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Published 3 years ago by drunkenninja with 19 Comments

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  • SMcIntyre
    -1

    I know this is a difficult concept for some people to grasp-- particularly people like Chelsea Manning who seem to think that rules don't apply to them, but actions have consequences. Choices have consequences.

    Chelsea Manning chose to break the law: She chose to disobey orders. She chose to violate the Espionage Act by stealing, and then delivering to WikiLeaks, hundreds of thousands of classified/sensitive documents and files. This twenty-three-year-old, who flunked out of community college, took it upon herself to decide what was in the best interests of U.S. National Security. She decided to say: "Fuck the chain of command, fuck the law, fuck the Army, fuck the Defense Department, fuck the entire Intelligence Community, fuck the Commander-In-Chief, and fuck Congress, because I know better than all of them." That was her choice. No one did this to her, she put herself in this situation.

    After she was caught, arrested, tried, and convicted, you would've thought that she'd have learned her lesson, but what does she do? She goes to prison and decides, yet again, that rules are for other people, and that she doesn't have to follow them if she doesn't want to. So now she gets to spend the next several months, if not years, in a cold, dark room, all by her lonesome, because she can't seem to grasp a concept as simple as: "You have to follow the rules". Again, that was her choice. She did this to herself.

    • RoamingGnome
      +7

      No she didn't. The government put her in solitary confinement. In addition, I'm not necessarily disturbed by the data leak. I learned about Bacha Bazi because of what Manning leaked. We should all know about Bacha Bazi and we should be appalled at the fact that people from our government procured little boys for the practice. Those are the people who should be in jail. Also the video of the murder of the journalists by the Apache crew came to light because of Manning.

      I'm not anti-military or anti-government. I'm anti-corruption. Maybe the way Manning went about disseminating the information was wrong, but the information disclosed is relevant.

      • SMcIntyre
        +3

        No she didn't. The government put her in solitary confinement.

        She put herself in prison by breaking the law, and she put her self in solitary by violating the rules of the Prison.

         

        Those are the people who should be in jail.

        That very well may be, but that absolutely does not change the fact that she broke the law. There are mechanisms in place for reporting crimes in the military, even ones committed by the military. Likewise the Federal Government has a method for reporting crimes committed by the Federal Government. Neither method includes stealing classified information and delivering it to a foreign national and a member of the media.

        • RoamingGnome (edited 3 years ago)
          +5

          I don't give shit if she violated the rules of the prison; solitary confinement is torture. That was the point. But, in your world, I suppose it's okeydokeyfine to torture someone just so long as they broke the law, correct?

          As to the avenues that we have for whistleblowing. Yeah, right. I live in the real world, and in the real world Manning would have been killed before that information was allowed to go public.

          • SMcIntyre
            -1

            I don't give shit if she violated the rules of the prison; solitary confinement is torture.

            Solitary confinement is not torture, and anyone who thinks it is has no clue what they're talking about. Period.

             

            As to the avenues that we have for whistleblowing. Yeah, right. I live in the real world, and in the real world Manning would have been killed before that information was allowed to go public.

            Apparently you live in fantasy land.

            • drunkenninja
              +4

              How about we settle for a difference in opinion as this is definitely a subjective matter.

            • RoamingGnome (edited 3 years ago)
              +4

              I've been in solitary confinement. You are ignorant. Congratulations.

            • SMcIntyre
              +2
              @RoamingGnome -

              Congrats, I'm certain you deserved it. Still doesn't make it torture.

            • SMcIntyre
              +2
              @drunkenninja -

              There is nothing subjective about this. Solitary confinement is not torture. That is fact.

              There have been numerous challenges over the years, and while various courts- including the Supreme Court, have found individual cases where specific jails/prisons have acted inappropriately, Solitary Confinement as a practice, has never been found to be unconstitutional. That is fact.

              Solitary confinement is a structured, and carefully managed program used to deal with problem inmates, it's not Shawshank.

            • DabbinDiego
              +2

              Solitary confinement is psychological torture. Cutting off stimuli and interactions in humans causes extreme anxiety and depression (along with other things) and that alone qualifies it as psychological torture.

        • DabbinDiego
          +3

          She was a whistle-blower, which is supposed to afford an immense amount of legal protection to people who oust the government in the people's best interest. These have been thrown out so that our government can punish people who do to stop it from happening. That is far too authoritarian and against what this country stands for. Now they're using psychological torture against her in order to teach anyone who's thinking of doing the same a lesson. Chelsea manning and Edward Snowden should be national heroes.

    • leweb (edited 3 years ago)
      +5

      Actually, I think every one of your sentences starting with "Fuck" are correct. You know why? Because the chain of command, the law, the army, the defense department, the intelligence community, the commander-in-chief, and congress, have stopped following the constitution and the will of the people of the United States. When the government has become so corrupt and subservient to special interests, someone has to challenge it. Chelsea Manning did that and is now being abused and tortured.

      "Following the rules" is not the right thing to do when the rules are created by greedy sociopaths. Legal and moral are not the same thing.

      • SMcIntyre
        +2

        When the government has become so corrupt and subservient to special interests, someone has to challenge it.

        That's a bullshit excuse. We do challenge the government, frequently. There's a reason why we have the old election cliche: "Every two years we get to go overthrow the Government", because we do. If you think the Government is so corrupt, then go find a candidate you consider honorable and run 'em, or run yourself. Take your message to the people. If you're right, and the Government is so corrupt, then you shouldn't have any trouble convincing others. Grassroots candidates win all the time. Hell, right now, there's a better than 50/50 chance that the Speaker of the House is going to lose his Primary tomorrow and not even be on the ballot in November. Go and do likewise.

         

        Chelsea Manning did that and is now being abused and tortured.

        She disobeyed orders, committed espionage against the United States, compromised National Security, and endangered the lives of who knows how many members of the military, foreign operatives, members of the intelligence community, and American Citizens. Do you think they're going to give her a fucking cookie and say "good for you"?

        She's in prison because she deserves to be. She's in solitary confinement because she deserves to be, since she won't obey Prison rules.

        • spaceghoti
          +5

          That's a bullshit excuse. We do challenge the government, frequently. There's a reason why we have the old election cliche: "Every two years we get to go overthrow the Government", because we do. If you think the Government is so corrupt, then go find a candidate you consider honorable and run 'em, or run yourself. Take your message to the people. If you're right, and the Government is so corrupt, then you shouldn't have any trouble convincing others. Grassroots candidates win all the time. Hell, right now, there's a better than 50/50 chance that the Speaker of the House is going to lose his Primary tomorrow and not even be on the ballot in November. Go and do likewise.

          The problem is that Ryan's primary challenge has become the exception rather than the rule. His big mistake was in attempting to challenge the Teabaggers' current golden boy, Donald Trump. Congress has its lowest approval since they started recording these things, but everybody who expresses that disapproval always blames everyone else's candidate. This is why turnover is extremely low. We're not electing leaders who are willing to compromise to get things done any longer, and gridlock is the inevitable result.

          She disobeyed orders, committed espionage against the United States, compromised National Security, and endangered the lives of who knows how many members of the military, foreign operatives, members of the intelligence community, and American Citizens. Do you think they're going to give her a fucking cookie and say "good for you"?

          No, but they're also prohibited from cruel and unusual punishment. It says so in the Eighth Amendment. Even disobeying orders, committing espionage, compromising national security and endangering the lives of anyone doesn't strip her of that right.

          She's in prison because she deserves to be. She's in solitary confinement because she deserves to be, since she won't obey Prison rules.

          Such empathy. Does landing in prison automatically strip a convict of any right to dignity? Is American justice supposed to focus more on justice or vengeance? Because this sounds more like vengeance.

          • SMcIntyre
            +3

            This is why turnover is extremely low. We're not electing leaders who are willing to compromise to get things done any longer, and gridlock is the inevitable result.

            Your problem isn't with the process, it's with the people. As I said before, either find better candidates, or do a better job of selling your message.

             

            No, but they're also prohibited from cruel and unusual punishment. It says so in the Eighth Amendment. Even disobeying orders, committing espionage, compromising national security and endangering the lives of anyone doesn't strip her of that right.

            Nothing that's being done to her even comes close to qualifying as an Eighth Amendment violation . Cruel & Unusual punishment has a set legal standard, with four basic elements:

            The punishment can't be arbitrary. She was granted due process, afforded legal representation, and was tried and convicted at Court Martial.

            The punishment must be used commonly. Prison is the standard form of punishment for criminal activity in the U.S., and solitary confinement is a standard form of punishment in every prison in the country.

            The punishment can't be unnecessarily harsh. Given that she was facing a maximum of 90 years in prison, there is nothing at all harsh about 35 years, especially considering she'll be eligible for parole in another 8 years. Likewise, there is nothing unnecessarily harsh about solitary confinement. When you have someone who is already in prison, who still won't obey the rules, and is a danger to themselves and others, then solitary confinement is absolutely necessary.

            The punishment can't have been rejected by society. Both prison and solitary confinement are widely accepted by society.

             

            Such empathy. Does landing in prison automatically strip a convict of any right to dignity? Is American justice supposed to focus more on justice or vengeance? Because this sounds more like vengeance.

            This didn't happen to her because she landed in prison. This happened to her because, once again, she decided that rules don't apply to her. She decided that she could do as she pleased. Clearly, she was wrong.

            • spaceghoti
              +6

              Your problem isn't with the process, it's with the people. As I said before, either find better candidates, or do a better job of selling your message.

              Since I don't have control over the candidates running for office or who votes for candidates outside my district, the former isn't really an option. I've done what I can to support organizations supporting good candidates, but I don't have the sort of resources like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers to buy elections. Those people have also learned the value of a good disinformation program which is why we're still struggling with bullshit like climate change denialism.

              Nothing that's being done to her even comes close to qualifying as an Eighth Amendment violation.

              The practice of indefinite solitary confinement is being challenged as a method of torture.

              This didn't happen to her because she landed in prison. This happened to her because, once again, she decided that rules don't apply to her. She decided that she could do as she pleased. Clearly, she was wrong.

              Going to prison happened to her because she broke the law, yes. Her treatment in prison is a result of people feeling like she doesn't deserve any rights as a prisoner. That's not justice, that's vengeance.

            • SMcIntyre
              +3
              @spaceghoti -

              Since I don't have control over the candidates running for office or who votes for candidates outside my district, the former isn't really an option.

              No one ever said changing the country was easy. If you want easy, go get a paper route. Real change is never easy, and damn sure isn't quick. After the pilgrims hit Plymouth Rock, it took almost another 160 years before America told England to piss off, and we fought a war to do it. It was over 130 years after the abolitionist movement started in the U.S. before slavery ended, and we fought a war to do that to. There was over a decade and a half between Brown v. The Board of Education and the Civil Rights Act, and while it wasn't a war, it certainly had plenty of blood and a body count. It was almost half a century between the Stonewall Inn and Obergefell, and that too was a less than peaceful process. Change is absolutely possible, but only for those willing to put in the work.

               

              I've done what I can to support organizations supporting good candidates, but I don't have the sort of resources like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers to buy elections.

              Or George Soros and Tom Steyer (careful, your bias is showing).

               

              Those people have also learned the value of a good disinformation program which is why we're still struggling with bullshit like climate change denialism.

              We still have to deal with bullshit like climate denial for the same reason we still have organized religion: Cognitive Dissonance. People would rather invent comforting illusions rather than face uncomfortable facts.

               

              The practice of indefinite solitary confinement is being challenged as a method of torture.

              And if/when the courts decide that it shouldn't be used anymore then she'll be placed back in a regular cell. But I wouldn't hold your breath on that one, because solitary confinement isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

               

              Her treatment in prison is a result of people feeling like she doesn't deserve any rights as a prisoner. That's not justice, that's vengeance.

              Nope, still wrong. Her treatment is a result of her breaking the rules. This isn't Sandals® Kansas, it's a Federal Prison. There are things you're not allowed to have, and certain ways you're expected to behave. She chose to have contraband in her cell. She chose to fight with the guards when they tried to remove her from her cell. Those were her choices- nobody else's, and now she has to live with the consequences.

  • leweb
    +7

    Now tell me how this is not torture, and what sort of moral authority the US has to say anything about human rights violations in other countries.

    • RoamingGnome
      +6

      It is torture and our 'leadership' has no moral authority over anything. Sorry I don't have better news for you. I spent 10 days in solitary confinement at a private jail in Virginia. It's absolutely torture. Period. Anybody who says it is not has an agenda and they are lying. Or they are a sociopath.

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