#1 By: Cory Doctorow, December 17th, 2013 17:00
#2 By: hungryjoe, December 17th, 2013 17:36
Speaking of petitions, what happened to the one where we try to force them to change the privacy laws? The one from last week? It hit the 100,000 mark. Where's the response to that one?
Can anyone cite an example showing the positive result of one of these petitions?
#3 By: Boundegar, December 17th, 2013 17:52
Well, there was the Death Star one...
#4 By: Jonas Eggeater, December 17th, 2013 17:57
#5 By: IMB, December 17th, 2013 17:57
They get your email and postal address and sell your name to 150 other nonprofits. I would guess that's a positive result for someone.
#6 By: Inquiry, December 17th, 2013 18:12
Until Obama sees millions of disapproving citizens in his front yard nothing will happen.
#7 By: Lynda_Gutierrez, December 17th, 2013 18:31
Please, they are not going to release Manning. Yes, there were reasons, perhaps. But what she did was a huge crime, any way you slice it. She (while still Bradley) knew that it was a crime and knew the repercussions for that crime and still chose to carry out that crime. Yes, the terms of confinement were harsh and arguably should garner some sort of benefit -- but there is no way in hell that it will be her release. It might mean a nicer cell, more flexible visitation or even, somewhere years down the road, an early release once so many people stop fanboying about it.
#8 By: Fascinoma, December 17th, 2013 18:38
I don't think he'll care, even then. I'm not really surprised there hasn't been a response yet, and I don't honestly expect one. You could get ten million signatures and it'd still be ignored. I thought the idea that there had to be a response if it hit 100k signatures was a bit optimistic, really.
#10 By: Phasma Felis, December 17th, 2013 19:12
Summary of comment thread so far: "Everyone knows petitions don't work, which is all the excuse I need to be smug about sitting around doing nothing."
#11 By: samsa, December 17th, 2013 20:02
Well, some folks are rightly pointing out that, well, she committed a massive crime, knowingly, and perhaps her release is therefore a little questionable.
#12 By: Tim, December 17th, 2013 20:07
Will someone please think of the victims!
(No, not the victims of the war crimes that Manning exposed. I mean the victims of… uh…)
#13 By: IMB, December 17th, 2013 20:21
I think actual petitions work. Internet petitions, at least up until now, I have seen no success, but maybe you know of some.
#14 By: Boundegar, December 17th, 2013 20:32
#15 By: Jonas Eggeater, December 17th, 2013 21:48
Haha. To both the response and your link.
#16 By: hungryjoe, December 17th, 2013 22:11
There's always a response like this. If you really want the petition to work, you also need to like it on Facebook, and forward it to everyone in your address book with a threat of bad luck if they don't. Seriously, Bill Gates will donate 1 billion dollars to Manning's defense if the email gets forwarded enough.
Write or call your Congressman if you want to get results. Or if you want real, actual results, donate millions of dollars to an ambiguously named nonprofit.
#17 By: Phasma Felis, December 17th, 2013 23:37
Signing the petition may well be futile, but it's no more futile than sitting around jeering at people who sign petitions, and has the added benefit of not making you a dick.
(Silently ignoring the petition in a non-smug fashion also fulfills these extremely minimal criteria.)
#18 By: Shane_Simmons, December 18th, 2013 01:27
I doubt we'd even find out if there were any victims, or ever will be. The thing is, though, whistleblowers always get shit on. And the thing is, Manning is guilty of leaking over 72,000 documents. There's no way Manning was fully aware of the content about to be dumped upon the entire world.
The Rosenbergs were executed for spying. Now, at the time, one could argue that it was a victimless crime, but documents supplied to the Soviets were later used to build the weapon which shot down Gary Powers' U2 in 1960.
Even though I'm sympathetic and have..."enjoyed" isn't the right word, but let's go with that...watching Obama not only renege on his promise of open government and has gone out of his way to personally vilify Manning, let's not forget that Bradley Manning (for he was Bradley back then) took the Oath of Enlistment and was therefore sworn to protect the country and Constitution. It can be argued that he's protecting it against itself, but he's also potentially putting the nation in danger by giving intelligence to countries that aren't terribly pleased with the United States. Manning won't go free.
And if "didn't cause harm" is a defense, does that mean I can tell my kids to go play in traffic as long as nobody gets hurt?
#19 By: chenille, December 18th, 2013 02:04
If this oath is really the main concern in who goes to prison, America needs to replace it with something better. Something that ensures people are locked up for committing or covering up war crimes, instead of just for failing to preserve every possible national interest when they expose them.
"Didn't cause harm" might be a poor defense sometimes, but not when it goes with "was trying to stop people who did." If Manning doesn't deserve clemency as a whistleblower, probably nobody ever does...which is, I expect, the point they are making. It's not a point anyone should just accept, though.
At any rate, though, it's not like Amnesty is saying there shouldn't be a punishment. They're saying there was already punishment, cruel and inhumane, and it shouldn't be followed by a sentence heavier than for some murderers, rapists, and war criminals.
#20 By: Fabian F., December 18th, 2013 05:12
It was torture. A practice/human rights violation abhorred by any (apart from the US) western democratic country.
the U.N. official overseeing the investigation pronounced that “Bradley Manning was subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in the excessive and prolonged isolation“ to which he was subjected at Quantico. That official, Juan Ernesto Mendez, heads the U.N. office created by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, bestowed with the mandate “to examine questions relevant to torture.
#21 By: Nathan Hornby, December 18th, 2013 09:46
Didn't the last time one of these reach the right number on an important topic, Obama essentially said, 'Sorry, but we won't be commenting on this'? Up until that point there was hope, but for the last couple years I haven't seen the point in the system.
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