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Extremism in the Defense of Liberty is No Vice?

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Aug. 21st, 2013 | 10:46 am

This morning's posts bemoaning the sentencing of a self-anointed savior of freedom are not very persuasive to me.  Moreover, I find their tone disturbing.

Folks!  Really!

Assumptions of absolute evil in the hearts of those on the other side of an issue is ugly.  It's not liberal, either.

Deciding that you and your friends alone are on the side of the angels is too Fox-like for me to applaud.
Suggesting that alternative lawful actions were not existent and that taking any other path would have been the moral equivalent of condoning murder is simply tautological blindness.

Vigilance is good. Protests are good.
But please be less nasty.  And, if possible, could you try being less sure of yourself?

I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!


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from: dr_scott
date: Aug. 21st, 2013 06:18 pm (UTC)

The Manning affair is a tragedy. Clueless, confused young man given a responsibility he was obviously unsuited for, and failed at.

It's a morally complex matter - having taken an oath, he was irresponsible to violate it wholesale, when any whistleblowing necessary could have been accomplished by a very selective leak of material. Military discipline in another era would have suggested summary execution.

It's sad but probably necessary that he goes to prison rather than getting counselling. The real negligence here is in the authorities who gave such a person so much access to supposedly critical secret documents. His leak probably caused some deaths and much damage to intelligence networks. Like having a five-year-old drive a bus and being surprised when it crashes.

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