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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Torture of Whistleblower Bradley Manning is a Disgrace

Story at NY Times and Glenn Greenwald.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Get over it. His clothes were taken away because he was expressing suicidal ideologies. You do know he's in prison - charged with many crimes, right?

Anonymous said...

So why is it still being done after the brig psychiatrists have recommended that he be removed from suicide watch? You do know that he hasn't been convicted of anything and is therefore to be considered innocent, right?

Montag said...

ridiculous phrase "suicidal ideologies" aside, your comment is fiction, nonny.

http://www.armycourtmartialdefense.info/2011/03/truth-behind-quantico-brigs-decision-to.html

Currie Jean said...

Use your brain. Manning is watched 24 hours a day. How does taking away his clothes for 7 of those hours, and then making him stand naked outside his cell for inspection, help prevent suicide?

It doesn't. The ethic of suicide prevention has been turned on its head to justify abuse and degradation. If this regimented nudity program does anything at all, it intensifies depression and makes suicidal thoughts more likely.

MacLeodCartoons said...

Thanks, Anon 2, Montag and Currie Jean! The biggest joke is this one from the Times: "Lieutenant Villiard said the new rule on clothing, which would continue indefinitely, had been imposed by the brig commander, Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes. He said that he was not allowed to explain what prompted it “because to discuss the details would be a violation of Manning’s privacy.”" Ha Ha Ha.

Anonymous said...

Manning needs to learn to shut his mouth and not make comments like "I'm going to strangle myself with the elastic from my underwear." It's the equivalent of making jokes about bombs in the airport - you DON'T do it unless you're willing to have someone freak out.

Anonymous said...

The government's excuse is BS. There is no need to force him to be naked, see video:Forced Nudity Abuse & Torture MUST STOP NOW! (see these suicide proof clothes) This situation is disgusting, pass the video on.

Anonymous said...

What the hell are Bradley Manning's "suicidal ideologies"? You don't seem to know what you're talking about.

Chris Dowd said...

I don't know- you see a guy take a huge stand against a big all powerful government- and the instinct of many Americans is to side with the gubmint and beg it to punish this one man for exposing the dirty laundry of Daddy Government. Some Americans are just hopeless Serfs who grovel at the feet of distant authority and don't want its crimes exposed- want to live in a sea of comfortable lies and polite fictions.

By the way- when governments go overtly oppressive- this is how it starts- and it always popular as well. Americans will beg for more restrictions, more monitoring of their lives, and most of all- more and harsher punishments for the "evil ones" of the day.

I'm pretty much of the mind that anything a majority of ill informed authority rumpswabbing Americans support- is the wrong track to take. So if Americans are against Manning- I'm for him.

Chris Dowd said...

Could the anonymous government loving grovelers and torture lovers put their names to their brave posts mocking Manning?

What do you have to fear? The only list you will be put on by the government for your posts is the list of reliable obedients. And I think membership on that list earns you points towards the purchase of a 9/11 commemorative gold coin.

Anonymous said...

In case you morons don't know what happened, here it is. David Coombes, Manning's lawyer, wrote on his blog on Thursday that Manning "stated that if he wanted to harm himself, he could conceivably do so with the elastic waistband of his underwear or with his flip-flops." Even though Manning's comments were most likely sarcastic, those types of comments aren't taken lightly by brig staff. THAT is why his underwear and flip-flops were taken away.

Maybe next time Manning won't say idiotic things.

Chris Dowd said...

Right- its all about just protecting him and he shouldn't say "stupid stuff". Fuck you anonymous. Coward.

Terry said...

Someone started this off with "Get over it".

How easy some find such things to say about the suffering of others. Who of course, unlike the speaker, always exaggerate their sufferings. I have no doubt the speakers glibness extends only so far as the borders of himself, where all of a sudden, all woes are real, significant, and not to be viewed lightly!

In other words, a sociopath without a conscience.

Jim said...

@Terry

Suffering? I don't feel sorry for this kid. He should have known that actions have consequences - especially when it comes to violating security clearances and placing the lives of other Americans (and non-American informants) at risk.

This kid (Manning) is either going to spend the rest of his life in jail or hang for this. I hope it's the latter.

Kristijan said...

Well said! Love it! Like some comments too, especially when referring choice by some of Americans who prefer government lies to live in comfort - I would ad at the expense of the world.

Anonymous said...

Both Jim and the other a-hole Anonymous who thinks Manning is 'getting what he deserves' are paid hacks; pr personas here to synthesize consent for the torture.

I bet their position on the Valerie Plame case would have been that Joe Wilson should have kept his mouth shut, even though we know covers and covert networks were compromised by Cheney's treason.

Manning is being tortured and his right to a speedy and public trial is being denied. Obama has succeeded in finally accomplishing George Bush's mission.

Montag said...

bloodthirsty much, Jim?

what is this fetish with security clearances people have? why should anyone be happy with the government's claim of absolute authority over what information it will allow its subjects to be privy to?

appeals to things like clearances, authority, law, contracts, whathaveyou, aren't at all compelling. every case is a rule unto itself. people should be free to adapt and react to any situation without feeling hindered by such fictions.

the wrongs of torture by far outweigh violations of security clearance.

Jim said...

"Both Jim and the other a-hole Anonymous who thinks Manning is 'getting what he deserves' are paid hacks."

Uh oh, here come the conspiracy theorists - I'd better hide my paycheck from the gov't.

And that bring me to another thing. Why do some of you act like the "government" is cohesive, omniscient entity? Do you realize that the kid you sat next to in kindergarten may be the "gov't." So may your children, or your parents, or your friends. It isn't some guy in a cloak hiding in the shadows. In fact, if you partake in our representative democracy - YOU are a part of the "gov't," so stop bitching.

Montag said...

Jim, it's the power, stupid. government claims a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. participating in "representative democracy" does not give one power, nor make one part of the government.

nothing wrong with the picture? keep cheering on your betters in their inviolable use of naked force if that's what makes you happy.

Jim said...

Manning put this on himself. You don't mention suicide in prison - kind of like you don't make bomb jokes at the airport.

Montag said...

Jim, you make a good point. few people realize that the "no joking" sign at airport security was actually one of this nations founding documents. The Delcaration of Keep Your Mouth Shut.

and let's not forget The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted, except in cases of fucking idiots, who shall be held indefinitely and tortured before being charged with any crime, after being charged with whatever we feel like, before trial, and most certainly after trial, and may God have mercy on the fucking idiot soul, although we all know how God hates fucking idiots.

Montag said...

i should note: that 8th amendment text was cribbed from Ethan in another comment thread.

Jim said...

Ha, I did get a good laugh at that interpretation of the 8th Amendment, but your idiocracy amazes me.

Let's get this straight. Manning is in prison. When he entered he was strip searched - the WHOLE thing including the bend over and cough. Is that torture?

His clothes were taken away because he threatened to commit suicide with them. Is that torture?

You make it seem like him being in a cell by himself is like being in "the hole." It's not. He has visitors and is allowed to exercise for 1 hour which is NORMAL in prison. He has things to read. You really have no clue what prison is like if you are arguing otherwise.

Also, his extended pre-trial period has been due to requests from MANNING's lawyers so they can prepare more before they go to trial. I suggest if you have an issue with that, then take it up with David Coombes.

And speaking of Coombes, it was a posting on his BLOG that lead the Brig to take away Manning's clothes. So, thank you David Coombes.

Montag said...

let's get this straight! my argument is that Manning does not deserve to be in prison.

from the link i posted above:
"Brig forensic psychiatrists have consistently maintained that there is no mental health justification for the POI Watch imposed on PFC Manning."

this isn't being done to protect Manning from himself. they are either punishing him for violations he has not yet been tried for, (or if what you say is correct, punishing him out of petty revenge for statements his attorney has made publicly.) or it is an attempt to coerce him to testify/confess on their terms. presumably to manufacture a case against Assange.

Manning's and Coomb's words have absolutely no bearing on the right and wrong of this matter, except from a demented perspective of complete deference to power.

Jim said...

You think Manning doesn't deserve to be in prison?!?!

You can argue about the morality of disclosing classified information all you want, but the bottom line is that Manning has committed various crimes under the UCMJ and USC and he did so willingly. That is why he is in jail. I've personally have seen individuals break OPSEC rules, but it was due to mistakes or ignorance. They were reprimanded of course, but intent was not there which is always part of the crime (compare manslaughter vs murder for example). Manning's release of the classified documents was a intentional, malicious attack on the people he worked for - the US government.

And MOST people who commit serious felonies are denied bail (or pre-trial release as the is no bail system in the military).

Montag said...

you've almost caught on now.

you seem to be arguing that: he broke the rules, he deserves whatever he gets, and you hope he hangs for it.

does the nature of the rules, what they prohibit or allow, or how they are enforced enter into the calculus at all?

Montag said...

and no, i'm not talking about 'in a court of law,' on 'in the military.' i mean in how you look at, judge and relate to the situation inside your own mind.

Jim said...

From what I know of his history (poor military conduct, problems with authority, and anger over the DADT policy that was in place at the time) I could see why he was disgruntled soldier.

That however, does not give him free reign to release classified information. If this were about just going to the press about correcting misleading or inaccurate statements by the government, then it wouldn't be a big deal - the public would probably get behind him for exposing lies. What he did though was indiscriminately release 100's of thousands of pages of potentially dangerous material. He was not at a rank to make the determination of what was harmful and what wasn't. Did Manning consider that he was releasing the names of informants? Specific military info? Weapons info? All of these things could not only harm US soldiers (and civilians) but the people who are working for the US.

The reason that things are classified is because of national security. This is equivalent to why you protect your personal information. If you don't think so, post your bank account info online and we'll see how trusting you are of your fellow man.

Montag said...

Manning didn't indiscriminately release any documents. he turned them over to journalists who only published selected items which were vetted and edited to protect informants and so on.

if anything is indiscriminate, it's the government classifying vast amounts of material not only to 'protect national security' but to conceal evidence of crimes, lies and bad faith.

Jim said...

Montag -

This is easy. If you were right, Manning wouldn't be in jail. But he is.

Montag said...

ha! your last is a fallacy. it's called question begging.

i guess we're done here.

jim said...

i can't post

Jim said...

Doah, I spent a few paragraphs explaining why my statement is NOT an example of "begging the question", but it never posted. I'm not going to fully go into it, but the premise (Manning is guilty) is not the same things as the proposition (he's in jail). The only flaw in logic that could be argued (and I agree that it could) would be to say "not all people in jail are guily, therefore Manning is not necessarily guilty." That would be a valid argument, had you made it.

He did, in fact, indiscriminately disclose the info to a source that did not have a security clearance. What that person decides to do with that info is irrelevant to the fact that Manning had already committed the crime of disclosing classified info.

MacLeodCartoons said...

Jim - a bunch of your posts made it to my email as having been posted, but don't appear here. It's not censorship, and has nothing to do with me; I assume it's a blogger bug. Sorry about that.

Montag said...

Jim, you said Manning broke the rules indiscriminately. i said he broke the rules carefully. then you said if i was correct he wouldn't be in jail.

but, yes, he is in jail because he broke the rules. that doesn't mean he deserves to be in jail. my (tangential) argument is that, despite having broken the rules, what Manning did wasn't wrong. do you grok what i'm trying to communicate here?

but this is all beside the point of the original cartoon. that Manning is being treated poorly, being punished, before having gone through the legal process that will determine exactly if and what he is guilty of in the eyes of the law, and what his punishment will be. so even if you're tied to power, the law, tradition, whathaveyou, the rules (and rights afforded the accused) of the judicial process aren't being honored.

Anonymous said...

I'm not competent to comment on the particulars of military justice as it applies to Manning, but generally I'm not sympathetic to those who dump military secrets into the public domain. I supported Ellsberg (and met him) and Plame, but Manning and Assange I find troubling. Ellsberg was trying to show a specific set of untruths surrounding MACV SOG, the Tonkin incident and Vietnam. Plame was outed by Libby for political reasons, and violation of secrecy caused the probable deaths of American allies. What are the goals of Manning and Assange? To declare all secrets bad? To say all bigness is improper? That's naive in a world where the US data, intelligence, and commercial communications systems are routinely targeted by foreign powers and threat groups. Manning had his clothes taken. Doesn't seem disproportionate to me within UCMJ, considering what could be allowed for admitting to passing entrusted secrets to an unauthorized person.

MacLeodCartoons said...

Latest anonymous: the cartoon attempts to address the issue not of the alleged crimes, nor of the justice of him being in jail, but of the way he has been treated as an assumed-innocent defendant in a country of laws. PFC Manning is clearly being treated malevolently and punitively in an attempt to break his will and punish him - while he is still assumed to be innocent. That's why I called it a disgrace.