Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Taibbi on the Bradley Manning trial

The trial has started and Taibbi is rightfully upset that most of the media is being spoon-fed propaganda directly from the Pentagon and misdirecting what this trial is about. The idea is to make this a case about a troubled misguided kid and to wonder if he is a hero or a traitor. Whereas the issue is that the government doesn't want you to notice is the heinous war crimes Manning exposed. For example:

  • During the Iraq War, U.S. authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape, and murder by Iraqi police and soldiers, according to thousands of field reports…
  • There were 109,032 "violent deaths" recorded in Iraq between 2004 and 2009, including 66,081 civilians. Leaked records from the Afghan War separately revealed coalition troops' alleged role in killing at least 195 civilians in unreported incidents, one reportedly involving U.S. service members machine-gunning a bus, wounding or killing 15 passengers…
  • In Baghdad in 2007, a U.S. Army helicopter gunned down a group of civilians, including two Reuters news staff…
"One can definitely quibble about the volume of the material he released and the manner in which he released it. And I get that military secrets should, in a properly functioning society, be kept secret. But when military secrets cross the line into atrocities, the act of keeping these secrets secret ceases to have much meaning.
The issues to be debated at this trial are massive in scope. They're about the character of the society we've all created, not the state of mind of one troubled Army private. If anyone tries to tell you anything else, he's selling you something."

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