Bradley Manning nominated for Nobel Peace Prize!

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/norway/9108117/Bill-Clinton-and-Bradley-Manning-nominated-for-Nobel-Peace-Prize.html

Bill Clinton and Bradley Manning nominated for Nobel Peace PrizeA total of 231 nominees are up for the Nobel Peace Prize this year, the Nobel Institute said on Monday, with Bill Clinton, Helmut Kohl, the EU and US soldier and WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning known to be on the list.

"As always, there are the usual 'nominees' and some newcomers, some famous and some unknowns, hailing from the four corners of the world," the head of the Nobel Institute, Geir Lundestad, told AFP.

With 188 individuals and 43 organisations, the number of candidates comes close to last year's record of 241, when the award went to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee, and Yemeni "Arab Spring" activist Tawakkol Karman.

Thousands of people are eligible to submit nominations, including members of parliaments and governments worldwide, university professors, past laureates and members of several international institutes, who had until February 1 to propose candidates.

The Nobel Institute keeps the names of nominees secret for 50 years, but those who are entitled to nominate are allowed to reveal the name of the person or organisation they have proposed.

Among the people known to have been nominated for this year's prize are former US president Bill Clinton, ex-German chancellor Helmut Kohl who led his country's reunification process, and Ukraine's ex-premier and now jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

Also on the list is jailed US soldier Manning, who has been charged with 22 counts in a US military court for turning over a massive cache of classified US documents to anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks.

Despite its current crisis the European Union is also among the candidates, as are Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege, Cuban dissidents Oswaldo Paya and Yoani Sanchez, and Russian rights group Memorial and its founder Svetlana Gannushkina.

Yet others include US political scientist Gene Sharp, known for his theory of non-violent resistance which inspired some of the key figures behind the Arab Spring, Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki who was brought to power in 2011 by the revolution in his country, and television news channel Al-Jazeera.

The winner or winners will be announced in October.

Source: AFP

harry ashburn
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Comments

He raised his right arm and took an oath. He violated his oath. There is no such thing as the nobel peace prize anymore. It's now the Nobel political prize. If Bradass wins it, he will have to accept his prize from prison. But he's lucky. We don't shoot people for treason anymore.

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rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 6:49 am

rigel, heroism is not measured in loyalty to empires or any evil power. I could argue that Manning was just a bit naive and that what he revealed was embarassing rather than dangerous other than to imperial power. He ranks with Ellsburg in letting the light shine where it needed to. Those who have come down heavy on him have made the point about how important his revelations are. I thought you were in favor of freedom? You make a very good slave, so get that whistle while you work song down. It is great in the dark, too.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Yeah, I took that oath when the Empire invaded Vietnam without getting a required declaration of war from Congress (Violating the Constitution With an Illegal War by Rep. Ron Paul, MD, October 3, 2002).

Puts you in kind of a weird position when you are unfortunately born intelligent enough to learn to read and then you try to read and understand the "Law of the Land" so you can figure out what you are supposed to do to protect it. That's if you don't just mouth the words and let other people decide for you what this life and death oath is all about, like a good little mind-numbed patriot.

Of course keeping secrets from the body politic in a democracy must be what protecting the Constitution is all about, too. If the President exceeds his Constitutional powers....

Quote Ron Paul:

A declaration of war limits the presidential powers, narrows the focus, and implies a precise end point to the conflict. A declaration of war makes Congress assume the responsibilities directed by the Constitution for this very important decision, rather than assume that if the major decision is left to the President and a poor result occurs, it will be his fault, not that of Congress. Hiding behind the transfer of the war power to the executive through the War Powers Resolution of 1973 will hardly suffice.

..nice to know we can count on the authoritarian followers of this nation to not question oaths and orders, especially when they run across one of those infamous military Catch 22s. It's simple: "he took an oath", even if the oath may be contradictory for those who actually think for themselves. If you actually want to serve your country, you don't have a choice about how the oath is worded. I found that out.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

Bradley Manning began his quest by following his chain of command. The DNIF came down the chain. That was an illegal order.

It's bad enough for a Marine to be in a unit, isolated from the big picture and witness individual war crimes against women,children and non combatants by the 1% present in all units. To be 35F and sit in a SCIF for hours and not flag questionable engagements is a violation.

As Daniel Ellberg mentioned, Bradley Manning attempted to speak truth to power. Power knows the truth and if one reveals that they know the truth, they are percieved as the enemy and they are destroyed.

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bamboo
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote DRC:

rigel, heroism is not measured in loyalty to empires or any evil power. I could argue that Manning was just a bit naive and that what he revealed was embarassing rather than dangerous other than to imperial power. He ranks with Ellsburg in letting the light shine where it needed to. Those who have come down heavy on him have made the point about how important his revelations are. I thought you were in favor of freedom? You make a very good slave, so get that whistle while you work song down. It is great in the dark, too.

As imperial powers go, we are pretty lame. We finshed the job in Iraq and we left. And we left them in control of the precious oil. Gengis Khan or Alexander the Great would be embarrased by such behavior. Bradass tried to affect the outcome but failed. He accomplished nothing. He is as deserving a nobel peace prize as Barack Obama. I actually hope he gets it. They could mail it to him in his cell. The prize comes with 1 million bucks which the recipient is expected to use for the betterment of man. I'm betting Bradass will use his for the benefit of Bradass.

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rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 6:49 am

The only endorsement I need for anything is rigel's disdain.

Saint Manning....Payton, Bradley or Eli...?

D

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MEJ
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote .ren:

Yeah, I took that oath when the Empire invaded Vietnam without getting a required declaration of war from Congress (Violating the Constitution With an Illegal War by Rep. Ron Paul, MD, October 3, 2002).

Dude. It's not an invasion if the host country wants you there. A little history lesson for you. The Republic of Vietnam had been fighting and invasion from the north and a communist insurgency. They welcomed us. This was not an invasion. Not even close.

We may be an "empire", but we are the worst empire ever. What kind of empire leaves after the fight is over and lets the host country call the shots? Lame, lame I tell you!

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rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 6:49 am

Bradley Manning's actions could be interpreted as carryinjg out his duty, explicitly stated in the UCMJ, to disobey an umlawful order.

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FrY10cK
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Feb. 26, 2012 11:16 am
Quote bamboo:

Bradley Manning began his quest by following his chain of command. The DNIF came down the chain. That was an illegal order.

It's bad enough for a Marine to be in a unit, isolated from the big picture and witness individual war crimes against women,children and non combatants by the 1% present in all units. To be 35F and sit in a SCIF for hours and not flag questionable engagements is a violation.

As Daniel Ellberg mentioned, Bradley Manning attempted to speak truth to power. Power knows the truth and if one reveals that they know the truth, they are percieved as the enemy and they are destroyed.

Daniel Ellsbeg, two tour (voluntarily) Marine veteran of the conflict in Vietnam, did excatly what Manning has done: his duty to his country as best he could discern it. Ellsberg has been thoroughly vindicated. It's a tragedy that our political system is so far gone that Manning will likely be pilloried.

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FrY10cK
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Feb. 26, 2012 11:16 am
Quote rigel1:
Quote .ren:

Yeah, I took that oath when the Empire invaded Vietnam without getting a required declaration of war from Congress (Violating the Constitution With an Illegal War by Rep. Ron Paul, MD, October 3, 2002).

Dude. It's not an invasion if the host country wants you there. A little history lesson for you. The Republic of Vietnam had been fighting and invasion from the north and a communist insurgency. They welcomed us. This was not an invasion. Not even close.

We may be an "empire", but we are the worst empire ever. What kind of empire leaves after the fight is over and lets the host country call the shots? Lame, lame I tell you!

Who's "they"? in your crimped version of history? "Our" they or "their" they?

What about the Constitution, Congress and an act of War? We can forget about that in your Presidential makes decisions for us all version? Sudddenly we can forget about your pal Ron and how he sees things?

So you believe there are good Empires? I actually get the feeling you are serious.

.ren's picture
.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am
Quote .ren:
Quote rigel1:
Quote .ren:

Yeah, I took that oath when the Empire invaded Vietnam without getting a required declaration of war from Congress (Violating the Constitution With an Illegal War by Rep. Ron Paul, MD, October 3, 2002).

Dude. It's not an invasion if the host country wants you there. A little history lesson for you. The Republic of Vietnam had been fighting and invasion from the north and a communist insurgency. They welcomed us. This was not an invasion. Not even close.

We may be an "empire", but we are the worst empire ever. What kind of empire leaves after the fight is over and lets the host country call the shots? Lame, lame I tell you!

Who's "they"? in your crimped version of history? "Our" they or "their" they?

What about the Constitution, Congress and an act of War? We can forget about that in your Presidential makes decisions for us all version? Sudddenly we can forget about your pal Ron and how he sees things?

So you believe there are good Empires? I actually get the feeling you are serious.

Not a crimped version of history.Cool it with the hype. Just the facts. I already mentioned it above. We fought with the Republic of Vietnam against a communist invasion. We did not force ourselves on them. They desperately wanted our help. We began by training their troops, then we went to war with them. And they appreciated our help.

Where did I say there are good empires? Ya'll need to read what I say, not what you think I might mean. You think I am serious? About what? I said that if we are an empire we are a lousy empire. We can't seem to hold on to our gains. When any of our conquests tell us to leave, we leave!

For example: We had a huge naval base in Subic Bay Philippines. Back in the 80's the Phippinos told us to get out. We really wanted to keep that base , but they kicked us out. On top of that, we gave Iwo Jima back to Japan. Now we are gone from Iraq. I'm not saying we have a good empire, I'm saying we have the worst empire ever. In fact we are an insult to real empires.

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rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 6:49 am

rigel, if I give you a pass for ignorance of the history behind our imperial involvement in Vietnam, please take the time to educate yourself and avoid repeating what is becoming to look like propaganda rather than mere opinion.

The first question to ask is why there was a North and South Vietnam. The answer goes to the root of our bad motivation. We stopped the post-war election that would have brought the resistance hero, Ho Chi Minh, to the national presidency. It was part of the bogus "anti-communist" hysteria that came from domestic American paranoia about Marxism everywhere and had nothing to do with any actual world-wide conspiracy. It was later to be the "domino theory" that was used to justify increasing the war. It was pure invention and nonsense. Ho Chi Minh was the anti-colonial hero, and a lot of his thinking came from Americans like Jefferson.

We aligned ourselves with the side that had served the French against the nationalists. What possible justification can there be for this? As the mirror to our support for dictators instead of nationalist democracies in Latin America, it is hardly surprising; but that does not elevate it out of the "war is a racket" corporate crimes all too familiar. Go back and look at the history of the Spanish American War in the Pacific and the horrendous occupation of the Philippines way before the Japanese gave us an excuse by being ruthless imperialists themselves. Mark Twain is a good source for invective against these wars.

The Gulf of Tonkin 'incident' has become infamous as a lie. Echoes of "Remember the Maine" and foreshadowing the other bogus causes used to get us into wars. While WWII remains the easiest to 'justify,' in both Europe where the bad resolution of WWI and the Pacific where American reach threatened Japan's access to essential oil supplies, the myth of our innocence does not stand up to serious investigation. When one looks at Korea, there are parallels with the intervention into elections where we did not like the result coming that mar any innocence. And, the results in Korea hardly justify the paranoia of a united Korea under a 'socialist' government seeking to distribute land and break up royalist social patterns.

Being the "last empire" of the colonial West was hardly the "manifest destiny" imagined by the Founders of "the first new nation." As we come to appreciate American expansion as more a reach of global capitalists and jingoists than the spread of democracy, we can learn not to trust the 'exceptionalist' rhetoric or the idea that our global military establishment represents anything good for the world. Chalmers Johnson is the best source I know for learning about the tragedy of empire and why no democracy can remain such while engaging in empire. In short, there can be no good empire and they are all evil by nature.

I do not blame the troops for wanting to believe in the missions on which they are sent. I grew up as a Navy dependent and lived with veterans of WWII who believed that they had served a good cause. But, many of them were not willing to justify further wars because they knew the movies did not get it right. Hedges reveals the addictive and toxic nature of war on those who fight and report it in War, A Force that Gives Us Meaning. I suggest it also as a response to your opinion.

I hope you educate yourself rather than just believing me, but I really hope you don't continue to post 'opinion' that is unexamined. War is a racket, and nowhere are our troops needed abroad. If we want to take care of the people who have compromised themselves by cooperating with us, I would support bringing them to America for safety; but I ask you how we would treat those who sold us out were we on the other side? You know the answer and it is not pretty.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote rigel1:

Where did I say there are good empires?

I asked. You complied with a spectrum.

Quote rigel1:

I'm saying we have the worst empire ever.

You don't have to use "good", you simply used a measurement on a linear scale. Then I step back and look at how you think about it. I think you are seriously on your train of thought. I'm looking from somewhere else when I use that term.

Quote rigel1:

Not a crimped version of history.Cool it with the hype.

"Hype"? I still don't know what "they" you are talking about in your crimped version of history.

The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

The Tonkin Gulf Resolution is of historical significance because it gave U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson authorization, without a formal declaration of war by Congress, for the use of "conventional'' military force in Southeast Asia. Specifically, the resolution authorized the President to do whatever necessary in order to assist "any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty." This included involving armed forces.

Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty

The Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, or Manila Pact, signed on 8 September 1954 in Manila,[2] as part of the American Truman Doctrine of creating anti-communist bilateral and collective defense treaties.[3] These treaties and agreements were intended to create alliances that would contain communist powers (Communist China, in SEATO's case).[4] This policy was considered to have been largely developed by American diplomat and Soviet expert George F. Kennan. President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (1953–1959) is considered to be the primary force behind the creation of SEATO, which expanded the concept of anti-communist collective defense to Southeast Asia,[2] and then-Vice President Richard Nixon advocated an Asian equivalent of NATO upon returning from his late-1953 Asia trip.[5] The organization, headquartered in Bangkok, was created in 1955 at the first meeting of the Council of Ministers set up by the treaty, contrary to Dulles's preference to call the organization "ManPac."

SEATO was intended to be a Southeast Asian version of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO),[6] in which the military forces of each member would be coordinated to provide for the collective defense of the members' country. Organizationally, SEATO was headed by the Secretary General, whose office was created in 1957 at a meeting in Canberra,[7][8] with a council of representatives from member nations and an international staff. Also present were committees for economics, security, and information.[8] SEATO's first Secretary General was Pote Sarasin, a Thai diplomat and politician who had served as Thailand's ambassador to the U.S. between 1952 and 1957,[9][10] and as Prime Minister of Thailand from September 1957 to 1 January 1958.[11]

Unlike the NATO alliance, SEATO had no joint commands with standing forces.[12] In addition, SEATO's response protocol in the event of communism presenting a "common danger" to the member nations was vague and ineffective, though membership in the SEATO alliance did provide a rationale for a large-scale U.S. military intervention in the region during the Vietnam War

Quote rigel1:

Ya'll need to read what I say, not what you think I might mean. You think I am serious? About what? I said that if we are an empire we are a lousy empire. We can't seem to hold on to our gains. When any of our conquests tell us to leave, we leave!

For example: We had a huge naval base in Subic Bay Philippines. Back in the 80's the Phippinos told us to get out. We really wanted to keep that base , but they kicked us out. On top of that, we gave Iwo Jima back to Japan. Now we are gone from Iraq. I'm not saying we have a good empire, I'm saying we have the worst empire ever. In fact we are an insult to real empires.

What on earth are you on about?

.ren's picture
.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am
Quote rigel1:

Huh?

Exactly.

.ren's picture
.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

Truly a great response from a dudhead. Wake up fool. ren just gave you an educated and respectful response. Don't be rude to him. Even you can learn. Try it. 'Clever' criticism of the performance of empire does not qualify as serious discussion. Don't go into a battle of the wits half armed.

DRC's picture
DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote .ren:
Quote rigel1:

Where did I say there are good empires?

I asked. You complied with a spectrum.

Quote rigel1:

I'm saying we have the worst empire ever.

You don't have to use "good", you simply used a measurement on a linear scale. Then I step back and look at how you think about it. I think you are seriously on your train of thought. I'm looking from somewhere else when I use that term.

Quote rigel1:

Not a crimped version of history.Cool it with the hype.

"Hype"? I still don't know what "they" you are talking about in your crimped version of history.

The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

The Tonkin Gulf Resolution is of historical significance because it gave U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson authorization, without a formal declaration of war by Congress, for the use of "conventional'' military force in Southeast Asia. Specifically, the resolution authorized the President to do whatever necessary in order to assist "any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty." This included involving armed forces.

Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty

The Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, or Manila Pact, signed on 8 September 1954 in Manila,[2] as part of the American Truman Doctrine of creating anti-communist bilateral and collective defense treaties.[3] These treaties and agreements were intended to create alliances that would contain communist powers (Communist China, in SEATO's case).[4] This policy was considered to have been largely developed by American diplomat and Soviet expert George F. Kennan. President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (1953–1959) is considered to be the primary force behind the creation of SEATO, which expanded the concept of anti-communist collective defense to Southeast Asia,[2] and then-Vice President Richard Nixon advocated an Asian equivalent of NATO upon returning from his late-1953 Asia trip.[5] The organization, headquartered in Bangkok, was created in 1955 at the first meeting of the Council of Ministers set up by the treaty, contrary to Dulles's preference to call the organization "ManPac."

SEATO was intended to be a Southeast Asian version of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO),[6] in which the military forces of each member would be coordinated to provide for the collective defense of the members' country. Organizationally, SEATO was headed by the Secretary General, whose office was created in 1957 at a meeting in Canberra,[7][8] with a council of representatives from member nations and an international staff. Also present were committees for economics, security, and information.[8] SEATO's first Secretary General was Pote Sarasin, a Thai diplomat and politician who had served as Thailand's ambassador to the U.S. between 1952 and 1957,[9][10] and as Prime Minister of Thailand from September 1957 to 1 January 1958.[11]

Unlike the NATO alliance, SEATO had no joint commands with standing forces.[12] In addition, SEATO's response protocol in the event of communism presenting a "common danger" to the member nations was vague and ineffective, though membership in the SEATO alliance did provide a rationale for a large-scale U.S. military intervention in the region during the Vietnam War

Quote rigel1:

Ya'll need to read what I say, not what you think I might mean. You think I am serious? About what? I said that if we are an empire we are a lousy empire. We can't seem to hold on to our gains. When any of our conquests tell us to leave, we leave!

For example: We had a huge naval base in Subic Bay Philippines. Back in the 80's the Phippinos told us to get out. We really wanted to keep that base , but they kicked us out. On top of that, we gave Iwo Jima back to Japan. Now we are gone from Iraq. I'm not saying we have a good empire, I'm saying we have the worst empire ever. In fact we are an insult to real empires.

What on earth are you on about?

Either we invaded South Vietnam against the will of The Republic of Vietnam or we went in with their blessing. Which is it?

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rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 6:49 am

This is the edited "fully armed" version for rigel, DRC.

Quote rigel1:

Either we invaded South Vietnam against the will of The Republic of Vietnam or we went in with their blessing. Which is it?

You can put the history book right in front of them, make them read it, but what will that do? Will you get reading comprehension or multiple choice questions?

Our education system is screwed.

.ren's picture
.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

If a textbook says "they" (presumably all inhabitants of the country in question) welcomed us, it must be true. If Dick Cheney says "we" (presumably the US, or at least the Empire's soldier pawns) will be welcomed as liberators (Operation Iraqi Liberation), then it must be true.

But foreign aid, which the average USian will tell you constitutes at least 15% of the federal budget, is a big no-no. I imagine many "third world" nations that don't possess oil would welcome increased financial assistance. That, of course, would be fiscally irresponsible, however.

The propaganda is so transparent (to some) yet so effective (on many). It separates those of us who are waking from a nightmare from those who are insane. A video posted by Ren really says it all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=N2Xh5eN2fXY. 

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Garrett78
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Sep. 3, 2010 8:20 am

I always thought that a member of the military's prime oath was to defend the Constitution of the United States...and resist orders contrary to it like Manning did.

He's an American hero. A nation that puts defenders of its Constitution in jail is in deep doo doo.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Thanks, Harry.

I won't clutter this up with restatements of my views, but I will remind folks that everytime they see one of my posts - they are seeing the part of the Rug that bears Bradley's birthday (roman numerals at the end).

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Rodger97321
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

rigel, you really are a disappointment. The "Republic of South Vietnam" was a Cold War creation based in neo-colonialism. It represents our illegal and immoral intervention in the post-colonial politics of the Vietnamese people and to be "invited" to support their Tories ought to offend any champion of national liberation. The people who served the French against their nation were not exactly the friends of freedom. Learn your history before you act the fool.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Pvt. Manning turned whistleblower to expose war crimes he became aware of. For that, they want to send him to jail. His actions probably saved many more lives than allegedly were threatened by the releases. We need more people like manning and Assange, not fewer ... someone has to say the emporer has no clothes !.

miksilvr
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Jul. 7, 2011 11:13 am
Quote .ren:

This is the edited "fully armed" version for rigel, DRC.

Quote rigel1:

Either we invaded South Vietnam against the will of The Republic of Vietnam or we went in with their blessing. Which is it?

You can put the history book right in front of them, make them read it, but what will that do? Will you get reading comprehension or multiple choice questions?

Our education system is screwed.

Excellent points about reading comprehension. Not only as related to history and those doomed to repeat it (Rigel), but as related to comprehending the Military Oath as well. Poor education often leads to poor decisions.

Treason is a politically polarized assessment of Manning just as hero deserving of a Nobel Prize is. Rules and regulations exist for good reason. Decisions to break them have consequences. Didn't Manning choose to break those rules? Perhaps he chose to honor the greater good, but he also chose to break the rules in the process. How should we compare Mandela's imprisonment to Manning's?

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Laborisgood
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Good comparison. The Apartheid Regime's persecution of Mandela and our treatment of Manning. How should we compare them? I think both cases show evil regimes and patriotic heroes. Even if Manning is more an accidental hero than a real leader of moral revolution, his prison time has been hard and unjustified.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote Laborisgood:

Excellent points about reading comprehension. Not only as related to history and those doomed to repeat it (Rigel), but as related to comprehending the Military Oath as well. Poor education often leads to poor decisions.

Treason is a politically polarized assessment of Manning just as hero deserving of a Nobel Prize is. Rules and regulations exist for good reason. Decisions to break them have consequences. Didn't Manning choose to break those rules? Perhaps he chose to honor the greater good, but he also chose to break the rules in the process. How should we compare Mandela's imprisonment to Manning's?

That's a very good question, How should we compare them? I think it's more complex than the notion that he intentionally broke the law.

The point that I was making that got derailed over the word "invasion" was about the potential legal, maybe even moral conflict of the oath itself, which I myself took as an eighteen year old in a time even more ambiguous than today's oath takers', because conscription was still taking place, and then you had to take this oath, and if you refused....? Once again I'll post the Oath of Enlistment I posted above. Here's the link I remembered way after it was too late to edit my post: Oath of Enlistment

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Now read the oath carefully, what does it say?

It directs any potential eighteen year old like I was to do what? Two things, really, in one big long sentence broken up into clauses by commas and semicolons:

I swear to protect the Constitution, bearing true allegiance to it, and,

I swear I will obey orders (from the chain of command above me, as per the UCMJ -- but what does that mean?) .

Notice it qualifies the second directive with the UCMJ, which is a nice thick legal document that they gave me soon after I got to boot camp. I didn't even know what it was when I took the oath. I'm probably one of the very few who made any attempt to read it, though they did have classes on it. The UCMJ, by the way, is something a bit separate from the Constitution. It's like its own little Constitution for the authoritarian system we call the military, a Constitution all its own, which was established by Congress under its authority to do so as described in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, and you get to try to absorb what it means after you swear your oath which has this wording in it about swearing to protect the Constitution, obviously with your life.

UCMJ - Wiki's explanation

UCMJ - Government site

These are not trivial matters. The legalities here are not as simple as simple-minded legal fundamentalists want them to be. I'd love to be there to watch how the courts-martial actually goes. I mean, if one hasn't been in the military itself, or at least read something like Joseph Heller's Catch 22, then I have to wonder if anyone can even begin to grapple with the asurdities here that a very young man, Bradley Manning, had to deal with when he saw that something was amiss. What he did is not a childish prank, it's obviously not an intention to sell the United States out to an enemy. Rather, it's more like an intention to sell out the military high command, including the Commander in Chief, to the American Public. Essentially the MIC which is the basis for this external national venture many of us have openly been calling an Empire. It's an act of amazing courage, even if possibly naive, though I have no access to Bradley Manning and what he thinks.

This much I know from direct experience: In the military the enlisted of the low ranks are the lowest of lows and are duly treated that way. It doesn't pretend to be anything but a hierarchy of that sort. Generally the low ranking enlisted come in without much savvy, unlike college educated officers. But according to the oath you are implicitly supposed to be able to distinguish between a lawful and an unlawful order, if you are going to both protect the constitution and follow orders, meaning you need to understand both the Constitution and the UCMJ.

Compare what a young enlisted man (Manning) has done to a recent similar act by a high ranking officer:

Truthdigger of the Week: Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis

Here's his public release of non classified information published in full by Rolling Stone (he went to Congress with a more detailed and classified version):

Dereliction of Duty II: Senior Military Leaders' Loss of Integrity Wounds Afghan War Effort

.ren's picture
.ren
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Quote Henry David Thoreau:A common and natural result of an undue respect for law is that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, corporal, privates, powder-monkeys, and all marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart. They have no doubt that it is a damnable business in which they are concerned; they are all peaceably inclined. Now, what are they? Men at all? or small movable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power?
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Garrett78
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Quote miksilvr:Pvt. Manning turned whistleblower to expose war crimes he became aware of. For that, they want to send him to jail.

War is a crime.

Quote Major General Smedley Darlington Butler:I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
http://www.amazon.com/War-Racket-Antiwar-Americas-Decorated/dp/0922915865

There have not been any glory days in the age of Empire.

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Garrett78
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Quote Laborisgood:
Quote .ren:

This is the edited "fully armed" version for rigel, DRC.

Quote rigel1:

Either we invaded South Vietnam against the will of The Republic of Vietnam or we went in with their blessing. Which is it?

You can put the history book right in front of them, make them read it, but what will that do? Will you get reading comprehension or multiple choice questions?

Our education system is screwed.

Excellent points about reading comprehension. Not only as related to history and those doomed to repeat it (Rigel), but as related to comprehending the Military Oath as well. Poor education often leads to poor decisions.

Treason is a politically polarized assessment of Manning just as hero deserving of a Nobel Prize is. Rules and regulations exist for good reason. Decisions to break them have consequences. Didn't Manning choose to break those rules? Perhaps he chose to honor the greater good, but he also chose to break the rules in the process. How should we compare Mandela's imprisonment to Manning's?

Quote Howard Zinn:Well, that is our topic, that is our problem: civil obedience. Law is very important. We are talking about obedience to law-law, this marvelous invention of modern times, which we attribute to Western civilization, and which we talk about proudly. The rule of law, oh, how wonderful, all these courses in Western civilization all over the land. Remember those bad old days when people were exploited by feudalism? Everything was terrible in the Middle Ages-but now we have Western civilization, the rule of law. The rule of law has regularized and maximized the injustice that existed before the rule of law, that is what the rule of law has done. Let us start looking at the rule of law realistically, not with that metaphysical complacency with which we always examined it before.

Civil Obedience I encourage folks to read the whole piece.

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Well done, Garrett.

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Quote .ren:Now read the oath carefully, what does it say?

It directs any potential eighteen year old like I was to do what? Two things, really, in one big long sentence broken up into clauses by commas and semicolons:

I swear to protect the Constitution, bearing true allegiance to it, and,

I swear I will obey orders (from the chain of command above me, as per the UCMJ -- but what does that mean?) .

It assumes that the latter doesn't violate the former. It assumes you'll never be asked to perform opposite actions simultaneously, though every war requires just that.

Of course, I want to question allegiance to the Constitution, regardless. Why is it called for, or justifiable? There can be this debate in which posters argue whether or not Manning violated his oath to this thing known as the Constitution of this place known as the United States of America. But I question the very justification for such an oath to be taken. I go further and question the justification for the existence of nation states. Can you imagine how much trouble I have caring about Santorum's hyperChristianity or a "sane" conversation about abortion or the "reverse racism" BS from Ron Paul supporters? It took me a long, long time to wake up from the nightmare. Now, I just want to escape the insane.

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Yes. This whole business of oaths in a democracy is questionable. An oath by nature turns something fluid and adaptable into something set in stone. Questioning oaths also brings up certain problems with different ways of interpreting law. The originalist way, the legal positivist way, essentially the various formalist ways that also set the law in minds as if chiseled in stone tablets from on high. And while questioning these things one reveals their logical structures which, once revealed, one may just happen to see why some in power might fear the questions. The "insane" we might call them, especially when we see they are driving over a cliff with all of us on board, while their minions cheer and try to smack down anyone who questions the drivers: "You took an oath."

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And I'd say the whole business of the US Constitution is questionable. A few select people had a say in that "holy writ" whose intention was to defend private property and suppress mass democracy, as stated quite well in Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machine.

I suspect that most of the world's human population is sane, but we must break free of the chains of bondage if there is any hope of getting in the driver's seat before it's too late.

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The theology of biblical authority transcends the canon and the text. The same is true of the Constitution, a political document and compromise that gave us "a republic, if we can keep it." Those who want to worship Holy Writ instead of letting it inspire and inform make letter more than spirit and miss the point. The Founders would expect us to take our time and place as seriously as they took theirs. They would be among the first to throw away what has not worked and create something new.

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One of the problems I've struggled with along that line of thought, Garrett, is the concern that we need some sort of social agreement between a body of people, but then once we come up with one, how does it allow any flexibility that actually might be necessary to grapple with environmental (which can also include social and cultural) changes?

It seems there's always going to be a group that wants the holy writ to be solidified. It may be a group genetic feature that evolved as part of our survival. And that's a part of the functional definition of the term conservative. Conservative can therefore be good because we also have an extraverted typology sector of the population that runs headlong into things without much contemplation beforehand, and the conservative mindset can put a break on that, but if that mindset becomes too strong in the group governing agreement, then adaptability to change can be curtailed.

So how do we create a flexible social agreement that won't let the impulsives kill us at the same time?

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Quote .ren:

One of the problems I've struggled with along that line of thought, Garrett, is the concern that we need some sort of social agreement between a body of people, but then once we come up with one, how does it allow any flexibility that actually might be necessary to grapple with environmental (which can also include social and cultural) changes?

It seems there's always going to be a group that wants the holy writ to be solidified. It may be a group genetic feature that evolved as part of our survival. And that's a part of the functional definition of the term conservative. Conservative can therefore be good because we also have an extraverted typology sector of the population that runs headlong into things without much contemplation beforehand, and the conservative mindset can put a break on that, but if that mindset becomes too strong in the group governing agreement, then adaptability to change can be curtailed.

So how do we create a flexible social agreement that won't let the impulsives kill us at the same time?

A question I've considered, but haven't put enough thought into.

Can any social agreement be successfully applied to a large group of people? What constitutes a "large group" of people?

Would something like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights suffice?

As you say, time witnesses environmental changes. So, a social agreement must be a "living" document, I'd think.

But another problem is the ambiguity of words. What does "right to equality" mean (to you, to me, to anyone)? What about "do no harm?"

This is a discussion worth having, in my estimation. But one that could last the rest of our lives.

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Like the challenge of governing ourselves, it is ongoing and always "new" while as a continuing project, also doing the same thing again. I think this gets us back to the reason logical positivism fails even though the idea of having stability and tangible reality is not bad in itself. The alternative of "relativism" has its own problems.

I think Truth is a pluralistic and interactive phenomenon, paradoxical and tautological rather than literal and linear. An interaction of "truths," rather than a monism. One and many at the same time. But not without content or points of reference.

Playing jazz is improvisation, but there are tunes, points of reference, changes, rhythms and space to be observed. Even playing written music in classical tradition requires making music rather than just playing the notes literally as written. Like a play being what the actors make the script when they bring it to life.

Post-Newtonian Physics brings us relativity, quantum and particles. Gravity is still the law, but nobody can define why it is what it is. The Mystery does not justify mystification, and "mystics" are like those who get the big picture and often cannot deal with the literal and linear paths we call logic.

Anyway, it is a "discussion" that does not end or die. Not if we keep doing democracy and honoring the inclusive participation in power. The textbook on cat herding is simple by contrast. The desire for a universal field theory or objective and universal rules comes from anxiety about living life. If we got them it would not be all that great.

Be not afraid. We make plans so God can laugh. Zen is the answer.

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Ultimately one person's intent and what motivates it are either inclusive or exclusive of the world that person resides in. Oaths, religion, mantras, etc are all innately flawed per the Heisenberg Principle as mis-applied outside of quantum physics. You just can't define all the specific details as applies to every person and everything without those same details being the undoing of the original intent. All we can expect are actions of good intent which are inclusive of others and the world we all share. But even then, those actions may conflict with someone or something. However, those conflicts can be looked at as additional opportunities to refine the process. And so it goes.

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Quote .ren:

One of the problems I've struggled with along that line of thought, Garrett, is the concern that we need some sort of social agreement between a body of people, but then once we come up with one, how does it allow any flexibility that actually might be necessary to grapple with environmental (which can also include social and cultural) changes?

It seems there's always going to be a group that wants the holy writ to be solidified. It may be a group genetic feature that evolved as part of our survival. And that's a part of the functional definition of the term conservative. Conservative can therefore be good because we also have an extraverted typology sector of the population that runs headlong into things without much contemplation beforehand, and the conservative mindset can put a break on that, but if that mindset becomes too strong in the group governing agreement, then adaptability to change can be curtailed.

So how do we create a flexible social agreement that won't let the impulsives kill us at the same time?

Very good point. This may seems tangetal, but I have come to a similar conclusion in my study of criminal law. (Specifically, the tendancy among law shool professors, to treat deontologic and teleologic theories of justice as mutually exclusive.) I won't bore you with the details of this train of thought, but it is good to hear someone else acknowledge the functional aspect of conservative/liberal morality, and how they regulate society.

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The Noble Peace prize is a joke award that has been given to some of the greatest human rights abusers of the 20th century. In spite of this, the prize still seems to carry inflated prestige. I hope Manning does get it. At least it might put pressure on the US Gov. to give a lenient sentence.

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Why this slavish adherence to an oath when a considerable portion of our elected officials WITH WAY MORE RESPONSIBILTY run amok in complete avoidance of their oaths?

In my opinion, Bradly Manning did his absolute best to uphold his oath to honor the constitution - along with the honor and promise of this country. In doing so he took a big risk for all of us – and is paying the ultimate price of pulling the curtain open for us to see the piddly wizards behind the screen. I suppose some would call this stupid. His honoring has surpassed the disrespectful teardown done by many of our elected officials – whose responsibility is to UPHOLD the constitution!

Sometimes the thinking educated mind gets in the way of common sense. Sometimes we have to get past the idea that an oath is to be blindly, stupidly, and nonsensically followed. I always remember what my Mama told me: If your friend took a oath to jump off a bridge does that make it right?

media_muse
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Quote Laborisgood:

Ultimately one person's intent and what motivates it are either inclusive or exclusive of the world that person resides in. Oaths, religion, mantras, etc are all innately flawed per the Heisenberg Principle as mis-applied outside of quantum physics. You just can't define all the specific details as applies to every person and everything without those same details being the undoing of the original intent. All we can expect are actions of good intent which are inclusive of others and the world we all share. But even then, those actions may conflict with someone or something. However, those conflicts can be looked at as additional opportunities to refine the process. And so it goes.

Don't you find it just a little weird that when making a legal promise that involves your very life you don't get to write it for yourself? The authoritarian, non democratic principle behind that has always troubled me.

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.ren
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Quote JoyceFinnigan:
Quote .ren:

One of the problems I've struggled with along that line of thought, Garrett, is the concern that we need some sort of social agreement between a body of people, but then once we come up with one, how does it allow any flexibility that actually might be necessary to grapple with environmental (which can also include social and cultural) changes?

It seems there's always going to be a group that wants the holy writ to be solidified. It may be a group genetic feature that evolved as part of our survival. And that's a part of the functional definition of the term conservative. Conservative can therefore be good because we also have an extraverted typology sector of the population that runs headlong into things without much contemplation beforehand, and the conservative mindset can put a break on that, but if that mindset becomes too strong in the group governing agreement, then adaptability to change can be curtailed.

So how do we create a flexible social agreement that won't let the impulsives kill us at the same time?

Very good point. This may seems tangetal, but I have come to a similar conclusion in my study of criminal law. (Specifically, the tendancy among law shool professors, to treat deontologic and teleologic theories of justice as mutually exclusive.) I won't bore you with the details of this train of thought, but it is good to hear someone else acknowledge the functional aspect of conservative/liberal morality, and how they regulate society.

I'm a balance-oriented kind of person, so I guess that's why I think about things like that.

It's not really tangential in my mind to bring up your thoughts about law and those concepts, and I encourage people to do some research while we sit back at our computers or whatever and opine on this topic. Here's a food-for-thought starter site: Consequentialism

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Quote media_muse:

Why this slavish adherence to an oath when a considerable portion of our elected officials WITH WAY MORE RESPONSIBILTY run amok in complete avoidance of their oaths?

In my opinion, Bradly Manning did his absolute best to uphold his oath to honor the constitution - along with the honor and promise of this country. In doing so he took a big risk for all of us – and is paying the ultimate price of pulling the curtain open for us to see the piddly wizards behind the screen. I suppose some would call this stupid. His honoring has surpassed the disrespectful teardown done by many of our elected officials – whose responsibility is to UPHOLD the constitution!

Sometimes the thinking educated mind gets in the way of common sense. Sometimes we have to get past the idea that an oath is to be blindly, stupidly, and nonsensically followed. I always remember what my Mama told me: If your friend took a oath to jump off a bridge does that make it right?

I think that's why this is such an important case for us all to think about, especially at this time. It really does beg us to question some of our assumptions, especially with regards to notions like the correlation between "civility" and "rule of law".

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Quote Henry David Thoreau:

Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men, generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to put out its faults, and do better than it would have them? Why does it always crucify Christ and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels?

One would think, that a deliberate and practical denial of its authority was the only offense never contemplated by its government; else, why has it not assigned its definite, its suitable and proportionate, penalty? If a man who has no property refuses but once to earn nine shillings for the State, he is put in prison for a period unlimited by any law that I know, and determined only by the discretion of those who put him there; but if he should steal ninety times nine shillings from the State, he is soon permitted to go at large again.

If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth—certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.

As for adopting the ways which the State has provided for remedying the evil, I know not of such ways. They take too much time, and a man's life will be gone. I have other affairs to attend to. I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad. A man has not everything to do, but something; and because he cannot do everything, it is not necessary that he should be petitioning the Governor or the Legislature any more than it is theirs to petition me; and if they should not hear my petition, what should I do then? But in this case the State has provided no way: its very Constitution is the evil. This may seem to be harsh and stubborn and unconcilliatory; but it is to treat with the utmost kindness and consideration the only spirit that can appreciate or deserves it. So is all change for the better, like birth and death, which convulse the body.

(Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau, approximately page 8 of the essay)

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Quote .ren:
Quote Laborisgood:

Ultimately one person's intent and what motivates it are either inclusive or exclusive of the world that person resides in. Oaths, religion, mantras, etc are all innately flawed per the Heisenberg Principle as mis-applied outside of quantum physics. You just can't define all the specific details as applies to every person and everything without those same details being the undoing of the original intent. All we can expect are actions of good intent which are inclusive of others and the world we all share. But even then, those actions may conflict with someone or something. However, those conflicts can be looked at as additional opportunities to refine the process. And so it goes.

Don't you find it just a little weird that when making a legal promise that involves your very life you don't get to write it for yourself? The authoritarian, non democratic principle behind that has always troubled me.

Even your own words would fall short in terms of an all encompassing social agreement as Garrett nicely put:

A question I've considered, but haven't put enough thought into.

Can any social agreement be successfully applied to a large group of people? What constitutes a "large group" of people?

Would something like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights suffice?

As you say, time witnesses environmental changes. So, a social agreement must be a "living" document, I'd think.

But another problem is the ambiguity of words. What does "right to equality" mean (to you, to me, to anyone)? What about "do no harm?"

This is a discussion worth having, in my estimation. But one that could last the rest of our lives.

What about when your self written oath conflicts with someone else's self written oath?

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If we all agree that nobody else can sell us into serfdom, our own pledge not to do that to ourself will not be in conflict with anyone's. Freedom is for all, or none. It does not work piecemeal. I think the protection of human rights by a democratic society is sufficient to allow me to pledge my loyalty to that state. When it would violate that commitment to democracy, it breaks its own pledge and mine is no longer binding. Caesar has to be a good magistrate and do what the State is there to do rather than become a tyrant or presume to be a God to deserve our 'obedience.' We only render unto Caesar that which civil government has the right to have.

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Quote Laborisgood:

What about when your self written oath conflicts with someone else's self written oath?

Seems to me an oath is a carefully worded promise to do something. It's become a legally binding promise. There were all kinds of issues raised when Obama swore his oath of office as I recall. Why?

You do a kind of oath of matrimonial agreement when you get married. People are now writing their own. Why?

So I'm wondering how you came up with the notion of conflict there. Could you give an example?

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.ren
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Absolutely important this is!

While I have not ever been in the military, I have been a patriotic citizen and served my country by being a law abiding citizen. Then I was a victim of crime - committed by a 6 foot 2 white male, working in the financial industry of the little 'camelot' where I lived. Consequently, I had the horrific experience of observing the local sheriff's department, the local district attorneys and several judges shred their oaths to uphold their duties. Why did they do it? I could make up a story but it would only be a story. The reality is - they did it because they could, because the criminal was a tall white male in the financial industry. The media wouldn't touch it because they support keeping the fairy tale camelot image in place. With fairy tales spoon fed to us from the media, and elected officials who trash their oaths, it appears that we have much bigger problems to contend with than someone releasing info about the cowardice of those governing us.

Maybe if beautiful Bradley was taller he would be free today or at least in minimum security. Oops, I forgot - what was I thinking? He enlisted so he has no money either. No tall no money no freedom.

An oath is an oath, an oath of course, unless you are a public official or a horse.

media_muse
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Dec. 10, 2011 2:09 pm

He exposed the powerful to ridicule, an even worse thing than 'truth.' He must be made an example to intimidate others who might be tempted to think things which have no real national security importance can be shared with Americans. Of course, the only point of secrecy is to keep the public stupid. Our enemies know what we are doing and have their sources. If they don't, God help us because their imaginations will go Cheney and they will have to take us out for sure. If they know how insane we are, at least they can make an informed decision to take us out.

Pray for Bradley and work for his release. In the naked empire, oaths deserve to be given all the respect Monty Python would demand.

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DRC
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Quote .ren:
Quote Laborisgood:

What about when your self written oath conflicts with someone else's self written oath?

Seems to me an oath is a carefully worded promise to do something. It's become a legally binding promise. There were all kinds of issues raised when Obama swore his oath of office as I recall. Why?

You do a kind of oath of matrimonial agreement when you get married. People are now writing their own. Why?

So I'm wondering how you came up with the notion of conflict there. Could you give an example?

I suppose I was thinking along the terms of Garett's ambiguity of words concept:

But another problem is the ambiguity of words. What does "right to equality" mean (to you, to me, to anyone)? What about "do no harm?"

However, DRC's pledge to not subject ourselves to serfdom is something so universal that it is harder to refute as ambiguous words.

Suppose one person's oath was to protect women's reproductive rights while another person's pledge was to protect the rights of the unborn. Clearly these two oaths have some serious conflicts. "Right to equality" and "do no harm" could both be used by either side of that conflict. The conflicts arise from the specificity of the particular oath. Whereas DRC's anti-serfdom oath would be difficult for even the most cold-hearted economic royalist to refute in public due to it's universality. Shouldn't an oath be a badge of honor that you are proud of and would fight for without any reservations?

If Bradley Manning wears his actions in the leaks as a badge of honor, he likely faces harsher penalties. If he presents his case as an unwitting participant, he may get reduced penalties and lose some of his street cred as David against the US Empire Goliath. I find it hard to draw a direct comparison with Mandela at this point in time.

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