Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Manning's Just Deserts

I was enjoying some very fine Belgian ales (La Chouffe and Mischief) with some fine young men yesterday evening, so no blogging yesterday.

In today's news, Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in the "wikileaks" case.  I am not especially troubled by this sentence.  Manning's disclosures, while billed as "whistle-blowing" were essentially a random dump of over 700,000 files, most of whose content he had no way of knowing.  This is not whistle blowing, it is a petulant child seeking revenge.  However, he took an oath of office and federal law on the matter is clear.  He is lucky to be given as a light sentence as he received.  Manning will likely not serve the full 35 years.  He has a chance for life outside of prison, especially if he maintains good behavior.  (Photo from linked NYTimes article.)

There is a place for leaking classified material in order to uncover wrong doing by the government.  Edward Snowden's actions are more in line with the conduct I expect in such cases.  The NSA's actions are clearly unconstitutional.  A release should be selective and limited to evidence of the unconstitutional or illegal behavior on the part of government officials.  If someone were to leak details of the IRS targeting of tea party groups that revealed political motive for the excessive scrutiny, then that too would be proper, even if the leaker had signed a non-disclosure or similar agreement.  We need exposure of government wrong-doing, but not every leaker should be treated as a hero.

What You Should Be Reading.

  • Dean has some profound thoughts on the breakdown of the societal contract due to government malfeasance.  Dean links to an excellent Glenn Reynolds piece that sums up the scandals eating at the public trust. 
  • The NSA has network coverage on 75% of American's internet traffic according to analysis done by the WSJ.  Of course, we trust the President when he says that he isn't spying on you.  This is the story that has been missed in all the hoopla over where Snowden was going to be staying.  (Long term outlook, in my opinion, federal prison.)
  • Venezuela has gone from exporting rice to importing it to feed their population.  This is all you need to know about socialism.
  • I am going to eat fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner on August 29th.  Find out why at RedState.
  • I posted the Filner recall petition at the upper right on the blog.  Feel free to download and start collecting.  Don't bug me, however, as I have already signed.


  1. Someone made an interesting comparison between Manning's sentence (35 years) and the much shorter sentences of Cold War spies.

    I think an argument for more consistent sentencing can be made.