Monday, 20 December 2010

The “forgotten man” Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning is accused of leaking military secrets to the public. While headlines around the world are full of Wikileaks, Bradley Manning has been in prison for over 200 days.

Exposing war crimes is not a crime.

The authorities have imprisoned a suspected whistle blower, and left those who committed war crimes go free.

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Sean O'Hare said...

When Bradley Manning joined the United States Army he swore an oath of allegence and to abide by a certain code of conduct. The penalties of breaching that code were spelled out to him at the time. He chose to betray his country and must accept the consequences. Assange on the other hand is not a US citizen and has sworn no such allegence so I for one will fully support his fight against extradition to the US if it ever gets that far.

Adrian Windisch said...

We dont yet know the circumstances so I wouldnt rush to jusgement.

In general the defence 'I was only obeying orders' is not enough. If anyone sees a war crime they should do something about it. Bradley seems to have tried. That should make him a hero, the crazy mixed up system in the usa and here makes him incarcerated.

Assange is merely the publisher and I would defend his right to publish. Unfortunately our extradition treaty with the usa is a joke, change that now.

Sean O'Hare said...

The wikileaks cables have not so far revealed any war crimes. They were however marked "Secret" and their unauthorised release is therefore a criminal offence and to my mind that law is neither mixed up nor crazy. If and when the cables show evidence of war crimes then maybe I will change my mind.

I agree with you on the extradition treaty though. Wow!

Adrian Windisch said...

As I said before 'We dont yet know the circumstances so I wouldnt rush to judgement.'

Once more I question your judgement. How many massacre of innocents would you like to ignore? Wikileaks has revealed many such. In Jalalabad Marines opened fire with automatic weapons, spraying bullets at anything in their path, including "teenage girls in fields, motorists in their cars, old men as they walked along the road," the Guardian described. "Nineteen unarmed civilians were killed and 50 wounded" in a "bloodbath."

Some more examples: U.K. trained Bangladeshi 'death squad.

US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.

US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.

More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.

And more are still coming out.

Sean O'Hare said...

Now you didn't read my last post did you? I distinctly referred to the "cables" not the war diaries. There is certainly evidence of crimes in the later, no argument, but that isn't what Manning is being detained for is it?

Adrian Windisch said...

He is charged with 'the unauthorised use and disclosure of classified information, material related to the WikiLeaks, and faces a court martial sometime in 2011'.

He was charged in July with leaking classified material including video posted by WikiLeaks of a 2007 US attack in Baghdad by a Apache helicopter that killed a Reuters news photographer and his driver. He is also suspected of leaking other material to the website, which is posting more than 250,000 secret state department cables. Manning has not commented on whether he is the source.

I cant see any separation between cables and diaries. As I keep saying, were a long way from a court case, we don't know what will happen.

Sean O'Hare said...

Ok, I'll take your word for it. I surrender. You've got me on that one. Thankfully not part of your green agenda though. When you get me on that one I will give up blog posting altogether.

Adrian Windisch said...

Prepare to surrender then.

weggis said...

@ Sean
Critique is good [and you do it with respect] - it sharpens you up, as I'm sure Adrian will admit.

It's Trolls who are the pain.

As for the "Green agenda" please explain what you perceive this to be. It may not be perfect, what is, and I have my own problems, but it's a damn sight better than anything else I've seen.

Sean O'Hare said...


Thanks for that, never thought of myself as a troll, but I can't see any point in making comments on blogs where their opinion coincides with my own. I also have a go on my local (failed) Labour candidate's blog at

Fortunately he doesn't mind either.

My perception of "The Greeen Agenda" is that it is a cause that has been hijacked by politicians for their own nefarious ends. No one doubts that it is essential to care for the rainforests and habitat of the planet's wildlife in general. However that is not what COP16 was about. The hypocrisy of flying in from all around the world to have a meeting on reducing CO2 emissions beggars belief. It's all about money, my money and your money and I for one object to their agenda.

Sean O'Hare said...

Oh I forgot to wish Adrian and Weggis a Merry Christmas. I expect I will be back before the new year, but if not the Happy New Year to you both.

weggis said...

And to you too, Sean.

Now, if I'm reading you correctly it's not the "Green Agenda" per se that you object to, it's the way it has been interpreted by and is being implemented by the Grey Establishment politicians? It's called Greenwash and I think you might just find a few Greens in agreement with you there.

Solution? Elect Green Politicians!


Adrian Windisch said...

Weggis you are a genius.

Vote Weggis

Sean O'Hare said...

@adrian @weggis

Vote Green

Not a chance while:

a) You advocate leftie policies.

b) Believe CO2 causes significant global warming.

c) Insist wind turbines are a solution to our energy problems.

d) Believe that the European Union is a benign organisation and in the UK's interest.

Happy Boxing Day chaps.

weggis said...

Hi Sean,

Let’s take those in reverse order.

d) Greens and in particular the two MEPs are very critical of the EU and want major reform to make it more democratic and accountable. We want to make it work, not bin it. It’s in our nature not to be wasteful.

c) They’re not, but they are part of the mix. Energy is going to be at a premium and having a mix of alternative supplies under our own control [energy security] is surely a good thing. Local decentralised generation is more efficient, but it’s not in some people’s interests.

b) I don’t actually know and I suspect neither do you. But the advice we are getting from the bulk of the scientific community is that it does. In any case we will have to wean ourselves off fossil fuels at some point and I’d rather not spend my capital on my current account.

a) Left wing, and right wing are terms that should only be used in the context of football. All parties and politicians are a mixture of left and right influences and policies. Policies should not be dismissed because of a label but judged on their merits.

Can you expand on what you mean by “leftie policies” please?

Happy New Year.