State Dept Spokesman: Bradley Manning’s Treatment “Ridiculous and Counterproductive and Stupid.”

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Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

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88 Responses

  1. Avatar Will says:

    Counterproductive and stupid, sure. But you get the sense that Crowley sees this as a bad PR move, not a morally horrendous decision.

    It is fairly stunning that an Administration official would publicly admit to as much, though.Report

  2. Avatar stillwater says:

    If bloggers and others push this, maybe we can get a statement from the WH officially condemning Manning’s treatment. Odds, anyone?Report

  3. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    A State wonk taking an opportunity to shit on the DoD? Well, I never.Report

  4. Avatar Bob says:

    The President was asked about the Crowley remark at his press conference today. His reply,

    “With respect to Private Manning, I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. They assure me that they are. I can’t go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Private Manning’s safety as well.”

    Apparently DoD had it’s hand up the sock puppet’s ass at the time.Report

  5. I need to split hairs here to react to this.

    As a moral and legal matter, I agree with Crowley 100%. Manning probably belongs in jail pending the outcome of the charges against him. Manning deserves to be and should be treated humanely while he’s in jail, and what is being done to him is about the opposite of humane treatment.

    Nevertheless, Crowley was out of line to say this publicly. When he spoke, he spoke on behalf of the government. The government ought not to admit any wrongdoing until and unless it is prepared to do something meaningful to correct its course of action or otherwise make amends for a past misdeed (even if that attempt to make amends is nothing more than an acknowledgment of the misdeed in question). It’s clear that DoD is not going to change the way it is treating Manning and therefore no one from the government should be making public statements critical of what is going on.

    Private statements, off-the-record statements, statements in confidence, okay. Crowley doesn’t lose his right to have his own opinion by taking a government job. And his personal opinion is spot on. But he’s not doing his job of representing the government by pointing it out for criticism.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Transplanted Lawyer says:

      “…what is being done to him is about the opposite of humane treatment.”

      A prisoner declares his intention to commit suicide. Is it humane to leave him his pants, socks, underwear, shirt, and belt?Report

      • Because no one who wants to commit suicide has ever fashioned a means to do so with blankets. Or walls. Or by provoking his armed guards.

        Still, what if this were your existence and there was no indication that it would ever change? You probably would lose the will to live soon enough, too.Report

      • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to DensityDuck says:

        Manning’s lawyer and psychologist dispute that he’s suicidal, and over a period of months they have repeatedly petitioned to have him removed from suicide watch.

        What you’re seeing here is punitive medical health, much like in the Soviet Union, used for political reasons and not for protecting anyone at all.Report

        • Avatar Bob in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

          It’s not necessary to look all the way back to the Soviet Union for examples of medical, including psychiatry, abuse by governments. Bush the Lesser should serve to remind Obama that these sorts of actions do not reflect well on those sanctioning them.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/08/opinion/08tue1.htmlReport

        • Avatar Scott in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

          Jason:

          I thought Manning made a comment, as reported in the NYT, to the guards that was responsible for the suicide watch. If so, why blame the gov’t? It would be very bad if he really did hurt himself.Report

          • Avatar stillwater in reply to Scott says:

            But do prison guards have the right to impose suicide watch? Of course, they’re authorized to take whatever measures necessary to protect the person held. But isn’t suicide watch a designation that only a psychiatrist could authorize?Report

            • Avatar Scott in reply to stillwater says:

              stillwater:

              I doubt it was the guards that imposed the suicide watch on Manning. The guards only reported what he said to their chain of command.Report

              • Avatar stillwater in reply to Scott says:

                Sure, that makes sense, of course. I guess I just wonder what the hell is going on here (like everyone else). For the military to say everything they’re doing conforms to regulations is no comfort that Manning is actually not being mistreated. On the other hand, the allegations that he is being mistreated are that military is going outside of accepted procedures, and those allegations are often convincingly dismissed.

                Something’s fishy about it all, and I can’t quite figure out what. Crowley’s comments reinforce that. Maybe this whole thing redeuces to the idea military protocols wrt detention in advance of a trial are themselves problematic. I dunno.Report

              • Avatar stillwater in reply to Scott says:

                This is from Manning’s attorney:

                In response to PFC Manning’s question, he was told that there was nothing he could do to downgrade his detainee status and that the Brig simply considered him a risk of self-harm. PFC Manning then remarked that the POI restrictions were “absurd” and sarcastically stated that if he wanted to harm himself, he could conceivably do so with the elastic waistband of his underwear or with his flip-flops.
                . . .
                Without consulting any Brig mental health provider, Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes used PFC’s Manning’s sarcastic quip as justification to increase the restrictions imposed upon him under the guise of being concerned that PFC Manning was a suicide risk.
                Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to stillwater says:

                I’ve been thinking about it. Actually dreamed about it the other night. I went through SERE training at Ft. Bragg and spent some time in brutal confinement, beatings, starvation and forced marches. Easily, far and away, the worst moments of my life, with the exception of two personal tragedies. I have seen terrible things. I have seen men break. There were moments I was sure death was preferable to dishonor and sincerely considered how much farther I could be pushed until I chose that route. Sartre said suicide was an expression of human will in the face of absurdity. Intelligence officers have done Masadas, shooting each other to prevent capture.

                Bradley Manning’s predicament has scratched an old sore.

                There’s another way of looking at the Army’s predicament with Bradley Manning. If this kid ever commits suicide, nobody will ever believe it was suicide. While he was still in uniform, his unit took his weapons card away. The suicide rate in our armed forces is horrible, the domestic violence statistics are horrible. The military’s trying to address it, to their credit.

                Bradley Manning faces an uncertain future. None of his options are good. He is beyond redemption. For all practical purposes his life is over: there’s an argument which says that stupid, treacherous little punk ought to be put out of his misery, simply because it might actually be easier on the people who love him to be given the opportunity to bury him.

                I’ve attended two funerals of suicides. One was beyond horrible: the father got up to his feet, was trying to make a few remarks, had a psychotic break and began to assault the body of his son and had to be pulled off. Pande-fucking-monium. I don’t want to see Bradley Manning commit suicide. I don’t want that little fucker lipping off to his jailers about how he might commit suicide. People have died, whole operations rolled up, on the basis of his hubris. If he has to stand naked in the prison bay, I have stood naked in the presence of my jailers. I did not commit suicide, but I have considered it.Report

              • Avatar stillwater in reply to Scott says:

                And it should be noted that the POI in question, which Manning was trying to appeal, had been initially imposed against the judgment of the Brig psychiatrists in any event.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to stillwater says:

                His unit commanders considered him a suicide risk, long before he was charged with these crimes.Report

            • Avatar Heidegger in reply to stillwater says:

              Mr. Steelwater, it would seem to me at least, that it is grossly irresponsible to make such broad-brushed charges that PFC Manning is being treated in an inhumane manner. Based on what? Has anyone seen any violation of his rights as a prisoner insofar as his rights were spelled out in the memo “A typical day for PFC Manning”? How have other prisoners rights, with similar charges against them, been treated? Is there any significant deviation? It’s interesting to see the usual howlers shrieking that “this is torture” surfacing again. They have absolutely zero evidence that such is the case with PFC Manning, but they are so irrationally hellbent that the US condones and does in fact “torture” its prisoners that they could care less whether or not there is any supporting evidence. And there is absolutely none. At least not now. And I can just imagine Sullivan going completely off his nut with this latest “torture” incident. He probably wants a full Nuremberg-type investigation–this yapping hyena just won’t shut up until he sees a US soldier swinging from a gallows as punishment for, oh well, who knows–I DO remember a few years ago that he, Andrew Sullivan, was deeply upset and offended because a Marine officer had the temerity to raise his voice and cause fear in an Iraqi POW. And this particular Iraqi was responsible for the death of two US soldiers the day before. Go figure.Report

        • Avatar Heidegger in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

          Come on Jason, what do you think his lawyer is going to say?? That he’s a model of sound mental and physical health? I DO believe that after careful consideration, they have resumed the policy of putting mints on top of the poor lads pillow, so I hope makes you just a little bit happy.

          You’re entire political universe seems to revolve around, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo……Abu Ghraib looked like more like a sequel to Animal House than Papillon and it appears to me that Andrew Sullivan is so endlessly upset and forlorn over this issue, for the simple reason he was not able to participate in these events.
          Why don’t you read Tammy Bruce and then ask her about Sullivan’s sexually repulsive, B&D classified ads. What he was looking and searching for, would make the Marquis de Sade blush. Please note that ALL participants in the Abu Ghraib incident have been

          Now if you want to see what real torture looks like, I suggest you look at the video of Mengele-like “medical” procedures of cutting off of fingers, toes, breaking wrists with a sledge hammer, pushing people off high rooftops, ripping off tongues, throwing prisoners off of a wall into a pack of attack dogs. It’s all there. Feeding men into a shredder feet first. Endless beheadings with swords, even kitchen knives. How about having children raped in front of their parents? I can’t seem to recall any mention of these atrocities coming from you or your acolytes. No, it’s been an endless, monomaniacal obsession with “Weekend At Bernies”, er, I mean Abu Ghraib. No, it’s your cowardly, spineless representatives, Liberal and Lefties who had a super majority in the Senate, a very large majority in the House and the White House. Jason, do you really want to get into comparisons between Hey, what happened? Didn’t you have all the men and women in their places to investigate Bush and Cheney and anyone else whom you thought was complicit in these “war crimes” and “torture” .What happened? Zilch. Zero. You guys did NOTHING.

          So here, please watch this. I warn you, ONLY watch this on an empty stomach.

          http://fdd.typepad.com/fdd/2006/01/alert_saddams_c.html

          Jason: “What you’re seeing here is punitive medical health, much like in the Soviet Union, used for political reasons and not for protecting anyone at all.” MUCH LIKE IN THE SOVIET UNION?????? Jason is NOT referring to the Saddam torture videos. He’s talking about Manning not being allowed to wear his Mickey Mouse pajamas to sleep in at night. Private Manning is a traitor and should be shot at dawn. Do you really want to get into a comparison of the Soviet Union’s treatment of prisoners accused of aiding the enemy and how Private Manning is being treated in the Marine Brig. I didn’t think so. I doubt the Soviets ever even had a living prisoner accused of such charges.

          Article 81 -Conspiracy
          Article 92 -Failure to obey order or regulation
          Article 94, UCMJ Sedition
          Article 104, UCMJ Aiding the Enemy
          Article 108 UCMJ Military property of the United States–sale, loss, damage, destruction, or wrongful disposition
          Article 121 UCMJ Larceny and wrongful appropriation
          Article 106a UCMJ EspionageReport

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Heidegger says:

            Actually, the Soviets did exactly that. Stalin had most of the repatriated Red Army prisoners executed upon their return from the German POW camps.Report

            • Avatar Heidegger in reply to BlaiseP says:

              Blaise, I’m a bit confused. With this: “Actually, the Soviets did exactly that”. “Exactly that”–what is the comparison between mass summarily executions of returning Soviet POWs and Pvt. Manning’s treatment in the Marine Brig? Surely, you jest, sir.

              Do you by any chance know the Aramaic translation for Jesus’s last seven words? This will surely stump language savant!Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Heidegger says:

                I’m simply stating the USSR executed their own soldiers on the suspicion they’d behaved traitorously in the face of the enemy. Zhukov would periodically shoot troops who’d failed to hold their positions.

                The last words of Jesus on the cross, recorded in Luke 23 are a quotation from the 31st Psalm, verse 6. When Jesus speaks in Aramaic, it’s usually recorded literally, as in Matthew 27. Jesus probably didn’t speak Aramaic on a regular basis, his audience in Matthew 27 didn’t understand what he was saying. He would have spoken Hebrew, as most of the Jews of Roman Palestine did at the time.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Heidegger says:

                Ugh. I ought to just edit and preview my HTML outside this wretched comment editor.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Heidegger says:

                I’m simply stating the USSR executed their own soldiers on the suspicion they’d behaved traitorously in the face of the enemy. Zhukov would periodically shoot troops who’d failed to hold their positions.

                The last words of Jesus on the cross, recorded in Luke 23 are a quotation from the 31st Psalm, verse 6. When Jesus speaks in Aramaic, it’s usually recorded literally, as in Matthew 27. Jesus probably didn’t speak Aramaic on a regular basis, his audience in Matthew 27 didn’t understand what he was saying. He would have spoken Hebrew, as most of the Jews of Roman Palestine did at the time.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to BlaiseP says:

                He would have spoken Hebrew, as most of the Jews of Roman Palestine did at the time.

                No, they spoke Aramaic, and had for centuries.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                That’s simply not so. Pure Aramaic was the language of Galilee, which is why they were treated like country bumpkins by the Jews of Jerusalem.

                I’ve previously said I am a scholar of creoles, and the first such creoles I approached were the spoken languages of the time of Christ. Without exception, Jesus is called a rabbi and he was not only literate in Hebrew, he spoke it routinely, as did every intelligent Jewish man of the region and it was heavily dosed with demotic Greek and even some Latin. Pilate’s inscription, tacked onto the cross, reveals the problem domain completely: it was written in Greek, Hebrew and Latin, and the Jewish authorities quibbled about his grammar, for the form Rex Iudaeorum is titular. They wanted “He said he was the King of the Jews.”

                Mel Gibson got it completely wrong, folks.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to BlaiseP says:

                If you can find a cite that Aramaic hadn’t been the common language of Judea since roughly the building of the Second Temple, I’d like to see it.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                I’ll refer you first to The Jewish Encyclopedia for the distinguishing characteristics and why the Jews looked down on them. From thence, to their entry on Aramaic.

                Here’s how the dynamics of the Aramaic creole worked. Let’s take a modern example, the French of Haiti. The educated people all speak French and write in good French. French is controlled by a group called Les Quarantes Immortelles. Written Kreyòl ( article by my friend Emmanuel Védrine ) is still in its infancy.

                Returning to the Aramaic/Hebrew spoken in the time of Jesus, the language of education was Hebrew. The language of trade was Greek. The language of power was Latin. Despite several hundred years of coexistence, Hebrew and Aramaic kept each other at arm’s length. It isn’t until the destruction of the temple at the hands of Vespasian, and with it the final arbiters of Hebrew, the sofrim, the Scribes of the Bible, that we see Aramaic becoming a fully-fledged written creole.Report

              • Avatar Heidegger in reply to BlaiseP says:

                BP, well, that’s extremely interesting. Very interesting. I had absolutely no idea it was Pilate’s inscription that was on the cross. Could you imagine what THAT would go for on EBay? I’m actually surprised after 2000 years, that a counterfeit hasn’t suddenly show up somewhere. What do you think Jesus’s IQ was? Could he take down Marilyn vos Savant? And without a doubt, he just has to the King of Polyglots. Do you think there was a moment when he realized he was the Son Of God or did He always know?

                If I’m not mistaken, Modern Man is about 200,000 years old–what I mean is that from a purely anatomical, biological, anthropological, genetic base, if we were able go back 200,000 years, we would find our long lost cousins to be identical to us–in every way possible. Why has it taken so long for us/them to get their act together. If you just take a look at the jaw dropping, monumental technological, medical, well, let’s just say, the entirety of scientific achievements over last 100 years–what the hell have we doing to the last 190,000 years? Crawling around lost, in the sludge, eating magic mushrooms. If only our forbearers had a GPS. Why this incredibly barren, dormant period for such a huge period of time? Could it have been Christ/Christianity that was the cosmic catalyst to spur everything on at such an unfathomably fast rate of speed. And are our brains, as presently constituted, at the endgame stage of evolution? They haven’t evolved at all if you look at the past 200,000 years.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Heh. I’m just a rusty old linguist. Any conclusions I ever drew were mostly synthetic. The medieval world was just chock full of fakes. Chaucer writes about them, describing the Pardoner:

                …For in his bag he had a pillow-case
                Of which he said, it was Our True Lady’s veil:
                He said he had a piece of the very sail
                That good Saint Peter had, on time he sailed
                Upon the sea, till Jesus him had hailed.
                He had a latten cross set full of stones,
                And in a bottle had he some pig’s bones.
                But with these relics, when he found on ride
                Some simple parson dwelling in the countryside,
                In that one day gathered more money
                Than the parson in two months, that easy.
                And thus, with flattery and equal japes,
                He made the parson and the rest his apes.
                Report

          • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Heidegger says:

            Come on Jason, what do you think his lawyer is going to say?? That he’s a model of sound mental and physical health?

            That’s precisely what his lawyer is saying, despite it all. And thus the degrading “suicide watch” treatment isn’t necessary.

            Please note as well that I’ve been very consistent — I don’t think that his treatment constitutes torture, and I have never said as much. There are many, many things, however, that, while falling short of torture, still bring shame upon us and bring our legal system into disrepute. This is one of them.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Transplanted Lawyer says:

      I actually feared this form the very beginning of the Obama administration from when he issued his order supposedly forbidding torture by U.S. personnel.

      Torture was a regime set up by his predecessor, a regime of which there are surely remnants still in place in certain quarters of our security establishment. Even assuming a real commitment to seeing that order fully implemented, what was to be the monitoring and enforcement mechanism such that there was visibility and control going to all our facilities from the Oval Office?

      I am not ready to call Manning’s treatment torture, but I do question both that Obama has a full understanding of what is being done to him and why (which is a breach of his duty, though he may not believe he does not have that understanding), and, relatedly, his actually ability to control the jailing Marines at Quantico.

      Clearly, in a crude way he controls the staff, such that if he found them to be discharging these duties unsatisfactorily, he could and should relieve them, but in terms of controlling the actions of the ones that were actually there when Manning arrived, I question the solidity of the chain of command.

      I don’t mean this as a way to relieve Obama of responsibility. He has to gain command of this protocol; that is his duty. But he cannot control what he doesn’t have visibility and understanding of. And because we are all having such a difficult time making sense of this treatment, and the explanations being given seem so inadequate, I have to question whether Obama has a clear sense of the situation too, and the ability to control it.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

        …And obviously Obama’s saying, ‘I asked the Pentagon, and they said everything was going by SOP there,” or whatever assurance he was given, is not the kind of confirmation I’m looking for regarding visibility and control. Quite the contrary. But it raises the question of what are the procedures for establishing visibility and control in a top-down organization when the lines of command have been brought into question.

        I’m not sure a trip by Obama himself or the absolute closest representative he could send would be out of place, if he were serious about establishing control. But I think it would have to be him, because no one else commands the personnel there. And the next closest person in the chain of command is SecDef, who is the person from whom he is accepting assurances about the Manning matter.

        Unfortunately, I think the “if he was serious” caveat is the one where we slide off of this logical train. An act of distrust like that – implying open doubt about both the performance of duties according to legal and moral standards, and of the trustworthiness of the assurances of the chain of command about that performance – would greatly deepen the political divide between the president and the military, and I think it is clear Obama feels he can’t afford for that rift to be deeper if he wants to get buy in for whatever policy he intends to pursue in Afghanistan going into the election.

        This is, of course, all deeply disconcerting from a civil-military standpoint.Report

        • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Michael Drew says:

          Remember, the military isn’t the organization with its tail in the wringer. It’s the State Department. I have heard Hillary Clinton had a meltdown when the Wikileaks trove was released. The military had a bunch of sitreps spilled, so many M&Ms on the deck, but State had some serious high-level communiques fluttering around in the breeze.Report

          • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to BlaiseP says:

            The issue is the current confinement, which is being carried out by the military. Also, it was a breach of military opsec that allowed the mass leak, tho arguably the State Dept. leak was owing to their being too willing to share their info with DOD.Report

            • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Michael Drew says:

              Let’s put it this way, keeping this kid alive long enough to make it to trial is paramount. Can you imagine the fallout if he died? Plenty of people want to kill him to death.

              Not many people seem to understand Hillary Clinton has just asked for her own Praetorian Guard, yet another special operations-esque team of meat eaters and contractors to do the dirty work for State Department.

              For all the hysterical talk of Bush43’s excesses, and there was plenty of stupidity there, it seems the sentiments of tyranny are entirely bipartisan. They’re giving Bradley Manning a tough time there in the brig, yes I suppose they are. The enemies of this country are giving their prisoners an even harder time, based on what that little bastard turned loose.

              In the existential world of intelligence as seen from the outside, it’s what you don’t know that hurts you. They keep engraving new stars on that piece of marble in the CIA lobby. Wonder how many of those operators died as a result of what Wikileaks revealed.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to BlaiseP says:

                I don’t undersell the damage Manning may have done, and I am not claiming to know that his treatment is unjustified – or exactly what it is for that matter. My point is just that I think that lack of visibility, and therefore control, may extend all the way up to the Oval. And that would be bad.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Michael Drew says:

                I repeat myself, it’s what we don’t know that hurts us. In this case, we do have some information, for Bradley Manning has a lawyer who’s saying some very public things about his confinement.

                I don’t know about every prison, but every prisoner in Cook County Jail is repeatedly stripped and searched. Prisoners on suicide watch aren’t allowed clothes when they’re not being watched, which seems to be the regime in that brig. Though demeaning, Bradley Manning made his bed very hard by pointing out he could use his underwear to commit suicide.Report

          • Avatar Heidegger in reply to BlaiseP says:

            Blaise, thanks so much for all your replies–I appreciate it very much. But you now really have me stumped. The very honorable, Mr. Blaise Pascal, has to have a background as a very high-level intelligence operative. And I don’t mean that effete, pretentious, incompetent, pathological liar, Joe Wilson LXVIII. That’s a whole nother story–remember State Department Richard Armitage? A State Dept. hack who deliberately leaked to Novak every detail about Pflame’s identity, location of work, type of work, past intelligence assignments. Why didn’t the Justice Dept. go after this SOB? I’ve always wondered that. And to send her drunken, vile, deeply incompetent husband to investigate whether Iraq had sought to buy “yellow cake” uranium from Niger, has to be one of the most asinine hirings in State Dept. history. It gets better. This incompetent clown returns and says he has proof that Iraq had not purchased yellow cake uranium from Niger. Do you see where I’m going with this? It was never the intent of this operation to find out whether Iraq had PURCHASED uranium from Niger; rather, the purpose was to ascertain whether or not Iraq had SOUGHT to purchase yellow cake uranium. Purchase–Sought; Purchase–sought. A very, very big distinction. And the idiot was such a damn, hopeless, fool he didn’t even understand the difference between the two words, purchase and sought. Pathetic. He was running around town boasting about putting the Bush “lies” to rest. Of course, the icing on the cake, was when the bipartisan Senate Intelligence hearings were held on this matter, it was clear to everybody present that his attache case full of damning evidence turned out to not only be a total lie, but actually BOLSTERED the case that Iraq had, in fact, SOUGHT to purchase yellow cake uranium from Iraq!

            One other thing: It was also a categorical lie that the CIA told the Bush Administration it had serious questions about the reliability of those famous “16” words that made it into Bush’s State of the Union Address. Never happened. It’s also a complete lie of Wilson’s that forged documents were used to prove Iraq’s complicity in seeking uranium.Report

            • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Heidegger says:

              Joe Wilson was a serial exaggerator. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.Report

            • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Heidegger says:

              Well, I will say one thing more about it. Richard Armitage should be in the next cell over from Bradley Manning.Report

            • Avatar Heidegger in reply to Heidegger says:

              “He was running around town boasting about putting the Bush “lies” to rest.”

              Obviously, I meant the opposite. He never missed a chance to bellow that Bush was an evil, lying, warmonger. Nice to see the tables turned on this lugubrious creep.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Heidegger says:

                Oh I dunno. Richard Armitage must have files on Live Boys or Dead Girls on a whole lotta people, because that fat fuck exposed the identity of a CIA NOC to that unctuous old butt sniffer Bob Novak and got away with it completely.

                Get your panties out a wad, Herr Heidegger. Valerie Wilson Plame’s identity was exposed as sheer political revenge. Not that it matters to you, but it sure as hell matters to me, Valerie Plame was monitoring Iran’s nuclear activities, then and now the most important mission at CIA. You don’t know jack about that situation and I know plenty, and CIA NOCs are not political pawns for some off-the-rails Vice President.

                Bush43 wasn’t evil. It takes brains to be evil. Bush43 was the creature of his handlers, a political enforcer for his Daddy. The best part of him ran down his Momma’s leg. He was a little coward, a punk who ran out on his obligations all his life. Don’t even get me started on how he got into, and stayed in TXANG, and even then, despite never appearing in formation for well over a year, had his flight papers pulled, was assigned to a paper unit and managed to get an Honorable Discharge. Isn’t it odd how Bush43’s service folder jacket emptied out?

                Bush the Wiser thought the world of Joe Wilson and gave him a medal. Joe Wilson might have been a serial exaggerator but he was brave, and that adjective cannot be applied to that greasy little turd Bush43, who never did an honorable thing in his entire life and avoided service to his country when airmen were very badly needed over Vietnam.Report

              • Avatar Heidegger in reply to BlaiseP says:

                BP, whoaaa, talk about panties in a twist. You’re wrong. Completely wrong. The planes that Bush was trained in, the F-102, was the 111Fighter Interceptor Squadron and were still in operation up to the year 1974. And, as a matter of fact, the 111th is STILL part of the 147th fighter wing. Okay, Top Gun–the Air National Guard was no guarantee you would not see action in Vietnam. Under the Kennedy Administration, F-102s–Bush’s Squadron–were in fact stationed in Vietnam since 1962. As a matter of fact, F-102s were still in use pretty much right until the end of the war. Are you still with me, BP? Good–get ready, At the time Bush enlisted in the Air National Guard in May of 1968, the F-102s Squadron were making regular defense patrols as well as protecting B-52s during bombing raids.
                Get it? Bush==F-102==Vietnam. These were extremely dangerous low level flying missions and several were shot down in Vietnam. Look at the stats–F-102s were considerably more dangerous fighter planes to fly and had many more accidents than even any of today’s combat aircraft. Many, many pilots of the F-102s were killed. Also, many pilots of the F-102 were rotated to serve in Vietnam as part of the “Palace Alert” program. Bush applied to be in this program but did not, at the time, have the sufficient hours–he needed to participate. Also, the program was winding down and was not accepting new applicants. I have to go now. There’s very little reason to ever engage you in any further discussions on any subject. Sorry that’s the case, but very much do not enjoy the company of Horses Asses. By the way, why do you Liberals have such an obsession with Bush’s intelligence? For the record, he scored significantly higher on military intelligence tests than your war hero, John Kerry. I have no doubt he would pretty much clean your clock as well.Report

              • Bush Derangement Syndrome lives.

                Ah, those were such good times.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Heidegger says:

                H-man, F-102’s, were those the ones with the little/short wings and the stiletto body? If so German pilots used to regularly plow them into the mountains at Luke AFB.Report

              • Avatar Scott in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                Robert:

                I believe you are thinking of the F-104 Starfighter, another Kelly Johnson design, though not one of his best.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                Yes, I think you are right. They told me at Luke that the Germans they trained always slammed one or two into the mountain. That little plane was a rocket that, if memory serves, did mach 2 or better for fast intercepts of incoming commie aircraft, though it lacked a great deal of control, as I understand.Report

              • Avatar Heidegger in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                Bob–GREAT to hear from ya! If I’m not mistaken, you’re my last friend on this site–I knew it was inevitable, and I truly cherish reading your comments on pretty much everything, so a deep, heartfelt thanks for being a good friend! Always love to read ya and look forward
                to your wonderfully politically incorrectness!

                All the best my friend! H
                Sorry–forgot to send pictures of the Delta Daggers–Bush’s plane–it would be fun to take Bill Maher on a little flight as he has been going on and on and on for years now about the F-102 being a “wimp” plane to get President Bush out of harms way. It’s just laughable. Imagine one of the lefties being behind the controls of a super sonic jet war plane? Lots of diapers needed, for sure.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                Heidegger,
                We’re still friends, I hope. Surely being fellow Bach lovers outweighs our political disagreements.

                But I do have to take you to task for this:

                Imagine one of the lefties being behind the controls of a super sonic jet war plane? Lots of diapers needed, for sure.

                A close friend of mine is both a Democrat and a USAF veteran of Gulf War 1. I know you didn’t mean to insult him or any of the other veterans who don’t happen to share your ideology, so I’ll do you the courtesy of assuming that you spoke without thinking.Report

              • Avatar Heidegger in reply to Heidegger says:

                For some clarfication, the F-102 was the supersonic plane Bush was trained in. He was part of the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. The 111th was and is part of the 147 Fighter Wing.Report

              • Avatar Heidegger in reply to Heidegger says:

                Oh my God, Mike–nothing could be further from the truth–I could never begin to express more gratitude to your beloved friend’s father’s service. I’m deeply saddened if my words conveyed otherwise. I have nothing but praise and gratitude for your friend’s father’s sacrifice. God love all these guy’s sacrifices! Our nation must never forget these heroic souls who truly do make us free. Thank you so, so, so much our beloved soldiers for your noble sacrifice–we wish you all the best and thank you deeply for keeping us free! Our nation respects and loves you always and forever! All the best Mike and YES, Bach will always rule! Have many more JSB’s miracles to send you! All the very best, my friend, HReport

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Heidegger says:

                How did Archie Bunker put it? “Stifle yerself.”

                Bush43 was a sorry specimen of a man, an airman, a governor and a president. The whiff of unwiped ass followed him around, but I guess it smells like Chanel #5. No accounting for tastes I suppose.

                Two words: Rangers Stadium.Report

              • Avatar Heidegger in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Ha! “A sorry specimen of a man”? In a hundred years I doubt you would ever be capable of getting an F-102 off the ground. Or, for that matter, throwing a perfect strike right down the middle of the plate at the 1st game of the World Series–and this, being the first game of the World Series after the 9/11 attacks. You are so terribly blinded by hate, deep passionate hate-I have no idea why but I have a very strong feeling it is motivated by a deep sense of guilt about something that was beyond your control. Let it go. Hey Blaise, you know I love ya and I’d really like to call a truce to our disagreements here. It might be a long gone impossibility, but thought I’d give it a try. Your friend, HReport

              • Avatar Heidegger in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Is this Blaise or Dan Rather? Sounds a lot like more like Demented Danny who tried to topple a sitting presidency with vicious lies regarding Bush’s service in the Air National guard. Most incredible of all was that Rather KNEW those memos were total lies, fabricated out of thin air–the work of a chronically deranged mental patient who was out to get Bush for years. He thought Bush may have been responsible for the death of Bobby Kennedy and even had Dr. Strangelovian ideas about “precious bodily fluids”. Blaise, please don’t be just another run-of-the-mill Liberal wack job. It would be such a waste of good intelligence. You have profoundly disappointed me though with your prosaic, paranoid, indulgences. Sometimes it’s painfully difficult to have to come back to earth and deal with mundane realities. Painful, but necessary.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Heidegger says:

                Don’t conflate Dan Rather with the actual paperwork. And I don’t give a rat’s ass if I’ve disappointed you. You know what disgusts me? That all those Champagne Charlies gamed the system and got berths in the National Guard while other, less-fortunate sons, got sent over there and served honorably.

                Fish you and your painful difficulties. I’ve got my own painful difficulties dealing with hero worshippers.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Sounds like your bitch is with the f*cked up Democrats, and particularly that paragon of virtue, LBJ.Report

              • Avatar Scott in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Blaise:

                Do you mean folks like Billy Clinton, Richard Blumenthal, and Joe Biden who received five student draft deferments during the Vietnam War, the same number of deferments received by Vice President Dick Cheney?Report

              • Avatar Heidegger in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Actual paperwork? That was the whole issue! You obviously don’t know what the hell you’re talking about and you can’t hide behind your fluency of Greek, Latin, Hebrew. It’s all becoming quite clear that you’ve fallen in love with your reflection in a pond–you ain’t Siddhartha pal. Nor Narcissus. But your off-putting worshipping of self, is a hideous spectacle.
                Hero worshippers? You should have told me you worked in a mental hospital. My sincere sympathies to the poor lost souls that should find you worthy of worshipping. Now THAT is indeed a delusion of immeasurable masochistic pain.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                No. My problem is with the Champagne Charlies. Tricky Dick abandoned the Hmong to their fates after loyal service to the Americans.

                It really doesn’t matter anymore. Y’all can go on your merry way. I am not your garden variety Liberal Whack. I was, at the time, an honest Conservative. Thank me for my service, but when I venture an opinion, the monkey start screeching and flinging shit from the trees. It’s a positive honor to be cursed by a pack of wannabes and non-right-hand-raising feebs.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Heidegger, that’s enough out of you. Really.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Yeah, Bill Clinton and all the rest of them.

                None of you were around to see it go down. I don’t begrudge anyone trying to get deferments from the draft. The Vietnam War was never black or white. Mostly it was green. And where it wasn’t green, it was shit colored. It smelled like diesel and it tasted like fish sauce on a turkey loaf C ration. And for all those guys who went there, none of them are there today.

                I’ll tell you this, I respect the NVA more than I respect some of you. They fought for their country. They didn’t have a DEROS date so they could get out: they fought on, year after year. They got sick with malaria, they fought on short rations, they fought very well. I have no respect for the Vietcong: they were bullies and terrorists and eventually the Vietnamese rose up and killed them, after the Tet Offensive.

                But I interrogated a lot of NVA. Grew to respect them. I’d put my arm around one of them before I’d put an arm around you, Heidegger. You’ve said some very nasty things, maybe you’re drunk or incapacitated or something. Maybe you’ll apologize, maybe you won’t. But I have no respect for you.Report

              • Avatar Heidegger in reply to BlaiseP says:

                You don’t??
                “None of you were around to see it go down. I don’t begrudge anyone trying to get deferments from the draft.” You’re simply comical, Blaise.

                “Bush43 wasn’t evil. It takes brains to be evil. Bush43 was the creature of his handlers, a political enforcer for his Daddy. The best part of him ran down his Momma’s leg. He was a little coward, a punk who ran out on his obligations all his life. Don’t even get me started on how he got into, and stayed in TXANG, and even then, despite never appearing in formation for well over a year, had his flight papers pulled. No offense Top Gun, , but are you simply nuts? I will be merciful, I promise. I’d be happy to financially help you through this difficult chapter of your life. Reality is always just a stone’s throw away from sanity. Don’t give up. There are many, many cases of successful landings in our three dimension universe. Just stay away from ambulance chasers.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Heidegger says:

                You’re down to how many friends here? And just how far down that bottle are you? Reality a stone’s throw away from sanity, hee hee.. sober up.Report

              • Avatar Heidegger in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Zero. Hey, maybe there’s hope. How do you like my new dance partner?

                Report

    • Avatar Barry in reply to Transplanted Lawyer says:

      “Nevertheless, Crowley was out of line to say this publicly. When he spoke, he spoke on behalf of the government. The government ought not to admit any wrongdoing until and unless it is prepared to do something meaningful to correct its course of action or otherwise make amends for a past misdeed (even if that attempt to make amends is nothing more than an acknowledgment of the misdeed in question). ”

      Torture is against US law, and against (official) US policy.
      I understand that Crowley was confused, and believed US government lies, which was indeed his fault.

      “It’s clear that DoD is not going to change the way it is treating Manning and therefore no one from the government should be making public statements critical of what is going on.”

      So the DoD drives US government policy?Report

  6. Avatar stillwater says:

    Here’s one way to frame the issue of Manning’s treatment that might be helpful: go behind the veil of ignorance! (so to speak).

    Suppose you heard of a person in custody treated the way Manning is, without knowing who he was or what he was charged with (but you were familiar with what constitutes normal, acceptable methods and procedures). You are also aware that he is merely being held, and hasn’t yet been tried or convicted.

    a) knowing what you know, would you say that this persons treatment was just?

    b) how much of what constitutes ‘just treatment’ is determined by a consideration of the charges against him?Report

    • Avatar Heidegger in reply to stillwater says:

      Stillerwater, your thought experiment is impossible without knowing the specific charges he’s accused of. It would also be of vital importance to know whether the accused is a serious suicide risk. This isn’t some DUI case. In any case, one could very reasonably conclude giving that the method of incarceration was entirely within the legal limits of the uniformed code of military justice.Report

      • Avatar stillwater in reply to Heidegger says:

        your thought experiment is impossible without knowing the specific charges he’s accused of.

        But I guess that’s my point (one I’m not very clear on): why ought the specific charges justify the method of detention in advance of the trial?

        It would also be of vital importance to know whether the accused is a serious suicide risk.

        But simply asserting that he is (as the military has done), even when there’s testimony that he isn’t, puts the issue into a political context. Given everything we know, it’s certainly possible (just as possible as not) that the suicide watch was imposed as a form of punishment in advance of his guilt being determined. In fact, I would say that there isn’t a compelling case that he’s suicidal, since government psychiatrists have consistently determined that he poses no threat to himself. (Or has that changed?)Report

      • Avatar Heidegger in reply to Heidegger says:

        Oh well, it’s a new day and Das Lied von der Erde has nourished my soul amply–vielan Dank Herr Mahler!

        My sincere apologies to any and all who were offended by my harsh and unnecessarily inflammatory comments in last night’s discussion, ostensibly under the heading of Manning’s treatment and incarceration. And Mike Schilling, again, your good, honorable and brave friend and veteran of the Gulf War I has nothing but my praise and deep gratitude for his service. It goes with saying Blaise, that these words apply and are directed to you as well. Vietnam remains an open wound in many respects and my family is no exception. Brother, uncles, cousins…you get the idea. Hey, even got to know all about water boarding from my cousin who served as a Naval SEAL. (he still may very well be serving–it’s not a subject he’ll ever discuss) It’s absolute terror. Really. I doubt there are any secrets I wouldn’t divulge in a matter of seconds after such an experience. I guess that’s why I’m not a SEAL and he is! Hey, the object to win wars not lose them.

        In the future, unless the subject is Bach and music, I shall remain on the sidelines and enjoy reading the posts and comments of this very distinguished group of erudite League of Ordinary Gentlemen. Tapfer and my best regards to all. HReport

        • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Heidegger says:

          We had fed the heart on fantasies,
          The heart’s grown brutal from the fare

          War, I found out (though I had been told and did not believe the tellers) is what happens when politicians stop doing their jobs and they end when the politicians start doing them again. War is an unmitigated disaster, almost always unnecessary and oh do the bystanders love to comment upon it. Robert Frost said:

          Nature within her inmost self divides
          To trouble men with having to take sides.

          War is man’s natural state. Our weapons have evolved and we have not kept pace. We are vicious little hominids, hating our enemies for the obscurest of reasons. Craven hero worshippers and seekers of glory, we are taught who to hate and why to hate them as soon as we can stand upright and wipe our own asses.

          Nobody holds the liars to account. If our leaders lie to us, well, those lies are gennaion pseudos, the noble lie whereby we all partake in the vile communion of human flesh and human blood. This do in remembrance of our honored dead. The gravestones grow like mushrooms in the fields and the misery of the mothers is the same from age to age.Report

      • Avatar Barry in reply to Heidegger says:

        “Stillerwater, your thought experiment is impossible without knowing the specific charges he’s accused of. ”

        This is a lie.Report

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