The National Review has a piece up examining ten liberals and their reaction to the Bradley Manning treatment. A snippet:
Yesterday, P. J. Crowley was forced to an early resignation from his post as State Department spokesman. His blunder? At an event at MIT last Thursday, he said that “what is being done to Bradley Manning is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid on the part of the Department of Defense,” and that Manning was being mistreated. President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s State Department evidently thought those comments went beyond the pale and eagerly accepted his resignation.
Afterwards, Obama publicly stated that he had “asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of [Manning’s] confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards.” He concluded, “They assured me that they are” (click here for the Defense Department’s statement on Manning).
But liberal intellectuals and activists have gone much farther than Crowley. Here are ten perspectives on Bradley Manning, taken from mainstream liberal writers, activists, and publications:
1. By far the most outspoken, well-known, and influential defender is journalist Glenn Greenwald, who first came to prominence as a critic of George W. Bush’s national-security measures. Now, his Salon.com archive resembles a Google News feed for Bradley Manning. Greenwald is passionate on the subject. He has said that “Manning clearly believed that he was a whistle-blower acting with the noblest of motives, and probably was exactly that.” Manning is for him a “national hero,” whose treatments “constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture,” which will “create long-term psychological injuries.”
It goes on from there, listing a bunch of other liberals and things they have said. My personal favorite, for obvious reasons, is #10:
10. Finally, there’s a notable (though not surprising) exception: The New Republic, though not endorsing the treatment of Bradley Manning or Crowley’s ouster, has devoted most of the ink it’s used on Manning to emphasizing the threat posed to national security, and America’s formerly covert friends overseas, by his alleged leaks.
This doesn’t include other, non-political groups that have sprung to Manning’s defense, like WikiLeaks and legal-defense funds. The above are the mainstream, influential liberal outlets that help refine the Left’s policy consensus. Many of the same were apoplectic about George W. Bush’s origination of the PATRIOT Act, the detention centers at Guantanamo Bay, and the prosecution of its residents by military tribunal. But Obama has extended W.’s policies on all three — and now he’s accepted the treatment of Bradley Manning, and ousted its critics, to their dismay.
Maybe the liberal intellectuals are right, or maybe President Obama is. But how in good conscience can they continue to support him?
I laughed out loud.