Saturday, December 24, 2011

The ahistorical and the insulting

Bradley Manning's Article 32 hearing completed this week. Monday April 5th, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7, 2010, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported in August 2010 that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." In March, David S. Cloud (Los Angeles Times) reported that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges including one that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could result in the death penalty if convicted.

Josh Gerstein (POLITICO) reports:

Seven days of hearings at Fort Meade, Md., produced what the prosecution called "overwhelming" evidence that the low-ranking Army intelligence analyst was the one who sent hundreds of thousands of military reports and diplomatic cables to the transparency website WikiLeaks.
But the hearing also produced equally compelling evidence of the larger issue that is often overlooked in discussions of Manning's alleged misdeeds: the systematic breakdown in security that enabled a low-ranking enlisted man to abscond with a staggering quantity of classified Pentagon and State Department documents.

So that's fairly straightforward. Other coverage has been anything but.

A trusted friend passed on Ray McGovern's latest writing. I don't care for McGovern because he never knows his facts and makes them up as he goes along. That was most obvious when Ava and I monitored a week's worth of media appearances by McGovern and watched as he started off just wrong and ended up either lying or (if he doesn't know he's lying) offering the babbles of the deranged. It was about Bradley and a good friend did recommend it, so I took a look.

The most exteme lie:

Younger readers need to be reminded that, at the time (August 1967) there was no WikiLeaks, but The New York Times was an independent newspaper prone to publishing documentary evidence critical of the government. The Times had not yet gotten into the habit of seeking prior approval from the White House.

My comment on that runs along the lines of Oh Good F_____ _____.

The New York Times was independent, was it? That would be tremendous news to Gore Vidal, the late John Hess or any number of people who, unlike Ray McGovern, actually know history. Did the Times lead the coverage, for example, on Bay of Pigs? No. Did they bury advance knowledge of the Bay of Pigs? Yes, they did. Does the Bay of Pigs pr-date Waterage? Yes, it does. Do we need to go through the history of Latin America? As it relates to the New York Times? Shall we talk Smedley Butler? As his story relates to the New York Times? Do we need to talk CIA?

Of course, we don't need to talk CIA. Ray McGovern was/is CIA. And he never has a bad word about that. He applauds the destruction of Vietnam and does it on Pacifica and gets away with that crap because he's seen as a friendly.

Ray McGovern is either the most dishonest man in the what passes for the left or he's the most stupid.

The New York Times is "the paper of record" not because it's independent but because it has spent its lifetime enshrining the views of the establishment. It also can't be independent when it's on the stock market and the paper went public years before Watergate.

What is the point in telling 'history' when it's all corrupted because you don't know the basic facts of a topic you've elected to speak publicly on? (McGovern's 'article' is the text of a speech he gave.)

And remember Vietnam? Remember us calling him out for his refusal to stop treating the Vietnamese as less than human? He's still at it. The speech does drop some of the more extreme nonsense but still wants you to know when it gets bloody in Vietnam. (Not when Vietnamese are being mowed down. They're faceless after all. It's only when US troops are harmed that it's 'bloody.') (Know your damn history, the Vietnamese were targeted and killed in large numbers long before the US ever even came in as 'advisors.')

And on top of that, he cites alleged transcripts turned over to the press by convicted felon and attention seeker Adrian Lamo, the one who insisted to the feds Bradley Manning was the leaker. Ray McGovern is a stupid ass. He has done more damage to the left than anyone paid by the government to destroy it could have done. At some point, the why of that needs to be asked because it's getting harder and harder to pin it all on stupidity.

Back to reality for a moment. Larry Shaughnessy (CNN) notes:

Long before Manning's hearing, there were numerous media reports that he was gay and was estranged from his father.
But during the hearing it was revealed that Manning believed he was suffered from Gender Identity Disorder. Witnesses testified that he had created an alter ego online named Breanna Manning. In closing arguments, Coombs read a letter Manning wrote to one of his supervisors, Master Sgt. Paul Adkins, prior to his arrest where he talked about "my problem."
"Everyone is concerned about me," Manning wrote. "Everyone is afraid of me and I'm sorry."
"I joined the military hoping the problem would go away and it did for awhile."
Eventually, Coombs alleged, the gender identity problem lead to violent outbursts.

See what happened there? CNN reported on GID and didn't demonize it.

That's not true of all. And, sadly, some of the rudest are supposed 'supporters' of Bradley.

It needs to stop.

The following community sites -- plus Susan's On The Edge -- updated last night and today:

The e-mail address for this site is