Of Course It Was Abuse

I can’t believe we are still debating this:

The UN special rapporteur on torture has formally accused the US government of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment towards Bradley Manning, the US soldier who was held in solitary confinement for almost a year on suspicion of being the WikiLeaks source.

Juan Mendez has completed a 14-month investigation into the treatment of Manning since the soldier’s arrest at a US military base in May 2010. He concludes that the US military was at least culpable of cruel and inhumane treatment in keeping Manning locked up alone for 23 hours a day over an 11-month period in conditions that he also found might have constituted torture.

“The special rapporteur concludes that imposing seriously punitive conditions of detention on someone who has not been found guilty of any crime is a violation of his right to physical and psychological integrity as well as of his presumption of innocence,” Mendez writes.

Hell, almost no one even questions whether or not it was abuse anymore, it so clearly was. At best, even from the most soulless, we’ll get “He should have known better to do that while in the military” or from the mindless Obama defenders we’ll hear “If they didn’t keep him naked and he hurt himself, then they’d blame Obama.” But no one seriously claims what they did was appropriate, humane, or non-abusive. They broke all of their policies, rejected advice from doctors, and went ahead and did whatever they wanted to him.

Why? Because he embarrassed them, and they wanted some payback.

Because they wanted to pressure him to turn on others (mainly Assange).

Because he wasn’t your typical soldier, and clearly had some issues.

And finally, like all sadists, they did it because they could.

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149 replies
  1. 1
    Punchy says:

    It took 14 months of investigating to figure out what any ordinary person would have concluded in 5 minutes. Nice.

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    Nuh uh!!

    /Parsing Patriots(tm)

  3. 3
    salacious crumb says:

    John you better be careful..now that ABL is back she watching to make sure any criticism of Obama, direct or indirect, shall not go unpunished and you will be tagged a racist

  4. 4
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Will we see Republicans siding with the UN?

  5. 5
    Corner Stone says:

    @salacious crumb:

    and you will be tagged a racist

    Hell, that’s how we say hello round these here parts.

  6. 6
    Comrade Dread says:

    It won’t matter.

    People don’t give a damn about the UN or their findings.

    And most people don’t give a damn about any prisoner unless they’re related to them. One of the reasons why everyone jokes about prison rape is the idea that they deserve it.

    Call it callousness or cruelty.

  7. 7
    Cluttered Mind says:

    The true test of any society is how they treat their prisoners. We’ve definitely failed that test.

  8. 8
    WyldPirate says:

    SPLASH! There goes the downrigger with the 10 lb rotten turkey carcass on it to troll for the devoted Obots…;)

    I think I’ll retire to my recliner with a big bag of popcorn and enjoy the fireworks…

  9. 9
    muddy says:

    I guess they thought they should “make an example” of him. Instead they have shown themselves to be examples of bad behavior.

  10. 10

    Actually this we be shown as proof that Manning is just a whistleblower who deserves protection from any sort of prosecution.

  11. 11
    muddy says:

    @Cluttered Mind: Prisoners and children as well.

  12. 12
    FlipYrWhig says:

    My question was always “is this what they do to everyone accused of similar charges, or is Manning being singled out?” Do we know the answer to that yet? John is talking about how it wasn’t in accordance with standing policy. I don’t remember that having been established.

    Obviously it’s A Bad Thing. But that wasn’t what people had heated opinions about. That was the issue of whether Manning was being treated badly _in excess_ of SOP. Because that’s the line that leads to ideas about retribution and orders from on high.

    So here’s what I would say: it’s always bad and maybe even verging on torture to hold ANYONE in solitary for an extended period. It would be EXTRA bad to hold Manning in solitary for the purposes of coercion. Is this report indicating that? The quoted section doesn’t actually say one way or the other.

  13. 13
    Steve says:

    I have a hard time believing the same people who would never run over a dog would do such a thing.

  14. 14
    Schlemizel says:

    So let me get this straight – our beloved government now admits that keeping a man naked, isolated and sensory deprived is torture but hanging them by their arms, strapping them into “stress positions’, water boarding, mock executions and sodomy are still just “enhanced interrogation” when performed on brown people. Have I got that right?

    I guess I should be pleased that the bastards will at least admit this much.

  15. 15
    mark says:

    Anyone see this yet?

    A few weeks ago, a video circulated online of Rick Santorum claiming that 1 in 20 deaths in the Netherlands are caused by involuntary euthanasia. According to Santorum, elderly Dutch wear bracelets that say “do not euthanize me” and “don’t go to the hospital, they go to another country, because they’re afraid because of budget purposes that they will not come out of that hospital if they go into it with sickness.”

    .

    The remark was met with some bafflement in the Netherlands, and a Dutch television reporter recently cornered a Santorum spokesperson to ask about it…

    There is video over there

    http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/.....euthanized

  16. 16
  17. 17
    Amir Khalid says:

    So what happens now? Does this affect at all the disposition of Manning’s case, or at least his treatment in custody? Will the US military be made to do any reassessment of its relevant practices? Will it stand its ground and insist its practices are justified? Or is it free, with the tacit support of the Obama administration, to put its fingers in its ears and say, “La la la la, can’t hear you” ?

  18. 18
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @John Cole: Thx, missed that.

    Still, it seems like there are two scenarios: either the military essentially tortures everyone who handles classified information in a way they don’t like, or the military tortures Bradley Manning. Both would be shameful, but the latter would be even worse.

  19. 19
    Schlemizel says:

    @mark:
    Yeah, it may even have been posted on BJ a couple of weeks ago, I know it was discussed. Still, its the sort of thing I hope to tie around his neck when he is the GOP nominee in 2016

  20. 20
    Insomniac says:

    @Schlemizel: Did the government actually admit that or is the UN person concluding that it

    might have constituted torture

    ? I doubt we’ll hear any admission of torture from TPTB.

  21. 21
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    My question was always “is this what they do to everyone accused of similar charges, or is Manning being singled out?” Do we know the answer to that yet? John is talking about how it wasn’t in accordance with standing policy. I don’t remember that having been established.

    This is like poetry.

  22. 22
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: John provided a factual link. You provided your usual you-ness.

  23. 23
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Still, it seems like there are two scenarios: either the military essentially tortures everyone who handles classified information in a way they don’t like, or the military tortures Bradley Manning. Both would be shameful, but the latter would be even worse.

    It would? Singling out one guy for torture would be worse than a consistent policy of torturing all whistle-blowers?

  24. 24
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @muddy: The worst, of course, are child prisoners. When a teenager falls in with a bad crowd in this country and gets locked up, they often receive nothing in the way of education while in jail except what they learn from the other criminals they’re locked up with. When they’re released, it doesn’t take a genius to know what usually happens next.

  25. 25
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Shit. Who didn’t know that by now?
    And my remark perfectly called out “your you-ness”.

    “I think what we should be talking about is something else, over there. Not the thing right here we’re talking about now.”

  26. 26
    Calouste says:

    @mark:

    “Some bafflement” as in the main Dutch bussiness newspaper saying that S*nt*r*m “pulls percentages out of thin air”, is a fantast, and “it would be laughable if only this man wouldn’t be still in the race for the presidency of the most powerful country in the world”

  27. 27
    Keith G says:

    ..the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

    Sometimes it seems as if Team Obama is geometrically challenged.

  28. 28
    Suffern ACE says:

    Yep. Would have been better for them if they, you know, would have just brought him to trial, then started the punishment. (Or something like that). Just like it would have been better to, say, have Senators not stick their heads up their assess over Gitmo. I will need to snigger at any of our serious elected officials who go on the TV and try to make hay out of this, as most of the Senate and the House members lost their ability to express believable outrage over this years ago. My guess is they won’t do anything, cause that’s how they are, and nothing will change.

  29. 29
    Poopyman says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    So what happens now?

    Nothing.

    Or is it free, with the tacit support of the Obama administration, to put its fingers in its ears and say, “La la la la, can’t hear you” ?

    This, mostly, unless there’s a general cry of outrage across this great country of … awww, forget it.

  30. 30
    Guster says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Why would it be worse if they singled out Manning for abuse instead of abusing many more people, as a matter of course?

  31. 31

    Cool, another firebagger thread.

    somebody give corner stone and wildy a clean towel. I never had much of a problem with the harsh/abusive treatment allegations. Just the typical Greenwald nonsense of NOW OBAMA IS TORTURING BRADLEY MANNING LIKE BUSH BULLSHIT. That, and the usual rage monkey adjustment to details to fit the mouth breathing. He should have been put in general pop, I’m sure the other GI’s would have treated him with respect. Right?

    It does seem the suicide watch stuff was uncalled for, and the military, or who kept that in place against the doctors findings needs to be called to account.

  32. 32
    cathyx says:

    As I recall during the time this torture was going on, many commenters here were defending the torture, or denying it was torture all together. Where are all of you now?

  33. 33
    Mark H says:

    @Schlemizel:
    “The UN special rapporteur on torture has formally accused the US government…”

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    @cathyx: Look right above you.

  35. 35
    cathyx says:

    @Corner Stone: Yes. Still defending your ugly position.

  36. 36
    Face says:

    I always knew Peyton and Eli had a red-headed stepchild brother, but I had no idea he’s been in the pokey like this.

  37. 37
    Corner Stone says:

    @cathyx: Excuse me?

  38. 38
    Chyron HR says:

    I’m sure if JC keeps denouncing the “mindless Obama defenders”, Glenn and Jane will let him in the No Homers Obots Club. Someday…

  39. 39
    Mnemosyne says:

    I do love how John is able to jump from the UN’s conclusion that Manning was tortured to saying that Obama is personally responsible. Otherwise, I’m not sure why he thinks “mindless Obots” would be jumping in to defend the army commander who gave the orders.

    And though I know this will be ignored in the rush to Obama-bashing, I would like to point out that the conditions that Manning was kept in that the UN considers torture are the same conditions that prisoners are kept in at high-security prisons all across the USA. So is it the conditions themselves that are a problem — in which case we need to look at how all prisoners in the US are treated — or is Bradley Manning a special snowflake and torturing convicted criminals is A-OK?

  40. 40

    @cathyx:

    Actually, if you noticed. Mr. Cole didn’t call it torture, he called it abuse. And good for him, exerting such self control. What myself and others said, that while this treatment is bad, it is not unlike the treatment of other persons in the government accused and charged with espionage. The exception being the suicide watch, and the pressures put on Manning due to that status, that was apparently done against doctors orders. That is clear abuse, but torture? There is a reason why folks accused of treason against their country are not put in general population in their detainment.

  41. 41
    Brachiator says:

    @salacious crumb:

    John you better be careful..now that ABL is back she watching to make sure any criticism of Obama, direct or indirect, shall not go unpunished and you will be tagged a racist

    Yawn. There are Balloon Juicers who would rather beat Obama up over his “failure” to get single payer passed than get upset over a little torture.

  42. 42
    John Cole says:

    I do love how John is able to jump from the UN’s conclusion that Manning was tortured to saying that Obama is personally responsible.

    LOLWUT?

    Otherwise, I’m not sure why he thinks “mindless Obots” would be jumping in to defend the army commander who gave the orders.

    Because I read all the god damned threads months ago where people made those arguments.

  43. 43
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero): Starting to sound a bit like the New York Times, there. Abuse is just a euphemism for torture, to avoid using the t-word. It’s just words, just semantics. Treating a prisoner inappropriately is treating a prisoner inappropriately. The degree to which it’s done isn’t really as important as whether or not it’s being done at all. “We don’t treat our prisoners as bad as the Taliban does” isn’t really glowing praise no matter how you look at it. We either treat our prisoners humanely or we don’t. Debating whether something was abuse or torture misses the point. I’ve not seen anyone argue that the treatment he got was appropriate, and that’s what really should be central here. The details of his mistreatment aren’t as important as the fact that he was mistreated in custody at all.

  44. 44
    Amir Khalid says:

    @mark:
    Rick Santorum feels entitled to spout nonsense about people’s nether regions. Is it any surprise that he feels just as entitled to spout nonsense about people in the Netherlands?

    This business reminds me of another instance of American right-wing anti-health care bullshit. As you will remember, the anti-HCRs said that the NHS would have left Stephen Hawking to die of his amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Hawking had to issue a statement through his people, saying that it was the NHS’ continuing treatment that has kept him alive since his early 20s.

  45. 45
    Cluttered Mind says:

    I’d also add here that the issue of abuse of prisoners is one that is completely outside of any partisan debate. I haven’t seen either party take a stand against doing such things, and as such I find it unfair to blame Obama specifically for this particular case. What was done to Bradley Manning was horrible but I see it as symptomatic of a larger problem in our society which to date no major politician has been willing to address.

  46. 46
    cathyx says:

    @General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero): So because they do this to lots of people accused of treason, it’s ok. And what happened to innocent before proven guilty?

  47. 47
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @cathyx: That line of criticism might not be as effective as you think. Would you be okay with him being treated like that if he had been tried and convicted first? Prisoner abuse is prisoner abuse, whether the person is innocent or a mass murderer. Gotta be consistent or the argument can be taken apart.

    ETA: Just wanted to make clear I’m not accusing you of being okay with prisoner abuse under any circumstances, just saying that that line of criticism opens you up to such accusations.

  48. 48
    Daaling says:

    More proof that Wrong Again Cole truly is RETARDED.

    Let me guess, this is what Greenwald told you to think today….pffft.

  49. 49

    @Cluttered Mind:

    Debating whether something was abuse or torture misses the point. I’ve not seen anyone argue that the treatment he got was appropriate, and that’s what really should be central here. The details of his mistreatment aren’t as important as the fact that he was mistreated in custody at all.

    the only allegations of mistreatment that was beyond what was appropriate as established protocol for all prisoners, was the apparent misused status of suicide watch. Now if you think being made to sleep in your underwear is torture, as is having guards ask you every 5 minutes if you’re okay, then have at it. The term “torture” as I understand it to be, does not apply here. IMO.

    Otherwise, It was either solitary or general population for Mr. Manning, and after that, either suicide watch or not. I have seen no evidence that the military deviated from the protocols of these procedures. Except for the suicide watch. Which if applied for no legal reason, is clear abuse, but not torture to water down the meaning of that term, at least for my own self.

    It is a word used in this case for effect, for those who believe Manning is simply a ‘whistleblower’ and not a traitor to his country, as the government alleges.

  50. 50
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Daaling: Greenwald can be persuasive, you just have to be extra careful with him because he sometimes sneaks in totally disreputable sources. Today I checked his column and one of the biggest sources he was relying on to reinforce his argument was a guy writing in the Washington Times. When you’re attacking Obama for something and you want to back up your argument with a source that is making the same anti-Obama argument, using the Washington Times kind of gives away the game.

  51. 51
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John Cole:

    Because I read all the god damned threads months ago where people made those arguments.

    Apparently you didn’t read them very closely, because the majority of the “Obot” argumentation was pushing back against the delusional people in those threads who were claiming that Obama personally ordered Manning to be tortured.

    You can say that, as the commander in chief, that Obama is ultimately responsible for Manning’s treatment and that letting his underlings run wild reflects badly on his leadership, but that’s not what people were claiming. People were claiming, straight up, that Obama himself had ordered Manning’s treatment.

  52. 52
    cathyx says:

    @Cluttered Mind: No, of course not. But this topic has been discussed here so much, that I don’t care to re-argue my points.

  53. 53
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cluttered Mind:

    What was done to Bradley Manning was horrible but I see it as symptomatic of a larger problem in our society which to date no major politician has been willing to address.

    That’s how I see it, too, but apparently that makes me an Obama apologist.

  54. 54

    @cathyx:

    I didn’t say it was OK. I said it was according to the way they treat other prisoners. I also said the suicide watch treatment was wrong and someone needs to pay for that call, going against doctors orders. The issue of solitary versus general pop for Mr. Manning, stands alone as debatable in this case. Having been a soldier, I would be genuinely worried for Bradley’s health, if not life, being put in general population. And I would think that should be a no brainer. And it is not reasonable to expect a person charged with the crimes he was charge with to be granted bail. Just not gonna happen, and never has for others with similar charges.

  55. 55
    Danny says:

    He concludes that the US military was at least culpable of cruel and inhumane treatment in keeping Manning locked up alone for 23 hours a day over an 11-month period in conditions that he also found might have constituted torture.

    What a bummer. Then again:

    Thomas Silverstein (born 1952) is a convicted American murderer. He has been in prison for armed robbery and has been convicted of four separate murders while imprisoned, one of which was overturned.[1] He has been in solitary confinement since 1983

    My outrage, it burns. Someone alert Jane and Glenn, here’s a man who’s been tortured for 27 years! In Illinois!

  56. 56
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero): “Appropriate as established protocol” is pretty similar to “only following orders” as far as defenses of actions go. The point I’m trying to make is that Manning’s specific case is more or less irrelevant, and the larger issue is how our society views prisoners and the acceptable treatment of prisoners in general. Really all it comes down to is whether you believe it’s okay to treat someone inhumanely when they’re completely at your mercy.

  57. 57
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Danny: That’s kind of obviously different. If he’s killed at least three other people he’s been locked up with, then the solitary confinement is necessary for the protection of everyone else in the prison.

  58. 58
    cathyx says:

    @General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero): So if I go back to the post where this was discussed ad nauseum, all you comments will reflect what you are saying today?

  59. 59
    muddy says:

    @Mnemosyne: Me three. Manning did seem unusually fragile to me which makes it worse. The jails and prisons are full of people that need counseling and meds and not “alone time”, it’s disgusting.

  60. 60
    Linnaeus says:

    @Cluttered Mind:

    The point I’m trying to make is that Manning’s specific case is more or less irrelevant, and the larger issue is how our society views prisoners and the acceptable treatment of prisoners in general.

    On this issue more generally, folks may be interested in Christopher Glazek’s article, “Raise the Crime Rate”.

  61. 61
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @muddy: From what I’ve read about Manning and his relationship with his father and his reasons for joining the military, it does sound like that was the case, yes.

  62. 62
    Peregrinus says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I agree with this point, so I guess I’m also an Obama apologist, but I also agree with what Cole said.

    I read those threads as well, and while the firebaggers pissed me off, so did the “it’s not abuse, because I sleep naked, and besides, even if it were abuse, it’s standard Navy policy” crowd. Then it was “it’s not torture and it’s not abuse, it’s just standard Navy policy.” Then, after the Navy was found to have violated its own policy, “it still wasn’t torture or abuse, just the Navy being a little overzealous.”

    At least, that’s what I remember from that whole clusterfuck. I remember thinking the whole time that it just seemed like everyone was pointedly avoiding the elephant in the room . . . which you just pointed out: that Manning’s treatment is actually not odd at all by United States incarceration standards.

  63. 63
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @cathyx: Don’t worry about it. I rarely get involved in threads here and it sounds like you’ve been pushing this rock up a hill for a while now. Hope you didn’t take offense.

  64. 64
    LAC says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Given the endless wailing over “waaaa…i don’t want to be in the army…here’s some classifed papers, Mr. website guy…waaaa” Manning, I suppose they do. Either he is an innocent baby Jesus Manning who never forwarded classified papers, or he is a brave whistleblower – in that case, please tell us what evidence he was planning to expose because that is what being a whistleblower is. Either he broke the law for a good reason (still waiting to hear that reason) or he is completely innocent. All this fluffing of this kid by Glenda and his faux progressive minions comes off as premature deification. You Manning bots do not even know what he sent or if it could have put soldiers in harm’s way. I am not going to feel sorry for a person who gets endless fawning coverage from assholes on the far left with their own agendas. When I think of friends’ kids who come back with arms blown off and minds messed up by these wars and the amount of time spent wailing over some unstable desk jockey in the army to push some Greenwald bullshit agenda, I am amazed.

  65. 65
    Danny says:

    ….then we got Pollard, the guy who spied for Israel. He’s been in solitary confinement for 26 years. Alert Jane and GG! Does John Cole know about this??

    ETA: @Cluttered Mind, see Pollard. Spy, like Manning.

  66. 66

    @Cluttered Mind:

    “Appropriate as established protocol” is pretty similar to “only following orders” as far as defenses of actions go.

    No it’s not. Do you not think these protocols have been tested legally over time as being/not being cruel and unusual treatment. Again, it was solitary, and there is no evidence the military did anything more than keep him in a cell by himself. other than the misapplied suicide watch. If you think he should spend his time in general pop, then you must agree to the risk he faced for that, as being worth the risk.

    The suicide watch stuff, from what I understand it, is simply close supervision around the clock, and other humiliating things like sleeping with a lead blanket in your underwear. This is the case across the country in civilian jails. There is no evidence he was submitted to loud noise, excessive cold or heat, or his environment altered in any way to be unnatural, or coercive, other than being in solitary, but with access to outside media time, which he was. The suicide watch was wrong, and abusive, and you can believe it was torture if you want. I don’t/

  67. 67
    AxelFoley says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I do love how John is able to jump from the UN’s conclusion that Manning was tortured to saying that Obama is personally responsible. Otherwise, I’m not sure why he thinks “mindless Obots” would be jumping in to defend the army commander who gave the orders.
    __
    And though I know this will be ignored in the rush to Obama-bashing, I would like to point out that the conditions that Manning was kept in that the UN considers torture are the same conditions that prisoners are kept in at high-security prisons all across the USA. So is it the conditions themselves that are a problem—in which case we need to look at how all prisoners in the US are treated—or is Bradley Manning a special snowflake and torturing convicted criminals is A-OK?

    Thank you.

    Fuck Manning. And you know what? Fuck you, too, Cole.

  68. 68
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Danny: I’m surprised Israel even bothered sending a spy. I’m sure Bibi (or his counterpart 26 years ago) could just call any number of senators or congressmen and they’d tell him anything he wanted to know.

  69. 69
    John Cole says:

    @Danny: Pollard has been convicted. Christ.

  70. 70
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Let’s say you came across a story about a black prisoner who had been convicted of raping a white woman, and the judge had ordered that he be tattooed to mark him. Awful. Then you learn that the judge orders all convicted rapists to be tattooed. Also awful. But it would also indicate that the issue isn’t that the judge is a racist and a sadist, rather just an all-encompassing sadist. You’d be right to be outraged about the treatment of prisoners, but you’d be wrong to use it as an example of special retribution.

    It would be wrong to torture all prisoners including Bradley Manning, but it would be _fishy_ to torture only Bradley Manning. And that’s the direction of the Hamsher/Greenwald framing. They don’t want it to be wrong because doing such things is wrong. They want it to be wrong because doing such things is wrong _and_ because doing it to Manning shows that Obama’s government cracks down on its enemies.

    That’s why determining the extent to which this is a _special case_ is important. Determining the extent to which it’s inhumane is, by and large, ancillary. Most of the discussion that I’ve participated in has been, I would say, quite willing to concede that it’s inhumane (although I do remember skirmishes over whether his nakedness was special humiliation) but less willing to agree that it’s a case of targeting a troublemaker or an enemy.

    “I don’t think this should happen to anyone” is a statement about military justice. “I don’t think this should happen to Manning” is that, and also something else, having to do with the idea of punishing whistleblowers and dissidents. When we argue about Manning, that last bit is what we’re arguing about.

  71. 71
    John Cole says:

    @Mnemosyne: Of course Obama didn’t specifically order the treatment. But there sure as hell was a lot of the tough guy bleating as best represented in this thread by Danny.

  72. 72

    @cathyx:

    So if I go back to the post where this was discussed ad nauseum, all you comments will reflect what you are saying today?

    Only one way to find out, so have at it. The archives are at your disposal.

    edit – and if you go, be sure and start at the beginning with all the Greenwald crap about forced sensory deprivation that turned out to be false.

  73. 73
    Sadist says:

    I determined obama was a sadist when it became clear he instructed his doj to fail to prosecute over sub prime, the largest fraud in the history of humanity. Associating and taking money from those that style themselves gods, obama would react this way after this pissant manning emarrased him. Sadism.

  74. 74
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero): Fair enough. Obviously our opinions differ, but I see where you’re coming from and you’ve argued it well. I think at this point I’ve said everything I could say on this, so I’ll stop here.

  75. 75
    Zifnab says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You can say that, as the commander in chief, that Obama is ultimately responsible for Manning’s treatment and that letting his underlings run wild reflects badly on his leadership, but that’s not what people were claiming. People were claiming, straight up, that Obama himself had ordered Manning’s treatment.

    Manning got tortured either way. Is Obama commander and chief or isn’t he? With something this high profile and this perpetually ongoing, the President can’t be held in complete ignorance.

    I think a better argument would be to highlight how the administration acted when the news broke, versus how the Bush department reacted to allegations of torture at Abu Gharab and Gitmo. Its good to see that Manning did get moved to a different facility, and there was an investigation, and we are seeing this kind of reporting coming out. That said, I can’t help but feel that army prisoner abuse isn’t high on the President’s agenda. Its hard to argue that the White House hasn’t been complicate to some degree if only by neglect.

    Is this a good reason to vote Romney ’12? Not really. But its indicative of problems Obama still needs to address, and reasons why you can’t trust the President to do the right thing every time.

  76. 76

    @Cluttered Mind:

    but I see where you’re coming from and you’ve argued it well.

    Same to you, and thanks for the reasoned discourse :-)

  77. 77
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @FlipYrWhig: The unprecedented use of the espionage act over and over again by Obama is a far better argument about how he reacts to whistleblowers than anything that happened to Manning while incarcerated ever could be. I agree that Greenwald and Hamsher are going about this entirely wrong, and being misleading in the process.

  78. 78
    Peregrinus says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    This, I think, hews closest to my view on the matter – I’d probably be able to express that more eloquently if I weren’t efficiently fried from the work day.

    Part of the reason I really didn’t like Hamsher’s or Greenwald’s take on Manning is that they seemed to care almost not at all for him personally, but only for what he represented (as you say, the Obama administration cracking down on its enemies).

  79. 79

    And I am fairly certain that folks in the past accused of similar crimes, like Ames, Hansen, Walker(s), all were kept in solitary from arrest to conviction. Just like Manning.

  80. 80
    Suffern ACE says:

    Manning got tortured either way. Is Obama commander and chief or isn’t he? With something this high profile and this perpetually ongoing, the President can’t be held in complete ignorance.

    Yep. I appreciate the openness in mocking common decency and strong defense that we start the punishment before the conviction. I’m sure he got used to sleeping in 5 minute intervals after awhile and that put his mind at ease. Usually, though, this is supposed to happen in secret while no one is paying attention.

  81. 81
    Danny says:

    @John Cole:
    So we’re allowed to subject people to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” as long as they’ve been convicted first? Anyhow, have Syed Fahad Hashmi. He was held in pre-trial solitary confinement for three years, in Manhattan. Why don’t you write some poutrage posts about him every now and again, and do alert GG.

  82. 82
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Peregrinus: I think they were making him out to be a tragic martyr figure in our society and trying to get people emotionally invested in him so as to put a human face on the hammer they wanted to hit Obama with. While it is true that most arguments work better with a human face on them, it also felt a bit like they were exploiting Manning in order to acquire that face.

  83. 83
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    I have read your articles. They say this: the UN considers lengthy solitary confinement torture. The marine commander where Manning was held kept him in solitary without proper justification, although it was legally his decision. When he was transferred to Army custody they held him in regular confinement.

    Unless there is evidence not being mentioned here, everything else is – such as his confinement being an attempt to coerce information – is still either speculation or Manning’s claims of extreme treatment that were never corroborated.

    The UN is charging based on solitary confinement. Judge away, but judge based on what is known, not speculation.

  84. 84

    @Cluttered Mind:

    The unprecedented use of the espionage act over and over again by Obama is a far better argument about how he reacts to whistleblowers

    All classified info leaks are investigated as SOP. The fact that OBama’s DOJ has gathered enough evidence to prosecute, begs the question. If they have such evidence, what else are they supposed to do? And from what I’ve read, none of these cases can be easily fit into the whistleblower cat.

    As having real public interest to out fraud, waste, and abuse. For Holder/Obama to proceed otherwise with prosecution, if they were solid whistleblowing would be very stupid of them. And they don’t strike me as stupid.

  85. 85
    WyldPirate says:

    @AxelFoley:

    Fuck Manning. And you know what? Fuck you, too, Cole.

    AxelFuckwit haz a mad…

  86. 86
    Peregrinus says:

    @Cluttered Mind:

    Oh God, yes. I remember Hamsher starting a brouhaha over the Marines not letting her into Quantico, and thinking “She just bought her ticket to never having to risk any actual skin about Manning ever again.”

  87. 87
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero): It’s entirely likely you’ve read more than I have about this. I don’t feel I have enough information to mount a counterargument to what you’ve said so I’ll just shut up about what I apparently don’t know enough about :)

  88. 88
    Daaling says:

    Wholy lose the plot batman. Urrum…helloooo! This all started when Manning decided to leak highly classified material. Something that is absolutely positively NOT in dispute. He is also charged with “aiding the enemy”. A capital offense.

    But the firebaggers rushed to his defence trying to paint him as some innocent whistleblower. And when they found out he is gay and listens to lady gaga well that just sealed the deal right there. So all this bullshit about torture and whatever other horseshit the wankers are trying to throw out there is just noise.

    By wankers I mean YOU COLE!

  89. 89
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @John Cole: The only reason why “Obots” have any investment in the Manning case is because of the Greenwald/Hamsher view that the treatment of Manning is representative of the larger issue of the Obama administration’s treatment of whistleblowers and people who dissent from the administration’s handling of war, terrorism, and civil liberties. “Obots” (for the most part) don’t revel in the rightness of the way Manning has been treated; they express skepticism about the case’s placement in a larger pattern.

    It’s really not that different from saying that, while the “Fast and Furious” case was fucked up in all kinds of ways, it doesn’t necessarily show that the Obama administration has a cavalier attitude towards law and order. You can say “gunwalking is stupid and dangerous and we shouldn’t do it,” or you can say “Obama presides over a federal agency that is grossly negligent about lives because they have an ulterior political motive.” Balking at the latter claim doesn’t mean cheerleading for gunwalking.

  90. 90
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Great post, John

  91. 91
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Daaling: Minor nitpick. The stuff Manning leaked was not “highly” classified. It was classified at the lowest level of classified. It’s still against the law of course, but one thing that people like to do in this case is point at Daniel Ellsberg who leaked stuff that was classified at a much higher level of classification and was hailed as a hero for it.

  92. 92
    bourbaki says:

    @General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero):

    Aldritch Ames pled guilty 2 months after his arrest.

    Robert Hanssen pled guilty less than 5 months after his arrest.

    John Walker Jr pled guilty around 6 months after his arrest.

    Bradley Manning was held in solitary confinement for 11 months and has still yet to be charged after almost 22 months.

    Are you a liar or an idiot.

  93. 93
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    the treatment of Manning is representative of the larger issue of the Obama administration’s treatment of whistleblowers and people who dissent from the administration’s handling of war, terrorism, and civil liberties.

    I’m not sure how it isn’t; Obama is the CnC

  94. 94
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Just because the buck always stops with him doesn’t mean it has to be passed all the way to him before stopping. There’s a lot to find fault with Obama for, but with all the responsibilities of the President, some delegation has to be necessary. We don’t know what he was being told or what he was telling people. Absent that kind of evidence, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  95. 95
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Well, logically speaking every case is part of a larger set, sure, but the issue is whether one case is particularly revelatory of a trend or a pervasive mindset.

    That’s why the comparison to Fast and Furious feels valid: Fox Newsers are sure that the ATF’s conduct is indicative of a political agenda about guns and crime that _obviously_ goes all the way to the top. FDLers are sure that the Quantico brig’s conduct is indicative of a political agenda about civil liberties that _obviously_ goes all the way to the top.

  96. 96
    vaughan says:

    well the U.N might also be interested in Chris Tappin too. he is being held in solitary for 23hrs a day with lights switched on constantly so he finds it hard to sleep. & he has neither beencharged or sentenced. in fact it’s doubtful he is even guilty of a single crime. neither was the alleged crime committed in the USA. he is a british citizen.

  97. 97
    CaliCat says:

    Wow, who is calling who mindless? Oh right, the same person who can’t figure out for the life of him that Greenwald is a pathological liar. But no matter, you got your O-bash cred for the week. Got to, right, Cole? Or Glenny won’t be your email friend anymore. And how sad would that be?

    John Cole, stop sucking up to Greenwald. He’s just using you anyway.

  98. 98
    bourbaki says:

    @General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero):

    Aldritch Ames pled guilty 2 months after his arrest.

    Robert Hanssen pled guilty less than 5 months after his arrest.

    John Walker Jr pled guilty around 6 months after his arrest.

    Hell Jonathan Pollard pled guilty 6 months after his arrest.

    Bradley Manning was held in solitary confinement for 11 months and has still yet to be brought to trial after almost 22 months.

    You do the math…

  99. 99
    OzoneR says:

    At best, even from the most soulless, we’ll get “He should have known better to do that while in the military” or from the mindless Obama defenders we’ll hear “If they didn’t keep him naked and he hurt himself, then they’d blame Obama.” But no one seriously claims what they did was appropriate, humane, or non-abusive.

    My friend, this is a country where in its largest city- one that prides itself on being far to the left of the rest of the country- cops are able to shoot an unarmed kid with little public outcry.

    Forget it Jake, it’s Washington.

  100. 100
    JC says:

    “A Republic, if you can keep it”.

    In a way, if you take out the emotion and the human cost, it’s quite fascinating, the many many ways that nations across the world, are finding to stuff the ‘individual liberty’ and ‘democracy’ hopes, and suppress those urges of regular people everywhere.

    Hungary – keeping the vestiges of a democracy, while burying everything about a real democracy, through pretty creative – or at least smart – dictatorship consolidating legislation.

    Turkey – small movements putting on show trials – using media tactics akin to Fox News, and harassment tactics similar to european tinpot dictators.

    United States – we tolerate a fascist news organization, who lies constantly, while calling themselves ‘most trusted name’ in news, shrug our shoulders at the vote suppressing tactics of the Rethuglicans, and are left wondering what to do when even our best and honorable politician – rightly celebrated – stays silent in the face of psychological abuse.

    In the words of Prophet Carlin:

    “And nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care..”

  101. 101
    Ben Wolf says:

    The Special Rapporteur lists two violations of Manning’s rights: that he was held in solitary for a prolonged period with no justification provided, and the military’s refusal to allow the Rapporteur to interview Manning privately so as to assess the conditions in which he is held. The Rapporteur also listed the United States in the report for widespread abuse of prisoners throughout the prison system.

    Go America.

  102. 102
    John Cole says:

    @CaliCat: Holy loads of projection.

    It’s you insane people who are making this all about Greenwald and Hamsher.

  103. 103
    Arakiba says:

    How long do you think it will be before Manning has an “accident”? Or “attempts suicide”? I’m kind of surprised he hasn’t been done away with yet.

  104. 104

    @bourbaki:

    But like I said, they were all held in solitary from arrest to conviction, with conviction being satisfied by pleading out. The reason of my comment was to rebut any notion that people accused of treason and the like, either ever get put in general population in prison, or released on bond until resolution of their cases, one way or another. I don’t know of any, but for sure would be open to such instances, if they have occurred.

    And I agree that prolonged solitary can be a form of torture, but that is mitigated by the nature of the solitary confinement, and degree of sensory deprivation. That is a legitimate topic in general for all such people held in such a way.

    I Agree also that 11 months, or 22 months is a long time, and certainly would approach torture if it was all with continuous suicide watch procedures wrongly in place. But that time length is because of the military procedures for courts martial, from what I can gather. And special reviews that were called for in part by the defense. Soonergrunt has more on that.

    From what I know, Manning is not being denied sensory stimulus at present. Or on suicide watch with its draconian protocols. Where else you going to put him then? That would be any different than others charged with such crimes.

  105. 105
    JC says:

    @Cluttered Mind: You would think that would matter.

    At any rate, I brought it up awhile ago, but using the whole Espionage Act for whistleblowers, as this administration – and the previous administration – has done, needs to be pushed back on, and loudly.

  106. 106
    Clime Acts says:

    I haven’t read thru the comments yet, though I will.

    But John, I wanted to thank you for this post. I totally agree.

    Oh, and this phrase,

    …or from the mindless Obama defenders…

    ,gave me great, deep, and lasting pleasure.

    Bot heads must be exploding all over this blog. Good work.

  107. 107
    Danny says:

    @JC:

    using the whole Espionage Act for whistleblowers

    Construing Manning as a whistleblower is misguided. The sheer volume of documents he released makes it painfully obvious that he had read but a fraction; he had no idea how much of it and what was in the public interest, or what could put peoples lives at risk.

  108. 108
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Ben Wolf: So is The Big Problem how the US treats prisoners of all types? Or is it that Bradley Manning is being singled out as an enemy of the state? Because those lead in totally different directions.

  109. 109
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Well, the US treats all prisoners poorly. At the same time, the Navy has determined that its treatment of Manning did not meet its own standards. Given that failure, it is not unreasonable to ask whether the substandard treatment was authorized or whether it was done solely at a local level.

  110. 110
    Angry Hack Lady says:

    Criticize Obama? You RAAAAAAAAAACISSSSSSSSSSSSSSST !

  111. 111
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Correct, it is not at all unreasonable to ask if Manning has been being singled out. It could very well be so! But for the moment I’m clinging to my skepticism about the “What happened to Manning shows clearly the Obama administration’s authoritarian tendencies” line of rhetoric. And the original post doesn’t show the retaliatory, individualized aspect that would be crucial to proving that line. It could still be proven, but it hasn’t been yet.

  112. 112
    Clime Acts says:

    @LAC:

    When I think of friends’ kids who come back with arms blown off and minds messed up by these wars and the amount of time spent wailing over some unstable desk jockey in the army to push some Greenwald bullshit agenda, I am amazed.

    Yes, because Bradley Manning is clearly the person who ordered them into battle and the one who has kept them there for the last three years almost.

  113. 113
    Clime Acts says:

    @John Cole:

    Of course Obama didn’t specifically order the treatment.

    But he certainly could have ended it at any time he chose to.

    Which he did not.

  114. 114
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Clime Acts: Also, he could have ended Fast and Furious at any time he chose to, but did not. Is that equally nefarious?

  115. 115
    Clime Acts says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    From the limited amount I know about Fast and Furious, sure, I’d say it’s nefarious as hell.

    how does that tie in with the topic of Manning’s mistreatment?

  116. 116
    InsaneCaliCat says:

    @John Cole: Hey, lash out at me if it makes you feel better. But the reality is Greenwald spews a great deal of misinformation. He twists facts to fit his spin and most of what he comes up with is utter bullshit.
    If pointing that out means I’m insane then so be it.

  117. 117

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    At the same time, the Navy has determined that its treatment of Manning did not meet its own standards. Given that failure, it is not unreasonable to ask whether the substandard treatment was authorized or whether it was done solely at a local level.

    Absolutely, good call counselor.

  118. 118

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    The treatment changed when he was transferred to Army custody, so presumably the orders came from within the Marines. It is also relevant that the Marine base commander who ordered the solitary confinement did not overstep his powers in doing so. He merely did not decide the way the standards say he should. So he did not need cover from above.

  119. 119
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Clime Acts: It ties in with the larger idea of whether everything that happens in the executive branch is a direct expression of what the president wants or believes. Most liberals don’t say that the Fast and Furious case is a manifestation of Obama’s views on crime and guns. They say instead that it was a fuckup on his watch. Blogosphere discussions of Manning, on the other hand, tend to produce statements about Obama’s views on civil liberties — _not_ that the case was a fuckup that happened on his watch.

  120. 120

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Well, as we know now. The doctors did not support the suicide watch, and the question is why didn’t the local commander defer to them. That is a legitimate course of inquiry to find out.imo.

  121. 121
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Corner Stone: “Hell, that’s how we say hello round these here parts.”

    That’s Texas for ya.

  122. 122

    @General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero):
    It is, absolutely. I’m merely emphasizing that the decision could have been made at as low a level as the base commander. As has been discussed so far, there’s a tendency in this conversation to shoot straight up and assume this was ordered at the highest level, when it’s just as easily (or more easily) explained by the local commanded abusing (but not overstepping) his powers.

  123. 123

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    As has been discussed so far, there’s a tendency in this conversation to shoot straight up and assume this was ordered at the highest level,

    Yup, Balloon Juice

  124. 124

    @InsaneCaliCat:

    Don’t let it bother you. The very first thing Cole said to me on this blog was that I “was insane”. It hasn’t gotten better since, though I think now he might have pied me.

  125. 125
    Anne Laurie says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    So is The Big Problem how the US treats prisoners of all types? Or is it that Bradley Manning is being singled out as an enemy of the state? Because those lead in totally different directions.

    NO, they don’t. Would your mom have let you get away with something under the “But everybody does it” defense, even when you presented her with a list of the ‘everybody’ that had done it?

    The U.S. prison system, in all its branches, generally treats prisoners in way that are a disgrace to our supposedly civilized nation. This gives ‘creative’ prosecutors cover to threaten, and abuse, individual prisoners with solitary confinement, or prison rape, or other extra-curricular abuse so that they’ll snitch on their fellows or testify against a target those prosecutors want to punish (fairly or not). The fact that Bradley Manning was subjected to abuse-under-UN-definitions demonstrates that the BEDI defense is just as illegitimate when used by military lawyers as when it’s used by ten-year-olds caught watching an R-rated movie.

    “We” need to stop abusing prisoners, AND the peple responsible for abusing Manning need to be held responsible for their actions. This doesn’t mean that President Obama should be impeached for what happened to Manning, BUT the fact that the sitting President during the course of this incident was “our guy”, a Democrat, and responsible for a great many good things, does not mean that every member of the Obama Administration automatically gets a free pass to do whatever they (think they) can get away with!

  126. 126
    Rp says:

    Post 106 is incredibly revealing. Many of those complaining about manning don’t seem to care about him at all. They just want a hammer to bludgeon Obama and his supporters. It’s a variation on hippy punching. And that attitude makes it hard to have a rational conversation about this issue.

  127. 127
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Anne Laurie: “Everybody does it” has nothing to do with it. I have said many times that neither state of affairs is desirable.

    If Manning is a prisoner being mistreated like thousands of other prisoners, that leads to conclusions about how to improve the treatment of prisoners.

    If Manning is essentially a political prisoner, that leads to conclusions about the authoritarian streak of the Obama administration.

    Both possibilities shine light on bad acts. Both can give rise to pointed criticisms of current policy. To question the latter is not to give carte blanche on the former.

    And yet, time and again, that’s where this discussion leads, because the “civil liberties” people want to use the occasion to needle “Obots” for their Obottery.

  128. 128
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anne Laurie: Part of he problem here is that some people are conflating two different problems. Prisoners are treated horribly in the US. Manning, as a subset of prisoners, received treatment that was worse in some ways than other prisoners. That doesn’t make the treatment that all prisoners receive okay, nor, at the same time does it mean that all treatment Manning received was due to his being Manning as opposed to any other prisoner.

    In other words, baseline treatment of prisoners in the US is something that should be addressed. Also, in the meantime, to the extent that Manning’s treatment did not meet the shoddy standards currently in force, those responsible should be held accountable.

  129. 129
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: IMHO the majority of these discussions _deliberately_ conflate different problems. “I don’t like this” rapidly becomes “Obama should stop this but hasn’t, thus he must like it.”

    From there, objections to the second proposition can become poo-flinging about how the person objecting must like it too, and then ultimately about how that person would defend Obama for nun-raping drones, drone-raping nuns, etc.

  130. 130
    Danny says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    How come, then, if the issue here is e.g. solitary confinement which the UN views as abusive, and which we have practiced for many, many years and there in fact being many prisoners that have suffered it for much longer time than Mr. Manning – how come that suddenly GG and JH and their fellow travellers get to float Manning as their pet cause celebre? Could it by any chance be that there are some who feel that – Manning being a gay man who suffered under DADT, and Wikileaks being Teh Cool, and Bush’s War being Teh Suxx0r – that some people should be more equal under the law than others? Because that’s my takeaway here. Some feel that Manning should get more sympathy and more attention because he’s our kind of criminal. A Mumia, or a Pollard of the anti-war left – that’s what I’m seeing here.

  131. 131
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Danny: The “more equal” in close proximity to the discussion of sexuality gives me pause… it smacks a bit of “special rights.”

    IMHO the Manning story makes for a great super-condensed fable for the blogosphere: war opposition, official secrets exposed, information wanting to be free, Obama being just as bad as Bush, Abu Ghraib/Gitmo on American soil, you name it. It’s very easy for a liberal/libertarian blogger to see him- or herself in Manning.

  132. 132
    Steve in DC says:

    We torture people all the time in the military, our own people, if you are going by the UN definition.

    Some boot camps involve a fair amount of torture, some special schools involve a fair amount of torture (SERE being the most famous of them) so the line gets blurred. So to an extent I can see the harsher punishment of military members, having served that’s part of the deal.

    However if the solitary confinement is the issue, wrong damn cross to die on here. We put hundreds of thousands through this in the US, civilians as well. And nobody bats an eyeball.

    However when a gay man goes through it that’s representative of the anti war left we panic? That’s a bit day late and dollar short.

    Of course it’s wrong but when you look at our criminal justice system, of which oddly enough the UCMJ is far more fair in it’s trials and far more humane to it’s victims, this is small fries. Considering we have for profit prisons where the threat of solitary confinement vs gang rape and stabbings is the current basis of our entire criminal justice farce.

    This outcry needed to happen before.

  133. 133
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve in DC:

    We torture people all the time in the military, our own people, if you are going by the UN definition.
    Some boot camps involve a fair amount of torture, some special schools involve a fair amount of torture (SERE being the most famous of them) so the line gets blurred. So to an extent I can see the harsher punishment of military members, having served that’s part of the deal.

    Huh?

  134. 134
    Danny says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    It’s very easy for a liberal/libertarian blogger to see him- or herself in Manning.

    Much like it’s easy for a lot of people to sympathize with Roman Polanski.

    (The guy I borrowed “more equal than others” from was a flaming leftie, btw.)

  135. 135
    The Tragically Flip says:

    @Cluttered Mind:

    Greenwald can be persuasive, you just have to be extra careful with him because he sometimes sneaks in totally disreputable sources. Today I checked his column and one of the biggest sources he was relying on to reinforce his argument was a guy writing in the Washington Times.

    Uhm, ok, Greenwald today:

    The Washington Times reported on Friday that the Treasury Department’s […]

    Is that your idea of “sneaking” a disreputable source? Stating plainly who the source is while linking to them? I am all for healthy skepticism toward wingnut sources like the WaTi, but this is a simple factual claim: Treasury is either investigating Rendell or it isn’t. A litany of other publications have picked up the story since its publication Friday. Arguably, Greenwald could have linked to one of them, but I suspect he chose to credit the publication that broke the story, rather than one that followed along.

    Healthy skepticism would tell you that even the WaTi isn’t going to simply invent a story like this. It’s far too easy to be proven wrong. Treasury and Rendell would quickly deny it (the article quotes Rendell extensively from obvious direct contact with him), and WaTi would look stupid and dishonest. And why risk what little credibility they have on attacking Rendell? Doesn’t a story about Obama’s treasury department investigating a prominent Democrat make Obama look good?

    Blind squirrels find nuts sometimes, and if the WaTi breaks a story, that’s no reason to ignore it or deride people who correctly surmise that the story is true. In fact, reading it now, it is actually a piece of reasonable journalism, seeking comment from both Rendell and Treasury as well as numerous other sources, including Rendell’s talent agency. I have no idea what biases the Moonie Times may have toward what appears to me to be another cult, the MEK, but the story is plausible, reported evenly, and hasn’t been refuted in more than 48 hours.

  136. 136
    Clime Acts says:

    @Rp:

    Oh you poor, maligned, mistreated dear…

    …if your reading comprehension improved a bit, you would know that my comment slams Obots, not Obama himself. No, really, they’re not the same thing.

  137. 137
    Rp says:

    Thanks for confirming my point.

  138. 138
    Bloix says:

    As far as I can tell, we’re not debating this. The story hasn’t been in the NYT or the WaPo, at least that I saw. Perhaps someone else can correct me.

  139. 139
    Cacti says:

    Cole, having spent years of my professional life defending accused and incarcerated persons in a real world setting, your handing wringing over Bradley Manning seems like so much trendy left wing douche-baggery.

    The moment your schoolgirl crush Greenwald moves on from this topic, so will you.

    Free Mumia, Cole.

  140. 140
    InsaneCaliCat says:

    @General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero): Lol. I’ve been called worse.

  141. 141
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @The Tragically Flip: If the Washington Times printed that the sun was going to rise in the east tomorrow, I would still look at another source. It may well be that that particular piece was more accurate than most of the crap that paper produces. Even so, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to have a default position of “100% fabrication” whenever I see, hear, or read anything reported by any right wing media outlet. I should have used a different word than sneak, but it remains true that Greenwald casually cited the Washington Times without mentioning the fact that they don’t actually practice journalism there, which is pretty damn important for people to know when you’re about to link to one of their articles. If someone here cited a link to The Blaze or the New York Post to back up their argument, I would hope that everyone would be immediately suspicious of the argument itself. Whether or not Greenwald is correct, and I’m not saying he’s not, his choice of citation is worthy of suspicion.

  142. 142
    LAC says:

    @Clime Acts:

    You are correct, asswipe, that baby jesus Manning didn’t order them to battle. Just like no one told him to swipe classified documents and feed them to wikileaks. I am soooooo glad we are clear on that. Go back to doing what Greenwald asks you to do – something about spreading cheeks and smiling, I should imagine.

  143. 143
    Clime Acts says:

    @LAC:

    Weird. See a shrink.

  144. 144
    noabsolutes says:

    Um, weird that somebody brought up ABL so early in the thread. Sensitive, much?

    Part of the issues at issue: some evidence points to Manning being transgender– Private Manning used female pronouns and the name “Breanna” in the online correspondence that has been brought up in the case. I’m *intensely* concerned that the inhumane treatment to which Private Manning was subjected had to do with gender identity; this is something repealing DADT doesn’t address and something that has nothing to do with Manning’s role in the alleged leaks.

    Given the evidence, I feel like we can make a rational assessment: we don’t have evidence that Manning had anything to do with a giant Wikileaks conspiracy. We do have evidence that Manning maintained a gender identity targeted 100% legally in the military and civilian institutions. One of these things is a crime for which Private Manning was never formally accused, let alone convicted; the other is even more insidious.

    http://feministing.com/2011/12.....a-manning/

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/po.....a-manning/

    http://www.washingtonblade.com.....-disorder/

  145. 145
    Steve in DC says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Most boot camps involve some amounts of abuse. The special schools for various units get far worse, rangers, seals, SF, get out right mean. Beyond that many of us had to go through a course called SERE. Which can involve, among other things, waterboarding.

    That’s how we ginned up what we did to people at GITMO and beyond. We just took the same tools we used on own people that we got from the Chinese and let it rip. But it’s not like thousands of military don’t go through this sort of thing every year.

    That’s also leaving out the playful “go through the CS gas chamber” every military member has to go through, force chemical gassing someone would fall under torture would it not?

    Manning is a lunatic that should have had his clearance ripped, been thrown out, and then had his spike on a pike as what not to do (violent actions to peers), his superiors failed to do that. Shame on them and they should share the blame.

    At the same time, his treatment is standard for civilians, and even tame at that. So when you feel like arguing that issue that’s been in place for decades call me about Manning. Let alone the fact that military treatment for special units and people can get so astronomically worse it’s almost comical that this is causing people a stomach ache.

    So, other than him being gay and a poster child for wikileaks… what is out of the normal as to what happened? And if you are mad now, what about the last few decades, far worse things have happened to far better people, but nobody gave a shit till now?

  146. 146

    @bourbaki:

    Bradley Manning was held in solitary confinement for 11 months and has still yet to be charged after almost 22 months.

    No, he was initially charged on 7/5/2010, just over a month after he was arrested. Then his lawyer filed for a fitness- read: sanity/mental competence- hearing which, after investigation, occurred in 4/2011…There was more investigating to determine how the Army would proceed, and then the Article 32 hearing (and it’s this that makes it confusing) convened in 12/2011, with a recommendation from the presiding officer to go with a court-martial coming in 1/2012…Then he was formally charged- formal charges requiring an Article 32 hearing- in 2/2012.

    So maybe you’re confused by the way the UCMJ, with its process of initial then formal charges differs from the civil code, but he was charged much earlier than you seem to think.

  147. 147
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve in DC: You seem to be forgetting the voluntary nature of military service. I may choose to do a variety of things that is done to me without my consent would be criminal in nature. Contact sports involve behavior that absent consent would constitute battery. Sex involves behavior that absent consent would, be definition, constitute rape. Voluntary participation matters. In addition, Ranger School, SF training, and the rest allow the participant to quit. That matters as well. Finally, as Cole linked fairly near the top of the thread, the Navy determined that Manning’s treatment did not comport with its own rules. Ranger School and the others are not lawless places. Conducting harsh training of volunteers who can quit at any within carefully defined rules and procedures is not the same thing as abusive treatment of prisoners who do not have the ability to end the treatment at any time.

  148. 148
    LAC says:

    @Clime Acts:

    Hey, look up irrelevant – see you

    Funny how someone who gets off on Obots heads “exploding” thinks I am weird. But go ahead, have the last word. Your type always needs to.

  149. 149
    Phoebe says:

    @Mnemosyne: Just because we do it to prisoners all over the country doesn’t mean it’s not torture. The definition of torture doesn’t depend on who’s doing it, or who’s getting it.

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