Bradley Manning Execution Will be Directly at Obama's Feet
by ralphlopez, Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 03:57:06 PM EST
Those Democrats who still support Obama and purport to support Bradley Manning are forgetting one thing: as Commander-in-Chief, Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates ultimately determine what charges will be brought, or even who will be prosecuted. That is because in the military, the chain of command is all. If the Commander in Chief tells you, "I need this man to show me where a landing on a beach should be, to save the lives of thousands of men, let him go," you have to let him go.
New charges have been filed against Manning last week which include ones which carry the death penalty. This comes as it is revealed that he is being forced to strip naked for long periods of time in his jail cell.
Moreover, under the Yamashita standard the principle of command responsibility has been articulated for military organizations, although that case pertained to far more serious war crimes. It was determined nevertheless that a commander cannot "unlawfully disregard and fail to discharge his duty as a commander to control the acts of members of his command."
Make no mistake, if this were the Bush/Rumsfeld Department of Defense trying to execute Manning, we would be surrounding the White House. That's because Bush acted like a commander-in-chief, and it was easy to ascribe the real responsibility. Obama doesn't act like a CINC. But that doesn't mean he isn't one.
Even in the civilian courts the Obama Dept. of Justice decided to not pursue telecoms for violations of the FISA law. Obama pressured the Spanish government to not prosecute the Bush Gang for torture. Most recently, Obama directed the DOJ to not defend DOMA. In military courts he has even more authority.
If Bradley Manning is executed, it will be as if Obama will have pulled the lever himself. There are no ifs, and or buts. I liked Obama, and don't blame anyone for supporting him strongly in the last election. It was a magical moment, a Black president in my lifetime. But now I can say with final certainty he is not the man I thought he would be. If Manning dies, Obama wiil be Obama the Assassin for the history books, a terrible legacy for the first Black president. This will be the first time in American history a truthteller will be killed for reporting crimes in what is not even declared officially as a war.
Obama is losing people in droves over this. Even the normally feistily supportive DailyKos readers, the flagship Democratic forum, are getting disgusted.
Primary Obama in 2012, better yet impeach him now. Anything else is Kool-aid.
Ron Paul VP