If you have no idea what your intelligence services are doing, and if politicians know they can engage in illegal activities by working through the cloak of secrecy that hangs over intelligence operations, then you have a recipe for law-breaking, incompetence, and corruption, not awesome intelligence success.As both Ethan and Montag quickly point out to odious, totalitarian, albino squirrel, Matty Woodchuck, Bradley Manning, having been neither tried nor convicted, does not "need" to be punished, and yet is being punished, indeed, tortured. Ethan wonders that even someone with the "twisted, authoritarian point of view required to be an establishment liberal" isn't more troubled by this fact, but one suspects Yglesias thinks Bradley Manning, if he were in fact the leaker, should've written his Congressman.
-Matthew Yglesias, April 26, 2009
And under Barack Obama we’re basically looking at the things the permanent national security state wants looked into. An alternative investigation might focus not on who leaked classified video of a U.S. military operations, but on the question of why that sort of video should be classified. Certainly I can see why the Army might have preferred to keep it under wraps—in the eyes of many it reflected poorly on their conduct—but it hardly contained operational military secrets. In general, we expect things undertaken by America’s public servants in America’s name on America’s dime to be matters of public record.
Matthew Yglesias, June 7, 2010
That’s not a military secret that puts people’s lives at risk. It’s not a scandalous secret that needs to be covered up, either. It’s just a small data point that gives us some greater understanding of Afghan society but that’s being kept secret out of an obsessive and ultimately counterproductive obsession with controlling the flow of information.
-Matthew Yglesias, July 26, 2010
There’s the rub. I have mixed feelings about a lot of different aspects of this, but there are two key points. One is that the leaker here (presumably Bradley Manning, but that’s not yet been proven in a court of law) has broken the law and needs to be punished.
Matthew Yglesias, December 7, 2010
Dear My The People's Representative,I mean, what kind of moron spends the better part of a year saying that not only is the government traducing all the basic principles of a consenting, informed citizenry as the fundament of representative government, but also that it is actively working against its own internal, organizational, institutional interest by over-compartmentalizing information in a game of bureaucratic territorialism, only to conclude in the end that one figure who allegedly, allegedly, allegedly participated in cracking open ever-so-slightly this misguided, undemocratic, counterproductive, inefficient, morally dubious, ethically suspect, poorly conceived, improperly overseen, badly practiced, no good, very bad culture of supreme secrecy oughta be tossed in the clink, key thrown away, justice served. He broke the law! Bad!
It has come to my attention that the United States is destroying the world in an orgy of late imperial violence.
Also, Mrs. Brown's sycamore continues to drop unmanageable amounts of bark on my mother's yard, and the local zoning board of adjustment has not responded satisfactorily.
Your attention to these matters is greatly appreciated.
Pfc. Bradley Manning
This is the moral universe of a teat-sucking sycophant, but what makes it worse, what makes it all the more odious and reprehensible, is that it is plainly not a matter of actual conviction for Yglesias to argue that Manning must be tortured; he actually does not care about the matter at all. He cares only about maintaining his career-making bona fides, and he would say anything to promote a reputation as a reasonable person: the law is the law, one must work through proper channels, etc. etc. I wonder what it feels like to be hollow in the middle. I suspect it keeps a man hungry.