Green Room

Re: Re: Manning and whistleblowing

posted at 7:03 pm on January 19, 2013 by

Ed, I hear what you’re saying, and I’m not disagreeing on the technical points. Bradley Manning absolutely had each of those avenues open to him, and perhaps more. Even in a worst case scenario where he was deployed in a command who refused to process any complaints he might have, there were other avenues. When on leave or in a position to make a private, unmonitored call to family members, he could have gotten word to a more “friendly” senator about his charges, even if he lived in a deep red state. And they would have received a response given the political and security ramifications of the claims. But that’s not really the crux of what I was driving at and, perhaps, failed to convey.

One of my key points was that Manning doesn’t even qualify as a legitimate whistleblower by definition, as I explained in my column. Had he come close to qualifying, he could have found extra-legal avenues for his complaints. Given the rather poisonous media environment, as I think you’ll agree, the alleged traitor could have found a willing ear anywhere from the CBS evening news to even Wikileaks. Had he truly been angry just over the now public video and released just that – perhaps with a handful of carefully chosen pieces of military correspondence supporting his claims – he would have found willing allies in the press. And that kind of pressure can and does have an effect (at least sometimes) on the military and their civilian directors. It might even have influenced a somewhat more favorable outcome for him.

But going back to my original assertion, his blatant, scattershot release of nearly a million pieces of sensitive documentation made it hard for even the media to give him cover on the larger stage. Assuming the things his lawyer has already hinted at being willing to admit are true, Manning was no whistleblower. He was angry at something to be sure, but it wasn’t righteous indignation. He may have been angry at the military after finding, once on the inside, that he was a poor fit for it. But he was no crusader. He was treasonous.

The military justice system is not composed of idiots, no matter how much many of us who lived it like to joke about it. And I think the judge in this case is no idiot and has already seen through this as a sham. Just my opinion, of course.

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Without reference to Manning, I’m not happy when any judge disallows any defense. Even if the defendant wants to claim “Martians made me do it,” it ought to be up to the jury to decide if the claim makes sense.

PersonFromPorlock on January 19, 2013 at 9:00 PM

But he was no crusader. He was treasonous.

Let’s specify that being a crusader does not exclude being a traitor. A crusader for communism, for example, would still be a treasonous b@$+@rd.

PFP, there’s an answer to you on the primary thread.

GWB on January 20, 2013 at 12:42 AM

PFP, there’s an answer to you on the primary thread.

GWB on January 20, 2013 at 12:42 AM

Replied to, there.

PersonFromPorlock on January 20, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Manning is guilty of treason. Carry out the death sentence for that, and save the crocodile tears for someone who has actually made a positive contribution to his country and/or his fellow man.

landlines on January 20, 2013 at 6:17 PM

There is no justifiable argument for Treason, especially as an active duty member of the military.

This is why the judge is correct in refusing Mannings defense distraction as a possible excuse for his obvious Treason.

Manning did what he did, and he admits he did what he did. Trying to seek excuses for it now, after he admits he did it, just prolongs the inevitable punishment sentence.

Manning is lucky he wasn’t summarily judged at a quick court martial and the shot. Which is what they used to do prior to this new politically correct military mindset that everyone is allowed to come up with an excuse for their behavior in hopes of a sympathetic jury.

Lawrence on January 20, 2013 at 8:27 PM

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