#1 By: Xeni Jardin, August 15th, 2013 12:09
#2 By: Jonathan Roberts, August 15th, 2013 12:39
It may just be a strategy to reduce the punishment, but I feel like I'm reading the last page of 1984 again:
He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.
#3 By: Jorpho, August 15th, 2013 12:42
If what he's been through during his imprisonment is as bad as they say it is, it's probably comparable to what Winston Smith went through, if not worse. There's an argument for reducing the sentence, I would think.
#4 By: Phasma Felis, August 15th, 2013 12:52
Looking forward to the "if Snowden was a real patriot he'd have turned himself in" crowd telling us that Bradley should've spit in the judge's face and called her mother a whore.
#5 By: Nathan Hornby, August 15th, 2013 12:57
Maning's life, not mine, his decisions, not mine, but IMO that testimony is likely to cause more damage than his original actions. What a crock of shit.
#6 By: Phasma Felis, August 15th, 2013 13:09
#7 By: Lynda_Gutierrez, August 15th, 2013 13:23
It may be a ploy, it may be 1984, but you also must consider the possibility that it may be true. Manning is clearly a very troubled man with a very sad and troubled past. He obviously made a very poor decision in enlisting in the first place when what he really needed was therapy to deal with his sad and violent childhood and his possible gender confusion. He obviously hoped that the military would beat it out of him. But instead he cracked completely. (The pressure of that job, with its 16 hour workdays, six days a week is such that even "normal" people do act out and snap.)
His superiors may just have felt that the picture of him dressed as a woman was simply "bucking for a Section 8" a la Klinger of MASH and so didn't feel it was a particular cry for help, any more than the incident with the knife. Or, he or she may have seen it as a Don't Ask, Don't Tell issue and so turned a blind eye.
But the reality was, however damaged Manning was, he was needed by his superior to guard the safety of the other young men who were in the field, outside the wire, the ones who could end up with limbs blown off, or coming back to their families in a coffin, or with not enough of them left to even need a coffin. Men whose lives depended on the men and woman who did the job than Manning had signed up for, trained for, and swore to do. It was a stupid war and the country did stupid things under the stupid president who sent us there. But it was his job and people's lives were in his hands. .
Whatever good you feel was done by his decision to randomly download and pass on information to some stranger on the internet, it is that betrayal of trust for which he has been sentenced. Hopefully, he will one day find peace within himself to heal his child-wounded psyche that led him to this place.
#8 By: lasermike026, August 15th, 2013 14:01
If we have learned one thing it is that whistle blowers are a natural resource and the life blood of a functional democracy and free society.
#9 By: Ygret, August 15th, 2013 14:18
Manning used his conscience when he released the documents. And now he's following advice of counsel. In these types of proceedings, throwing yourself on the mercy of the court and acknowledging one's moral culpability is the right way to go. You are misjudging the mindset of prosecutors and judges if you think a political statement would've been preferable.
#10 By: Ygret, August 15th, 2013 14:20
Are you saying that Manning didn't do his job properly? I've never heard that allegation before. I'm honestly curious...
#11 By: Phasma Felis, August 15th, 2013 14:24
Men who, by their superiors' repeated admission, were not harmed but only "embarrassed" by Manning's leaks?
Manning violated a sacred trust to protect young men from the embarrassment of being outed as gleeful murderers. They counted on him to keep their crimes secret, and he callously betrayed them. My heart bleeds, truly.
#12 By: gilbert wham, August 15th, 2013 14:31
I was thinking the trial at the end of Spy Who Came From The Cold.
#13 By: er0ck, August 15th, 2013 14:42
i'm not sure which way i'd go. i'm pretty sure it would be to beg for mercy too. he's already done more than most of us could even dream, for this country. But, to what gain now? how much will it change his sentence? he'll be in jail for the rest of his life, either way, no?
#14 By: Rob Northrup, August 15th, 2013 14:48
If his leaks had put soldiers in actual danger, shouldn't they be trying to prosecute NYT and all other outlets that tried to publish the leaks? Not just the leakers?
#15 By: Jeremy Erwin, August 15th, 2013 15:04
Dont give them any ideas.
#16 By: Raul, August 15th, 2013 15:07
I think given there are no huge protests, people out on the street, activism, he is perhaps right to conclude he was wrong. A political statement in the context would sound empty and meaningless. There is zero change or even hope of change. He is alone.
#17 By: Cowicide, August 15th, 2013 15:18
supporters say leaks benefited America
Thank you for mentioning this relevant part, Xeni.
Manning's apology doesn't suddenly change the good things he did for America. I'd like to hear more from Manning on this after sentencing (and appeals?) and perhaps rigorous therapy.
This nervous apology appears (to me) to be the desperate act of someone who'd like to see the light of day outside of prison at some point in his life. And, this contrition is also coming from someone who has already experienced the torture of intensive solitary confinement at the hands of his authoritarian captors.
Some may find this is an interesting read in regards to using apologies as a strategy:
Contrition in the courtroom: Do apologies affect adjudication?
Manning apologizes for “hurt” inflicted on U.S
Many keep speculating on Manning's mental state just before the leaks.
I think the better question now is:
What is Manning's mental state after being tortured by his own country?
“I certainly have many enemies, and this is what will be my destruction if I am destroyed; of that I am certain; not Meletus, nor yet Anytus, but the envy and detraction of the world, which has been the death of many good men, and will probably be the death of many more; there is no danger of my being the last of them.”
― Plato, Apology
#18 By: Cowicide, August 15th, 2013 15:26
There is zero change or even hope of change. He is alone.
Speak for your lonely, ingrate self, ok, sugar?
He is, by far, not alone and has supporters worldwide. There has already been change inspired from his patriotic acts and there will continue to be change inspired from it.
His apology doesn't alter his good deeds for critical thinkers.
I think given there are no huge protests
#19 By: David Emigh, August 15th, 2013 15:39
If his leaks had put soldiers in danger, don't you suppose he would have been convicted of "Aiding The Enemy" ?
I'm pretty sure that was one charge they couldn't make stick.
#20 By: Brian Mc Keever, August 15th, 2013 15:43
But isn't "following the advice of counsel" instead of doing the right thing how America got so far off track in the first place?
I'm sorry, but I find this incredibly disappointing. What Manning managed to do with that statement is give the mainstream the perfect soundbite that will forever discredit what he did. Nuance doesn't matter in the age of the 24/7 "news" cycle and a totally distracted populace, and Manning played right into the hands of the very forces he was rightfully attempting to discredit.
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