Clinton's Complicity In Obama Administration's Treatment Of Manning And Firing Of Crowley

My earlier condemnation of President Obama's endorsement of the abusive treatment of Pfc Bradley Manning is here. In that piece, I stupidly predicted State Dep't spokesman P.J. Crowley would not be dismissed because of his remarks criticizing the treatment of Manning. By now, you all know Crowley was in fact dismissed. This dismissal has triggered a new round of condemnations of President Obama and rightly so. (see Glenn Greenwald's roundup and this NYTimes editorial Frankly, I thought Crowley would not be dismissed because these condemnations would be inevitable. The political geniuses (set aside right and wrong, as pols always do) of the Obama team would know better. They didn't.

What I have not seen is criticism of Crowley's boss, the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who should have defended Crowley. Instead, she is now complicit in the Obama Administration's disgraceful behavior. Shame on the Secretary of State. This is the most disgraceful moment of her tenure.

Speaking for me only

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    Very disappointed. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by huzzlewhat on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:16:48 AM EST
    Whether she agreed with the firing, didn't argue against it, or argued against it but not strongly enough, the result is the same. Very bad moment for both Obama and Clinton. Extremely disappointing.

    Well, there was criticism here, (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:30:16 AM EST
    but it was mostly countered by, "What did you expect her to do?  What did you expect her to say?  What other choice did she have?"

    Clinton's silence is deafening, not to mention disturbing.  I get that she and Crowley weren't getting on too well, but I would think that principle should transcend personality, so the only conclusions I can come to are that (1) she's okay with Obama's approval of Manning's treatment, or (2) she's not okay with it but isn't going to rock the boat and embarrass the president over it.

    Are there any other possibilities?  Is she working back-channels to reverse the protocol?  I would think if that were the case, she would not have so quickly given in to pressure to can Crowley over his remarks.

    [One correction to your post: it was "Crowley" who was dismissed, not "Manning" as you have written]

    I think her only choice, (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by dk on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:40:16 AM EST
    other than complicity, would have been to resign in protest (and I do think that any public expression of disagreement with Obama on this would have resulted in her having to resign).

    Now, I certainly think she should have made this choice.  I also think Holder should resign in protest since this is ultimately a legal issue and comes under his portfolio.  By not making the choice they are now complicit.

    I'm curious, though.  Do people think there were other choices?  I don't think there were, but I'm open to be convinced.


    That's true (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by sj on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:01:28 PM EST
    The focus of the discussion was "what can/should Clinton do about Manning".

    BTD is right, though.  A slight shift sideways takes us to "what can/should Clinton do about Crowley" and that actually says volumes.


    You keep assuming (3.00 / 2) (#178)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 05:40:19 PM EST
    Because Mike Allen of Politico says "their relationship was strained" that that actually means something. So what?

    Crowley was apparently already on thin ice with the administration after he tweeted:

    "The Egyptian government can't reshuffle the deck and then stand pat. President Mubarak's words pledging reform must be followed by action," Crowley said.

    When that wsn't the message the administration was sending at the time regarding Egypt.  Now, you can argue that he was right, but that doesn't really matter.  Since you keep puffing it up - it seems he had a strained relationship with the White House, as well as Clinton.

    And Crowley knew exactly what he was doing.  He knew in saying it that he would lose his job.  Anyone with half a brain can see this.

    1. He made his comments in a roomful of people, including reporters.

    2. He took a question about Manning and gave his personal opinion - not what he is being paid to do.

    3. When a reporter asked him afterwards if it was on the record he paused to think about it:

    A few minutes later, I had a chance to ask a question. "Are you on the record?" I would not be writing this if he'd said no. There was an uncomfortable pause. "Sure." So there we are.

    The fact that people are running around with their hair on fire - "Hhillary's mean!  Why did she fire him!"  

    He knew.  He made a choice to stand for what he thought was right, and gave Clinton no choice, and he did it.

    Commend the man for standing up for his principles.  But if you think any politician is going to go to the mat for a spokesperson, you are delusional.

    And I daresay, that being put in the same position, I highly doubt anyone on this board would have done any differently.


    Agree (1.00 / 1) (#183)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 05:52:48 PM EST
    With all of this.

    well (none / 0) (#6)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:33:49 AM EST
    that is the definition of complicity

    "What did you expect her to do?  What did you expect her to say?  What other choice did she have?"

    or rather (none / 0) (#7)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:38:08 AM EST
    it's obvious that she has significant power wrt to this situation and does have choices.  I mean it's not like she is an intern or a janitor at the building.

    My only explanation for why he is being treated this way is to send a message to other potential leakers...which makes it even more horrifying.


    But that was the other part of the (none / 0) (#13)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:55:04 AM EST
    "what did you expect?" question: she doesn't have authority over the Pentagon, so if we want to get out the torches and pitchforks, we ought to be going after Robert Gates, who does have the authority.

    And no question that Gates' actions/non-actions need to be looked at, but Crowley didn't work for Gates, he worked for Clinton.  

    And it still all comes down, not to turf, or chain of command, but to the treatment of Bradley Manning, and I guess what I would like to ask Clinton is, (1) is she okay with what's being done to Manning being our official policy, and (2) is she okay with our policy being used to justify the treatment of those being held by foreign governments, including any Americans who may be in custody or detention?

    And how the hell can you be an effective advocate of human rights around the world when you're not practicing what you're preaching?


    Agreed (none / 0) (#33)
    by smott on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:55:02 AM EST
    This chain goes up to SOD not SOS correct?

    The dilemma would be to resign on principal and then lose the position of advocacy...vs keep the position but undermine (or appear to) the values being preached...


    Yes (none / 0) (#36)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:00:16 AM EST
    Manning is a soldier being held in a military prison, faces charges under the UCMJ.  

    It is strictly under the DoD a this point.


    So answer the question (none / 0) (#32)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:54:53 AM EST
    It's easy to sit behind a computer and say she should have said something.  Ok, let's go withthat - she should have said something.  

    Now comes the hard part. What would you have had her say that would actually appease you?  And what, in your mind, would be the short-term and long-term implications of her saying whatever it is you wanted her to say? How does this scenario play out to the end?  Can you articulate that, please?


    There are ways (none / 0) (#67)
    by CST on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:38:24 AM EST
    of letting it be known how you feel about something without resigning.

    IMO, in politics, the leaks say it all.

    The leaks coming out of the state department right now are all designed to throw Crowley firmly out with the bathwater.

    Colin Powell never resigned over the Iraq war, but there was no mistaking how he felt about it.  Now, for some people, that's worse, that he still went along even after knowing better.  But personally, I think it's better to have someone on the inside talking sense, whether or not anyone is listening.

    But we would have some idea if that were the case here.  There would be leaks or hints of it.  Rather than the complete opposite of that.

    I'm not gonna sit here and write anyone's resignation speech.  But I think there is a gray area possible, and we are firmly in the black.


    Powell lied to the world (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by dk on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:52:21 AM EST
    in order to advance the movement toward war.  I really don't see the gray area with him either.

    unsuccessfully (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by CST on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:58:21 AM EST
    And you're right, that incident is a serious black mark.

    What I was getting at more were the constant rumors coming out of the state department talking about how he wasn't on board.

    If Hillary's not on board - where's the talk?


    He was actually quite successful. (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by dk on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:53:19 PM EST
    We went to war, didn't we?

    I don't think Powell gets to have it both ways.  He did as much, and perhaps more, than most in terms of convincing the world to go to war by relying on his so-called "credibility".  I don't think he gets a pass by sending out leaks to the contrary.


    we went to war (none / 0) (#129)
    by CST on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:19:05 PM EST
    the world did not.

    Fair, if not complete, point. (none / 0) (#152)
    by dk on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:17:41 PM EST
    A few other countries did.

    yea (none / 0) (#158)
    by CST on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:38:16 PM EST
    although seeing Bush and Blair together makes me think he was the primary "convincer" on that one.  Perhaps Powell had a role in that, or in getting the few other countries on board.

    Also, I don't think he deserves a pass for what he did in front of the U.N.  I was more using him as an example of a way to express discord without resigning.  Although I concede your point that his discord was hardly a position he stood firmly on, and when push comes to shove he lined up like a good soldier.

    I guess I just feel like, if that's what he did, and we still heard about all the discord within, than we'd hear about it now too if it were actually happening.


    I agree about Powell (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Zorba on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:39:18 PM EST
    He should have pulled an "Elliot Richardson" and resigned rather than give that speech to the UN Security Council.  I would have more respect for Hillary Clinton if she had done a "Richardson," as well, over Manning's treatment.  This is not to say that I don't respect all that she has done in the past for human rights, but this is disappointing inaction.  And I suppose that whoever Obama appointed after her could be really bad as far as human rights are concerned (although despite some of Obama's less than stellar appointments, I don't believe he would choose someone like that).  However, there comes a time when you have to draw the line and say "Here I stand."  To give the "on the other hand" position, I will also say that, if she is working behind the scenes with Gates and Obama to try to improve Manning's treatment, then maybe her ulterior motive is to stay and try to change things.  We'll probably never know.  

    I think he was blindsided (none / 0) (#143)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:43:55 PM EST
    and had no idea his info was so obviously false. Also, I believe that he viewed his role as one of a counterbalance to Rumsfeld and Cheney.

    Given that role, I'd rather Powell have stayed in office than resign.


    Powell (5.00 / 3) (#145)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:53:08 PM EST
    My Lai cover-up

    virtual insubordination to Pres. Clinton re gays in the military

    Powell knew the Iraq info was false, which is why he had a closed-doors fit about it - before going to the UN & presenting the info anyway

    Powell has always gone along to get along - his disgraceful behavior wrt Iraq was completely in character


    See my comment (4.00 / 1) (#149)
    by Zorba on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:07:22 PM EST
    #146.  He never lost the "good soldier" mindset.

    Maybe, maybe not (none / 0) (#146)
    by Zorba on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:53:35 PM EST
    Despite everything that came out about the lies used to justify our invasion of Iraq, Powell said in 2006:  
    My role has been very, very straightforward. I wanted to avoid a war. The president [Bush] agreed with me. We tried to do that. We couldn't get it through the U.N. and when the president made the decision, I supported that decision. And I've never blinked from that. I've never said I didn't support a decision to go to war.
    (emphasis mine)
    That does not sound to me as though he were "blindsided."  It sounds as if he supported the President's decision to go to war.  There are times when it is not in the best interests of the country to continue being a "good soldier" (especially once you have become a civilian).

    These are fair points (none / 0) (#153)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:20:46 PM EST
    but my gut tells me that he was not as complicit.  his statements on the war after the fact are very different than every other player in the lead up.  He's the only one saying specifically that he was fooled and would not have made the same decisions. Small consolation in hindsight, but everything I've read indicates that he was always a voice of some reason in the discussions.  The Cheney v. Powell battles were real.

    I just don't hold him as responsible and am more sympathetic to him, but I understand why others would cut him no slack.

    As I've said today, there are no black hats and white hats that fit perfectly on the good guys or bad guys.  There are shades of gray, and Powell's is lighter than any of the other major players IMHO.


    Powell again (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:31:06 PM EST
    . . . his statements on the war after the fact are very different than every other player in the lead up.  He's the only one saying specifically that he was fooled and would not have made the same decisions.

    why believe what any of these documented liars say about it?

    what do you think Powell is going to say if the choice is between i was fooled & i lied?


    you're forgetting (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by CST on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:33:43 PM EST
    the third choice, which is essentially the one everyone else in the administration made:

    "we did the right thing, and I'd do it all over again if I could"


    Powell (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by star on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:53:35 PM EST
    was the face of US at UN and to the rest of the world on the lead up to the war. I was out of country at the time and was surprised at the amount of 'credibility' this guy did have at the time. He knew it too and was fully complicit in the manipulations leading to the war. So I will not cut him any slack.
    I doubt if any one else here would too had he not endorsed Obama in 08. Its just he is bad - but he is sort of our bad now... not as bad as the badder/baddest ...

    What powell was complicit to cost lives - thousands of them. He should be held as much in contemp as Bush, Cheny , Rumsf etc..


    This subject (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by NYShooter on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:43:54 AM EST
    was discussed at quite some length in prior posts. Nobody knows what's taking place in the inner circles. And, certainly, nobody knows what H. Clinton's role has been.

    First of all, in what organization can a high ranking official call the Chief's policy "Stupid" and retain their post? Defying protocol, and rank insubordination are automatic triggers for demotion, and/or dismissal, period! Crowley did this to himself and for the SOS to fall on her sword for his "stupidity" is just, well....stupid.

    Now, as to H. Clinton: If she supports torture, and, specifically, if she supports the inhumane treatment of Manning then she is not the person I've supported for so long. But, until we know for certain what she's done in private, I'll refrain for calling for her resignation.

    Absent Clinton's explanation, which I (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:02:21 AM EST
    don't think we're going to get, all we have to go on is what we see.  And what is that?  Crowley's gone, given the honor of being disparaged by anonymous sources on his way out the door, with nothing but boilerplate thanks-for-your-service from Clinton.  Obama's had the last word on Manning's treatment: the Pentagon says it's okay, so nothing to see here, move along.  Clinton? ::crickets::

    I will never be privy to the thoughts of any of these people, ever.  So all I can go on, all that matters to me, is what people do.  Is Clinton working behind the scenes to change the Manning treatment?  I don't know.  If she's opposed to the treatment, and if nothing is going to change, what does sticking around anyway say?  "Well, I tried?"  Is that enough?  

    How is that any different really, from people continuing to vote for those who continue to not act in their interests; how does "well, I've told my Senator that I don't approve of his or her actions, but I'm going to vote for him or her anyway" ever begin to change anything about what is wrong?  We can't do what we know we should because the other guy is worse?

    I'm seeing that now.  If Clinton were to resign, how do we know whether the person who replaces her wouldn't be worse?

    We don't.  But when people keep lowering their standards for others, as well as for themselves, how is anything ever going to get better?

    It's not.  And it hasn't.


    She's the SoS! (none / 0) (#12)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:48:50 AM EST
    Of course she knows this is going on.  She's BFFs with Gates.  How Manning is treated directly affects her credibility as our ambassador to the rest of the world.  The burden is on her to make it clear that she is not complicit.  IMO, this is not an innocent before guilty thing.

    Please read more carefully (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by NYShooter on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:04:07 AM EST
    Nowhere did I say she doesn't know. But, before I throw a person with a lifelong history of action on the issues I care about overboard, I need to know the facts.

    If guesses and conjecture are enough for you, well, that's your privelage.


    She hasn't criticized... (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:33:26 AM EST
    the treatment like Crowley, or resigned in disgust.

    She is down with the dirty Shooter...that much is clear.  Loyalty to superiors who torture is no virtue.

    As was brought up in previous comments on other threads...it is easy to speak out against torture committed by other countries...when it is your country, that is the litmus test of where you really stand on the issue.  Put up or shut up...and it appears Clinton is shutting up...another piker in a sea of them.


    How comfortable would you (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:36:49 AM EST
    feel if HClinton were to criticize the Admin over this and resign in protest?  Then who is at the helm?  

    I'd feel great (none / 0) (#27)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:46:58 AM EST
    Because she is the one member of this administration whose principled resignation might be a big enough kick in Obama's head to change something, literally.  But it won't happen, so we have nothing to fear.  Obama and Hillary, I dare say, have more in common psychologically than anyone suspects.

    But let's say she resigned, then who is at the helm?  Almost assuredly someone who would perform in exactly the same manner, since the entire point of this discussion is the paradigm of underlings never calling out their overlords.  So we'd get someone who'd act much, if not precisely, as Hillary has in the position.  These political roles now come with prefabricated character summaries, and you don't stray beyond the script.  Especially, it seems, when it comes to that last bastion of scoundrels.


    nothing will kick O in the head (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by smott on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:52:29 AM EST
    ...except a loss in Nov 2012. Perhaps not even then...it's just on to the lecture circuit $$.

    I am disappointed in HRC but 40 years of work in service to the causes I deem very valuable gives her a bit of a buffer here before I make up my mind.


    I don't know (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:31:51 AM EST
    Hillary Clinton has supported good causes, done good work, but today she is facing her biggest moral and political choices, those that require the greatest amount of character and courage.  And she is failing disgracefully.  The only move she should've made was to resign.  But that, I believe, is clinging to the belief in whom I THOUGHT she was, not the typical and shameless player I see now.

    Disappointing doesn't even come close.


    After reading the latest issue of Newsweek (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by hairspray on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:50:20 PM EST
    and understanding that her passion is to change the way the State Department negotiates treaties with second and third world countries I can see that she might have a greater goal in mind than protecting a soldier with questionable motives. His treatment is outrageous (kinda like Kenneth Starr did to Susan McDougal) but if Hillary thinks that the person who replaces her will not demand a role for women in the US negotiating positions of the future i can see that she might roll over.  This must be very hard for her.  We will see.

    What if (none / 0) (#68)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:39:27 AM EST
    Hr knowledge of the situation leads her to conclude that Manning's treatment is not out of bounds.

    Can't that be an option?


    Knowing what we know (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:46:27 AM EST
    about Manning's treatment, it is an option, but an unacceptable one.

    Exactly.... (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:58:53 PM EST
    waterboarding the guy is an "option" too...but the only acceptable "option" is a humane option...that means give the kid some underwear and more daylight....jesus h. christ.

    She knows more than we know now (none / 0) (#18)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:07:48 AM EST
    and that's enough in my book to make her complicit, now if not at the beginning when he was arrested.

    purportedly, this wasn't (none / 0) (#47)
    by cpinva on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:18:59 AM EST
    the Chief's policy "Stupid"

    so your question is moot on its face. of course, we now know better. it turns out, torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners is the chief's policy. absent a resignation on the SoS's part, we must reasonably assume it's her policy as well, regardless of whatever's

    taking place in the inner circles.

    as near as i can tell BTD, obama has surrounded himself with the worst collection of

    political geniuses

    since herbert hoover. no good can possibly come from this.


    She should've (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:45:28 AM EST
    spoken out and resigned in my opinion.

    Agree (none / 0) (#180)
    by chrisvee on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 05:43:21 PM EST
    I'm extremely disappointed by her complicity in this matter.

    Crowley was right ... (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:15:11 AM EST
    but behaved moronically.  In these circles a protocol screw up is much more damning than a policy one.

    Had Crowley been smart, he would have resigned over this issue.  Then he'd look like a hero now rather than an idiot.

    Well, Obama and Clinton could (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:38:57 PM EST
    have both looked like "heros" if they had taken up Crowley's call to action and fixed the situation.  Ever consider that angle?

    BTD's assumption that Crowley would not be fired was fair - in another universe and Administration - in that this sort of debate does go on publicly in Administrations from time to time and sometimes it ends up changing the policy - and people aren't fired.  I never thought that that would be the outcome with this Administration for various reasons, but the reality is that Obama and Clinton could have made themselves look really good had they intervened on the matter of the conditions under which Manning is being held.

    Another missed opportunity by this Administration.  Just par for the course.


    I had no predictions about what would happen (5.00 / 2) (#170)
    by ruffian on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 03:57:13 PM EST
    but that sure would have been the preferred outcome in my book.

    I think all of the cabinet officers are complicit, and, yes, it does make me think less of the SoS.

    As I said the other day, if there is an explanation for Manning's treatment, let's hear it. I can't imagine one that would convince me it was justified, but have at it, cabinet.


    Not only was P.J. Crowley not (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:19:04 AM EST
    defended, but he was distanced and  disparaged after he was shoved out the door.  We learned by anonymous attribution that Crowley's position was tenuous, that he did not travel with Secretary Clinton, and that he "came under fire" in a State Department audit while managing the public affairs bureau.   Crowley did not contest the confinement of Private Manning, but the treatment meted out in his pretrial confinement. So, it may be that this was a carefully crafted whistle-blowing stance on his part with expected consequences.

    President Obama's "I actually asked"  and the "Pentagon assured me" that the pretrial confinement was "appropriate and meets our basic standards"  will become an infamous line. And,  Secretary Clinton and Gates (who apparently is the "Pentagon") are the synchronized team that seem to have been party to that line.

    It's strange for me to experience (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:40:33 AM EST
    a hanging back hour when it comes time to criticize some leaders, but here I am.  As leadership goes though, if leaders are making the wrong choices and those in their counsel are not offering rectifying counsel, they are complicit.

    This thread has strayed way off the question (5.00 / 3) (#160)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:44:57 PM EST
    of Clinton's complicity in Crowley's firing, which goes to the question of whether she is complicit in the treatment of Bradley Manning; many of the side roads have been taken as a result of what I am coming to see as deliberate misrepresentations of facts and positions in order to derail these discussions [and yes, I am looking at you, ABG].

    I was a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton, mainly because I felt she had a lot to offer on the domestic policy issues that mattered - and still matter - to me; I was not unaware of her hawkish leanings, but I never took her for someone prone to acting out of impulse or ignorance - she's probably one of the smartest people out there, with an admirable work ethic and a vast store of knowledge that she replenishes daily (a friend of my daughter's worked in her Senate office and Clinton's desire for information was legendary).

    But all of those good things do not mean that she can't be wrong on any issue; she can, and if she is supportive of the decision to fire Crowley and of the treatment Manning is receiving, she is, in my opinion, wrong.  And unequivocally so..

    Is there a purpose served by her staying in her job?  Sure - there's the whole united front thing, and the on-message thing, and the I'm-a-good-and-loyal-Democratic-soldier thing, and the I-will-not-embarrass-my-president thing, and all that other political window dressing that hides the chinks in our hypocritical armor - and fools no one.

    But, hey - maybe she's really a one-woman force for reversing the continuation of all the awful Bush policies that the man she works for has extended and expanded, in which case, I don't know whether to picture her in a Wonder Woman tiara or marvel at what a grandiose vision she has of her own limits - but in two-plus years, has there been a flicker of movement away from those policies toward something more humane?  And if there were, don't we think they could have used the Manning case to show how the policies have shifted?

    And in answer to the inevitable demand by jb that I lay out what I would want her to say, she has probably four choices: she can express her disagreement with the treatment and the firing, but say she is staying on because she believes she can do more within the administration than she can from the outside; she can express her agreement with the firing and her support of the president's statements about Manning - which is a huge hedge, but fully in GLDS (Good Little Democratic Soldier) mode; she could resign; she could say nothing.  Three of those choices have some level of principle about them, but the last one - saying nothing - is perhaps the most unprincipled stand of all.

    Her non-response to this situation does not eradicate all the good things she has done in the past, but it does affect my opinion of her, and of her ability to continue her good works with credibility, going forward.

    Fair Point Anne (2.00 / 2) (#165)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 03:12:28 PM EST
    But the bottom line on Crowley is that he stated that he does not believe Manning should be punished I believe.  And then when asked whether those comments were on the record, Crowley said "sure".

    There are two issues: (1) whether Crowley's statements were correct and (2) whether a POTUS should be able to demand that his spokes people don't contradict his message on the record.

    What we are dealing with here is really two.  Regardless of whether hillary supports Crowley's point, she surely respects Obama's position with respect to (2).

    So she could disagree with Obama on Manning's treatment but still believe that Crowley should have been let go.


    Wrong again, ABG... (5.00 / 4) (#167)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 03:34:41 PM EST
    Crowley did not state that Manning should not be punished - he, in fact, stated that Manning was in the right place.

    His objection was to Manning's treatment while in custody.

    And since you seem to be allergic to anything that carries Glenn's name, here's a link to The Cable, and an excerpt from the article:

    Blogger Philippa Thomas first reported Crowley's remarks, which she said were part of a lecture on "the benefits of new media as it relates to foreign policy" at an event organized by MIT's Center for Future Civic Media.

    "One young man said he wanted to address `the elephant in the room'. What did Crowley think, he asked, about Wikileaks? About the United States, in [the questioner's] words, `torturing a prisoner in a military brig'? Crowley didn't stop to think. What's being done to Bradley Manning by my colleagues at the Department of Defense `is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.' He paused. `None the less Bradley Manning is in the right place'. And he went on lengthening his answer, explaining why in Washington's view, `there is sometimes a need for secrets... for diplomatic progress to be made'," Thomas wrote.

    Reached by The Cable, Crowley confirmed that he did in fact make the remarks.

    "What I said was my personal opinion. It does not reflect an official USG policy position. I defer to the Department of Defense regarding the treatment of Bradley Manning," Crowley told The Cable.

    Honestly, ABG, Crowley's comments have been reported all over the media; there simply is no reason why you have to keep resorting to "I believe" statements that do not reflect the facts.

    And given that you seem to base your opinions on things you don't bother to get the facts on, I can't lend much, if any, consideration to them anymore.


    Also, (from the transcript of MIT session) (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 04:16:24 PM EST
    Crowley: "I spent 26 years in the Air Force. What is happening to Manning is ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid, and I don't know why DOD is doing it.  Never-the-less, Manning is in the right place." Crowley continues: There are leaks everywhere in Washington, it a town that can't keep a secret. But the scale is different.  It was a colossal failure by DOD to allow this mass of documents to be transported outside the network.

    Historically, someone has picked up a file of papers and passed them around--the information is on one country or one subject.  But this is a scale we've never seen before.  If Julian Assange is right and we're in an era of no secrets, do we expect that people will release Google search engine algorithms? The formula for Coca cola? Some things are best kept secret.  If we're negotiating between Israelis and the Palestinians, there will be compromises that are hard for each side to sell to their people--there is a need for secrets."

    You can attempt to change the subject and demonize Crowley, but the issue is the pretrial treatment of an American soldier in confinement--and that too, can be minimized and trivialized as can reports from Amnesty International, editorials of the NYT and coverage by Glenn Greenwald.

    But the fact remains, as related to this thread, Crowley got the boot for criticizing the treatment of Manning-- President Obama "actually asked" about this and was assured by the Pentagon that it meets "our basic standards" --and that Secretary Clinton left Crowley hanging in the wind.


    Anne (5.00 / 3) (#175)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 05:19:03 PM EST
    The hours I spent reeling about the underlings of GWB who went off message and ended up all alone, jobless.  

    I used to love the Democratic Party because we weren't yes men that feared speaking their minds.  If Obama is so thinned skinned that someone can't go off his (more likely his aids) message for fear of retribution, than why am I in this party.   Conformity is right across the isle, and yes I just puked a bit.

    Crowley clearly said he was speaking for himself.  Now, I am having a very hard time distinguishing this past year from the Bush era.

    My other point. HRC was one of the people who was probably the most embarrassed by the doc release.  It's her turf and Manning really did a number.  That being said, as mentioned by someone else, it's easy to condone someone else doing the non-sense, but it's a true test of character if the person directly effected can still stand for what is right.  

    The whole 'greater good' arguement is weak, it's why informants get away with murder, it how we justify thousands dead in Iraq, and in this case, it's how we justify treating a young man w/o dignity or why we don't seem to take the Constitution seriously.  The greater good arguement is great, so longer as you aren't the lesser good being sacrificed.

    I suspect they wanted Crowley out for whatever reason and did what all spineless twerps do, exploit some stupid incident, make it grand, then do what they wanted to before the incident.

    The problem is the incident isn't some non-starter, it a huge problem because Manning is going to be the grand example of what happens when you mess with the State Department.

    None of us know what is going on, but Hilary's silence is telling.  I don't believe for a second she would be punished for speaking out or that she doesn't have the influence to get this kid some drawers.

    She may have a lot of accomplishments under her belt, but if she can't do the right thing when she is directly involved, those accomplishments don't prevail.   In my mind her character is at stake and I truly hope she can overcome her ego to ensure this kid is treated with a scrap of dignity.

    If it is a matter of her fearing for her job, I think that would be a extremely viable road to Presidency.  I think there are a lot of us who are extremely disappointed with Obama and looking for a viable alternative in 2012, speaking out and getting canned would put me in her camp, for sure.

    But, I have seen her bad side, remember the desperation in the kitchen sink strategy ?  I think if anything, she is alright with Manning's treatment, maybe even pushing for it, but I would love to be wrong, again.


    Anne (1.67 / 3) (#177)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 05:33:06 PM EST
    So I was wrong.  Give it a rest. I said "I believe" because Ithought I had rad somewhere that in his later remarks about social media that he thought this was less the fault of Manning and more the fault of the DoD allowing large quantities of information to be transported.

    Why don't I save you some trouble. I am not going to get every fact right and I am sure that there are things I will get wrong in the future.  It is not intentional obviously and when someone corrects me on it, I will happily accept their correction.

    That's the difference between me and you.  I am here to receive different opinions and think about interesting issues.  You are here to hear your own echo.

    That makes only one of us with an interest in admitting when they are wrong, as my discussions with you have shown.

    You'll be wrong shortly. It happens to the best of us if we write regularly enough.  We'll see how that goes.


    Why should anyone give it a rest, ABG? (5.00 / 3) (#186)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 06:03:56 PM EST
    Why should you get a break here?  This isn't some one-off for you - you do this all the time, ABG; you think saying "I believe" absolves you of any responsibility to - at a minimum - acquaint yourself with the facts of any particular issue.

    The people who comment here, almost to a person, have done their research, done the reading, don't talk out of their a$$es in the hope no one will notice.

    The difference between you and me is not that I am here to hear my own echo - I'm happy to debate the issues with those who don't agree with me - but that I understand the difference between expressing an opinion and making up facts to support my opinion.

    There's nothing wrong with saying, "this is how I feel," but there is something dishonest about trying to influence people's opinions by misrepresenting the facts; we get enough of that from the media, thank you very much, so it's easy enough to recognize when it comes knocking on the TL doors.


    Right, And He Does it in Every Post (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 06:21:25 PM EST
    I wasn't defending Obama on this issue.  I don't really know what my position is as of yet. I am leaning against Obama's treatment of Manning, but I need to rad more about it.
    - ABG

    Seriously, the guy has what 20 posts here and he can't bring himself to decide on the topic at hand, he needs to read more.  So instead of 'reading more' he is reading through the 200+ posts her and making arguments about a topic he hasn't decided upon.

    ABG takes a stand on every issue, then uses vaguely, parsing the meaning of words, and pure BS to make his point, yet on this issue he just can't decide.

    As I mentioned below, he can't decide because he either has to defend the treatment or concede his hero is wrong.  He's trying to nitwit himself into a position in which Obama is right (imagine that) while reconciling it with the obvious, that in America we don't treat people worse than dogs on purpose.


    Forget about Crowley's statements (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by sj on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 03:38:16 PM EST
    your statements are incorrect.

    But the bottom line on Crowley is that he stated that he does not believe Manning should be punished I believe.  

    It's not as if Crowley's actual statements are unavailable anywhere.  

    But I can see why you might be dizzy.


    Nonsense (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by Rojas on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 03:46:23 PM EST
    Crowley stated the way we are treating him is stupid. From a state department perspective it is indeed stupid.
    We have countries that will not heed our extradition requests because prisoners will recieve the same treatment as Bradley.

    this is an excellent point (none / 0) (#172)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 04:06:29 PM EST
    From a state department perspective it is indeed stupid. We have countries that will not heed our extradition requests because prisoners will recieve the same treatment as Bradley.

    You (5.00 / 2) (#174)
    by lentinel on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 04:53:13 PM EST
    didn't even bother to read.

    Crowley doesn't disagree with the incarceration of Manning.
    I do, but he doesn't. Crowley said Manning was, "in the right place".

    He simply criticized the treatment Manning is being accorded while in pre-trial detention.

    As an American citizen, so do I.


    So you can't answer the question (1.00 / 1) (#176)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 05:26:21 PM EST
    Fair enough - we will assume that nothing she could ever say on this topic would ever please you.

    With all due respect, you are in no position (5.00 / 2) (#182)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 05:52:17 PM EST
    to be a bully on this, jb; I gave a thoughtful comment about how I see all of this, what I think Clinton's choices are, and it's pretty sad that all you can come up with is, "so you can't answer the question."

    I want Hillary to believe what's happening to Manning is wrong, and that it isn't more important to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Obama than it is to stand with those whose rights can be taken by those in power; I'd like her to stand up for him here, under US custody, the way she would stand up for him if he were being held by a foreign government, or the way she would stand up for the citizens of countries where democracy is not present.  I want her to see that we stand on no special moral ground that allows us to act in ways that conflict with the standards we expect of other countries.

    I'm not going to get what I want; that's clear.  We're going on five days since Crowley's remarks and three days since he was forced to resign, and there hasn't been even a peep - on the record or  via the ubiquitous "anonymous sources" - that she disagrees with Crowley having to go or Manning's treatment.

    It breaks my heart that we are becoming a country where the presumption of innocence is getting lost, and Democrats are helping to make that happen.  I had some hope for Hillary, that she would step up, but the Good Little Democratic Soldier streak has taken over, and she's going to allow a golden opportunity to stand up for human rights in a most powerful arena die on the altar of political loyalty.

    I could not be more disgusted and disappointed, and I can almost guarantee that this is going to be more damaging than we can even imagine.


    Has it been considered that Crowley (5.00 / 2) (#193)
    by nycstray on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 06:23:16 PM EST
    perhaps did not want her to speak out on his behalf? Or perhaps the timing of this (for her to speak out against the admin/or agree with them publicly/and/or step down) is a bit dicey in regards to other things that she/we is/are currently involved in (she's in the ME today meeting in Libya iirc, and iirc again, she was also right on top of the nuclear issue in Japan and sending over whatever it was they needed to help cool the reactors)?

    Maybe you should take Crowley's job (3.00 / 2) (#188)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 06:09:01 PM EST
    The spin is amazing.  In no realm of the universe is asking a direct question "being a bully". I'm sorry you can't give a direct answer. You must have one in mind, so I don't know why you can't just answer the question.

    Yes, you have given thoughtful answers as to what you hope she's feeling and what she's thinking - all nice, fluffy stuff.  But the reality is - what she's thinking and feeling may be very different from the job and what has to be done.  That has to be weighed against other jobs that must be done - would it be worth it to the country for her to defend Crowely - a man who absolutely knew what he was doing and what it would cost when he spoke to a reporter? Crowley didn't fall off a turnip truck yesterday, and it's kind of insulting to think that people can't give him credit for knowing the risks of what he was doing and considering him a poor, weak, infantile puppet who is being put upon.

    But the fact remains is that you cannot articulate any specifc words you want to hear coming out of Clinton's or Obama's mouth regarding this that would satisfy you.  Because in your heart, you know this is not a subject that can be answered in a flip soundbite and any answer would have a ripple effect in so many areas, that we can't even possibly think of them all. You aren't going to get another comment from State. It's done.  And wishing for it won't make it come true, and ponies won't dance in your dreams either.

    I don't see how Crowley's firing has anything to do with the presumption of innocence.  Crowley was inappropriately, as a member of the administration, personally commented on a case that is still in process.  Period. That's the entire issue.  


    exactly (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 06:22:29 PM EST
    I don't see how Crowley's firing has anything to do with the presumption of innocence.  Crowley was inappropriately, as a member of the administration, personally comment[ing] on a case that is still in process.  Period. That's the entire issue.

    that is the issue here

    as i pointed out downthread, it is possible to deplore the treatment of Pfc Manning and share the views that Crowley expressed without also endorsing Crowley's public* expression of them

    walk + chew gum + make logical distinctions

    * Crowley expressed his views in a more or less private venue but went public with them the minute he told a reporter that his remarks could be treated as on the record


    May I add, jbindc... (1.00 / 1) (#198)
    by christinep on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 06:47:44 PM EST
    another comment about the "presumption of innocence?" While I recognize that the presumption--formally--is a legal presumption (a central legal presumption) applied in the prosecution of a criminal case, my comment is directed to the general comment Anne makes using the term.  What strikes me is the attempt to imagine or maybe create or write a script for what Secretary Clinton must be thinking.  My goodness, there is speculation and then there is really sheer storyline.

    Thank you for the disciplined focus of your comment, jbindc. While I like storytelling, in general...this is more of transforming the Secretary into the ogre or the big bad wolf. Put me down for ethical application of a presumption that one is not an ogre or big bad wolf until shown to be so.  Unless...when the subject is the Secretary in this matter, we dream or imagine the facts. (We could bring on the Inquisition, uh?) Why don't we get the facts first.


    It doesn't surprise me that you don't (none / 0) (#196)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 06:36:25 PM EST
    see the connection between the presumption of innocence and Crowley's firing, because you almost always defer to the judgment of whatever authority is involved: if the government says someone did something wrong, that's good enough for you.

    You can take the position that Crowley got fired for not toeing the party line - but what is that line?  That we can treat those in detention however we want, as long as the Pentagon says it's okay, regardless of whether the detainees in question have even been afforded the due process of trial and conviction?

    So, yeah, I see a connection.  I see that we can't have someone standing up for human rights and the rule of law because those higher up the chain of command have apparently already decided that Manning is guilty and we dare not interfere in the protocol.  And while we're at it - how better to warn off potential whistleblowers than to make it known that they could face the same kind of treatment?  Perfect.

    I have no doubt that Crowley knew that he would lose his job over this; too bad there aren't more people willing to go that far in order to speak the truth.  But the central issue of BTD's post was that Clinton just went along with Crowley losing his job - she toed the party line, making her complicit in both Crowley's "resignation" and Manning's treatment.

    Pardon me for thinking that there are watershed moments for everyone, where one's personal feelings are in such conflict with one's job that the principled thing to do is to resign from the job in order to stay true to one's principles.

    And how sad that this wasn't that watershed moment for Clinton.


    a bit of textual analysis (none / 0) (#200)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 06:52:32 PM EST
    1. ad hominem (or feminam) argument + the "unfair fighting" technique known as generalizing:

    It doesn't surprise me that you don't see the connection between the presumption of innocence and Crowley's firing, because you almost always defer to the judgment of whatever authority is involved: if the government says someone did something wrong, that's good enough for you.


    2. putting words in one's interlocutor's mouth + knocking down the resulting "straw man" argument:

    You can take the position that Crowley got fired for not toeing the party line - but what is that line?  That we can treat those in detention however we want, as long as the Pentagon says it's okay, regardless of whether the detainees in question have even been afforded the due process of trial and conviction?

    that is not the position jb takes in the comment to which you are responding -  her position is that Crowley commented inappropriately on a legal case in process

    3. illogic

    Clinton just went along with Crowley losing his job - she toed the party line, making her complicit in both Crowley's "resignation" and Manning's treatment.

    Clinton's going along with Crowley losing his job does not make her complicit in Mannings's treatment - her silence on Manning's treatment is what makes her complicit in Manning's treatment


    I can pretty much promise that I follow (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by seabos84 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 07:20:04 PM EST
    politics more than 19 out of 20 people -

    but - I'm a skimmer.  I've already got a fullllllllll time job, so I've been a skimmer for decades.  I was really late to what a sell out clinton was.  It all happened right under my nose, but, I was kind of busy in the 90's breaking my tail to get some skills and make sure that welfare thing never happened again.

    while there was plenty to be suspicious about with respect to obama in 2008, ( I wanted edwards ... ha ha ha ... even after his role in the rotating villains of the U.S. Senate ... ugh) I felt pretty confident that with Hillary I was going to get larry summers and rahm and schrum and ... ooops.

    DLC Version 2008+ = whoopee for me.

    I wrote in "Medicare ForAll" in 2010 for ALL state and federal offices - first time in my life I did a blanket protest vote. I ALWAYS feel good about it.

    Hillary & Tippy Canoe & Tyler Two in 2056 and 0-sell-0ut in 2012 ... ha ha ha. who cares. IF they get their dream candidate of Whack-a-doodle Caribou Barbie, axelrod can fire up all those centrally swinging independent moderates to ... yawn... huh?

    ALL "Democratic" organization leaders above dog catcher need to be fired. They've excelled at pathetic excuses for selling out, pathetic politics against right wing nuts, and keeping their fat paychecks.


    What BTD said. (5.00 / 2) (#202)
    by kempis on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 07:42:39 PM EST
    I have a real soft-spot for Hillary Clinton. I admit it.

    But principles are principles and on this, she has failed to take a principled stand. I can't defend her on this. And I agree with BTD: this is a disgraceful moment in her SoS tenure.

    To: jindbc (5.00 / 1) (#204)
    by christinep on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 03:18:55 PM EST
    Thank you for your comments throughout this thread. If I haven't said so clearly, directly upthread: Your comments are thoughtful, independent, & raise important questions.

    I'm imagining Clinton going to the mat over this (1.00 / 1) (#181)
    by Babel 17 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 05:50:16 PM EST
    And immediately I see the democratic party seriously fractionating.

    I suppose she could just talk to Obama, resign, and not talk to the press for weeks and not discuss the matter with anyone who would talk to the press.

    But even that would whip the GOP into a frenzy and provide serious fuel for internecine feuds amongst democrats.

    I'm thinking of the ramifications.

    If Clinton made a stink out of the whole situation what would happen?

    If Obama lost a huge amount of support amongst democrats would there be a search for a replacement for him in 2012?

    Would not Clinton look like an obvious replacement?

    And once that started getting talked up would her actions not then be seen as having been coldly calculated?

    Would that not set up a s**tstorm of acrimony?

    I could go on and on about the ramifications.

    I can see the possibility that things getting nasty might be the best possible outcome.

    I really don't care if politicians get their feathers ruffled. But I don't see Clinton taking on Obama as anything less than a major step to a political upheaval.

    I'm not a mind reader so I don't know if that is something that people are hoping for.

    I do see Clinton as a politician who knows the system and one who understands the ramifications of taking on Obama.

    To: JA in CA (1.00 / 1) (#203)
    by christinep on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 03:15:24 PM EST
    My regards for the backdoor hit upthread--the one where you assigned a "1" to my comment strongly disagreeing with a few who would imagine/dream/concoct what an official such as Secretary Clinton must be thinking, such disagreement going to the overall heart of our system where we purportedly await the facts before we fantasize. Alas, I wish myself could manage a laugh for the backdoor, but only a chuckle came out. (Goodness, I'll have to remember to agree with you next time or otherwise not disagree with any strength similar to others here who are allowed to think otherwise. Its a ... shame!)

    proofread check - Crowley was dismissed (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:21:12 AM EST
    You have it as Manning in your third sentence.

    Agreed on all points. (none / 0) (#3)
    by dk on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:29:47 AM EST
    Next post, I suppose, should be "Holder's Complicity in Obama Administration's Treatment of Manning and Firing of Crowley."

    I have no idea (none / 0) (#4)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:30:04 AM EST
    why this is happening.  Whether it is Gates or Clinton who have the most influence with regards to Obama on this, it is clear that the behavior of all 3 is inexcusable.  

    But I also think this is the result of not truly cleaning up the torturers in the system, and not punishing BushCo for being torturers.  Obviously there are plenty of people in the government who believe torture is acceptable and have not been sufficiently informed that it is not.  And why wouldn't they think it's acceptable?  It seems to me a Republican President would reverse Obama's executive order against torture in a heartbeat and no one would give two sh*ts.

    A variation: Thinking about Nelson Mandela (none / 0) (#133)
    by christinep on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:24:27 PM EST
    Lilburro: Turning to your concern that "...this is the result of not truly cleaning up the torturers in the system...not punishing BushCo for being torturers," I'm haunted by similar thoughts.  
    In any administration there are going to be disappointments for supporters. About the biggest initial disappointment for me was the non-pursuit of those that justified torture legally & politically. It sure felt like a hard, direct approach was warranted. Even if based in a kind of retribution, so what I thought. The torturing, so infamously practiced at that time, had to have a harsh response so it wouldn't happen again.
    Except...I began to think about other approaches. And then, the Nelson Mandela dilemma came to mind.

    Think of the torture Mandela suffered all those years on Robin Island. And so many thousands more political prisoners. Wrong, evil torture. What did Mandela do when in an almost miraculous election-as-president scene everyone thought of what the previous corrupt South African administration deserved? His supporters pushed for retaliation, imprisonment of those who had done wrong, etc. What did Mandela do? He established instead a national Reconciliation Committee with the purpose of bringing the country together, to heal, to move forward. Partly altruistic, partly very practical. It wasn't all roses, but that almost political forgiveness of the long apartheid system is said to have worked & worked well. It liberated SA from rounds of destructive retribution, of showing who was right.

    I'm not naive about misplaced reconciliation. But, sometimes "now its my turn, your turn, you get the next impeachment, etc." only produces more ineffective anger. All this leads to: Truth squads dedicated to purges--whether in 17th century Spain, 20th century USSR, in tinpot lands, or in a divided US--have a way of running amuk and sucking up humans & $$.  Tho I agree that some of those feds with a kind of "torture is acceptable" thinking may well reside within the structure, it is better to slowly & surely reassign them and isolate them from harming others. In that way, the system is open to rebuilding from within.


    You are right (none / 0) (#136)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:30:47 PM EST
    Mandela did something.  We have done nothing.  That is the point.

    I used to spend a fair amount of time writing about this back when it seemed like the prospect of prosecutions (or at the very least a Truth & Reconciliation process) was in danger of slipping away.  It has slipped away.


    I understand that the lack of an (none / 0) (#142)
    by christinep on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:41:38 PM EST
    affirmative statement combined with specific fact-finding committee (& presumably widely-published) is at the heart of it for you. I.e., that we looked at option 1 and option 2 and defaulted vaguely to 2 by not pursuing either approach? Excellent point.

    I just fear (none / 0) (#144)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:46:00 PM EST
    that torture has become a "Republican position" instead of a war crime.  And I don't think we adequately addressed not only the extent of Bush war crimes, but the shoddy nature of the memos that justified them and the ineffectiveness of such techniques.  Hell, some Republicans think they have the god given right to go out and shoot illegal immigrants.  Give them the Presidency and I think they'll definitely be willing to get very brutal with detainees.  

    Obama has indeed not cleaned house (none / 0) (#164)
    by hairspray on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:58:04 PM EST
    in a lot of areas.  The US attorneys that were hold overs come to mind.  Another article I read recently that Obama has left in place GOP staff in the Department dealing with the endangered species categories.  As a consequence Obama has done worse than Bush in protecting species.  Quite a drop since Bill was there.

    Not for nothing... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:48:39 AM EST
    if you pay taxes you are complicit too...guilty as farkin' sin...every taxpayer.

    It's absolutely shameful. The worst (none / 0) (#14)
    by observed on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:55:45 AM EST
    Nazi criminals were treated better than this, after WWII.

    It seems (none / 0) (#15)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:00:20 AM EST
    as if sympathy for Manning's actions (exposing perceived wrongs by the government) has influenced our perceptions of his incarceration.

    There are many, many people being held in solitary confinement for years in connection with various terrorism charges and that has received very little media attention.

    I would be more comfortable with the outrage if it extended to all who are now facing this situation.  There is a person who has been in solitary for three years, and most of us don't even know his name or that he exists.

    Sympathy to Manning's actions are clouding the bigger picture. We need to have an honest discussion about the WOT, what to do with those accused of making us less safe and how we balance security concerns and personal rights.

    For some reason, we are not capable of having the discussion.  Heck, we have leaders (and the majority of the population) believing that Gitmo detainees housed on US soil would somehow be a huge risk to the populace.  The bigger issue behind Manning and all of this nonsense is that fear is clouding reason.

    I actually would imagine that (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by dk on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:11:51 AM EST
    Many here agree with your assessment that the Obama administration has engaged in human rights abuses from the moment it took power and that this is just one more example.

    The outrage over all torture... (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:04:17 AM EST
    has never been absent from this blog...even for the worst scumb&gs imagineable, it has rebuked here by our hostess and commenters.

    Just so happens Manning is one of the most current victims of our meat grinder...and one who imprisonment is not top secret or at a black site.


    And After Torture.... (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 05:40:21 PM EST
    ... no undies seems fairly mundane.

    We are being desensitized by the day, honestly I don't think there is anything that would shock me about our government.

    I bet dollars to donuts that we are still torturing, if the DoD is telling Obama all is cool with Manning, pretty sure he is getting the same answer for renditions, ghost flights, and torture.  And the many, many other things we are doing that haven't come to light.

    Anyone who is OK with Manning's treatment isn't going to be real concerned with the treatment of foreigners suspected of terrorism.

    Right now, we have no one of authority who is concerned about human beings being mistreated in this country.  No one, not a Congressman/woman, not a Cabinet Memeber, not the the AG, definetly not the opposing party, no one.  

    It can only get worse if there is no opposition.


    The torture of freedom denied... (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 06:21:14 PM EST
    beyond mundane...celebrated even.

    It's the little tortures that will drive you mad sometimes though...like no toilet paper when I was caged for a measley few hours.  Pointless dehumanization...why?  Human nature?  I don't get it.


    why? (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 06:25:27 PM EST
    there's a word for it



    Maybe--I think it is more about (none / 0) (#199)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 06:48:06 PM EST
    exercising power.   Getting someone to comply, obey.

    Like That Experiement at USC ?? (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 06:42:03 PM EST
    With the guards and prisoners.

    Maybe there is no sense of it and people are just cruel because they enjoy others suffering.  It's everywhere, from the E network, to Syrian jails, to suicidal bombers, to relationships, to blog posts, people seem to thrive on others misery.

    There is no more common theme amongst humans and if it wasn't for our the other common theme, sanctimony, it would be much worse.


    This is true (none / 0) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:54:09 AM EST
    Ugh. Defending Obama on this issue (none / 0) (#20)
    by observed on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:12:42 AM EST
    is bringing out the worst in a  lot of people. This comment is otiose.

    Except (none / 0) (#23)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:29:38 AM EST
    I wasn't defending Obama on this issue.  I don't really know what my position is as of yet. I am leaning against Obama's treatment of Manning, but I need to rad more about it.

    My point is that the intense focus on Manning seems generated by sympathy to his actions.  We, particularly on the left, like whistleblowers. Especially those exposing damaging evidence about war justificatios, etc. But there are plenty of people who are now being treated in exactly the same way and we don't focus on them as much or even know much about them.  I think it is important to keep in mind the fact that Greenwald, for example, is probably personally thrilled that Manning released the information and would impose no punishment upon him if he were king of all.  Ditto a lot of those rushing to Manning's defense.

    I would like to see a piece on the Manning issue by someone who hates his actions yet supports the claims of torture.  

    My only other thought is that not everything that is bad has to be called "torture". I think that is a word that should be reserved for a particular kind of unjust treatment.  I think you can believe that Obama's treatment of Manning is completely wrong and objectionable without calling it "torture". I fear that the word and its power are being diluted.  

    We need to have words reserved that invokes a certain feeling/emotion and not overuse them. "Holocaust" is another example. It represents a concept so broad and evil and powerful that when I see it used in more minor situations, i cringe.  Ditto "torture".


    This is the kind of thing (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:35:59 AM EST
    I am talking about:

    Manning shows the true meaning of patriotism. Patriotism is not blind nationalism. If Manning is guilty of what he is accused of, he sought to make the country more fair and just in the best traditions of America. He sought to make us a "more perfect union," a concept enshrined in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution


    That kind of talk makes me uneasy. I mean that guy did commit a crime if the allegations are true.  He should be punished. The "Free Manning" stuff just strikes me as wrong.  

    We should make sure that he is treated fairly and humanely, guarantee him his rights and let the system decide his fate.  The concept of his treatment and his guilt/punishment are being blurred and it's not good.


    So he should be punished now, by (4.00 / 1) (#34)
    by observed on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:55:55 AM EST
    being kept in isolation 23 hours a day, forced to strip, being kept from sleeping during the day, etc? All of this because in case he actually did commit a crime---something neither you nor I know at this point---he should be "punished"?
    How long should he be kept naked? Is 20 years enough for you?

    It is unclear to me (none / 0) (#41)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:08:37 AM EST
    exactly what his day is like. His lawyer and the military are at odds over the issue.

    You are taking his lawyer's word at face value but that seems just as foolish as taking the military's word at face value.

    My point: I don't know who is right but want to get a clear picture.

    Your point: Bradley's lawyer, whose client is best served by generating as much sympathy as possible, is the voice of truth in the situation.


    I would have (none / 0) (#86)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:56:43 AM EST
    liked his trial to have happened instantly, but the case being developed is long and complex. There is a point at which I would tell the WH to try him or release him, but we aren't at that point yet.  Most trials of this caliber occur a year or more after the initial arrest. The delay Manning is facing is not unusual.

    But yes, I agree.  If Manning is still awaiting trial 20 years from now it will be a horrible injustice.

    Next question is how long is too long obviously.  I don't know.  I just know that your average defendant in a major crime can expect to sit in jail for more than a year before trial.


    What (none / 0) (#28)
    by lentinel on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:49:33 AM EST
    does make you angry if this doesn't?

    He obviously is not being treated fairly and humanely.

    To me, at least, that is a much greater issue and reflects much more poorly upon us as a nation than any of the information purportedly made available to WikiLeaks by Manning.


    What makes me angry (1.33 / 3) (#40)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:06:00 AM EST
    1. Denying that Obama won the president legitimately.

    2. Almost everything the GOP does these days.

    Lots of stuff makes me angry.  On this Manning issue, I just don't know enough.  For example, does the military treat other members accused of committing crimes of this sort similarly.  I also need to understand the disconnect between what each side says Manning is undergoing.  The military says the following:

    PFC Manning is not in solitary confinement. He has a single-occupancy cell, like all of the other detainees.

    PFC Manning is not in isolation.

    PFC Manning is a maximum custody detainee in a prevention of injury status.

    PFC Manning is not currently on suicide watch.

    PFC Manning is being held in the same quarters section with other pre-trial detainees.

    PFC Manning is allowed to watch television and read newspapers.

    PFC Manning is allowed one-hour per day to exercise.

    PFC Manning is provided well-balanced, nutritious meals three times a day.

    PFC Manning receives visitors and mail and can write letters.

    PFC Manning routinely meets with doctors and his attorney.

    PFC Manning is allowed telephone calls.

    PFC Manning is being treated just like every other detainee in the brig.

    Now if all of the above is true (and the military has put itself on the line by saying it is true) then I'm probably not angered by his treatment.  But I want to know why there is a disconnect.


    I have assumed (none / 0) (#53)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:24:46 AM EST
    that the 23 hours a day confinement and the constant waking were constant and ongoing.

    Is their a link to what his actual treatment is?

    There may have been a link but it seems to escape me at present....


    Here is where I got the military response (none / 0) (#64)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:37:08 AM EST

    Now that could all be a complete lie, but my sense is that this response was carefully considered because of the ramifications of it turning out to be false.


    Interesting (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:42:19 AM EST
    If we are going to call this torture, then many, many prisons engage in it.

    I am willing to go there, but how many others are?


    I think that the United States needs to (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:49:15 AM EST
    take a look at all of its incarceration policies.  As a nation we are obviously a horror on this issue.  Changing military policies on incarceration will be very difficult though because extreme punitive treatments for failing to obey orders are deemed as functional and needed to ensure full protection of the nation under any and all imaginable crisis and attack scenarios.

    Telling a court that a policy is (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:00:23 PM EST
    based on national security is like flashing kryptonite in front of them.....They will never hold differently.

    Most likely (none / 0) (#101)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:09:41 PM EST
    I'll go there everyday... (5.00 / 2) (#195)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 06:25:56 PM EST
    and twice on Sunday MKS...see ya there friend.

    Waitin' on the day when people will look back on it like we look back on the Spanish Inquisition...f*ckin' barbaric.


    It isn't a complete lie (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:44:09 AM EST
    If there is anything the military will not do at this time in this day, it is to make up a complete falsehood such as this would be and then think they can get away with it over a stateside issue like this.  What Manning is experiencing is SOP.

    Except (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:46:44 AM EST
    That this is something easily verifiable. If he says that he was not allowed to read, for example, and the military said otherwise, we will find out the truth.

    You have to be careful with the miltary though (none / 0) (#87)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:57:33 AM EST
    Never assume anything, for instance if they say that they allow Manning to read that can mean that he is allowed to read the sign that says EXIT.

    Ok, this is absolutely the funniest (none / 0) (#72)
    by observed on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:45:14 AM EST
    comment you've ever made. The military carefully considered their statement because of consequence of lying?
    There isn't an abbreviation in existence to describe how ROFLMAO your conjecture is.

    Common Sense Man (none / 0) (#78)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:50:42 AM EST
    I made the statement not because I trust the military but because I have common sense.

    If national attention is being focused on Manning's treatment and the Pentagon spokesman steps forward to formally address those assertions, a lie is illogical. Just don't make any comment if you are concerned about the truth.

    I am not asserting that the military wouldn't lie.  I am relying on common sense to determine when a lie isn't smart.  This is one of those times.


    Additionally (none / 0) (#93)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:01:53 PM EST
    ABG in the previous thread on the matter you said Manning is being treated like anyone "in trouble for fighting" or "with suicidal tendencies."  Well in fact he is not in trouble for fighting, and he apparently does not have suicidal tendencies.  

    So just on that point alone, the way he is being treated is entirely unjust, and the context for the behavior is entirely different (that context being I believe simply to humiliate, mistreat, and torture Mannning).


    I used the fighting/suicide example (none / 0) (#95)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:05:29 PM EST
    to show that his treatment was used for long periods for certain prisoners regularly, not because Manning had been fighting or whatever.

    But I must concede that Obama looks to be in the wrong here.


    Common sense is to distrust (none / 0) (#104)
    by observed on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:15:25 PM EST
    everything the military says, unless they have rock-solid proof. What planet are you from?
    The military in this country have a disgraceful record of brazen lying.

    Sources suggest (none / 0) (#88)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:57:34 AM EST
    that in fact what the military is saying is not true (Glenn).  Simply put, when the question is about torture, I would not trust the military's accounts.  

    BTD, Glenn says this (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:06:29 PM EST
    in the article linked to above:

    In sum, Manning has been subjected for many months without pause to inhumane, personality-erasing, soul-destroying, insanity-inducing conditions of isolation similar to those perfected at America's Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado:  all without so much as having been convicted of anything.

    BTD, you asked me for cites regarding SOP treatment....and did not accept what I had posted before because it lacked detail.

    Here is the confirmation I hope you would accept.

    If you want to challenge Manning's treament, I am with you....but recognize the mountain you need to climb here.


    Many soldiers undergo SEER training now (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:08:54 PM EST
    More than before the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  When my husband went through flight school they did not have to graduate from SEER training.  You only went through SEER training if you flew for Delta Forces I think.  I don't even think you graduated from SEER training if you flew for Special Forces. Every pilot goes through SEER training now though and must graduate from it.  Fort Rucker often boasts that its school is the "baddest" SEER training school.

    Under those existing circumstances, it is probably pretty hard for the military to grasp what exactly torture is anymore :)  One mans torture is another mans graduation :)  If civilians want the military to get a grasp, they will probably need to help them a bit at this point.


    the reason pilots are required (none / 0) (#137)
    by cpinva on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:31:25 PM EST
    to graduate from SEER is to give them (non-fatal) experience in the probable methods of torture their captors might use on them, in an effort to extract information, and teach them ways of surviving it. one man's torture for fun-n-profit, is another man's torture for training purposes.

    either way, the methods are still torture.


    I'm a poor military wife as I got the order of (none / 0) (#141)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:40:23 PM EST
    the acronym wrong and just realized it.  It is SERE training.  Nobody knows for certain what current SERE training is though, it's classified.  The only thing I do know is how many students failed the last round, which was two.  It's the talk of the Post.

    Is it unethical though to train soldiers in such a way?  When you put in your packet for WOC school you know you will go through SERE training.  There is no area of the military where SERE training is part of the training that the soldier does not volunteer for it and actually request it...none.  You literally ask for SERE training when you request the MOSs that require it.  Nobody is ever ordered into SERE training, doesn't happen.


    Again (1.00 / 2) (#94)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:02:29 PM EST
    A Greenwald article on this topic is about as persuasive as a National Review article defending Bush WMD assertions.

    I like GG a lot but he's not really the most objective writer.

    To be honest, Yglesias has come out against Obama on this and that carries more weight than Greenwald because Yglesias is generally pro-Obama.


    So, you really like Glenn a lot, but he's (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:27:16 PM EST
    neither persuasive or objective?

    How does that work?

    And how do you assess the weight of the generally anti-Obama conservative/GOP praise for the "resignation" of Crowley and the treatment of Manning?

    From Glenn, the "not really the most objective writer:"

    But the news isn't all bad for the President.  Aside from his shrinking though still-vocal The-Leader-Can-Do-No-Wrong loyalists (whose mirror image counterparts stood behind George W. Bush to the end no matter what he did), Obama is finding support for his conduct in the Manning/Crowley episode from the Far Right.  HotAir's Ed Morrissey, as but one example, lavishly praises the President's decisions:  "The White House acted appropriately in kicking Crowley out at State, and should be commended for taking quick action," and goes on to defend the conditions of Manning's detention as appropriate and necessary.  It really is quite striking -- and quite revealing -- how, at least in the areas about which I wrote most (civil liberties, secrecy, surveillance, privacy, war, due process, detention, etc. etc.), and for many of the specific controversies on which I've focused (WikiLeaks, Manning, indefinite detention, Afghanistan, drone attacks, the due-process-free assassination program, legal immunity for Bush officials, state secrets, etc.), the greatest support for the President's policies (with a few early exceptions) are found, by far, among the same faction of America's Right who so eagerly supported the Bush/Cheney policy framework.  That's just a fact.

    Uh-oh...time to pick a side, ABG...


    Why is this so (none / 0) (#123)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:01:06 PM EST
    hard to understand.  I think of Krugman in the same way.  Both are very smart and very good at what they do but they are, like all of us, still subject to their own biases.  

    Greenwald believes that Manning is a "national hero" and it would be imprudent not to view his articles on the topic of Manning's treatment without that bias in mind.


    you may not always agree with him (4.33 / 3) (#99)
    by CST on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:07:53 PM EST
    but he is a very credible source and writes his own views clearly.

    It's the facts that should persuade not the person.  You may not always agree with him, but to write him off because he goes against Obama is obsurd.  Take it at face value and make a decision from there.

    Glenn Greenwald has his "issues" that he cares/writes about more than others, and like it or not Obama has a poor record on those issues.  Something you have admitted as much yourself in other posts.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, not their own facts.  And Glenn is usually pretty solid at defining the two.


    Seriously (none / 0) (#113)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:32:47 PM EST
    the fact that you would deny Glenn's credibility on the issue of torture is just...astonishing.  There is not one article on the subject that he has ever written that he does not extensively source and argue, which makes it all the more silly.

    Aside from that, what a perfect example of why people here railed against Klein and Yglesias during the health care debate.  If Yglesias says it, well it must be right.


    You are right (none / 0) (#121)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:56:16 PM EST
    Greenwald is very good but he's not infallible and has had a number of instances in which his ideals have gotten the best of him.  Here, and almost directly on topic with repect to Manning's situation, here.

    Again, I agree with Greenwald on almost everything, but it's when you do agree with someone ideologically that you have to be most careful accepting their statements as uncontrovertible fact.

    A common theme you will see from me (in addition to what many understand is a tendency to give Obama the benefit of the doubt . . . which I will concede is a weakness) is that I don't trust anything anyone says at face value. If the bloggin/information age has taught us anything, it's that there are very few issues where there are completely clear cut "good guys" and "bad guys".  

    When someone makes and absolute unconditioned statement like "Bradley Manning is being tortured as punishment" or "Bradley Manning is unquestionably being treated as any other prisoner would", my spider sense starts tingling.

    That should be our default position no matter how much you hate or like the target of a criticism.


    The article on nepotism (none / 0) (#130)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:19:05 PM EST
    I can perhaps grant you in that his thesis was wrong.  But that's not exactly Greenwald's wheelhouse.  The argument with The Wired is not specifically about how Manning is being treated.  Greenwald's aggressiveness does him discredit very rarely, much more rarely than many others in the blogosphere, including Yglesias.

    There are tons of articles out there about Manning's treatment.  Considering this is someone who has not been convicted of anything, who has not been fighting with cellmates, who has not had any sincere suicidal impulses, the way he is being treated is abhorrent.  Something is wrong.


    Actually, if you go to the update (none / 0) (#151)
    by dk on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:13:54 PM EST
    link at the bottom of the TNR nepotism post, you'll find that Glenn responds in a manner that eviscerates TNR's (and by extension, ABG's) smears.

    dk (none / 0) (#157)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:35:54 PM EST
    C'mon. Really? As if Wired didn't unleash it's own fairly devastating rebuttal statement on Greenwald's actions.

    In that instance, Greenwald was highly unprofessional IMHO, even if he did make a few good points. Andin questioning the motives of a fellow journalist without substantive evidence, Greenwald's weakness was shown:

    Unwaivering certainty and arrogance about his own beliefs.

    More to the point, if you study the fury with which Greenwald sought to defend Manning at all costs in that battle, you understand why I believe his opinions on Manning should be viewed with a more critical eye.

    He just kind of lost his marbles on the topic because he REALLY wants Manning to go free.


    Yes, ABG, it really is totally unprofessional (none / 0) (#163)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:57:47 PM EST
    to expect any publication that makes certain assertions to provide some support for them; I mean, what could Glenn have been thinking when he asked the people at Wired to clear up the multiple versions of events that Lamo provided?

    Maybe he was thinking that Wired - and many other publications that got in on this - should not be allowed to just use the facts it wanted for the slant it wanted to give, and ought to be forced to put it all out there so people could judge for themselves.  What a novel idea, eh?

    It's just like the numerous media outlets who reported on the "hundreds of thousands" of documents released, when in fact, some extremely tiny portion of them had ever seen the light of day.

    You clearly just have no clue what the issues are; you should stick with your plan to read more about it, and then actually do that.  Another novel idea.  And then, maybe these threads would not have to fill up with the hard work of others who have actually read more than headlines and have done the research.


    Wired (none / 0) (#184)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 05:59:01 PM EST
    Provided a perfectly acceptable and justifiable reason for not providing every bit of information that Greenwald demanded. Bing a journalist doesn't mean that you give up sensitive information because someone else demands it.  It means using your judgment to determin what is appropriate.  Wired did that and Greenwald, with no real evidence of wrong doing, accused two outstanding journalists of selling out for access. Again, he had absolutely no evidence of it other than the fact that he did not like the response from Wired.

    There was no excuse for Greenwald's unprofessional attacks on the Wired editors.


    Frankly, I don't know why you are allowed (2.25 / 4) (#110)
    by observed on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:26:58 PM EST
    to continue commenting. You make one unsupported assertion after another; you make baseless smears on critics of Obama; you rush to talk about the primaries whenever you have nothing else to say.
    Stop making up shiit, man, and provide some substance!!

    the comment police thing (5.00 / 3) (#114)
    by CST on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:35:57 PM EST
    is really tired.

    You may not agree with ABG but he has every right to post here.  Everyone has their talking points, one person's opinion is another person's "smear".  And ABG doesn't get overly personal anymore than anyone else.  You just don't like his opinion.

    If you don't feel like reading, pass on by.


    You haven't read his comments if you don't (none / 0) (#119)
    by observed on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:53:29 PM EST
    think he gets personal and smears. Furthermore, he's always bringing up the primaries, and suggesting that people are criticizing Obama because he beat Clinton.
    Look, criticism is fine, but make is just a little bit fact-based, ok?

    Where (none / 0) (#124)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:03:43 PM EST
    have I gotten "personal" with anyone here today? I have no problem addressing your accusations, but I have no idea what you are talking about and believe that you are responding only because you don't like my points.

    What are you talking about specifically?


    Not in this thread (none / 0) (#132)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:24:01 PM EST
    Refute his ideas.  That would show the strength of your position.  Preventing him from commenting does not.

    CST (none / 0) (#125)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:04:13 PM EST

    Good God ABG (5.00 / 0) (#127)
    by smott on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:10:23 PM EST
    If you're to the point you need to attempt to de-legitimize Greenwald on this topic then yes I agree - Why TF are you still commening here? Seriously?

    For crap's sake I feel like I'm in a parallel universe when I read your comments.

    Could you maybe preface with some reference to Tom Tomorrow or something?


    I take great pride (none / 0) (#138)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:36:14 PM EST
    in my tendency to doubt those with which I agree most, including occasionally my man Obama.  

    For the 3rd or 4th time now, I like Greenwald and respect him a great deal.  I also know, because I read him regularly, that he sometimes overstates his arguments and portrays the targets of his criticism unfairly when he is really upset about an issue.

    I don't think he's objective about Manning because his position is, I believe, that Manning should serve no jail time for his alleged crimes, even if he is guilty.


    I tthink, ABG, that you would be better (5.00 / 2) (#150)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:08:20 PM EST
    served by actually reading Glenn instead of thinking you can fake "believing" what his position is on Manning by taking the most extreme far left position you can imagine and plopping that into a comment.

    I've been reading Glenn for a long time on this issue - Manning, Wikileaks and Assange - and I don't recall ever reading that Glenn believes Manning should serve no time in jail ("even if" he is found guilty?  Does that mean Glenn's position is he shouldn't be in detention now?).

    Glenn is as staunch a proponent of due process as I can think of, and the idea that he would, without any trial or evidence or due process, pronounce that Manning should be free regardless of his guilt is just ludicrous.

    But, you'd actually have to read Glenn to know that.



    If found guilty, I would have Manning (none / 0) (#156)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:35:17 PM EST
    serve three years home confinement, and then place him on ten years probation that would entail close monitoring of all his communications and internet activity.  

    It would be cheaper.

     After ten years, any knowledge he has would be obsolete.


    Noooooo!!!! (none / 0) (#134)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:24:31 PM EST
    Liberals need more abgs to take out the money party.  The right is in batsh!t crazy zone and the Dems are basically the moderate conservatives of old (Obama is just flat out conservative)  The more D supporters mirror R supporters (blind loyalty, gut over fact), I think it will help clarify that the govt is one money party.

    Did you see the polling on Wisconsin?  There is only a chance of getting 3 seats of the 8.  That's after getting completely effed over by the Repubs like never before and people still don't want to vote for the D party.  It seems to me an indication of the D party cratering.


    waldenpond (1.00 / 3) (#185)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 06:03:13 PM EST

    So we should definitely elect Sarah Palin as President because there is no difference between her and Obama.


    Who (none / 0) (#166)
    by lentinel on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 03:16:54 PM EST
    is denying that Obama won the presidency legitimately?
    And who gives a damn?
    The voting machines are suspect so who knows anything?
    Who cares?
    Reality is reality.

    Manning has not been convicted of anything.

    Your statement that Manning is not on suicide watch is in conflict with those who say that he is being deprived on his underwear because he might inflict injury on himself with it. How, is anybody's guess.

    You come across as a person who is disinterested in reality.
    A political plant.


    You contradict yourself again (none / 0) (#39)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:04:20 AM EST
    He is ACCUSED, not convicted.  Period.

    The ONLY issue is his treatment in custody.

    Obama holds ALL the cards in this respect, and Obama can dictate humane treatment and he can personally inspect that treatment any time he wants.

    Everything else is really diversion.  

    Manning has not been convicted of anything, and he is being held in conditions that rise to the level of torture.  Obama could end it this second.  Obama is choosing not to.  That speaks volumes about the content of Obama's character and his utter lack of wisdom.

    Clinton is just as big a coward and fraud.

    The discussion about the WOT and fear cultivated to further it are certainly vital, and you hear about them far more than you hear the intricacies of our torture regime, but they have ZERO to do with the issue here: that Bradley Manning is being tortured and our leaders are supporting and enabling it.  They, specifically Obama, could end this disgrace any moment he wants to.  That he does not want to, nor feels it necessary evidences his complete corruption morally.  He knows what the treatment is, he knows it violates international law, and our own laws.  He doesn't care, nor does Clinton.


    Solitary Confinement (none / 0) (#44)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:15:48 AM EST
    Are you arguing that all solitary confinement (pre-trial or post-conviction) is torture?

    Courts have ruled that long term solitary confinement is OK after conviction so the question becomes what is appropriate before conviction.  That's one reason that the word "torture" may not be appropriate here. What is happening to Manning may not be torture but may still be legally and morally wrong.

    We don't need to call it "torture" for that to be the case.


    yes. (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by cpinva on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:36:29 PM EST
    Are you arguing that all solitary confinement (pre-trial or post-conviction) is torture?

    just as the dred scott decision didn't change the fact that slavery was evil, a USSC decision asserting that solitary confinement isn't torture doesn't, by moral & international law definition, change the fact that it is.

    the USSC could render a decision stating that the sky is, in fact, red. it wouldn't change the reality that the sky is, in fact, blue.


    Come on man (none / 0) (#56)
    by smott on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:29:12 AM EST
    Only a little OT but worthwhile (none / 0) (#59)
    by smott on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:30:31 AM EST
    From the Wired artcile you link to (none / 0) (#63)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:35:46 AM EST
    we have this referring to solitary confinement:

    However, another form of torture was not just used on detainees, but is being used on at least 25,000 Americans right now.

    MKS (none / 0) (#128)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:18:38 PM EST
    This is exactly one of my points.

    Inherent in a lot of commentary is the idea that Bradley's treatment is something that is not occurring regularly everywhere in the US.

    If you believe we are torturing Bradley, you have to believe that we are torturing thousands in even worse ways.

    And that's a fine belief to have.  Let's just keep what's happening to Bradley in perspective.


    ??? Really (none / 0) (#135)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:25:54 PM EST
    You're defending solitary confinement (for months on end, since July) for someone who has not been convicted of anything?  Based on an article that explains how solitary confinement is torture?



    Fair points (none / 0) (#126)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:06:05 PM EST
    I would counter that our supreme court has weighed in on the issue and found otherwise.  The court is not perfect, but that is a pretty valuable reference if we are looking at the legalities of what's happening.

    Stop Please (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 06:06:50 PM EST
    If you can't find it in yourself to actually decide if the treatment of this young man is right or wrong, then you have nothing of value to add.

    Do you need Gonzo to prepare a legal opinion before you decide, what is the holdup, either it's right or wrong and parsing the meaning of words in probably the most pathetic form of dodgery you could pull.

    He is not being tortured, aka physically abused.  He is being degraded, dehumanized, whatever you want to call it as much as humanly possible, sans a dog cage and waste bucket.

    Google 'Mannings Prison Conditions' if you don't know the specifics, and if you don't, why are you commenting, and if you do what is the hold up in deciding.

    We get it ABM, Obama can do not wrong, so instead of saying that, you come out with 'I don't really know what my position is as of yet', which is eerily similar to what a politician says when he knows what is right, but doesn't want to rock the boat, so he says the most vague thing possible in hopes of buying some time to reconcile the differences.

    In your case you are trying to figure how to defend Obama, but you can't, so your stalling with the undecided routine.

    Let us know when you have decided if prisoners deserve underwear, a full nights rest, or exercise.


    You're completely missing the point. (none / 0) (#29)
    by observed on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:50:18 AM EST
    Otiose and the obtuse. The focus is NOT on what Manning's possible crimes were. The fact you even bring up that possibility is extremely disturbing. Manning is an American citizen. He hasn't even had his day in court. There's no middle ground here: either you are with the fascists, or you support humane treatment of prisoners.

    ugh (none / 0) (#98)
    by sj on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:07:46 PM EST
    I don't really know what my position is as of yet.

    Just "ugh"

    I fear that the word and its power are being diluted.  

    The meaning of the word "torture" is diluted when it is NOT used appropriately and instead is whitewashed by saying things like "unjust treatment"

    And this bit:

    I would like to see a piece on the Manning issue by someone who hates his actions yet supports the claims of torture.

    Are you going to have a pinch of snuff and your wig powdered while you read that piece?  


    Pfc. Manning is an American (none / 0) (#31)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:54:25 AM EST
    citizen and soldier awaiting military trial. While procedures differ from civil trial, they are, after all,  subject to the Constitution.   He has been imprisoned for nine months and has not been tried let alone convicted.  Our basic standards now include solitary confinement, room-excercise while in shackles for one hour a day unless he stops and then the exercise period is ended, he is forced to remove his clothes at night, and in the morning, he is required to stand outside his cell, naked, until he passes inspection and given his clothes back.

    It seems to me that something more than even your basic abuse is going on here; making him an example or rendering him unable to defend himself at trial (hence, no trial) is only part of it.  It must be more, and it is a puzzlement. President Obama and Secretary Clinton have not covered themselves in glory in this matter (nor the "Pentagon") and they need to be called on it:  he is not our boyfriend and she is not our girlfriend.


    Google (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:20:23 AM EST
    Fahad Hashmi, an American citizen in solitary confinement for over three years, and maybe you will understand why I suggested that the question is about more than just Manning.

    We do this in many cases, and I don't necessarily think this is about proving a point. If you have an issue with Manning's treatment, the issue should be much broader than you are asserting.


    I would agree that (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:29:22 AM EST
    Manning's treament is abusive and wrong.

    But it is as if people are discovering for the first time that incarceration in this country is often abusive.


    I think... (5.00 / 0) (#85)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:55:43 AM EST
    ...that in a case like this, where more than the usual amount of publicity is garnered, ANY attention focused on the issue is good and productive.  I agree, however, that the state of incarceration in general in this nation is far too ignored.

    I agree (none / 0) (#102)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:10:08 PM EST
    but recognize the tough sell this is going to be....

    The bigger problem on this issue is that Manning is not perceived as sympathetic to anyone outside the Left who liken him to Daniel Ellsburg.


    There are no easy sells in this game (none / 0) (#105)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:18:35 PM EST
    Ever.  The last bastion of scoundrels.  The opposition will always make any whistle-blower like this a tough sell.  What are we hoping for?  The Rosa Parks of Wikileaks?

    Actually, that's not a bad idea.  Manning and all like him, should hire whip-smart old ladies as their spokespeople.  Problem solved.  Ahem.

    Listen, the guy's fate is already sealed, that's the elephant on the footstool.  In our hearts, we all believe, if not executed, then he will die having rotted in his cage.

    That psychologically we have mostly internalized that general narrative about war and country and individual acts of conscience is more disturbing to me.  Because I know it means the battle is that much more difficult.


    It could be a long sentence that (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:23:50 PM EST
    someday is commuted when people forget about it.

    You want to know outrage?  Try the sentence Lt. Calley actually served.  Three and a half years of house arrest.


    And I STILL (none / 0) (#107)
    by sj on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:22:28 PM EST
    say use the poster boy you have.  As I said this weekend, the treatment of the incarcerated (and their families, too, actually) has long been one of my issues.  

    But it's hard to get traction for changing it.  And right now, front and center, we have a "poster boy" (and I'm sorry for trivializing the horrors in his life this way) where we can talk both about the individual and the broader picture.  

    I say, while "we" have megaphone, apply the pressure.

    And Manning's "abusive and wrong" treatment is torture.  Name the evil for what it is.


    Also, recognize you (none / 0) (#116)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:39:02 PM EST
    will have to account for prisoners such as Charlie Manson.  Even more than serial killers, he is a danger to society.  He was not present at the Tate/LaBianca murders....so allowing Charlie to communicate freely with the outside world is very, very risky.*

    So, extreme measures may be needed for some....

    How to put that into the torture paradigm is tricky.  So, a component of what constitutes torture may hinge on the conduct of the inmate--as awkward as that may be.

    *Who is the moron or corrupt official who let Charlie have a cell phone?


    Frankly (none / 0) (#117)
    by sj on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:46:51 PM EST
    Even Charlie Manson shouldn't be tortured.  And seriously, do you really believe that the next step -- after alleviating some of the horrors we are perpatrating against Manning and other prisoners -- is opening up the door to Manson having a cell phone?

    Is it zero tolerance that has lead to this "all or nothing" mentality?


    The reason there has been no trial (none / 0) (#35)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:59:07 AM EST
    Is because the defense requested a mental health evaluation back in November.  A trial date cannot be set until that evaluation is completed (was supposed to be February 2011 at the earliest).

    So, the treatment is okay because it is (5.00 / 0) (#42)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:10:31 AM EST
    the defense's fault there has been no trial?  Is the defense doing the evaluating, or is the military doing it - or getting in the way of it being done timely?

    If I were Manning's lawyer, I would want him evaluated, too, so I would have a before/after picture of his mental state.

    Regardless of who can be "blamed" for the delays, it still does not justify the treatment.


    Ahem (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:17:54 AM EST
    You are reading waaaayyyyy too much into my comment.  KeysDan made the comment:

    He has been imprisoned for nine months and has not been tried let alone convicted.

    I was merely pointing out that a great deal of the delay is because of defense motions - it's his own lawyers who have helped delay this trial.  Notice, I didn't opine about the tactics or what I think of their strategy or anything else.  


    Hmm, okay, then why would the government... (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:14:06 AM EST
    ...so obviously be trying to mentally destroy Manning in custody?  To treat Manning in this manner, when defense is seeking a mental evaluation, seems fairly clearly aimed at ensuring he is ruled incompetent and unfit.  It seems to indicate the government has no interest in a trial.

    But again, that is not the issue.  The only issue is he is being tortured, and none of our dear leaders find it the least bit troublesome.  Obama should end this treatment today, should say he is going to personally surpervise inspections to ensure no American can be treated this way by its government.


    You have absolutely no idea (none / 0) (#48)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:19:22 AM EST
    what the government is or isn't doing.

    Many people talk around here about "the presumption of innocence" but when it comes to what the government is or isn't doing, then everyone knows for sure that all is rotten in Denmark.


    So you really don't know... (5.00 / 0) (#76)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:49:02 AM EST
    ...what's being done to Manning?  You think it's really not clear at this point?

    I'm sorry, I'm no raging lunatic, I have no time for 9/11 conspriacy junkies, I don't believe the government is inherently evil, but IMO there is more than enough credible information in this case, including photos of the guy, to make this case clear.  

    When it comes to these wars, and those like them in the past, the government has no track record, none whatsover, of being honest or forthcoming with the supposedly free American people.  The history of our nation is of those same free Americans having to dig for the information and unearth the truth for themselves.  The government is akin to having a witness on the stand with a lifelong history of lying in court.


    And the larger point is... (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:53:56 AM EST
    ...as free Americans, we are SUPPOSED to know what the government is doing in situations like this.  We are ENTITLED to know.

    I think we can agree on that much.

    If not, then I suppose our rhetorical divide is wider than that.


    My point (none / 0) (#51)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:22:00 AM EST
    was that I have no idea what the government was doing.

    Stop reading me for some "gotcha" because i generally like Obama, and you'll see that my position here is one of trying to sift through the facts before making a decision.

    And as I said at the start, my gut tells me Obama is wrong on this.


    Answer (none / 0) (#52)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:22:42 AM EST
    Because the government has done this in many other instances that had little to do with the motives you ascribe.

    The government's motive... (none / 0) (#65)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:37:16 AM EST
    ...for mentally destroying a guy like Manning is pretty clear and logical, no matter how twisted the logic.  Just as the motive for torturing anyone else is clear. Because it believes it is good for the government.  Why else would they do it?  Come on.

    Because many have no idea what else to do (none / 0) (#73)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:45:55 AM EST
    Supermax wardens think they are engaged in appropriate behavior modification.

    Some of the inmates in Supermax were convicted of low level felonies but misbehaved in general population.....

    There is a lot of ignoranace going on as well....


    Oh we know exactly what else could be done (none / 0) (#103)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:11:29 PM EST
    There's no shortage of research on the human mind and body and what destroys them.  We are doing this because we are CHOOSING to be stupid and malevolent, because we are stupid enough to think it is ultimately to our benefit.  If we break them enough, they'll do what we want.  Period.

    We think this is good and right and the best way to deal with things.

    If we don't know what else to do, again, it's because we CHOOSE not to know.

    Yes, there is indeed a lot of ignorance out there.  And yet that is no excuse.  Not in a country where most of us have little excuse for our own ignorance. Not with the tools we have at our disposal, relative to most people suffering around the globe.


    Sure but the Supermax wardens (none / 0) (#106)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:19:32 PM EST
    appear at least to be sincere and think they are doing the right thing.

    Just like some of the Republicans really believe in trickle down.....

    Not sure if education or shaming is the best way to go....


    KeysDan (none / 0) (#54)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:27:15 AM EST
    Where's a link for actual treament?

    Every recitation here varies....

    The details matter.


    A compilation, but NYT editorial (none / 0) (#120)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:53:48 PM EST
    March 15, 20ll, covers most of it.

    Does it matter that he hasn't been convicted? (none / 0) (#66)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:37:26 AM EST
    It would seem that torture is torture regardless of whether someone has been convicted.

    there was (none / 0) (#92)
    by sj on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:01:46 PM EST
    quite a bit of discussion about this over the weekend.  I'm quite sure it will continue.  So go ahead.  Get yourself more comfortable with the outrage.

    And frankly, an unpopular issue like the prisoners' rights needs a focal point.  A sort of "poster boy" that can be used to call attention to this issue.  "Sympathy to Manning's actions" are NOT clouding the bigger picture.  It actually help to focus it by calling attention to the fact that there IS a bigger picture.  Torture is wrong.  Always.  

    It. Is. Not. OK.


    I gave up on her (none / 0) (#17)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:07:45 AM EST
    with the expansion of the privatization of the military.  She must believe strongly in the treatment of Manning... she could have spoken out, let Obama fire her and then campaigned on this but nope, it her amoral stand.

    I really like the 'she had no choice' argument.  Yeah, she has a family to support! ha!  It'll hurt her career! Oh absolutely, what's a poor multi-millionaire with international connections and married to a former Pres with additional connections to do?

    Clinton in impotent to Obama, Obama is impotent to the Repubs blah, blah, blah.

    She went to work (none / 0) (#46)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:18:57 AM EST
    for Obama after the nasty primary campaign he waged on her. She would have been better off supporting causes she believed in.  Instead, she assimilated to the borg.

    Clinton is about her own power.  Just as with most any politician, she will sacrifice any principle to keep it.  Pols are pols, right? (no, I don't consider that an excuse).

    She's a pathetic SoS (none / 0) (#50)
    by observed on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:21:05 AM EST
    The only positive things that are said about her, in puff pieces, are that she's a very hard worker.
    I can't think of a SoS with less stature and credibility than Clinton. That includes Powell, who was quite effective and credible til he left, despite his UN speech.

    i'm kind of curious (none / 0) (#55)
    by cpinva on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:28:35 AM EST
    as to how bill feels about all this (michelle also); are they ok being married to, and living with someone who seems to think stalin maybe wasn't such a bad guy after all?

    sexual infidelity is one thing, suborning the torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners is quite another entirely.


    Bill is probably fine with it (none / 0) (#58)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:30:24 AM EST
    Ask Ricky Ray Rector.

    Bill said it was a good thing (none / 0) (#60)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:31:11 AM EST
    his brother went to prison on a drug charge.

    Democratic officials are tough on crime.


    Very disappointing (none / 0) (#62)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:34:31 AM EST
    No prisoner should be subject to the abusve treatment Pfc. Manning is reported to be subject to. There is plenty of shame to go around on this one, Pres. Obama, Sec'y Clinton, Sec'y Gates.  They are cut from the same cloth on this matter and none has distinguished himself or herself.

    The SoP (none / 0) (#80)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:52:24 AM EST

    As I have repeatedly pointed out, stripping detainees to "demonstrate the omnipotence of the captor" was introduced as a Standard Operating Procedure at Gitmo back in 2002 when they were preparing to torture Mohammed al-Qahtani. Abu Zubaydah's torturers, like Bradley Manning's jailers, call it being "God."

    That must be the standard procedure that President Obama was talking about when he gave this explanation when Jake Tapper asked him about PJ Crowley's condemnation of Manning's treatment.

    Reading the comments and I have got to (none / 0) (#81)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:53:19 AM EST
    laugh.  You guys are going to blow your blogosphere reputation of being the Heil Hillary site, you're putting the boots to her :)

    Yep... (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by huzzlewhat on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:06:15 PM EST
    Living by that "support the policy, not the pol" yardstick probably looks a bit mind-blowing who didn't think it was sincere. :-)

    Why would Hillary (none / 0) (#82)
    by progressiveinvolvement on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:53:48 AM EST
    support Crowley?  If he wanted to make a point, he should have resigned in protest.  Otherwise, to simply spout off, as State Department spokesman, about an administration policy, calling it "stupid", is simply asking to be fired.  Hillary is not going to fall on her sword for that.

    The other thing is that, supposedly, she and Crowley didn't get along that well anyway.

    Not a turf war between State and the DOD (none / 0) (#108)
    by Babel 17 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:23:26 PM EST
    If Clinton thought that Obama was sitting on the fence then she should have defended her guy from calls to resign.

    But this didn't end up to be merely a matter of top brass at the pentagon or top officials at the DOD calling on Hillary to give them the head of Crowley.

    My impression is that word came that Obama wanted Crowley gone.

    I'm imagining what "defense" she could have replied with to Obama but I'm coming up short.

    He knows the facts.

    She could only have threatened to take her disagreement public and thus force Obama to give in or ask her to resign.

    Just not realistic, imo, to think that was on the table given all the water that's already under the bridge.

    Merits of Crowley's point aside (none / 0) (#131)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:21:21 PM EST
    Should Obama not fire someone directly contradicting his position on important policies.

    I don't see any problem with any POTUS (including Bush) demanding an unified response. If you don't like that and want to comment freely, quit.

    But if I am POTUS and a guy is saying something completely out of line with the message I want to communicating, he'd better have a good explanation or else find another job.


    Obama only staked out his position afterwards (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by Babel 17 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 06:14:10 PM EST
    Before Crowley's statement many people imagined Obama had yet to look into the matter. He wasn't communicating any message.

    Imo many people still think Obama would have a different opinion if he only had better advisers.

    I'm assuming you are somewhat aware of the principle Obama spelled out in the following quote "I don't want to have people who just agree with me. I want people who are continually pushing me out of my comfort zone."

    With Obama we thought we were going to get the opposite of Bush when it came to crushing people who voiced ethical and moral concerns.


    the trouble is . . . (none / 0) (#147)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:59:10 PM EST
    in this instance "the merits of Crowley's point" constitute the whole point of BTD's post . . .

    When (none / 0) (#112)
    by cal1942 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:29:17 PM EST
    will someone, some high level public official stand up and do the right thing?  Not just in this matter but in so many other matters.

    It's not as though any of these people actually need the job for economic reasons.  For economic reasons I wouldn't condone it but at least I'd understand.

    I was furious, as I'd wager many others were, when Colin Powell presented his dog and pony show at the UN.  I felt he should have resigned rather than shill for a position he HAD to know was pure bullsh!t, a position he knew would result in needless bloodshed.

    So if Hillary Clinton, who has to know that Manning's treatment is barbaric, is compliant then she's worthy, IMO, of contempt.

    Waiting for 2013 (none / 0) (#148)
    by blogtopus on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:01:43 PM EST
    If/When Obama gets his second term, I imagine that's when we'll start to hear any kind of talk that goes against the genius team. Until then, anything Clinton might say can be held against her for 'losing' the election. Hell, if she sits in a cabin in Siberia for the next couple years, she'll still be blamed for anything, and she knows it. She's doing it all for Party Unity. heh

    Hillary will not serve beyond 2012 (none / 0) (#159)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:41:53 PM EST
    Four years is a significant stint.  Rice will become Secretary of State, although it appears John Kerry is trying for the position.

    Hillary could take off two years, and then begin a run for 2016.  There appears to be no one else.  Warner will try but he is really dull as dirt....


    it is not a given (none / 0) (#171)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 04:03:23 PM EST
    that SoS Clinton "should have defended Crowley"

    What I have not seen is criticism of Crowley's boss, the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who should have defended Crowley. Instead, she is now complicit in the Obama Administration's disgraceful behavior.

    why "should" she defend Crowley if in fact she agrees that Crowley's dismissal was warranted?

    it's also possible that she could find Crowley's dismissal warranted while either approving or disapproving of Pfc Manning's treatment

    of course we don't know what she thinks about any of this b/c she has said nothing

    wrt to Manning, however, whether Clinton approves of his treatment & keeps silence or disapproves of his treatment & keeps silence, she is complicit in his treatment either way - her silence, not her failure to defend Crowley, is what makes her complicit

    so yes, she is complicit

    and yes, it is disgraceful

    but to demand that Clinton defend Crowley is not reasonable b/c it does not account for the full possible array "known unknowns" (h/t Donald Rumsfeld)