Wednesday, July 3, 2013
I have written before about the harsh treatment given to the young soldier who "leaked" classified information. Again, we hear nothing of any disciplinary action against those who "unlocked the gate", allowing an immature young man to have access to some of our country's diplomatic and other secrets. Manning has spent long months in a Marine "brig", often in solitary confinement and deprived of clothing. A judge has reduced the future sentence because of his mistreatment/ He has already pled guilty to certain lesser charges. He is being tried this month on charges that he aided the enemy. It will be a long trial. There are people who have formed "Free Bradley Manning" groups. LGBT folk in particular have made this a major issue. A little common sense would call for dropping the remaining charges, for which it seems unlikely that he'll be found guilty. He should then be sentenced to "time served" for his guilty pleas, and released, IMO. The administration's insistence on a trial while he still suffers in jail.seems vindictive, and leads to speculation that this gay soldier has been the victim of prejudice because of his sexual orientation. J do not consider those who betray our nation's secrets as heroes. There are proper (though not always comfortable) ways to express opposition to secrecy. The saga of Edward Snowden is still ongoing. I am not impressed by his frantic efforts to stay out of custody. I hope he is arrested and brought to trial for his disloyalty. In my "old fashioned" view of morality, it is totally acceptable to disobey a law if so doing (a) does not endanger others, and (b) if one is prepared to accept the consequences. This can be accomplished without endangering National Security. Those who take that course---even if I disagree with them--may be considered "heroes" by many, as they are acting on principle. Edward Snowden does not appear to meet either test.