The Instigator
ararmer1919
Pro (for)
Winning
43 Points
The Contender
chrumbelievable
Con (against)
Losing
42 Points

Bradley Manning. Traitor.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 17 votes the winner is...
ararmer1919
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/6/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,462 times Debate No: 34567
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (57)
Votes (17)

 

ararmer1919

Pro

I saw your question about Bradley Manning and I would very much like to have a debate with you. This would be strictly me vs you. The debate would be on wether or not Bradley Manning is a traitor to his county's or if he's some kind of hero of whatever you people call him. I of course will be taking the stance of him being a traitor to the nation. 5 rounds, 1st round is acceptance, final round is conclusion, you nay use any argument you see fit for your case, avoid personal insults and all the other standards with this site. I hope you will accept this debate and look forward to it.
chrumbelievable

Con

I am going to try my best to see this debate through to the end, though I must admit I am worried about time constraints. This is only my second debate, and the first one I participated in I failed to complete.

I accept your challenge, and will be arguing that Bradley Manning is NOT a traitor. I will not, however, be arguing that he is a "hero or whatever we people call him," as "hero" and other such classifications are entirely subjective and difficult to prove factually.

I wish you the best of luck, and look forward to debating you.
Debate Round No. 1
ararmer1919

Pro

I would like to start off by thanking my opponent for accepting my challenge and I wish the best of luck to her as well. This will be my first debate so here's hoping to a good one.

The first thing that I would like to bring up is that the law is the law. Whether you agree with said law or not it does not change that fact. Bradley Manning is a member of the Armed Forces of these United States and as such is subject both by law and by oath to obey the laws and regulations of the Armed Forces set forth by the Military and the Federal Government. With that said, Bradley Manning did intentionally and premeditatedly choose of his own free will to break the laws of the Armed Forces and Federal Government by releasing classified Government documents and information. Said information held secrets that had the potential and very well may have caused direct harm to national security, the war efforts in both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the lives of both fellow service members and allies alike. By this sole reason alone Bradley Manning is a traitor to his country, the Armed forces of the United States, and his fellow service men and women. Regardless of whether or not you feel what he did was right or no, regardless of his reasons for why he did it. You can not change the fact that he broke the law and thus deserves to be punished according to said law. Example. If a man raps and kills a little girl is captured by a police officer but rather then take him into custody as required the officer chooses to shoot and kill the sick freak, is the officer not then going to also be punished for breaking the law?

The second thing I would like to point out is what it was exactly that Manning released. Bradley Manning is credited for releasing the following but not necessarily limited to; the video commonly known as "collateral murder", information on the Granai Air strike, and the large amount of data referred to as the "Iraq War Logs and the Afghan War Logs". I would like to point out that the legitimacy of each of these items are arguable and rate their own separate debate all together. Had these items been the only things Bradley had released, I myself might see his case such as you do, though he would still be guilty of breaking the law. However. This is not the case. He also released hundreds of thousands of government cables and documents ranging from Embassy emails to troop movements and enemy assessments and Intel to the names of Afghani and Iraqi informants and the locations of safe houses. If he was trying to "lift the veil off of the blind American people to the horrors that our nation has done to the poor people of the Mid East" why did he also release these hundreds of thousands of cables that in no way were malicious or cause for starting a "debate amongst Americans on the legitimacy of the US foreign policy"? Why did he not filter out these documents from the ones that could hurt the US Governments image from those that could hurt the US? Instead of doing that he simply garbed this huge pile of classified information and dumped it into the public lab. Including the laps of our enemy's. There is no excuse whatsoever for the leaking of this information and is one of the primary reasons for the just argument that he is in fact, a traitor.

My third and final argument for this round is about who he released this information to. Bradley Manning is an American soldier. He supposedly released this American information to awaken the American people for the benefit of the American people. Why then did he release this information to a foreign entity? An entity that is known to have an Anti-American agenda and is known to bend the truth in order to aid their agenda. He gave these hundreds of thousands of cables of information to a foreign entity who then indiscriminately released said information to the entire world regardless of who it might harm, so long as it harmed America. Had Bradley gave this information to an American group like Info Wars or Truth.org I assure you I would not be as critical on him as I am and the charges against him would not be as severe. The mere fact that he gave the Intel to a foreign entity is my second primary reason he is indisputably a traitor. If you could explain to me how that isn't treason I would love to hear it.

This concludes my opening arguments in the first round of this debate. I humbly await my opponents opening argument and once again wish her the best of luck.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
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chrumbelievable

Con

For what it is worth, the U.S. government has not charged Army Pfc. Bradley Manning with federal treason. Instead, his 22 offenses include violation of UCMJ Article 104, “aiding the enemy,” or, more specifically, “knowingly giving intelligence to the enemy through indirect means” [1]. Some consider this the “next best” (or worst) thing to treason itself, though by legal technicality, it is not treason.

Whether or not the charges of “aiding the enemy” should legally be considered the same as “treason” is a separate discussion that involves intricacies of law outside the scope of this debate. However, what can be debated, is whether or not Manning should be tried with treason--in effect, whether or not he is a traitor.

Going along with my opponent’s assertion that “the law is the law. Whether you agree with said law or not it does not change that fact,” I would first like to establish the legal definition of treason.

According to Article III Section 3 of the United States Constitution, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

This law is represented in 18 U.S.C. § 2381 of the United States code, and reads as follows:

"Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States" [2].

It is factually indisputable that Army Pfc. Bradley Manning did not levy war against the United States of America. In fact, he served in Iraq from October 2009 until he was arrested in May 2010.

One then must argue whether or not Army Pfc. Bradley Manning adhered and/or gave aid and comfort to U.S. enemies, which first requires identifying our enemies.

There is not really an “official list” of U.S. enemies to be found, unless you count everyone who isn’t a military ally [3]. The next best thing, then, is American public opinion. The results of a February 2012 Gallup Poll [4], with a random sample of 1,029 adults from all around the U.S., identified Iran, China, North Korea, Afghanistan, and Iraq as the top threats.

Next, I suppose, one must also consider exactly who our “enemy” is in the Iraq War. Our initial reasons for going to war were that we believed Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction that posed a threat to our security, and that we believed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to be harboring and supporting al-Qaeda.

No WMDs were found. No meaningful connection between Hussein and al-Qaeda was established. Hussein was executed in December of 2006, almost 3 years before Manning was deployed to Iraq, and 7 months before the controversial Baghdad airstrike released by Manning in the“Collateral Murder” video [5]. The idea of a concrete “enemy” dissolved. The “War on Terror” came to the forefront. “al-Qaeda” and “terrorists” became our only “real enemies.”

The charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning state that he delivered U.S. government documents to Julian Assange of Wikileaks. He did not deliver them to Saddam Hussein, as he was long dead. He did not deliver them to al-Qaeda, nor did he deliver them to the Iraqi government, militants, or insurgents. He did not deliver them to Iran, China, North Korea, or Afghanistan.

He delivered them to Julian Assange of Wikileaks. That Wikileaks is a “foreign entity,” as my opponent points out (which I suppose means that their founder, Julian Assange, is Australian), is entirely irrelevant to their status as an “enemy.” Moreover, as a self-declared not-for-profit media organization, they have no decided political affiliation, and certainly cannot be classified as “anti-American.” On the contrary, in fact, they seem to embody many of the values envisioned by our country’s Founding Fathers. Their website states:

"The broader principles on which our work is based are the defence of freedom of speech and media publishing, the improvement of our common historical record and the support of the rights of all people to create new history. We derive these principles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In particular, Article 19 inspires the work of our journalists and other volunteers. It states that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. We agree, and we seek to uphold this and the other Articles of the Declaration" [6].

Moreover, had Manning released the documents to “an American group like Info Wars or Truth.org,” as my opponent suggests, the ultimate outcome would have been the same--the information would have been released for the entire world to see, including our "enemies."

As to the content of that information, to address my opponent’s second point, Manning is pleading guilty to 10 of his 22 counts, those pertaining to communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source (Wikileaks). As my opponent himself points out, “Bradley Manning did intentionally and premeditatedly choose of his own free will to break the laws of the Armed Forces and Federal Government by releasing classified Government documents and information.”

However, he did not release that information to a U.S. enemy, nor did he release it with the intention of helping our enemies. He released it to a nonpartisan media organization, whose responsibility it was to make the necessary information public to the rest of the world. Whether or not the U.S. government should pursue charges against Wikileaks, as it was from Wikileaks that our enemies received those government documents, is another debate entirely.

What can be concluded at the end of Round 2, however, is that Bradley Manning cannot, in accordance with the United States Constitution, be considered a traitor.

[1] List of Charges Against Bradley Manning: http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] Legal Definition of Treason: http://en.wikipedia.org...

[3] List of U.S. Military Allies: http://en.wikipedia.org...

[4] 2012 Gallup Poll of Enemies: http://www.gallup.com...

[5] Summary of the War in Iraq: http://en.wikipedia.org...

[6] About Wikileaks: http://wikileaks.org...

Debate Round No. 2
ararmer1919

Pro

I will now begin my rebuttal by arguing against the things my opponent has stated. Before I begin I would like to say that my opponent started arguing about the legitimacy of the Iraq war. That is a completely different topic and debate and has very little to do with this one. I humbly request that in future rounds we refrain from crossing that line. Thank you.

Now to begin. I would like to thank my opponent for stating the legal definition of treason. She suggests that by that definition it proves Manning did not commit treason. However, proving that he did by that definition will be my primary focus of this round. While it is true that Manning did not "levy war against the United States", what he can be charged with is aiding the enemy. In order to argue this I must first state for the record who the enemy is. My opponent made the very false assumption that the enemy of the US is the "public opinion" or "anyone who isn't an ally", which is absurd and border line conspiracy mumbojumbo. She also suggest that since Saddam was dead there was no enemy. However this does not challenge why he released the Afghan war logs or the embassy files, which had nothing to do with Iraq. It is also irrelevant that Saddam was already dead since we still have a very strong and determined enemy we are engaged with in the Mid East. I really didn't want to get into the Iraq war thing but since she already used it I feel pressured to counter at least this one instance. Yes it is true that our goal when we first invaded Iraq was to capture Saddam, dismantle his government, military, and arsenal. We achieved these goals in the first 2 years of the war, after which victory was officially declared. However the fighting did not end there. Who was the enemy? Before Saddam's downfall he issued one final order to his military, to continue fighting the Coalition as a guerrilla force for as long as possible. The parts of the military that obeyed that order made up about 30% to 40% of our opposition. another 10%to 20% were people of Iraq that just didn't like having invaders in their land and didn't like being conquered. But the vast majority of our enemies were radical Muslims from all corners of the earth that answered the call of jihad given by various religious and terrorist leaders to drive off the infidel invaders from Muslim lands. These are who our enemy's were in Iraq at the time of the incident, not Saddam. The enemy's in Afghanistan should be self explanatory.

Ok with all that out of the way on to how Manning aided the enemy. First off as I already stated he released names of informants and Ally's of ours in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the locations of safe houses. How this aids the enemy should be obvious. Also released were troop movements and updated tactics. For those that don't know, our enemy is very adaptive. When ever we use a certain tactic or technique the learn it very quickly and adapt in order to counter it. Because of that we are always having to improve and create new tactics to stay ahead. Such as the different devices we use to scramble IEDs. Because of Manning the enemy had a sneak peak at our next line of tactics and so the enemy could begin adapting faster then normal. Once again, obviously a problem. Bradley released the profiles of known terrorists as well as all the knowledge we have on them. We keep profiles on all the Jihad's we know of and use them to track them down or spy on them. Because Manning released this information the enemy got to see everything we have on them. So lets say haji bob is a local al-Qaeda cell leader. He doesn't know that we known everything about him from where they have their secret meetings to his mothers bra size. Now that he's seen the info Manning released and sees we know about him what do you think he does. Disappears. Obviously a problem. A direct example of this is the information we had on the Pakistani Secret Intelligence Service or ISI. For the last few years ISI has been supporting and financing the Taliban. Before Manning they didn't know that we knew and were trying to figure out how to prove it and reveal them so that they could be removed. However thanks to Manning they now know that we knew so what do you think they did. Scraped all operations, quit all their treachery, and destroyed all the evidence. Now our chances of proving these crimes have greatly diminished. Also released was information that we had on Iran supporting terrorist groups.

The next thing I would like to argue is the claim my opponent made that because Manning gave the data to Assange, not directly handing it to Saddam's zombie or osama bin laden, and because he didn't not intentionally mean for the info to get into jihadist hands, that he is some how absolved of any wrong doing. This is absurd. Its a simple matter of cause and effect. Because of his actions that data fell into enemy hands. Had he not released it that would not have happened. Yes he didn't directly give it to them nor did he mean to give it to them but he knew that the data would be seen by the entire world, which means to our enemy's as well. Maybe he didn't think of it at the time but he still knew. Just because he didn't do it intentionally or with malice does not absolve him of the crime. If you decide to drive drunk and hit and kill a pedestrian you still get charged for man slaughter do you not? You didn't mean to kill him but because of your actions it still happened. Cause and effect.

The next thing I will cover is Wikileaks. My opponent made the false assumption that I called them a foreign entity cause Assange is Australian. This is as I already said false and my statement had nothing to do with Assange' s nationality. Wikileaks is a non American organization, that was not made in America and nor made by Americans. Thus it is a foreign entity. I hope that is clearer. Wikileaks may use and share fundamental beliefs that we also believe but that doesn't make them an American organization. Nor does it mean they are not anti-American. Their actions against us speak for themselves. My statement about if he had given the data to an American organization like info wars was mostly my own personal feelings and due to them not being a foreign organization. However if he had giving it to them he still would be guilty of breaking the law. My opponent stated that it might be better to go after Wikileaks instead of Manning since it was them who release the information to our enemies. This is wrong. Wikileaks is nothing more then the middle man here, since with out Manning giving them the data they would have had nothing to release to our enemies thus making it irrelevant. Once again its cause and effect. Furthermore Wikileaks is not a service member of the Armed Forces of the United States nor are they subject to the laws of the US military and Federal government. Unlike Manning.

MY conclusion in the third round is that by US military law Bradley Manning is in fact guilty of aiding the enemy and Thus a traitor. Once again I wish my opponent best of luck and look forward to seeing her rebuttal.
chrumbelievable

Con

Contrary to what my opponent believes, I was not, in the previous round, “arguing about the legitimacy of the Iraq War.” Rather, I was stating well-known facts about the Iraq War in an attempt to identify who our “enemy” is in the Iraq War. Identifying our enemies is a necessary component of this debate if we are deciding whether or not Manning committed treason by “aiding the enemy.”

My opponent, whether he is aware of it or not, actually helped prove my assertion in the previous round that, after Hussein was executed, “the idea of a concrete ‘enemy’ dissolved” and “‘al-Qaeda’ and ‘terrorists’ became our only ‘real enemies.’” In his argument for this round, he states:

“Who was the enemy? Before Saddam's downfall he issued one final order to his military, to continue fighting the Coalition as a guerrilla force for as long as possible. The parts of the military that obeyed that order made up about 30% to 40% of our opposition. Another 10%to 20% were people of Iraq that just didn't like having invaders in their land and didn't like being conquered. But the vast majority of our enemies were radical Muslims from all corners of the earth that answered the call of jihad given by various religious and terrorist leaders to drive off the infidel invaders from Muslim lands. These are who our enemies [correction my own] were in Iraq at the time of the incident, not Saddam.”

In other words, it seems as though our enemy simply became “radical Muslim terrorists,” or even just radical Muslims, who were upset with us for sticking our noses where they didn’t belong while slaughtering innocent civilians along the way. This is the same enemy we are fighting in Afghanistan, though it is not one that is as “self-explanatory” as my opponent asserts…

However, I believe my opponent and I can now establish who our enemies are for the sake of moving forward with this debate—radical Muslim terrorists—though it seems as though we are destined to disagree with the legitimacy of said “enemy.”

Therefore, in this round, I would like to argue the following point:

U.S. military policy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan themselves do far more in aiding our enemies (radical Muslim terrorists) and killing innocent civilians than any of the documents leaked by Bradley Manning.

To start, in July 2010, the Pentagon itself, after reviewing the documents leaked by Manning, stated that “there is no evidence the disclosure harmed U.S. national security or endangered American troops in the field” [1]. The following November, they also conceded that they had no evidence that the leaked documents led to any deaths [2].

Moreover, contrary to the belief that Manning and Assange arbitrarily and lazily released all classified information they received, there is also evidence that BOTH of them sorted through the documents for material that could threaten national security, holding back more than 15,000 documents for this reason. They reportedly even asked the White House itself for assistance vetting prior to releasing any documents, but received no response [3].

The current death toll for Manning’s actions, then? A big fat zero. The number of Afghans alone killed in the War in Afghanistan? 2,412 in 2009, 2,777 in 2010, and 1,462 in the first half of 2011 [4].

Well, sure, death is a part of war. “Collateral damage,” you might say. Not so.

There is actually a large amount of evidence suggesting that anti-American terrorist activity in the Muslim world has increased since the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This growth can be attributed to the perpetuation on our part of the very ideas that turn ordinary citizens into terrorists.

In other words, U.S. actions in the “War on Terror” are only adding fuel to the fire, giving civilians more and more reasons to hate America and driving them to acts of terrorism. According to an article in Times of Oman:

“Soon after President Barack Obama took over from George W. Bush, two veteran counter-insurgency experts warned the US administration against growing radicalisation of population both in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Andrew Exum and David Kilcullen unequivocally blamed the US policy of continuing with the drone strategy and the massive collateral damages the strategy wreaked for the radicalisation.

Every one of these dead non-combatants represents an alienated family, a new desire for revenge, and more recruits for a militant movement that has grown exponentially even as drone strikes have increased,’ they wrote in an incisive op ed article in The New York Times.

The Obama administration continued with the flawed and dangerous strategy of drone attacks making everyone in Pakistan and Afghanistan vulnerable and potential targets. In fact, the strategy left more innocents and civilians dead than the Al Qaeda and Taleban fighters. No wonder that the drone attacks alone alienated 65 per cent of the Pakistanis and Afghans turning them extremely hostile to the United States”[5].

If you want to look at the numbers, a U.S. study of terrorist attacks after the invasion in 2003 found that the number killed in jihadist attacks around the world has risen dramatically since the Iraq war began in March 2003:

“Iraq was the catalyst for a ferocious fundamentalist backlash, according to the study, which says that the number of those killed by Islamists within Iraq rose from seven to 3,122. Afghanistan, invaded by US and British forces in direct response to the September 11 attacks, saw a rise from very few before 2003 to 802 since then. In the Chechen conflict, the toll rose from 234 to 497. In the Kashmir region, as well as India and Pakistan, the total rose from 182 to 489, and in Europe from none to 297” [6].

To bring this point home, consider the recent Boston Marathon bombings. In a note left behind by suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, he states that the attacks are retribution for U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, calling the bombing victims “collateral damage” in the same way innocent Muslims have been in the American-led wars. “When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims,” he wrote. [7]

So, is Bradley Manning, by legal definition, a traitor against the United States? That depends on what you mean by “the United States”—are you speaking of its military-industrial complex, or its people? Manning did indeed leak classified military documents; that much can’t be denied. He also threatened the integrity of the aforementioned MI complex.

However, he did so for the good of the American people. He did so for the very taxpayers that are funding these extravagant and unfounded wars. He did so in an attempt to protect us, to show us what goes on behind closed doors, to enlighten us to the realization that it is our government and our military, not the Taliban or al-Qaeda, not Muslims, not Iraq or Afghanistan, whose actions are fueling anti-American sentiment across the Muslim world and killing Americans.

They are the ones aiding the enemy.

Is Bradley Manning a traitor to the American military? Maybe. But that also makes him a champion of the American people. In a democracy that is “of the people, by the people, for the people,” that makes him a hero, not a traitor.

So who should be put on trial here for “aiding the enemy”—Bradley Manning, or the United States government? I would argue the government.

[1] http://www.nbcbayarea.com...

[2] http://www.mcclatchydc.com...

[3] http://www.bradleymanning.org...

[4] http://www.aljazeera.com...

[5] http://www.timesofoman.com...

[6] http://www.alternet.org...

[7] http://www.policymic.com...

Debate Round No. 3
ararmer1919

Pro

Well Id like to start off that my opponent didn't even attempt to dispute any of my arguments in the last round nor acknowledge them. Next Id like to point out that my opponent only brought up two different subjects in the last round other then the one that has no relevance in this argument which was who our enemy is. But lets move on from that. First. That wikileaks and Bradley Manning didn't just dump all the data they stole out to the world but that they sorted through them and with held things they thought might be dangerous. wikileaks very well may have done so but they are not the ones on trial here nor the topic of this debate and furthermore no proof whatsoever says that Manning sorted trough the documents prior to sending them to wikileaks. There were over a quarter of a million cables of data, literally hundreds of thousands of hours of information, to sort through. Are you really going to try and tell me that ONE single, Bradley Manning, was able to go through all of this and insure nothing was national security risking in the short time he had between stealing said information and handing it over to wikileaks? And although this debate is not about wikileaks I would like to point out since my opponent has already posted it that the source she used saying wikileaks sorted through the data did not state that wikileaks did so but that the individual news organizations that they gave it to did as well as them not giving it to any nation demand hostile. ie ones ruled by warlords or dictators. And wikileaks has full intentions of releasing the other 15,000 documents they have. They did not withhold them because they were a threat to the US. Why they have not been released yet only they know. I'm sure they have there reasons. Collateral maybe? She also says that there is no proof that they release of the data directly lead to anyone's death. Id like to say there is no possible way to determine if that is correct or not. We are fighting two wars here. Soldiers are going to be killed. We were being killed prior to the release and we are being killed after. To determine who died or who didn't die as a direct result of what Manning did would be realistically imposable. However, the death of troops was not the only harmful thing caused by Manning as I pointed out in my last round and my opponent didn't even mention those things. ie the Pakistani ISI scandal.

The only other thing my opponent tried to argue in this last round was that the US is to blame for the rise in anti-American opinions and that the US is to blame for the increase in radical Islamic attacks on the world. Id like to ask what your point relevant to THIS debate is? If you'd like to have another debate or ten or twenty which is how many you are instigating here then id love the challenge however everything you said after this paragraph "Moreover, contrary to the belief that Manning and Assange arbitrarily and lazily released all classified information they received, there is also evidence that BOTH of them sorted through the documents for material that could threaten national security, holding back more than 15,000 documents for this reason. They reportedly even asked the White House itself for assistance vetting prior to releasing any documents, but received no response [3]" has absolutely no relevance to this debate. you may or may not be right. Heck you probably are. But the US, the US government and the US military are not the ones on trial here, they are not the ones who released hundreds of thousands of classified government cables and they are not they subject of this debate. Bradley Manning is. You started going in to how much death and destruction the US has caused and how it was for bad or wrong reasons well once again you are arguing the legitimacy of the Iraq and Afghan wars and as I have said those are entirely separate debates. If the US has committed any crimes it does not change the fact that Bradley Manning broke the law. And an increase in radical Muslim activity has nothing to do with that. As I said we are at war. This is unfortunately the reality of war and this is what happens in war. TRUST ME. It SUCKS. But it does not change the fact that we have an enemy to destroy and we are damn well going to do it. And you in fact completely contradict your self and it appears that you have completely change what your original opinion was,

"is Bradley Manning, by legal definition, a traitor against the United States? That depends on what you mean by "the United States""are you speaking of its military-industrial complex, or its people? Manning did indeed leak classified military documents; that much can"t be denied. He also threatened the integrity of the aforementioned MI complex." "Is Bradley Manning a traitor to the American military? Maybe. But that also makes him a champion of the American people. In a democracy that is "of the people, by the people, for the people," that makes him a hero, not a traitor".

You have gone from saying that he was not a traitor to saying "well maybe" and if you look at it closely you pretty much say "yes he is". Which is a complete contradiction to what you said in your opening arguments and is admission that he is a traitor which is what this whole debate is about. "But he did it for the good of the people". His reasons are irrelevant and do not change what he is or what he did. "That depends on what you mean by "the United States""are you speaking of its military-industrial complex, or its people?" You say that as if we are two different things. Is the United States Government not elected by the people for the people? Is the US military not made up entirely by a voluntary American citizen force? Once again this is pushing borderline conspiracy intricacies and is not what this debate is meant for. But I digress. the majority of your argument in this last round seemed to me was that although yes Manning is a traitor its nothing compared to what the big bad US military industrial complex has done. Saying that "well he did break the law but someone else did worse then him so its now suddenly ok and he should be a hero" is not a very good argument. As it admits to my being correct.

And to counter ahead of time in case my opponent trys to say "Contrary to what my opponent believes, I was not, in the previous round, "arguing about the legitimacy of the Iraq War."
"He did so for the very taxpayers that are funding these extravagant and unfounded wars. He did so in an attempt to protect us, to show us what goes on behind closed doors, to enlighten us to the realization that it is our government and our military, not the Taliban or al-Qaeda, not Muslims, not Iraq or Afghanistan, whose actions are fueling anti-American sentiment across the Muslim world and killing Americans."
Oh really?

The last thing I will point out in this round is that almost all my opponents sources in this round were quite obviously completely biased to the issue and in one case was a "Free Bradley Manning" website. Obviously such sites are going to be completely one sided and not show the reader the whole of the story from a neutral point of view.
chrumbelievable

Con

My opponent seems hesitant to utilize any critical thinking skills when considering this case, instead simply resigning to the fact that, “The law says this, and he broke the law, so he is this.”

First, let me recap a few of my opponent’s assertions:

  1. The U.S. government/military and the U.S. people aren’t two entirely different entities.
  2. The actions of the U.S. government and military, as well as the motives of Bradley Manning, are entirely irrelevant to this case.

These assertions display a serious lack of either regard for or knowledge of legal ethics, democracy, and the U.S. Constitution. To say that either of these points plays no part in the Bradley Manning case is naïve at best and delusional at worst. The idea that the U.S. government and U.S. citizens are two entirely different entities, and that it is the people’s responsibility to hold the government accountable for their actions, are basic facts that can be learned in any introductory class on political theory.

First, then, I would like to address my opponent’s assertion that the U.S. government/military and the U.S. people aren’t entirely different entities. To do so, I would first like to visit a quote from Ayn Rand’s piece “The Nature of Government:”

“A government is an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area.”

The definition of institution, at the most basic level, is “a society or organization founded for a religious, educational, social, or similar purpose.” Therefore, an institution, i.e. the U.S. government and the U.S. military, is NOT the same as its people. This is a relatively simple concept to understand. Look at any of the thousands of political revolutions that have occurred in human history—The French Revolution, The Cuban Revolution, even The American Revolution, and right up to the revolution taking place in Syria at this very moment—these are instances of PEOPLE taking the power back from an unfair GOVERNMENTAL system, proving, in the most basic essence, that governing bodies and their people are two entirely separate entities.

Next, I would like to address my opponent’s assertion that the actions of the U.S. government and military, along with the motives of Bradley Manning, are irrelevant to the case at hand. To do so, I would like to examine a few quotes from some of the framers of the U.S. Constitution, as well as some from the most popular political figures and thinkers in our nation’s history. These quotes speak to the idea that it is the duty of the U.S. people to hold their government accountable for their actions, in order to prevent tyranny and total abuse of power. Moreover, many of these quotes speak to my first point about the government and its people being two entirely separate entities.

1. Abraham Lincoln:
a.) “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”

b) “Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose -- and you allow him to make war at pleasure… If, today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, 'I see no probability of the British invading us'; but he will say to you, 'Be silent; I see it, if you don't.”

2. Thomas Jefferson:
a) “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of Constitutional power.”

b) “The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors.”

c) “If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions."

So, at this point, two things can be established:

1) That the U.S. government and American citizens are two separate entities

2) That it is the duty of American citizens to keep the U.S. government in check

Once again, then, I will assert: Is Manning a traitor against the United States government, meaning its laws and institutions? Perhaps. Did he break a law? Maybe. But there is no evidence that U.S. wartime casualties increased after Manning broke the documents in question, making criminal prosecution difficult at best.

And more important than that, even, is the question of whether or not Manning is a traitor to American citizens. While some of the information he leaked could have potentially put U.S. military forces in risk of danger in Iraq and Afghanistan, a large amount of what he released had to do with the fudging of civilian death counts; the use of torture, abuse, and rape by Iraqi authorities; the hiring of child prostitutes by private DOD contractors; the brutal slaughtering of thousands of innocent civilians; and our motivations for engaging in war in the first place.

It was Bradley Manning’s responsibility, as a citizen of the United States—not as a member of its military—to educate his fellow people of the unfounded atrocities occurring overseas.

If we have one duty as citizens of this country, it is to keep the government in check in order to preserve the rights and liberties of the humans occupying our geographical space. As author Julian Barnes says, “The greatest patriotism is to tell your country when it is behaving dishonorably, foolishly, viciously.”

To address my opponent’s arguments in Round 2, that some of the information released by Manning revealed sensitive data regarding troop movement, safe houses, updated tactics, etc., all I have to say is this: That type of tactical information pales in comparison to the thousands of other revelation that were made regarding blatant human rights violations on the part of members of the U.S. military. Hypothetically speaking, if a member of the U.S. military rapes and slaughters an entire family of Afghani or Iraqi civilians, that soldier deserves any violence and death that comes his way. The lives of U.S. soldiers are not more important than the lives of innocent civilians, American or otherwise.

It is these atrocities on the part of the U.S. military, the atrocities that Manning exposed, that is fueling anti-American sentiment worldwide and putting the safety of U.S. citizens at risk. By making the American people, and the rest of the world, aware of these actions, and holding the U.S. government accountable, Manning is fighting for the liberty, safety and human rights of the American people and those overseas.

In sum, and contrary to my opponent’s assertion that I am somehow seceding victory and “contradicting myself and changing my original opinion," I will try to break this down logically:

-By legal definition, is Bradley Manning a traitor to the United States government? Perhaps, if one can provide anysolid evidence that the information he leaked directly led to U.S. casualties.

-Is Bradley Manning a traitor to the United States people? No, quite the opposite.

-Do the rights of the people trump the rights of the government? Of course.

Therefore, Bradley Manning is not a traitor to the United States of America. Rather, he is the ultimate People’s Patriot, and it is my belief that he will one day be remembered as an important figure in the fight for freedom in the United States.

Debate Round No. 4
ararmer1919

Pro

So lets just clarify this. By your own admission in the last 2 rounds you have admitted that Bradley is in fact a traitor. However your argument now is that while he is a traitor to the American government and Military which he happens to be an active member of and thus falls under their laws and regulations, you believe he is not a traitor to the American civilians. So my question to you which was whether or not he is a traitor is pretty much answered. He is a traitor. Just not to the people on your side or the ones you support because they believe in something different then you. Am I in the ball park here or what? Your whole spiel about the government and what not is nice and all but there still really isn't any relevance to this debate with all that. Your whole argument so far has not been that he was a traitor which you admit yourself he is but that because you didn't like the war and that the war was wrong and what not he shouldn't be treated as a traitor. Not to argue the legitimacy of the last decade of war as I already stated was another debate all together. We had every right to invade both Afghanistan and Iraq and if you didn't like that fact I'm sorry but that's the reality of the issue. I will not argue the reasons for those wars in this debate as they are not the objective in this debate. Your job as con was to prove he was not a traitor. You have failed to do this and in fact have agreed to it. You say hes a hero to the American public. Why? Because he released a few things that showed people getting killed on the battle field? Cause it showed that an additional 20,000 people died? Its war. What did you expect? Did you not think people were going to die?

"the brutal slaughtering of thousands of innocent civilians; and our motivations for engaging in war in the first place."

That is incorrect. It showed the numbers of people that died and a few cases of questionable engagements. It did not reveal the brutal slaughter of civilians and I have no idea where you got the "our motivations for the war" thing cause that certainly was not in it. It showed that Iraqi authorities were doing bad things. Congratulations. You didn't know before hand they did that? What do you want us to do? Retear down their government and start from scratch? Then you would be complaining about us still being there and not over this. DOD contractors doing bad crap. Yes it happens and when they were caught they were punished accordingly. like I said its war and BS like that happens but this idea that it happened all the time by the majority of troops and that it was ignored or encouraged is total horse$$$$. You admit that what he did either did or had the potential to endanger US forces or efforts. That's the whole basis of the traitor charges. You just agreed again to my point. You try and say that you cant prove him a traitor because you cant prove his deeds lead to any US casualties. Not only have I already discussed this but you also have REFUSED to even acknowledge the dozens of other reasons other then US casualties that he has damaged like the ISI issue. He released over 500,000 documents. Id give to you that maybe 10% of those had some form of malicious or bad on America information on it but what about the other 90%? You say that while he did release sensitive information it "pales in comparison" to the atrocities he revealed. That simply is not true as it is actually the reverse. I also have to take a serious problem with " Hypothetically speaking, if a member of the U.S. military rapes and slaughters an entire family of Afghani or Iraqi civilians, that soldier deserves any violence and death that comes his way. The lives of U.S. soldiers are not more important than the lives of innocent civilians, American or otherwise." While I certainly agree with the very last part and I'm an active duty Marine who would gladly die to save some civilian I don't even know the "we deserve death and violence" part? So the 1 or so percent of US service members our of the several MILLION who have served honorably over the last decade of war who actually have done some terrible crap like what you said and usually get punished for it somehow make you believe that we all deserve death and violence? How dare you? That like saying that since there's a portion of the CIVILIAN population that commits crimes and rapes and kills they all deserve to die. That's like saying since a portion of Muslims are terrorist they are all terrorist. But any way moving on.

The rise in the anti American ideology is irrelevant. We are at war. Of course there's going to be a rise in our enemy's and of course its because of us. How else would it be? We are trying to hunt them down and kill them. They are trying to do the same thing. That's just how it is and its only going to get worse before it gets better and that will only happen when one side wins completely. And if you really want to try this route then how about this counter. If it wasn't for the actions of the Radical Islamic community committing violence against us then there would have been for less US violence in the mid east which would mean less anti American violence. Like 9/11. If Saddam hadn't invaded Kuwait and broken so many sanctions and UN laws and generally not pissed us off then we wouldn't have had to invade. And you can counter and say that they only committed violence against us for things we did years before and I can go back further and say that's because of things they did before and on and on and on. Point is we can sit here and point fingers all day and do the "you started this, no you did" BS all day going all the way back to the founding of the US and the shores of Tripoli. Doesn't really solve anything. Nor prove anything.

So you say he did betray his government and military but not the people and that what he released was mostly about bad things the military did. I believe that that just is not true. While am fully aware that there were indeed several things in that release that were bad and they should never have happened they do not come close to the damage he caused. Id also like to ask if you could name something specific that you are talking about with all these "atrocities" as you have yet to name one and just simple said we did bad things so yeah. Like I said I know there's some in there id just like to see you mention some of them. Your argument that the people and the government are separate and all that well that's all good and all. Once again that's kind of a separate argument and to be honest I don't think I'm qualified to make that argument as I'm just not that knowledgeable in that subject. However I will say that government is an important part of society and while ours has certainly done some messed up crap in its time, I'm not one of those "oh my government is holier then thou" wackos. I know they do bad stuff and I'm actually against the current administration However they also do a lot of good and they stand for a lot of good. More so then bad. They are our government and as Iv already stated they are elected by us from among us so its not like we don't have some say in what happens in our nation. Your argument is based off that the wars were bad and against the people and that the government and military is agenise the people. I don't believe that. And with things like the war I don't think that the majority of Americans are qualified or knowledgeable to make the decision on whether or not it would have any benefits. Lets be honest most people out there aren't the brightest.

Well thats my argument and the end of my first debate and I hope I did at the very least decently. Id like to thank my opponent for this great debate that iv been wanting to do for a while now and I wish her the best of luck in the voting. Peace out yall.
chrumbelievable

Con

Perhaps I am interpreting incorrectly, but it appears that there very few arguments my opponent is actually trying to make. His primary focus seems to be the following point, made by him in Round 2:

“Regardless of whether or not you feel what he did was right or not, regardless of his reasons for why he did it, you cannot change the fact that he broke the law and thus deserves to be punished according to said law.”

Any points I have raised regarding the actions of the U.S. government and U.S. military with regards to this case have been shrugged off by my opponent as “an entirely different debate.” He seems simply to be arguing that “the law is the law,” with no consideration of the law itself and the people who create those laws.

However, since my opponent seems upset that I have not addressed any of the “proof” he provides that Manning did in fact aid the enemy and break the law, I will do so now:

Hypothetical “what-if” scenarios are not real solid evidence that can be used to try someone for a crime, even if my opponent tries to present them as such. My opponent asserts: “He also released hundreds of thousands of government cables and documents ranging from Embassy emails to troop movements and enemy assessments and intel to the names of Afghani and Iraqi informants and the locations of safe houses.” Okay, and what happened as a result? Well, according to my opponent, “Because of Manning the enemy had a sneak peak at our next line of tactics and so the enemy could begin adapting faster than normal.”

That might be a valid point, if it was true or even provable. My opponent provides no evidence that U.S. war efforts were hindered post-leak, only that, essentially, “they obviously could have been because the material was highly sensitive.” Well, “could have been” isn’t good enough for prosecution. Did he mishandle secret government/military documents? Sure, and he’s pleading guilty to those charges. He is not, however, pleading guilty to aiding the enemy. Why? Because there is no solid evidence that he helped the enemy in any way.

As for the issue of the intelligence we had on the ISI, it is a moot point, as most of that information was already public to anybody who was aware enough to listen. It wasn’t some sort of Top Secret bombshell that ruined U.S. relations with Pakistan or led to an increase in Taliban activity. David Rhodes, a New York Times journalist who was kidnapped by Taliban militants while on assignment in Pakistan, states that he and other journalists knew Pakistan was funding terror networks, and that the leaked cables only confirm what was already being suspected [1].

And you mean to tell me that Pakistan had NO IDEA the U.S. knew they were funding the Taliban? That it was all Manning’s fault that they found out, and now we won’t ever be able to stop them because of it? Please. It was widely known information that both Pakistan and Iran were supporting terrorist organizations.

Moreover, as far as the tactical documents go, these were all “ground-level reports written in the field about specific combat incidents or isolated bits of intelligence, not bird’s-eye overviews where the big secrets and lies are kept” [2]. In other words, these documents were basically summaries of what had already happened. So you mean to tell me that enemy soldiers with whom we were already engaged in combat had absolutely no clue how we. carried out these missions? I find that very hard to believe.

Moreover, as Denver Nicks points out in a piece for the New York Times:

“Manning’s leak didn’t reveal the country’s most sensitive secrets. None of the information he sent to WikiLeaks was classified Top Secret and some of it wasn’t classified at all. 11,000 of the diplomatic cables he leaked were classified Secret, a designation ostensibly reserved for information ‘the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security.’ That’s ‘serious damage to the national security’ times eleven thousand. And yet, the country survives. One is given to wonder just how sensitive those secrets really were”[3].

SO, I ask AGAIN, can Bradley Manning be considered a traitor against the U.S. government/military? MAYBE, with the right EVIDENCE. After all, as my opponent would state, “the law is the law.” However, my opponent, and Manning’s prosecution heretofore, have failed to prevent that evidence, making enforcement of said law nearly impossible.

However, if you want to move away from the very banal “the law is the law” argument, and on to bigger ideas about the legitimacy of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the corruption of the U.S. government (I disagree with my opponent that this is not a crucial part of this debate), you will see Manning as a hero of the American PEOPLE—even if, legally speaking, he committed treason against the U.S. government/military. Let’s look at what he revealed to the world about the actions of the U.S. during the wars:

The Afghan War

-Multiple accounts of civilian and friendly-fire casualties, including an instance where a U.S. patrol machine-gunned a civilian bus, wounding or killing 15 of its passengers, and one where an American jet dropped a bomb on a building occupied by Canadian soldiers, killing four and wounding seven others.

-The use of psychological warfare on the part of the U.S., who have been paying Afghan radio and print media to run favorable stories.

-The hiring of child prostitutes by U.S. DOD private contractor employees.

The Iraq War

-The fact that an estimated 15,000 civilian deaths went previously unreported by the American government, and that U.S. troops often misreported civilian deaths as enemy casualties.

-The failure of U.S. authorities to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape, and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers.

-The continued abuse and torture of prisoners or detainees by the Iraqi security forces, even after the Abu Ghraib incident came to light in 2004.

-The infamous “Collateral Damage” video, showing a U.S. Apache helicopter gunning down Iraqi insurgents who were trying to surrender.

-The fact that U.S. troops killed roughly 700 civilians for coming too close to checkpoints, including pregnant women and the mentally ill. At least 6 of those incidents involved Iraqi men transporting pregnant family members to hospitals.

In other words, Bradley Manning released hard evidence of the fact that the U.S. government is committing multiple war crimes in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and are misleading the general public not only as to the success of their war efforts (considering terrorist activity in the Middle East is not declining thanks to our efforts, but rather is on the rise), but as to their motives behind being there in the first place.

So then, to answer the question of whether or not Bradley Manning is a traitor against the U.S., one must weigh the “good” information leaked (that proves the U.S. is a money-grubbing, war-mongering, corrupt and inhumane bully) versus the “bad” information leaked (that “maybe might have potentially” injured a couple of U.S. soldiers abroad). Is there evidence that the material Manning leaked directly hurt the U.S. war efforts in any way? No, none that would be admissible in court anyways. Is there evidence that the material leaked shows U.S. war crimes and human rights violations abroad? Absolutely.

And as a member of the American public whose hard-earned tax dollars are going to fund a war that is as secretive as it is corrupt, Bradley Manning is my hero. Saying he should be punished for “aiding the enemy” is like saying that German citizens who actively worked against the Nazi regime should be punished for “aiding the enemy;” after all, “the law is the law, and they broke it.”

[1] http://www.theworld.org...
[2] http://hotair.com...
[3] http://ideas.time.com...

Debate Round No. 5
57 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
@dj21: " My problem is with the attempt to peg him as a traitor and get him under the rug ASAP without any dialogue about the material he released. "

My problem with this defense is that Manning himself did not know what he released to the public. It was grossly irresponsible conduct on his part, and I am glad he received a lengthy sentence. He apparently was found not guilty of "aiding the enemy", but his actions were still extremely irresponsible.

The military also has to be found at fault too. Manning had severe disciplinary issues well before he went to wikileaks, yet the military did not see any reason to revoke his security clearance.

This is coming from someone who held top secret clearance, so I know how rigorous the process and upkeep for such a clearance is. I know the Army is also more lax about these issues, which is unfortunate.

---

Anyway, gratz on your win here ararmer.
Posted by dj21 3 years ago
dj21
I understand that Manning may have possibly put military personnel in harm's way, and that's unfortunate. As I said, I have no problem with him being prosecuted. My problem is with the attempt to peg him as a traitor and get him under the rug ASAP without any dialogue about the material he released. Snowden, in my view, released nothing that harms anyone in any way, other than serving to discredit government agencies and media mouthpieces.

Fundamentally, we disagree about the "best route" for vetting concerns. You still believe that the appropriate inside channels work. I don't. As I see it, the system started shutting down under Bush, and at this point, using the appropriate channels simply exposes a potential whistle-blower so that he can be discredited and dismissed. The only way to get anything done at this point is to go directly to the public.
There have been plenty of stories written on the "war on whistleblowers" by the current administration:
http://www.salon.com...

http://www.guardian.co.uk...

http://www.washingtonsblog.com...

so forth...

As for Snowden, I would have fled to countries with a politically tense relations with the U.S. too. Any allied country would have just turned him over. He needed to be in a country that wasn't afraid to piss at the U.S. administration. At least that's how I see it.
Posted by ararmer1919 3 years ago
ararmer1919
And I agree that it is critical for citizens to inspect and investigate their government. It's how we keep them in check. However, not if that compromises national security or the lives of our soldiers and allies. Like what Bradley manning did. Not only that but the defense that he's a whistle blower can't really be used all that well since there is actually legitimate legal channels that WBs can use to legally and safely disclose harmful government secrets or crimes. Manning did not use these. Also in the stance if snowden, while I think the data on the NSA he released was definitely something the public needed to know and I applaud him for it, he still did not use the proper legal channels so I have to knock points off him. More points knocked off for the fact that not only did he flew the country but the nations he has fled to are not really friends of the US and could even be called our rivals. And while I haven't followed this story all that closely and I'm not 100% sure on the Accra y of this information I have heard several times that the NSA data was not the only thing he took. He also has 5 laptops and several flash drives that no one really has any idea what could be on them. Who knows what information could be on this files and that's another reason why him fleeing to rival nations is deeply concerning. Is he selling that data to then? Using it to bribe then for amnesty? Who knows. We certainly don't. That's if it's true though like I said I'm not 100% on that.
Posted by dj21 3 years ago
dj21
I agree with basically everything you said. Especially, "The fact is we don't have to show the public jack s***. And if the military wants a closer door trial that's what the can do according to the law." That's exactly why it's critical that citizenry aggressively inspect and investigate their own government. As Xi Zhi is quoted as saying, "Large skepticism leads to to large understanding. Small skepticism leads to small understanding. No skepticism leads to no understanding." That's why what Manning (and Snowden, Drake, etc) did is so important - they validate skepticism. You're right, bad things happen in war. Civilians die. The government, understandably, denies it happens with any regularity. It's only when proof is exposed to the public that they must reconsider their story, and perhaps their actions. Same deal with Snowden. Large scale spying by the NSA was all but a proven truth in the blogosphere, but anytime the subject was discussed in the mainstream media, government officals could just deny it as a ridiculous claim. So on one hand, Snowden's revelation was no shock to anyone who'd been paying attention. On the other hand, it provided critical evidence for the public discourse, as it forced the government to acknowledge the existence of the program. As former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously said, "sunlight is the best disinfectant." You're right in that the government doesn't have to do anything (the current administration has made its disdain for the Bill of Rights pretty clear). Then again, citizens don't have to obey them. And that's how you wind up with a revolution.
Posted by ararmer1919 3 years ago
ararmer1919
about the closed military tribunal problem you have. If manning was a civilian or even just an government employee like snowden then you would be correct. However manning is a member if the armed services and therefore subject to whatever the laws and regulations of the UCMJ dictates. One of which is trial by military tribunal. The fact is we don't have to show the public jack s***. And if the military wants a closer door trial that's what the can do according to the law. I'm glad you agree that he is a traitor and should be punished, however to say he is a civic hero... In still not convinced. I have still yet to be shown a single thing that he released that either A. Out weighed the harm he caused or B. was actually that big a deal or had that much impact. Yeah he released some details about the number of casualties in the war but if people honestly didn't know that people did in wars then that isn't the governments fault but their own damn incompetence. Maybe it's cause I'm a Marine and iv seen it myself but none of the things he released in 100% honest actually rate the "civic hero" title or reveal the "evil war crimes of the big bad US government". All it showed was that bad things happen in war. Once again if the people didn't know that, well then their retarded. Oh and sorry about jumping on the Jew comment (I'm drunk dude) I thought you were making one of them "evil Zionist Jews" cracks. Last thing ill say is of course the government lies. Of course they will do some messed up s***. I am fully aware of that. Doesn't necessarily mean they do it every time something happens or that they did it in this case. Just curious what exactly could the really lie about here in this case? He already admitted to the crime.
Posted by dj21 3 years ago
dj21
ararmer, I should note that I don't mind the government prosecuting Manning. I think he is both a traitor (by the law of our present government) and a hero (ethically). I basically agree wholly that what he did was illegal and he should face consequences. What I have a problem with is the sham closed military tribunal approach. That was how Stalin rolled. "The Gulag Archipelago" is a book I read in my early 20's and it certainly framed (and continues to frame) my worldview. Trumped up charges and rubber stamp convictions were par for the course. Sounds like the FISA court to me. I think Americans (or anyone, anywhere) who imagines tyranny can't come to their land are deluded. It can happen anywhere that the citizenry fails to hold its government accountable. Closed military tribunals prevent citizens from assessing governmental claims. Manning should be tried publically. What troubles me about the government actions is its utter lack of transparency, its ruthless prosecution of inside "whistle-blowers" and general deviousness. Admittedly, part of my annoyance is that Obama promised transparency. No doubt, I'm the idiot for hoping there'd be any truth in that promise...
Posted by dj21 3 years ago
dj21
ararmer, happy to have pissed you off. The Jew comment was a reference to Nazi Germany in the 1930's. The Nazi were the ruling regime, voted into power by their citizens. They weren't very fond of civil rights either and undertook the task quietly exterminating Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, so forth. Good times. The context of the comment was that every government that has ever ruled a nation has assured its own citizens that it has their best interests at heart (to quote myself: "He reveals monumental war crimes and HE'S the criminal. Of course the government will say he is (and the Jews were ruining Germany's economy)"). To spell out the analogy more specifically: the U.S. government asserts that Manning is a traitor for revealing their crimes, as the Germans blamed Jews for a faltering economy enabling their own efforts to strip Jews of civil rights in Germany. And yes, I have a fairly deep distrust of authority figures in general, the U.S. government being no exception. I have no problems with big government, per say. However, I am not fond of bad government. Or lying government. And I see evidence of both in the Manning sham. You and I will have to agree to disagree about the nature of the content that Manning released, and who is lying about what.

As for Manning, I agree with Glenn Greenwald (http://www.guardian.co.uk...). As far as I'm concerned, both Manning and Snowden are civic heroes in the tradition of our founding fathers.
Posted by ararmer1919 3 years ago
ararmer1919
@dj21. Dude... Wtf? First what the hell was up with that Jew comment??? What the hell did Jews have to do with manning? Bigot. Second off exactly what "monumental war crimes" did manning reveal? That people die in war? Holy s*** no way. People die in war? Who'd have thought. Are you talking about the collateral murder video? Already been debunked a number of times. And even if, and thats a big if, he did release a few things that were good or revealing it dues not make up for the obvious harm he caused. negative always out ways positive. And if you had actually read the debate you will see all of this addressed. Show me some actual war crimes he released. And of course the big bad government always lying. Quite the defense mechanism you got there. It doesn't matter what anyone says because if they challenge your tiny insignificant way of thinking then its just cause the big bad government lies. And then you pull another random thing out if your arse by talking about the Cold War and how Putin and crap? Dude screw off. I'm sorry but you really pissed me off with your ignorant and bigoted comment.
Posted by dj21 3 years ago
dj21
Wow. I can't believe citizens actually buy the idea that Manning is a traitor. He reveals monumental war crimes and HE'S the criminal. Of course the government will say he is (and the Jews were ruining Germany's economy), but are people really so stupid as to believe the idiots on Washington who lie for a living? Why would they make an exception and be honest about Manning's situation? One idiot voter actually talked about Snowden's situation as "Manning." Why did we bother "winning" cold war? We'd have basically the same amount of civil liberty with Putin ruling the U.S. Geesh.
Posted by ararmer1919 3 years ago
ararmer1919
So yeah based off of what DebaterAgent said for his reason for voting as well as looking up the debates he's done, which he forfeited all most all of them or just jacked around, as well as looking at a large number of the other debates he's voted on and his reasons for voting on those its obvious this guy is a troll and I'm calling voter bomb on this guy. If my opponent has any problems with this please message me so we can work it out.
17 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Lerch 3 years ago
Lerch
ararmer1919chrumbelievableTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The entire debate can be summed up by two statements. First, Con's statement that "Any points I have raised regarding the actions of the U.S. government and U.S. military with regards to this case have been shrugged off by my opponent as 'an entirely different debate.' He seems simply to be arguing that 'the law is the law,' with no consideration of the law itself and the people who create those laws." And Pro's disgusting statement that "Regardless of whether or not you feel what he did was right or no, regardless of his reasons for why he did it. You can not change the fact that he broke the law and thus deserves to be punished according to said law." Clearly, Pro would have fit in perfectly as a citizen in Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany, loudly deeming those that helped the innocent combat evil be punished. After all, the law is the law. A traitor to his country? That depends on what his country is - the American people, or the government? I vote the former.
Vote Placed by Sargon 3 years ago
Sargon
ararmer1919chrumbelievableTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Nevermind.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
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Reasons for voting decision: Countering DebaterAgent, who was IMO clearly trolling (not a VB, but still unacceptable).
Vote Placed by DebaterAgent 3 years ago
DebaterAgent
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Reasons for voting decision: con wins
Vote Placed by HostileBelief 3 years ago
HostileBelief
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Reasons for voting decision: You don't need to be outside of the u.s. to be considered a traitor especially when a Islamic Fundementalist can make bombs at home. It doesn't matter if the info was sent to info wars or wiki leaks. The fact that Bradley Manning gave info about where the safe houses were, that's kind of hard to beat. I wish con would have stopped bringing up Iraq and Afghanistan. By legal definition, Bradley Manning is technically a traitor but so what?
Vote Placed by medv4380 3 years ago
medv4380
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument started with, and maintained focused on the issue of the Embassy Cables. Con focused on a red haring argument, and avoided the issue of Cables until the final round where she was just dismissive, and never addressed the issue appropriately. Lets say I was a soldier in WWII, and I was upset about the treatment of the Japanese in the US Concentration camps. Would I be justified in releasing every document from the White House including documents about the Manhattan Project? No, and since con choose to avoid the issue rather than address it I have to vote based on that.
Vote Placed by Juris_Naturalis 3 years ago
Juris_Naturalis
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter MTK1978
Vote Placed by MTK1978 3 years ago
MTK1978
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Reasons for voting decision: Yikes. This was a cakewalk.
Vote Placed by Revolution 3 years ago
Revolution
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Reasons for voting decision: Con argued based on the fact that manning was not guilty of treason, the defining offense of being a traitor, while pro simply proved that he broke the law. Pro tried to disprove the points by proving that the documents aided the enemy, while ignoring the fact that the only person that manning released them to was Wikileaks, which definitely cannot be considered an enemy, as stated by con. Wikileaks 'aided the enemy' by releasing them more widely. Con showed that manning had no intention to aid the enemy, and when the documents he released ended up doing so, it was not by his own hand.
Vote Placed by Guy_D 3 years ago
Guy_D
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's effort to clearly define what an enemy means wasn't necessary in my opinion, too much time was spent on that. Con went off on other tangents that left me wanting to speed up the mouse scrolling to the bottom. The fact that Manning hustled off to China of all places, and now in transit to Moscow doesn't help his case.