Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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The Life of Bradley Manning

I’m sorry.  Am I the only person who’s having trouble getting worked up about the supposed brutal treatment of Bradley Manning?  Look, I’ve been on the anti-torture side from day one.  I thought our treatment of Jose Padilla was shameful.  But here is what Manning is experiencing:

His cell is approximately six feet wide and twelve feet in length.

The cell has a bed, a drinking fountain, and a toilet.

This is actually better than my first grad school apartment.  It’s certainly better than the conditions at Gitmo.  This is not some stone coffin in which Manning has been imprisoned.  It’s a jail cell, a standard one.

At 5:00 a.m. he is woken up (on weekends, he is allowed to sleep until 7:00 a.m.). Under the rules for the confinement facility, he is not allowed to sleep at anytime between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. If he attempts to sleep during those hours, he will be made to sit up or stand by the guards.

These are fairly standard hours for military personnel.  I’ve never been in the military but I have been rousted out of bed by a few marines who decided that sleeping in until 6:15 was the laziest thing they’d ever heard of.

The post goes on to note he is allowed to watch basic cable television and make written correspondence with approved people.  He even gets approved visitors on weekends.  There’s no indication of who those approved people are, of course.  He also has reading material (note that some of the above has been disputed).

What no one is disputing is that he is in solitary confinement and not allowed to interact with other prisoners.  He is also on Prevent of Injury watch, which means checks every five minutes, no pillows or sheets (but he has blankets and a mattress with a built-in pillow) and is forbidden from exercise except during the approved time.

Harsh?  Yeah.  Inhumane?  No fucking way.  If the report above is accurate, this is, in no way, torture or inhumane treatment.  He is not being beaten.  He is not confined to a dark cell.  He is not cut off from all human contact.  And given the nature of what he is accused of, screening his contacts and keeping him away from other prisoners seems appropriate.  Among other things, we don’t know if there is other information out there that he hasn’t leaked yet, but could, given the chance.

And let’s supposed that he is being forced to sit in his cell and stare at the walls all day.  That might be too harsh, but it’s not torture or inhumane.  For people to lump it in with actual torture, like sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, water-boarding, beating, walling, stress positions, sexual humiliation, etc. is insane.  Not only insane, but stupid.  It blunts efforts to stop real torture, not just here but in truly horrific regimes like Iran or North Korea.  How can you be taken seriously when you lump this in with the electric shocks and burning tongs that constitute real torture in places like Kyrgyzstan?

I wouldn’t want to live like that sure.  But then again, I did not leak hundreds of thousands of documents that may harm the United States and get friends and operatives killed.

And that’s the thing the liberal commentariat seems to be forgetting in their attempts to make Manning the victim.  He committed a crime.  When you commit a crime, you go to prison.  Prison is unpleasant, humiliating and boring.  It’s supposed to be that way.

Now maybe what Manning did has some ultimate nobel purpose.  I doubt it, since most of the revelations are more embarrassing than dangerous.  But let’s postulate that Manning’s leak was a good thing.  FIne.  But that doesn’t mean the law doesn’t apply to him.

During the torture debate, I addressed the fictitious ticking time bomb scenario with the following: if you really think you have a ticking bomb and really think torture is going to stop it, then you do the torture and then take the consequences of breaking the law.  You decided to make that sacrifice for the greater good.  You can’t make an open-ended exemption to the law for people who think breaking the law is justified.  The same applies here.  If you are in a position to receive classified information and you believe that releasing the information is vital to the health of the Republic, you release it and take the consequences.  (Of course, if you think it would harm the US, that’s called treason).

We are a nation of laws, not men, and a nation where actions have consequences.  Being confined to a military prison is a consequence of what Bradley Manning allegedly did.  Being confined to a military prison is the correct application of the law that Manning allegedly broke.  If he starts getting “enhanced interrogation” or is confined without trial for a long time, then we can talk.  Until then, I have to think that he is simply reaping what he has sown.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 12/19/10 at 01:08 PM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by InsipiD on 12/19/10 at 03:41 PM from United States

Until then, I have to think that he is simply reaping what he has sown.

And it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if it ended in sticking a needle in him after having never again drawn a free breath.  Assange is a piece of shit, but Manning is a criminal.  There’s a difference.

Posted by on 12/19/10 at 04:41 PM from United States

I agree. The case could be made for treason. Although we have beome soft as a nation, in the past we dealt with people like this in a much harsher fashion. Just ask Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Oh that’s right we can’t because they died in the electric chair.

Posted by Aussiesmurf on 12/19/10 at 06:59 PM from Australia

I am a classic left-winger, and I agree completely with the entire contents of this post.  I particularly agree with the analogy to the ridiculous ‘ticking time-bomb’ scenario, which was frequently dragged out as a justification for torture.

It is also the answer to people who take the law into their own hands - ie. revenge / vigilante justice.  If you know what the law provides, and you still think it is worth rubbing out someone who wronged you / your family, then you accept responsibility and the consequences.

Manning and Assange are NOT interchangeable, and many people can and should make a clear distinction between the moral culpability of their relative actions.

I’m sure we’ll disagree shortly, but well said, sir.

Posted by HARLEY on 12/19/10 at 09:50 PM from United States

i am pretty sure that Assane, though his actions of releasing all those cables has lead to the death of those that served our interests over seas.

If this can be proved..... what should his punishment be, if any? Please remember that major newspapers them selves have released similar documents..

Posted by on 12/19/10 at 11:00 PM from Australia

About the same as Jane Fonda got.

Posted by on 12/20/10 at 10:49 AM from United States

He should be hung.

Posted by Aussiesmurf on 12/20/10 at 04:35 PM from Australia

Harley - I’m not sure of that at all.  Its a pretty drastic statement - could you please provide the basis for that?

Secondly, ‘causing death’ is not equal to criminal liability, as any first-year law student could tell you.  Even as an Australian, I can say that publishing as a journalist information leaked to you falls under First Amendment protection.  If, as Eliphion says, Assange should be hanged (not hung), please confirm that the same should also occur to the publishers of ‘The Age’ and ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ newspapers in Australia and also the editors and publishers of ‘The New York Times’ in the United States.

And for all those people saying that Julian Assange should be charged with treason (and I haven’t seen any on this blog, FWIW) he’s an Australian citizen!

Posted by HARLEY on 12/20/10 at 06:12 PM from United States

Harley - I’m not sure of that at all.  Its a pretty drastic statement - could you please provide the basis for that?

I can try.
here check the Wikipedia link on this subject.
now while it does confirm that the names of Afghan informants were made public,it also make the claim that none of them have been killed, that they know of.
I am pretty sure that some have been killed, the Taliban and Al Quadia are not idiots, the release was a gold mine for them, and you can bet your ass that they would presue this information.
Logic would dictate that such a action at the best put everyones life in danger, given the Taliban’s and Al Quaida’s past history.
They sure as fuck are not gonna send them a cease and desist order.
Look Aussi,I don’t want to hang him or charge him with Treason, i want a discussion of this.
It is pretty obvious, to me that this guy is a fucking anarchist,and really doe not give a shit about the repercussions of his actions.
As for the First amendment, i think i can assume that that only applies to persons on American soil, and not to the world at large. As backed up by both law and pecident, the Constitution is not a suicide pact. IF a person is knowingly spreading confidential information that when released will expose person to the threat of death, then we got a problem.
what do you think?

Posted by Aussiesmurf on 12/20/10 at 06:51 PM from Australia

Harley, I can’t accept your premise that people have been killed, when your link specifically states that none of the informants have been killed.

Many actions put lives ‘at risk’.  This does not equal (necessarily) either criminal or moral culpability.  People are expected in a democratic society to make decisions within the framework of the laws as they exist now.  As a lawyer, I am deeply disconcerted when I read stories about goverrnments combing statute books trying
to find a law, any law, under which Assange can be charged.

The first amendment is obviously applicable if someone is going to be charged under U.S. law.  This is true just as if an Italian tourist stole something from a Fifth Avenue store. 

Rights only have any meaning if they are enjoyed by unpopular people.  I have real concerns about governments classifying multitudes of top secrets and screaming about ‘lives at risk’.  I refer you to the well known ABC Case in the United Kingdom, where a photopgraph of the Post Office Tower, as released to reporters in a press pack, was designated as a ‘classified’ document.

Any examination of the documents at Wikileaks shows pretty conclusively that a lot of these diplomatic cables are no more than gossip and rumour.

I have no idea what the buzz-phrase ‘the Constitution is not a suicide pact’ actually means.  Either rights exist under the Constitution or they don’t.

Posted by HARLEY on 12/20/10 at 07:30 PM from United States

Harley, I can’t accept your premise that people have been killed, when your link specifically states that none of the informants have been killed.

I think i stated as much about that link.
However, “On 11 August, a spokesman for the Pentagon told the Washington Post that “We have yet to see any harm come to anyone in Afghanistan “
The story is not over on this yet.
See Aussi,I just cant fathom that no harm as come to anyone over this considering that the advisery that we face there is willing to blow up school children and other civilians, but not go after informants? come on.

I guess ill have to wait and see, hell i could be wrong.

The first amendment is obviously applicable if someone is going to be charged under U.S. law.

True, However he is not in the US, and subject to what ever the law is in the nation he is residing in. If Sweden or the UK want to charge him, so be it US laws dont apply to him.

Rights only have any meaning if they are enjoyed by unpopular people.  I have real concerns about governments classifying multitudes of top secrets and screaming about ‘lives at risk’.

So do I, if you call any of my posts on this, i do state my quibble with exposing “state secrets” and freedom of the press.

I have no idea what the buzz-phrase ‘the Constitution is not a suicide pact’ actually means.  Either rights exist under the Constitution or they don’t.

There are always exceptions to the rule, such as persons whom divulge information willingly, knowing that such actions will lead to the harming of another.
Hell the Fed Gov has suspended habeas corpus, in time of war.
The right to keep and bear arms is restricted here in the US, in spite of that Shall not infringe part.. and so on.
In short, the law is malleable… for ill and not.
Now Aussie you did give me a honest run for my money there, i still may lose out, but i hope you understand that im not calling for his head, in this matter, just my desire to have this discussion.

Posted by on 12/20/10 at 07:47 PM from United States

I hadn’t really been paying much attention to Manning, but based on what little information was available on Wikipedia I find it amazing that he was granted the security clearances for his job.

That said, he’s going to prison for decades, and his fellow inmates aren’t going to be sympathetic.  Personally, I’d haul him out in front of the firing squad and just get it over with.

Posted by on 12/20/10 at 08:44 PM from United States

If this can be proved..... what should his punishment be, if any? Please remember that major newspapers them selves have released similar documents..

Over the past 9 years I have a little shorthand for lots of situations: “WWFDRD?” That’s “what would FDR do?”

First, regarding Manning: any soldier in World War Two that committed a comparable act would have been put before a court martial and shot.  It would have happened fast and there wouldn’t be any argle-bargle about an appeal.  He’d be dead a couple of weeks after being arrested. 

Second, regarding Assange: If an Australian citizen were publicizing lists of free French and Germans and Italians who were cooperating with the Allies, FDR (or Churchill) would have done whatever it took to stop them as quickly as possible.  I can’t imagine either man hesitating to order such a person’s assination even if they were in a neutral country. 

Assange is operating as a branch of Al-Quaeda’s intelligence operation.  He should be treated accordingly.

Posted by HARLEY on 12/20/10 at 08:50 PM from United States

Assange is operating as a branch of Al-Quaeda’s intelligence operation.  He should be treated accordingly.

How is that any different from what the New York Times did when releasing information abut how we were tacking Bin Ladin?

Posted by Aussiesmurf on 12/20/10 at 08:54 PM from Australia

Hist_ed, I can’t give your arguments a lot of weight.  You are saying “IF this happened in WWII, and IF Assange’s conduct can be considered the equivalent to acting as a spy for the Nazis, and IF you accept my own hypothesis that such an imaginary person would, in WWII, be assassinated by the US, you MUST grant my conclusion that Assange should be killed!

What??

Posted by on 12/20/10 at 10:02 PM from Australia

He should be hung.

Based on the chicks he bagged, he probably is.

Posted by on 12/20/10 at 10:09 PM from United States

Groupies and whores?  No, he’s most likely got a case of micro-weenie, and this is his way of compensating for it…

Posted by ToniaCash29 on 12/20/10 at 10:26 PM from Germany

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Posted by on 12/20/10 at 11:00 PM from United States

I just find it funny this clown is pissed about the police reports that got out. What happened to freedom of speech and the right to know, and all that other bullshit? Also, the story now is that the women were out to get revenge, and not some evil plot by the CIA. The guy should just pick a tale and stick with it, or pick a tail and stick with it. Either or.

Posted by on 12/20/10 at 11:13 PM from Germany

Hist_ed, I can’t give your arguments a lot of weight.  You are saying “IF this happened in WWII, and IF Assange’s conduct can be considered the equivalent to acting as a spy for the Nazis, and IF you accept my own hypothesis that such an imaginary person would, in WWII, be assassinated by the US, you MUST grant my conclusion that Assange should be killed!

What??

Ok as a classic realist I will opine. You don’t have to accept anything aussiesmurf, all people like ephilion are saying, is that Assange is extremely detrimental to our larger interests overseas. Thus, he should be promptly assassinated, or at the very least muzzled. I am not sure I agree with that sentiment because an assassination would most likely have drastic negative consequences. Just remember many countries have killed people threatening their interests for much much less.

Oh and if your thinking of debating the immorality of killing Assange with me, forget it. Foreign policy considerations should only include morality if it will seriously affect policy. For example certain israeli led assassinations have backfired dramatically and soured relations with other countries. Otherwise if the benefit silencing Assange outweighs the risk, eliminate the leak.

Posted by on 12/20/10 at 11:22 PM from United States

Otherwise if the benefit silencing Assange outweighs the risk, eliminate the leak.

Assange isn’t the ultimate issue though. All he does is say if you have some info, send it my way, and I’ll post it and boost my own ego. He doesn’t break into buildings, at least that we know of, hack into machines, or place bugs. The people that need to take the hit are the Bradley Mannings of the world who basically stole info and passed it around. Peyton Manning can go too but that’s just my opinion.

Oh, and we need to tighten our goddamn intellegence departments.

Posted by on 12/21/10 at 04:11 PM from United States

It’s called OPSEC (Operational Security).  Any service member is required by law to maintain OPSEC at all times irrespective of wartime status.

It does NOT matter whether there are classifications on these documents.

When I was in and we did a field exercise, we were allowed to tell our families about it but not about the nature of the field exercise.  That’s just the way it is.  You all may recall the saying “Loose Lips Sink Ships.” It applies.

Having said that, he will be subject to the UCMJ, most likely in for form of a Courts Martial and if found guilty, he she be lined up and shot by firing squad.  And if I had my druthers, I’d go all China and send his parents a bill for the god damned bullets.

Posted by on 12/21/10 at 05:34 PM from United States

Bradley Manning is the modern version of Christopher Boyce - an idealistic twit with not much common sense. 

Going by Boyce’s treatment, Manning can look forward to a 40-year sentence in federal lockup.

Posted by Aussiesmurf on 12/21/10 at 05:44 PM from Australia

Tool - Given your comments, I won’t have an argument with you regarding the morality of assassination.  The United States has already made it extremely clear that they don’t have the slightest regard for how they are perceived by the rest of the world, save and except for conservative Israeli politicians.  PLease find me another Western country advocating for the assassination of people for releasing embarassing material.

This is probably a topic for another thread, but the obsession United States citizens have with the death penalty is staggering, from an overseas perspective.  There always seems to be talk of ‘he should be hanged’, ‘line him up and shoot him’.  Its an interesting dynamic.

I again state that I have no problem with Manning being subject to severe punishment.  He enlisted in the US Armed forces on a certain basis, and did not live up to his oath of service in very serious ways.  Imprisonment is certainly appropriate, and I do not see him as a martyr.

Posted by on 12/21/10 at 05:48 PM from United States

This is probably a topic for another thread, but the obsession United States citizens have with the death penalty is staggering, from an overseas perspective.  There always seems to be talk of ‘he should be hanged’, ‘line him up and shoot him’.  Its an interesting dynamic.

True, we haven’t turned into a nation of wimps like so many others have..

Posted by AlexinCT on 12/21/10 at 06:41 PM from United States

Tool - Given your comments, I won’t have an argument with you regarding the morality of assassination.  The United States has already made it extremely clear that they don’t have the slightest regard for how they are perceived by the rest of the world, save and except for conservative Israeli politicians

Got to this debate late, but I had to laugh my ass off at this idiotic comment. The US is a piker at the assassination game. There are tons of other nations or groups of people out there that actually do engage in assassination, do so frequently, and people like Aussiesmurf practically always are the first to make excuses for them. Check out the assassination policies of the French, the Brits, the Russians, the Chinese, the Cubans, the Venezuelans, the Norks, or any one of the Arab nations, to name a few countries, or look at organizations like the Palestinians, the Basques, the FARC, or practically every one of these idiotic “people’s liberation” forces and you will find real brutal and evil bastards, but your typical lefty idiot with a superiority-messianic complex will only focus on the US and Israel. Notice how, in typical collectivist idiot fashion, he is all ticked at the US and Israel, but ignores all these others out there that are already or would kill indiscriminately if given the slightes chance, but are held in check by US policies and military might. Stalin had a name for people like Aussiesmurf: useful idiots.

This whole incident where though guys like Aussismurf speak truth to power about the evils of the US and Israel, reminds me of how brave leftists that make fun of Christianity, but then bend over backwards to defend Islam for fear of the real danger that criticizing that entails. Calling the US and Israel evil is easy. You can grandstand and moralize with leittle fear of any real action. Pissing off one of the many others that do real evil things could actually get you hurt. Cowards the lot of these idiots.

And I believe Manning deserves to rot in a prison where he gets ass raped 3 times a day. Death would be too quick and too merciful for this bastard. If prison really was hell and people sentenced to life were treated as the shit they are, I wouldn’t have a problem getting rid of the death penalty. But while these inmates end up treated better than regular people, I can’t ever go along

True, we haven’t turned into a nation of wimps like so many others have..

Couldn’t have put it better. I love reading the cases where monsters in these countries that love to look down their nose at us murder and terrorize people, and then get a few years in jail, often released early to do more fo the same, while their victim’s family is left devastated and with little closure. Pretending that you are superior because you no longer really punish the most heinous of crimes appropriately isn’t a reason to feel superior, especially when your problem has only gotten worse: it is a sign of insanity.

Posted by on 12/21/10 at 07:15 PM from United States

Why do you guys even bother responding to this clown Aussiesmurf? He doesn’t like the US and that’s great. He pretty much implies that in every post along with reiterating he’s a lawyer at least every 3rd post (yawn).

So some Aussie asshole doesn’t like us big deal. As for perception, if you hate someone or some country, does anything they do every seem like a good thing to you? Of course not, you magnify their flaws and ignore any good. That’s what the Aussiesmurfs of the world do regarding the US. Don’t waste your time with them.

Posted by on 12/21/10 at 07:38 PM from Germany

Tool - Given your comments, I won’t have an argument with you regarding the morality of assassination.  The United States has already made it extremely clear that they don’t have the slightest regard for how they are perceived by the rest of the world, save and except for conservative Israeli politicians.  PLease find me another Western country advocating for the assassination of people for releasing embarassing material.

Thank you because morality means precisely dick in the vast majority of foreign policy calculations. Some of those lovely western nations like France have assassinated fucking greenpeace demonstrators protesting nuclear tests by sinking their ship with limpet mines.  Seriously please end the naive leftism with international relations. Yes assassinations are unpleasant, yes they are often of dubious morality, however when strategic interests are involved those considerations hardly matter.

This is probably a topic for another thread, but the obsession United States citizens have with the death penalty is staggering, from an overseas perspective.  There always seems to be talk of ‘he should be hanged’, ‘line him up and shoot him’.  Its an interesting dynamic.

Did I say Assange is somehow guilty of a heinous crime and deserves the death sentence? No, I simply stated that if the benefits of silencing him outweigh the risk for our national interests, muzzle him. Assassination is probably unnecessary and horrendously risky.

Posted by on 12/21/10 at 07:47 PM from United States

Why do you guys even bother responding to this clown Aussiesmurf?

C’mon SO, he is much more reasonable and articulate than Murgey (and his posse of ghostwriting 14 year olds).  We gotta have someone to bounce things off of here, right?

Posted by on 12/21/10 at 07:57 PM from United States

How is that any different from what the New York Times did when releasing information abut how we were tacking Bin Ladin?

Really good question.  What would FDR have done if the NYTs started publishing secret information regarding partisans during World War Two?  Anyone want to opine?

Posted by on 12/21/10 at 08:08 PM from United States

Hist_ed, I can’t give your arguments a lot of weight.  You are saying “IF this happened in WWII, and IF Assange’s conduct can be considered the equivalent to acting as a spy for the Nazis, and IF you accept my own hypothesis that such an imaginary person would, in WWII, be assassinated by the US, you MUST grant my conclusion that Assange should be killed!

Uhh, no.  I said that if someone published secret information during WW2 I believe FDR would have done whatever he could to end that. 

I am not aware of any specific case but we can look at a few things. 

It wasn’t FDR, but after WW2 Axis Sally (who was just, you know, exercizing her First Amendment Rights) went to prison for decades.

FDR had absolutely no problem blowing hundreds of thousands of civilian non-combatants to death in German and Japan. 

FDR’s administation arrested an American citizen civilian arrested as a German spy and had him in front of a firing squad within a few weeks-no civilian trial, no appeal, jsut shot the guy.

FDR ordered hundreds of thousands of American citizens and legal residents into interman camps for years without batting an eye.

He wrote Churchill approvingly when Churchill ordered French waships attacked to because of the possibility that they would fall into German hands (killing hundreds or thousands of French sailors-can’t remember the exact sequence, but they were either neutrals or our allies at the time). 

Do you really think he would have a problem silencing someone giving away state secrets during wartime?  Can you provide a single example of when FDR allowed morality to weaken his prosecution of the war?

Posted by on 12/21/10 at 08:13 PM from United States

Assange isn’t the ultimate issue though. All he does is say if you have some info, send it my way, and I’ll post it and boost my own ego. He doesn’t break into buildings, at least that we know of, hack into machines, or place bugs. The people that need to take the hit are the Bradley Mannings of the world who basically stole info and passed it around.

Damn Quad post-sorry guys.*

If Manning is shot (the sooner the better) and Assange acidentally brutally cuts his head off while shaving, then that is a powerful message to the next group of people who might consider fucking with us. 

*so, uhh whats the etiquette for this anyway?  Should I have one REALLY LONG POST that answers multiple other posts or several shorter posts to answer each poster?  I incline (obviously) to the latter, but am prepared to defer to the sentiment of the majority in the future (or just Jim if he wants to wiegh in)

Posted by HARLEY on 12/21/10 at 08:40 PM from United States

and Assange acidentally brutally cuts his head off while shaving, then that is a powerful message to the next group of people who might consider fucking with us. 

Ed, im gonna have to disagree, Assane is a anarchist, people of his type strive to achieve violence and such reactions from government.
I dont think it would have much impact of such like mined individuals, in fact it might encourage them.
SEE SEE AMERICA BAD BAD DOG they kill you!
Hes a fucking twat, strip him of his fame and hes nothing.

Posted by Aussiesmurf on 12/21/10 at 09:00 PM from Australia

Alex is here! Yay!  As usual, he spends most of his comment railing against hypothetical things that ‘people like me’ say, rather than taking the (for him) bold and courageous step of addressing, you know, what I actually say.

I made no comment about whether the United States assassinates more, less or about the same number of people as various other countries.  Why is that important?  Are we grading on the proverbial curve? Does the fact that the United States murders less people than North Korea grant them the moral high ground generally?

Alex speaks as follows :

“people like Aussiesmurf practically always are...”
“guy like Aussiesmurf speak truth to power...”.

Why not address what the actual guy called Aussiesmurf actually says?

There is then some incoherent rant about how I ignore “all these others out there...”.  If there is a particularly country whose policy on assassination is up for comment, I will comment on that.  Since the subject of the post and all comments so far has been the United States, I will comment on the United States.  Alex, as is typical of his rants, is obsessed with how he is perceived by ‘leftists’ and ‘people like Aussiesmurf’.  He ‘loves’ hypothetical cases where people are murdered and terrorized.  Um...yeah.

Alex is also obsessed with supposed projections of strength.  God forbid the United States be perceived as a nation of ‘wimps’!  Blow up everyone who dares to disagree!  Why do you care

Alex can rant and rave about ass-raping all he likes.  The adults will continue to have a civilised disagreement.

Posted by AlexinCT on 12/22/10 at 12:02 PM from United States

Alex is here! Yay!  As usual, he spends most of his comment railing against hypothetical things that ‘people like me’ say, rather than taking the (for him) bold and courageous step of addressing, you know, what I actually say.

Hypotethical my ass. You are a retarded idiot, and I and others pointed that out. You obviously didn’t like what I pointed out about your stupidity level, so now we get entertained with this drivel from you.

I made no comment about whether the United States assassinates more, less or about the same number of people as various other countries.  Why is that important?  Are we grading on the proverbial curve? Does the fact that the United States murders less people than North Korea grant them the moral high ground generally?

You are a lawyer right? This stupid type of backtracking is typical with your kind. What you did was issue a blanket statement that the US, and since you anti-semitic shitheads can’t ever pass on a chance to pounce on Israel, you accused them of the same even though there wasn’t any reason to bring them into the conversation, were evil because they assassinate people. I and others pointed out how you obviously either have no problem with or are ignoring the fact that the US is a piker at the assassination game, and pointed out your obvious bias and agenda. Your respeonse? An attempt to use lame humor, so transparent and obviously desperate an act to cover for the obvious, to deflect attention. It’s not working you scumbag.

“people like Aussiesmurf practically always are...”
“guy like Aussiesmurf speak truth to power...”.

Why not address what the actual guy called Aussiesmurf actually says?

There is then some incoherent rant about how I ignore “all these others out there...”.

Let’s do just that Smurf:

Tool - Given your comments, I won’t have an argument with you regarding the morality of assassination.  The United States has already made it extremely clear that they don’t have the slightest regard for how they are perceived by the rest of the world, save and except for conservative Israeli politicians. PLease find me another Western country advocating for the assassination of people for releasing embarassing material.

Sucks to try and move the goal posts when a simple cut & paste can shit all over your plans to CYA.

As I pointed out practically every Western country, with France and Britain setting new records for craven, have assassinations policies that make the US look like a damned piker. And you ignore, conveniently I should add, the fact that there are others that do much, much worse - especially the people that want to destroy Israel - in your crusade to make the US/Israel look bad. These bastards kill for much less. The reason for your stance, as I already stated, is obvious.

Alex is also obsessed with supposed projections of strength.  God forbid the United States be perceived as a nation of ‘wimps’!  Blow up everyone who dares to disagree!  Why do you care

I know you laywers have a problem with the real world and think some rules written down somewhere and a judge are the answer to everything, but in the real world, as with all things, this shit doesn’t work unless it can be backed up by force. Those that show weakness are abused. My guess is you either had a real sheltered life, or were a bully in school, or you would know better. Evil people pounce on weakness. Same applies to evil regimes (especially the collectivist kind).

Alex can rant and rave about ass-raping all he likes.  The adults will continue to have a civilised disagreement.

Funny how you think you are an adult when a 10 year old can see through your bravado and spot a weak attempt to deflect after being taken to the shed and served a good beating.

And just for hist_ed: Smurf is muirgeo1 a few months ago before he was taken down time after time for his stupidity. Full of himself and convinced he is the only ntelligent one here. I give Smurf a few months of being taken to the shed to end up at the same level of conversationals skills as muirgeo1.

Posted by Ed Kline on 12/22/10 at 04:19 PM from United States

Assange is operating as a branch of Al-Quaeda’s intelligence operation.  He should be treated accordingly.

Maybe your monicker should be ‘Hyst-ed’ as in hysterics.
Assange is the first head on a modern day Lernaean Hydra. Wiki-leaks is to information dumping what Napster was to illegal downloading 10 years ago.
Governments better start improving how they secure their information. That’s the only route really worth taking.

Posted by Aussiesmurf on 12/22/10 at 05:59 PM from Australia

Briefly, because I’m at work :

Alex says (after the whole retarded idiot fun and games :

“You issued a blanket statement that the US and Israel were evil because they assassinate people”.

Never said it, never came close to saying it.  In fact, directly below you cut and paste what I did say, so it makes you just look silly mis-quoting me one paragraph above.

I simply stated, and will repeat here, that the United States, in the conduct of its foreign policy, clearly places an incredibly low perception on how they as a country are perceived by other countries in the world save and exccept for Israel.  I continue to hold that opinion.

Alex then makes a classic fascist argument about force being the ultimate authority.  He may have watched Michael Ironside in Starship Troopers one too many times.  I am well aware that ‘evil people pounce on weakness’.  Although I do not consider Alex evil, he demonstrates a classic bully mentality in the way he reverts to misrepresentation of others, straw man arguments, childish abuse and appeals to authority to try and ‘win’ arguments.

The constant need to call me ‘retarded’ and an ‘idiot’ and so forth is amusing.  If it was so obvious, surely Alex wouldn’t need to repeat it so often?

Homework : Is Australia a ‘collectivist’ society?  Please show your logic.

Posted by on 12/22/10 at 07:47 PM from United States

I simply stated, and will repeat here, that the United States, in the conduct of its foreign policy, clearly places an incredibly low perception on how they as a country are perceived by other countries in the world save and except for Israel.

I don’t even think we give a shit about Israel.

Trying to make the world happy in how they perceive you is a waste of time as some of our presidents have shown (Jimmy Carter being the perfect example).  It’s the tendency of a weakling.

Posted by AlexinCT on 12/23/10 at 12:16 PM from United States

Never said it, never came close to saying it.  In fact, directly below you cut and paste what I did say, so it makes you just look silly mis-quoting me one paragraph above.

Move that goal post much? I didn’t misquote anything. You clearly were saying the US is an evil entity that kills people indiscriminately despite the fact others demand it not do so. Now that you have been fed your shit sandwich, you are trying real hard to pretend you meant something else. I am not buying it,

I simply stated, and will repeat here, that the United States, in the conduct of its foreign policy, clearly places an incredibly low perception on how they as a country are perceived by other countries in the world save and exccept for Israel.  I continue to hold that opinion.

Even after you were shown other countries actually have real assassination policies that make the US look like a piker at the game huh? Thanks for validating exactly what I pointed out. At a minimum, after you were shown to be dead wrong, I would have expected you to show some common sense, but all you did is conveniently rearrange the words in order to pretend you didn’t call the US evil, while doing it yet again.

Alex then makes a classic fascist argument about force being the ultimate authority.

First off Smurf, fascists are leftists. It’s just another form of collectivism. Your attempt to make it a disease of the right fails miserably here. Even worse, your attempt to impugn my character because I pointed out you said one thing, are a douche for believing it, and are now backtracking to save your ass, makes you look pathetic.

He may have watched Michael Ironside in Starship Troopers one too many times.

Actually I got this way from watching the real world. Your leftists heroes in particular. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler (even though your side decided to drop him and convince people he was a right winger when nothing of the sort is true), The Kims, The Castros, Chavez, were and are all masters at this stuff. The reaction from leftists like you when they do their thing, the defenseiveness and excuse making in particular once ignoring them becomes impossible, speaks volumes. Your kind are all cowards. You pick in the US because you know it will not do anything to you while giving a pass to real evil everyhwere because you either agree with their ideology or simply are siding with the enemy of your enemy. You are navel lint.

I am well aware that ‘evil people pounce on weakness’.

And yet, here you are making fun of us for pointing out that’s the case. One has to wonder what would motivate that, huh? You demand the US turn the other cheek even though you understand the consequences? But you never impugn others for not doing so..... Things that make you go mmm.

Although I do not consider Alex evil, he demonstrates a classic bully mentality in the way he reverts to misrepresentation of others, straw man arguments, childish abuse and appeals to authority to try and ‘win’ arguments.

Weak sauce. Why is it that everyone that points out how stupid you leftists and what you believe is a bully, racist, homophobe, misogynist, or doing it out of evil reasons, when the obvious problem is with the lack of common sense by your kind?

And I won the argument by showing you how wrong you were BTW, Smurf. I still see that you conveniently avoid the facts laid out before you that obliterate your opinion about the US, and should force you at a minimum to rethink it, in order to continue to make the case that the US doesn’t have a right to defend its interests in a world where others do far worse or have no qualms killing Americans. Nice try law-boy, but you lose this case.

Posted by Aussiesmurf on 12/23/10 at 03:39 PM from Germany

I think, if nothing else, the hilarious breach of Godwin’s Law finished this discussion

Posted by Aussiesmurf on 12/23/10 at 03:45 PM from Germany

But I must point out one more thing because, even by Alex’s standards, it is mind-boggling.  Alex states that I called the United States ‘evil’.  I repeat that I did not, and note that this was not said in any of my comments.

Alex’s response?  YOU DID! YOU DID! LOOK AT THESE WORDS WHERE YOU DON"T CALL THE UNITED STATES EVIL! THEY PROVE THAT YOU DID!

Amazing.

Posted by AlexinCT on 12/24/10 at 09:53 PM from United States

I think, if nothing else, the hilarious breach of Godwin’s Law finished this discussion

Pointing out that Hitler was a collectivist after you called me a fascist, is an invocation of Godwin’s Law on my part? Shit, they must give away law degrees to any idiot that comes along where you got yours dude. You do understand that for Godwin’s Law to be invoked you need to be called Hitler? Not corrected on your stupid belief that Hitler and therefore fascism was a conservative disease? This is too easy.

But I must point out one more thing because, even by Alex’s standards, it is mind-boggling.  Alex states that I called the United States ‘evil’.  I repeat that I did not, and note that this was not said in any of my comments.

Alex’s response?  YOU DID! YOU DID! LOOK AT THESE WORDS WHERE YOU DON"T CALL THE UNITED STATES EVIL! THEY PROVE THAT YOU DID!

Actually what I did was call you out for calling the US evil, and then when I called you on it, like a true coward would, you walked that back and pretended that’s not what you said. Not only that. You then proceeded to play this stupid game to try and make like I was the one that was off his rockers. Even invoking Godwin’s Law, after you called me a fascist to begin with, for daring to not let you get away with your double speak and having the temerity to point out fascists were collectivists.

You specifically expressed disdain and contempt at the fact that America wouldn’t follow the wishes of others, then demanded we show you any other Western nation with a similar policy and a disdain for input from others, and in general talked down at Tool for saying what he did. Break that down however you want, but all you can get from what you said is that you think America is real bad, vile even, for not doing what you want. Even when it is against her own interests! Call me stupid, but that’s not a vote in favor of the US ever. In fact it is as negative as you can get short of accusing the US of being evil.

BTW, when we showed you that you were a moron because several Western nations have assassination policies that make the US look like a piker, and then pointed out your bias showed here, you grasped at this pathetic straw to deflect from the fact you have no clue.

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