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PBS Frontline: WikiSecrets

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Titus Pullo, May 26, 2011.

  1. Titus Pullo

    Titus Pullo Banned

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    So, on another forum, a poster posed a question that has truly brought out the trolls. But also, some reasoned, well-thought out discussion. The question was "Why are soldiers considered heroes?"

    The discussion covered everything from the obligatory "shut your mouth, we keep you safe at night" rhetoric to private military contractors' abuses in Iraq to WW2's John Basilone, etc. etc.

    Almost to a man, the jingoists hailed all soldiers as unquestionably heroic, and scoffed at the notion that they might serve the purpose of flawed or immoral foreign policy.

    So I asked, "Is Bradley Manning a hero?" You can imagine the visceral response.

    Anyhow, Frontline produced another gem, and really adds texture to the complex story of Manning, and state secrecy:

  2. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Rookie

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    Free Bradley Manning! :D
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
  3. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Soldiers I know get pretty uneasy with the hero worship that surrounds what they do.

    Then again, I know that's not what this thread is about, but I find the portrayal of soldiers as being attention whores who lap up this hero worship shtick to be wide of the mark.

    [/hijack]

    Heil wikileaks and such...
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
  4. blackglass3

    blackglass3 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    I've always been a little uncomfortable with people thanking me for my service. I appreciate that they appreciate it, but it's a really hard thing to reply to.
  5. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Rookie

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    Thanks for your service.
  6. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    I've never been in the military - but I have been in the situation where people thanked me for what I did (firefighter/medic)....I was always highly uncomfortable with it - all I was doing was my job - if you wouldn't think to thank the check out girl at the grocery store or the dude who takes your money at the gas station, then you shouldn't think to thank me, either. I'm not doing any more than they do.

    Even more uncomfortable were public display "awards," of any sort.

    There were some guys who really liked getting them.....and there were a few guys who really really liked getting them....personal observation, but they were usually the same few guys I wouldn't trust with a can of lighter fluid and a match.
  7. Titus Pullo

    Titus Pullo Banned

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    So the Manning trial opens this week, and it's time to keep an eye on this landmark case in the question of "security vs. transparency."

    In my firm opinion, the military needs to show, without a shadow of a doubt, how soldiers were put at risk due to this information and why. It's thin ice for prosecutors, who will have to end up defending mind-bogglingly unethical military and state dept. practices.

    As I've always said, if you want to avoid uncomfortable secrets being leaked, then stop engaging in unethical acts, including war crimes that would get you hanged at The Hague. Some might say "you're being naive, we MUST have secrets." I call bull****.

    Free Bradley Manning. Stop murdering civilians for corporate profit. Simple, really.

    The Moral Imperative of Bradley Manning

    The objective of the Obama administration is transparent. It has little to do with the law, but rather is designed to make an object lesson of Manning. The administration wants to deter others truth-tellers who might also be tempted to reveal information that is labeled secret to hide oppression and abuse – including, in this case, U.S. war crimes.
  8. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The soldiers of WWII fought, were beaten, blown up, went crazy and were killed all over the world, the ones that survived came home, threw their medals and their uniforms in the attic went out an got a job got married had kids and very seldom spoke of the war again, many never came home, if it wern't for Harry Truman and his bomb many more of them wouldn't have come home some of you or your children wouldn't even be alive today.

    I never knew one that thought of himself as a hero.

    (as for truman and his bomb they started it harry finished it)
  9. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    Serious question for the OP: how do you feel about the administration spying on reporters in the service of purportedly finding leakers?
  10. Titus Pullo

    Titus Pullo Banned

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    I find it utterly disgusting, and precisely why I didn't vote for Obama last fall... The press is supposed to be the ultimate check/balance to unethical behavior, and a main thing that makes us free. The press should have carte blanche to hold ALL branches of government accountable on EVERY issue, including printing alleged "state secrets" they receive AND protecting the anonymity of their sources.

    ALL ... without a second thought.

    We - the tax payers -- can determine what's best for our "safety," thanks. ... We don't need plutocrats and technocrats telling us "shut up, it's for your own good." ... To that notion I say "Go **** a fat ****!"

    They're not trying to "protect" anyone, including our troops. They're trying to keep the curtain from lifting on their rigged game. Period, full stop.
  11. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I am mixed about this, it is one thing to "whistle blow" and quite another to release confidential records...

    When you take an oath in the military it is pretty inclusive as to what you can do and what you cannot..

    OTOH it is also the responsibility for this or any administration to act in an ethically responsible manner...

    We really do not know all that much about Manning and his reasoning for doing such, is he a media whore or is he truly someone who is concerned about allegations regarding our country..
  12. Titus Pullo

    Titus Pullo Banned

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    C'mon. A media whore? .... The man has endured three years of prison, most of it in solitary (a form of torture)... yet still gave one of the most prescient speeches I've ever heard in his court statement.

    Doesn't sound like a media whore to me.

    This kid is enduring tremendous suffering for the rest of us who demand transparency from otherwise unchecked entities that routinely abuse their position.

    Like I said. They in the MIC don't care about protecting ANYONE besides their own circle. They only care about own profit margin and continued access to tax and investment dollars. The lame "he puts our troops at risk" argument is easily turned on it's head with just a bit of critical analysis.

    If he goes to jail for life, I'll have a very changed impression of the U.S. military - certainly the brass - and State Dept., which was never rosey to begin with. That's based on proven events, not "feeling."

    War crimes > worry over "aiding" the enemy.

    War crimes are what EMBOLDEN the enemy. This is the only way it stops, when truth gets out.

    Do people still insist Ellsberg had no effect on the end of Vietnam?
  13. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I asked the question as to whether he was a media whore or not??

    Do not insist on Ellsberg having no effect, but he was not the sole reason why we soured on Viet Nam.. sometimes his role is overstated as he hopped on an already speeding train. Not sure he impacted what was going on all that much as they were released in 1971...

    The difference is that Manning was active military and he was the releaser of the information..
  14. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact On the Roster

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    the soldiers I have known do not feel like heroes........my wifes grandfather, who landed on a beach in france on D-day tried not to think about that part of his life

    regarding Bradley Manning, it comes down to tangible things......what he did technically wrong. you can compound that with the potential harm he may have caused to his peers because of it, but honestly, to me its borderline treason

    I am OK leaving it to the military tribunals to do what they must with him.......go by the book, but also go by the book with those who weren't paying attention.....I don't believe a PFC should have that kind of access to info.........there's responsibility beyond his actions that need to be addressed
  15. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    Wait, you knew about that last fall? I thought it just came out.

    Government secrecy is a relatively new concept in our 324 year-old Constitutional Republic. The Defense Secrets Act just had its 100th anniversary in 2011.

    Things really changed with the Cold War and the birth of the CIA, etc.

    I dunno. I am opposed to government operating in the dark, but I am concerned about endangering active operations by making information about them available. We need to find a way to balance that.

    If Manning had just made incriminating stuff available, that is one thing. But I think that a document dump (which is easier) potentially puts lives at risk.
  16. Titus Pullo

    Titus Pullo Banned

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    Same, but different:

    Oops: U.S. Publishes Details On Secret Israeli Missile Site, Everyone Freaks Out About the Wrong Thing | Common Dreams

    Israeli officials are said to be furious the U.S. inadvertently revealed over 1,000 pages of classified Israeli plans - including not just location but details like plumbing and electrical specs - for a U.S.-funded, $25 million, state-of-the art missile baseto house Israel's new Arrow 3 defense system. The leak, published in contractor bidding documents required in all Defense Department projects, was blasted by Israeli military officials as "shocking." More shocking, though, is the scarcity of those questioning why America is building these things for Israel in the first place. Since 1998, the U.S. has constructed about $500 million in Israeli military facilities; since Israel's founding, we have given it over $233 billion in aid; just think what that money could have bought.

    As one comment put it: "I'm sure every one of the US officials responsible will be locked in cramped cages, humiliated, routinely strip searched, then placed in solitary confinement for a few years before being tried before a secret court to determine whether their actions were a deliberate attempt to aid the enemy, thus facing the death penalty or life in prison."

    :rolleyes:
  17. Titus Pullo

    Titus Pullo Banned

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    Well, I suppose not that specific instance... But his overall trend of increased Bush-era surveillance, torture and disregard for media freedoms was painfully evident throughout his first term.

    He learned quickly how to play the game, and is ultimately just another corporate president... That being said, he's a far-shot better than the (R) alternatives would have been.
  18. Drewski

    Drewski Rookie

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    No Jersey Selected

    What a strange idea this has all become; humanity.

    The famous quote from the Bhagavad Gita comes to mind...

    And one commenter on there nailed it...

    If Israel (or any country for that matter) is upset, they can protest it by giving the money back.

    Thanks for the link.

    Go Bs!
  19. Titus Pullo

    Titus Pullo Banned

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    As Bradley Manning Trial Begins, Press Predictably Misses the Point | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone

    This whole thing, this trial, it all comes down to one simple equation. If you can be punished for making public a crime, then the government doing the punishing is itself criminal.

    ...
    The thing is, when it comes to things like the infamous "Collateral Murder" video, whether it's Bradley Manning or anyone else, any decent human being would have had an obligation to come forward. Presented with that material, you either become part of a campaign of torture and murder by saying nothing, or you have to make it public. Morally, there's no option."
  20. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact On the Roster

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    The morals of a soldier are predicated upon the promises within his oath as he became a soldier. Twisted logic does take precedence over that.

    He is being charged for a crime he committed.......the 'crime' that he reported is a separate issue.

    You may think the idea of making exceptions to following orders is a good thing......it is not

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