Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

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Taktix®
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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by Taktix® » 21 Aug 2013, 15:47

Jadagul wrote:
lunchstealer wrote:
Andrew wrote:Time served would be plenty.
And compensation for the cruel and unusual conditions of said time served.

I think 'he's a hero' and 'he should serve time' are not mutually exclusive. The UCMJ may or may not be a joke, but no jail time at all would encourage too many people to be wannabe heroes. The stuff he plead to should've been enough to send the message that 'thou shalt not just leak shit all willy nilly'.
I'd be okay with that result. I'd also be okay with something somewhat stiffer, though I do like the idea someone suggested a month or so ago of declaring "I normally would give a longer sentence but his treatment to date has been intolerable and so I'm letting him off with time already served". But 35 years is rather excessive.

But I don't think he should have done what he did, and even if he should have it's important to at least have enough consequences that people don't do that sort of thing trivially. (That burden has been met and more, to be clear).
I agree, civil disobedience as a political statement, if that is what Manning was going for, almost requires some sort of punishment to be effective (see MLK, Jr., Gandhi, Henry David Thoreau)...
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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by lunchstealer » 21 Aug 2013, 16:53

A former marine-intelligence-guy-turned-lawyer being interviewed on NPR was waxing all 'guys on who've been on the ground see all the harm from these leaks', and then pointed out that Manning had self-reported problems, and sought help but was effectively ignored prior to the leaks. He felt that Manning was then exploited by Assange et al, and he felt there should be changes. He said that people who self-report things like chemical addiction or affairs should perhaps be treated differently because having them keep those secrets makes them more easily exploited.

In the course of this, he pointed out that when people have these dirty secrets, keeping those issues hidden was harmful to them, and that the secrets were the problem.

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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by Andrew » 21 Aug 2013, 16:56

lunchstealer wrote:A former marine-intelligence-guy-turned-lawyer being interviewed on NPR was waxing all 'guys on who've been on the ground see all the harm from these leaks',
I'd also note that I have yet to see the list of dead people caused by these leaks.
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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by Hugh Akston » 21 Aug 2013, 20:54

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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 21 Aug 2013, 22:43

Hugh Akston wrote:Good luck with that.
If Manning was a black Harvard professor, he'd have a shot.

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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by lunchstealer » 22 Aug 2013, 00:17

D.A. Ridgely wrote:
Hugh Akston wrote:Good luck with that.
If Manning was a black Harvard constitutional law professor, he'd have a shot.
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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by Jadagul » 22 Aug 2013, 02:16

Taktix® wrote:
Jadagul wrote:
lunchstealer wrote:
Andrew wrote:Time served would be plenty.
And compensation for the cruel and unusual conditions of said time served.

I think 'he's a hero' and 'he should serve time' are not mutually exclusive. The UCMJ may or may not be a joke, but no jail time at all would encourage too many people to be wannabe heroes. The stuff he plead to should've been enough to send the message that 'thou shalt not just leak shit all willy nilly'.
I'd be okay with that result. I'd also be okay with something somewhat stiffer, though I do like the idea someone suggested a month or so ago of declaring "I normally would give a longer sentence but his treatment to date has been intolerable and so I'm letting him off with time already served". But 35 years is rather excessive.

But I don't think he should have done what he did, and even if he should have it's important to at least have enough consequences that people don't do that sort of thing trivially. (That burden has been met and more, to be clear).
I agree, civil disobedience as a political statement, if that is what Manning was going for, almost requires some sort of punishment to be effective (see MLK, Jr., Gandhi, Henry David Thoreau)...
Reflecting on this comment, I think I finally put my finger on what's bugging me about seeing Manning as civil disobedience. We'll start by outsourcing to Fred Clark and the Dukes of Hazzard. Basic outline: the difference between civil disobedience and protesting is that in civil disobedience, you disobey the law that you think is unjust, and in protesting you disobey some other law. And civil disobedience has a power that pure protesting doesn't.

Bradley Manning is in a weird twilight state. Because he's not protesting the existence of the law allowing documents to be classified. I think this is the point someone periodically makes by saying that "if we're going to do diplomacy at all, then we need to be able to keep some stuff confidential"--most of us think it's okay for the government to classify _something_. So the law he broke isn't ipso facto unjust.

But he is protesting the way that law is being used. So he's not breaking some totally unrelated law--chaining himself to the White House fence to protest our classification regime, or whatever. He thinks way too many things have been classified, and to protest that he's releasing some things he thinks shouldn't have been classified.

So whether this counts as civil disobedience depends on whether you see "he broke the law protecting classified information, which is just," or "he broke the law protecting this information, which shouldn't be classified, and thus the law he's breaking is unjust."

It's clear that MLK shouldn't have been in jail for his civil disobedience. But that's because it's clear that the law shouldn't have existed, so of course it shouldn't have imprisoned him. With Manning that sort of thing is way less clear because the law in question needs to exist, and was just being misused.

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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by Taktix® » 22 Aug 2013, 09:46

Jadagul wrote:
Taktix® wrote:
Jadagul wrote:
lunchstealer wrote:
Andrew wrote:Time served would be plenty.
And compensation for the cruel and unusual conditions of said time served.

I think 'he's a hero' and 'he should serve time' are not mutually exclusive. The UCMJ may or may not be a joke, but no jail time at all would encourage too many people to be wannabe heroes. The stuff he plead to should've been enough to send the message that 'thou shalt not just leak shit all willy nilly'.
I'd be okay with that result. I'd also be okay with something somewhat stiffer, though I do like the idea someone suggested a month or so ago of declaring "I normally would give a longer sentence but his treatment to date has been intolerable and so I'm letting him off with time already served". But 35 years is rather excessive.

But I don't think he should have done what he did, and even if he should have it's important to at least have enough consequences that people don't do that sort of thing trivially. (That burden has been met and more, to be clear).
I agree, civil disobedience as a political statement, if that is what Manning was going for, almost requires some sort of punishment to be effective (see MLK, Jr., Gandhi, Henry David Thoreau)...
Reflecting on this comment, I think I finally put my finger on what's bugging me about seeing Manning as civil disobedience. We'll start by outsourcing to Fred Clark and the Dukes of Hazzard. Basic outline: the difference between civil disobedience and protesting is that in civil disobedience, you disobey the law that you think is unjust, and in protesting you disobey some other law. And civil disobedience has a power that pure protesting doesn't.

Bradley Manning is in a weird twilight state. Because he's not protesting the existence of the law allowing documents to be classified. I think this is the point someone periodically makes by saying that "if we're going to do diplomacy at all, then we need to be able to keep some stuff confidential"--most of us think it's okay for the government to classify _something_. So the law he broke isn't ipso facto unjust.

But he is protesting the way that law is being used. So he's not breaking some totally unrelated law--chaining himself to the White House fence to protest our classification regime, or whatever. He thinks way too many things have been classified, and to protest that he's releasing some things he thinks shouldn't have been classified.

So whether this counts as civil disobedience depends on whether you see "he broke the law protecting classified information, which is just," or "he broke the law protecting this information, which shouldn't be classified, and thus the law he's breaking is unjust."

It's clear that MLK shouldn't have been in jail for his civil disobedience. But that's because it's clear that the law shouldn't have existed, so of course it shouldn't have imprisoned him. With Manning that sort of thing is way less clear because the law in question needs to exist, and was just being misused.
Agreed. The point I awkwardly tried to make was that, whether this counts as civil disobedience or not, the punishment component must be there in order to make an impact with the public at large. Or, in other words, you have to kill a martyr to make them a martyr...

That link upthread where some "expert" was trying to claim that Manning was mentally unstable is trying to undercut the sacrifice he made. You military guys correct me if I'm wrong, but I would assume one is made aware of the consequences of leaking before being given a security clearance, no? So he knew what he was facing by doing this.

This expands lunchstealer's point that "'he's a hero' and 'he should serve time' are not mutually exclusive" because, in this case, the former kinda depends on the latter...
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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by Taktix® » 22 Aug 2013, 10:55

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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 22 Aug 2013, 11:02

Not sure the distinction holds up under careful scrutiny. Sit-ins, for example, could be both demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience. I'd also draw the distinction that the civil disobedient must be willing to suffer the consequences of his disobedience, not actually suffer them. The state often wisely refused to punish and thus make a popular martyr out of a civil disobedient and that does undermine the effect of the act but doesn't change its character.

Unfortunately, there is no accepted phrase to denote acts of legal disobedience made in good conscience but which the actor has no desire to be caught or punished. Speeding under many obviously save circumstances, smoking marijuana, drinking or serving alcohol as/to an 18 year old, any number of consensual sexual acts, etc. Disobeying an unjust law or a law obedience to which would be unjust under the circumstances doesn't seem to have its own ethical category but it does require its own sort of ethical consideration.

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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by Mo » 22 Aug 2013, 11:09

Taktix® wrote:The timing of this is curious: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/ ... JI20130822
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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by fyodor » 22 Aug 2013, 11:50

D.A. Ridgely wrote:Not sure the distinction holds up under careful scrutiny. Sit-ins, for example, could be both demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience. I'd also draw the distinction that the civil disobedient must be willing to suffer the consequences of his disobedience, not actually suffer them. The state often wisely refused to punish and thus make a popular martyr out of a civil disobedient and that does undermine the effect of the act but doesn't change its character.

Unfortunately, there is no accepted phrase to denote acts of legal disobedience made in good conscience but which the actor has no desire to be caught or punished. Speeding under many obviously save circumstances, smoking marijuana, drinking or serving alcohol as/to an 18 year old, any number of consensual sexual acts, etc. Disobeying an unjust law or a law obedience to which would be unjust under the circumstances doesn't seem to have its own ethical category but it does require its own sort of ethical consideration.
I believe Jadagul would not categorize the sit-in as civil disobedience but merely protest based on his stated criteria. That said, you know what I always say, which is that the meanings of words are inevitably amorphous at the margins and thus it doesn't behoove us to get too hung up on the words themselves. Also, your disinction of smoking pot brings two things to mind. One is what my aunt the hot-shit linquist and my mentor on the subject told me about how perfect definitions simply do not exist. Define any word as precisely as you possibly can and a clever enough person will find a convincing counter-example. That said, I think the commonly understood notion of civil disobedience generally implies some public showing of the disobedience for the very purpose of exposing the law's unjustness. In this sense, smoking pot in a smoke-in type event would more likely qualify than smoking in the privacy of your home (not that there's really any privacy in your home anymore, but you know what I mean! :-) )

EDIT: removed remnants of original draft!!
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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by Jadagul » 22 Aug 2013, 12:14

fyodor wrote:
D.A. Ridgely wrote:Not sure the distinction holds up under careful scrutiny. Sit-ins, for example, could be both demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience. I'd also draw the distinction that the civil disobedient must be willing to suffer the consequences of his disobedience, not actually suffer them. The state often wisely refused to punish and thus make a popular martyr out of a civil disobedient and that does undermine the effect of the act but doesn't change its character.

Unfortunately, there is no accepted phrase to denote acts of legal disobedience made in good conscience but which the actor has no desire to be caught or punished. Speeding under many obviously save circumstances, smoking marijuana, drinking or serving alcohol as/to an 18 year old, any number of consensual sexual acts, etc. Disobeying an unjust law or a law obedience to which would be unjust under the circumstances doesn't seem to have its own ethical category but it does require its own sort of ethical consideration.
I believe Jadagul would not categorize the sit-in as civil disobedience but merely protest based on his stated criteria. That said, you know what I always say, which is that the meanings of words are inevitably amorphous at the margins and thus it doesn't behoove us to get too hung up on the words themselves. Also, your disinction of smoking pot brings two things to mind. One is what my aunt the hot-shit linquist and my mentor on the subject told me about how perfect definitions simply do not exist. Define any word as precisely as you possibly can and a clever enough person will find a convincing counter-example. That said, I think the commonly understood notion of civil disobedience generally implies some public showing of the disobedience for the very purpose of exposing the law's unjustness. In this sense, smoking pot in a smoke-in type event would more likely qualify than smoking in the privacy of your home (not that there's really any privacy in your home anymore, but you know what I mean! :-) )

EDIT: removed remnants of original draft!!
I think DAR was saying that "private pot smoking" isn't civil disobedience and we don't have a good term for the class of actions it fits into.

Also, I agree--definitions are all arbitrary. :)

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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 22 Aug 2013, 18:01

Well, this certainly adds a twist to the story.

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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by thoreau » 24 Aug 2013, 12:57

What's bothering me about my side in the Manning debate is that Manning's announcement of a transgender identity has sucked all the oxygen out of the room. Transgender rights are important, but before we devote all of our energy to the proper pronoun for this whistle-blower, why not talk a bit about the injustice of locking up a whistle-blower for 35 years?

There's a certain type of liberal who would fall all over themselves to praise Obama if the administration made sure that Pfc. Manning's isolation cell is in a gender-appropriate prison, and gave her hormone therapy in that isolation cell. It's like when the Gitmo inmates on hunger strike were only force-fed at night during Ramadan, and the military declared that gays and lesbians can serve openly in unjust wars. Or a bailed-out bank that is very devoted to diversity in hiring. It's...well, it's something. I'm not sure that it's progress.
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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by Andrew » 24 Aug 2013, 13:32

It's a form of co-opting.
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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by Hugh Akston » 24 Aug 2013, 15:02

Andrew wrote:It's a form of co-opting.
Co-opting the identity or co-opting the debate?
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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by thoreau » 24 Aug 2013, 16:52

Hugh Akston wrote:
Andrew wrote:It's a form of co-opting.
Co-opting the identity or co-opting the debate?
Probably some of both. I know some Serious Liberals who say all the right things on cultural issues but are pretty supportive of establishments on issues that involve economic or security policy. It's a way for them to pretend to be liberals. At the same time, they also manage to derail the debate.
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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by Eric the .5b » 24 Aug 2013, 18:59

How is it an announcement in the first place? They were talking about Manning being TG back before the trial.
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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by thoreau » 24 Aug 2013, 19:06

Eric the .5b wrote:How is it an announcement in the first place? They were talking about Manning being TG back before the trial.
My understanding is that recently Manning "made it official", and requested that supporters begin using the first name "Chelsea" and the pronoun "she."
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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by Eric the .5b » 24 Aug 2013, 19:09

thoreau wrote:
Eric the .5b wrote:How is it an announcement in the first place? They were talking about Manning being TG back before the trial.
My understanding is that recently Manning "made it official", and requested that supporters begin using the first name "Chelsea" and the pronoun "she."
Ah, fair enough.

("Chelsea", though? I didn't think anyone but the Clintons liked that name.)
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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by lunchstealer » 24 Aug 2013, 23:12

Eric the .5b wrote:
thoreau wrote:
Eric the .5b wrote:How is it an announcement in the first place? They were talking about Manning being TG back before the trial.
My understanding is that recently Manning "made it official", and requested that supporters begin using the first name "Chelsea" and the pronoun "she."
Ah, fair enough.

("Chelsea", though? I didn't think anyone but the Clintons liked that name.)
You're clearly not familiar with late-night basic-cable gossip humor.
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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by Eric the .5b » 25 Aug 2013, 20:33

lunchstealer wrote:
Eric the .5b wrote:
thoreau wrote:
Eric the .5b wrote:How is it an announcement in the first place? They were talking about Manning being TG back before the trial.
My understanding is that recently Manning "made it official", and requested that supporters begin using the first name "Chelsea" and the pronoun "she."
Ah, fair enough.

("Chelsea", though? I didn't think anyone but the Clintons liked that name.)
You're clearly not familiar with late-night basic-cable gossip humor.
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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 31 Aug 2013, 12:38

Eric the .5b wrote:
thoreau wrote:
Eric the .5b wrote:How is it an announcement in the first place? They were talking about Manning being TG back before the trial.
My understanding is that recently Manning "made it official", and requested that supporters begin using the first name "Chelsea" and the pronoun "she."
Ah, fair enough.

("Chelsea", though? I didn't think anyone but the Clintons liked that name.)
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Re: Wikileaks - Diplomatic Cables Edition

Post by pistoffnick » 17 Jan 2017, 16:52

Obama commutes Chelsea Manning's sentence.

Didn't Assange say he was willing to let himself be extradited if Obama would let Manning go? Called his bluff
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