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Hedges writes: "The swift and brutal verdict read out by Army Col. Judge Denise Lind in sentencing Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison means we have become a nation run by gangsters."

Bradley Manning is escorted into the court room at Fort Meade for the last time to receive his sentence. (photo: Scott Galindez/RSN)
Bradley Manning is escorted into the court room at Fort Meade for the last time to receive his sentence. (photo: Scott Galindez/RSN)


Bradley Manning and the Gangster State

By Chris Hedges, Truthdig

22 August 13

 

RSN Special Coverage: Trial of Bradley Manning

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he swift and brutal verdict read out by Army Col. Judge Denise Lind in sentencing Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison means we have become a nation run by gangsters. It signals the inversion of our moral and legal order, the death of an independent media, and the open and flagrant misuse of the law to prevent any oversight or investigation of official abuses of power, including war crimes. The passivity of most of the nation's citizens - the most spied upon, monitored and controlled population in human history - to the judicial lynching of Manning means they will be next. There are no institutional mechanisms left to halt the shredding of our most fundamental civil liberties, including habeas corpus and due process, or to prevent pre-emptive war, the assassination of U.S. citizens by the government and the complete obliteration of privacy.

Wednesday's sentencing marks one of the most important watersheds in U.S. history. It marks the day when the state formally declared that all who name and expose its crimes will become political prisoners or be forced, like Edward Snowden, and perhaps Glenn Greenwald, to spend the rest of their lives in exile. It marks the day when the country dropped all pretense of democracy, obliterated checks and balances under the separation of powers and rejected the rule of law. It marks the removal of the mask of democracy, already a fiction, and its replacement with the ugly, naked visage of corporate totalitarianism. State power is to be, from now on, unchecked, unfettered and unregulated. And those who do not accept unlimited state power, always the road to tyranny, will be ruthlessly persecuted. On Wednesday we became vassals. As I watched the burly guards hustle Manning out of a military courtroom at Fort Meade after the two-minute sentencing, as I listened to half a dozen of his supporters shout to him, "We'll keep fighting for you, Bradley! You're our hero!" I realized that our nation has become a vast penal colony.

If we actually had a functioning judicial system and an independent press, Manning would have been a witness for the prosecution against the war criminals he helped expose. He would not have been headed, bound and shackled, to the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. His testimony would have ensured that those who waged illegal war, tortured, lied to the public, monitored our electronic communications and ordered the gunning down of unarmed civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen were sent to Fort Leavenworth's cells. If we had a functioning judiciary the hundreds of rapes and murders Manning made public would be investigated. The officials and generals who lied to us when they said they did not keep a record of civilian dead would be held to account for the 109,032 "violent deaths" in Iraq, including those of 66,081 civilians. The pilots in the "Collateral Murder" video, which showed the helicopter attack on unarmed civilians in Baghdad that left nine dead, including two Reuters journalists, would be court-martialed.

Continue Reading: Bradley Manning and the Gangster State

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+94 # Small Family Farmer 2013-08-22 12:25
I wish I could have stated my feelings as eloquently as Hedges but I guess that's why he writes and I farm.

If there's anything in this piece that isn't true I'd love to know it but as far as I'm concerned Chris is spot on.

What a long, sad, fall we have taken.
 
 
+19 # Kathymoi 2013-08-22 16:32
Dear Mr. Hedges, I hope you read the comments here and that you will respond to the following idea: In addition to marches and petitions, I think we need a large group of honest, informed, competent citizens to run, as a group, for the executive branch in the next presidential election. Gathering together the group (which I hope would include you as an advisor) and going through the steps necessary to have our candidate on the ballot and covering the views and strategies of this group is an action that most citizens could participate in, from their computer, without---I hope--- being arrested or killed, and without spending huge amounts of money, that most of us don't have anyway. We know that no one promoted by either major party will support the people. The major parties need to support their financial backers. We need a group of people, none of whom would be willing to run for president of the United States alone, but one of whom would be willing to be on the ballot for that position and to take that oath of office if elected. The rest of the group, I'm thinking about 100 people, would be equally committed and would stand together as a group, holding positions including vice president, cabinet members, staff, advisors, and aids. We don't need revolving door advisors, cabinet members and staff. We need people like you, Bill Moyers, Bill McKibben, Robin O'Bryan, Jeffrey Smith, Naom Chomsky, and I bet you know a good list more. Will you help make this happen?
 
 
+12 # fdawei 2013-08-23 02:28
If your produce is as wholesome as Chris' writing is eloquent, you shall have a bountiful harvest.
 
 
+15 # reiverpacific 2013-08-23 12:33
Quoting Small Family Farmer:
I wish I could have stated my feelings as eloquently as Hedges but I guess that's why he writes and I farm.

If there's anything in this piece that isn't true I'd love to know it but as far as I'm concerned Chris is spot on.

What a long, sad, fall we have taken.

Well, keep on farming good buddy; at least you are doing something honorable, unlike those who tortured, railroaded, judged and condemned Chelsea Manning.
 
 
+58 # reiverpacific 2013-08-22 12:29
As I've mentioned before, the US is ever more resembling Franco's Spain or Suharto's Indonesia, both of which censored or quickly and brutally put out of circulation and action, published or broadcast words and images even hinting at anything but total conformity to the military-run totalitarian regimes.
In their times of rule, both were armed and buttressed by the US, with military bases and heavy CIA presence in both cases.
This country is also beginning to resemble some of the banana republic military dictatorships it put in place beginning in 1953 with Iran and following up in with 1954 Guatemala, with at least one annual interference or downright invasion ever since.
The comparison is becoming clearer weekly as the mask of alleged "democracy" slips sideways and downward revealing the true military-corpor ate- bald-faced state, it's paranoid, omnipresent spy network and judiciary revenge apparatus, helped in it's exposure by the true patriots -the whistle screamers.
Long may they continue to do their valuable work and multiply!
 
 
+39 # Malcolm 2013-08-22 15:34
Re the at-least-annual assaults made by US business interests. "We" began this practice well before those you mention (e.g. War-nay, invasion of-mexico in 1846, or even earler in the Texas "war of independence. "

Two big differences that i can see. First, in the good ol' days, the US of A focused their evil practices on " foreigners".

Second, I think the vast majority of "us" were blissfully ignorant of what our " leaders" were doing in our name.

For example, how many of us knew what Ike, Allen Douglas, United Fruit, et al were up to in Guate in 1954 (and continuing for DECADES?)

I sure didn't, at least until the publication of "Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala," some thirty years after the fact.

I think it was a lot easier to pull off shit like that pre Internet.

Now that we can no longer claim ignorance, we need to ACT.
 
 
+2 # hutchr 2013-08-25 17:35
I give you a thumbs up but will mention that it really started in 1492.
 
 
+6 # RMDC 2013-08-23 07:06
Yes, indeed!
 
 
0 # hutchr 2013-08-25 17:34
It is futile to say "what if", but what if we (the USA) hadn't done what it did in Iran and Guatemala and Chile and.....
 
 
+53 # Working Class 2013-08-22 12:31
Hedges has laid out in clear language the danger we face as a "free" people. Are we going to listen to the message and get involved to take our government back, or are we going to live the reality described by Thomas Jefferson when he said, "The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.
 
 
0 # Kathymoi 2013-08-22 16:35
I hope you read the comments here and that you will respond to the following idea: In addition to marches and petitions, I think we need a large group of honest, informed, competent citizens to run, as a group, for the executive branch in the next presidential election. Gathering together the group (which I hope would include you as an advisor) and going through the steps necessary to have our candidate on the ballot and covering the views and strategies of this group is an action that most citizens could participate in, from their computer, without---I hope--- being arrested or killed, and without spending huge amounts of money, that most of us don't have anyway. We know that no one promoted by either major party will support the people. The major parties need to support their financial backers. We need a group of people, none of whom would be willing to run for president of the United States alone, but one of whom would be willing to be on the ballot for that position and to take that oath of office if elected. The rest of the group, I'm thinking about 100 people, would be equally committed and would stand together as a group, holding positions including vice president, cabinet members, staff, advisors, and aids. We don't need revolving door advisors, cabinet members and staff. We need people like Chris Hedges, Bill Moyers, Bill McKibben, Robin O'Bryan, Jeffrey Smith, Naom Chomsky, and a good list more. Will you help make this happen? Can you add names to the list?
 
 
+10 # Beverly 2013-08-22 12:47
Born and raised in Washington DC, I am not pleased to be reading what I am about the Bradley Manning trial..... It seems he is simply a shill for political fodder!!!!
Beverly Smith
 
 
+29 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-08-22 12:50
"If we refuse to resist as we are incrementally reduced to poverty and the natural world is senselessly exploited and destroyed by corporate oligarchs, we will have the dubious freedom to wander the ruins of the emp;ire, to be diverted by tawdry spectacles and to consume the crass products marketed to us." Chris Hedges seems to have given up hope that the American people will in mass resist as he says that to resist we will be either imprisoned or exiled. I think we still have a chance to change this but only by MASSIVE RESISTANCE. A resistance in which YOU will participate. Are you up to it?
 
 
+20 # Douglas Jack 2013-08-22 14:36
WantReal, MASSIVE RESPONSIBILITY. No resistance is necessary, only join & collaborate, create & share together. If you study Mohandas Gandhi's 'Swaraj' (Hindi 'self-sufficien cy') & 'Satyagraha' (H. 'truth-search') you will come to realize that there is nothing stopping us from proactively, "Becoming the change we want to see in the world'. India & Gandhi knew to produce their own essential services & not to buy from the parasite British whose corporations in financial ruin, quickly withdrew.

The only constitution capable of 'democracy' (Greek 'power-of-the-p eople') is that of 1st Nations here & humanity's pre-colonial 'indigenous' (Latin 'self-generatin g') ancestors worldwide. The 'Haudenosaunee' Iroquois 'People of the Extended Home' lay a foundation of their ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY in multihome living & specialized Production Societies where everyone is an owner & decision-maker. Know that we only need our proactive creativity & to live in proximity. All we have to do is for the 70% of us who live in multihome buildings (apartment, townhouse & village) to join collectively in mutual-aid & to stop buying from empire sources. "We are the people we have been waiting for". No conflict, no confrontation, no violence, no problem. They don't exist without us. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/relational-economy
 
 
+1 # Kathymoi 2013-08-22 16:43
I don't want to live in a multi family housing unit, but we definitely need to come together as a public and represent ourselves and stop waiting for the major political parties to give us candidates who will support the people instead of the money that supports the parties. We the people need to identify our bottom line communality and gather together a group of competent people to serve together as a group, not dependent on one huge ego who thinks he or she can do it all. See my comments above please. I'd love to hear your response.
 
 
0 # Kathymoi 2013-08-22 16:38
I hope you read the comments here and that you will respond to the following idea: In addition to marches and petitions, I think we need a large group of honest, informed, competent citizens to run, as a group, for the executive branch in the next presidential election. Gathering together the group (which I hope would include Chris Hedges as an advisor) and going through the steps necessary to have our candidate on the ballot and covering the views and strategies of this group is an action that most citizens could participate in, from their computer, without---I hope--- being arrested or killed, and without spending huge amounts of money, that most of us don't have anyway. We know that no one promoted by either major party will support the people. The major parties need to support their financial backers. We need a group of people, none of whom would be willing to run for president of the United States alone, but one of whom would be willing to be on the ballot for that position and to take that oath of office if elected. The rest of the group, I'm thinking about 100 people, would be equally committed and would stand together as a group, holding positions including vice president, cabinet members, staff, advisors, and aids. We don't need revolving door advisors, cabinet members and staff. We need people like you, Bill Moyers, Bill McKibben, Robert Redford, Robin O'Bryan, Jeffrey Smith, Naom Chomsky, and a good list more. Will you help make this happen?
 
 
+13 # Vardoz 2013-08-22 12:55
This is the way it is! It's horrific so now what?
 
 
0 # Kathymoi 2013-08-22 16:44
I hope you read the comments here and that you will respond to the following idea: In addition to marches and petitions, I think we need a large group of honest, informed, competent citizens to run, as a group, for the executive branch in the next presidential election. Gathering together the group (which I hope would include you as an advisor) and going through the steps necessary to have our candidate on the ballot and covering the views and strategies of this group is an action that most citizens could participate in, from their computer, without---I hope--- being arrested or killed, and without spending huge amounts of money, that most of us don't have anyway. We know that no one promoted by either major party will support the people. The major parties need to support their financial backers. We need a group of people, none of whom would be willing to run for president of the United States alone, but one of whom would be willing to be on the ballot for that position and to take that oath of office if elected. The rest of the group, I'm thinking about 100 people, would be equally committed and would stand together as a group, holding positions including vice president, cabinet members, staff, advisors, and aids. We don't need revolving door advisors, cabinet members and staff. We need people like Chris Hedges, Bill Moyers, Bill McKibben, Robin O'Bryan, Jeffrey Smith, Naom Chomsky, and a good list more. Will you help make this happen?
 
 
+6 # oakes721 2013-08-22 13:27
This government reminds me of a fellow I knew who worked long and hard to put a Porsche engine in a riding lawnmower. At long last he had it up and running. Only problem was that he ended up having one speed forward and five speeds in reverse.
 
 
+9 # tpmco 2013-08-22 18:06
That's simple to fix--just turn the seat around.
 
 
-22 # Caliban 2013-08-22 13:57
Chris--I get that you are upset. Bradley Manning is a brave young man, and there are many in the military and the government living free who deserve worse than Manning is going to get. But you are also a journalist and have a responsibility to report the facts without all the hyperbole and paranoid fantasy.

For one thing, a "lynching"--jud icial or otherwise is a death sentence. I expect to see Manning free on parole in seven years or so. For another, the military may justly be called "totalitarian", but not the civilian state, which remains disorganized and divided and has the power of the vote. Finally, there is no way Bradley Manning could be a trial witness to crimes he saw on videotape or read about in the 700K pages of documents he released to Julian Assange. There are such witnesses, and it would be great if someone did bring them to trial. It is clear that the Pentagon doesn't plan to do so, but Reuters could do so in civil court if it had the desire and the nerve.

Are things bad? Yes--and worse in today's military than ever before. But your over-heated declaration of the death of democracy and justice in the country can only have the effect of killing off those reformist impulses that still remain in many places, including RSN.
 
 
+34 # Small Family Farmer 2013-08-22 14:06
How about this as an indication that the "declaration of the death of democracy and justice in the country" is appropriate.

http://rt.com/usa/bush-amnesty-iraq-war-847/

I threw up in mouth a little bit after reading this piece. Obama pushes to jail the truth tellers while simultaneously doing everything in his power to protect the criminals that have brought our country to the brink of corporate totalitarianism.

I would be grateful to read your opinion on this.
 
 
+11 # Kathymoi 2013-08-22 16:47
Chris hedges tells it like it is, and I am so glad he doesn't cover up the seriousness and enormity of the situation with careful, moderate language.
 
 
0 # hutchr 2013-08-25 17:41
"reformist impulses"? Where?
 
 
+18 # stevenf 2013-08-22 14:03
It's Orwellian: injustice is the new justice, lies the new truth,
and eternal war the Obama peace.
People must unite and fight!
 
 
-8 # Kathymoi 2013-08-22 16:54
People must unite first. People need to really get in touch with each other and identify what is our common ground, because there is a lot of difference on smaller issues. In addition to marches and petitions, I think we need a large group of honest, informed, competent citizens to run, as a group, for the executive branch in the next presidential election. Gathering together the group and going through the steps necessary to have our candidate on the ballot and covering the views and strategies of this group is an action that most citizens could participate in, from their computer, without---I hope--- being arrested or killed, and without spending huge amounts of money, that most of us don't have anyway. We know that no one promoted by either major party will support the people. The major parties need to support their financial backers. We need a group of people, none of whom would be willing to run for president of the United States alone, but one of whom would be willing to be on the ballot for that position and to take that oath of office if elected. The rest of the group, I'm thinking about 100 people, would be equally committed and would stand together as a group, holding positions including vice president, cabinet members, staff, advisors, and aids. We need people like Chris Hedges, Bill Moyers, Bill McKibben, Robin O'Bryan, Jeffrey Smith, Naom Chomsky, Robert Redford, and a good list more. Will you help make this happen? Who can you contact?
 
 
-4 # hutchr 2013-08-25 17:50
I think that your heart is in the right place but that you are a bit naïve. The best first step would be to join the NRA if you don't have much experience with arms.
 
 
+24 # giraffee2012 2013-08-22 14:04
"If we actually had a functioning judicial system and an independent press, Manning would have been a witness for the prosecution against the war criminals he helped expose."

Isn't reporting a crime not a crime? (At least in theory and history, I think)

And even if Bradley wasn't supposed to give "those" docs to the press, aren't the criminals shown in those documents supposed to be "investigated" (actually, the documents are visuals and thus incriminating) so HOW DOES OUR GOVERNMENT (OR MILITARY CONTROLLED GOVERNMENT) not go after these criminals?

Does this inverted logic boggle your mind as it does mine?
 
 
+24 # Malcolm 2013-08-22 15:43
Goggles, yes.

And re, " Isn't reporting a crime not a crime? (At least in theory and history, I think)"
I read the UCMJ when I was enlisted, way back when. I cannot give an exact quote, but I do recall we were REQUIRED to report illegal activities. And we were REQUIRED to REFUSE any illegal direct orders, unless we were convinced we would be summarily executed if we did so.
None of these slimeballs has ANY excuse for these atrocities!
 
 
+2 # Kathymoi 2013-08-22 16:55
let's say corporate controlled military/government.
Follow the money
 
 
+16 # 6thextinction 2013-08-22 16:57
Have the murderers in the collateral damage videos been identified, and names released? If so, and we spread their identities to everyone we know, with their contact info, can't we bring a small fraction of Manning's suffering to their own daily lives?
 
 
-4 # EternalTruth 2013-08-23 11:14
Vengeance accomplishes nothing, and one cannot abuse another without abusing oneself. Violence begets violence, and hatred begets hatred. If we would see a world of peace and love, we must act in peace and love, especially toward our enemies. I am not saying that these people should face no consequences for their actions. I think, perhaps spending the rest of their lives serving the families of those who they killed would be appropriate. But merely causing suffering benefits no one, and harms all involved.
 
 
-2 # hutchr 2013-08-25 17:54
I think that both violence and hate are sometime necessary.
 
 
0 # hutchr 2013-08-25 17:52
Wonderful, creative idea.
 
 
-47 # AlWight 2013-08-22 14:47
Jounalists have a virtual monopoly on what is given to us readers, so, of course, we hear what they want us to hear. As someone who served in intelligence in two wars, I know the value of intelligence information. That is why we are sworn to safeguarding intelligence and know the consequences if we don’t, both in terms of what might be lost, in information and lives, and our own punishment if we reveal the source. Journalists seem to think only of their “right” to the information. Who cares what, or whose life, might be lost. Manning did not know the content of what he released. Persons who place others lives at risk by their actions deserve to be punished.
 
 
+29 # Cougar27 2013-08-22 15:16
So what were you doing in intelligence, Al? Any involvement in Garden Plot or Cable Splicer? Did you get to appear before the Senate in 1971 and explain why the US military was spying on anti-war activists?

As for "persons who place others lives at risk," even the Star Chamber Court presided over by Col Lind couldn't show where anything Bradley Manning did placed anyone's life at risk. A military man like yourself should know that "charges and specifications" are not proof.

Why don't you just troll . . . uh . . . stroll along to another web site.
 
 
+18 # Douglas Jack 2013-08-22 15:18
AlWight, Bradley Manning carefully selected a wide range of War-Crime e-documents on a voluminous scale because as an intelligence analyst, he knows that; the incidents aren't isolated. The documents shown reveal a wide-spread pattern of war-crimes across 2 illegal wars. Bradley Manning's intelligence shows a profound integration of heart & mind goes far beyond those of the war-criminals who run this illegal colonial Finance-Media-M ilitary-Industr ial-Complex. Bradley raises the standard by which this illegal regime will be judged. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/structure/1-converting-social-media-from-mono-to-dialogue

Intelligence analysts such as Bradley systematically vet content for Meta-tags as a regular part of intelligence analyst jobs without reading it all. This is their work. It's reassuring to know that when illegal empire nations of addicted consumers, violent aiders, goons & complicit abettors acquiesce like passive zombies to war-crimes without remorse that; brilliant intelligence analysts such as Bradley respond with honour such as the Nuremberg Principles, Geneva Convention, Law of Necessity & other national (US Constitution, UCMJ etc) international conventions require.

As a citizen, you are guilty of aiding & abetting in the greatest war crime violations of human history as well as the destruction of the biosphere of the planet. Do you stand by passively? The judgement of history is on your shoulders. Reveal or be revealed.
 
 
-7 # Kathymoi 2013-08-22 17:03
Dear Douglas Jack,
I like to read your comments. I hope you read this one and respond. In addition to marches and petitions, I think we need a large group of honest, informed, competent citizens to run, as a group, for the executive branch in the next presidential election. Gathering together the group and going through the steps necessary to have our candidate on the ballot and covering the views and strategies of this group is an action that most citizens could participate in, from their computer, without---I hope--- being arrested or killed, and without spending huge amounts of money, that most of us don't have anyway. We know that no one promoted by either major party will support the people. The major parties need to support their financial backers. We need a group of people, none of whom would be willing to run for president of the United States alone, but one of whom would be willing to be on the ballot for that position and to take that oath of office if elected. The rest of the group, I'm thinking about 100 people, would be equally committed and would stand together as a group, holding positions including vice president, cabinet members, staff, advisors, and aids. We don't need revolving door advisors, cabinet members and staff. We need people like Chris Hedges, Bill Moyers, Bill McKibben, Robin O'Bryan, Jeffrey Smith, Robert Redford, Naom Chomsky, and a good list more. Will you help make this happen? Please respond.
 
 
+4 # Douglas Jack 2013-08-22 21:26
Kathymoi, I like your comments & enthusiasm for the whole group of us wrestling with so many of these issues. The people you refer to are inspirational, although many are in their 80s & unlikely to take on such gargantuan tasks. I don't believe in marches & petitions alone without the economic 'Swaraj' (Hindi 'self-sufficien cy') from which they are empowered.

I'd like you to consider a 'cultural' (nurtured by conditions & whole people & biosphere intervention) response to the situation humanity is in, rather than an institutional response through what we falsely call our 'democratic government'. Our colonial system is in direct violation of non-coercive First Nation sovereignty & the welcome we were given as ecological-econ omic refugees from Europe & worldwide. There never was an 'American-revol ution', so if you are locked into this violent racist, sexist myth of imperial manifest destiny, then you won't be able to proceed to solutions.

American colonial people are a broken people fleeing from our own destruction by Babylonian, Greek, Semite & Romans as Celtic 'indigenous' (Latin 'self-generatin g') peoples with massively abundant Polyculture Orchard biospheres from Europe. We resisted for 1000s of years before our fall, when in scarcity we began to invade the rest of the earth. In the comment just above to AlWright, I describe some issues. Here's a look at Economic Democracy. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/relational-economy/8-economic-democracy
 
 
+33 # MsAnnaNOLA 2013-08-22 15:38
It is also illegal to classify material in order to cover up a crime.
 
 
+4 # Kathymoi 2013-08-22 17:05
yay! good note
 
 
+4 # giraffee2012 2013-08-23 17:45
Quoting MsAnnaNOLA:
It is also illegal to classify material in order to cover up a crime.


I wish this was true but in government - I don't think this law applies -- i.e. they use different rules to cover up theirs and those who pay to give them the "Privilege" to make up laws/rules to allow .....
 
 
+21 # Small Family Farmer 2013-08-22 15:41
Try giving this some thought. A very wise old police friend of mine back in the 60s said something to me that has stuck in my mind. I believe it is very appropriate in the context of intelligence gathering as well.

He said "The day it becomes easy for me (police in general) to do my job is the day personal freedoms and democracy itself is in peril.

Most cops beleive that their behavior, no matter how violent or draconian, is justified to protect the "good" people from the "scum" of the world. I suspect that a similar mind set exists in the intelligence community. After all you all are keeping Americans safe. Problem is that having personal liberties and living in a free society isn't "safe", never has been, never will be and that lack of safety is one of the prices we pay to live free.

It is an absolute guarantee that some of us living in a free society will pay for our freedom by dying. That is a price some of us are still willing to pay.
 
 
+2 # Douglas Jack 2013-08-23 08:20
Farmer, Its a lot easier to transform our society economically to one of participatory investing, sharing, caring & stewarding the biosphere together from the tree-roots, than it is to maintain a hierarchal system of unjustly-approp riated privilege & destructive extraction. It is a lot easier to employ police & intelligence officers in culturing mutual-aid among us rather than in their sometimes false-flag espionage & subterfuge of today. How deep down the rabbit hole (imaginative fear) do we want to descend?
Its far easier for Police officers to tend to preventative policing in a culture of cognitive mutual-aid than in behaviour modification. You'll be surprised at how far ahead Police science & police themselves are in understanding & proposing a preventative role for officers. When the population is ready both the police & advanced thinkers in the intelligence community can be put to pro-active creative & encouraging roles among us. Understanding Mohandas Gandhi's 'Satyagraha' (Hindi 'truth-search') wherein we openly engage each other & create public declaration for our best intentions, enables each to contribute their best. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/structure/5-collaborative-language
 
 
+34 # Billy Bob 2013-08-22 15:59
Would you extend that same punishment to bush/cheney for intentionally outing a CIA agent who was the wife of a political enemy?

Should bush & cheney be in jail?
 
 
+5 # noitall 2013-08-23 23:29
Quoting Billy Bob:
Would you extend that same punishment to bush/cheney for intentionally outing a CIA agent who was the wife of a political enemy?

Should bush & cheney be in jail?

I believe that thy fall under the new democratic category: "TOO BIG TO JAIL".
 
 
+14 # Malcolm 2013-08-22 16:09
Alright, AlWight, tell me this: would you feel the same way if virtually ALL "intelligence"- no matter how insignificant-w ere classified "top secret"?

Would you be ok with that? Does that jive for you with obombya's claims about "open government"?

Just asking...
 
 
+10 # Kathymoi 2013-08-22 16:58
what about the people who took lives by their criminal actions, as revealed in the documents and videos released to the public via Bradley Manning? Do they deserve to be charged and punished for wrong doing? ....
 
 
0 # noitall 2013-08-23 23:27
Quoting AlWight:
Jounalists have a virtual monopoly on what is given to us readers, so, of course, we hear what they want us to hear. As someone who served in intelligence in two wars, I know the value of intelligence information. That is why we are sworn to safeguarding intelligence and know the consequences if we don’t, both in terms of what might be lost, in information and lives, and our own punishment if we reveal the source. Journalists seem to think only of their “right” to the information. Who cares what, or whose life, might be lost. Manning did not know the content of what he released. Persons who place others lives at risk by their actions deserve to be punished.

I think you've described the process by which regimes such as this one, the one in Germany, the one in Russia, the one in Italy, the one in... are possible. Blind faith. It was a good band but does nothing in promoting democratic principals. Sorry, bleep.
 
 
+28 # seeuingoa 2013-08-22 15:00
35 years and the helicopter pilots are free men !


BOYCOTT CORPORATIVE AMERICA WORLDWIDE

Wal Mart
Monsanto
Fast Food Chains
Starbucks
Cars
Films
Electronics
Fashion
Tourism

everything, where corporations are behind,
and also take your money out of the big banks and put them in credit unisons.


If we are being bullied we can bully back !

The corporations need us more than we need them.
 
 
-12 # Kathymoi 2013-08-22 17:06
you still haven't added walmart to your list. Walmart is a major player on that list. Very major
 
 
+17 # Malcolm 2013-08-22 17:43
Read again, Kathy moi. It's at the ymtop of his list!
 
 
+4 # noitall 2013-08-23 23:30
Quoting seeuingoa:
35 years and the helicopter pilots are free men !


BOYCOTT CORPORATIVE AMERICA WORLDWIDE

Wal Mart
Monsanto
Fast Food Chains
Starbucks
Cars
Films
Electronics
Fashion
Tourism

everything, where corporations are behind,
and also take your money out of the big banks and put them in credit unisons.


If we are being bullied we can bully back !

The corporations need us more than we need them.

Yeah, americans will support that. They won't even miss a football game to vote.
 
 
+18 # Torvus 2013-08-22 15:19
"Persons who place others lives at risk by their actions deserve to be punished." Exactly. For example, many of us who called for punishment of those military personnel who killed innocent citizens (including Reuters' journalists) have been ignored. This mal-action was not 'risk' it was multiple murder. But maybe those kind of victims' lives are not important enough to you in the Intelligence Services to worry about?
 
 
-9 # Kathymoi 2013-08-22 17:10
Deaar Mr. Hedges,
I hope you read the comments here and that you will respond to the following idea: In addition to marches and petitions, I think we need a large group of honest, informed, competent citizens to run, as a group, for the executive branch in the next presidential election. Gathering together the group (which I hope would include you as an advisor); and going through the steps necessary to have our candidate on the ballot; and covering the views and strategies of this group is an action that most citizens could participate in, from their computer, without---I hope--- being arrested or killed, and without spending huge amounts of money, that most of us don't have anyway. We know that no one promoted by either major party will support the people. The major parties need to support their financial backers. We need a group of people, none of whom would be willing to run for president of the United States alone, but one of whom would be willing to be on the ballot for that position and to take that oath of office if elected. The rest of the group, I'm thinking about 100 people, would be equally committed and would stand together as a group, holding positions including vice president, cabinet members, staff, advisors, and aids. We don't need revolving door advisors, cabinet members and staff. We need people like you, Bill Moyers, Bill McKibben, Robin O'Bryan, Jeffrey Smith, Naom Chomsky, and I bet you know a good list more. Will you help make this happen?
 
 
+1 # tauzinger 2013-08-22 22:43
We have the government that we deserve.
 
 
+2 # Eronat 2013-08-23 04:05
It's Chelsea Manning now. Time to update your reporting.
 
 
+10 # RMDC 2013-08-23 07:18
"If we actually had a functioning judicial system and an independent press, Manning would have been a witness for the prosecution against the war criminals he helped expose"

Right on, Hedges. Where are the trials of the guys who shot all those civilians from the helicopter? Where are the trials for all the "night raid" killings revealed in the operation logs posted on wikileaks? Where are the trials for Bush, cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and 100s more in the Bush/Obama regimes?

All the real criminals get medals and honors. Those who try to expose crimes get trials and jail and ruined lives.
 
 
0 # da gaf 2013-08-23 16:13
it seems that our society ..our establishment.. our government..our many ugly organized religions - has poisoned every child that is born and continues to poison them all of their life..and then some of these conditioned grown-up children become politicians and of course their brain has no sensitivity or compassion..it becomes how to dominate and exploit the masses- the same in all other careers -be it a minister or preacher or priest in all these insane religions who all worship a God myth and a savior who is the son or sun of this superstitious GOD in heaven who no-one has ever seen or known makes all the rules and decides who to send to heaven or to hell that no-one can prove ..as no one has died and come back- all cow dung!..this country is becoming more and more of a self-destructin g.. gigantic machinery ..it just a matter of time and the these screwed leaders are on a ram-paged-to destroy this planet because of their greed for wealth and power over the masses... it shows up in nearly every form of politic this country..and politics is in every game..be it business or military or religion or ruling government.
 
 
+1 # A Different Drummer 2013-08-23 20:19
Kathymoi:

Please stop spamming the comments section. Take a hint from all of the negative points you've gathered from your repetitive posts.

Also, the time for political change has long passed. Your idea won't get off the ground. We can't even field a viable third party in this sick system.

All I know to do is remain active in local affairs, grow food, continue to boycott the corporate scoundrels and buy locally.

Also, I'm too poor to follow this advice, but any savings should be converted to gold and silver, not fiat cash.
 
 
0 # da gaf 2013-08-24 17:12
KATHY IT IS OKAY I WILL NOT BOTHER YOUR SLEEP ANY MORE..AND MAYBE THE NEXT GO-AROUND IN A NEW BODY YOU MIGHT WAKE UP OR PERHAPS THE FOLLOWING LIFE - THERE IS NO HURRY WE HAVE ALL BEEN AROUND FOR MILLIONS OF LIFE TIME AND IF YOU ARE A BELIEVER AGAIN AND AGAIN THEN YOU WILL HAVE TO REPEAT THE SAME SCENARIO OVER AND OVER UNTIL YOU WAKE UP TO YOUR REAL SELF..NOT THE BODY NOR THE MIND BUT UNIVERSAL CONSCIOUSNESS.. GOOD LUCK!
 
 
+4 # Linda 2013-08-24 10:39
I would say you hit the nail right on the head Chris Hedges: ," The swift and brutal verdict read out by Army Col. Judge Denise Lind in sentencing Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison means we have become a nation run by gangsters. It signals the inversion of our moral and legal order, the death of an independent media, and the open and flagrant misuse of the law to prevent any oversight or investigation of official abuses of power, including war crimes.",
Exactly right ! Humanity has taken a long vacation in the USA !
 
 
0 # Innocent Victim 2013-08-25 19:35
One may, as I do, sympathize with the young Manning, who will spend many years in prison. As a political actor, the now Chelsea Manning greatly weakened the impact of her "crime", which was a political "crime". She needed an attorney such as the late William Kunstler rather than an attorney directed at mitigating the sentence. Chelsea's final pleading and her gender identification announcement were a dilution of the political impact. From that view, they were regrettable statements.
 

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