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Old 2013-08-22, 07:16   Link #30141
Mentar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
See the post above. Exactly what war crimes were committed at any stage which did not go unpunished?
To start with the list you quoted:

1) The infamous video in which American helicopter pilots killed civilians and joked about it. War crime by any objective standards - wanton killing of noncombatants. The fact that the US forces in one of their famous "investigations" unsurprisingly concluded that the crew was within their ROE doesn't change this fact.

2) Not a war crime, only embarrassing

3) The Iraq Logs prove that most of the narrative of the Casus Belli was wrong. The American leadership consciously lied and engineered a pretense under which a war was waged which cost hundreds of thousands of lives, and which turned out to be very close to a war of aggression. Hugely embarrassing.

4) Not a war crime.

5) This is the big one in my book. The detention, abuse and torture of terror suspects. Even in the whitewashed official US statistics, we have dozens of cases where terror suspects died during interrogation with so blatant signs of physical abuse that even US forces doctors couldn't help but conclude homicide. Still, there is no single case documented that I know of that the interrogators were punished for murdering their victims.

This not only directly proves that the official US position of "We Do Not Torture" is a blatant lie. It proves that terror suspects are systematically subjugated to crimes against humanity and denied basic principles like fair trials and due process. In many cases, they are held indefinitely even though their innocence is obvious beyond reasonable doubt, because releasing them would admit American wrongdoings that they would rather want kept under the rug.

To me, this is the most damning aspect of it all, and preventing more gigantic embarrassments like that is the main reason why Manning was now turned into a big showcase trial-victim.

6) Not a war crime, only slightly embarrassing.

Frankly, I'm pretty flabbergasted that you don't seem to have any problems with 1) and especially 5)
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Old 2013-08-22, 07:25   Link #30142
Sumeragi
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1) You might want to actually see the full unedited video before labelling it as wanton killing of noncombatants. There is a reason why I mention the realities of the battlefield.

5) I actually don't have any problems with it.
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Old 2013-08-22, 07:46   Link #30143
Ridwan
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Sumeragi, have you failed to word your point correctly with #5, or are you really on board with the whole War on Terror bollocks ?
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Old 2013-08-22, 07:47   Link #30144
Haak
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I'm just disappointed that Manning was punished at all, for exposing embarrassing secrets and war crimes. If I recall, I don't think there's any evidence that Manning has done any real harm. These days, I think transparency is heavily underappreciated.
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Old 2013-08-22, 07:48   Link #30145
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Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
5) I actually don't have any problems with it.
Yes, and that's the sad part for people like me. A (too large) number of Americans don't have a problem with it either. Within a mere decade, America has degenerated from "credible claim of ethical conduct" to "rogue state" level, and their people don't care. Actually, even worse: Their people still think that America are "the good guys", while their methods are hardly more scrupulous than those of their evil evil enemies.

Though I have to admit that it strikes me as kind of funny that while you're callous enough to simply shrug off the maltreatment of terror suspects, you at the same time seem to utterly condemn the release of confidential information - especially since I don't know of a single documented case, in which the documents released by Manning caused anyone harm - or even lost their life.
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Old 2013-08-22, 07:53   Link #30146
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Having read through quite a few cases when I was in university, the entire situation is too complex to say it's as damning as quite a few people think it is.
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Old 2013-08-22, 07:56   Link #30147
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Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
Though I have to admit that it strikes me as kind of funny that while you're callous enough to simply shrug off the maltreatment of terror suspects, you at the same time seem to utterly condemn the release of confidential information - especially since I don't know of a single documented case, in which the documents released by Manning caused anyone harm - or even lost their life.
You forget that amongst the ranks of the underdogs, there are brilliant strategists and analysts who are able to piece random pieces of a puzzle together, and an intricate eye for loopholes and details. Our forum is a good example - there are a number who knows how to make tools of death by simply using general knowledge.

That is why intelligence documents must be secured accordingly; you never know if Voltaire's Prayer is only answered partially.
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Old 2013-08-22, 08:34   Link #30148
Ridwan
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I think it's more about how national secrets are supposed to remain secrets for obvious reasons, eventhough it shouldn't be upheld all too dogmatically, if and when possible.

Rather then the right or wrong stuff, I'm more interested on what this indicates. So this is a fad now. Why and how did this fad come to be ? Something's going on inside ?

Not suggesting a conspiracy or anything like that, perhaps that there's a downward trend of satisfaction among the employees or something like that, I think.
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Old 2013-08-22, 08:38   Link #30149
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Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
Having read through quite a few cases when I was in university, the entire situation is too complex to say it's as damning as quite a few people think it is.
Not really, no. The US are a signatory of the United Nation Convention Against Torture, and they are willingly and knowingly in direct violation. Simple as that. And we're not talking about the famous "ticking bomb scenario" here (which to my knowledge has not once taken place), but the systematic use of techniques like waterboarding et al. for which the US themselves has convicted others for torture in the past.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
You forget that amongst the ranks of the underdogs, there are brilliant strategists and analysts who are able to piece random pieces of a puzzle together, and an intricate eye for loopholes and details. Our forum is a good example - there are a number who knows how to make tools of death by simply using general knowledge.

That is why intelligence documents must be secured accordingly; you never know if Voltaire's Prayer is only answered partially.
Well, it's like I said: If your sense of justice doesn't have a problem when the guy making crimes public is punished while the criminal is let off - then you're most likely an "American Patriot".

I do have a thing for Realpolitik and don't consider myself as overly naive, but I have huge problems with this Mafia-"Omerta" like constant state of Pseudo-war, in which the god of "national security" forgives the most heinous crimes, as long as noone dares to tell the truth about it. Combine this with the increasingly worrisome surveillance powers of the government agencies, the Kafka-esque exemption from judicial review for any measures taken, and a well-documented complicity of the mass media, and a Police State may be just around the corner. The way I see it, the US are halfway there.
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Old 2013-08-22, 08:42   Link #30150
Sumeragi
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Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
Not really, no. The US are a signatory of the United Nation Convention Against Torture, and they are willingly and knowingly in direct violation. Simple as that. And we're not talking about the famous "ticking bomb scenario" here (which to my knowledge has not once taken place), but the systematic use of techniques like waterboarding et al. for which the US themselves has convicted others for torture in the past.
Exactly my point. Have you even read the United Nation Convention Against Torture and tried applying it to the cases at hand? Actually going through the text shows just have ambiguously one the fence the US cases are. Whatever lawyers were involved in it were sure capable of establishing that thin invisible line.
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Old 2013-08-22, 08:57   Link #30151
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Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
Exactly my point. Have you even read the United Nation Convention Against Torture and tried applying it to the cases at hand?
Sure. It's actually crystal clear:

Quote:
Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

Convention Against Torture, Article 1.1
And yes, there are lots of documented cases which obviously apply to the US treatment of terror suspects in Guantanamo.

Quote:
Actually going through the text shows just have ambiguously one the fence the US cases are. Whatever lawyers were involved in it were sure capable of establishing that thin invisible line.
This is called "deluding yourself". Remember John Yoo's disgusting response to the famous "What if the President orders to destroy the testicles of the son of a terror suspect" question? If you find that this would be okay (like Yoo did), then there's no real point in discussing it.

So you have no problem when Americans convicted others for torture when they waterboarded victims, but it's okay when they do it themselves?

I guess that's the "emerging and ever-changing interpretation of the law", hm?
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Old 2013-08-22, 09:07   Link #30152
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/popcorn

From my perspective as former military, I do believe that Manning should be punished, though perhaps for a somewhat different reason than the ones that's been mentioned here.

I have no problem with him exposing war crimes(edited vids that doesn't show the context need not apply), and if that's all he did, then he should be protected. Problem is he went far beyond that - hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and other classified info that has nothing to do with any war crimes. That he has no excuse for, especially as a member of the armed services. We volunteered to give up certain rights and operate under an additional set of laws when we joined, and one does not get to casually throw that away for their political beliefs.
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Old 2013-08-22, 09:08   Link #30153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haak View Post
I'm just disappointed that Manning was punished at all, for exposing embarrassing secrets and war crimes. If I recall, I don't think there's any evidence that Manning has done any real harm. These days, I think transparency is heavily underappreciated.
I understand what you're saying, from a principled position, but looking at it practically, I'd have to be naive to think Manning would just be let go.

Even so, I was seriously hoping that cooler/calmer heads would prevail, and Manning would get something like 3 to 5 years in jail. That's still a major sentence, but it means a second shot at life at some point.

35 years in jail means Manning's life has pretty much been completely destroyed.

Even if one thinks what Manning did was very wrong, is it worse than killing a person in cold blood or literally raping a person? That's the sticking point for me. I think this sends a disturbing moral message, really. It's something I'd expect of old Soviet Russia or current North Korea.
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Old 2013-08-22, 09:16   Link #30154
kyp275
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Even if you think what Manning did was very wrong, is it worse than killing a person in cold blood or literally raping a person?
It's more complicated than that IMO. What is the full scope of repercussion and damage from Manning's leak? I doubt that's something any of us will ever know, while murder and rape is far easier to quantify.

Madoff didn't murder or rape anyone either, nor did that guy who single-handedly destroyed a nuclear sub because he wanted to skip work. Should they also get light sentences?

If anything, it's that murderer and rapists are getting off too easy.
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Old 2013-08-22, 09:19   Link #30155
Sumeragi
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
35 years in jail means Manning's life has pretty much been completely destroyed.
He still has a chance of parole after 8 years in the United States Disciplinary Barracks, so it is not as bad as it seems.



General topic: Apparently everyone has an education in law. I guess I'll leave people be to their thoughts.
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Old 2013-08-22, 09:25   Link #30156
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
/popcorn

From my perspective as former military, I do believe that Manning should be punished, though perhaps for a somewhat different reason than the ones that's been mentioned here.
I'd have no problems for punishing him for passing on confidential data - that is hardly contestable.

What I do consider disgusting is the total lack of proportionality. That a severe criminal goes completely scot-free (since he is OUR sonofabitch!) while the guy pointing out the crime gets thrown into the slammer and subjected to disgusting, inhumane treatment on top.
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Old 2013-08-22, 09:40   Link #30157
kyp275
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Uh, what severe criminal?
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Old 2013-08-22, 09:46   Link #30158
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Uh, what severe criminal?
An interrogator whose victim dies in Guantanamo due to physical bruises during an ongoing interrogation is a severe criminal in my book. There are dozens of cases where even the doctors of the US forces had to pin down "homicide". Of course, none of them ever led to charges or even convictions. National security, you know.
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Old 2013-08-22, 10:44   Link #30159
kyp275
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If true, then yes, those people need to be held responsible too. That said, I don't really see how that would necessarily reduces Manning's responsibility. If a case of miscarriage of justice where one gets away means that others can also skate, no criminal would ever be locked up.
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Old 2013-08-22, 11:22   Link #30160
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
If true, then yes, those people need to be held responsible too. That said, I don't really see how that would necessarily reduces Manning's responsibility. If a case of miscarriage of justice where one gets away means that others can also skate, no criminal would ever be locked up.
All equal under the law. There isn't a miscarriage of justice; it is government policy. You should stop pretending there was ever any attempts to prosecute those responsible. They go free not because someone made a mistake, but because that was what the US government desired.

National Security allowed criminals to go free. The same National Security that wants to throw the book at Manning. They are not unrelated, to treat them as independent of one another is disingenuous.
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