squad. That won’t be for the crime of treason either, just for being gay.

  128. 160

    Smorgasbord

    @Flyovercountry: #159

    The only problem I have with your idea is that his suffering will be over with too soon. Think how long family members will suffer if members of their family are killed because of the leaks.

    If he was sent as a woman, think of all the things that could happen to him/her in an Islamic state: Can’t drive, can’t go out without a family member, if he/she is raped he/she will be executed for prostitution.

  129. 162

    Dawood Khan

    We invaded Iraq for control of the Middle East, for oil, for WMDs, to spread democracy.

    It was not as simple as one solitary reason.

    We mucked it up in 90-91 when we should have backed Saddam on his invasion of Kuwait and encouraged him to invade Saudi Arabia. In return for our support, we should have made him pledge to lay waste to and decimate the Nejd and the Saudi Wahhabi Cult.

  130. 164

    Smorgasbord

    @Hard Right: #163

    It should be a cheap operation since there won’t be too much work involved. Your tax dollars at work.

    A long time ago someone came up with this idea for Sodom Hussein and then parachute him back to Iraq. That would make a good movie. I would be glad to buy a ticket to that kind of movie: Seeing him get the same treatment he gave his people. Priceless!

  131. 165

    anticsrocks

    @Dawood Khan: You said:

    We invaded Iraq for control of the Middle East, for oil, for WMDs, to spread democracy.

    So THAT’S why I’m only paying $1.50 a gallon for gas!!

    What’s that?

    It’s TWICE that at the pump? But I thought we invaded Iraq for the oil…

  132. 167

    J. D. Hunter

    We invaded Iraq for control of the Middle East, for oil, for WMDs, to spread democracy.

    So THAT’S why I’m only paying $1.50 a gallon for gas!!

    We invaded Iraq for so that OUR big oil companies would have control of the Iraqui oil, not for WMDs, and most definitely not to spread democracy. The hope was to have LOTS of oil to sell to you as $4 / gallon gasoline.

  133. 168

    Aye

    editor

    @J. D. Hunter:

    We invaded Iraq for so that OUR big oil companies would have control of the Iraqui oil

    Right.

    How, precisely, does that line of thinking comport with reality?

    How much Iraqui [sic] oil are OUR big oil companies currently controlling?

    Hint: You may find the answer written down in your handy dandy notebook right next to the definition of treason you alluded to earlier.

    Oh, I almost forgot to mention, during WWII we attacked Germany for their schtollen recipe.

  134. 169

    ilovebeeswarzone

    J, D, Hunter, I would think that PRESIDENT BUSH, DECIDE TO INVADE AFTER 9/11 MASSACRE
    FROM THE MUSLIMS TERRORISTS, and knew of the atrocitys done by SADAM HUSSEIN, who actualy tryed to get his father killed also, they suspect him to conceal weapons of mass destruction many being chimicals and had been used by him on his northen tribes,
    YOU DONT ATTACK FOR THE COMPANYS WHO WANT THEIR OIL, NOT PRESIDENT BUSH,
    WHO WAS NOT THE CARACTER TO DO THAT; HE IS A FREEDOM LOVING PERSON
    WHO LOVE AMERICA MORE THAN GREED OF ATTACKING TO GET THEIR OIL,
    NO SOUND PERSON WOULD BELIEVE IT. IT’S TIME YOU ALL STOP THE VICIOUS BUSH BASHING
    BLOWN UP BY THIS PRESIDENT TO GAIN THE PRESIDENCY JOF ON THE BACK OF THE PREVIOUS PRESIDENT, THIS IS A MUSLIM TACTIC TO PLAY THAT AND WE KNOW NOW.

  135. 170

    J. D. Hunter

    @Aye:

    We don’t seem to control a pint of Iraqi (yes I do know how to spell, pedant) oil. I didn’t say that Cheney’s fantasy actually worked. I just know that was the nutty idea, that and nutty paranoid personal revenge.

  136. 172

    Aye

    editor

    @J. D. Hunter:

    We don’t seem to control a pint of Iraqi (yes I do know how to spell, pedant) oil. I didn’t say that Cheney’s fantasy actually worked. I just know that was the nutty idea, that and nutty paranoid personal revenge.

    Strange, I see no factual backing to support your crackpot theories there.

    How, precisely, do you “know that was the nutty idea”?

    Where are the facts to support your contention?

    Are they not written in your notebook?

  137. 174

    anticsrocks

    @J.D.Hunter: You said:

    @ilovebeeswarzone:
    the Shrub had invasion plans going his first week in office.

    That is interesting. I am sure you read that somewhere in some report or interview. Care to share the link? I mean surely (shout out to Leslie Nielson, “Don’t call me Shirley”) you didn’t just conjure that idea up on your own, did you?

    Did you?

  138. 176

    Bob Merkin

    Yo Col. Renault:

    It’s been a long time since I’ve studied the details of the Uniform Code of Military Judgment, but … uhhh … isn’t Manning supposed to get a court martial first? With legal defense? And isn’t Manning presumed to be be innocent until he’s proven guilty of a crime?

    I think the Army has to do most of that stuff before they can execute Manning. That’s the way they taught the UCMJ to me, anyway. Has it changed? Execution first, then the court martial?

  139. 177

    Bob Merkin

    Whoops, I really *am* rusty … Uniform Code of Military JUSTICE.

    Well, they used to say in my war, with all its patriotic tenp whistleblowers keeping the lifers clean:

    Military Justice is to Justice
    as Military Music is to Music …

  140. 178

    Silkroadsandsiamesesmiles

    COL Renault is entitled to his opinion.

    No guarantees that’s his real name anyway.

    One one hand, I think Manning deserves life imprisonment if he’s guilty. Blowing the whistle is one thing. He went beyond that by going outside of the Nation.

    On the other, if he really did it for reasons other than revenge because he was ill-treated as a poofter in the military, then I may come to a different conclusion. His leaks put lives in danger. Not a good thing.

    Just my opinion.

    He (Manning) seems like a weak little poofter who just couldn’t hack it in the military. I knew gay folks when I was in the military and most of them aren’t treated any different than anyone else. Manning probably acted like a little whining bitch and therefore attracted attention from some assholes. Happens to all kinds of people. Not just poofters.

  141. 179

    ilovebeeswarzone

    22/january/2011. of course the MILITARY will give him a trial, but that should not take too much time and spent energy and money, so if one say ! he will be EXECUTE, they are right also, because ,
    in warzone he should have been execute on the spot, as soon as it became known to his COMMANDER,
    and whoever order the delay of this punishment is in the wrong, for whatever political reason,
    they want to turn it into political self rewarding agenda, as we previously witness them protecting some criminal behavior for the same reason.

  142. 182

    Bob Merkin

    Hmmmm … I sort of thought we should wait for the court martial and its verdict before we execute PFC Manning. I think it’s called presumption of innocence, and it’s the way we do things in the USA. A lot of people here want to just skip over all that boring stuff.

    ========================

    “Let the jury consider their verdict,” the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

    “No, no!” said the Queen. “Sentence first — verdict afterwards.”

    “Stuff and nonsense!” said Alice loudly. “The idea of having the sentence first!”

    “Hold your tongue!” said the Queen, turning purple.

    “I won’t!” said Alice.

    “Off with her head!” the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

    “Who cares for you?” said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!”

    — “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” Lewis Carroll

  143. 183

    Donald Bly

    Manning has already admitted his complicity, so guilt or innocence is not really in question. What we are dealing with now is simply the mechanics of trial and conviction. My hope is that he be brought to trial in a speedy manner so we can get on with the execution.

  144. 185

    Flyovercountry

    @Donald Bly:

    The Prosecution team has already stated that execution is not on the table for a sentencing that they will be seeking. I am not certain if in under the UMCJ a Judge would be able to impose that as a sentence if the Prosecution did not seek it. It would be wild to say the least. What ever sentence he does receive, it will be well earned.

  145. 186

    Donald Bly

    @J.D. Hunter…. you being a moral man… I’m sure that if you ever served in the military you’d telegraph the enemy your map coordinates so that you could live up to your morality…. or is that spelled “mortality”. After all… you wouldn’t want to be accused of “lying” to the enemy. By your reasoning… that would be immoral.

  146. 187

    Bob Merkin

    There’s our troops, there’s the enemy, and finally, in our American democracy, there are the people in whose name we purport to fight our wars with the permission and the approval of the American people.

    If the administration and the military lie, and conceal the true purpose of the war, and the true nature of the war, from the people, it is not appropriate military secrecy. It’s a fundamental fraud and crime.

    The American people have the Constitutional right to know the truth about every American war. If their own government won’t tell them the truth, it is inevitable in every “liars’ and scoundrels’ war” (Congressman Abraham Lincoln’s characterization of Polk’s Mexican War) that some American like Daniel Ellsberg, Anthony Russo and Bradley Manning will bring the truth to the American people.

    The American people cannot properly vote for or remove their leaders, or support or oppose policies during wartime if we’re prevented from learning the truth about the war for 25 years. The American people have the right to know the truth about each war in “real time” — when it matters, when the lives of our service members are at stake. It’s a useless coverup if we only learn the truth as a museum artifact from the past.

    I think Private Eddie Slovik was the last member of the US military to be executed — for desertion in Europe in WW2. Other soldiers executed in WW2 were convicted of rape and murder.

    The Army “Kill Team” in Afghanistan will almost certainly not face execution; the most detailed story about them is in the current Rolling Stone:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-kill-team-20110327

    One soldier complained to his father, an Army vet; the father called the unit’s stateside command and reported the “Kill Team’s” murders of Afghani civilians. He was told nothing would be done until the unit returned to the States from Afghanistan. The “Kill Team’s” 1LT CO has since been promoted to CPT.

    These are the kinds of military secrets most of the patriotic commenters here believe should remain secret, and accuse Manning of treason for revealing.

    I’m an Army vet, I served honorably to respect the uniform my uncles wore in WW2. Sunlight is always needed to disinfect and keep the uniform clean, and if the chain of command and the administration won’t expose wartime truths to sunlight, the American people always need — and will always get — someone like PFC Manning.

    If he’s convicted, I wish him a prison sentence just as long as 2LT William Calley, squad leader of the My Lai Massacre. (An Army unit murdered between 347–504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians.)

    Wikipedia: Ultimately, Calley served only three and a half years of house arrest in his quarters at Fort Benning.

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