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Bob K
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0 posted 04-15-2011 01:22 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     President Obama has some problems with what appears to be civil liberties and illegal detention policies.  While I am a Liberal, this seems to be extraordinary uncomfortable behavior, and reminds me of the sort of excesses that were permitted and even encouraged during other administration.  Being a Democrat,and a former teacher of constitutional law,  you'd think the guy would have some core constructive ideas about how to deal with prisoners who haven't yet been tried than 23 hours per day solitary confinement.  The Guardian has a short article on the subject below.

     Ouch, I say.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/10/bradley-manning-legal-scholars-letter
Balladeer
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1 posted 04-15-2011 07:55 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Very interesting, Bob. I had not heard of this before but, since it casts Obama in an unfavorable light, that is understandable with regards to our national media.

That does seem to me to be a bit of overkill with regards to the charges. I wonder if it can be to keep him as isolated from the press as possible.

Another case of Obama talking the talk but not walking the walk.

It's decent of you to bring this up.

Bob K
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2 posted 04-15-2011 08:37 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     About detention and potential torture, I don't care which party does it.  Didn't like it when it's Republicans, hate it when it's Democrats.  Thanks for the acknowledgement, though, Mike.

     Other than an chance to take a shot at The President, though, do you have a take on the possible civil rights and potential constitutional violations?  Not to mention the potential trouble with international treaties forbidding torture and the position it puts the man's guards in?

     Once again, it seems to me, it puts the low man on the chain of command at the point where he gets the potential maximum criticism while the folks at the high end end up looking like they've got clean hands.  I didn't like it with Our last President Bush; I don't like it with President Obama.
Balladeer
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3 posted 04-15-2011 10:19 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I don't think the man's guards have a problem. They are obviously following orders. The warden could be in trouble although he surely is following orders, too. It depends how high they want to go. It could easily reach Obama, who I have no doubt, at least knew of it. We both know it won't though. It all depends on which sacrificial lamb they choose, who they can convince to fall on the sabre.

.....or they may do nothing.
Huan Yi
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4 posted 04-16-2011 12:16 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


The prisoner is a soldier accused
of cime tantamount to treason,
(his bragging is what got him in
the Federal light), who spoke
of suicide.

At least it's not a red line brig.

I wonder why it's taking so long
for the court martial.
.
Balladeer
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5 posted 04-16-2011 12:52 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

What exactly is the charge, John?
moonbeam
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6 posted 04-16-2011 09:07 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

"The US Army has announced it is to charge Private Bradley Manning with "aiding the enemy" which can carry the death penalty and 21 further offences of illegally disclosing classified information, after an investigation lasting seven months.

The 22 new charges are in addition to the 12 counts of leaking classified information and computer fraud that Manning already faces over material said to be related to the WikiLeaks disclosures and for which he has been held in military custody since May last year.

The army's charge sheet states that Manning did "knowingly give intelligence to the enemy, through indirect means," in violation of article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, known as "aiding the enemy".

The offence can carry the death penalty as a maximum sentence. The prosecution has told Manning's lawyers that it will not recommend capital punishment, although the presiding military judge has the authority to override the prosecution's recommendation and impose a death penalty."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/02/bradley-manning-charges-aiding-enemy

.....

For what it's worth it seems to me that on occasion the Pentagon and the President have, uh, a "strained" relationship.  This may be one of those times.  The President is a good, decent Democrat who wants to do the right thing.

The military, on the other hand, are basically a benevolent killing machine, and the benevolence tends to wear thin where the enemy or perceived traitors are concerned.  The Pentagon aren't going to listen to Obama on this one, if they are convinced the prisoner is guilty, they are simply "gonna get him".  

And if that means lying to the President, then they will.

As you can see, I haven't a great deal of faith in the military's ability to be objective and honest in cases like this.
Huan Yi
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7 posted 04-16-2011 10:33 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"As you can see, I haven't a great deal of faith in the military's ability to be objective and honest in cases like this."


Objective as to what?
Again, the man got caught because he
contacted someone, (who then contacted
the Feds), and told him he was doing it.
All the rest is just verifying what he
said himself he was doing.  That's
better than Venona files.

.
Bob K
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8 posted 04-16-2011 03:24 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Guilty or innocent, 23 hour per day in solitary seems to me to amount to punishment without conviction.  If there is material to keep him confined on that basis for a year, there should be material for a speedy trial.  If they cannot bring him to a speedy trial, they need to release him.
Huan Yi
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9 posted 04-16-2011 04:30 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


If Manning did what he said he did,
did he put other American soldiers and/or
their allies and/or American civilians at risk?


.
Balladeer
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10 posted 04-16-2011 05:20 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

All I see, moonbeam, is that you will make any excuses to cover Obama's derriere.

He just wants to do the right thing but the pentagon lied to him???? What's that mean? What lies? Is Obama so stupid he would fall for the lies when 250 of our highest-ranking legal scholars don't? DOn't blame Obama, blame the pentagon? How weak is that?

Obama knows the situation fully and is allowing it to continue. He is alienating all legal scholars mentioned, including those who supported him for president. Were you that gracious to Bush with regards to Abu Ghrab and Gitmo?

Sorry, but your comments make little sense to me.
Ringo
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11 posted 04-16-2011 05:30 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

One thing that is not being understood, here, is that members of the military voluntarily give up the majority of their "civil" and "constitutional" rights, and agree to be bound by the articles of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. I would invite all here to study the UCMJ and find where the law is being broken. He is being treated in accordance with the laws he has agreed to be bound by.

There is one other thing that isn't being considered....
The fact that he might be in confinement for his own protection. The majority (and by majority, I mean all) of the military members I have talked to from all branches except the Coast Guard (and Air Guard) have stated that they would love to be alone with him for five minutes... and many have stated they didn't care which guard was around... were he to come in front of them, he would not see the following two minutes.
This individual has put them and their comrades in arms in danger, and they would very much like to return the favor.
By keeping him in confinement and allowing him his 1 hour of yard time per day, they keep him alive for trial.

Besides, I graduated from the high school on Marine Corps Combat Development Command Quantico, Va and had two friends who were guards there while Hinkley was being confined there, and they did the same to him... yet there were no complaints in the media, no protests, and everyone thought that suited him just fine.

I guess attempting to kill one is allowed hatred and discomfort more than one who has assisted in the attempt at killing multitudes.

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, "WHAT A RIDE

Balladeer
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12 posted 04-16-2011 06:27 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

knowingly give intelligence to the enemy, through indirect means

I'm not sure what that means...who is the enemy they are referring to?

Right now, as i see it, out enemy is Al-Qada. Was leaking whatever was leaked to Wiki-leaks aiding Al-Qada in a war against us? If not, what enemy are the charges referring to?

You guys know me well enough to know I'm both patriotic and pro-military. If someone commits treason, I'm the first to say hang 'em. This just seems too weak to me to fall into that category. Ringo, do you really think the soldier's actions would warrant "kill him" attitudes by other inmates???? Do you think his actions are "one who has assisted in the attempt at killing multitudes."? I think that's a hard sell.

I agree that, if the evidence is strong enough to warrant such action, it should be strong enough to send him to trial. Poeple who screamed for Bush's head for Gitmo should be screaming here, also. What a surprise they are not.....

Huan Yi
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13 posted 04-16-2011 09:12 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Intelligence such as combat action reports which reveal units, locations,
tactics, procedures, names of personnel as well as sources of allied information.


Imagine this had happened during the Korean War,
(or was it Police Action).  Anyone with enough
money to bankroll the enemy has enough to hire
people to glean through the intellegence to aid
their side, (given the nature of the intellegence,
given with no expectation of it being exposed
to an enemy, it wouldn't take much effort).



.
Balladeer
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14 posted 04-16-2011 10:02 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Intelligence such as combat action reports which reveal units, locations,
tactics, procedures, names of personnel as well as sources of allied information.


I see. That makes it a little different story. I wasn't aware of all of that.

moonbeam
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15 posted 04-17-2011 04:19 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Were you that gracious to Bush with regards to Abu Ghrab and Gitmo?

Yes - and still am.  I don't blame Bush at all for what he did.

Sorry Mike, as I keep trying to point out to you, your "them and us" template doesn't fit me.

More on the rest later.
Bob K
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16 posted 04-18-2011 04:11 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I don't know what was in the contents of all the documents released to the newspapers.  Folks seem to be talking as though they do know what those documents are, that they contain information that reveals troop positions and movements and that they put soldiers at risk.  I ask that those people cite sources about those accusations, and that it would be a good idea if those sources were highly specific and verifiable.

     The upset that PFC Manning's leaks seemed to trigger, near as I can tell, seemed to focus on two separate instances, as far as I can tell.  The first of these is broken up into three separate phases and is documented by the release of gun-cannon  video of apache gunship attacks, first on a group of ten men, two of whom turned out to have been journalists, followed by the release of video from those same gunships firing on  an vehicle with folks trying to render aid to the casualties from that first attack, and then followed by the release of two Hellfire missiles on a nearby apartment building where some of the survivors dragged themselves for shelter.  Combat footage is not joyful under the best of circumstances.  Considering the fact that a number of the casualties in these videos appear to have been children of the driver of the rescue vehicle, the footage may possibly be very bad indeed.  Considering the fact that it is unclear whether the people involved were actually hostile, I would consider the footage potentially damaging to United States interests.

     The second video footage released to wikileaks seems to have been release of the bombing of the wedding party in Afghanistan in which an estimated 140-150 people in that party were killed, and over 90 of them were reportedly children.  For details, you might check the article under PFC Mannings's name in Wikipedia.

     I can understand that folks would be angry with him.  People are steamed at him on the Left (for getting President Obama bad publicity) and the Right (you should feel free to state your own case; I don't want to put words in your mouths more that I'm afraid I may do inadvertently anyway).  But comparing the man with John Hinkley is probably a poor comparison, since nobody suggests that the man was schizophrenic or suggests that his sentencing ought to be to a psychiatric hospital.  And what seems fairly clear is that it is at least possible that there was a substantial political cover-up in play here.  PFC Manning may well be a political prisoner, jailed for making public some of the more unsavory parts of our security state that the newspapers and news business is simply not willing to make public.

     Where is the man's right to a speedy trial.  And where is the man's right not to be punished before being found guilty?

  
Huan Yi
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17 posted 04-18-2011 08:20 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


A soldier, Bradley Manning, 22, has been held in solitary confinement for the last seven months and is facing a court martial in the new year. The former intelligence analyst is charged with unauthorised downloads of classified material while serving on an army base outside Baghdad. He is suspected of taking copies not only of the state department archive, but also of video of an Apache helicopter crew gunning down civilians in Baghdad, and hundreds of thousands of daily war logs from military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

http://yvesfrateur.wordpress.com/2010 /11/30/1-6-gigabytes-of-top-secret-information-was-stolen-with-a-little-help-of-lady-gaga-wikileaks/


It only takes a minute . . .

.

Bob K
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18 posted 04-18-2011 04:12 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Yep.  Mostly the stuff I was talking about, John, I think.

     It is embarrassing material.  It makes us look bad to the Afghans and to much of the rest of the world, but near as I can tell, it put no troops in danger.  It looks like the man is being kept in jail because of having a conscience and not following orders.

     I understood that if you were to follow criminal orders, that made you a criminal, not a good soldier or, as they liked to say when I was growing up, "a good nazi."  This sounds like people are trying to stretch the new American values into being "good Nazis."  Shut up, follow orders, and don't let others know that there are massacres and potential war crimes being committed.

     I guess we have a chance here to show our mettle again.  We failed profoundly during the last administration, and it appears we're not doing so well during this one on these issues.  It sounds very much as though the man is in 23 hour per day solitary confinement to protect him from, among other things, the guards and the government.

     That would be like me arresting Rush Limbaugh to protect him from the wrath of my disagreements with him, and making sure that he was in solitary to show that his protection was total and profound, and that my contact with him wouldn't hurt him too much.  And giving him  limited access to clothes because he might hang himself out of despair, and so on.  Then of course me pretending it's all for his own good.

     This is not for his own good.  This is to help bury the actions of the military in a series of dubious actions.  They are trying to keep the focus on the low man here without considering the responsibility of the chain of command for the actions at question.  

     I suspect that one of the reasons the trial has not yet begun is that there may be difficulty with possible defense strategies of saying, this man was obligated to go public with this sort of information.  Potential atrocities are supposed to be reported and acted upon, not covered up.

     But that's simply me.

     And when the President helps with the cover-up, that makes things far worse.
Huan Yi
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19 posted 04-18-2011 04:20 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"But that's simply me."


agree


.
Huan Yi
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20 posted 04-18-2011 04:46 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"Quantico is a military brig, not a prison, and it is not a maximum security facility. http://www.quantico.usmc.mil/activities/display.aspx?PID=588&Section=SECBN

Manning, however, is considered a maximum custody detainee. He is not "under isolation 23 hours a day." Here are the facts of his pre-trial confinement:

PFC Manning is not in solitary confinement. He has a single-occupancy cell, like all of the other detainees.

PFC Manning is not in isolation.

PFC Manning is a maximum custody detainee in a prevention of injury status.

PFC Manning is not currently on suicide watch.

PFC Manning is being held in the same quarters section with other pre-trial detainees.

PFC Manning is allowed to watch television and read newspapers.

PFC Manning is allowed one-hour per day to exercise.

PFC Manning is provided well-balanced, nutritious meals three times a day.

PFC Manning receives visitors and mail and can write letters.

PFC Manning routinely meets with doctors and his attorney.

PFC Manning is allowed telephone calls.

PFC Manning is being treated just like every other detainee in the brig.

Also, there is no 'daily disrobing and various other humiliations.' In recent days, as the result of concerns for PFC Manning's personal safety, his undergarments were taken from him during sleeping hours. PFC Manning at all times had a bed and a blanket to cover himself. He was not made to stand naked for morning count but, but on one day, he chose to do so. There were no female personnel present at the time. PFC Manning has since been issued a garment to sleep in at night. He is clothed in a standard jumpsuit during the day. "

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/03/14/pentagon_manning_not_being_humiliated


.
Bob K
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21 posted 04-18-2011 06:45 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


Also, there is no 'daily disrobing and various other humiliations.' In recent days, as the result of concerns for PFC Manning's personal safety, his undergarments were taken from him during sleeping hours. PFC Manning at all times had a bed and a blanket to cover himself. He was not made to stand naked for morning count but, but on one day, he chose to do so. There were no female personnel present at the time. PFC Manning has since been issued a garment to sleep in at night. He is clothed in a standard jumpsuit during the day. "
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/03/14/pentagon_manning_not_being_humiliated


.     John, I'm not in a position to say your citation is correct or not correct.  I would like to know what the source is that it is using as authority.  If it is a spokesman for the military, I would have a different reaction than if it were a spokesman for PFC. Manning's defense team, than I would if it were a spokesman for Rush Limbaugh, as you might gather.  If it was the same team that gave misdirection about the two military actions in question, for example, I might be forgiven if I were somewhat on the skeptical side.

     Lawrence Tribe is a pretty good lawyer who tries to get his facts straight.  He's one of the signatories of the petition for examination of PFC. Manning's treatment, and while that is not a guarantee of accuracy, I do take his name to be more of an indication than a source that the magazine excerpt has not named.  I'll have a closer look, of course.

     Having worked on locked psychiatric facilities with acutely suicidal patients, I can say on the basis of experience that  it's pretty difficult to kill yourself with your underwear, and the fact that the underwear was returned to him  says a great deal about how necessary it was to confiscate it in the first place was.  It also suggests that, if the PFC was being treated like everybody else, all the other inmates were being deprived of bed-clothes, which seems like an unnecessary hardship to me and a touch on the sadistic side, or that the guards were selecting the PFC for special treatment.  Not better or more intensive treatment, but more punitive treatment.  Underwear tends to be stretchy, and makes very poor rope.  If they were doing the five-minute checks appropriate for people on suicide watch, the first time they saw him without underwear would have given the game away.

     If there was concern for suicide, it should have been focused on the blanket itself, and sometimes on the mattress cover.  In the daytime, a jumpsuit makes dandy material with which to hang one's self, and it's pretty much a snap to fashion if you're serious.
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22 posted 04-18-2011 08:27 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

...so much for "Wait'll we get our Haynes on you!"
Bob K
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23 posted 04-19-2011 08:02 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Bras, oddly enough, can be a different story.  

     I thought Mike would appreciate knowing that.

      PFC Manning is apparently being transferred to a medium security non-military prison.  His treatment there will apparently include being included with the general population, meals with the general population, showers with the population, meals with others, access to day hall and television.  Access to reading material.  Also meals with others, which I may not have mentioned before.


     It seems to me that a medium security prison for convicted offenders being a step up from his current status seems an interesting comment on the conditions for incarceration for a man who is awaiting trial and has not yet convicted of any crime.  My impression is that we reserved our punishments for those we had convicted rather than those we merely loathed and wanted to presume to be guilty because their actions were not yet proven and because they had not yet had a chance to defend themselves in a court of law.  I may have been confusing my presumptions with those that are supposed to be those held in the United States, however, and not in some country that doesn't punish those who are simply accused and not yet tried.  My Bad.
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24 posted 04-23-2011 08:33 PM       View Profile for banished_fairy   Email banished_fairy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for banished_fairy

I haven't been keeping up. Has he been offered bail? If he has, and has not provided for it, then what is the argument of him being in prison without being convicted?

A mother's favorite word is no.... just ask my kids

 
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