90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
WikiLeaks And ‘We Steal Secrets’

Bradley Manning goes on trial.  We look at the case and the new WikiLeaks documentary “We Steal Secrets” with director Alex Gibney.

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, center, is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., Tuesday, June 4, 2013, before the second day of his court martial. Manning is charged with indirectly aiding the enemy by sending troves of classified material to WikiLeaks. He faces up to life in prison. (AP)

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, center, is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., Tuesday, June 4, 2013, before the second day of his court martial. Manning is charged with indirectly aiding the enemy by sending troves of classified material to WikiLeaks. He faces up to life in prison. (AP)

Private First Class Bradley Manning, on trial now at Fort Meade, Maryland.  Court martial.  There’s no debate about what he did – a massive download of classified US government data and reports and memos that lay American military and diplomatic secrets before the world.  The trial now is really about why.

Military prosecutors say espionage and aiding the enemy.  His defense attorney says he was out to make the world a better place.  A new documentary looks at the whole story of Manning and Wiki-Leaks and Julian Assange.

This hour, On Point:  “We Steal Secrets,” and director Alex Gibney.

- Tom Ashbrook


Julian BarnesPentagon reporter for the Wall Street Journal. (@julianbarnes)

Alex Gibney, director of “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks.” (@baluebolivar)

J. William Leonard, served as classification czar (director of the Information Security Oversight Office) in the U.S. government from 2002-2008. Chief Operating Officer at National Endowment for Democracy. Professor of Political Science at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.


From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: Bradley Manning Court-Martial Opens — “Opening the court-martial of Army Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, a military prosecutor charged Monday that he ‘harvested’ a massive trove of classified information from secure networks and made it available to America’s enemies by dumping it onto the Internet.”

The Boston Globe: The WikiLeaks story exposed, but not resolved — “Julian Assange: silver-haired freedom fighter or creepy cyber-guru? Bradley Manning: courageous whistle-blower or tormented info-traitor? Alex Gibney’s overlong but fascinating ‘We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks’ manages to convince you that both sides of the equation deserve consideration even as the film carefully separates the strands of a maddening snarl of event and accusation. This is the documentary that lets you grasp the 2010 WikiLeaks scandal in its entirety, even if the questions raised — whether facts belong to a government or its people, whether any secrets deserve to remain so, whether diplomacy is possible in a world where all is known — are left for us to resolve.”

WIRED: ‘I Can’t Believe What I’m Confessing to You’: The Wikileaks Chats

“(1:41:12 PM) Bradley Manning: hi
(1:44:04 PM) Manning: how are you?
(1:47:01 PM) Manning: im an army intelligence analyst, deployed to eastern baghdad, pending discharge for “adjustment disorder” [. . .]
(1:56:24 PM) Manning: im sure you’re pretty busy…
(1:58:31 PM) Manning: if you had unprecedented access to classified networks 14 hours a day 7 days a week for 8+ months, what would you do?”


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • donniethebrasco

    This show has been shut down by the government.

    • JobExperience

       If by “government” you mean Oligarchs, and by “show” you mean your occupied mind.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      And yet you remain.

      I’d love to see your Black Helicopter Society Card from the 1990s.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    It is apropos that you are running the radio program, “The Programmable World”, following this broadcast.

    Our “interconnectivity” seems to be working against us as well as liberating us. Bradley Manning and Julian Assange have been labeled as traitors and have been accused of aiding “the enemy”. Yet, the system that is condemning these men is composed of government agencies such as Echelon, in Great Britain and the NSA spy center in Bluffdale Utah, that are recording and “stealing” the privacy of everyone who uses email or speaks on a phone and thereby usurping our “ unalienable rights” !

    Everyone !

    Under the Bush administration it came out the AT&T was aiding the government by tapping phone lines without due process. Under the Bush and Obama administration the NSA spy center continues to blossom into an apparatus that any KGB or Gestapo operative would be proud to call his own. Now, I have come to learn that Google and Yahoo have, and will be storing all of our emails in their data bases, so that they may data-mine our information.

    (As I understand it, these companies will be storing information on anyone that contacts someone using Gmail or Yahoo Mail, also.)

    Of course, this is what they say, but it should be clear to all, that this agenda will morph over time. Let’s not forget the recent revelation about IRS abuses!

    A more physical intrusion has just been granted by the courts. It will allow the police retrieve your DNA and store it. Who knows how this information or evidence will be used. ( Try and fight the system that plants your DNA at a crime scene, of their choosing ! (By the way, it is worth noting that the government was given the physical intrusion “go ahead” by supporters of DUI enforcement proponents!)

    It is true that video and eavesdropping hold positive potential, also. Early this morning I watched the video of the two police officers in Jasper Texas, manhandle a woman at a jail. A woman that had been arrested for not paying A HUNDRED DOLLAR FINE ! Just think of all of the times people have been beaten and abused by the so called “good” people that are protecting us !

    I would love to scream, “I am mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore”, but I suspect I would be howling at a blood red moon ! Besides, all of these events have given me a potential money making business idea.

    I will be researching how to create a mind interfacing, tattoo, that will allow me to extract and replace your thoughts via a forehead tap. I suspect that I will be able to optimize its’ performance if I shape it into a figure that looks like blend of scorpions and the number 666. No need to preorder, I will just read your emails and tap into your cell conversation. Looking forward to your business.

    Japer Texas video of beating:



    Please contact the freedom loving Republican Senators of Utah and our Constitutionally trained President Obama and ask them about the NSA project in Bluffdale Utah.


    If all else fails please contact Jesus in the Cloud that he will be riding in on, at:
    Or :
    Batman, at :


    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      By the way, “inalienable” or “unalienable”, it doesn’t matter. All rights are alien to us now !

      • JobExperience

        And remember this is all integrated with for profit  mega-corporations and Stratfor-type contractors, so that the government agencies are sicked upon whomever and whatever big bidness opposes. This is the “Frying Pan” but the “Burner” is when Koch-like monsters recruit etnic-cleansing  miltia losers with “bugout packages.” All the while media dissects “Issa-lated incidents”as a distraction.

      • Ray in VT

        From what I have seen regarding the historical definitions of inalienable and unalienable, which one one chooses to use doesn’t matter, as they both meant the same thing.

        • HonestDebate1

          I’m not sure I get Mr. James’ point but since you elaborated I’ll chime in. The founded fretted over every syllable so they indeed did see a distinction. Here’s one take:


          • Ray in VT

            I do not think that it was the case that the “founded fretter over every syllable so they indeed did see a distinction”.  I inquired with my undergraduate advisor as to whether or not he knew of any historical debate as to a distinction between inalienable and unalienable, and he was not.  He also pointed me to a work that detailed the changes in the various drafts of the Declaration, and it was unclear as to who made that change in the various drafts.  Regardless of that, I looked at the OED, which gave the historical definition of the two words the same meaning, and I’ll take that as having greater authority than gemworld.com.  I think that this is just another piece of poorly understood and misrepresented history that the Internet has either spawned or given legs to.

          • 1Brett1

            Aside from amusement over the use of the website “gemworld.com” by HD1, I was also amused at the definitions supplied by the link he provided…the bit about “pensions that are granted by the government are ‘unalienable’” and “unalienable rights are a gift from the creator…” seemed not only funny but I had to scratch my head; HD1 is championing the idea that government pensions are handed down from God (or some supreme being) and should not, nay, can not be revoked? Who woulda thought he supported such notions?!?!

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, gemworld.com.  That isn’t exactly the source that I turn to for an elaboration on historical purposes.  I try to stay away from .coms in general, but something like history.com might actually be written by a historian with some training and publication in the field.

            I have issues with the theory of natural rights in the sense that the argument usually goes that various rights are granted by a creator, and seeing as how I don’t believe in a creator, then I can’t support that view, although I do support the notion of natural rights more in the sense of the rights that one would have if one were existing in a “natural” setting, i.e. sort of in the wild if you will.

            One would think that something like a government pension is something that is granted to a worker via contract, and that that contract could be altered legally under certain circumstances.

          • HonestDebate1

            Dude, it had references, it’s an oft debated topic, there are many sources to go to. You sound like it’s something I pulled out of my butt. It’s not.

            The Declaration does not say anything about natural rights.

            BTW. I have a 20 volume set of OED, I am aware of the definitions.

          • Ray in VT

            Whoop dee do.  It had references.  So what?  If one’s got a bunch of crummy references, then that is worse than no references.  I’m sure that you didn’t pull it out of your butt, but to say that it is an oft debated topic may or may not be correct.  Maybe it’s oft debated in the circles in which you circulate, but it is not a debate that I have ever heard debated in the historical community, and natural rights theory is a related to natural law, which is to some derived from God or a creator, so it may not be stated in so many words in the Declaration, but that is the theory that underlies that part of the document.

            If you are aware of the definitions, then why is it that you say that they have different meanings, when the OED says that they do not?

          • HonestDebate1

            Because the OED did not give me insight to the founders fretting. 

            Never mind Ray.

          • Ray in VT

            How do you know that they fretted?  Perhaps they merely preferred one word with the same meaning over another.  Maybe it just rolled off the tongue easier.

          • HonestDebate1

            Perhaps so but that’s still fretting. It went through several drafts.

          • Ray in VT

            It certainly did, although I still do not know of any change in meaning or reason between inalienable or unalienable, considering that they have the same definition.  It is a shame that Jefferson’s denunciation of slavery got left on the committee room floor because the deep south states said that they’d take their ball and go home if the Revolution was going to start being about freedom for everyone.

          • 1Brett1

            According to my Oxford American Dictionary there is no difference…I am more inclined to go with that than a link to something that uses Comic Sans as its font, frankly. But I will say that your link opened with something that is false: that public items can not be sold, as they go up for sale all of the time (so much for their definition of “unalienable”).  This link also used two definitions for “unalienable” in that they used two different examples that are not the same. Their citation for what they consider proof that there ever was a distinction in the two words seems weak, and it may be that they are citing a legal difference or something in which the legal profession has made a distinction.   

            You may be correct about how our founders looked at any distinction, but you’ve not offered evidence to support your claim.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that there is also the issue that the first two sources cited were from 1856 and 1990, and definitions and and so change over time, so neither of those references get at what the term meant in 1776, which is why, of course, the historical dictionaries are so important.

          • 1Brett1

            I am always interested in subtle distinctions in words that are similarly spelled/defined, or have the same word as their root…yet, I never saw any distinct difference in “unalienable” and “inalienable.” HD1′s comment just seemed like argument for the sake of argument. I also find my radar goes up when a neocon claims to know precisely what was in the minds and methodology of our founders. 

          • Ray in VT

            I’m no philologist, but the study of history provides many opportunities to see how language and usage changes over time, not to mention how subtle changes in meaning or choices affect the translation of materials.  I first encountered this one a while ago, and the source made me question it, in addition to the fact that I had never heard such an issue raised in all of my years of reading and studying history. I made some inquiries with people whose opinions and credentials I respect, as well as a number of respected reference sources, and I didn’t find anything to support the position that the two terms were in any way different in terms of their meaning.

          • HonestDebate1

            Is this really the first time you’ve heard about this? Seriously? It’s not a crazy neocon thing, it’s American history.

          • 1Brett1

            Pretend what you like, but the fact remains you have no proof that our founders made any distinction between the two words. It probably IS a crazy neocon thing (although, most likely some crazy Tea Party thing) that makes some attempt to elevate Constitutional inalienable rights above other things inalienable to make them seem more sacrosanct, as if handed down from God or something.  

            By the way, I Googled, “American founders and unalienable vs. inalienable” this is the first thing that came up:http://grammarist.com/usage/inalienable-unalienable/

            Here’s the second thing that came up:


            The gemworld deal was fourth down; it’s pretty clear that you were trying to argue that Ray was wrong and you set out to find something you could argue with, and that is pretty damn cheesy in my view. Sue me!

            You see, in my life, having heard that others have questioned whether or not the two words meant something different to our founders (when even a cursory search would answer such a question) sure indicates something far, far, far different than what you were intending to say.

            I guess you’ll just have to stomp around your shack because you didn’t “win” this one…Don’t worry, though, there’s gonna be another day when you can leap from you computer feeling victorious about something; don’t get discouraged. 

          • Ray in VT

            I’ve assumed that this was a Tea Party thing.

          • HonestDebate1

            First, google is not knowledge.

            “…that makes some attempt to elevate Constitutional inalienable rights above other things inalienable to make them seem more sacrosanct, as if handed down from God or something.”

            Er.. ugh..  that’s what the Declaration says. You don’t have to be a believer you just get to reap the benefits of these who made the rules. Your rights cannot be taken away by man.

            And isn’t that the point? I no longer know what yours is. 

            Ray was responding to a different point. He may be right that it doesn’t matter “which one one chooses to use”. But the founders considered both words and chose one. The Declaration says “unalienable”. Really it does.

          • 1Brett1

            You claimed the “Googling” (as if your claim was factual but the gemworld website to back up your claim was just your first item in your search, as if there is anything to be blamed about your comment, it is Google, or Bling or Yahoo themselves); I was just following to see what the same search would yield me.

            If you believe that because the Constitution used the word “unalienable” it proves that they painstakingly labored over every syllable and drew a distinctly different definition of it from “inalienable” that’s your business. 

            Whether I believe or don’t believe in God is irrelevant. However, can’t I believe in God AND believe that those rights mentioned in the Constitution and enumerated in the Bill of Rights are constructs of men trying to think in an evolved way? Why do you have to make your beliefs morally superior to others? 

          • HonestDebate1

            It went right over your head. I knew the debate, I’ve heard both sides. I’ve studied it. No biggee BTW,it’s just true. Google was not the basis of my knowledge. It was a  multi-sourced reference for you and Ray.

            And don’t tell me what I believe. You sound like your semantically obsessed banned girlfriend. The founders made clear our rights could not be legislated away and used unalienable to say it. What offends you about that? The Constitution does not grant us those rights granted by our creator (if there is one). And no, the bill of rights was not our founders granting us rights. Read them. Our Constitution does not grant rights, it does not tell us what we can do, it tells government what it cannot do.

          • 1Brett1

            YOu keep talking about some banned woman…what?

            Anyway, jerkwad (that was for calling me a dolt…actually, no, that because you are a jerkwad).You seem to claim something goes over someone’s head and because you claim such it’s true? Is there no end to your arrogance and self-involved crap? The fact remains you said our founders considered the word “unalienable” to have a different meaning than “inalienable” yet you have nothing NOTHIN to support that. Now you are throwing a tantrum  like a little baby.

          • 1Brett1

            You prattle on that our founders, you and other informedpeople know that there is a difference between the words  “unalienable” and inalienable, then you accuse ME of some pantywaste semantical argument? Wow…

          • Ray in VT

            The box below got too small.  I had a friend growing up whose dad was British (they flew a Union Jack and invited me to Guy Fawkes night festivities), and my friend said “aluminium” and a couple of other things that were unusual.  My mom’s people were all British and Scottish, as far as we know, and I feel a great connection to Scotland via that ancestry.

            Once upon a time one of my coworkers said that people in my job approached things in a certain way, and at first I took a bit of a personal offense.  Then, after thinking about it for a while, I did conclude that many of us did do something in a very particular, and somewhat uncommon way that was, I think, in part derived from the nature of our work.  Now, I don’t know if it is the job that we do that causes that or if we have a certain approach that draws us to the job.

            I have also been accused of being an ideologue and of making things personal, althuogh I think that either of those is rarely the case.  Either way, I don’t particulary care.  I try to be fair and honest, although I’m less inclined to be polite regarding certain topics or to let some things slide, especially when it is the same old horse flop over and over and over again.  The inalienable vs. unalienable is merely one example of the sort of historical nonsense, and I view the viewing of the difference as being somehow significant as such, up with which I will not put, and I must admit that I had been sitting on that one for a while, hoping that someone would bring it up, as I looked into it with what I think are some good sources, at least better than what some would use.  It’s similar to my irritation with those who want to argue that fascism or nazism are liberal ideologies.  I don’t see any debate there among the historical community, no matter how many blogs and Goldbergs want to argue it.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s my point, it is by today’s standards the two words are the same. As I understand it they switched from inalienable to unalienable. They must have had reason.

            We do know what they meant. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are rights endowed by our creator. They do not come from man or government. They cannot be taken away by man or government under our Constitution. They choose the word that made the point most clear.

          • Ray in VT

            My point is that according to the OED the historical meanings of the words are the same.  You say that they must have had a reason, but you seem to be drawing a conclusion based upon an assumption, with the assumption being that they are different, and I do not see evidence from valid sources that they are now or were then.  I fail so see how either of those terms is more clear than the other.

            We also know that they did not mean quite what they said.  The Declaration said some very nice things, but the reality was that at the time the Jefferson wrote those words, he was himself denying other people the rights to life, liberty and happiness.  It was one of the fundamental contradictions of our nation’s birth, and that shows, to a certain extent, just how effective beautiful words and theories are when rubber hits the road.  People can go on about how this or that right comes from the creator, but that doesn’t, and didn’t, mean squat until people took up arms to give a backing to that theory.  Ultimately, I think that natural law theory, or really any legal theory or system for that matter, like money, only works because we believe in it.

          • HonestDebate1

            Well, that’s why hypocrisy doesn’t bother me much. The Democrat hypocrite Jefferson’s mindset was hardly relevant. What was relevant is the Declaration they gave us. This is unique in history and what makes America exceptional. Most similar documents grant rights from government. 

            I forgot about your hostility to religion. What are your views on Obama? You don’t like it when I call him a Black Liberation Theologist, do you like Christian better. Or do you think he’s a closet atheist?

            You can argue all day long but it is what it is. Under Our system the founders made very clear certain rights are granted by our creator. Even the atheist contingent signed on. Use whichever word you chose.

          • Ray in VT

            As far as I know the Declaration of Independence has no force of law.  It is a declaration of principles and a list of grievances.  It is a justification for what was to be done.  The Bill of Rights are what can actually be used in a court of law, and that document, like the Constitution, makes no reference to the supernatural.  I think what makes those years more exceptional was that our Founders, having witnessed the horrors of religious strife and religious rule, provided a framework by which government legitimacy was derived from the consent of the governed, not from a ruler who had a divine right, as much of Europe had at that time.  One would think that those nations ruled by a heavenly appointed king would have dispensed rights from God.

            I am not hostile to religion, so you must have me confused with someone else.  I’ve always thought, along with about half of deep south likely Republican voters, that Obama is a Muslim, either secret or otherwise.

          • 1Brett1

            Nope, neither the Declaration nor the COnstitution were NOTuniquein history but based onearlierconcepts and documents from the age of Enlightenment.

          • 1Brett1

            “They [our rights] cannot be taken away by man or government under our Constitution. They choose the word that made the point most clear.

            Sure, because “our Creator (if there is one) gave them to us…”

            Unless we commit a crime or renounce our citizenship in some way…but you keep believing  they can’t be taken away because they were granted by some god. Why are so many 2nd Amenders up in arms (pun intended) if those rights can’t be taken away by men? 

          • HonestDebate1

            I just posted the first I found, it’s not a new debate. I tend do discount definitions under a century or two old regardless off the font. I mean look up “well-regulated” in 1776 and you may be surprised. 

          • 1Brett1

            I guess you need to give yourself a face-saver…but the fact remains that you made a claim our founders gave a clear, delineated distinction between “unalienable” and “inalienable” and that those words had two different meanings. Yet, you provide no proof whatsoever, which was the point to any replies to your comment. Again, instead of either addressing that or simply withdrawing without rebuttal, you choose to continue your defense without any substantiation of your initial point and by changing the subject into something else you feel you might actually be able to in your mind argue…sad, pathetic, weak.

            By the way, the “font” business was intentional for two reasons: 1) to make fun of the website 2) to put something incidental/extraneous in my comment that had nothing to do with the point. You see, I wanted to see if you would seize on anything extraneous to argue about since you couldn’t argue about any merits that knocked down your point. Thanks for proving who you are once again. 

          • HonestDebate1

            I’ve already stipulated who I am, you can stop trying to prove it in lieu of substance.

            You didn’t make fun of the website, you made fun of Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition, Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, page 1523, Court precedents in Morrison v. State and BUDD v. PEOPLE OF STATE OF NEW YORK. Further it was John Adams who likely made the change be cause of William Blackstone in his Commentaries on the Laws of England.
            Whatever, you’ll argue anything it seems.

          • 1Brett1

            Hehehe…yeah, I was making fun of Bouviers Law, okay, sure, whatever…oh, and all of that fancy citation stuff: quite impressive.

            That phony non-humorous self-deprecation stuff of yours (“I’ve already stipulated who I am, you can stop trying to prove it in lieu of substance.”) is just that: phony. I enjoy pointing out the hypocritical and small-minded nature of your commentary because you always try to wrap up your comments in some sort of phony high-mindedness or that they have a mission of purpose that is for others to admire, which is nonsense.

            I thought your initial comment to Ray was telling; it started with something kind of weird. You were attempting to sound as though you wouldn’t ordinarily comment about such things, but since Ray had lowered himself you would stoop to commenting (implying that your desire to comment on such matters was above reproach yet Ray’s was of lesser value by virtue of his comment itself). The fact is people are just commenting; it doesn’t matter. Why start out one’s comment with something along the lines of, “I wouldn’t lower myself to comment on such things, but since you brought it up…” There seems this need to elevate your self to a status above others; again, it’s unnecessary…I know, I know, “get me outta your head,” I mean get you outta my head, I mean…oh, you know what I mean you mean I mean you mean…

            All of this because you started out posting nonsense you can’t defend and then you’ll spend the rest of the evening trying to defend yourself and looking silly (and transparent) as you did initially by attacking me, throwing out smoke screens, etc. Man, up: your initial comment has no merit.   

          • HonestDebate1

            I normally wouldn’t bringit up because I’ve argued it with idiots for decades. I just din’t expect you to volunteer.

            In Americayou right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuitof Happiness are granted by our creator and are unalienable.

            Considerate fluff if you want.

          • 1Brett1

            There you go with the, “I normally wouldn’t bring it up..” again. 

            You’ve reduced the notion of having a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to either believing it comes from God and is unalienable or those concepts are considered fluff if not believed they come from God and are unalienable. What a lot of self-absorbed, self-righteous nonsense. One’s rights can be revoked (look at certain rights of felons), for example. Also, believing they come from men doesn’t make them less valuable.

          • HonestDebate1

            Sorry man but you’re a true dolt.I reduced nothing. I wrote “inAmerica…” It’s what happened, it’s our founding documents.Pay attention.

          • 1Brett1

            Blah, blah, what you wrote was that our founders defined “unalienable” differently than “inalienable” yet you have provided no proof. All of this other stuff is just subterfuge because you can’t back up your argument. I guess you can only fool yourself; nobody else is buying your crap here, dude, sorry.

          • Ray in VT

            Hey Brett, this is a response to your comment about our founding documents having grown out of earlier traditions.  I think that that is generally true.  You had ideas that circulated for decades, and I think that our Founders did a generally good job of bringing those together into something new and radical, although also still a product of its time.  It was also interesting that while embarking on the radical path of breaking away from England and doing away with the monarchy and aristocracy, there were also claims that a part of what they were doing was attempting to assert their traditional rights under English law, which they saw as being infringed upon by the King’s ministers, although perhaps not the King himself at first.

            Also, is it wrong if I made my initial comment in the hope of enticing someone into making the statement that there is a difference between inalienable and unalienable?  I was looking to stir the pot a bit yesterday.

          • 1Brett1

            I find it an important insight into our ongoing relationship with England at the time that our Founding Fathers sought to distance the new country from the old by taking concepts based on British law and philosophy and incorporating them into their version a foundation for a country…more than a few intelligent people in history have built on already established ideas, I suppose. Our relationship seems to have such a deep foundation that it exists today in indirect ways, from music influences, language influences, criticisms/feathers ruffled, etc. It’s as if we’ve always (and always will) have a love-hate relationship with mother England. 

            I didn’t think you were being a pot stirrer by making your initial statement, at least it didn’t come off that way. Nor were your subsequent replies any more than just that: replies defending your position. It is a shame (and I’m not saying this to get a dig in) that one can’t do anything but be in defensive mode when interacting with HD1.

            I don’t even fault HD1 for defending his position necessarily, but I do fault him for defending a position that wasn’t supportable yet he behaved as if it was and decided to fight for it all through yesterday…most cowardly and small-minded an individual who’ll go to such lengths; I would have had more respect if he’d just not responded after it was clear he had no evidence to support his claims. He got personal (something he says he never does), which was only simply because he was wrong. I also believe that he was arguing with each of us for the sake of it (something I find despicable and intellectually dishonest).

            It is unfortunate that the conservatives on this forum  can’t bring themselves to be engaged in any free exchange of ideas. Even if one of them seems reasonable, it only goes so far as something like, “well, I respect that, and fair point, but your entire premise upon which you base your points is flawed to begin with,” which is just an off way of saying, “you’re wrong and it is based on faulty thinking.” Once upon a time on this forum, discussion was less partisan one-upmanship and more a discussion.  

          • Ray in VT

            Well, things in history rarely, if ever, just appear.  Events influence other events over time, as ideas circulate and interact in or between areas and peoples, and there are any number of things from the British tradition that we retained despite separating ourselves politically.  There was a movement here in the 19th century to Americanize spellings (Alburgh became Alburg), although now some towns are going back to old spellings.  I think that much from the English legal tradition that we retained, but I do think that you are right about the love-hate relationship, although there may have been more hate than love at least through the War of 1812, and perhaps later.  Fort Ethan Allen was a big fort up here that was designed, I believe, to be a forward base for repelling a potential invasion from Canada, which seems hilarious these days.

            I was so of intending to provoke a response, as I said, but I did try to merely make my points.  I must say that I was surprised to see the name calling, although I was in no way surprised to see what I think is an unsupportable position defended 110%.  I do find it interesting that we are now being told that we are opposed to god given rights and believe that our rights come from government (or something).  I don’t think that I recall a less partisan time.  I think that the first time that I posted something here I got attacked.

          • 1Brett1

            I always tease my Brit friends (I always call them, “you Brits!”) that they “have never gotten over that whole Revolutionary War thing.” I further accuse them of purposely mispronouncing words by putting the accent on the wrong syllable just for spite…And, of course, there is that whole driving on the wrong side of the road thing just to be obstinate…Truth be told, I have always been an Anglophile; maybe it was The Beatles? 

            Early on, HD1 thought I was being too personal one time by using a particular analogy that had to do with how different piano players approach their instrument. I wasn’t trying to be personal, I was just trying to relay something I thought he might have seen/understood as he is a piano player observing other piano players. He wasn’t seeing my point and I thought my analogy would help. He completely misinterpreted that as a personal dig, which was silly; I don’t even know him and have never heard him play…Ever since, however, he has made things personal toward me, accusing me of engaging unnecessarily in personal attacks while his same personal attacks are justified as he sees it. Accusing me of being so lopsided in my partisanship that I am blinded and ignorant. I mean, I’m certainly a liberal democrat (little l, little d), but I don’t feel I am a spokesperson (nor would I ever want to be) for the Party or anything even remotely resembling that kind of blind following…It’s all so ridiculous. He has called me many derogatory names over time. I ceased trying to be polite to him long ago…I will say that his exchanges all through the thread yesterday do reveal his nature and give further insight into his beliefs, ideology and personality. It’s pretty normal for our written expressions to reveal something about ourselves; somehow he wishes to deny that and pretend he debates to get at some truth or to out liberals as inferior or some such nonsense. On a certain level, it’s very amusing. 

    • AC

      i don’t know how i feel about this. you make good points, but i’m not very trusting, there is no doubt in my mind that evil exists, some people/groups SHOULD be monitored. i guess  i don’t believe we’ve evolved enough for this level of openess, but maybe it’s coming will hasten our evolution…

      • PithHelmut

        You think that the ones doing the monitoring are worthy of trust?

        • AC

          not really. i mention in another post, i only trust myself; big brother, big religion or big egos saying they want to help or ‘save’ me, not a fan…..

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        Transparency, regular Constitutional review and due process are the keys !

    • JobExperience

       There are right wing sadists trolling the web for Kochpeanuts who would love  to win a trip to Jasperworld.
      Maybe we could run an essay contest and put the winners in a SHOE.

  • JobExperience

    Julian Assange evaluated Alex Gibney’s new doc ( on Democracy  Now) as having a  distinctly pro corporate government/pro Empire bias going  so far as to illustrate how Assange’s own commentary had been edited and taken out of context. Last night Brian Williams pre-condemned Bradley Manning saying that the names of all US personnel in Afghanistan had been sent to Osama bin Laden. (This is the only line disseminated to the general public by media corporations, and no word on military incompetence.) So what do we do? There is no representation of more than 80% of citizens in Congress. There is no “free press” beyond a few alternative media begging for donations. We are confronting  a corporate controlled state being used to wring us out, and  Oligarchs recruiting right wing militia.  Is On Point excitement the icing on the rat  poison cake? We’ll see how the huffing and spitting goes. One thing for sure: Authoritarian personalities have nothing to contribute to this discussion, because this is the Sunset of Jesse Jackson’s American Dream: If you can conceive it; and you can believe it; then you can achieve it.

  • Jasoturner

    I find Assange a bit creepy, but I thought his editorial in the Times to be worthwhile.  A link is below.  Assange argues that the line between autocratic and democratic uses of technology is very porous, and that the techno-boosters are ignoring the very real infringements of our rights and freedoms that are possible, maybe inevitable, in a wired world where seemingly every human transaction is (or may be) documented and acted upon.  Furthermore, information can be controlled in a top-down manner that is not practical in the real world when it is filtered through search engines and web sites.

    In light of this, “stealing secrets” has a moral foundation, in as much as it seeks to break this autocratic control of information flow and content.  I really haven’t followed the Bradley story, but surely WikiLeaks revealed some information we would never have seen, even if it had nothing to do with national security, had control of the data been maintained by the government.  Which in balance may indeed be a good thing.  Or at least a healthy thing.


    • AC

      that was an interesting read. but i haven’t followed the story too, too closely so maybe you can help me out.
      i’m assuming, no matter if you’re pro ‘gov’ or big corp’ or pro ‘we help the little people’ camp, this Manning fellow was a soldier at the time, I’m ASSUMING he signed something as to the consequences of abusing a confidentiality agreement, therefore, by law, he must be prosecuted? or was he out of service at the time this was done?
      & if Assange approached him & coaxed him into doing the leaking, isn’t that a direct act of agression? i tried to wiki the laws of a declaration of war to figure it out, but i quickly saw that this will probably become my summer obssession if & when i have time – in other words, i don’t know, hope you do?
      or did he ‘hack’ for the info himself? i am more inclined to find them both not quilty if Assange did the actual work himself.
      at that point, i am only worried about the power of Assange himself (or similar) has to sit up there and play essentially god in what he considers right or wrong.
      that is the problem with this whole thing; it leaves me not knowing as a ‘little person’, who i should trust?
      i trust myself, i’ve never been a fan of religions or people who tell me they’re trying to ‘save me’….

      • Jasoturner

        It seems to me there are two things going on here.  At a technical level, Bradley clearly was in breach of his responsibilities, and probably legally so (I too don’t know the details.)  My understanding that he secretly moved files to a thumb drive and eventually found his way to WikiLeaks where he handed them over.  So on a technical level this seems cut and dried.

        On a philosophical level, I think that Assange has something to say that is worth thinking about.  But that does not mean that WikiLeaks acted properly or ethically *in this particular incident*.  On this I have no basis of judgement.

        I think the philosophical question is what we need to grapple with as average citizens.

        • PithHelmut

          It’s funny that our government goes about killing innocent people and we quibble over details of disclosures made by a person who is making an enormous personal sacrifice to divulge the truth.  Julian Assange may be a weird kind of guy, but who else has been so pursued by so determinedly by the US government over a couple of relatively trivial sex allegations?   

          • Jasoturner

            Well, yeah, but what if Assange got his hands on some really critical information that, if released, could lead to death and destruction?  That’s an awful lot of power for a free agent to wield.  I think there are legitimate reasons to worry about him, not matter how noble his motives may be.

    • brettearle

      Any man, or woman, in Assange’s position has a very high ethical obligation to determine what information might be–even in a minor way–deleterious to the national security of the country.

      This isn’t a matter of the US being guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.

      And, if a guy like Assange has such information–that the US is guilty as charged– then maybe some of that is fair game for the Public to hear and know about.

      But I would argue that Wikileaks went noticeably over the line.

      This is it not simply, in my view, a way of demonstrating a Government Of, By, and For the people–where some lone Freedom Fighter Avatar is trying to bring up the Ideals of the 60s or demonstrate how Technology has changed the freedom of dialogue and communication.

      That is simply an excuse–for zealous ambition, in the interests of becoming an Heroic Pioneer.

      Assange didn’t simply break new ground.  He may have torn it asunder.

      • daveincatskills

        Your point on “Fair Play” triggered a thought. We continue to hype Manning, however when representatives of the Bush administration leaked CIA Agent Valerie Plame’s identity the culprits received a slap on the wrist.  So is it better to be a political hack rather than a lowly soldier when it comes to damaging national security? I think the record will show that political hacks fair far better…   

        • brettearle

          It’s a good point to raise, I think.

          [But I may not be able to do the necessary research--at least right now--to fully determine the similarities and differences of Wikileaks vs Plame.]

          The reason why Plame was so “heavily charged” is that an individual was targeted–where you could say that an actual person, that you can identify, was at risk….and therefore those, who might have been associated with her covert activity, were as well.

          To the Intelligence community, that is like the Police being outraged by a suspect shooting one of their own.

          Zero tolerance. 

          That’s why the incident was so volatile. 

          [Not to mention that the Leak was engineered by an Administration that was not too heavily favored by the Press.]

          With Wikileaks–which is, arguably, far wider in scope–it is harder to identify an actual face, in jeopardy.

          ……if you see what I mean….and you likely do.  

      • Jasoturner

        I do not disagree with you.  I was trying to suggest that it is possible to see how Assange (and perhaps to a lesser extent Bradley) might consider his actions to have a moral or ethical basis. Whether or not that is true in this particular instance is a different matter, which I am unfit to judge. 

        Indeed, his column about the potential dangers of our wired democracy doesn’t pertain directly to WikiLeaks’ actions in this particular case, which is much more about classified information and the potential damage to our national interest.

        • brettearle

          Got it.

          Road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

          [Although I do not see Assange and Manning as Demons.  More like misdirected Zealots, mixing a need for Attention with so-called Integrity.]  

          • Jasoturner

            Ha!  That would be the concise formulation…

      • 1Brett1

        I agree about Assange having a responsibility to set an example of high ethical standards….you know, I’d like to champion someone like Assange, but he seems more a grandstander who was less interested in righting some terrible wrong or bringing to light some profound corruption and more interested in being some sort of journalistic rock star, creating/perpetuating an image he wanted to paint of himself of a great purveyor of truth out to courageously keep the world honest. 

        • brettearle

          Yeah, that’s how I read him.

          Aside from the holes in his character, you can also blame it, I think, on “The Andy Warhol” syndrome, nurtured by the 24/7 Media Cycle.

  • 1Brett1

    Are Assange or Manning to be judged by their actions themselves or by the content of what it is they leaked? 

    When the government monitors the activity of its citizens, is it to be judged by its actions or by the content of what it collects? 

    When corporations collect data on individuals, are they to be judged by the monitoring itself or by the data they collect? 

    Is it the intrusion that we condemn or the unnecessary intrusiveness? Can that be judged before the fact or only after the fact? 

    I’m ambivalent about the need to be monitored…

    I think in many respects Manning and Assange crossed a line they shouldn’t have, as in certain circumstances so have governmental agencies and have corporations. Where is the demarcation line for government? For corporations? When are people to be heralded as brave whistle blowers? When are they just criminals who broke laws and agreements?

    • brettearle

      Appreciate your objectivity on this matter.

      I would have assumed that you might have taken a more progressive point of view.  But you didn’t.

      Your questions are especially relevant.

      I’m surprised that Ellsberg doesn’t get it, this time around.

      Even Alan Colmes was further to the Left on this matter, than I would have liked.

    • daveincatskills

      You make a very good point on the difference between content and action.  It appears that the judge has already signaled that the trial will take place on narrow grounds – did the defendant leak classified information.

      The content on the other hand is an interesting question. Does the material cross the threshold of secrecy disclosing sources, methods and analysis critical to national security?

      The problem with government secrecy is that the public will never be in a position to judge for themselves relying on those trusted members of the community to do the right thing.  This is profoundly undemocratic.

      Adminstrations both democratic and republican have actively prosecuted whistleblowers in the name of national security.  Who then polices these agencies to ensure that they are upholding the values of the American people, muchless that funds are delivering the best value for the taxpayer?  

      The late Senator Moynihan argued for less classification of material for greater transparency and revised rules followed.  Classification is not intended to hide things which may embarass the government. 

      It appears that content will be the defense councils platform while action will be the prosecutions.  I am not optimistic that the decision will improve transparency or oversight into an expensive secretive world.    

    • AC

      basically wondering the same thing, which laws need changing? & once there, how far back can you go to prosecute a crime that was not technically acknowledged as a crime? i’m a stickler for that, but if there was severe damage, i’m inclined to make them pay somehow….

      • 1Brett1

        I would define a retroactive prosecution sort of in the same way you appear to in that going back and prosecuting someone after a law has been changed should really be contained within a context of severe damage/repercussions as a result of his/her crimes. Yet, in its abstraction, to analyze such a thing abstractly, I wonder if I don’t contradict my own values? 

        I say this because…well, let me give you an example. I once was an “expert” witness for the prosecution at a trial where a staff person was accused of regularly abusing a person with mental illness. The defense side also had an “expert” witness. The expert for the defense testified that the victim was not injured and any extent of any injuries could not be proven, therefore the person accused of abuse did not abuse. My response was that abuse is not determined by whether or not the abused is injured or whether or not it can’t be proven injury occurred. I offered that it was proven beyond a doubt that the abuser abused the victim through his deliberate actions, actions that were against agency policy (aside from being immoral and unethical). Because the victim was big enough not to sustain injuries or no emotional scar was visible, that did not expunge the abuser of responsibility. (By the way the jury agreed with that notion and the abuser was convicted.) 

        • AC

          i wonder sometimes if that ends up playing into the prosecution’s game of lawyers thing. they overzealously pile on accounts, so it there is a failure in definition of one charge, they can fall upon another?
          lawyers are such fun…:(

          • 1Brett1

            Oh, there’s no doubt about that. Hopefully, each charge would be considered on its own terms, though. Therein lies some of the subtleties of the process of law, I think, in how the function of the games work regarding how the law is executed. 

            In Bradley Manning’s case, he seems to be guilty of some crimes, not guilty of others. It would be wrong to punish him purely on wanting to make an example out of him for the purposes of intimidating others who may at some point feel the need to blow a whistle at something they feel is unjust. 

          • AC

            i was part of a technical witness group on a drb hearing awhile ago & it drove me crazy when the lawyers would spend literally 4 hours hung up on using the word ‘for’ while us engineers sat there confused because the contractor was attempting to re-write the laws of physics – not what constitutes a conjunction!
            in the end, my boss said everyone won at these things, concessions would be made on both sides, even tho we were totally 100% right. i wonder why we even bothered spending so many hours, and money flying back and forth for months!!
            i have to give credit, my skills in communicating tangible analogies really improved from that experience :)

  • Shag_Wevera

    Institutions (employers, governments, militarys) use technology and information against individuals as a standard operating procedure.  There is something I like about individuals or small groups using these same things to keep them honest.

    Did Manning’s leaks put soldiers in danger?  I don’t really know.  I’m positive that soldiers were endangered and killed by questionable decisions made by politicians and governments though.

    • brettearle

      You aren’t taking into account the Damage to essential diplomatic connections and relations that are vital to a country’s  interests–if certain behind-the-scenes’ dialogue, becomes public, and, subsequently, reveals too much candor, between colleagues from one country….about how they feel about their opponents or even allies.

      This is no small matter.

      Such transcripts were made public, as the result of the information obtained in this Incident.

      • PithHelmut

        Well then we should be more prudent in our actions and earn the moral authority we purport ourselves to have. 

        • brettearle

          The point is not that we should be Moral.

          OF COURSE, we should.

          But since we aren’t, that doesn’t mean our lives ought to be danger.

          Upstanding guys–who don’t realize this–can help a citizenry finish last in safety and stability.

          If you think that any Country is going to change because of such Leaks, then I’ve got any number of wars to enlist you in, from the past.

        • Kyle

          we have to allow our people to fully express their thoughts on other governments in private while being diplomatic in public.  That is how a nation functions.  If you dislike someone do you immediately start a fight with them, or do you behave nicely when forced to interact?

      • madnomad554

        Actually, I’m taking in to account what has happened, as apposed to what hasn’t happened. Thousands of dead soldiers, tens of thousands injured soldiers, tens of thousands of dead and injured Iraqi civilians.

        I’m not backing or supporting what this PVT did. But it is yet to be proven that what he did, has spilled one drop of blood.

        As the speaker mentioned, a mountain has been rendered classified. It is not out of the question, that the US is classifying too much info. Just how far will the intelligence gathering community spread its, “classified dragnet”???

        We have 17 intelligence gathering agencies. It should come as no surprise that so many documents can exist, let alone be leaked.

        • brettearle

          My comment was not directed to you.

          Look more closely, please.

    • madnomad554

       “I’m positive that soldiers were endangered and killed by questionable decisions made by politicians and governments though.”

      Such as the war in Iraq. Who has done more harm to soldiers, Manning or Bush 2???

      I know the answer, because I did two tours in Iraq. Biggest mistake of my life.

    • Kyle

      Mannings leaks were not targeted on abuse or things that the public has the right to know.  They were simply a data dump.  If he leaked something like a torture video from a prison he would be a whistle blower, but he just performed a data dump with classified information that showed no abuses of power, just some embarrassing words.  This is why he is on trial and does not have public support.  Leaking classified information should only be done when something wrong is going on, and only the information pertaining to that wrong should be leaked

      • AC

        does it matter what sort of data it was if he violated a willingly signed contract? was there a contract? i’m assuming all soldiers sign something like that. in that instance, it’s a black & white type crime – i guess we’ll know the fairness based on the degree of punishment he recieves?

        • DrewInGeorgia

          It goes beyond a simple ‘contract’ signing.
          If you are active duty, you are Government property. You’re thinking non-disclosure agreement, I really think it runs much deeper than that AC.

          “You will respect my author-I-tie!”

          • AC


          • DrewInGeorgia


        • Kyle

          I think it does matter what you are exposing.  If you expose human rights violations, then you are a whistle blower and a hero.  Pretty much anything else and you are just a criminal.  Its the same with the corporate world.  If I disclose secret information that a company is poisoning the ground water and covering it up that is good, but if I expose a trade secret that is bad.

          • AC

            i’m not sure this analogy works. one set of data is causing direct harm.
            in Manning’s case, that is essentially the question that NEEDS to be answered. if you look up the international rules of war, you will see that there is a section pertaining to resulting degrees of damage. i found a lot of really interesting sites.
            here’s one i printed out and am going to read tonight:
            personally, ive been to places w/o law & order, or totally corrupt on the most basic of levels. No thanks – i am a BIG fan of law and order

            but this country does like their sports, the 2 teams have formed already. i’m just not ready to pick a side, not enough info & lots of laws i know nothing about - yet !

      • MOFYC

        If the information was “just some embarrassing words,” then why he is on trial for giving “sensitive” information to the “enemy”? Either it was dangerous and he should be punished as a traitor or it was penny ante stuff and he should be given a slap on the wrist.

        • Kyle

          The information was classified for various reasons.  I don’t think he should be convicted of aiding the enemy, but he clearly broke the law, and released information that was rightly secret.  Just because it didn’t get anyone killed doesn’t mean it was ok to dump everything to a webpage.  He is most likely going to get prison time, but not a life sentence.  That seems reasonable to me.

      • Inthefloodzone

         He did it for the notoriety, the way Tamerlane did it for the glory.  What’s with these young men, anyway?  Have they completely lost touch with their humanity?


    Public information belongs to the public. Somehow I’m really skeptical that a low-ranking private would be given access to information that truly endangered national security.

    • brettearle

      Are you saying that a High-Level Government Cabal was behind Manning’s assignment–and that this renegade group was dedicated to an emancipated version of the Freedom of Information Act?

      If not, what do you mean, when you say “skeptical”?

  • toc1234

    the thieves’ actions are not about making the world a better place, their actions are about making themselves feel important.

  • creaker

    The real crime here has been the misuse of “classified” to include anything embarassing or agenda revealing or generally anything anyone in government does not want to see treated as public information.

  • iccheap

    What was Manning’s performance in the military like prior to his release of data?  He obviously couldn’t have screened a fraction of what he released.  Has it been noted how this data was organized?  Any structure at all, or just a massive file?  I think knowing that provides more insight into his true motivation.

  • Davesix6

    Manning has confessed his guilt, however;
    Anyone supporting PFC Manning had better be careful, the Obama administration will come knocking, IRS, FBI, ATF, ect.
    That’s the Modus operandi of President Obama and his administration when dealing with anyone who disagrees with them.

    • DrewInGeorgia

    • AC


    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Nice to see the Black Helicopter crowd is here in force today.

      • Davesix6

        And we have a supporter of Nutty Uncle Joe Biden here as well.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Funny how the Black Helicopter Crowd took the ’00s off, until a black Democrat got elected to the White House.

          Damn right I like Joe Biden.

          Basically, he’s not the mealymouthed Dem you imagine us all to be, and it bewilders the right that center-lefties don’t go all “Alan Colmes” on you. Makes the conversation more difficult when the other guy doesn’t say “Well, Sean Hannity, you may have a point” in a Droopy Dog imitation.

    • Ray in VT

      Be careful, dude.  They’re probably on their way to your house right now just because you posted that.

      • Davesix6

        You may be right

        • Ray in VT

          I wouldn’t bet on it, but if you suddenly disappear from this forum, then I may stand corrected.

  • PithHelmut

    The title of this movie is offensive from the beginning “We Steal Secrets”. These secrets belong to us and we are entitled to know what our government is up to. The enemy is our own government. Consider the footage that Manning claimed turned him to revealing the secrets – footage of our soldiers killing in cold blood. It’s disgusting.  This is what our government does and has also shown they will kill anyone they deem a “terrorist” a hazy term that makes them judge and jury.  This does not protect the people nor democracy nor life. It protects the cash cow called “terrorism”.  And now the trial, the same kind of thinking that has gotten us into the mess we’re in, with vengeance and retribution as the only solutions to everything.

    • AC

      you’d be surprised. i’ve worked all over, & think the US really is one of the best of the bunch….

      • Steve__T

         At what? stealing secrets?

        • AC

          i’ll not mention the country best at that, but i will say they have what’s called a ‘one eye open, one eye closed’ policy on the lower levels of day to day officials…..:P

    • Ray in VT

      The impulse has long been to classify as much as possible, and that is a legitimate problem, and there were certainly things that were revealed that the public should have known about, but there are many things that our government does that are legitimately not made available to the public.

    • Inthefloodzone

       On the radio program, the director explained how he chose the title.  He took the phrase from a speech regarding international intelligence.  Basically, he said all nations do it.  It’s a “Spy-versus-Spy” world, folks. 

  • Davesix6

    So Manning was confined under Obama and treated with sensory deprivation i.e. issolation, no clothes, not allowed to sleep, etc.

    Would that be considered “enhanced confinement”?

  • Roger_C_C

    Why is only Manning on trial?  Who designed a security system from which a lowly Pfc can steal State Department secrets?  Who oversaw this system?  What were the fail-safe measures?  This is a case of massive organizational incompetence.  

    • Inthefloodzone

       Now that I can agree with.  We had become so complacent in the belief that the continental U.S. was immune from an attack from outside that we actually trained the 9/11 terrorists to fly our own planes, even though there were some misgivings on the ground at the time.  But no one blew the whistle.  Now we’re no longer complacent but terrified.  Each new event exposes the cracks in our sham armor, as job security has replaced service, from Congress on up. 
      Fortunately Manning accepted the advice against a jury trial.  It would have turned into another O.J. Simpson style travesty.  Even though civilians may make their wishes known through Congress, they do not have direct oversight over the military.  Manning was playing the civilian-activist when he did what he did.  What the military did wrong was either fail to recognize who and what he was, or turn a blind eye to the “promising young man.”
      Hasn’t been the first time, won’t be the last.  But each time, maybe we get closer to recovering our national dignity.

  • sickofthechit

    Dick Cheney should be in the court to explain the difference between his role in outing Valerie Plame and what Bradley Manning did..  If Manning is guilty of aiding and abetting the enemy then so is Cheney.  Though Cheney is to much of a coward to own up to his role in endangering CIA Agents overseas.  Charles A. Bowsher

    • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

      I agree that Cheney should be brought to account for all the terrible things he did, but seriously… what does that have to do with today’s show? This is the Obama administration prosecuting Bradley Manning, not the Bush administration. Please fast-forward to at least 2009 and lay the blame for this in the right place.

      • daveincatskills

        “the bright shining city on the hill..” For there to be a respected justice system there needs to be consistency in the application of the law. Lacking consistency, the US is susceptible to charges of hypocrisy.  As a nation we need to ensure that our actions are consistent regardless of station in life, sort of what the drafters of the constiution had in mind.   

        • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

          So you’re saying that it’s not Obama’s fault because he just wanted to maintain consistency with the ebils of the Bush administration? Real courage, there.

          Come on, people: Bush has been out of office for over 4 years. I bitched about him back then, too, but seriously: give it a rest now.

          • daveincatskills

            It is not about Bush/Obama. It is about consistency, the law and an enduring credible justice system.  

            The system is justifying its prosecution on the foundation of harm to the national interest.  

            There has been other grave harm to the nation in other ways, namely the accounting fraud on Wall Street that led to the financial collapse.

            Yet, there has not been one prosecution by either adminstration for activity that did comparable harm to our economy.
            The message being sent is that if you are a white collar criminal you have one standard of justice. 

            If the nation fails to maintain credibility in the justice system as independent from the political system it will lose legitimacy.  Once that occurs it is only a few short steps to banana republic.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            This I can agree with. Thanks for clarifying.

    • William

       I thought Artimage told Novak or at least he told CBS News he was the one that told Novak.


  • creaker

    We get a constant stream of leaks to the media from “unnamed sources” – why aren’t they on trial?

  • Coastghost

    Naive idealism? in this day and time? You jest!

    Confessing his guilt and assuming conviction, Manning will serve his sentence in a military prison, correct? or would he serve sentence in a Federal prison? But he won’t wind up in Gitmo, right?

  • AC

    in the end, they don’t even need any of these classified secrets. all they need is a walmart that sells pressure cookers…..

  • Steve__T

    I wanted the American public to know that not everyone in Iraq and Afghanistan were targets that needed to be neutralized, but rather people who were struggling to live in the pressure-cooker environment of what we call “asymmetric warfare.”

    This was leaked from his pre-trial.

    • Inthefloodzone

      First of all, anyone who has been following the conventional news coverage closely enough, and reading the many dissenting voices, and has any imagination, knew that already. 
      I fear that Manning is a victim of his own hubris as much as anything the government can do to him.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    I don’t think a private is exactly well tuned in enough to decide what should be classified and what should not.

    And he didn’t just pass on specific things that he thought should not be classified, he dumped the entire pot.   

    Jail sounds good.

    • PithHelmut

      And on that, we as a nation absolve ourselves of the atrocities we have committed. It can be difficult to unplug the mind from the implanted myth that our “authorities” do the right thing. We have enabled sociopaths, they hold the reins and we bow to them. 

  • Barry Kort

    To my mind, the enemy is government corruption, government dissemination of falsehoods, government exploitation of fear, and the wretched excess of military and police power.

    To say that Bradley Manning gave aid and comfort to the enemy is absurd, since Bradley Manning acted to weaken the enemy. 

    He acted to expose government corruption, he acted to expose government falsehoods, he acted to neutralize the government’s exploitation of fear, and he acted to expose the government’s wretched excess of military and police power, even as the government inexplicably attacks its own heroic citizens.

    • Inthefloodzone

       If you identify “the government” as “the enemy” and Manning “acted to weaken the enemy,” and in fact the government is our own for better or worse, you have the classic definition of treason.  Every ruling power gets to define treason as an act against its own interests coming from the inside, and even under this definition Manning’s actions is treasonous.  And to assert that Manning’s actions were “innocent” as a whistleblower is naive in the extreme.  We have no idea where this is going to go.

      • Barry Kort

        In general, I define Fear and Ignorance as the common enemy afflicting all humankind, independent of tribal, ethnic, national, or political affiliation.

        When the policies and practices of the government — whether it’s the government where I live or the government where others live — operate to spread fear and ignorance, then they are acting against the best interests of all people, both at home and abroad.

        As I assay the top ten problems facing humankind, both at home and around the world, I arrive at this list:

        Conflict, Violence, Oppression, Injustice, Corruption, Poverty, Ignorance, Alienation, Suffering, and Terrorism.

        It is the function and the duty of governments to solve those problems, not to spread or exacerbate them.

        We have no idea where this is going to go.

        Of course we do.  When we have a mutual and reciprocal breach of expectations, we automatically and predictably initiate a liminal social drama.

  • suzieinnewport

    Where is the trial for the members of the Bush administration who knowingly LIED to launch an illegal war in Iraq? It always seemed to me that Manning’s act was a symptom of the fact that he was living within the context of a war that in itself was a lit. Why has the Bush administration never been held accountable for the illegal war? Why as a culture do we simply let the passage of time allow us to forget the specific events that unfolded to lead the US population like sheep into this deceptive and wasteful war? Of course, no legal trial will be able to master the complexity of this situation. 

  • Coastghost

    To hear Elizabeth: let’s just legislate anarchy outright. ANYONE in government or the military who deems any information or occurrence offensive to his intelligence or his morals–despite any avowals or attestations of “loyalty” and submission to the military chain of command, let’s say–can do what he damned well pleases, the consequences also be damned, as if anything matters (as if, even, Mr. Gibney’s documentary matters). What has Bradley Manning defended except his sense of his entitlement to practice narcissism? What truth has Julian Assange advanced that’s completely divorced from his megalomania?

  • JohnHDouglas

    Had Manning limited his release of classified information to the ones involving possible war crimes, he would have a better claim to the high moral ground.  However, the great majority of materials he leaked did not in anyway implicate possible war crimes.  I don’t know him, so I can’t even speculate on his motivations, but he can’t hide behind the “war crimes” curtain.

  • MacMillin

    Without the ability to leak information please explain how we are to have confidence that the oversight of such behavior is being addressed. The lack of the ability to change the culture of diplomats and military personnel is the fundamental reason why leaks must exist, no accountability equates no trust in our government. 

  • suzieinnewport

    There is a typo in my previous post: “lit” should be “lie.”  Let us never forget that Bush administration officials, post 9/11, subjected the American public to an unending litany of suggestion that Iraq perpetrated 9/11. This lie started ON 9/11. Let us never forget the concatenation of twisted logic and journalistic passivity that led us into the Iraq War, that supposed new front in the so-called War on Terror. 

    • Davesix6

      What does this have to do with Obama?
      This is happening under Obama.

      No doubt George W Bush’s legacy will be that he was the powerful President in history according to you on the left.

      • suzieinnewport

        The context within which Manning acted was established under the Bush administration. Somehow you are wrongly reading into my comment that I am a “lefty” supporter of Obama.  I don’t know where you got that from my comments.

        • Davesix6

          Because your post echoes those left wing conspiracy theorists who beleive the Iraqi war was illegal even though the Dems voted for it.

          • Inthefloodzone

             The Iraq War was not “illegal” because Congress voted to go ahead with it.  Congress voted to go ahead because the Commander-In-Chief wanted it and mowed down any murmur of opposition with loud claims as to why it was necessary, claims that have since been proven to be a truckload of lies. 
            Congress got duped, we all got shafted, and we’re now living with the outcome.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Hey, calling people traitors when they ask, in public, about the actions of war criminals, isn’t power?

        You gotta get something calibrated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pannies.bredenkamp Pannies Bredenkamp

    As a foreign national visiting the States, I personally have no vested interest in the case. Some very interesting thought does occur. 

    1) The information, why was it secret?
     a) How many of the “secrets” were classified because the  military has a policy of non- or even disinformation?
     b) How many of the “secrets” were classified because the military will look bad if it becomes public knowledge?  
     c) How many of the “secrets” were classified because other people will face criminal charges?

    2) Who got hurt?
     a) How many people bled, were injured, or died because of this leak?
     b) How much has Pfc Manning already suffered because of his decision?
     c) Did the “declassification” hurt the public/international image of the United States, the Military, or just himself?

    3) What happens next?
     If Pfc Manning gets punished to the full extent of the law, no one should doubt it was justified. 
    He already pleaded guilty. 
    But what next? On the one hand, he was wrong to leak the documents, but if he stayed quiet after seeing the blue on blue incidents, he would also have been complicit in manslaughter/murder. 

    Option A
    If he gets punished, it hopefully does not happen again, and more abuses will go unpunished in the future. 

    Option B
    If he does not get punished, more occurrences of declassification by uninformed individuals will occur, people will die. 

    No one, not the State, not the people, not the individual will get a win from this, long term.

  • creaker

    So – scenario – someone has access to blow open big information on Benghazi – coverups, illegal activity, etc – but it’s classified. Should the person who releases this information be classified as a traitor?

    • Kyle

      If the leak is limited to illegal activity then no, I don’t consider them a traitor, but if he leaks more than that information, then I think this individual should be tried based on the information leaked which did not show anything illegal going on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/BGHooke Bruce Hooke

    I don’t like how Manning has been and is being treated by our government but I also very much wish that Manning had been much more selective in what he released. If he’d just released specifically selected documents that pointed to clear problems that would be one thing. But it’s rather another thing to just dump a huge collection of classified documents into the public record, when many clearly did not highlight any problems and just made public stuff that the government had quite reasonable reasons to keep private.

  • Harv Koplo

    Bradley Manning has been tortured by the government since his arrest. He has already paid enough of a price for his act and should be let go. His admittiance of guilt during torture should be thrown out.

  • Mica Connors

    WHO funded this film? Interesting that there’s no mention of the producers. And I don’t mean the person organizing equipment and logistics. Who paid for it? 

    • Coastghost

      Fine questions I did not hear Tom Ashbrook ask . . .

      Jigsaw Productions is Gibney’s own production company, according to IMDb and Wikipedia. With his fervid regard for truthtelling, Gibney comes across as our most self-inflated documentarian since the hallowed days of multimillionaire documentarian Michael Moore. (Maybe Gibney can get a long-term gig with PBS, which we know tells the utter and complete truth about everything.)

      • 1Brett1

        I, for one, am impressed…with your ability to say absolutely nothing while sounding like a clever cognoscente of some sort, that is. And, by the by, “Glibley” was a most excellent play on words; touche, a raise of the glass and a proverbial tip-o’-the-hat to you, sir. 

        • Coastghost

          I quibble with your characterization of my “ability to say absolutely nothing”: I put in a deft skewering of the self-aggrandizing Mr Moore, don’t I get thanks for that, too?

          • 1Brett1

            Well, okay, I’ll concede that one point, but his follow-up to ‘Roger and Me’ (I think it was called ‘Pets or Meat?’ or something) wasn’t half bad…

  • sickofthechit

    If you want to protect your information don’t put it on the web.  One of my old bosses who really understood data security used the term “Sneaker Network” one day.  I asked him what it was and he said it’s when one person copies a file onto a removable disc then takes it or sends it to another computer for use.

    If we are really concerned with these foreign powers gaining access to our sensitive information then maybe we need to begin using our own “Sneaker Networks” via the Postal Service (the most secure form of communication in our country).  It will slow things down, but it will be secure. charles a. bowsher

  • politicalrealist

    Has anyone mentioned that there is a legal path to acquiring information that has not been made public?  I think it is called the freedom of information act.  

    • daveincatskills

      FOIA does not apply to classified information.  Only after the classification period has elapsed does it become discoverable. 

      • NewOrleans36

         I have done volunteer work about a terribly mismanaged HUD program for US disaster relief. Trying to get documents through FOIA was a joke.

        This is what Bradley Manning and Julian Assange are challenging, our culture of huge amounts of unjustified government secrecy to avoid criticism.

        It is sickening that Gibney chose the title of his film and is not being held to account for his distortions and emphasis on personalities. We need much more truth and transparency in government, not sloppy reporting and personal criticisms of sexual proclivities of people who risk their sanity for the sake of exposing major flaws in governments. 

  • suzieinnewport

    Manning/Wikileaks became necessary and perhaps inevitable as mainstream journalism failed to report what was really going on (failure of critical thinking in American journalism) rather than repeating government propaganda. Why wasn’t the NYT reporting on what Manning revealed? Oh yeah, when they tried they were threatened with prosecution by the Justice Department.

    • Davesix6

      I agree


    That woman is crazy, Bradley Manning BETRAED the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PERIOD. And that as we VETERANS know that should be dealt with by DEATH, PERIOD. You Betray your COUNTRY, you are, and should be, treated as a TRAITOR.

  • AC

    is that a real statistic, or is it just the fact that it’s easier to gather than ‘letters’ or ‘microfiches’ ? …. or espionage-y stuff?
    i think there’s prob a correlating variable here…someone figure it out

  • Coastghost

    Why do we NEVER hear from CPB/NPR/APM/PRI whistleblowers? disaffected producers and reporters who see daily how editorial policy affects (or misleads) perceptions of news and reality? why are journalists so loyal to their own institutions while begging the public to play violin for an enlisted man who obviously didn’t take his own oath of military service too seriously?

  • 96B35F

    The thing about Bradly Manning that angers me the most is the sloppy scale of what he released. All of CIDNE for Iraq 2004-2009, all of CIDNE for Afghanistan 2004-2009, and then the State Department docs. He handed over 3 entire data bases; the scale of which means he may have KNOWN 5% of what he gave to Wikileaks. 
    Daniel Ellsberg wrote parts of the Pentagon Papers, edited others. He KNEW the contents of what he was handing over.I can understand seeing a document that details a crime, being outraged, and taking action (the Collateral Murder video). But what Manning did was to dump material out into the open having NO IDEA what he was handing over.

  • cof

    I just heard a caller address Mannings age as an issue. To talk about Mannings age as a factor is stupendously mind blowing. Please remind yourself of the age of the soldiers we hand a gun to for the purposes of deciding when to kill someone. 

  • Steve__T

    In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

    We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties
    or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an
    alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the
    huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful
    methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
    ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppression of body and
    mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day” ~Thomas Jefferson

     People need to understand that the idea that government should be as
    open and transparent as realistically possible, this is not some crazy
    new idea that was schemed up by a bunch of computer hackers at Julian
    Assange’s kitchen table a few years ago. It’s a very old idea. It’s a
    very good idea. And it was James Madison, the primary author of our
    Constitution, who wrote over 200 years ago that a popular government,
    without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a
    prelude to a tragedy or a farce, or perhaps both. The last 10 years of
    U.S. foreign policy have been a tragic farce. If we’re going to snap
    out of it and stop making poorly informed decisions that wind up in
    catastrophe, we need to know what our government is doing.
    ~Chase Madar

  • Coastghost

    The oath of military service that Bradley Manning did not violate, according to his sympathizers and defenders:

    [Federal law requires everyone who enlists or re-enlists in the Armed Forces of the United States to take the enlistment oath. The oath of enlistment into the United States Armed Forces is administered by any commissioned officer to any person enlisting or re-enlisting for a term of service into any branch of the military.]:

    I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

    Manning claims his exercise of individual initiative was legitimate regardless of any representation he made to the contrary with his oath and that his private conception of duty and morality superseded the declarations he made with his oath (id est, he does not claim that he was “following orders” and does not claim approval of his actions by any of his commanders).

    Manning has made a name for himself and it’s not “Bradley the Brave”. 

    • Inthefloodzone

       If you heard the “On Point” show, a caller from Kentucky described himself as a veteran who once worked in a classified area and had to take an oath protecting the information he saw from distribution.  This did not appear to be the standard oath you quote above. 
      If Manning is willing to contradict an oath he took, regardless of his motive to “make the world a better place,” what does that say about Manning himself? 
      His “expose” could easily have resulted in a grave threat to national security, and still does, in the sense that it feeds the current trend of cynicism and distrust of government.
      He seems much more than naive, in my view.  And so does Assange.
      And BTW, the attempt to link the actions of these individuals with their supposed “sexual” issues or misdeeds just proves the point that they are immature, misguided boys who happen to be capable of doing a lot of damage.

    • ExcellentNews

      An oath of service is only as good as the system that you serve. The Nazis just followed orders. On the other hand, some guys known as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other such low-born malcontents had no qualms breaking their oath to King George the Third. All that Bradley Manning did was to expose to the people what their government is doing with the money and power vested in it by the people.

      • Coastghost

        So is the faulty “system being served” in this case merely another human system or a specifically American system? Is our American system today more deplorable than a robust Chinese Communist or Russian Soviet system, sensitive as those systems have proved historically to individual rights? Do you seriously insist on equating present US circumstance and practice with Nazi circumstances and practices of whatever year you choose?
        (Did you earn a graduate or undergrad sociology degree, by chance?) 
        Who needs Bradley Manning to tell us what our government is up to when OUR IRS is telling us (belatedly) what it’s been up to?

        • ExcellentNews

          No, I have a Ph.D. in African basket weaving with a minor in LGBT studies… :) Sorry, I could not resist. Since you ask, my background is actually in engineering and weapons design, believe it or not. And I have seen first-hand the Soviet system, so let’s not compare things that are not comparable. I write as I do, because if we keep going like this for another 20 years, we will be much more like the Chinese, Russians, or other tinpot regimes, some of which I’ve had the chance to see firsthand. Just look at them – throughout history and space, corrupt oligarchies run by the few for the few (under a variety of banners and labels). Only North America and parts of Western Europe have managed to get a little bit above that sad state of human society. Ask yourself why, and what we are doing to avoid falling back there? And yes, what the IRS did was appalling – under a Bush appointee, BTW. The same “commander in chief” beloved by churches and corporate boardrooms alike, and who should man up and take responsibility for what was shown by Mr. Manning.

          • Coastghost

            “PFC Bradley Manning Attempts to Save Western Civilization from Itself–Details at eleven . . .” O I C

      • brettearle

        The country has the right to protect its security–even if the country’s own measures are highly questionable.

        You are suggesting that everything should be revealed–because the country is corrupt.

        That’s absurd–if not possibly quite outrageous.

        Such disclosures can put the PEOPLE of the country,  run by government, in potential danger.

        You are, in effect, BLAMING THE VICTIM–if you approve of full disclosure, via illegal means, simply because the government is guilty of Malfeasance….resulting in potential danger to its citizens.

        Some things–not all things–need to REMAIN SECRET.

        The grave fact is that Manning and Assange had no discipline, whatsoever, to keep anything quiet and private.

        If there was anything in doubt–and how could they really and truly judge?–then they should have shredded rather than leaked.

  • Rachel B

    Having served in the army military intelligence I initially had little to no sympathy for Manning, despite being center-left in my political views. We are well briefed on the value of intelligence & the consequences for sharing any classified information to unauthorized personnel. I thought he was foolish & that what he did really harmed the US military as well as foreign relations.  However, as I learned more about what was leaked (such as the appalling Collateral Murder video) & that there was in fact little, if any harm done, my opinion of Manning began to shift.  Once I learn of the cruel, unjust & unusual treatment of Manning in confinement, I truly began to question the motives of our government & military leaders.

    In my mind Bradley Manning has gone from a dupe conned into committing treasonous acts to a whistle-blower that has fallen victim to the more shadowy aspects of our government. 

    • brettearle

      Your comment–and other comments I am also hearing and reading–is possibly making me change my opinions, as well.

      But I still wonder whether all of the information revealed was properly `vetted’ by Manning and Assange to recognize any potential dangers.

      If there’s any doubt, you DON’T reveal–should it, indeed,  possibly impeach the security of the country.

      If you can’t make a credible determination, then you CAN’T divulge such information–simply for the sake of being on a personal Crusade. 

      I would argue that this has happened, periodically, in this case.

  • marygrav

    This is the danger of keeping people in places where they don’t want to be.  The U.S. Army saw that this young man was not suitable military material but still wanted to keep him in the Service because they wanted to use him and his talents.  I say they and US got what we deserve.

    Before my usual critics say I am ranting, I would like to point out that on numerous occasions he had expressed to his superiors that he was not suitable for his assignment and they should have been able to tell from his psychological profile that he was not lying.  But like everything about the military it was a bully.

    What Bradley Manning let loose wast the truth.  And if there is anything a hypocrite hates is truth.  The US goes around the world pretending to give freedom and justice when all it is doing is looking after its own interest of Neocolonialism.  This has been true prior to and after WWII and it has never in one instance given up on this quest.

    Ranting, you may call it, but prove this is not true.

    • Coastghost

      Tsk and tut: every enlistee in the US military should be asked deferentially where he prefers to be posted. Failure to accede to his wishes should automatically be construed as a violation of his individual conscience and his rights to military benefits, with the presumption that he is thus entitled to betray his enlistment oath and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and contribute to unit cohesion by assuming an individualized sense of duty exempting him from obedience to his superior officers.

      Nothing fanciful about this, no.

      • 1Brett1

        Your contrarianism-for-the-sake-of-making-a- most-unremarkable-intellect-look-remarkable routine, notwithstanding, and marygrav’s ranting aside, she does touch on a flaw of the modern military.

        While I think Mr. Manning should not be viewed as a hero who fought and brought to light grave injustices but rather should be seen as a troubled young man who violated his oath and the terms of his service, his superiors had many red flags they either chose to ignore or sweep under the carpet. Their own incompetence/poor decisions increased Manning’s potential for breaching security. It was sort of like Nidal Hasan of the Fort Hood shooting fame, only without the direct violence. 

        • Coastghost

          You’re right, of course: I should know enough to wear even my transparent motivations on my sleeves and lapels, esp. or even when visiting an “On Point” forum. Please accept my sincere apology.

          • 1Brett1

            They are already on your ‘sleeves and lapels’ but apology accepted.

          • Coastghost

            And I’d begun to worry I was being contrarian only for the sake of being contrarian!

          • 1Brett1

            Now you’re being contrarian!

  • Inthefloodzone

    Let’s bring this issue down to earth.  Postal service employees take an oath of confidentiality that is designed to protect the privacy of postal service patrons.  They are not allowed to open mail, or use any information they see for their own purposes.  They are not allowed to throw mail away.  This is why many companies actually prefer to do business through the mails rather than electronically.  Would you mail sensitive private information or a check, knowing that any postal service employee could open it at will?  I didn’t think so.
    Manning’s actions did not have to result in lives lost or danger to the nation for them to be wrong.  The main issue that makes Manning’s actions wrong is the potential opening for our national enemies–and we already have had a taste of this–to use this information against us.  During World War II, blackmail and espionage were serious threats.  “Loose lips sink ships” applied then and it still applies today.
    Finally, we are at a deplorable pass in this nation where citizens no longer trust government.  Yet because we are a democracy, our trust in our own government is essential to our government being able to deliver the services and protections we have mandated it to do.  Unless individuals such as Manning and Assange are made to feel the consequences of their actions, we are on the verge of becoming an ungovernable state.
    Do we want that?  Didn’t think so.   

    • Miles Howard

      The postal service analogy doesn’t work with regard to Bradley Manning. Yes, postal workers are bound by a confidentiality oath, but the only way they could discover the mailing of illicit materials would be to break that oath and open items of mail. Manning didn’t have to break any oaths to see crimes being committed in Iraq.

      I think the bigger question here is, which crime- if unaddressed – could have worser consequences? Personally, I’m inclined to say cracking down on whistleblowers and diverting attention from state-sponsored murder. 

    • ExcellentNews

      Governable by who? By a handful of global oligarchs, corporate CEOs and their banker pals?

      Besides, we are not at war. There is no existential threat like Russia or the Axis aimed at the USA. In fact, our business “leaders” who outsourced the industrial strength of America and gutted the middle class have harmed our country more than any foreign enemy. Mr. Manning just exposed how inane our “system” has become. His actions may be personally stupid, misguided, and even put some people in danger, but fundamentally, they are those of a PATRIOT, not a traitor.

  • ExcellentNews

    Mr. Manning exposed how billions in taxpayer money are lavished on foreign cronies in slave-labor countries, fundamentalist monarchies, and other cesspits of the global oligarchy.

    We the people need to wake up. If we don’t, America of the 2050s will be much more like China, Saudi Arabia, or Colombia, rather than the middle-class social democracy it was in 1950.

    Demand that Mr. Manning be set free. Put the political and corporate cronies he exposed in solitary confinement. And people, wake up and be involved. DEMAND to know what our government is doing with the money and the power that WE VEST in it.

    • brettearle

      You’re an all-or-nothing guy.

      There are shades, I’m afraid.

      Seeing things in extremes is almost as bad as those whom you claim are guilty of extremes (which they are).

      Ironically, you’re part of the problem.  Not part of the solution.

  • Coastghost

    In the p.m., ATC treated us to brief coverage of PFC Bradley Manning’s court-martial. What intrepid NPR reporter did co-host Robert Siegel confer with? Why, no NPR reporter at all! No, Siegel covered the day’s events with a reporter from THE GUARDIAN! (Does NPR as routinely cover US courts-martial with reportage from The Independent? The Daily Mail? What expertise or insight does any UK newspaper bring to coverage of a US court-martial, according to NPR editors and producers?)
    NPR can enhance its credibility just as much by having reporters from Mother Jones and The Nation cover Canadian and Mexican business news or by relying on any independent West Virginia or Kentucky newspaper to tell us what’s REALLY happening in NYC, Boston, Chicago, or Los Angeles.

  • PicKleBuckNavage

    First, bless you for bringing attn. to so many important topics…but THIS ONE IS KING!!!

  • PicKleBuckNavage

    fIRST, thx for covering so many important topics….THIS ONE IS KING!  Bottom line, fellow Americans, is that the Constitution OBLIGES each and every citizen to rebel against corrupt governance…by fellow human beings, we might add, who are – like all – subject to vulnerabilities.  We rely on our loved ones to be truthful when we need them to help us get beyond our blindness from our personal influences..however valid.  I ache for this man’s justice – esp. when he is so noble and willing to accept his breech of contract to his job and serve 20 years behind bars…

  • StevenKillough

    This case reminds me of Viet Nam’s Mai Lai Massacre where the under officers were told to “obey your superiors unless they’re making a bad decision”

  • http://www.facebook.com/travis.pettengill Travis Pettengill

    … regarding the statement made, to paraphrase, that there are consequences to breaking the  law and Manning has embraced those consequences. That is shear nonsense. Why don’t we let Manning speak for himself instead of letting a talking head putting words in his mouth?  He is facing an impossible situation in a  military court against a  plaintif with infinite resources.  Do you really think he is embracing the guilty plea  and not just playing ball?  I held a  secret clearance myself as a  civilian employee of the DoD and I thank god I never came across anything as horrendous as what Manning did. Manning deserves nothing less than the utmost gratitude from americans and iraqis for exposing war crimes. 

  • allen 2saint

    This may sound callous, but considering the type of war we are waging here, was anyone walking around thinking that errors weren’t happening and innocents weren’t being killed? Shouldn’t a reasonable person assume that in a ten year military engagement on all these levels that things like this would happen? I’m a tree hugging liberal, but I was not at all surprised that things like those reporters being killed would happen. It is horrible and we all should grieve them, but does this constitute mass abuse or mass incompetence on a scale that requires the actions of a Manning? Not in my mind. If it is repeated, then the military needs to reign things in and make the checks they are capable of to make things safer and not let it happen again.

    What galls me about Assange is that he makes himself out to be some freedom fighter, yet of all the corruption and evil in the whole world, he focuses on the US? You think our abuses really are the most egregious on the planet? No motivation to go after China or Russia? Why not? Because he knows those people would hunt him down and assassinate him without a second thought. He lures Manning into a situation where he had a lot more to lose than Assange ever did and now, one mixed up, yet patriotic young man is ruined and Assange will live to fight another day.That does not make him a hero in my book.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      you have to start exposing corruption somewhere why not the country most powerful military force on earth?

      • allen 2saint

        Just typical anti-American BS. Not nuanced or smart. You need more than bias to be right.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          we have 12 carrier groups, china has one recycled russian carrier. i love america that’s why i applaud any efforts to make her less corrupt, was my pro-american bias too overwhelming? i dont really know enough about every thing assange ever leaked to say that he has not leaked any non american secrets but even if he did who cares. does he have some sort of responsibility to be even handed in his exposure of secrets? do you think he is not being “fair”?

          • allen 2saint

            I made my point very clearly. He is not a hero and a horrible mistake, which is what that drone attack was, was not “corruption.” It was a mistake. He postures and makes himself out to be a hero when there are far worse things happening in this world that he won’t touch, because a Chinese dissident, or let’s say, one of those hackers they employ, would not be such an easy mark for Assange’s charms and he knows he’d be killed in a heartbeat if he said anything. He’s a self aggrandizing person who chooses low hanging fruit. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            he’s a charmer that scott tennorman

  • Andrew Bliven

    This subject has had me in an outrage since I saw the now-immortalized-by-infamy helicopter attack video. To get started, I wish to state that the understandable and reasonable preservation of safety for active war theatre and espionage personal during ongoing operations is imperative in my mind. This will never change. However; the chain of oversights is clearly dysfunctional, for the amount of clear violations present, I dare say that anyone who approved classification of these heinous crimes to protect those whose faltered should be on trial, alongside Pfc. Manning. Manning should stand trial but for an inane charge like obstruction of justice concurrent term service only for any crimes that he actually perpetuated through leaking this information. I trust he would be acquitted.

    The attempt to prosecute a man, no matter how young for the release of information allowing the citizenry to understand what and who our country is being perpetrated as abroad is obscene. This is akin to saying that we have no right to question the government, a level of autonomy that is clearly outside bounds of the constitution. Yes, perhaps he should have requested meetings with superior officers, but how could he know who would have involvement and be just as in need of the covering up? It is fallacious thought to assume that oversight of propriety can come from within the group whose propriety might be at question, because all willing members of the group would be just as intent on the same goals.

    With all of that said, simply on the grounds of the helicopter video, Pfc. Bradley Manning should be excused of all charges, as an agent of the Department of Justice and discharged from military service with full honors. I viewed the video several times over a span of days, and every additional viewing brought more mirth to my heart. For any man to willingly harm another human being and so callously view his `handy work` as a glorious action on this nation’s behalf disgusts me, and makes me worry that American is turning into a very bad thing to be. On top of gross and flagrant ignorance of the wonder of life, for one of the soldiers to chide, “Shouldn’t have brought your kids to a war.” is sociopathic at best. Were it open war on American soil I dare say he would depend on the Geneva Convention to ease his mind in regards to his family. The video is fraught with disgusting and frankly treasonous acts, not only do the pilots act beyond parameters, operate with leave, and ignore a direct command from their assigned op center, they have an audible tinge of fun whilst gruesomely murdering a dozen unarmed citizens of a foreign country. The amount of distaste for America in the Middle East having seen this video nary surprises me, We the People have been made evil in many eyes by flagrant misbehaviors on the part of little and sickening men. And actions in our militaries uniforms are actions of behalf of us all, therefore actions which have caused disdain and further deaths of U.S. troops are treasonous and against the tenants of loyalty, honor, and compassion that every soldier should be ingrained with. The men who classified and perpetrated these treasonous acts should be the ones on trial, because they are clearly a more impending danger to our country.

    On the subject of Assange, well he did facilitate the mass awakening of the idiotic masses. Of course he won’t go after people who will gun him down in cold blood. But if We the People let things keep going this way, how long until people who engage in the aforementioned acts become brazen enough to gun him down as well, and for that reason we have to forgive him his sins and embrace his goodness done unto us.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy


      • Andrew Bliven

        Pardon me for giving you one inappropriate placed word. I am assured you gathered the point was for it to say ire. Anyhow, thank you for the grammar check. I appreciate it terribly. Also sarcasm could be given argument for that word placement.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          just bustin your balls a little, i think we need transparancy and that the things you describe are only possible when there is a lack of transparency which there is despite the fact that someone with the power to make things transparent and who promised to do so has in fact made things more opaque

          • Andrew Bliven

            I think people need to stop busting Obama`s and every presidents balls. They have very limited direct control that is buffered throughout their cabinet. The level of direct control that one man could be expected to have over the millions in the military astounds me. Not to mention his hands arejust as tied by the secret keepers golden rules as the diligent Pfc. Bradley Manning. Not like we can have the Pappy Barack secret sharing hour, hell they already tried to hang the man as a terrorist because his middle name is Hussein. Made him disclose his birth certificate even. So I can’t really blame him, maybe next time America votes we should not hit the party line easy button and really force all of their congressional candy asses to play nice together.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            he promised transparancy along with many other things. if you make a promise you cant keep you are going to hear about it. his balls will be fine

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    with almost a million people with secret clearance how could anything go wrong?

    • Don_B1

      Having a “secret clearance” does not give a person the right to access every secret.

      There is a recognition within the system that secrets are hard to keep when too many people “know” them, Any given “secret” is not accessible by all persons who hold a security clearance.

      There are three levels of “secrets” roughly defined:

      1) Confidential – facts that are relatively low level, information with low consequences if made known.

      2) Secret – facts that are consequential if made widely known.

      3) Top Secret – facts that have great consequences if made widely known.

      Information in the Top Secret category are further restricted within “compartments” so that only those given a special clearance to work on a project involving the secrets necessary for that project are cleared to know those secrets.

      Thus maybe only a few hundred people, or a thousand at most might know about any particular set of secrets that are among the most detrimental to the country.

      This way there really is a way to establish a “need to know” before a person with a clearance at the level of the secret actually gets to know about it.

      • Andrew Bliven

        So what you are saying is that more than likely Pfc. Manning released what are more than likely the most vanilla secrets being kept from the American people currently? That makes me feel so much better about the situation.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        used to be that three men could keep a secret if two of them were dead

  • Pingback: If I Sentenced Manning | Cognoscenti

Aug 28, 2014
Photos surround the casket of Michael Brown before the start of his funeral at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.  (AP)

The message that will last out of Ferguson with New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb.

Aug 28, 2014
Some of the hundreds of earthquake damaged wine barrels cover and toppled a pair of forklifts at the Kieu Hoang Winery, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Napa, Calif. A powerful earthquake that struck the heart of California's wine country caught many people sound asleep, sending dressers, mirrors and pictures crashing down around them and toppling wine bottles in vineyards around the region. (AP)

Drought in California, earthquake in Napa. We look at broken bottles and the health of the American wine industry.

Aug 27, 2014
The cast of the new ABC comedy, "Black-ish." (Courtesy ABC)

This week the Emmys celebrate the best in television. We’ll look at what’s ahead for the Fall TV season.

Aug 27, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, right, as Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, center, looks at them, prior to their talks after after posing for a photo in Minsk, Belarus, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. (AP)

Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s leader meet. We’ll look at Russia and the high voltage chess game over Ukraine. Plus, we look at potential US military strikes in Syria and Iraq.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Poutine Whoppers? Why Burger King Is Bailing Out For Canada
Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

Why is Burger King buying a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain? (We’ll give you a hint: tax rates).

More »
1 Comment
Why Facebook And Twitter Had Different Priorities This Week
Friday, Aug 22, 2014

There’s no hidden agenda to the difference between most people’s Facebook and Twitter feeds this week. Just a hidden type of emotional content and case use. Digiday’s John McDermott explains.

More »
1 Comment
Our Week In The Web: August 22, 2014
Friday, Aug 22, 2014

On mixed media messaging, Spotify serendipity and a view of Earth from the International Space Station.

More »