Know Your Level

If Bradley Manning had murdered Iraqi civilians as a soldier, he’d be a hero. Instead, he revealed proof that his superiors killed Iraqi civilians. It’s all about understanding your role in the hierarchy that keeps our society together…which we should all want for some reason.

13 Comments. Leave new

  • alex_the_tired
    August 2, 2013 7:16 AM

    Nice Nazi allusion in panel 3. We’re seeing the redux of the Nuremberg Trials quite a lot lately. First Manning, then Tourre. But where the Nuremberg Trials went after the big players, what we get now is the background extras.

    Manning — in true Nuremberg style — has been acquitted of one charge, which means the rest of the charges will be hot-glued to his face. “See, if it had been a kangaroo court, he would have been found guilty of everything. But because the most-serious charge was dismissed, we know it was a fair case! Out of 136 possible years, he only got 45. Now that’s justice!” (Seriously, does anyone think Manning’s ever getting out of jail outside of a pine box?)

    And the same for Fabrice Tourre. Throw out one charge, make the others stick. Claim justice was done, even though all the high-end banksters were never charged. It’s sickening. It’s like Goring getting a book deal while Schultz and Klink end up in the dock.

  • Does anyone remember Lt. William Calley of Mai Lai infamy? “Just following orders” didn’t save his ass. Or more recently, whatever happened to Lt. Ehren Watada, who said: “I’m refusing to obey orders that are not illegal”? If you’re in the U.S. military, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. (Ted, these are a couple of suggestions for you to pursue. How about it?)

  • I get pee-o’ed at myself for stuff I post that contains errors!
    Obviously I should have said “not legal”! And I should have typed “My Lai”!

  • The big shots really cannot stand to be embarrassed and troubled by such a ‘nobody.’

  • Well, Ted, you must agree that it’s a good thing that Bradley Edward Manning will get be sentenced to decades in prison, if that’s what it took to keep Paris from being burned – or have I missed the point of your cartoon ? Good thing the NSA is keeping everybody safe over there and that the State Department and its friends are keeping close watch on us nasty foreigners so that innocent US institutions and citizens abroad can avoid trouble….


    • Henri,

      You missed my point. Whether that’s because I didn’t do a very good job of conveying it or not, I cannot say, but that is not what I was trying to convey.

      I was being sarcastic. There is an argument afoot in the wake of the Edward Snowden affair as well as the sentencing of Bradley Manning that says that people need to follow orders or society will break down. By referencing the German general who refused to burn Paris even though Adolf Hitler ordered him to do so, I was pointing out that there is a lot more to life, and ethics, than obeying orders.

  • alex_the_tired
    August 4, 2013 8:00 AM


    Keep in mind, according to the news sources, sentencing could take up to a month. I notice very little discussion about that. Why take a month? Manning’s been found guilty of a whole batch of things. Some of those things, he pleaded guilty to earlier in the trial (big mistake). Are we seriously to believe that the judge will now enter into some long dark teatime of the soul in which she carefully contemplates the morality and motivations of Manning. That she’s going to do all the heavy lifting involved with deciding whether someone who blew the whistle on war crimes ought to get leniency?

    The trial was a sham. When a trial takes place where the court refuses to make an official transcript available, that’s your gold certificate of authenticity. You are, definitely, in the middle of a sham. When the defendant has been cooling his jets for three years — for comparison, the Nuremberg Trials started six months after the end of the war, and those took place in a Europe that was still in rubble — yes, indeedy, you can rest assured that justice will not be on the menu.

    Clearly, the most likely release of the sentence will be very late on a Friday or very early on a Saturday. (As Ted has pointed out, if you really want to know what’s going on, just read the Saturday paper, because that’s the one with the lowest circulation.)

    Of course, the big two questions — ones I’ve not seen addressed, but if there are links available, let me know — are these:

    1. Has Adrian Lamo been compensated sufficiently for his role in all this? A few government contracts or a nice sinecure position would sure be useful, I bet.

    2. All the people who are screaming themselves hoarse about how Bradley Manning is a traitor. Why aren’t they demanding that Adrian Lamo be given a medal?

    • No doubt, Alex, the trial was a sham. For one thing, it was military justice. Military courts don’t allow nearly as many protections for defendants as civilian courts. And anyway, Bradley Manning was tortured. On that basis alone, there is absolutely no ground for him to stand trial.

  • Ted!

    Henri’s just messing around being his usual sarcastic self! (I hope.)

    I think you’ve captured the implications of the opposition argument here. I’m supposed to believe that a bunch of scheming generals, spies, and pols know what is better for the people to know than a regular guy who sees what happens on the ground…

  • Ted,

    You say “military justice”? If it is military, it isn’t justice. I remember distinctly a court martial in which I participated. One of the members of the “jury” (better word, “panel”) was discussing how guilty the defendant was, even before the trial had officially begun. I told him, “Lieutenant, according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the defendant is innocent until proved guilty.” Imagine my shock to hear him say, “Well he wouldn’t be here if he weren’t guilty!” Yikes!

  • Well actually, I’d be more interested in reading a book by Goring than by Schultz or Klink… and Obama had a choice to consider Snowden or Manning a whistleblower, but decided that criticism of the government was really, really bad, rather than whistleblowing against corn syrup manufacturers. While he once talked about respecting and protecting whistleblowers, he never meant whistleblowers blowing the whistle on the government. He must be proud of himself, because he has proven that a black man is not necessarily an “angry black man”, and can even “know his place” as a President. He talks calmly and acts thoughtful as a be suits his status. Me? I voted for him, hoping for change, but I now know him to be another sociopath that doesn’t really care much about “doing the right thing” instead of doing the right thing to maintain big money’s and the corporations hold over the US and the world. He’s got his, so why should he care about us anyway? Imagine any thoughtless or clueless friend or relative you have that knows or cares nothing about what is really happening around them as long as they are OK, and you have Obama.

  • Ted, let me assure that I did indeed get your point – with which I very much agree – and that I, too, was waxing ironic. I’d have thought that my reference to «us nasty foreigners» would have been a dead give-away, but it seems I was wrong, as perceptive people like yourself and «alex_the_tired» seem to have misunderstood me. Unordnung muß sein !…


  • @ mhenriday –
    Nein, nein! Nicht Unordnung, sondern Spass muß sein! 😉

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