Criminal Justice

Obama Has the Constitutional Scholar's Greatest Gift: He Can Tell Who Is Guilty Just By Lookin' At 'Em


The commander-in-chief on unconvicted supposed WikiLeaker Bradley Manning, via FireDogLake:

In a discussion yesterday with Logan Price, a Bradley Manning supporter who was part of a group of activists who sang a song during the President's San Francisco fundraiser, President Obama flatly stated that Bradley Manning "dumped" documents and that "he broke the law." A rough transcript follows,provided by UK Friends of Bradley Manning:

OBAMA: So people can have philosophical views [about Bradley Manning] but I can't conduct diplomacy on an open source [basis]… That's not how the world works.

And if you're in the military… And I have to abide by certain rules of classified information. If I were to release material I weren't allowed to, I'd be breaking the law.

We're a nation of laws! We don't let individuals make their own decisions about how the laws operate. He broke the law.

[Q: Didn't he release evidence of war crimes?]

OBAMA: What he did was he dumped

[Q: Isn't that just the same thing as what Daniel Ellsberg did?]

OBAMA: No it wasn't the same thing. Ellsberg's material wasn't classified in the same way…..

This is the President of the United States speaking about a US military soldier detained for almost a year on charges of leaking classified (but not top secret, the level of files released by Ellsberg) documents.

President Obama has already made up his mind. He thinks Manning "broke the law." It's no wonder he considered Manning's abuse to "meet our basic standards" when he thinks Manning is already guilty…..

As a reminder: the Pentagon plans to hold Manning indefinitely. Might as well, since they think he's guilty already.

Let's go to the video:

Some previous Manningblogging here and here.

NEXT: War on Four Loko Over; Battle of the Blast Begins

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  1. Jerry Della Femina Goes Galt

    Legendary ad man Jerry Della Femina blames President Obama for having to sell his Hamptons restaurant. In a column for the East Hampton Independent, the inspiration behind the “Mad Men” series says that in 2008, he “decided that this country was falling in love with an attractive, great-speechmaking hustler/socialist” and that he was “dropping out” and would sell off “my houses, my advertising business, my newspaper and my restaurant.” Della Femina sealed a deal this week to sell his Hamptons eatery to the owners of the Houston’s chain. He writes, “I’m just not ready to have my wealth redistributed. I’m not ready to pay more tax money than the next guy because I provide jobs and because I work a 60-hour week and I earn more than $250,000 a year.” He also told The Post’s Selim Algar, “I truly believe we are headed for disaster. I’m going into gold and silver.” Opened in 1994, Della Femina’s quickly became a celebrity magnet and helped to usher in a Hamptons boom along with Nick and Toni’s and The Palm, drawing the likes of Barbra Streisand, Martha Stewart, Carl Icahn and Howard Stern.…..2L5Ifuq4BM

  2. Based on Obama’s own words these past few years, I have seen no evidence that he has ever even read the Constitution.

    1. This.

      I can’t imagine (well actually I can) what he taught in his Con Law classes. Yeah, Constitutional Law Scholar. Right.

      1. Yes, and since he says America is a nation of Laws, when is Congress (excepting Ron Paul) going to jail? When and where will Obama report to prison?

    2. Apparently Bush left his version at the Oval Office, and Obama is using that one, too.

      It reads something like this:

      “The US president is the ruler supreme of the planet earth. His word is law.”

      1. The Obama Doctrine: anything Bush was bad at, I can do worse!

        1. I am still waiting for somebody to come up with any example where Obama did better than Bush. “Did not start a new war” has to be scratched now, too.

  3. Remember when liberals believed in this fuck? What a bunch of idiots.

    1. Hey, we called them idiots then too, dude.

      The only positive note out of how bad he sucks, is that it’s so bad that not even the usually cognitive dissonant TEAM BLUE schmucks who fel in love with him can deny the suckitude.

      HA, HA (full on Nelson Muntz)

      Maybe, just maybe, they can learn that putting a bunch of faith in a self-aggrandizing power hungry scumbag (all politicians, for instance) is never–ever–a good idea.

      Maybe. I doubt it, though. If they were smart enough to understand that, they would have arrived there a long time ago.

      1. I seem to recall quite a few libertarians on H&R held out the hope that Obama would be better than Bush on this and a number of other things besides having the FBI tone down the porn prosecutions.

        1. And we called them idiots then, too. Especially poor Weigel.

          1. Weigel was a fucking fraud too.

            1. You mean he isn’t a leftist?

        2. Let’s make this simple. Don’t ever vote for someone with no record upon which to judge him for the most powerful single position in the world. Also, when the guy has flat out told you how much of a statist he is, believe him.

          1. >Lets make this simple. Don’t ever vote.

            Fixed! It is now even simplerler.

    2. Remember when liberals believed in this fuck?

      You don’t have to remember that which is still happening.

  4. I like how he allows the guy to stay in his presence when someone off camera seems to suggest that the questioner be removed…”No, he’s alright, he’s alright. He’s being courteous asking questions”.

    1. He did say that he was still going to vote for BO in 2012, so he must be all right.

    2. The SS often act like the SS.

      Bunch of goons with guns.

  5. Bradley Manning should imitate his cousin Glenn Manning, the Amazing Colossal Man (MST3K version here). If he grew fifty feet tall, he would burst out of his cell and be free.

  6. “We are a nation of laws” – wow, the irony in those words passing the lips of a man who acts as though the law is only what he wants it to be… I’m thinking that is approaching the density of a black hole.

    [Don’t blame me because the universe is RAAAAACIST.]

  7. I have no sympathy for Manning. He released info in violation of the rules he agreed to. Let him rot.

    Assange of course should face no punishment. He’s a private citizen journalist.

    1. You’d be amazed how many people on this website don’t understand that distinction.

      1. Yeah, and you’re the first moron in that line…

      2. Just because he violated the provisions regarding classified info doesn’t mean that some of what has happened in his pre-trial detention isn’t worrisome. He can face the punishment he deserves without the detention barracks treating him like a sub-human.

    2. “He released info in violation of the rules he agreed to.”

      That’s for a trial to decide.

      1. I agree with this. Yes, Manning broke he law and, if found guilty by trial, should spend some time in prison. Manning is not a hero. He also did not find evidence of war crimes.

        1. Umm, he HAS spent time in prison. Solitary, in fact. And I’d like somebody to explain to me why the release of that video of a van getting shot up was a detriment to our country’s security — not just a detriment to truth and reputations.

        2. I agree with this.

          You would, wouldn’t you… toxic piece of statist shit!

      2. I don’t need a trial to declare Obama guilty of treason.

        He’s done more damage to this country than Osama could hope to.

      3. To hell with the worthless trial, where even the basic principles of jurisprudence are violated: The accuser is also the judge, ie. The Fucking State

    3. What’s that thing we have again? Dude princess? Rude porkchops? Dew purses?

      1. You used to have “due process.” Now you have the right to be assassinated on the orders of the President based upon secret information that you are actually terrorist.

        1. Ah, drone process. I’ve heard of this.

          1. Stealing that. Thanks, PL.

      2. OK, he can have due process, as long as it’s not substantive.

    4. I agree ultimately with that. Manning wasn’t on some crusade or anything like that. And the data he released – Obama was accurate in calling it ‘dumped’ – was just a huge pile of digital crap that he had no idea it contained.

      This of course assumes he did it. And frankly, the very loose and pernicious handling of information via leaks and games (Valerie Plame et al) by ‘insiders’ with the press leaves underlings like Manning I’m sure wondering where the game ends and the crime begins.

      If the Washington establishment is pissed at anything, it isn’t the release of the information…it’s that they had no say or control the leaking of classified info, that’s what they’re pissed about: They weren’t in on it, there’s no ‘Red vs. Blue’ angle in what was released for them to latch onto, and it doesn’t benefit any personal agendas in that crew.

      “Hey, that’s OUR secrets to illegally disseminate!” more or less seems to be the underlying disgust at Manning.

      1. Well, if you actually *read* what little “proof” of Manning’s culpability, you would read the chats of a man who is deep in sorrow and confused about what the US Army is doing in Iraq. He is forced to read through and attempt to censor “terrorist” material which was only anti-Nouri al-Maliki.

        He was on a “crusade”. He saw his employer doing horrible things (like the helicopter video) and he tried to stop it. If the chats are real then the man is a hero.

        1. He saw his employer doing horrible things (like the helicopter video) and he tried to stop it. If the chats are real then the man is a hero.

          They are and he is!

    5. I have no sympathy for Manning. He released info in violation of the rules he agreed to. Let him rot.

      I think he should go free. Not because of what he did or did not do. But because those laws are enforced only selectively. Other people who leaked secret documents before were not charged, or got a slap on the wrist.

      1. Yeah, and they had the right clout. When you get a man as friendless as manning, you can’t let a perfect prosecution go to waste.

    6. I have no sympathy for Manning. He released info in violation of the rules he agreed to. Let him rot.

      You fucking clueless imbecile!

      I wanna lace your cupcakes, with a little arsenic…

  8. Has Obama actually kept ANY promises to progressives?
    Aside from the health care thing I mean … if that even counts.

    1. Has Obama actually kept ANY promises to progressives?

      DADT. But that was by default, as I am not convinced his heart was in that one. According to PolitiFact The Obama is sitting around 24% of campaign promises kept so far. The average for recent presidents’ promises kept is around 30%. Of course, how strenuous the accuracy of a “promise kept” is open to interpretation. A cursory search reveals more.

    2. He got his daughters a puppy, just as he promised.

      1. fucking Portuguese Water Dog. Should have gotten them a real dog, like a Border Collie, screw their allergies.

  9. Enjoy this next campaign. I’m going to fly out to Spain. It’s beautiful out there today. Yesterday I saw a single payer health plan. If you register enough voters, maybe I’ll let you ride a bus all the way up to the White House and I’ll tell you all about the time I saw a single payer health plan again. I’d fly you, but you must understand that we can’t afford to buy two seats for each of you.

  10. It apparently will be news to some here that Obama will not be serving as judge in the Bradley Manning case and that his opinion of the suspect’s guilt is irrelevant.

    1. You assume, of course, that there will ever be an actual trial, that said hypothetical trial (or tribunal) will be fair, and that the outcome thereof will be legally binding.

      All of these were reasonable assumptions in, say, 1980, 1990, or even 2000.

      Not today. Manning’s guilt is presumed by the entire chain of command (from President on down), the Pentagon is already doing everything it can to postpone the trial and turn Manning into a vegetable first, and the President has the power to detain Manning indefinitely as an enemy combatant.

      The judicial branch has been carefully dismantled (by congress, by the President, and with the support of the Supreme Court) to make it completely ineffective and subordinate to the other branches in all matters concerning terrorism (and drugs too but that’s another matter), even indirectly.

      There are decent judges, competent attorneys, and responsible jurors. They will all be excluded as much as possible from the farce that is likely to play out, and when they can’t be, the government will tie their hands so thoroughly that they can’t affect anything anyway.

      1. You understand that military personnel being subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice pre-dates both the Bush and Obama administrations, don’t you?

        1. But even the UCMJ contains due process. Any due process performed in the Manning case will be purely for show. His fate is already decided. His trial will be the judicial equivalent of a pro wrestling match.

      2. Thank you, kbolino!

    2. It apparently will be news to WetBlanket, that the reason for which he’s wet, is that I wiped myself on him… and the pleasure was all mine!

  11. I hate to admit it, but I voted for the chump. I was going to vote for McCain (no way could I vote for sellout Bob Barr…no way) but after his Georgian antics and his TARP-love, I was like ‘What’s the difference?’

    I figured there would be a health-care mess, etc. But I also figured we’d have a ‘Constitutional Scholar’ who seemed to have a conscience and awareness on the legal vacuum when it came to ‘enemy combatants’ and how the law should work with crimes of a national security import a.k.a. ‘terrorism.’ Plus he’d relax the drug-war craziness, and keep us out of wars. All things McCain was very weak on. So I held my nose and cast a vote for Uncle Sugar.

    Wow was I wrong. This guy is useless, he even throws black folks under the bus politically. He’s Bush with a sprinkling of socialism and an even more incompetent band of fools to take his phone calls.

    1. You’re going to show contrition by giving up the right to vote, right?

      1. Nope. I’ll show contrition by getting the idiot I voted for, and not all of a sudden thinking he’s not ‘really’ my President or that he was born on Neptune or some shit.

        No more years though, that’s for sure. Ron Paul 2012 at this point.

        Donald Trump vs. Obama? Now let’s talk about no more voting, unless its with our feet.

        1. I couldn’t really stomach either candidate, and voted for neither, but I always thought Obama might do a military pull-back and become moderate domestically. But he turned out to be a military expansionist and a domestic plunderer. We have a few Democrats that might be sort of anti-war, but they tend to be the type that like to loot their neighbors at home. And a few unreliable Republicans. Does that leave R Paul?

          1. I correct that to say “But he turned out to be a ham-handed military expansionist and a filthy-fingered domestic plunderer.

    2. So, given the choice between two warmongering socialists, one of whom chides the other for being insufficiently bellicose, and a “sellout” libertarianish conservative who repudiated his prior sellouts and worked for NORML for a few years…you chose socialist #1.

      Don’t strain any muscles patting yourself on the back.

    3. I wrote my own name in. As far as I could tell, Obama was another lying chiseler from upstate Illinois with no history, records, who managed to talk at length while saying nothing and McCain was an old, hypocritical, war-mongering, douchebag whose whole life has been smoothed by his father’s reputation and his wife’s money.

      1. I’ve taken to writing in my own name in a lot of elections. One time I actually got 3 votes for sheriff or something and I still have no idea who else voted for me.

    4. So when it came to evil, rather than vote for the lesser (Bob Barr), you decided to go full bore. Nice!

  12. Let me be clear: I have no respect whatsoever for our current president. He is a world-class narcissist and a pathological liar.

    1. The dude writes a book about himself (with ghostwriters) to congratulate himself on his awesomeness at being a community organizer.

      Reason enough to see that the guy is a loon.

  13. “Obama Has the Constitutional Scholar’s Greatest Gift: He Can Tell Who Is Guilty Just By Lookin’ At ‘Em”

    You must admit that this is a necessary talent for someone who has the power to hold people incommunicado indefinitely, or have them assassinated on his own order alone. I shudder to think of what would become of us if he DIDN’T have that level of omniscience. Thank God he does.

    1. I am a US citizen. Could Obama have me droned dead if I called him a jackass? Or is that only if I were in Yemen at the time?

  14. I have to say that the speed at which my friends who are liberal are jumping off the Hope’n’Change mobile is impressive. I thought they’d wait longer to do so after the Craptacular Obamacare passed, but $4 a gallon for gas and an economy that shows zero signs of recovery appears to have sped up the process.

    I get a little tired of their reasons though, because everything that they used as a reason why we should vote for Obama (besides the white guilt factor) was stupid and hollow to begin with. The dude has absolutely zero experience running anything and his performance as a senator was nothing but pretty speeches and butt sniffing, chicago style.

    I mean really? You REALLY thought that a guy who was the biggest union tool on the block would somehow fix the economy? The guy who pretty much walked through Harvard law without so much as anything remotely resembling an accomplishment is somehow going to be an expert at Executive control under the constitution?

    The worst part is how easy it was to see this naked emperor for what he was prior to the election and everyone just ignored it. Pathetic.

    1. You know what the sad thing is? A lot of liberals are jumping off the bandwagon because they think Obama is a wimp for agreeing to deficit reduction and possibly keeping the Bush tax cuts.

      Of all the reasons to jump off…

      1. True. I’ve found that a lot of my liberal friends split down the middle with this. Some do as you say, abandon HopeyChangey because he isn’t sufficiently Marxist, and others have come to the conclusion that maybe those ideals are actually full of shit.

        1. and others have come to the conclusion that maybe those ideals are actually full of shit.

          Bless their little souls…

  15. I wonder if Manning has a psychiatrist.

    1. I wonder if Manning has a psychiatrist.

      Yes. It is SOP to have mental health officers evaluate and diagnose possible mental illness, mostly to determine if the danger of self-infliction of injury is present.

      1. Does he have an independent psychiatrist?

        1. Did you get my Fred Astaire dancing with the vacuum cleaner link?

      2. I wonder if military uniform-wearing psychiatrists are as great at their jobs as military uniform-wearing dentists? Just asking.

        1. Nidal Malik Hasan was military uniform-wearing psychiatrist.

    2. I think I remember reading that the base/brig commander basically told the psychiatrist to piss up a rope.

  16. No it wasn’t the same thing. Ellsberg’s material wasn’t classified in the same way

    Daniel Ellsberg: “I was Bradley Manning”

    1. Well, what does he know, anyway?

  17. The presumption of innocence is a legal presumption–not a factual presumption that we all have to live by.

    Obama’s not doing anything wrong by assuming that Manning is factually guilty of releasing secret information. The publicly available information is pretty damming on that point.

    Maybe Manning will have some awesome legal defense–insanity, or a 4th amendment violation–but it’s a safe bet he’s factually guilty.

    1. I don’t think Obama’s doing anything wrong for privately assuming Manning’s guilt, but as Manning’s commanding officer and leader of the country he is absolutely wrong to say so in his official capacity. Let Manning have his day in court.

  18. Having Obama as your constitutional law instructor is like having Stephen Hawking as your ski instructor.

    1. I would have gone with Terry Schiavo, but well played.

  19. what…no hat tip to George Carlin for the post title? Disappointed…

  20. O. is a doofus of the first order – as is Holder. A couple of affirmative advantage slackers.

  21. While you are on the surface correct that the legal presumption of Manning as innocent until proven guilty still holds true we must understand the absolutely critical aspect that separates Ellsberg from Manning.

    Manning was a uniformed soldier during the time that the data was obtained and distributed. His actions are not open to the same laws that Ellsberg was subject to. His actions will be tried under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    The rights that we know as civilians are not the same ones that a soldier serving in uniform lives under.

    On the facts it is basically said and done. Manning commmitted the actions which breached security in a way that he knew was completely inappropriate. There is some evidence that he did it with malice aforethought. He was displeased with the government not overturning the “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” policy on gays.

    He has no high-minded sense of public duty behind his actions. He was not a civilian contractor. His actions can be shown to provide material information of use to the enemy we currently face on the battlefield.

    To me this rises the level of treason in uniform.

    The military may not yet have had the trial but they also haven’t tried Maj. Nidal Hassan. Want to talk about him as not being guilty just because he hasn’t gone to trial yet?

    There are plenty of occaisions to show Obama leaping to conclusions that he could not possible have all the facts on, such as when he accused the Cambridge police of “acting stupidly” when they arrested a man who refused to provide proof of identification after that man had broken into a home.

    1. How about you actually read Manning’s reasons for why he did what he did? It was completely out of a sense of “public duty.”

      “The people have a right to know” and all. This speculation that since he’s gay he must have had some dark ulterior motive (sympathy for jihadists??) is just stupid.

    2. This is telling, that you would misrepresent this incident. Cambridge police did not arrest professor what’s his name for refusing to provide ID. He was loud and accusing the police of racism (wrongly in my opinion) but they were satisfied of his identity as the owner of the house when he was arrested. They asked him to step outside on the porch as they couldn’t arrest him inside his own home. The police were evil asshats, though not racist. Remember, police hatred is colorblind, except for hating everything non-blue.

  22. So, Firedoglake’s finally experiencing a bit of buyer’s remorse, re: their precious Jug-Eared Jesus?


  23. Obama Law!

    We are a nation of laws, and the law is people who release information that harms me have broken the law. people who release information that helps me is legal.

    1. If I do it, it’s legal.

  24. Perhaps Bradley Manning could stand up in court like Charlie Manson’s girls during the Nixon administration, and declare “The president says I’m guilty, so why go on with the trial?”

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