"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Jul 7, 2010

Raimondo on Manning and Versaille hypocrisy...

Raimondo, setting aside the "true patriot" lens, hits exactly the right notes. Just going to steno this one, because the original has more weight than any merely add-on commentary:

"...Particularly disgusting, even in this depraved era, is the journalistic contingent that echoes the government’s case like a Greek chorus. Aside from Wired‘s contemptible collaboration with the snitch Adrian Lamo, we have one Gabriel Schoenfeld, described by AP as “an author who supports cracking down on leakers,” whose support for prosecuting Manning is reported as follows: 

“Schoenfeld, author of ‘Necessary Secrets’ and a senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute, said leaks of military information during wartime run counter to America’s interests. ‘We’re serious about trying to win, and it’s extremely damaging to the morale of our troops,’ he said. ‘It inflames the local opinion, where we have a real battle for hearts and minds.’”
The inflammation of American opinion is what our the War Party is concerned about: the real battle for hearts and minds is taking place right here in the good ol’ US of A, where it counts. Because if the Obama administration fails to mobilize public opinion around support for the war – or, at least, fails to keep popular antiwar sentiment from penetrating the Beltway bubble – then the President might as well have replaced Gen. Stanley McChrystal with nobody, for all the difference it will make. 

Schoenfeld, you’ll recall, was one of the loudest defenders of accused spies Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, two top employees of AIPAC, Israel’s powerful Washington lobby, who recruited Larry Franklin, the Pentagon’s top Iran analyst, to pass sensitive secrets to Israeli government officials. A friendly judge, and a public outcry – led in part by Schoenfeld – got them off once the Obama administration took the reins at the Justice Department. Rosen and Weissman, despite having stolen reams of important intelligence [.pdf] from us, were basically pardoned by the Obama-ites – thanks to Schoenfeld & Co. – while Manning is having the book thrown at him (to the applause of the Schoenfelds of this world). 

In defending Rosen and Weissman, Schoenfeld averred that these two innocents were just “journalists,” doing what “everyone” in Washington does – trading on inside information. The AIPAC duo, who had been sneaking around Washington meeting with their quarry in darkened restaurants and on crowded street corners, were just exercising their “First Amendment rights,” Schoenfeld protested. The affair was “misbegotten,” he says in his book. – but it’s okay to prosecute and jail Manning. Because, after all, instead of stealing on behalf of a foreign power – Israel, our “friend” and “ally” – he did it to get the truth out to the American people, and we can’t have that! 

The Manning revelations – not only the two videos, but those 260,000 diplomatic cables the accused soldier reportedly downloaded and sent off to Wikileaks – have already delivered a body blow to the War Party’s efforts, with the promise of much more to come. That’s why the powers-that-be and their media sock puppets are going into overdrive, pushing back as hard as they can: they apparently think a preemptive strike will somehow ameliorate the growing crisis. With public support for the war plummeting, and a rebellion brewing in the Democratic party’s base, the administration can ill afford to sustain any more damage to their position before it becomes completely untenable. Their fondest hope is that they can railroad him quickly, and douse public interest in the case..."


Anonymous said...

Raimondo's got some good instincts and is often a good read. He has obvious weaknesses (Ron/Rand Paul fan, Mises Institute nonsense, classic failures in a classic libertarian outlook) but generally his analysis of Federal shenanigans seems appropriately skeptical and devoid of confusion or BS.

I'm not sure I'd want Raimondo to lead any governmental entities (neither directly nor indirectly as an ideological Karl Rove-ish sort), but he's a pretty good critic right now.

Andromeda said...

No, we (read: neocon America) can't have soldiers acting as whistle blowers in order to get the truth out to the American people. That's one of the single most damaging things that can happen in the current Empire.

"Necessary Secrets"---right, as if anything in a truly functional government that respects human rights ever needs to be kept secret.

"...it’s extremely damaging to the morale of our troops," he said. It inflames the local opinion, where we have a real battle for hearts and minds."

So committing war crimes and then having said war crimes exposed just boils down to "damaging ... the morale of our troops" and "[inflaming] the local opinion." I really do marvel that we as a society are in a place where the exposed war crime itself is ignored, and there are no consequences for committing it---but there are consequences for the brave soldiers who expose the war crimes.

And Charles, doesn't everyone have some obvious weaknesses? ;-) I find the greatest (and most rewarding) process in my life to be the constant challenging of my beliefs in order to refine them or to identify ones that are weak, misguided, harmful to myself or others, etc. I like to think of myself as an ongoing work in progress.

Anonymous said...

Andromeda, when talking about the organization and operation of human societies, in my book the most important thing any of us can do is challenge our presently-held beliefs and do so without fear of being "wrong."

Somehow a person has to cut through the messianic urgings of experts, pundits, and "scholars" that are passed off as factually done and dusted, as beyond question.

I have my own weaknesses, those being confined mainly to idealism, impatience, and the occasional blind spot. Or spots. Heh heh heh.

Andromeda said...

Charles, I'm certainly not afraid of challenging any presently-held destructive of violent belief with logic: said beliefs have not worked historically, and are not working now, so why will they lead to anything other than more of the same?

Glad to see you aren't afraid to do so, either.

The world needs more people who can speak up without fear of being "wrong" in the face of experts, pundits, and---as you call them---"Esteemed Imperial Apologists."

Weaknesses? I am a sucker for a good sci-fi or fantasy role-playing game, I can definitely get impatient, and I'm probably a bit of an idealist myself... But I refuse to give up hope that mankind can and will do better for itself and the planet one day---I'll only admit defeat if we nuke ourselves out of existence first.

Jack Crow said...

Agreed. I wouldn't sign on for a Raimondo run town, but as long as he's in the loyal opposition, his game is fairly tight, of late.