3 thoughts on “Bradley Manning

  1. I have two rules that come into play here. The first is, when a matter is under judicial oversight, it is best not to develop too much moral outrage based on what the lawyer for one side says. I would put a lot more trust in the decision of a judge who hears both sides than in a blogger who considers Barack Obama “the greatest moral leader of our lifetime.”
    The second is, the criminal justice system is an extremely degrading and brutal enterprise. So if you hear complaint about the treatment of a particular prisoner, you can be sure that he is not being treated worse than thousands of other prisoners, and that his situation is only being publicized to advance someone’s political agenda.
    As an example, compare this minor brouhaha about Bradley Manning with the complete silence that greeted the prison murder of John Geoghan. Nobody’s political agenda was served by complaining about John Geoghan, so nobody did.

  2. Yes, his treatment is horrifying. The U.S. has sunk very low in how it treats prisoners. (I also hope I never do anything that seriously upsets the government and military— I would never be able to survive such routine cruelties. Which, I suppose is the purpose of making an example of someone like Bradley Manning.)
    I do find some comfort that there are people, including the bloggers and journalists that you listed, who continue to try to do something to better the situation.
    Thanks for the links.

  3. I’m also horrified, though in general I find the details to terrifying to follow (as with CIA black sites, rendition, and torture by Americans).
    I agree that relying on factual information provided by a defense attorney is not unbiased (though ignoring them is also inappropriate).
    We should be horrified by Manning’s treatment, though. If the facts alleged are true, are a violation of the principles our country is based on.
    The existence of evil elsewhere in the system never makes it wrong to complain about the existence of evil in any particular place. It’s hypocritical and problematic if you complain about evil in one place (Egypt) and approve of it elsewhere (Iran), but one is allowed to focus on the evil you find particularly troublesome.
    Manning has not been tried and convicted, making his maltreatment similar to Alan Stanford, and not Geoghan
    Manning’s treatment doesn’t seem to be one of omission (not protecting him) but one of commission, with not just encouragement, but action by the state. (Unlike the beating death or serious injuries of Geoghan & Stanford).

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