Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wikileaks, Excessive Punishment, and Reasonable Discourse

The latest in the anti-Wikileaks jihad is the piling-on of 22 new charges to Private Bradley Manning, the alleged leak, including "aiding the enemy," a capital offense.

That's right; they now want to kill the guy.

Regardless of your feelings on Wikileaks in general, I hope we can all agree this is excessive. It is the definition of excessive punishment.

Which is why I liked this post on ReadWriteWeb.

Curt Hopkins, author of the piece, does something very rare in American public discourse; he looks past his personal opinions and focuses on what is right, rather than simply on what he wants.

For the first half of the post or so I disagreed with much of what he wrote. I found know what? My opinions on it are irrelevant. Suffice to say I disagreed strongly with both content and tone. But then he shifts:
Adding 22 additional counts, including a capital charge, is the kind of disproportionate and deadly political theatre I have come to expect from a country like Burma or Iran. American exceptionalism aside, this action flies in the face of every ideal the U.S. claims for itself and promulgates abroad - ideals which I claim as my own.
On this we are in perfect agreement.

And that is what I liked so much about his post; it's become sadly rare to see two people in public discourse come from wildly opposing viewpoints and end up in agreement. The political, social, religious, and other divides have become team sports, where making sure your team wins is the most important only goal.

Thank you Curt, for being a reasonable voice in what has become a very heated and unreasonable debate. Keep on writing!

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