Charles Davis, subbing for Glenn Greenwald this week at Salon, on the general failure of progressives to stand up for Bradley Manning, who has been imprisoned in solitary confinement for three years without trial for allegedly releasing secret documents and other materials that document war crimes and other deceptive or criminal behavior by our government and its allies:
[T]hose on the right who condemn Manning do so in a manner repellent to the more refined liberal palette. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, for instance – in the midst of selling his children’s book, Can’t Wait Till Christmas! – declared that for Manning, “anything less than execution is too kind a penalty.”Of all the things that I have had to watch happening to America in the last few years, this has to rank as one of the most depressing and humiliating. I used to think that progressives were, or could be, better than this. Sadly, there seem to be as many authority-worshipping cowards and opportunists among us as there are among conservatives.
How uncouth. How vulgar. On the center-left, the position is much more sensible: don’t outright murder the guy, at least not without a show trial, but don’t you dare let him see the light of day again. As Obama himself pronounced, “He broke the law,” which is something that must be obeyed by everyone but bankers and torturers and presidents. We can’t just expose the state-sanctioned torture and murder of innocents willy-nilly. We can’t just listen to our own consciences when confronted with institutional evil. That’d be anarchy. Which is bad.
The Liberal Betrayal of Bradley Manning
Read the rest of that article to see what I mean. Very few of the major liberal blogs have come out in support of Manning. FireDogLake is the only one I can think of that has been unequivocal since the beginning. Some of the smaller blogs, like Corrente, and Taylor Marsh, have been supportive as well, but even their numbers are depressingly few. Far too many are either supportive the President's extraordinary assault on whistleblowers in general, or Manning in particular, or just avoid the question altogether.
Not wanting to deal with the issue is something I can understand, given their perspective. After all, the next question after that one is why do you support an Administration that does this? After calling folks like me arsonists and racists for pointing these things out, the last thing those hypocrites and moral cowards are going to do is admit they were wrong.
So yes, I'd rather Obama lose than have this become the "progressive" position on human rights. Who else is going to fight for human rights in cases like these? Conservatives certainly won't. Libertarians might, assuming they're not running for office as Republicans. No one else is going to, that's for sure.
If you think that's burning everything down, then you really, really need to reassess what you think of as everything.
NOTE1: To the best of my knowledge, this is an original parody by Cujo359. It is the official poster for the Campaign To Keep America Sucking Somewhat Less, a not-quite-existent non-SuperPAC project of the North American Division, CONUS Operations Directorate, of the Cujo Labs.
Feel free to copy it and pass it on. Just don't forget to give credit where it's due.