RANGER AGAINST WAR: Bradley Manning Trial <

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bradley Manning Trial

--Rainer Hachfeld, Neues Deutschland

Picket lines and picket signs
Don't punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what's going on 

 --What's Going On, Marvin Gaye 

I'm as mad as hell
and I'm not going to take this anymore! 
--Network (1976)

The National Security Agency moved swiftly and forcefully today to remind its employees of its longstanding zero-tolerance policy on conscience, warning that any violation of that policy would result in immediate termination. 
“When you sign on to work at the N.S.A. you swear to uphold the standards of amorality and soullessness that this agency was founded upon,” said N.S.A. director General Keith B. Alexander. “Any evidence of ethics, decency, or a sense of right and wrong will not be tolerated. These things have no place in the intelligence community.” 

To enforce the policy, General Alexander said that once a month all N.S.A. employees will be wired to a computer to take full inventory of what is going on in their minds: “We want to be sure they are spending their free time playing Call of Duty, not reading the Federalist Papers.” 

-- fr. N.S.A. Enforces Zero-Tolerance Policy on Conscience, Andy Borowitz

The Bradley Manning trial which began this week is not getting much press; some 75% of mainstream news outlets will not be covering the trial, and the press gallery remains mostly empty.

Meanwhile, the United States government continues perfecting its adversarial electronic surveillance posture against both the press and the rest of us. It is apparent that secrecy and the diminution of our privacy rights are a daily event in our brave new world, and we the marching morons continue in lockstep throwing our rights away by the fistfuls.

As Juan Cole wrote, "The US Government has been gleefully getting access to your private correspondence and that gave the Government Class an inherent superiority over ordinary Americans. Manning announced that turnabout is fair play, and we should be able to see their correspondence, too, especially given the war crimes in Iraq. That's why they're trying to execute him."

But as U.S. intelligence agencies perfect their methods of spying on us -- with our complicity -- there will always be the few like Edward Snowden and Manning who refuse to forbear their part in the voyeurism. Adrian Lamo who turned Manning in, under oath described Manning as having a sort of oceanic moment of awareness in which he realized the brutality we do to others, we do to ourselves. At this thought Manning felt suicidal, but instead of acting on that he revealed to us the source of the impulse to self-immolation.

We did not do much with the data other than to shuffle it off with a time-worn, "Things happen in war."

Once in a while there's a Howard Beale who dares to yell out the open window, but we don't mollycoddle our whistle blowers. Most of us go along to get along, just so happy for the Costco membership, the (hopefully one) mortgage and the 10-day family vacation. But there is another Bradley Manning out there now releasing secret court orders and PowerPoint presentations showing government tendencies to overreach its constitutionally-mandated boundaries.

To that person, whomever he may be -- we will say, "thank you for your service."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Chif, I was wondering if I could get you thoughts on this piece on religious fundamentalism in the US army spurred on by the climate of the War on Terror and whether its widespread. Not going to lie it scares me to think that people like that could be at the top.
Reading your writing tells me otherwise but I'd like to hear your thoughts as a veteran and writer. Cheers


Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 12:30:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Eric Hodgdon said...

The US federal government is the greatest threat to the World and the USA itself.

68 years of continual warfare during peace time drains more than resources, it kills people around the globe for no reason whatsoever.

For Manning to expose a portion of that insidious degeneracy called the Armed Forces of the USA, was more than proper. Remember, acting outside of the country's boarders is a War Crime as it is following illegal orders. For 68 years there has been no legal reason to do these things, and certainly no moral justification either.

The rapes continue on many levels.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:53:00 AM GMT-5  

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