Monday, December 26, 2011

Tread on Me

But the law, Judah.
Without the law, it's all darkness

--Crimes and Misdemeanors

Remember all of the purple thumbs which were part of the constructed pastiche that said, "We're winning?" Well, voting is not the sign of either freedom or democracy.

The sign of democracy is being allowed to vote on key issues and having politicians who will then fulfill our mandate. That is freedom and democracy marching hand in hand. When we in the U.S. vote for President, is our intent to elect a warrior king ? An assassin? A jailer? Do we expect him to uphold The Constitution, or to view it as a buffet for the choosing?

What politician will cease being a reactor and fulfill the role of statesman, instead being an actor for the betterment of his nation? As long as any man sits in prison sans trial, none of us is a free man.
Rights are not rights if they can be abrogated by arbitrary Presidential fiat. Discretionary rights are as bogus as discretionary war.

How can we tell our troops that they are fighting for our rights, when one of them (Bradley Manning) sits in jail without any rights at all? Do we and they not see this? The actions of Presidents George Bush and Obama to assassinate citizens and incarcerate people without trial embodies the Constitutional concept of high crimes and misdemeanors.

The Republican candidates are stepping up to the plate, but no one asks them, "Would you free, try, or just let Manning continue to rot in prison?" Instead we focus on their sex lives and other meaningless drivel. We should ask, "Do you support the assassination of U.S. citizens sans benefit of trial?", but we do not, because we know the answer. Both political parties support the truncation of citizen's rights in this not-so Brave New World.

It is strange that the U.S. would try and impeach a president for sexual dalliances with an intern, while gladly accepting the assassinations and jailings without a whimper.

Don't Tread on Me
has left the building.

Labels: , ,


Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Jim and Lisa,

I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty and the democratic form is as bad as any of the other forms.

H. L. Mencken

What's to do? It's a shame the schools seem unable to turn out anything but thoughtless clods. Can you imagine the consequences of raising up a generation of literate and thoughtful readers?

The next thing you know they'll start listening very carefully to the words and sentences of the politicians, and they'll decide that there isn't one of them worth voting for anywhere on the ballot. There's no knowing where this will end. The day will come when a President is elected only because those few feebleminded citizens who still vote just happened to bump up against his lever more often than they bumped up against the other guy's lever. A President, of course, doesn't care how he gets elected, but he might lose clout among world leaders when they remind him that he owes his high office to the random twitchings of thirty-seven imbeciles. That will be the end of network election coverage as we know it.

Richard Mitchell

Feliz Año Nuevo


Monday, December 26, 2011 at 5:43:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both parties indeed complicit. Or one party with 2 aliases.

Monday, December 26, 2011 at 9:32:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


You have touched upon a part of the problem -- education. Of course, public education never was about culturing a thoughtful bloc of citizens.

Thought -- thinking -- is a rarefied process and a personal choice. When I look at poor basal behavior I usually need look no further than the parents' training (or lack thereof).

Monday, December 26, 2011 at 11:22:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe our biggest problem is that there are so many really big powers competing with and for the political power in DC.

Corporate powers and monied interests are so prevalent in everything we do and hear and see, that the only thing we lack is the labels plastered all over our bodies to show who or what influences us.

Some of us do that already in the clothing we wear.


Examples and more at the site:

SOLOMON: "A major -- a major advertiser for CNN is the largest military contractor in the United States, Lockheed Martin. So when you and others --"

BECK: "I got news for you, Norman. Norman --"

SOLOMON: "-- promote war -- when you and others promote war on this network --"

BECK: "Norman -- Norman --"

SOLOMON: "-- we have Lockheed Martin paying millions of dollars undisclosed. So I would quote you --"

BECK: "Norman -- Norman --"

SOLOMON: "Promoting but not disclosing is a bad way to go."

BECK: "Norman, let me just tell you this. First of all, Lockheed Martin is not a -- not a corporate overlord of this program."

SOLOMON: "It's a major advertiser on CNN."

BECK: "That's fine. That's fine. Advertisers are different. But let --"

SOLOMON: "Well, it is fine, but it should be disclosed."

BECK: "Norman, let me just tell you something. If you think that it's warmonger central downstairs at CNN, you're out of your mind. But that's a different story."

SOLOMON: "Well, upstairs, when I watch Glenn Beck, in terms of attacking Iran, it certainly is. It's lucrative for the oil companies, as well as for the major advertiser on CNN, Lockheed Martin."

BECK: "But we're not talking about advertisers. We are talking about --"

SOLOMON: "Well, you don't want to talk about it. So let's talk about the Internet stake."

BECK: "No, no, no. Norman --"

SOLOMON: "Let's talk about the Internet stake that the owners of CNN have. Huge profits to be made or lost by the parent company of CNN depending on what happens in Washington in terms of Internet regulation."


Monday, December 26, 2011 at 11:44:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Repo Man said...

"i wouldn’t mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much, if it wasn’t for the possibility of having pictures of me… plastered all over the world press… as a boy…" Specialist Bradley Manning in a computer chat with Adrian Lamo

Specialist Bradley Manning, as quoted above, clearly knew the legal implications of leaking top secret materials he was entrusted with...period,full stop.

Specialist Manning will get his day in court. The full scope of the damage to the US may never be known. If one soldier/civilian dies as a result of his leaks then he is guilty of murder.

I'm sure it will be pointed out of me the the US Government is guilty of the same crimes. I agree and hope those accountable are brought to trial, as well. In the Manning's case the target is hard to miss. In the latter case, nearly impossible to hit.

It's all fucked

Monday, December 26, 2011 at 11:55:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you been following Manning's trial?

An account:


An interview just put up in which A. Lamo is discussed:


I just got off overnight work a bit ago, too tired to sift through this now.


Monday, December 26, 2011 at 12:26:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

repo man,
welcome to RangerAW.
manning 's case is a joke. prove the ascertions that he caused any deaths. PROOF is what we call admissable in a US court. not hearsay and not propaganda blasts.
isn't it a bit pushing the legal system when a man can be thrown into pre trial confinement and imprisonment BEFORE we even convened the military equivalent of a grand jury? 19 months LATER.
that ain't america and he wasn't held in a little pink house.
again, welcome.

Monday, December 26, 2011 at 1:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous CholoAzul said...

We are in an interesting time in this country, when violating *politically expedient* secrecy is treated as worse than Geraldo drawing maps of future troop movements on TV.

Monday, December 26, 2011 at 4:35:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

Baby I'm An Anarchist

Monday, December 26, 2011 at 6:23:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Repo Man said...

Ranger enough sophistry. Did you read my first paragraph, a quote from Specialist Manning himself ? Can YOU prove Specialist Manning caused no past, present, or future deaths or harm to National Security ? If not, don't call me out for what you yourself do not know ?
I don't know the current code of Military Justice and I doubt you are an expert either. But the fact remains given his security clearance, he damn well knew what kind of shit-storm was brewing by disclosing the secrets he was entrusted with.
If I was fighting in Afghanistan and trying to stay alive I might be more than a little upset.
The 'LBJ Ranch' in Long Binh was no "pink house" prison, Manning now resides in a medium security Federal prison. Where most of my buddies honed their golfing skills.
As military man you yourself sure as hell knew the rules of the military game and the consequences of ignoring them. Yes, shit falls down hill, always has always will.
Manning is no victim. A fucked up kid in fucked up war. But that does not and will not hold up in any court of law.

Monday, December 26, 2011 at 7:01:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Repo Man,

You're missing the point: Manning was incarcerated for 19 mos. w/o a hearing of any sort. During that period the gov't couldn't even decide what charges to bring.

As always, in the entire PWOT, they're stacking charges and adding hyperbole. Everybody that was in the LBJ Ranch was there as a result of a fair court martial, or they were awaiting trial after due process of law.

I don't specialize in sophistry; I leave that to the Right Wingers.

Monday, December 26, 2011 at 9:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Debating what Manning did and why is what the men behind the curtain want you and me to do. Asking WHY it took mover a year to get around to charging the guy is all we really need to ask...and I don't think we'd like the answer.

But more to the point, there are Mannings all through the "criminal justice" system - low-level mopks who fucked up and are getting slammed.

Where are the thrones and dominations?

Where is the trial for Dubya and Dick who ginned up an aggressive war based on spin and lies?

We hung people after a fair trial at Nuremburg for that, remember?

Where is the trial for the banksters that knowingly sold worthless mortgages to grandpa's pension fund and then awarded themselves billions in tax-funded "bonuses"?

Quibble about Manning if you will. I think jim has caught the crux of the biscuit in this post - if we live in a nation where the full majesty of the law is for me but not for thee we don't really live in much of a "democracy" now, do we?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 4:55:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

the key issues are;
-speedy trial
-right to face your accuser
-presumption of innocence
-jury of your peers
-arrest warrants based on probable cause.-
-does a stamp that said TS REALLY MAKE SOMETHING ts?
Now guys like Repo man want me to prove that BM DIDN'T get anyone killed yadda yadda,which is totally totalitarian in concept. This is said without sophistry and straight on. Only tyrants FORCE people to prove their innocence.not in amurica WHERE THE GOV'T IS required TO PROVE YOUR GUILT BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.
that's how it was before DIRTY HARRY was elected potus.
and of course this bullshit will make it to court and national security will be used to enter hearsay as fact.
good luck kiddies.
if they can do it to 1 then they can do it to all.
i rolled in laughter when i read that i'm a sophist. imagine that!?
words have really lost their meaning.
btw-HNY chief.and all.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 9:33:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Back atcha, jim.

And I agree - there's something non-mission-capable about our supposed justice system when the burden of proof is on the accused.

I'm perfectly willing to buy that this guy Manning was a disgruntled little shit who shopped secret information. But that's not supposed to be enough in the good ol' USofA; it's not supposed to matter WHAT I'm buying. My government is supposed to SELL me on the idea using evidence - gathered legally - in a court of law.

The real bottom line in this case, like so many others we've seen involving this supposed "war" is that all we know is what the U.S. DoJ has told us. And from what I can tell most of the "secrecy" involving the stuff Manning dumped was because the intel either a) implicated U.S. personnel in something sketchy either criminally or doctrinally, or b) had potential for "embarassing" us by contrasting what we keep saying ("We're fighting for freedom1" "We're the good guys because we only do good things!") with what is happening on the ground (all sorts of the usual sorts of venal skulduggery that happens when you try to do business in corrupt Third World backwaters)...

Manning's actual guilt or innocence is really immaterial to the question of whether this case is being dealt with according to the supposed laws of the land, and, in fact, cannot be reasonably assessed UNTIL it is.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 11:57:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought sophistry consisted of things like challenging someone to prove a negative?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 12:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Repo Man said...

Ranger, I'm glad I brought some humor in to your life. But your skating on thin ice here. Below is a paragraph of article 32 of UCMJ from wikipedia.

"While stating re the prosecution 'no charge or specification may be referred to a general court-martial for trial until a thorough and impartial investigation of all the matters set forth therein has been made', Article 32 currently provides no upper time limit on consequent detention of the accused before trial."

FYI, Johnathan Pollard a CIA civillian analyst who was caught passing secrets to Israel and other countries spent nearly a year incarcerated before he went to trial. The why is obvious in both cases. The shear weight of the evidence that both the prosecutor and the defense council have to wade through. Hundreds of thousands of documents have to be poured over and sifted for evidence by both parties. So your outrage at 19 months pre-trial is simply your outrage.

"Now guys like Repo man want me to prove that BM DIDN'T get anyone killed yadda yadda,which is totally totalitarian in concept. This is said without sophistry and straight on"....Ranger

It's interesting you should be offended by being called a sophist in this thread. A sophist is a person reasons with clever and fallacious arguments. Your Manning argument is both clever and fallacious as proved by article 32.

You can't have both ways Ranger because YOU brought up the matter of 'PROOF' in the first place. When I pointed out that you had no PROOF either, suddenly I become guilty of totalitarian thinking.

This is a free forum which I admire more than you think. I think it's fair to disagree....straight on

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 12:58:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

soph·is·try (sf-str)
n. pl. soph·is·tries
1. Plausible but fallacious argumentation.
2. A plausible but misleading or fallacious argument.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 12:59:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

yes it's a free forum. your thoughts are welcome. you are polite and reasoned and that's always welcome.
your art 32 does point out some weak ice.
pollard is immaterial to our discussion.
why wasn't lt. watada put in pre trial confinement and BM was?? Umh..
was BM a flight risk? umh. was he capable of further damage?umh..
the old rule of thumb for pre-trial when i commanded a unit was- flight risk , or a danger to the unit. Usually pre-trial was at a admin hold status.
even if pre trial was warranted there was NO EXCUSE for putting him in isolated custody, nor for trying him in the court of public opinion.
this is a stacked deck.
i for one am proud of him for showing the gunning down of iraqis by our gunships.Oh yeah, why were these killers not court martialled?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 1:33:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Greenwald, as usual, discusses the entire issue more completely here: http://www.salon.com/2011/12/24/the_intellectual_cowardice_of_bradley_mannings_critics/singleton/

Note the extensive discussion of the real similarity between the release of this classified material and the Pentagon Papers. ISTM that you can have it one way or the other; either Ellsberg is and was a traitor and should have been jailed for years, or the Wikileaker is another Ellsberg.

And the Pollard case is very different; Pollard was a spy, pure and simple. He was sending U.S. secrets to a foreign power. Black is still not white, and his case is not this one.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 1:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous tw said...

Incarceration is one thing, incarceration and torture is another.

I saw Daniel Ellsberg on RT the other night and he brought up another issue. He said Obama was not responsible for bringing the troops home from Iraq. Bradley Manning was the one who brought the troops home. His disclosures showed the Iraqis and the world the extent of the American atrocities and the lack of prosecution. That's why the Iraqis refused to grant immunity to the Americans and Obama was forced to withdraw. It's a stretch but it has some merit. I do agree with him that Manning should be a hero for exposing all those lies but under the current and past regimes we see that whistle blowers don't fare too well.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 11:57:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

tw &chief.
roger that.
i can't tell you both how much i value your input and friendship.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 7:42:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger basilbeast said...

Ray McGovern at:


When Generals Lie

Bradley Manning’s courage hits a personal nerve in me. At age 28, I had an opportunity to blow the whistle on the lies of the senior U.S. military in Saigon. The evidence was documentary (a SECRET/EYES ONLY cable from Saigon); indeed, it was hard for me to believe the generals would put their deceit so explicitly in writing, but they did.

Younger readers need to be reminded that, at the time (August 1967) there was no WikiLeaks, but The New York Times was an independent newspaper prone to publishing documentary evidence critical of the government. The Times had not yet gotten into the habit of seeking prior approval from the White House.

Six years older than Bradley Manning was when he summoned the courage to do the right thing — and with college courses in ethics in my moral quiver — I nonetheless, well, quivered.

I blew a unique opportunity to let Americans know that — duty, honor, country be damned — unconscionable corruption at senior levels in Saigon and in Washington had badly misled us on the war and that our GIs and the Vietnamese were being chewed up in a March of Folly.

And that opportunity came months before so many got chewed up in the January-February 1968 Communist countrywide offensive, ushering in the second half of the bloody war in Vietnam. I discussed this last year, in connection with the WikiLeaks disclosures. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “How the Truth Can Save Lives.]


Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 8:33:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger basilbeast said...

The crime here is the corrupt and vicious crap we do everyday in the world that 66 years ago we hung people for.


Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 8:35:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger basilbeast said...

Oh, and I meant to add in the post directly above, that I'm of the opinion that as McGovern wrote above "the truth will save lives".

I don't know where this folderol that the release of government secrets invariably will cause the deaths of US citizens came from.

Secret plans for military action and policies, yes, but the stuff in Wikileaks?



Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 8:41:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

thanks for input .
have a hny.
the theologian jim

Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 10:24:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

fwiw. this event w. BM is not a trial. not yet.
what i find strange is that BM didn't ever have a pro-confinement hearing. i didn't find any mention of it when i reviewed the MCM at repo man's suggestion.
strangely pre-trial is allowed, but how can 18 mos of investigating take place before the Art 32 hearing???!did it happen or didn't it? what's to investigate?
additionally all the sources i read said that confinement can take place in a brig or equivalent, BUT NOWHERE do i see any authority to put the accusedin a military PRISON. this may be splitting hairs but that's what this whole thing is about.
why doesn't anybody refer to BM as a whistle blower??

Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 10:30:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lifespan of WhistleBlowers is not very long, I fear.

As for leaking gov't secrets leading to more deaths, look at this.


And from a comment below that piece:


"We got played" into murder. The "PWOT tm" is still killing.

I don't think "hny" is gonna be very "h". More violence abroad and here at home as the election season heats up IMO.

I need some liquid theology.


Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 1:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

Every active duty military officer who isn't screaming at the top of his lungs for Bradley Manning to be released from prison for exposing criminal actions is a disgrace to the uniform and a threat to our national security. And yes, as a veteran who took his Oath of Service very seriously I feel very strongly about that and don't consider the statement hyperbole in the least.

Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 10:04:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

"i rolled in laughter when i read that i'm a sophist."

That got me to laughing pretty good as well. Repo may as well have waved his little white flag and admitted he's an ignoramus but would continue to prove it for us. Meant the same thing for me anyway. I can't help but wonder what country repo is from though because he sure as hell isn't from the United States of America that I grew up in.

Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 10:19:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Repo Man said...

"Repo may as well have waved his little white flag and admitted he's an ignoramus but would continue to prove it for us. Meant the same thing for me anyway. I can't help but wonder what country repo is from though because he sure as hell isn't from the United States of America that I grew up in."

FYI 'Terrible',
if anyone here is an ignoramus look in the mirror. I did multiple combat tours Vietnam. I took the Oath of Service as did Bradley Manning. I kept my oath, Manning admittedly did not. If you can't do the time don't do the crime.

Manning was willing to lay down his life for....I quote, "i wouldn’t mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much, if it wasn’t for the possibility of having pictures of me… plastered all over the world press… as a boy…"

If thats your idea of uncommon valor what planet are you from ?

Ranger, while I find your sense of outrage at the Apache video perfectly justified, but name me one war that was the 'good war'. War is 'Murder Incorporated', period, full stop.

I don't see any stinking white flags

Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 4:22:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Brooklyn Red Leg said...

Jim, if I might correct something. Dr. Paul (who took 3rd in Iowa and 2nd now in New Hampshire) has addressed this issue repeatedly.



He is the ONLY candidate that I am aware of, for President, from both parties that has done so. The fact the major media has ignored this is typical as they would rather focus on 20 year old newsletters that NOW have finally been revealed as NOT being written by Dr. Paul.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 4:58:00 PM GMT-5  

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