Crime and Punishment, c.f. Bradley Manning

PFC Bradley Manning is sentenced to 35 years behind bars for exposing crimes committed by men who walk free.

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  • Thanks for making life in “backwards world” a little more tolerable, brother Ted.

  • Yeah, huh?

  • alex_the_tired
    August 22, 2013 7:58 AM

    35 years. My original guess was that the sentencing would follow the Nuremberg equation (basically, 50% of the maximum). At the time of my prediction, Manning was facing 90 years. That got reduced to 60. Half of that would be 30. But, the time served reduces the 35 to about 31. I should be able to pick lotto numbers with such skill.

    Manning is up for parole in eight years. Does anyone really think he’s going to get out in 2021?

  • About what I thought of it. Let’s all just pretend what PFC Manning did was what was dangerous to the country. You’ve already pointed out that administration leaks are more dangerous to security than anything from whistleblowers. When I was a kid, adults explained that society was always slowly being made fairer and more just…It takes many years but conditions keep improving.

    I don’t know which is more eerie: that rule of law has become so lacking or that people don’t know what rule of law is. Perhaps a revolution will parole Mr. Manning…

  • Keep in mind that Manning is in prison for literally impossible reasons.

    He was found not guilty of aiding the enemy.

    However, he committed espionage. . . for who, exactly? The only people he could have been helping was us. The government effectively just told us that the American people are the enemy of the American government.

  • I have become less impressed with Stephen Colbert over time, but he did an excellent segment on just that, Sekhmet. Something like this:

    He was found not guilty of aiding the enemy but guilty of espionage, so what enemy was he spying for? He says he did it for the American people…OMG. Well, it makes sense. We were paying his salary after all. Somebody should keep an eye on them. Oh, what’s that? They are? *cue NSA logo* Good.

  • A better analogy would be Cheney and Scooter Libby. They outed an active CIA agent and nothing happened to them, Libby being totally pardoned. Manning released documents that resulted in zero casualties, and he’s in prison for 35 years — essentially the bulk of his remaining life.

    Do people understand yet how power works? Does anyone care that we’re a nation of men, not laws? If Manning gets prison, so should Cheney and Libby. But they don’t. Why not? We’re a nation of men, not laws.

  • Ex,

    Talking about nations of laws or men is usually Susan Stark’s territory…perhaps you two are parts played by the same person? 🙂

  • You don’t even have to go as far back as Scooter Libby! Not a damn month ago, we got a leak that we listened in on a high-level meeting with Al Qaeda operatives. That was a freakn’ crime by Obama’s standards! That was LITERALLY a leak that helped a declared enemy of the U.S., zero ambiguity, zero debate. The media shrugs and the White House rolls on.

    This comic needs around thirty or forty panels showing actual, unambiguous crimes where the enemy was aided and citizens died — such as Obama murdering a teenage boy. Ted is limited by the format.

    We most certainly do not live under rule of law. Prosecutors brazenly refuse to prosecute — or deliberately spike prosecution — obvious lawbreakers. Innocent people get continuously arrested on trumped-up charges. Old-school racist authoritarians in law enforcement are given a free pass. Judicial misconduct is standard operating procedure.

    On that note did you hear the one about the judge who said that a fracking company that had poisoned a family could, in its legal settlement, place a gag clause on minors? You know, children, who cannot, as you learn in 1st year of law school, consent to a contract? The judge’s response: that sounds like a law school question.

    Then he retired.

    Yup, rule of men, not laws. If you’re not a cop, you’d better get a cop friend or family member, and even that’s not enough.

    If the multiple universe theory is correct, somewhere, beyond our space/time, is a universe where we have a Mars colony, poverty is nigh-eradicated, and Susan, ex, and I are locked in vehement, unyielding arguments. In this world, things will likely get so shitty that we will all have no practical differences in outlook within the decade.

  • alex_the_tired
    August 23, 2013 5:38 AM

    So, Edward Snowden — assuming he isn’t in a Russian psychiatric ward being pumped with truth drugs to get the passwords for the hard drives — got out just in time it would seem.

    I am reminded of the German writer Stefan Zweig (I think it was Zweig who did this) who, realizing what was coming in the early 1930s, nagged all of his friends to get their travel papers in order. This was in a time when many people simply didn’t have a passport because most people never traveled out of their countries.

    By the time most people realized how bad it was becoming, it was too late. Germany had stopped issuing passports, the borders were sealed, and other countries (the U.S., for instance) weren’t letting Jews in.

    So the question becomes “Where would today’s Zweig urge us all to go?” Or are we all already trapped?

  • @ alex_the_tired –
    I’m no Zweig and I cannot advise others. As for myself, I chose Mexico – almost seven years ago! Yep, in spite of the drug cartels and their wars against one another.

  • Ted –
    My wife & I have been in Mexico (retired) since September 11, 2006. Our Social Security checks go much further here than North of the Border (NoB). We opted to buy the “socialized” medicine at first, at a cost of only $600 per year (for the two of us). Since we both enjoy relatively good health for a couple in their 70’s we dropped that and chose “pay as you go” – since eye care, dental work, and health care are much more affordable here than NoB. As for medications, we buy only the occasional aspirin or such.

    We are basically homebodies, so we don’t encounter the drug cartels at all. (The local police know us and always wave and tell us: “Beunos dias!”) We enjoy twice-daily walks with the dog and find all the locals to be friendly and helpful. We’ve been in this town (Tizapán el Alto) for three years and practically everyone knows us, at least by sight. The local newspaper did a write-up on us (with picture) a while back, so even people that we don’t know recognize us as “those gringos” who enjoy living here.

    Only if I were a chronic complainer could I complain.

  • You forgot to add, Ted, that the first three figures are considered examples of «serving their country», while the last is considered a «traitor». The economy may be in trouble, but semantic deception seems, as ever, to be doing quite well, thank you….


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