No Room for Civil Disobedience in The Military - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
No Room for Civil Disobedience in The Military
by

I know Reid Smith is playing devil’s advocate but there is no room for civil disobedience (whether it be from the shoreline of Walden Pond or not) when it comes to Pvc. Bradley Manning or any other member of the U.S. military.

It’s not like Manning was drafted against his will. He enlisted into the Army of his own accord, took an oath to obey the Constitution and the orders of the President of the United States and of officers above him, underwent basic training and waited to be deployed to Iraq. He knew what he was getting into. So I don’t buy the argument that Manning suddenly “believed that he was part of an unjust war, waged by an unjust government.”

Apparently, Manning had a problem functioning in military life. It happens. But Manning took it a step further and chose to leak classified information knowing full well that it would compromise the safety and security of his fellow soldiers, our allies and the Iraqis and Afghans working with us. He leaked the information to Wikileaks, an organization with an explicitly anti-American political agenda. In the case of the video of the July 2007 airstrike which resulted in civilian deaths including two journalists from Reuters, Julian Assange edited it for his own ends. His manipulations should not be accepted at face value.

It is an unavoidable fact of life that people die in war including civilians and journalists. Our military is fallible but it is not evil nor is it in the habit of deliberately or wantonly killing civilians and journalists. To say that we all have blood on our hands because non-combatants die during war is simply disingenuous. I have no sympathy whatsoever for Manning. As Smith acknowledges, Manning is responsible for his actions and must pay the consequences for them. Unless he was otherwise assisted, no one else need be blamed for his treachery.

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