By blogs.taz.de (Detief Guertier)
[This blog published on 8/22/2013 is translated from the German on the Internet.]
On the Manning verdict: "Only state extremists can claim the state has the right when the state, whether Germany, Great Britain or the US (or Russia or China) preserves the security of its citizens by restricting their freedom, when it protects their life by spying on their life, when it proceeds against journalist activity with anti-terror laws and when it punishes investigators of state criminality more harshly than the criminals themselves. The state does not have that right." - blogs.taz.de
This morning Wolfgang Blau, Guardian director for digital strategy, called a commentator in the "Welt" newspaper "astonishingly naïve." Chief commentator Torsten Krauel had praised the verdict against Bradley Manning. The 35 years in jail allows Manning "the chance for a second half of life in freedom." The sentence was important and right, Krauel said.
"Manning's acquittal would have meant the self-abandonment of state sovereignty. Secret trials do not always veil illegal acts... Trust in institutions is part of a functioning democracy. Bradley Manning was not careful about that."
Krauel takes a very clear position here even if he sometimes argues in a very confused and bewildering way. I call it a "state extremism."
State extremism is an ideology in which the interests of the state and all its institutions has priority over the interests of citizens, whether individuals, many or all. Summarized in the briefest way, "the state is always right."
The dangers of state terrorism are clearly shown in the incidents around Assange, Manning and Snowden. Only state extremists can claim the state has a right when the state, whether Germany, Great Britain or the US (or Russia or China) preserves the security of its citizens by restricting their freedom, when it protects their life by spying on their life, when it proceeds against journalist activity with anti-terror laws and when it punishes investigators of state criminality more harshly than the criminals themselves. The state does not have that right. It has to pretend to be a constitutional state. It must always be measured by whether or not it acts with competence and responsibility and whether it stands on the ground of the constitution or not.
Whether uncovering an abnormal behavior undermines state authority may not be controlling. It is the abnormal behavior that undermines authority, not its disclosure. Thus state extremists undermine the authority of the state b y setting the state and its actions above the law. With that, they endanger our liberal-democratic basic order.
That is almost literally Margaret Thatcher! I quote from 1987: "There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families. No government can do anything except through people and people must look to themselves first."
To me, that is clearly anti-state extremist. There are good reasons why there is still something beyond the actions of individuals.
One should make clear that "the state" does not exist. There are always individual persons who act. In any case I have no respect for "the state."
In the past, worshippers of the state, its means of enforcing power and symbols were called fascists. Today they are called state extremists.
Remember only Lieutenant William Calley was ever convicted for the massacre in My Lai. His original life sentence was commuted into house arrest the day after the verdict before he pardoned him after 3 ½ years. The three soldiers who ended the massacre were branded as traitors by several US congresspersons. They received threatening letters, death threats and mutilated dead animals at their front doors.
That is the US we know and love. Nothing has changed since then. Manning is in prison and the murderers are given seats of honor.
Who will now punish the prosecutors of Mr. Manning? Who punishes those whose extreme behavior Bradley Manning disclosed? It is time for that.
I completely agree with you! It is incomprehensible. What I come up with in news on this subject would almost make me laugh if I weren't so sad and frustrated... Is the state a traitor to the people? In my eyes neither Manning nor Snowden are traitors. Without them, one would know little of all the state crimes on their protégés. In my utopian conception, the state should be prosecuted in court sometime or other with all its corrupt and criminal authorities.
Hans Hoyng and Norman Paech, "A Case of Arbitrariness and Political Refugees without Asylum," August 2013
Obama must pardon Manning so whistleblowers in the future will not see themselves forced to be warmly received in the dark Putin Empire. Political lawbreakers like Nixon, Iran-Contra conspirators like former Defense secretary Caspar Weinberger and security advisor Robert McFarlane were pardoned. The state has no claim to secrecy of its illegal practices. (Hans Hoyng)
Three persons are now bringing the media into a surge of emotion. At every opportunity, the media sing the praises of civil society and its freedoms. This demonstrates that every invocation of civil courage, openness and boldness is purely rhetorical when the twilight of their own power is involved. What the three - Assange, Manning and Snowden - put in question was the power and inviolability of their elected representatives and their instruments, not the security of the state, citizens and democracy. (Norman Paech)