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While U.S. leaders claim that the American military fights for American freedoms, Army Colonel Denise Lind, the judge in this case, nevertheless, allows military prosecutors to litigate secretly from public view. This is not surprising especially since U.S. citizens do not own and operate their own government like citizens do in real democracies.

While U.S. leaders claim that the American military fights for American freedoms, Army Colonel Denise Lind, the judge in this case, nevertheless, allows military prosecutors to litigate secretly from public view. This is not surprising especially since U.S. citizens do not own and operate their own government like citizens do in real democracies.

Judge Lind would normally be a public servant in any free country instead she functions as a tooth in the big bad gears of the military-industrial machinery. The prosecution’s documents and other evidence filed in the case are not open to public view.

Judge Lind also keeps her trial orders “top secret.” Somehow Judge Lind operates by an alternative set of laws since she obviously marches to the tune of her dictating chain of command. (1) She operates in a class-based judicial system and Bradley Manning lives in the lower class. So, Judge Lind follows procedures accordingly. She follows the rules of the powerful, not the rule of laws. She is a spoke in the powerful wheels of the big green machine that rolls over the First Amendment right of public access to criminal proceedings which applies both to the U.S. Supreme Court decisions and to courts-martials. (2)

On April 25, 2012, Judge Lind denied the defense motion to dismiss all 22 charges during a pretrial hearing in Bradley Manning's court martial. Defense Attorney Coombs, whose fees are paid by supporters, argued that the prosecution failed to follow discovery procedures for evidence. The Army still sniffs through the thousands of so-called “top secret” documents for a proof that Manning ‘willfully intended’ that the leaks damaged U.S. interests. (3) Judge Lind has scheduled the trial from September to October this year, allotting the Army time to sift out a reason to throw away the key to Manning’s cell.

Private First Class Bradley Manning, 24, a U.S. Army intelligence analyst, was arrested at a U.S. base in Iraq on charges of leaking classified material to Wikileaks, a whistleblower website.(4) Manning sits in a cell since May 2010 without a trial. To date that’s more than 700 days, including fourteen months of mind-bending solitary confinement from May 2010 until July 2011. That was solitary confinement with suicide prevention, meaning mostly without his clothes, making for a humiliating torture in the same ilk as at Guantanamo. According to most treatises—Geneva Convention, the UN, etc.—this is torture, war crimes, and grounds to throw out the case.

After protests from constitutional law groups, the Army moved Manning to a medium-security prison, allowing interaction with other “detainees,” a term the government uses these days for people held indefinitely for “suspicions”—a perversion of fundamental American rights reflected in the totalitarian Patriot Act and the fascist NDAA of which the Taliban would be proud. (5) Several powerful people, including Pres. Obama, have already condemned Manning publicly. This is a grounds for dismissal.(6)

The Army got around to arraigning Manning in February 2012 with the most serious charges: communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source, and aiding the enemy, a capital offense. Military Prosecutors argue that the leaks helped al Qaeda. (7) So far the prosecutors say that they would not seek the death penalty.

Judge Lind knows how to play the political games. Like many others, she crawled her way up the military ladder to make colonel, inching her way now toward more power. She must have become one tough cookie, pursuing a career in an organization founded on testosterone-ladled machismo. As an organization, the military is paradoxically the farthest thing from any whiff of democracy with its dictatorial and draconian chain of command that demands soldiers get the dirty work done—and even while it claims to protect American freedoms. And while many soldiers, like Manning, (8) increasingly see the U.S. invasions of the Middle East as a perversion of truth and of American values by dint of its secrecy, its use of torture, its murder of thousands of civilians of all ages.

The U.S. military along with its justice seems to enjoy taking exceptions to the law when it needs its top security in the politically darkened court room as well as out on battle fields made soggy by the blood for oil exchange. Some of the documents that Manning allegedly leaked include videos of Apache helicopters pilots killing unarmed Iraqis and Reuter journalists as if they were mere targets in a video game. (9) The secrecy of information in Manning’s case and about everything else in these endless wars delivers an indictment against the U.S. systems of justice and governance by its massive volumes of secrets.

It was secrecy that enabled powerful people to demand that the U.S. military bomb more than 2 million Vietnamese and Cambodians, mostly rice farmers. Even big fancy U.S. aircrafts that drop bombs from the sky can also commit terrorist actions.

We cannot forget the Bay of Tonkin incident, a false-flag justification to initiate war in Vietnam. Likewise, the invasion of Iraq was planned in 1998, four years before 9/11, as part of the NPAC. (10)  It just so happened that the 9/11/2001 disaster created the much needed false-flag justification to invade Iraq and Afghanistan in order to secure the oil reserves—even though applying the same money and effort to develop a clean energy industry would be a much more beneficial solution, not to mention moral. At the detriment of the world, the powerful people who own the status-quo oil industry have vested interests in acquiring and selling more oil even if it means killing for it.

Retaliation plays a part into this farcical prosecution of Manning because the classified documents, whoever leaked them, reveal the incompetence and bad faith of many powerful people as was the case in the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War. (11)  And since Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers leak, the military now stamps even its toilet paper as “top secret” to the point that the American public doesn’t have the slightest clue about its country’s history or what they pay in lives and taxes for wars.

With this mentality, the U.S. military has drifted away from its moorings to any accountability and far from the civilian world. (12) “A foreign policy based on secrets and spin has manifestly failed us. In a democracy, statecraft cannot function if it is shrouded in secrecy.” (13) Perhaps the only way to regain a glimmer of democracy is to require a general election for all U.S. invasions, especially since the U.S. “elite” are totally incapable of foreign policy or domestic policy as well considering the financial terrorism on Wall Street, subsidized by taxpayer funds.

With so much use of dark secrecy and manipulation of the laws and the media, powerful people crush the checks and balances like ugly road kill. Without proper oversight, regulations and investigations, America has become an empire in which we live not by rules of law, but by rules of powerful people.

In Glenn Greenwald’s recent book, With Liberty and Justice for Some, we find case after case revealing how powerful people apply the justice system differently for two social classes, the regular citizen, like Bradley Manning, and the powerful people, like G.W. Bush. G.W. Bush blatantly broke the law by colluding with telecommunication corporations to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens’ emails and telephones in 2005—a serious crime—without the slightest legal action: (14) The problem extends well beyond such inequalities. The issue isn’t just that those with political influence and financial power have some advantages in our judicial system. It is much worse than that. Those with political and financial clout are routinely allowed to break the law with no legal repercussions whatsoever. (15)

The case of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame resembles the mirror inverse of Manning’s case in several ways. (16) G. W. Bush and his cabinet had contracted Wilson, Plame’s husband, to investigate the Nigerian government as a seller of (yellow cake) plutonium for Saddam Hussein’s alleged WMD developments. When Wilson reported the truth that no such link between Niger and Iraq existed, the Bush cabinet retaliated by leaking Plame’s cover as a secret CIA agent specialized in WMDs. Plame and Wilson called for an investigation, claiming that this leak put Plame and her informants and colleagues in a perilous situation.

The Bush cabinet played a frat-boy prank on the judicial investigation by using Scotter Libby—a longtime member in the neocon fraternity house (PNAC)—as the patsy. Libby was convicted on a handful of felonies. But good’ol frat-boy G.W. Bush commuted Libby’s felonies after only a few weeks in a high-class jail. “This rare triumph for equality before the law could not have happened but for an improbable set of circumstances. First, Libby had made the mistake of crossing the CIA, which loathes any outing of covert agents. Because it was the CIA that had asked the Department of Justice to investigate the leak, the request had to be taken seriously….These circumstances combined to produce the rarest of all Washington events: the prosecution of a truly powerful individual for serious crimes committed while in office.” (17)

Our so-called leaders still attempt to justify aggressive invasions and occupations in unrelated Iraq and Afghanistan as if the 9/11/2001 disaster called for colonizing and controlling the oil regions. We remember that 15 of the 19 hijackers were born and raised in Saudi Arabia, and that none of them had anything to do with Iraq or Afghanistan. Powerful people in the U.S. used 9/11 to hijack the American people’s imaginations and fears into frivolous war and succeeded in doing this by using a “false flag” like the Bay of Tonkin incident in Vietnam. “Consider our invasion of Iraq, a war based on willful distortions, government secrecy, and the complaisant failure of our major media to ask the important questions.” (18)

The powerful people in the U.S. carry out state terrorism. "Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged against provisions against danger, real or pretended from abroad." (19)

The more the U.S. military invades foreign countries, the more the invaded and occupied foreigners—the Taliban or Khmer Rouge, ragheads, gooks or whatever—will fight to defend their country. The more powerful people can make a farce of American justice, the more the regular Americans become as oppressed as Bradley Manning and the unarmed Iraqis shot down by those Apache helicopters pilots. (20) Bradley Manning is a national hero for shining a little light on an America groping in the dark without a moral compass.

Sources:

1) The Passion of Bradley Manning, by Chase Madar, Or Books, 2012, Kindle page (location) 54.

2) Secrecy in the trial: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

3) Defense motion denied: http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

4) http://wikileaks.org/

5) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA): it strips away many of the most basic civil rights in American law: http://en.wikipedia.org/...

6) Officials publicly condemn Manning: http://www.youtube.com/...

7) Judge refuses to dismiss: http://www.stuff.co.nz/...

8) The Passion of Bradley Manning, by Chase Madar, Or Books, 2012, Kindle page (location) 494.

9) http://www.youtube.com/...

10) PNAC: Project for the New American Century: http://en.wikipedia.org/...

11) Pentagon Papers, by Daniel Ellsberg, Penguin (Non-Classics), Sept. 2003. And a recent documentary on this story: The Most Dangerous Man in America: http://www.amazon.com/...

12) Drift, by Rachel Maddow, 275 pp., Crown Publishers, NY, New York. And a New York Times review: http://www.nytimes.com/...

13) The Passion of Bradley Manning, Ibid, Kindle page (location 62-63).  

14) With Liberty and Justice for Some, by Glenn Greenwald, Metropolitan Books; Oct. 2011; Kindle page (location) 30

15) Ibid.; Kindle page (location) 25.

16) Joe Wilson & Valerie Plame vs Dick (Chickenhawk) Cheney: http://www.youtube.com/...   See also the movie Fair Game.

17) With Liberty and Justice for Some; Ibid.: Kindle page (location) 516-518.

18) The Passion of Bradley Manning, Ibid. Kindle page (location) 52.  See also the documentary on secrecy: WikiRebels:  http://www.youtube.com/...

19) Letters and Other Writings of James Madison; J.B. Lippincott & Co.; 1865; Vol. II, p. 141. Available on Amazon.com

20) With Liberty and Justice for Some: Kindle page (location) 63-66.  “Alexander Hamilton did not often see eye to eye with Paine, but on this he heartily agreed. “The instruments by which [government] must act are either the AUTHORITY of the laws or FORCE,” he wrote in 1794. “If the first be destroyed, the last must be substituted; and where this becomes the ordinary instrument of government there is an end to liberty!” Like Paine and Hamilton, Adams, in his 1776 Thoughts on Government, put the rule of law at the top of his list of core principles for a free and legitimate government: “The very definition of a republic is ‘an empire of laws, and not of men.’…Good government is an empire of laws.”

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III, arodb, slatsg, atana

    Mark Biskeborn is a writer. His most recent novels: Mojave Winds and A Sufi's Ghost. Available at amazon.com or bn.com

    by Mark Biskeborn on Thu May 31, 2012 at 04:12:52 PM PDT

  •  If he had released a couple of (8+ / 0-)

    items showing bad acts on our part, I'd sympathize with him. He'd still have to serve his time, but I'd view him perhaps as a bit of a hero, willing to spend time in jail in order to be a whistleblower. But he released over 400,000 cables, way too many for him to even know what was contained in any more than a small percentage of them.  What he did was idiotic, really, showing utter disregard for what might happen to the geopolitical landscape (not to mention the lives of sources) and for his oath. I feel sorry for him only because he seems more like a messed-up kid than an evil person. He made a terrible mistake at such a young age, and now faces a lifetime behind bars. But he is no hero.

    •  See my comment below -- Parallel Vietnam/Iraq (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slatsg, atana

      Please, take a look at my comment below, Parallel Vietnam—Iraq.

      You might already know the story of Daniel Ellsberg.
      If not, you cold read his recent book.
      It's slimmer.
      Or take a look at the new documentary movie: "The Most Dangerous Man in America"

      (by the way, the title of this new documentary is a quote by H. Kissinger...or should I say Doctor Kissinger as he always insisted)

      cheers.

      Mark Biskeborn is a writer. His most recent novels: Mojave Winds and A Sufi's Ghost. Available at amazon.com or bn.com

      by Mark Biskeborn on Thu May 31, 2012 at 06:54:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can you go back and write this a bit better? (0+ / 0-)

    Right now it's not good advocacy at all.  It's a serious enough issue that you shouldn't get into it unless you can do a good enough job to help.

    Dear conservatives: If instead of "marriage equality" we call it "voluntary government registration of committed homosexuals," are you on board?

    by Rich in PA on Thu May 31, 2012 at 04:52:17 PM PDT

  •  It sounds like smth a defense lawyer would (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erush1345

    write as a part of the media strategy for the trial. What does Gulf of Tonkin have to do with this particular case?

    •  Parallel Vietnam—Iraq (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG, slatsg, atana

      The Bay of Tonkin incident was a secretive manipulation of the facts. As such it was a secret psych-ops operation to justify the Vietnam War.

      As a "criminal" whistle-blower, Daniel Ellsberg was the military analyst who brought this to light. And later Sec. of Defense McNamara (under JFK) confessed publicly to this manipulation of the facts to trick the American public to go to war. (look it up on Wikipedia...I'm not making this up...it's part of our American heritage and history).

      Likewise, for the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, G.W. Bush and his cabinet used the 9/11 attack as a “false flag” (belli causa) a manipulation of the facts in order to rally the American people to become stricken by fear as a psychops to obtain complete acquiescence to go to war.

      In this way, G.W. Bush and Co. used this same sort of ruse to invade Iraq/Afghanistan, which had absolutely no relationship with al Qaeda and much less with the 9/11 attack.

      In both cases, the false justification to invade Vietnam and the false justification to invade Iraq, secrets were kept by the government in order to manipulate a rush to bombing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

      In the case of Daniel Elsberg, who blew the whistle on the Tonkin incident (and many other incidents) by revealing thousands of “top secret” documents.

      The general zeitgeist of the time in America did not comply with the authority of the government and the industrial-military collusion (complex) to maintain constant wars for many reasons, mostly for profits in the plunder of natural resources. At that time, a majority of Americans questioned authority.

      However, that "zeitgeist" has changed.
      Now, unlike during the Vietnam War, in our own time, most of the American people seem to acquiesce with the powerful people, the elected officials in our government and the mainstream media (now owned completely by large conglomerates) which control the national narrative.

      As Daniel Ellsberg now explains over and over again, his whistle-blowing in the sixties helped to stop the Vietnam War.

      But in our time, few Americans seem to understand that the war in the Middle East is mostly a use of secrets that enable the “public officials” to invade countries like Iraq for the sake of the oil, while at the same time claiming to “spread democracy” or to halt Saddam Hussein (a puppet dictator gone native), or to destroy Iraq’s WMDs (which never existed).

      The parallel between Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning is surprising, however, the manipulation of the mainstream media today has gained possession of the American public’s brain as Daniel Ellsberg explains at many public events.

      Mark Biskeborn is a writer. His most recent novels: Mojave Winds and A Sufi's Ghost. Available at amazon.com or bn.com

      by Mark Biskeborn on Thu May 31, 2012 at 06:43:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are some differences. Ellsberg knew what (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sebastianguy99, erush1345, doc2

        he was releasing while Manning didn't. Also, Manning is in the military. And Ellsberg was tried (and acquitted) so I don't see why Manning shouldn't be tried as well.

        •  FG - Ellsberg walked because the prosecution (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          erush1345, doc2, FG

          completely mishandled the case. With any level of competent prosecution Ellsberg would have spent 30 years in prison.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Thu May 31, 2012 at 09:22:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ellsberg - Manning (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            atana

            Manning is in the military, as explained, so he is being tried by the military courts...the court matial.

            Yes.
            Ellsberg was not in the military during his trial...a civilian trail.

            Nixon's crew (Hunt, Libby, et al) broke into Ellsberg's office to steal away the some 4,100 documents.
            But they were found out and this was the beginning of the end for Nixon.
            It was the secrecy of Nixon's operations that allowed him to operate and break many laws.
            This is one of the main points: secrecy leads to corruption and abuse of power.

            Manning is being tried in a military court under the UMJC,
            it works a little differently than the civilian court.
            But a lot of the procedures and laws still hold in the court martial.

            Mark Biskeborn is a writer. His most recent novels: Mojave Winds and A Sufi's Ghost. Available at amazon.com or bn.com

            by Mark Biskeborn on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 09:28:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Ellsberg read all 4,100 documents? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          atana

          Do you believe that Ellsberg read all 4,100 documents that he released to the newspapers?

          Yes. I agree with you that Manning should be investigated and tried. But I'm cheering for his release just like Ellsberg is.

          Likewise, I believe that G.W. Bush should also be investigated and tried in court for all of his and his cabinet's highly suspecious and alleged crimes.

          Why does the elite walk free and without the slightest question, while a guy like Manning is tortured and fed to the dogs?

          If we do not have a rule of law, then we have a rule of men. This means we have no justice.

          Mark Biskeborn is a writer. His most recent novels: Mojave Winds and A Sufi's Ghost. Available at amazon.com or bn.com

          by Mark Biskeborn on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 10:17:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, he was an analyst and it was his job. (0+ / 0-)

            It's unlikely that what Bush did was actually illegal. Stupid wars are not illegal although not prohibiting torture may be. But certainly there are people in Bush administration who committed crimes (actual torture, corruption in Iraq etc.) and they should be tried for them.

  •  Case law? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, erush1345, doc2
    Several powerful people, including Pres. Obama, have already condemned Manning publicly. This is a grounds for dismissal
    I would think that a reasonable justice system would frown on that sort of get out of jail free card.  Do you have any case law to support your position, or is it just a wild bullshit guess?
    •  Tainted jury (0+ / 0-)

      The president of the U.S. has already expressed his "opinion," as the Head Honcho, Commander in Chief. The president is, surprisingly, an extremely credible person in the eyes of many people.

      He can hold an overwhelming influence on the jury members. The jury is fixed. Over elected officials has also expressed their zeal to have Manning shot. What juror will ignore these statements?

      Mark Biskeborn is a writer. His most recent novels: Mojave Winds and A Sufi's Ghost. Available at amazon.com or bn.com

      by Mark Biskeborn on Thu May 31, 2012 at 05:56:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mark - under the UCMJ Manning has (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erush1345

        five levels of appeal, one of which is the POTUS, but also includes the SCOTUS. The POTUS may have seen the evidence against Manning and formed an opinion. I agree with you that the President should not have made any comments until the case reached him as Commander in Chief, but his comments will not, and should not, stop the court martial process.  

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Thu May 31, 2012 at 09:15:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Evidence withheld (0+ / 0-)

          That's one of the items mentioned and cited in my article.
          The judge is withholding evidence for the benefit of the prosecution.

          I am not an attorney, but it does look like the court martial procedings are not straight and legal.

          I'm not an expert on the law, especially not on military law, (UMJC), ...but...I've read several books that reveal how the military courts can and often do whatever the hell they want to do.
          One such case is documented in the book:
          Three Days in August.

          Mark Biskeborn is a writer. His most recent novels: Mojave Winds and A Sufi's Ghost. Available at amazon.com or bn.com

          by Mark Biskeborn on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 09:37:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  you could've just said, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        "no, I don't have any caselaw or legal basis for saying that."

    •  Bullshit Guess (0+ / 0-)

      I am not an attorney; so most any attorney can probable poke holes in the points in my article...but attorneys are trained to argue both sides.

      The defense for Manning can certainly poke holes at the court martial procedures and the public opinion as tainted by the U.S. President.

      These are similar points used in the defense for Ellsberg.

      Mark Biskeborn is a writer. His most recent novels: Mojave Winds and A Sufi's Ghost. Available at amazon.com or bn.com

      by Mark Biskeborn on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 09:32:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Couple of my own thoughts (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sebastianguy99, VClib, erush1345, doc2

    as a military attorney who has done over five years of military defense work, and also done prosecution work in the military (and having practiced in front of COL Lind as a military defense attorney).

    1. The time he spent with the Marines was wrong in many ways. I'm very glad he's gotten into the Army facility, and we've noticed no issues since he's been there.

    2. This kind of complicated case is going to take several  years to do right, and I do believe the Defense has also asked for delays in this case.

    3. Your allegations against COL Lind are, with all due respect, ridiculous. She's a dedicated public servant. She is very intelligent, and she isn't someone looking to suck up to anyone. She's not likely to make General, so at this point, there is absolutely no reason for her do anything other than what she thinks is right, correct or not.

    4. They are not going to seek the death penalty. There's stuff that would have had to happen already to get on that path.

    5. Do you really believe that these aren't Top Secret documents? I understand you think he had an obligation to reveal them, or that you think a hero for doing so, but you can't be denying the documents are in fact Top Secret; thus, there are rules for how classified evidence is revealed and used, and anyone can look them up in the 2008 Manual for Court-Martial.

    What folks don't understand about the military justice system is that it is not driven by the military attorneys (or judges or prosecutors). It is driven by commanders. Attorneys, sometimes to our eternal frustration, are merely advisers.

    So going after COL Lind or the military prosecutors in this case is just plain wrong.

    •  qazpim - thank you for your comment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erush1345, doc2, johnny wurster

      and adding some real world experience to the discussion. And thank you for your service to our country. I found the authors description of the Army's officer corps personally offensive.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Thu May 31, 2012 at 09:27:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Correction and Thanks (0+ / 0-)

      It's great to hear this from someone who's worked with Col. Lind.

      I did characterize her in a less than honorable light, but even in your description above, you indicate some weaknesses in her work in the Marines.

      My intension was not to go after Col. Lind per say, but I did want to point out how the military operates.
      As you say above, the military justice system is not driven by military attorneys (as in civilian courts) but by the commanders in the chain of command.

      I do respect and thank you for your comment. It's great to learn from people really doing this work.

      The strange thing in this discussion thread is that no one has picked at the elephant in the room...namely... the comparison between how G.W. Bush got away what IT SEEMS to be several major crimes--including war crimes--and no one questions this.

      Where as Manning's case seems to have more fans for the prosecution than for the defense. And even though the case for Ellsberg is similar, today, most Americans seem to want to just go with "the authorities" ...those in power.

      I still wonder if this has to do with how the mainstream media has influenced Americans. Are we now more prone to not question "authority."

      In any event, thanks again for your comments and first-hand experience in the military courts.  

      Mark Biskeborn is a writer. His most recent novels: Mojave Winds and A Sufi's Ghost. Available at amazon.com or bn.com

      by Mark Biskeborn on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 09:51:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If only what you say were true.... (0+ / 0-)

    Not the major thrust of two justice systems, something that is too common outside of military trials.  I believe Gov. Corzine is still walking around free after defrauding hundreds of people out of their life savings.  And of course there are the banksters who still may have destroyed our economic system...

    You write this:

    Our so-called leaders still attempt to justify aggressive invasions and occupations in unrelated Iraq and Afghanistan as if the 9/11/2001 disaster called for colonizing and controlling the oil regions.
    ------------
    We did invade as if we were about to control and colonize that country, yet we had no intention or will to do this.  This may have been immoral, but we would have gotten a return on our several trillion dollar investment.  But we have spent ourself into fiscal and moral bankruptcy, and given the country to home grown thugs, who can sell their oil to China or even Iran.

    Teddy Roosevelt would have occupied the country for a while to get paid off!

    •  The war was very profitable for those who matter (0+ / 0-)

      which would be the major stockholders of Haliburton: Dick Cheney, for example.

      •  Spoils of War (0+ / 0-)

        Yes. Point well made. Some powerful people in tall buildings made and still make a boat load of money on these invasions....and it ain't the guys carrying the guns with their boots on the desert ground.

        Mark Biskeborn is a writer. His most recent novels: Mojave Winds and A Sufi's Ghost. Available at amazon.com or bn.com

        by Mark Biskeborn on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 09:53:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Manning's case isn't about classism (0+ / 0-)

    It's about transphobia/homophobia.

    •  Good luck with that one. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster
    •  A big difference from Ellsberg (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      atana

      Yes. Point well done. Ellsberg was a honored, decorated Marine, served his country (at least he fought in Vietnam...which may or not be a service in the big picture).
      And Ellsberg was a clean-cut married man when he revealed the Pentagon Papers.
      While Manning has a lot of other personal issues that weigh him done in the eyes of those commanders who "advise" the path of the court martial.
      Manning is "gender criminal" an outcaste on the margins. That makes him an easier target than someone like Ellsberg, a smart, well educated patriot living within the norms of gender "normal" behavior.

      Consider Lisbeth in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" with Manning. Do "gender criminals" have fewer rights?

      Mark Biskeborn is a writer. His most recent novels: Mojave Winds and A Sufi's Ghost. Available at amazon.com or bn.com

      by Mark Biskeborn on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 10:01:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is called UCMJ (0+ / 0-)

    The Uniform Code Of Military Justice.

    The military defends democracy.  It doesn't practice it you flipping idiot.

    Or as we like to say:

    "If you can't take a joke, you shouldn't have joined."

    Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

    •  Funny (0+ / 0-)

      You made me laugh. You went straight to the point.
      It's a good point.
      But what you say that the military defends democracy.

      Let's hope you're right about that.
      Who's democracy does the military defend?
      The elites sitting on their fat asses in tall buildings?
      Or the guys out in the desert protecting and maintaining easy access to the oil fields?

      Mark Biskeborn is a writer. His most recent novels: Mojave Winds and A Sufi's Ghost. Available at amazon.com or bn.com

      by Mark Biskeborn on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 10:06:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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