Bradley Manning, Code Pink, and DADT

 
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  Code Pink Here come the clowns. Some pretty rough comments on last week's post about Manning, so I figure I would try to catch lightening in a bottle two weeks in a row. First up, in answer to a comment:
Not Affiliated With Any Military says: July 31, 2010 at 2004 I would like to see evidence that these papers (some of them dating back to 4 years ago) put anyone in the field at risk.
Admiral Mullen says:
"Mr. Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing," Mullen said. "But the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family."
Here is the most likely scenario in my opinion... US Troops move into an area, need a Terp, can't find one because the last Terp in that area had his name put out on Wikileaks, and now is living in exile somewhere else. Thus, American troops are out patrolling, can't communicate, something goes wrong, shooting starts, and there is no way for the belligerent parties to speak. Later on it will turn out it was celebratory shooting for a wedding or something, and everyone will bemoan that some folks are dead. And all for want of a Terp. Either way, there is just more stuff coming out on Manning, and none of it good for the military. The latest is him being gay, although in other places it talked about him wanting gender reassignment surgery. Either way, this doesn't do much to help the cause of those wanting the DADT policy to go the way of the Wooly Mammoth.
A former soldier said he met Manning during this time, in a nightclub in D.C. and they had a physical relationship. The man, whose identity CNN isn't releasing, said the young soldier seemed "shy, very quiet, introverted." "Brad was very different from anybody else at the club. He didn't really look like anybody else at the club," the man told CNN. "I mean, he was very slight, physically. He just appeared really out of place and really lonely." Their relationship evolved into a friendship, and the two frequently talked about each other's dreams and ambitions, their fears, insecurities and frustrations. Manning told him he was made fun of viciously in the military for being gay. Basic training was "difficult ... because of his sexuality," the man said.
Yeah, well it wasn't all fun and games for those of us who are strait either, but none of us decided to leak classified documents. Either way, take a good gander at this heaping platter of fertilizer:
"When it came to these things, I felt like he was frankly a little bit naive," the man said. "I didn't think he realized what was happening to him. ... I think at first, he felt just terrible that people would say something like that to him, and embarrassed, obviously." Manning was "probably more angry at the military and the whole way everything [the war strategy] was run and that was probably why I felt like he was disgruntled towards the end," he added.
Look, I was a Spec 4 at one point too, but I never thought that General Wesley Clark should really be listening to my opinion about how to run the operation in Bosnia. I once met him at the fest tent in Taszar Main, Hungary where I was enjoying two beverages to celebrate my selection for promotion to Sergeant.  He didn't ask me what we should be doing, and I didn't volunteer it.  In the military, you "stay in your lane" and while you are free (even encouraged I suppose) to bitch like a know it all Spec 4 Mafia member, if anyone had listened to us, I really would have been worried. For those who wish to lionize Manning, I just have to wonder how much you think this kid knew. His opposition to the military seems to have been germinated in his politics and sexual upheavels more than some definitive disagreement over foreign policy. This was all "get even" and had no apparent tie to him wanting to bring about an endgame that I can tell. Either way, you know what is never a good thing? When Code Pink is rallying to your defense.
Veterans & Peace Activists Rally in Quantico Base to Support Whistleblower Bradley Manning Contact: Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK 415-235-6517 medea@globalexchange.org August 4th, 2010 Manning held in Quantico Brig, facing 52 years in prison, for exposing war crimes What: Rally in Support of Whistleblower Bradley Manning When: Sunday, August 8, noon Where: Quantico Marine Corps Base where Manning is being held in pre-trial confinement; we will meet at the Amtrak station in Quantico Who: Former soldiers, intelligence agents, peace activists
Um, ok. And here's some guy claiming that Manning did all this to support the Constitution.
Also attending is Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years. “As an American soldier Bradley Manning took a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” says McGovern. “When he experienced callous disregard for the Constitution and the laws of war, he was able to see that his conscience and his solemn oath warranted precedence over the obligatory promise to protect classified information. By following his conscience in exposing the abuses of war, Manning joins an all-too-rare breed of soldier.”
Now, since Ray here is basing his insight on Manning from a source that can't possibly be Manning, I figure I am equally justified in basing my position on anything I want. Therefore, in defense of my proposition that this is a bad idea, I give you the third eternal truth learned from the movies. The first is never to get involved in a land war in Asia, and the second is to never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line. But, possibly more important than those two is what I learned from Tropic Thunder, and it is a rule so sacrosanct that I fear Mr. Manning can never recover from its transgression. I'd say letting Code Pink get involved is de facto evidence of going full retard.
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If anything, this story highlights how DADT hurts the military. If people were indeed harassing him, DADT works to prohibit him from reporting it, which prohibits his command from having notice of behavior that I am sure any good commander would nip in the bud. If this same behavior was aimed at someone's religion, race or gender it would not be tolerated, and if it was, the person could file an EO complaint. DADT works to prohibit that process.

While I am not laying the blame of thie wikileaks release at DADT's feet, I do think the logical conclusion is that DADT did harm to the military's abilty to know all the details of a situation, not that these revelations do harm to lifting DADT.

People picked on me at basic because I have a scar on my head, and because my glasses were so thick. I'm not sure creating more protected classes is the way to go in that regard.

Let me ask this though, assuming that DADT were taken down, do you think that Manning would have acted in any different manner. If no, then it is irrelevant, if yes, then he obviously didn't have as his main focus the war, right? It seems a double edged sword to me.

Wow, he was picked on in basic? How did the other soldiers know he was gay when admitting so would have him discharged? My drill sergeant called me "bucky" because of the gap between my teeth. I held a TS/SCI later on and didn't start leaking docs on the internet.

Wired had a good article on the chat logs between Manning and friend of a writer in some hacker chatroom. Manning seemed to be more of a selfish and spoiled brat who wanted fame.

So both now and after the lifting of DADT it will be alright to go around calling g ay men "fa**ot" because they shouldn't be a protected class? You don't even need to consider someone a protected class to nip that in the bud.

Pechon it could be because they assumed he was gay, not that he told them. all descriptions of him make him out to be slight and shy. lots of men who fit that description get teased about being g ay, it tends to bother the g ay ones more.

We all get picked on in basic, the point is that DADT forces g ay people to remain silent and feel as though they are lesser soldiers since they are denied basic the opportunity to have the basic relationships and feelings striaght soldiers "flaunt" openly. Ever have a guy get a "dear john" letter? It tears him up but we rally behind him and help get him through. G ay servicemembers do not get that support. Having to hide an integral part of yourself is demeaning. Between being harassed and having to go it alone through normal relationship ups and downs that everyone, gay or straight, experiences I can see how he might not be as focused on the war because the protections built in to help soldiers get through those diffficulties are denied to g ay soldiers under DADT. So yes it is possible if DADT wasn't there he might have been able to access the available support networks and not been so disgruntled. It isn't intellectualy fair to say his being g ay was the reason he was distracted when there is a policy he has to live with every day that punishes being g ay. The problem (in this discussion) isn't the "g ay", it is DADT.

In the end it is just as likely he was just looking for attention and will use being g ay as an excuse for his actions.

Bradley Manning is a national hero. Daniel Ellsburg was a much older man when he stole the Pentagon Papers; the Berrigan brothers were older, and priests. Mr. Manning is a very brave and good man, and deserves the support of all of us. His heroism is what we shoild all be capable of. We must support him in every way, and follow his noble example. I say this as a former captain in the United States Marine Corps.

With no due respect, ristorante:

To quote Ms. Zoe Washburne ("Serenity"), "Do you know the definition of a hero? It's someone who gets other people killed. You can look it up later..."

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.