Wednesday, July 31, 2013

There's only one way to free Bradley Manning

From Brother Ivo:

Last Saturday Brother Ivo witnessed a demonstration outside St Martin-in-the-Fields: a collection of single, hand-lettered placards proclaimed FREE BRADLEY MANNING.

Sometimes the message was delivered in anagram form as protesters mixed themselves up chatting to their friends, going for coffee, taking comfort breaks etc.

Then they held an impromptu meeting as whether they should re-assemble next week to re-write the backs of their placards to protest FREE SHAKIL AFRIDI or FREE YOUCEF NARDARKHANI. You will be shocked to learn that Brother Ivo made the last part up - that just isn't going to happen.

Why the protesters thought Bradley Manning might be imprisoned in the National Portrait Gallery is beyond Brother Ivo, but these deep-cover security operatives can be devious coves, so it is probably just as well to think outside the box and get away from Grosvenor Square from time to time.

Master Manning is an unfortunate young twerp seduced by juvenile idealism and the lure of cult celebrity status into betraying his nation's secrets. He handed over data in the form of some 700,000 classified documents to be published indiscriminately and unread by another narcisist, Julian Assange (who probably, by now, wishes he were incarcerated in the National Portrait Gallery).

Both assert that their actions served some greater good, though neither could possibly have read or evaluated that which they cheerfully turned over to friend and foe alike. Who knows what was contained therein?

It could be anything: it could even be something the US mainstream media really doesn't want to be published - like 'Where was Barack Obama and what was he doing for 24 hours whilst his ambassador and his staff were being murdered in Benghazi?'

Surprisingly, the CIA and St John's Gospel are in agreement that 'The truth will set you free', but it is also sensible to recall that sometimes it makes sense for the right hand not to know what the left hand is doing. Just because everything can be known in this digital world, does not mean that it is prudent to bring it about.

This simple fact appears to elude the protesters.

There was once a GCSE history examination paper which asked 'Why did the Allies keep the date and place of the D-Day landings secret?' The answer - 'Because if they did not, the Germans would have been ready to shoot all the soldiers - would have got you a grade C. Maybe the protesters opted out of history as a GCSE subject. Or maybe they did take the exam, but couldn't work it out.

Masters Manning and Assange did not and could not assess either the risks of disclosure or make any informed judgement about who might be harmed by it. They do not have a clue whose security might be compromised by the information they released un-read. It is this perfect disregard for the consequences of their actions that removes such behaviour from the sphere of the moral protest. It is as reckless in its way as loosing off a volley of shots into a school building. Both actions are utterly reckless as to whether others may be killed or injured in consequence.

Unfortunately Saturday's protesters do not understand this. The release of secrets might harm Western interests. That is a sufficient justification in their eyes. We do not see Wikileaks releasing Chinese, Russian or Iranian classified data. Had this been attempted, Mr Assange would doubtless be waving a Geiger-counter over each guinea-pig fricasse as it is delivered to his room.

The strongest suspicion is that within all such demonstrations there is a heavy bias against a theoretical notion of America. We may all smile at Middle-Eastern protests about 'the Great Satan', but many in Europe have a speaking sympathy for the notion even as many would cheerfully take up the offer of a Green Card if one were offered tomorrow.

One suspects that the Islamic fundamentalist and modern PC puritans alike have an innate dislike and distrust of a nation that uniquely places 'the pursuit of happiness' as a living objective in its foundational documents.

Yet, it is nearly always a complex relationship because there is within the demonstrating class a strong dimension which loves the USA - its music, films, technology etc. Although it jarred with anyone with half an education, there was something to be said for the old rendering of the 'enemy' in the iconography of the 60's radicals as 'Amerika'.

With that formulation adopted, it was possible to continue to like psychedelic music, the Civil Rights movement, James Dean, and Jane Fonda, while calling down hatred and intolerance on everything about the leader of the free world of which one did not approve.

'Amerika' was the USA minus the good bits: you could never offend your progressive friends protesting 'Amerika'. Everyone knew it was evil incarnate.

It was rather like racism in the UK in the 1950s where many disliked immigrants in general but personally liked, defended and accepted the individuals with whom they worked or lived in community.

In a country that then criminalised homosexual behaviour, the Royal Family had many gay friends and staff. There really is none so queer as folk.

Jesus (a northerner) never said that - but he probably thought it from time to time.

If our new generation of demonstrators were to adopt this scapegoating of an amorphous 'Amerika' approach - which adds up to little more than 'Down with everything I disapprove of' - Brother Ivo might have offered to put in a shift or two. The problem, as always, is when you get down to specifics.

There seems to be is a widespread distrust of the US security services. Yet plainly the success of their earlier incarnation helped to save European freedom from both Hitler and Stalin. Doubtless there was much double-dealing and violence involved, yet on balance Brother Ivo is old-fashioned enough to be grateful.

Similarly, we all approved (well, most of us) when Bin Laden was tracked down, though we cheerfully betray the man who made it happen. We wanted the London 7/7 bombers and the histories of their Boston and Woolwich counterparts swiftly traced to prevent repetitions.

Yet those responsible for such successes, together with the methods they use to answer our questions so swiftly, are treated as value-less when they are betrayed by the likes of Manning and Assange.

The early Christians attributed Judas' betrayal of Christ as rooted in greed. Today many would probably root the explanation in a desire for some greater good. Judas Manning and Assange all display a degree of that profoundly anti-Christian sin of pride. At least Judas showed a degree of regret rather than contacting a reputation management consultant.

Our demonstrators express their hatred of our security and financial institutions in terms of protesting 'the state', yet, paradoxically, many of them will simultaneously support an expansion of that same state on both sides of the Atlantic.

In Brother Ivo's day, 'anarchists' marching against 'government cuts' would have been the stuff of Citizen Smith comedy.

In US terms, this absurdity takes the firm of supporting Obamacare or the pork-barrelling of failed Green technologies like Solyndra or the Chevrolet Volt motor car. Protesters will howl at bail-outs when bankers misbehave, yet complain if anyone dares to suggest that the autoworkers of Detroit should be denied similar indemnity against the consequences of their own equally irresponsible actions.

Above all, everyone knows that Richard Nixon was evil and had to go when he was implicated in bugging a single room in the Watergate complex. Hillary Clinton started her legal career on the investigation of that crime, yet now it appears the President Obama is collecting data on everyone who uses a telephone or the social media, and moreover his associates appear to have used the Inland Revenue Services to target groups who opposed him.

Libertarians point out that this is malfeasance on a scale of which the hapless Nixon could only have dreamed. Yet somehow there is a simultaneous dislike of such actions coupled with an inability to conceive of holding the executive branch responsible to account. There is scarcely a connection between the policies and the politician. That is where celebrity politics leads.

We are seeing industrial scale abuse of executive power by the poster boy of the young, yet they seem utterly without interest.

In such a context, Free Bradley Manning? Why not? 'What difference does it make?' as someone recently asked with all the cynicism of Pilate washing his hands.

It is all very confusing.

Yet if the young are looking for the healing of a confusing and complicated world they would have done better to have turned around and entered the building where they had gathered for protest. There, they could have learned of the consequences of betrayal, encountered the exercise of true power through humility, the finding of ones real identity in quietness, and seen liberation expressed in the crypt, where the homeless are welcomed and assisted daily with greater personal acceptance than any anonymous government programme.

The Bible, and the actions it inspires, is as unknown to many of those protesters as the content of the Manning data. Perhaps if we all spent more time evaluating the one rather than publishing the other, the world might be the happier place which the protesters so earnestly desire.

It might also comfort, inform and free the unfortunate Bradley Manning as he faces, as we all must, the consequences of our actions.

Brother Ivo is the Patron Saint of lawyers.


Blogger Peter D said...

"Master Manning is an unfortunate young twerp seduced by juvenile idealism and the lure of cult celebrity status into betraying his nation's secrets."

What punishment is fitting for the actions of this "young twerp"? He could have faced life the death penalty if he'd been convicted of aiding the enemy.

Supporters are hoping for a 'lenient' sentence of between 20 to 40 years. The government wants 136 years.

31 July 2013 at 10:09  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

We are always being told by guvmint that if "we have nothing to hide, we have nothing to fear"
But the same doesn't apply to THEM, does it?
Also, B. Manning discovered actions which were completely illegal &/or immoral being performed by the US state.
He didn't like it.
What do you do when your country goes mad?

"Juvenile idealism" huh?
Like that which inspired the July plotters, presumably?

31 July 2013 at 10:35  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

I find myself caught somewhere between the devil & the deep blue sea on this issue.

On one hand there is the reckless, juvenile idealism of Mr Manning. On the other hand there is the incessant, obtrusive, orwellian intrusion into our lives by the state. My movements are tracked, my children's fingerprints are taken (against my express wishes) by their school, my email is read, my conversations recorded, my DNA can be stored indefinitely ... all the while politicians lie & collude in secret.

Which do I think is the most dangerous & threatening to my safety & liberty? Hmmm ... I'm genuinely unsure. Maybe Cranmer's wise & erudite commentators can persuade me one way or the other.

31 July 2013 at 10:56  
Blogger Fausty said...

Has someone hijacked Archbishop Cranmer?

31 July 2013 at 11:13  
Blogger IanCad said...

I don't often agree with G. Tingey but on this one I believe he has it right.

31 July 2013 at 11:30  
Blogger Peter D said...


Post a prayer to a Saint (for example, a soon to be canonised recent deceased Pope) and if there's no response then you have grounds for concern.

31 July 2013 at 11:35  
Blogger Peter D said...

Rebel Saint

Would you feel differently about Manning's actions if one of your children was on active service at the time of these leaks and his life placed in jeopardy as a result?

31 July 2013 at 11:38  
Blogger Gareth said...

The idea that our current crop of rulers are oppressive, totalitarian dictators is an insult to opressive totalitarian dictators.

31 July 2013 at 12:11  
Blogger David B said...

Is Manning's action akin to giving the secrets of D Day to the Nazis?

Or is it, perhaps, more akin to bringing to public awareness the abuse of children in the Magdelene Laundries, or abuse by priests, Rabbis or Imams? Or bringing to public awareness the cover up of abuse?

The victims, and those who whistle blow on their behalf, often seem to be castigated, sometimes ostracised, by congregations, according to many reports in the press.

No-one here, I hope, would want the D Day secrets to have been betrayed.

But personally I think that there should be a working assumption that a whistle blower, if his or her claims are true, is acting in the public interest unless it can be proved beyond reasonable doubt that they have acted against it.

I don't recall all I read that wikileaks did establish, but I did get the impression that it demonstrated that a lot that is shameful has been done in our (that is to same we Westerners) name, and that it would, in my opinion, be more apt it some of the people on whom the whistle was blown were facing long terms of imprisonment.


31 July 2013 at 13:12  
Blogger LEN said...

For Governments to protect their people from terrorists there has to be intelligence gathering.This is a basic fact.
However any system of surveillance is open to abuse as was with the 'Watergate scandal' which pails into insignificance with the current phone hacking scandal which looks likely to be ongoing.
So it is a matter of the lesser of the two evils in this imperfect World?.

31 July 2013 at 13:42  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

What a time to be in a hotel with only a phone...

1. Manning is being tried under the UCMJ. Military justice is intended to enforce good order and discipline. His sentence is going to therefore be harsh. I wouldn't expect he will ever leave prison alive. Neither should he.

2. The assertions of immorality and wrong-doing are about criminalizing a policy difference. Manning therefore becomes a symbol of the cause. His innocence establishes the immorality of the Iraq War. To his supporters it doesn't matter if he committed espionage. What matters is the larger political point about a war itself.

3. The fact that no Chinese information is being published is not relevant. This is about using access to classified information to alter US policy. This effort to justify Manning is about policy and not law. It wouldn't take too much imagination to conceive circumstances where these same protesters would be calling for Manning's head.

4. I personally don't have any sympathy for Manning. Put him in a cell next to Pollard and leave him there. I am MUCH more interested in getting Assange. Like the Mossad got Eichmann. Snatch now and ask forgiveness later. His head on a stick would have much greater impact on stopping this in the future.


31 July 2013 at 13:56  
Blogger Peter D said...

David B

Just what was revealed by Wikileaks that was so shameful it justified the reckless endangerment of the lives of servicemen and women?

Just who were the 'victims' being protected that might justify the random collection and dissemination of classified information?

31 July 2013 at 14:00  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thank you Rebel Saint for what, methinks, is a neat summation of the "Global Citizens' Dilemma"!

I tried to access Wikipedia on Manning, btw: there's 'a problem with its security certificate' :)

Otherwise, I gather Assange (the Australian publisher of the American's info esp. about Iraq) is safe in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, escaping extradition to Sweden.

What a mess. Far worse than the Occupy thing, and now its outside dear St. Martin-in-the-Fields, to boot.

WS was right as ever --
Miranda: O brave new world, that has such people in it.

Prospero: 'Tis new to thee.

(The Tempest 183-4)

31 July 2013 at 14:28  
Blogger David B said...

Is it established that lives were in fact put at risk, rather than that such claims are aimed at justifying unwarranted secrecy?

Were there not records of considerable human rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay in particular?

Are human rights abuses by the Nazis during the last war to be castigated, while those performed by people acting on our behalf - and those that cover them up - are somehow OK?

Dammit, I'm often criticised here for denying an absolute morality, yet for all that I don't have a lot of difficulty in asserting that torture is wrong.


31 July 2013 at 14:59  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

President Obama, has cultivated a modest, opaque style, hiding his spotless record of
failing to achieve just about everything he ever promised under a bushel.

Candidate Obama was transparency incarnate. A light to the world and beacon of hope to whistle-blowers at home. Unfortunately some hacker has erased all trace of his messianic sermon on the mount from the original campaign website. But all is not lost. Thanks to the wonders of copy/paste (and a little help from Zerohedge) here is the transcript of “Blessed are the whistleblowers for they will be encouraged.”

Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process..

So there you have it. Thanks to the science of data recovery, Truth has risen from its incarceration in the abyss. Candidate Obama is back on his throne and his successor totally eclipsed by the radiance of his glory. The citizens of Detroit can wipe away their own tears and console themselves that they still have the right to arm bears (or something like that.) and watch their city go down the pan.

31 July 2013 at 15:10  
Blogger Peter D said...

David B
Do calm down! Who on earth is asserting torture is moral?

Did Manning release records of human rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay? No, I don't think so.

There was footage of an Apache helicopter attack in 2007 that killed a dozen people in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, including a Reuters photographer.

There was also 470,000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and 250,000 secure state department cables between Washington and embassies around the world.

To my mind, this man betrayed his country and was engaged in espionage. Just because it was 'Wikileaks' he passed the information to makes it no less a crime than if he passed it direct to Bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

31 July 2013 at 15:34  
Blogger Peter D said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

31 July 2013 at 15:34  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Brother Ivo said:
“There seems to be is a widespread distrust of the US security services. Yet plainly the success of their earlier incarnation helped to save European freedom from both Hitler and Stalin. Doubtless there was much double-dealing and violence involved, yet on balance Brother Ivo is old-fashioned enough to be grateful.”

Yes there is widespread distrust of the US security services and you know why? It's because of their track record. They meddle too much in other countries' businesses, and when the country does not play along with what America wants they get it in the neck. I'm not saying other countries are saintly and wonderful, far from it. but I don't think the Yanks are particularly good at diplomacy or making mutually beneficial agreements which takes a lot of effort, time and positive, productive use of information gathered from intelligence services to back up and aid negotiation not to cause wars.

When things don't go Americas way they cause a war, or when a country seems to be doing well with whatever regime it has established, it's seen as a threat. I'm thinking of Venezuela and Hugo Chavez. The Yanks got him out of power and turned the people against him. Only some time later did the people realise and see what the CIA had done and what had happened, they reinstated him back into power again.

Don't get me wrong America is God's country, but they do have a collective mentality that is rather gung ho. Now if a naïve young lad or a narcissist broadcast embarrassing secrets surely it should have to be proven that the secrets spilled would have endangered lives and compromised the country before any long prison sentence was given.

“Similarly, we all approved (well, most of us) when Bin Laden was tracked down, though we cheerfully betray the man who made it happen. We wanted the London 7/7 bombers and the histories of their Boston and Woolwich counterparts swiftly traced to prevent repetitions.”

The Yanks were friends with the Bin Laden family before they fell out. They brought on 9/11 themselves.

31 July 2013 at 16:36  
Blogger JohnH said...

David B said...
Is Manning's action akin to giving the secrets of D Day to the Nazis?

The answer to which, of course, is "we don't know". More important, seeing that he released the data unread, neither does Manning.

31 July 2013 at 17:41  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The Inspector is an admirer, to some degree, of Draco. Thus, his logic would say the best way of preventing future Mannings is to nail this one to a tree. That way, you could mention Manning to young recruits in years to come and solemnly warn them of what happens to self indulgent smart arses prepared to wreck the security of his country, and indeed, the west.

But today, as we show unjustified compassion to killers, so must we do the same with traitors. So, when he stops weeping in his prison cell, and acclimatises himself to the fifteen to twenty years he will serve, he might wonder as to the condition of his homosexual behind when he does get out…

Interestingly, Pink News commentators have Manning down as a wannabee tranny. Thus, some blame should go to the US Government for employing a sexually deranged misfit in a sensitive area in the first place. Though having said that, one is under no illusion that the US Army is as forced to take on life’s walking wounded as the British Army. Courtesy of those lame ‘rights’ politicians who are so adept at wrecking the natural order…

31 July 2013 at 18:40  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

David B. Dammit !

I say !

A slight aside chaps. Your man above, he of administrator tasks on Secular Cafe delights in coming over to this site to glibly attempt to demolish the unassailable truth that is God. Looks like the fellow is wearing thin, what !

And one is beginning to consider the Magdalene laundries the ‘David B laundries’ to recognise your unique for this blog interest in them. One recalls a Magdalene girl telling her estranged family that it was about time she received a wage for working in the establishment that may well have saved her from prostitution. When she did just that, the nuns told her to pack her bags and to get out...

Hardly the stuff of abuse then...

31 July 2013 at 19:17  
Blogger non mouse said...

Sorry - that citation from The Tempest should read V.i.183-4. From the 1997 Riverside ed.

31 July 2013 at 20:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Sorry - 19:17 should have ended with ‘Tally ho’

31 July 2013 at 20:19  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

Brother John H

The nail has been hit squarely on the head.

Sadly many apologists for Manning can't see the force of this for the prejudice they carry to such issues.

31 July 2013 at 20:53  
Blogger Peter D said...

Not forgetting David B's 'interest' in biblical laws concerning shellfish, are you?

31 July 2013 at 21:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Peter D. The man’s an arse. Well have no more said of him. Sure you’ll agree...

31 July 2013 at 21:49  
Blogger JohnH said...

Brother Ivo,

Trouble is, people like Manning don't seem to realise that in the adult world rights have corresponding responsibilities and actions have consequences.

Having unprotected sex, taking illegal substances of dubious provenance, posting tweets threatening to rape a stranger, breaking your oath of confidentiality; all these potentially result in unpleasant consequences.

I've little if any sympathy with those wringing their hands after the event claiming they didn't realise. As my late father use to say; there are two ways to learn a lesson, the easy way and the hard way, and the easy way isn't easy. Manning chose the hard way and is paying the penalty.

31 July 2013 at 22:05  
Blogger Che Yeoh said...

I'm not sure about Manning, simply because I don't know what information he revealed, so I can't make a judgement on whether he was moral or reckless. To me, Edward Snowden is the hero, because he revealed the mass surveillance of the populace that is going on. This is not being done in the name of security. If it was, they would not be making the haystack bigger by gathering information on unlikely candidates for terrorism. No, it's being done for two reasons. Firstly, it keeps security people in jobs and creates more jobs in government. Like dullness, the civil service is ever apt to magnify. Secondly, information is money. The info they gather might be useless from a security point of view, but it is a nice earner when sold onto commercial companies trying to target their market. The less scrupulous might pass on bank details and medical records, which are also highly valuable. For that reason I salute Edward Snowden for blowing the whistle on it and bringing it into the open.

1 August 2013 at 03:29  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Snowden isn't a hero. He was given access to classified information on oath that he would protect it. He violated that oath and betrayed the trust placed in him. If he thought something illegal was going on, he had legal channels to report hid concern. His problem was that he wouldn't be reporting a crime. He would be reporting a policy with which he disagreed. He wanted the US government to change its policy. So he exposed information he swore to protect in order to coerce the US government. But he doesn't have that authority. Constitutionally elected officers of the government have that authority. Snowden had no business substituting his judgment for theirs.

If he had stayed and accepted his punishment then he might have had some modicum of credibility. But he hopped the first train out of town. He should put in a cell next to Manning.


1 August 2013 at 05:22  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


David B isn't an 'arse.'. He generally makes reasonable arguments from an atheist world view. We reject his arguments because we reject his worldview. But a man isn't the sum total of his arguments. Besides, it's the wide variety of commenters that makes this weblog interesting. It would be dull if we all agreed on everything.


1 August 2013 at 05:37  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

Brother Carl

An argument constructed with admirable clarity if I may say so without wishing to sound at all patronising.

1 August 2013 at 07:31  
Blogger Peter D said...


Isn't Snowden a modern day protestant? His actions civil disobedience exposing the illegal inner workings of a surveillance state and justified in the public interest?

Sweeping surveillance programmes are unlawful and interfere with an individual’s right to privacy. Just what legitimate channels were open to him to report this criminal and dishonest action by the US security services?

Not that I'm necessarily predisposed to protestants, you understand.

1 August 2013 at 12:36  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Peter D

There must first be a legitimate authority before there can be disobedience. The RCC was an illegitimate authority akin to the magistrate who forbade Peter from preaching.

If you think you have a reasonable expectation of privacy on the net you are operating on a different electronic net than me. If you want privacy then everything you write must be encrypted. An email isn't a letter sealed in an envelope and transported by a trusted courtier. It is open for all to see as soon as you send it.

All classified programs have hotlines to report violations of the law. The program Snowden compromised wasn't a violation of the law. It's something he thought should be a violation of the law. That's why he couldn't report it. So he misused the trust he was given to achieve a political result he couldn't otherwise achieve.

This is black and white. There isn't any gray here.


1 August 2013 at 13:03  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

That's one of the things I simply don't understand about both the Manning and Snowden cases: if they were so concerned with the putative illegality of particular acts, why didn't they hand their evidence in confidence to an appropriate public prosecutor?

1 August 2013 at 13:36  
Blogger Peter D said...

Now you're just picking and choosing what is 'legitimate' or not to suit your own 'policies' - bit like Snowden.

I'd say the Catholic Church did have legitimate authority over its members.

The magistrate was in a position of legitimate authority, was he not? And Saint Peter ignored him anyways.

Now there's a civil protester I do support!

1 August 2013 at 15:07  
Blogger Peter D said...

What was that film with Gene Hackman? Oh yes, 'Enemy of the State'. Then there's 'Three Days of the Condor' with Robert Redford. Host of other films with the same theme.

Not giving these films credence, you understand, but the Yanks are paranoid about the ruthlessness of their security services and the dangers of the state apparatus. Not healthy and one wonders why. Then consider Guantanamo Bay and the rather lengthy prison sentences routinely dished out.

All this must affect how the Manning's and Snowdon's of this world think and act.

1 August 2013 at 15:21  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Peter D

The magistrate had authority but he exceeded his authority when he prohibited what God commanded. Which is what the RCC does when it teaches and demands obedience to [insert essentially every unique RC doctrine/dogma here.]


1 August 2013 at 16:01  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Oh ... and those films are liberal wet dreams. They have nothing to with reality. If you think Snowden upheld the law, then tell me what law he upheld? Normally people start screaming about the Constitution at this point. That only proves my assertion that this is about what people think should be and not what is. You can't prosecute people for violating what you think the law should be. And that is why Snowden did what he did.


1 August 2013 at 16:08  
Blogger Peter D said...

As some would say, assuming the God commanding Saint Peter was real. Clearly the Magistrate thought not. Its the same line of argument used by terrorist bombers acting under commands from Allah. (DanJ0 will be proud of me).

I don't think Snowden upheld the law at all. Frankly, I don't know until this comes to trial. Or maybe he'll just 'disappear one day. However, are secret sweeping surveillance programmes lawful in the USA these days? And by what right does your country, or mine, have the authority to monitor private individuals and governments across Europe - apart from self-interest and power?

'Wet dreams' the films maybe but they reflect a certain mindset in your country where there is a deep-rooted suspicion of the security services. Let's face it, your human rights record is pretty shoddy.

1 August 2013 at 16:40  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl at 05:37

Have to disagree there, old man. This fellow appreciates good solid argument like the next, but when the fare offered is small minded and petty, and put up for irritation more than for any other reason, and importantly, mentioned time after time after time, then the correspondent so enlightening us with his erudition is asking for everything coming his way…

1 August 2013 at 16:57  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I see Snowden has got temporary asylum now, citing concerns about being tortured or killed by his home State. The thing is, I expect most people believe him too after some of the reports from war zone prisons and the status of Guantanamo Bay detention camp in the eyes of decent human beings around the world. The USA as a State is not looking good in this so far.

1 August 2013 at 17:27  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0, don’t you recognise a diva when you see one ?

1 August 2013 at 20:54  
Blogger Peter D said...

Just spotted this:

"Brother Ivo is the Patron Saint of lawyers."

Good choice!

Does the Archbishop know you are styling yourself on a canonised Catholic Priest from the early 14th century?

On his tomb:
"St. Yvo was a Breton and a lawyer,
But not dishonest
An astonishing thing in people's eyes."

1 August 2013 at 21:34  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 August 2013 at 22:06  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Ironic that someone who was so concerned about the demise of democracy/police state etc, etc, takes asylum in Russia (that bastion of liberal democracy)...

I personally think if you are in a position of trust and have sworn an oath to the country to which you owe allegiance & betray that oath and snitch on you country, then what do you except other than to be called a 'traitor' to said country?

Incidentally 'traitor' in England for hundreds of years, I think until the 1800s, meant you were hung drawn and quartered. (which I think involved hanging, then having your internal organs cut out and fried in front of you, then split into four parts!!).

How awful. I think a life in goal puts punishments of yesteryear into perspective.

1 August 2013 at 22:15  
Blogger Berserker said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 August 2013 at 00:02  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

Brother Peter D

His Grace has been aware from the outset that " The Advocate for the Poior" has been Brother Ivo's role model from the outset.

A fine man ( or woman ) is worth an attempt at emulation
(even with inevitable failures ).

First and foremost St Ivo was, of course, a follower of Christ who taught his disciples to love God and love their neighbours as themselves.

2 August 2013 at 06:11  
Blogger Peter D said...

Brother Ivo

Ah, a role model, as opposed to an intercessory Saint? That's okay as I wouldn't want you to incur the Archbishop's wrath by praying to Saint Ivo for assistance which is a Catholic practice that offends some Anglicans - even those who attend and participate in the traditional Latin Mass.

You are right, an excellent example to follow and I'm sure he'll assist you.

Saint Ivo was a hard working, dedicated Priest who tirelessly supported the poor and helped abandoned children. According to his biographers, he chased sin out of his parish through the strength of his preaching. Not a 'liberal-modernist'.

(Word of additional advice - our good Inspector has a very low opinion of lawyers)

2 August 2013 at 15:50  

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