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From the NYT:

Screenshot 2017-01-17 14.25.08

After all, isn’t that what ultimately matters more than anything else imaginable: Transgender Rights?

Commenter Faraday’s Bobcat notes:

In other news, Manning has won the Maxwell Q. Klinger Award for resourcefulness under extreme duress.

 
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  1. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Snowden should have put on a wig.

    But then, Manning got in trouble for spilling the beans before Obama, whereas Snowden spilled the beans on Obama.

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  2. neutral says:

    I want to know how they reconcile the transgender issue and the fact that Manning gave stuff to Wikileaks which is, according to them, a Russian operation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy

    I want to know how they reconcile the transgender issue and the fact that Manning gave stuff to Wikileaks which is, according to them, a Russian operation.
     
    WWT translates into Russian operations and WikiLeaks via a Hypo(crisy) function. Certain browsers at WaPo and NYT are known to have the requisite hypolinks for proper display of function results. You may need to check user preferences to add the function to your browser.

    f(Manning sentence commutation) = headlines and article

    , @International Jew
    It's all about adding up those Diversity Pokemon Points. Reading iSteve is how I keep up with that.
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  3. guest says:

    Until recently Manning’s mental disease was a shideshow, and the main issue was whistleblowing, the National Security State, and American imperialism and warmongering in general. I’d have thought Obama would pardon “them” so the history books could say, “See, he was open and transparent, and didn’t at all want to carry out endless wars on multiple fronts with minimal oversight from the public. Because pardon.”

    The two-fer was always there, but I wouldn’t have expected World War T to take center stage. Hard to believe *that* is the less controversial part they’ve decided to push.

    Oh, and too bad Snowden still has his dick.

    Read More
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  4. jjbees says:

    It’s more about who Manning is than what Manning did that seems to matter. Interesting.

    Identity politics. Manning’s on top of “the stack”.

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  5. dearieme says:

    So today leaking stuff from an Army insider to Wikileaks is OK? But leaking stuff from a DNC insider to Wikileaks is not?

    P.S. Can anyone tell me why Manning isn’t being released immediately? Is it an attempt to use him/her as a pawn in a game against Trump?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde

    P.S. Can anyone tell me why Manning isn’t being released immediately? Is it an attempt to use him/her as a pawn in a game against Trump?
     
    There are all kinds of boring administrative processes they must go through before being released. Bureaucrats gotta get paychecks before ol Chelsea gets cut loose.
    , @Lot
    Obama is mostly doing commutations of sentences rather than pardons. He can add conditions to the commutations like admit guilt and accept responsibility, probation, drug treatment, etc. The number of outright pardons he has granted is the lowest of any modern president.

    Nearly all of them appear to be justified and involve people given long federal mandatory minimums for non-violent drug crimes who have already served 15+ years of very long sentences, and they typically require a few more months in prison before they are effective.
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  6. In other news Manning has won the Maxwell Q. Klinger Award for resourcefulness under extreme duress.

    Read More
    • LOL: Old fogey
    • Replies: @Langley
    Forget the Klinger defense.

    How about the Snow White defense?

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/national-security/article127061129.html
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  7. Glt says:

    Transgender supremacy

    Read More
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  8. So what are they saying here? His crime wasn’t really that bad? Or it was, but he should get away with it because tranny? Or something else? Trannys already have special rights, but, isn’t this literally a get out of jail free card?

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  9. Jefferson says:

    Is Barack Hussein Obama attracted to Trannies in his personal life? Is he the Black Jim Norton?

    Read More
    • Replies: @frayedthread
    Well, he did marry Michelle.
    , @Clyde

    Is Barack Hussein Obama attracted to Trannies in his personal life? Is he the Black Jim Norton?
     
    Obama, the mocha Eddie Murphy?
    , @Anon87
    Isn't Jim more the white Richard Pryor in this case? Barry is J. Edgar Hoover (he's a retcon tranny now, right?).
    , @Harry Baldwin
    “We all know Obama is gay and Michelle is a tranny."
    --Joan Rivers' last public statement.
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  10. Clyde says:

    Looking on the bright side….. Manning will have to pay his own sex change bills. He looks crazy enough to get it chopped, unlike Bruce Jenner.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Faraday's Bobcat
    Will he? Or will Obama also give him an honorable discharge so he can get it through the VA?
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  11. Barnard says:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2017/01/17/president-obama-has-now-granted-more-commutations-any-president-nations-history

    Obama thinks setting a record for commutations is something to brag about. Lots of drug dealers on the list also and of course FALN terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera, who will be free at last on May 17th.

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    • Replies: @anonitron1
    These are all unambiguously good things (except for Rivera, who is an old-ass man so who cares if he's in prison or not?).
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  12. Not that I care about Bradlea, but Asshenge said he’d trade himself in for him/her/it. Then the Gott-Imperator can pardon him !!!
    Twofer 4 Wikileaks!!
    No tweets on the matter from the Trumpenfuhrer. Is this a 4-D castling move by Obama that will tax even our Lord and Saviour?

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  13. @Jefferson
    Is Barack Hussein Obama attracted to Trannies in his personal life? Is he the Black Jim Norton?

    Well, he did marry Michelle.

    Read More
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  14. Clyde says:
    @Jefferson
    Is Barack Hussein Obama attracted to Trannies in his personal life? Is he the Black Jim Norton?

    Is Barack Hussein Obama attracted to Trannies in his personal life? Is he the Black Jim Norton?

    Obama, the mocha Eddie Murphy?

    Read More
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  15. CCZ says:

    The madness continues to grow. The “T Bill of Rights” continues to expand, example, prohibit the tyranny of “state-sanctioned compulsion” to “define bodily integrity” and “personal autonomy.”

    Transgender Woman Sues N.J. for Right to Change Birth Certificate

    Susan K. Livio | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

    A transgender woman has sued the New Jersey Health Department for refusing her request to amend her birth certificate, according to the complaint filed in federal court.

    State law requires a transgender person to prove he or she has undergone sexual reassignment surgery before the health department will change the gender on a birth certificate. But the plaintiff, identified as Jane Doe, does not intend to get the surgery that would change her anatomy from male to female, according to the lawsuit.

    Calling the requirement “a state-sanctioned compulsion,” the lawsuit accuses the state of violating her due process and equal protection rights under the constitution “to define her bodily integrity” and “personal autonomy.”

    “To have a bureaucracy or people think we are immoral or think we are mentally ill is not right, and is not the way the United State government is set up,” said Julie Chovanes, co-founder of the Trans-Help, a national advocacy organization in Philadelphia who is representing the plaintiff with Haddonfield attorney Paul R. Fitzmaurice.

    “If people don’t get this, they have to understand these are children of God just like them, and the want to be recognized how God made them,” she said.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Half Canadian

    “If people don’t get this, they have to understand these are children of God just like them, and the want to be recognized how God made them,” she said.
     
    Well, God DID make them male/female, so why are you arguing for the change?
    , @Kyle McKenna
    We need a 'jaw-dropped' emoticon.

    Unbelievable.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    CCZ, These people are f*cked up in their heads, I'm going to call them cranies.
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  16. Snowden’s asking: “Where’s the dress?”

    Read More
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  17. Clyde says:
    @dearieme
    So today leaking stuff from an Army insider to Wikileaks is OK? But leaking stuff from a DNC insider to Wikileaks is not?


    P.S. Can anyone tell me why Manning isn't being released immediately? Is it an attempt to use him/her as a pawn in a game against Trump?

    P.S. Can anyone tell me why Manning isn’t being released immediately? Is it an attempt to use him/her as a pawn in a game against Trump?

    There are all kinds of boring administrative processes they must go through before being released. Bureaucrats gotta get paychecks before ol Chelsea gets cut loose.

    Read More
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  18. Good for Manning. He/She is on our side and a political prisoner.

    Read More
    • Agree: TomSchmidt
    • Disagree: Barnard
    • Replies: @Langley
    " He/She is on our side"

    Comrade your indecisiveness is counter revolutionary!

    Brother WC you must denounces yourself for your lack of commitment to the Current Truth © of the T Revolution!

    http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-blog/everybody-deserves-a-trans-reality-show-as-we-re-all-trapped-t16478.html

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  19. Arclight says:

    Perhaps Obama did this because he couldn’t stomach the idea of the federal government paying for Manning’s sex change operation and feminine voice coaching?

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  20. eah says:

    Take the challenge: find a news story about the commutation that uses the pronoun “he” (there was a legal name change, but so far no sex change surgery).

    Read More
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  21. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    That tweet was from Lin-Manuel Miranda. https://twitter.com/Lin_Manuel/status/821470034472136708

    Mr. Unz needs to fix his tweet embedding.

    , @The Last Real Calvinist
    A lot of iSteve themes converge (or should I say intersect) in that tweet.
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  22. Jack D says:

    Klinger was just faking it to try to get out of the war, but I really believe that Chelsea/Bradley is that nuts.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Je Suis Charlie Martel
    Nuts? No nuts
    "Hysterical "?
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  23. JohnnyD says:

    Maybe, Putin, Snowden and Assange should come out as transgendered people to get on the deep state’s good side…

    Read More
    • Replies: @SFG
    Snowden and Assange I could see.

    Putin? He'd rather die. He managed to give a weak defense of Trump while bragging about Russia's prostitutes--"he wouldn't waste his time going after Russian prostitutes, which, by the way, are the best in the world."

    I remember thinking, dude, that is a serious alpha.
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  24. SPMoore8 says:

    Not really happy Manning is being released in May, but 35 years was too much anyway. I’ve known of murderers who got out after only 7 years. I’d let Snowden go too, but he has to come back, take responsibility, and do some serious time. You don’t get to pull these stunts for free.

    Read More
    • Disagree: Cletus Rothschild, melendwyr
    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    These aren't stunts. The govt is taking away our rights, spying on us, and committing fairly extreme war crimes overseas. The "War on Terror" appears to be mostly a pointless ruse to fatten up the pockets of the military-industrial complex and politicians. Snowden, Manning, Assange, and Greenwald are national heroes.

    If somebody should be doing time, it's Bush, Cheney, and others in their administration. Their actions killed 5,000 U.S. troops and injured 1 million (in Iraq). They even ordered the CIA to forge a document that purported to show Iraq buying uranium from Niger.

    Seymour Hersh (Pulitzer-prize winning journalist) claims that Obama and Hillary approved the use of sarin gas in Syria, with the intent of blaming the incident on Assad. Obama, of course, denies that and continues to blame Assad for the attack. So perhaps those two should be doing some time as well.

    I find it fascinating that Saddam Hussein was portrayed as evil for gassing the Kurds, but our public leaders (Obama, Bush, Cheney, Clinton) don't face the same scrutiny.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    SP, Murderers who served only seven years is a bigger problem than Manning being sentenced to 35 years. And I hope you meant, you know OF murderers who got out after only 7 years, and not that you personally know murderers.
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  25. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    https://twitter.com/Lin_Manuel/status/821470034472136708

    That tweet was from Lin-Manuel Miranda. https://twitter.com/Lin_Manuel/status/821470034472136708

    Mr. Unz needs to fix his tweet embedding.

    Read More
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  26. @Jack D
    Klinger was just faking it to try to get out of the war, but I really believe that Chelsea/Bradley is that nuts.

    Nuts? No nuts
    “Hysterical “?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    "Chelsea" has nuts (for now), will never have a uterus no matter what.
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  27. Langley says:
    @WorkingClass
    Good for Manning. He/She is on our side and a political prisoner.

    ” He/She is on our side”

    Comrade your indecisiveness is counter revolutionary!

    Brother WC you must denounces yourself for your lack of commitment to the Current Truth © of the T Revolution!

    http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-blog/everybody-deserves-a-trans-reality-show-as-we-re-all-trapped-t16478.html

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  28. @SPMoore8
    Not really happy Manning is being released in May, but 35 years was too much anyway. I've known of murderers who got out after only 7 years. I'd let Snowden go too, but he has to come back, take responsibility, and do some serious time. You don't get to pull these stunts for free.

    These aren’t stunts. The govt is taking away our rights, spying on us, and committing fairly extreme war crimes overseas. The “War on Terror” appears to be mostly a pointless ruse to fatten up the pockets of the military-industrial complex and politicians. Snowden, Manning, Assange, and Greenwald are national heroes.

    If somebody should be doing time, it’s Bush, Cheney, and others in their administration. Their actions killed 5,000 U.S. troops and injured 1 million (in Iraq). They even ordered the CIA to forge a document that purported to show Iraq buying uranium from Niger.

    Seymour Hersh (Pulitzer-prize winning journalist) claims that Obama and Hillary approved the use of sarin gas in Syria, with the intent of blaming the incident on Assad. Obama, of course, denies that and continues to blame Assad for the attack. So perhaps those two should be doing some time as well.

    I find it fascinating that Saddam Hussein was portrayed as evil for gassing the Kurds, but our public leaders (Obama, Bush, Cheney, Clinton) don’t face the same scrutiny.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    Just like the Iraq War was sold under false pretenses, Obama and his allies tried the same with Syria.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhdZnzVzMb8
    , @JohnnyWalker123
    President George HW Bush claimed Iraqi forces were killing Kuwaiti babies. This was used to sell the first Iraq War to the public. It later turned out this was totally false.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v94WsjWKQ3U

    It shows you the importance of PR, marketing, and message.
    , @SPMoore8
    I agree that the US use of mercenaries and for invasion of privacy are among things that should be leaked, for the good of everyone. However, if you leak this material, you are breaking the law, and you have to suffer the consequences. To deliberately break the law and expect no consequences doesn't work for me.

    Nor would I indiscriminately call these people national heroes: Snowden, maybe, but he fled the consequences of his actions, and that tarnishes his actions. Manning, no, because they is obviously seriously mentally ill. In the case of Assange, he is not an American citizen and as far as I am concerned he can do what he likes. I don't know what Greenwald has brought to this.
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  29. @CCZ
    The madness continues to grow. The "T Bill of Rights" continues to expand, example, prohibit the tyranny of "state-sanctioned compulsion" to "define bodily integrity" and "personal autonomy."

    Transgender Woman Sues N.J. for Right to Change Birth Certificate

    Susan K. Livio | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

    A transgender woman has sued the New Jersey Health Department for refusing her request to amend her birth certificate, according to the complaint filed in federal court.

    State law requires a transgender person to prove he or she has undergone sexual reassignment surgery before the health department will change the gender on a birth certificate. But the plaintiff, identified as Jane Doe, does not intend to get the surgery that would change her anatomy from male to female, according to the lawsuit.

    Calling the requirement "a state-sanctioned compulsion," the lawsuit accuses the state of violating her due process and equal protection rights under the constitution "to define her bodily integrity" and "personal autonomy."

    "To have a bureaucracy or people think we are immoral or think we are mentally ill is not right, and is not the way the United State government is set up," said Julie Chovanes, co-founder of the Trans-Help, a national advocacy organization in Philadelphia who is representing the plaintiff with Haddonfield attorney Paul R. Fitzmaurice.

    "If people don't get this, they have to understand these are children of God just like them, and the want to be recognized how God made them," she said.


     

    “If people don’t get this, they have to understand these are children of God just like them, and the want to be recognized how God made them,” she said.

    Well, God DID make them male/female, so why are you arguing for the change?

    Read More
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  30. Me says:

    Steve, if you haven’t already, check out the gendercritical subreddit. Feminists ranting about how crazy transgender activists are…

    Read More
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  31. Sorry, but this is a brilliant move by Obama.

    Thanks to Assange’s statement that he would turn himself in if Obama did just what he did:

    a/ Every past, present or future ‘offer’ by Assange is now ridiculous (as are the people who believed them).

    b/ Ecuador is under more pressure to turn Assange over. Why do they still have him again?

    c/ Any ‘offer’ by a similar person, let’s call him ‘Edward’ is going to be suspect.

    d/ The incoming Trump Administration will be under more pressure to get Assange. After all, he did say…

    e/ The status of Wikileaks skeptics is now improved.

    It’ll be interesting, too, where Manning end up going.

    Read More
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  32. I suspect that POTUS has some personal sympathies for Manning. Just a guess.

    Actually, I’m dead serious about this. Does Obama seem effeminate? I’m not saying gay, just off.

    Where are the gay guys with their gaydar on this subject. I can’t figure out if Obama seems gay or just incredible pajama-boy smug. Can anyone help on this?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kyle McKenna

    I can’t figure out if Obama seems gay or just incredible pajama-boy smug. Can anyone help on this?
     
    The latter, most definitely. In spades, you might say.

    About Snowden, IIRC he has to be charged/convicted before he can be pardoned. So it's not in the cards. Is that right?
    , @Langley
    "Actually, I’m dead serious about this. Does Obama seem effeminate? I’m not saying gay, just off."

    President Obama's 'close friend' and golf buddy arrested for 'soliciting prostitute' in Hawaii sting operation

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1374267/Obamas-friend-Robert-Bobby-Titcomb-arrested-soliciting-prostitute-Hawaii.html#ixzz4W4wZoEi3
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    It is quite common to find mahu prostitutes working where Obama's best buddy was arrested.

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  33. Ivy says:
    @neutral
    I want to know how they reconcile the transgender issue and the fact that Manning gave stuff to Wikileaks which is, according to them, a Russian operation.

    I want to know how they reconcile the transgender issue and the fact that Manning gave stuff to Wikileaks which is, according to them, a Russian operation.

    WWT translates into Russian operations and WikiLeaks via a Hypo(crisy) function. Certain browsers at WaPo and NYT are known to have the requisite hypolinks for proper display of function results. You may need to check user preferences to add the function to your browser.

    f(Manning sentence commutation) = headlines and article

    Read More
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  34. Manning is a hero. Commuting his sentence is one of the few worthwhile things that Obama has done during his otherwise underwhelming presidency.

    I’m not sure why him being a transsexual is such a huge issue for the media or for people here. I’d think people would be more concerned about the revelations that came from his leaks. To me, that seems infinitely more interesting that his sexual fetishes.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/08/21/what-bradley-manning-revealed/

    Below are some key facts that PFC Manning have helped reveal to the public.
    There is an official policy to ignore torture in Iraq.
    The “Iraq War Logs” published by WikiLeaks revealed that thousands of reports of prisoner abuse and torture had been filed against the Iraqi Security Forces. Medical evidence detailed how prisoners had been whipped with heavy cables across the feet, hung from ceiling hooks, suffered holes being bored into their legs with electric drills, urinated upon, and sexually assaulted. These logs also revealed the existence of “Frago 242,” an order implemented in 2004 not to investigate allegations of abuse against the Iraqi government. This order is a direct violation of the UN Convention Against Torture, which was ratified by the United States in 1994. The Convention prohibits the Armed Forces from transferring a detainee to other countries “where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.” According to the State Department’s own reports, the U.S. government was already aware that the Iraqi Security Forces engaged in torture (1).
    U.S. defense contractors were brought under much tighter supervision after leaked diplomatic cables revealed that they had been complicit in child trafficking activities. DynCorp — a powerful defense contracting firm that claims almost $2 billion per year in revenue from U.S. tax dollars — threw a party for Afghan security recruits featuring boys purchased from child traffickers for entertainment. DynCorp had already faced human trafficking charges before this incident took place. According to the cables, Afghan Interior minister Hanif Atmar urged the assistant US ambassador to “quash” the story. These revelations have been a driving factor behind recent calls for the removal of all U.S. defense contractors from Afghanistan (2).
    Guantanamo prison has held mostly innocent people and low-level operatives.
    The Guantanamo Files describe how detainees were arrested based on what the New York Times referred to as highly subjective evidence. For example, some poor farmers were captured after they were found wearing a common watch or a jacket that was the same as those also worn by Al Queda operatives. How quickly innocent prisoners were released was heavily dependent on their country of origin. Because the evidence collected against Guantanamo prisoners is not permissible in U.S. courts, the U.S. State Department has offered millions of dollars to other countries to take and try our prisoners. According to a U.S. diplomatic cable written on April 17, 2009, the Association for the Dignity of Spanish Prisoners requested that the National Court indict six former U.S. officials for creating a legal framework that allegedly permitted torture against five Spanish prisoners at Guantanamo. However, “Senator Mel Martinez… met Acting FM [Foreign Minister] Angel Lossada… on April 15. Martinez… underscored that the prosecutions would not be understood or accepted in the U.S. and would have an enormous impact on the bilateral relationship” (3).
    There is an official tally of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Even though the Bush and Obama Administrations maintained publicly that there was no official count of civilian casualties, the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs showed that this claim was false. Between 2004 and 2009, the U.S. government counted a total of 109,000 deaths in Iraq, with 66,081 classified as non-combatants. This means that for every Iraqi death that is classified as a combatant, two innocent men, women or children are also killed (4).
    U.S. Military officials withheld information about the indiscriminate killing of Reuters journalists and innocent Iraqi civilians.
    The “Collateral Murder” video released by Wikileaks depicted the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad, including two journalists working for Reuters. The Reuters news organization has repeatedly been denied in its attempts to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters photographer and his rescuers. Two young children who were present in the attempted rescue were also seriously wounded. Ethan McCord, a U.S. army soldier who can be seen in the video carrying wounded children to safety, has said that whoever revealed this video is a “hero.” An internal U.S. military investigation concluded that the incident was consistent with the military’s “Rules of Engagement.” (5)
    The State Department backed corporate opposition to a Haitian minimum wage law.
    Leaked diplomatic cables show that in 2009, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince pushed then-Haitian President Rene Preval to come out in support of powerful textile manufacturers who sought to block a popular minimum wage increase. These factory owners, who produce apparel for large brands like Nike and Nautica, had benefitted from recent free trade agreements that had severely lowered wages and working conditions in Haiti. A series of cables show that the US Embassy closely monitored the movements and activities of student protestors supporting the $5/day minimum wage bill. The bill’s supporters had argued that the increase was justified in light of rising inflation and food costs that had led to widespread starvation. According to the leaked cables, the U.S. delegation dismissed the proposed minimum wage increase as nothing more than a populist measure aimed at appeasing “the unemployed and underpaid masses.” Ultimately, the U.S. delegation succeeded in their efforts when President Preval agreed to block the increase (6).
    The U.S. Government had long been faking its public support for Tunisian President Ben Ali.
    The Tunisian people were already well aware of the corruption plaguing the autocratic ruling family, which for decades had abused their rights. However, the United States government had long presented a public image of strong support for the Ben Ali regime. The U.S. campaign of unwavering public support for President Ali led to a widespread belief among the Tunisian people that it would be very difficult to dislodge the autocratic regime from power. This view was shattered when leaked cables exposed the U.S. government’s private assessment: that the U.S. would not support the regime in the event of a popular uprising. While extreme economic hardship and popular discontent with rights abuses had already set the stage for an uprising, this new information played a critical role in transforming the landscape of political possibilities in Tunisia. The Tunisian people finally realized that, contrary to the U.S. government’s public relations efforts, they weren’t really up against the full force of the world’s superpower. Within one month, Ben Ali became the first Arab leader to be swept from power in the ongoing democratic movements in the region (7).
    Known Egyptian torturers received training from the FBI in Quantico, Virginia.
    According to a leaked diplomatic cable from Cairo, the head of Egypt’s notorious State Security Investigative Service (SSIS) thanked FBI Deputy Director John Pistole for the “excellent and strong” cooperation between the two agencies. In particular, the FBI’s training sessions in Quantico, Virginia were of “great benefit” to his interrogators. Another cable documented what the US embassy considered “credible” allegations of human rights violations by the SSIS, including torturing prisoners with “electric shocks and sleep deprivation to reduce them to a ‘zombie state’” (8). After the autocratic Mubarak regime was driven from power in the recent Egyptian Revolution, protestors stormed the “Amn Dawla” headquarters of the SSIS to uncover further evidence of torture and abuse. They posted these documents on their own site, known as “Amn Dawla Leaks.”
    The State Department authorized the theft of the UN Secretary General’s DNA.
    According to the “National Humint Collection Directive,” a secret document that was signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and published by WikiLeaks, US diplomats were authorized to collect “biometric” and other sensitive information from top UN officials as well as UN representatives from other nations. The leaked documents show that “biometric data” specifically included samples of the officials’ DNA, among other forms of personally identifying information. They also ordered diplomats to collect credit card information and secure passwords. These activities contravene the 1946 UN Convention (9).
    The Japanese and U.S. Governments had been warned about the seismic threat at Fukushima.
    A cable from December 2008 showed that officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency had warned the government about the danger posed by potential seismic activity in the area. The official stated that Japan’s “safety guides for seismic safety have only been revised three times in the last 35 years.” He also noted that the government had fought against a court order to close down another nuclear facility that was not adequately prepared for an earthquake. After being ignored by the Japanese government, the IAEA official also warned the U.S. ambassador to Japan about the looming threat from possible earthquake damage. These warnings went unheeded. The International Atomic Energy Agency has now ranked the Fukushima disaster as severe as Chernobyl (10).
    The Obama Administration allowed Yemen’s President to cover up a secret U.S. drone bombing campaign.
    Since December 2009, President Obama has authorized a secret drone bombing campaign in Yemen. A year later, WikiLeaks revealed that Yemen’s President Saleh had agreed that his regime would “continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours.” These drone strikes have killed large numbers of civilians. One of the strikes that occurred shortly before the cable in question was written had killed 55 people, 41 of whom were classified as civilians (21 of these were children) according to a report by Amnesty International (11). This US military operation in Yemen, which persists to this day, has not been officially acknowledged by our government.
    “The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.”     – United States founding father Patrick Henry (1775)

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    • Agree: TelfoedJohn
    • Replies: @utu
    I'm happy that Manning will be out of prison. Personally I do not believe that prison sentences should be longer than 7 years.
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  35. @JohnnyWalker123
    These aren't stunts. The govt is taking away our rights, spying on us, and committing fairly extreme war crimes overseas. The "War on Terror" appears to be mostly a pointless ruse to fatten up the pockets of the military-industrial complex and politicians. Snowden, Manning, Assange, and Greenwald are national heroes.

    If somebody should be doing time, it's Bush, Cheney, and others in their administration. Their actions killed 5,000 U.S. troops and injured 1 million (in Iraq). They even ordered the CIA to forge a document that purported to show Iraq buying uranium from Niger.

    Seymour Hersh (Pulitzer-prize winning journalist) claims that Obama and Hillary approved the use of sarin gas in Syria, with the intent of blaming the incident on Assad. Obama, of course, denies that and continues to blame Assad for the attack. So perhaps those two should be doing some time as well.

    I find it fascinating that Saddam Hussein was portrayed as evil for gassing the Kurds, but our public leaders (Obama, Bush, Cheney, Clinton) don't face the same scrutiny.

    Just like the Iraq War was sold under false pretenses, Obama and his allies tried the same with Syria.

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  36. BB753 says:

    Steve, you cisgendered bigot, everybody knows that Chelsea Manning is a different person from Bradley Manning! See, that’s the magic of transitioning. Whereby you become a member (no pun intended) of the opposite sex, um gender, and also a different person altogether.
    It was Bradley who committed the crimes. You see, Chelsea is a brand new person: Bradley was the larvae, while Chelsea the beautiful butterfly yearning to break free from its chrysalis and fly away to a new life and shine like never before!

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  37. Abe says: • Website

    What a boy! Despite his manifest personal flaws (and all this brink-salesmanship with China over Taiwan, Germany over the cost of NATO, etc. has even me starting to worry about The Donald’s temperamental fitness for office) there is no question that he is a MAN who has lived much and accomplished much. Not even sworn in and he has already brought back- what? 5000? 10,000?- jobs to America. There is of course no telling if these will be lasting gains for the American worker, but at least he is trying, and using the talents and EXPERIENCE he has gained in a real man’s life for the benefit of his countrymen. Obama never even tried, and was simply content to hand-wave about jobs-to-be-named-later once America became a “green energy superpower”, as if the Chinese, who can already manufacture the minutest part of the iPhone, would somehow be forever stumped when it came time to make solar cell overlays or machine the parts of a wind turbine.

    Yet the reason Obama is the quintessential man-boy (and, no, I do not use “boy” in any racial sense- not that there’s anything wrong with that) is that he continually proves himself- even at 50- to still be a hostage to his own teenage obsessions-

    To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students, the foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.”

    “There were enough of us on campus to constitute a tribe, and when it came to hanging out, many of us chose to function like a tribe, staying close together, traveling in packs.”

    Even after becoming the most powerful man in the world Obama is still the moody, adolescent put-upon outsider at heart. He doesn’t give a damn US soldiers (when news of the Ft. Hood shooting broke, Obama gave the briefest recognition to the atrocity at a press conference, then quickly elided to a demonstration of his latest “black man lessons” from Robert Downey Jr*, giving a “shout-out” to someone named Chief Yawning Feather or something). In other words the massacre of US servicemen didn’t phase him a damn.

    But when it comes to Muslims in distress, Black Studies department heads hassled by the campus cops, or journalists incarcerated after recklessly putting themselves in danger trying to out-scoop their competition- well, suddenly low-energy Barry just SPRINGS into action. No drain on the President’s time is too much. No amount of public fisc is too much. Remember the $100′s of millions spent to free those journalists in Iran? The prisoners swapped to get back confirmed deserter Bowie Berghdahl? Manning, as an oppressed sexual minority weirdo, thus falls squarely within the inner rings of Obama’s concentric circles of loyalty. After all, after the Marxist professors, punk performance poets, and structural feminists (whatever those are), what says more core part of Obama’s “tribe” than transexual military dissident traitor mass secret leaker?

    *Downey Jr. gave an edgy (2008?), but now current year-problematic performance as a transracial movie actor in TROPIC THUNDER

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  38. @JohnnyWalker123
    These aren't stunts. The govt is taking away our rights, spying on us, and committing fairly extreme war crimes overseas. The "War on Terror" appears to be mostly a pointless ruse to fatten up the pockets of the military-industrial complex and politicians. Snowden, Manning, Assange, and Greenwald are national heroes.

    If somebody should be doing time, it's Bush, Cheney, and others in their administration. Their actions killed 5,000 U.S. troops and injured 1 million (in Iraq). They even ordered the CIA to forge a document that purported to show Iraq buying uranium from Niger.

    Seymour Hersh (Pulitzer-prize winning journalist) claims that Obama and Hillary approved the use of sarin gas in Syria, with the intent of blaming the incident on Assad. Obama, of course, denies that and continues to blame Assad for the attack. So perhaps those two should be doing some time as well.

    I find it fascinating that Saddam Hussein was portrayed as evil for gassing the Kurds, but our public leaders (Obama, Bush, Cheney, Clinton) don't face the same scrutiny.

    President George HW Bush claimed Iraqi forces were killing Kuwaiti babies. This was used to sell the first Iraq War to the public. It later turned out this was totally false.

    It shows you the importance of PR, marketing, and message.

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  39. @CCZ
    The madness continues to grow. The "T Bill of Rights" continues to expand, example, prohibit the tyranny of "state-sanctioned compulsion" to "define bodily integrity" and "personal autonomy."

    Transgender Woman Sues N.J. for Right to Change Birth Certificate

    Susan K. Livio | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

    A transgender woman has sued the New Jersey Health Department for refusing her request to amend her birth certificate, according to the complaint filed in federal court.

    State law requires a transgender person to prove he or she has undergone sexual reassignment surgery before the health department will change the gender on a birth certificate. But the plaintiff, identified as Jane Doe, does not intend to get the surgery that would change her anatomy from male to female, according to the lawsuit.

    Calling the requirement "a state-sanctioned compulsion," the lawsuit accuses the state of violating her due process and equal protection rights under the constitution "to define her bodily integrity" and "personal autonomy."

    "To have a bureaucracy or people think we are immoral or think we are mentally ill is not right, and is not the way the United State government is set up," said Julie Chovanes, co-founder of the Trans-Help, a national advocacy organization in Philadelphia who is representing the plaintiff with Haddonfield attorney Paul R. Fitzmaurice.

    "If people don't get this, they have to understand these are children of God just like them, and the want to be recognized how God made them," she said.


     

    We need a ‘jaw-dropped’ emoticon.

    Unbelievable.

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  40. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Byron York
    @ByronYork

    WSJ reports Brennan wants his CIA legacy to be ‘promoting the interests of gay, lesbian, and transgender officers.’ http://ow.ly/pw7t3084MKa

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Ironic, since it doesn't look like a good idea to trust secrets with the kind of person with Manning's mental problems.
    , @CCZ
    All that LGBTQ legacy, but no "Queer International Theory." Brennan missed his opportunity to have the CIA further enhance his legacy by creating "Queer International Theory." Then Ms. Weber would not need to ask: "why has the discipline of International Relations not gone somewhat queer?"

    Why Is There No Queer International Theory?

    Cynthia Weber, University of Sussex, UK
    Abstract
    Over the last decade, Queer Studies have become Global Queer Studies, generating significant insights into key international political processes. Yet, the transformation from Queer to Global Queer has left the discipline of International Relations largely unaffected, which begs the question: if Queer Studies has gone global, why has the discipline of International Relations not gone somewhat queer? Or, to put it in Martin Wight’s provocative terms, why is there no Queer International Theory?
     
    , @Dan Hayes
    Anonymous:

    What about Brennan supporting the interests of Moslem CIA employees, of whom he is purported to be one?
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  41. @Citizen of a Silly Country
    I suspect that POTUS has some personal sympathies for Manning. Just a guess.

    Actually, I'm dead serious about this. Does Obama seem effeminate? I'm not saying gay, just off.

    Where are the gay guys with their gaydar on this subject. I can't figure out if Obama seems gay or just incredible pajama-boy smug. Can anyone help on this?

    I can’t figure out if Obama seems gay or just incredible pajama-boy smug. Can anyone help on this?

    The latter, most definitely. In spades, you might say.

    About Snowden, IIRC he has to be charged/convicted before he can be pardoned. So it’s not in the cards. Is that right?

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    • Replies: @Citizen of a Silly Country
    In spades, you might say.

    That's good.
    , @Mr. Anon
    "About Snowden, IIRC he has to be charged/convicted before he can be pardoned. So it’s not in the cards. Is that right?"

    Ford gave Nixon a blanket pardon, and Nixon hadn't been charged with anything.
    , @melendwyr
    Nope, Nixon was pardoned without being either convicted or IIRC charged. At the very least, everyone decided to go with it, regardless of whether it was 'truly' legal or not. Given the nature of our legal system, determining what the actual laws are is usually difficult and almost always meaningless.
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  42. @Barnard
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2017/01/17/president-obama-has-now-granted-more-commutations-any-president-nations-history

    Obama thinks setting a record for commutations is something to brag about. Lots of drug dealers on the list also and of course FALN terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera, who will be free at last on May 17th.

    These are all unambiguously good things (except for Rivera, who is an old-ass man so who cares if he’s in prison or not?).

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  43. He/she should never had gone to jail anyway. There are plenty that should have gone to jail, including the people whose crimes he exposed.

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  44. Lot says:
    @dearieme
    So today leaking stuff from an Army insider to Wikileaks is OK? But leaking stuff from a DNC insider to Wikileaks is not?


    P.S. Can anyone tell me why Manning isn't being released immediately? Is it an attempt to use him/her as a pawn in a game against Trump?

    Obama is mostly doing commutations of sentences rather than pardons. He can add conditions to the commutations like admit guilt and accept responsibility, probation, drug treatment, etc. The number of outright pardons he has granted is the lowest of any modern president.

    Nearly all of them appear to be justified and involve people given long federal mandatory minimums for non-violent drug crimes who have already served 15+ years of very long sentences, and they typically require a few more months in prison before they are effective.

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  45. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous

    Byron York
    @ByronYork

    WSJ reports Brennan wants his CIA legacy to be 'promoting the interests of gay, lesbian, and transgender officers.' http://ow.ly/pw7t3084MKa
     

    Ironic, since it doesn’t look like a good idea to trust secrets with the kind of person with Manning’s mental problems.

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  46. Jack D says:
    @Je Suis Charlie Martel
    Nuts? No nuts
    "Hysterical "?

    “Chelsea” has nuts (for now), will never have a uterus no matter what.

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  47. Anon87 says:
    @Jefferson
    Is Barack Hussein Obama attracted to Trannies in his personal life? Is he the Black Jim Norton?

    Isn’t Jim more the white Richard Pryor in this case? Barry is J. Edgar Hoover (he’s a retcon tranny now, right?).

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  48. @Clyde
    Looking on the bright side..... Manning will have to pay his own sex change bills. He looks crazy enough to get it chopped, unlike Bruce Jenner.

    Will he? Or will Obama also give him an honorable discharge so he can get it through the VA?

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  49. Langley says:
    @Faraday's Bobcat
    In other news Manning has won the Maxwell Q. Klinger Award for resourcefulness under extreme duress.

    Forget the Klinger defense.

    How about the Snow White defense?

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/national-security/article127061129.html

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  50. @Anonymous
    https://twitter.com/Lin_Manuel/status/821470034472136708

    A lot of iSteve themes converge (or should I say intersect) in that tweet.

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  51. Btw, can someone explain to me why the Constitution allows presidents to pardon people. It’s seems out of order with the rule of law. This isn’t my area, so apologies if the explanation is well known or obvious.

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    • Replies: @anonguy

    Btw, can someone explain to me why the Constitution allows presidents to pardon people. It’s seems out of order with the rule of law.
     
    Right. In principle, he's not supposed to be able to throw people in the can arbitrarily, so why..?

    FWIW, for the peanut gallery, I know how habeas corpus, etc, has been diminished in recent years, but I said in principle.
    , @Mr. Anon
    "Btw, can someone explain to me why the Constitution allows presidents to pardon people. It’s seems out of order with the rule of law."

    Because the Founders couldn't imagine the sort of people who would eventually come to govern this country. They tacitly assumed that the government would always consist of people not too different from themselves.
    , @CCZ
    I needed to review myself.

    The President...shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the
    United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
    Article II, Section 2, Clause 1

    The power to pardon is one of the least limited powers granted to the President in the Constitution. The only limits mentioned in the Constitution are that pardons are limited to offenses against the United States (i.e., not civil or state cases), and that they cannot affect an impeachment process. A reprieve is the commutation or lessening of a sentence already imposed; it does not affect the legal guilt of a person. A pardon, however, completely wipes out the legal effects of a conviction. A pardon can be issued from the time an offense is committed, and can even be issued after the full sentence has been served. It cannot, however, be granted before an offense has been committed, which would give the President the power to waive the laws.

    Heritage Guide to the US Constitution
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  52. @Kyle McKenna

    I can’t figure out if Obama seems gay or just incredible pajama-boy smug. Can anyone help on this?
     
    The latter, most definitely. In spades, you might say.

    About Snowden, IIRC he has to be charged/convicted before he can be pardoned. So it's not in the cards. Is that right?

    In spades, you might say.

    That’s good.

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  53. Langley says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country
    I suspect that POTUS has some personal sympathies for Manning. Just a guess.

    Actually, I'm dead serious about this. Does Obama seem effeminate? I'm not saying gay, just off.

    Where are the gay guys with their gaydar on this subject. I can't figure out if Obama seems gay or just incredible pajama-boy smug. Can anyone help on this?

    “Actually, I’m dead serious about this. Does Obama seem effeminate? I’m not saying gay, just off.”

    President Obama’s ‘close friend’ and golf buddy arrested for ‘soliciting prostitute’ in Hawaii sting operation

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1374267/Obamas-friend-Robert-Bobby-Titcomb-arrested-soliciting-prostitute-Hawaii.html#ixzz4W4wZoEi3
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    It is quite common to find mahu prostitutes working where Obama’s best buddy was arrested.

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  54. SPMoore8 says:
    @JohnnyWalker123
    These aren't stunts. The govt is taking away our rights, spying on us, and committing fairly extreme war crimes overseas. The "War on Terror" appears to be mostly a pointless ruse to fatten up the pockets of the military-industrial complex and politicians. Snowden, Manning, Assange, and Greenwald are national heroes.

    If somebody should be doing time, it's Bush, Cheney, and others in their administration. Their actions killed 5,000 U.S. troops and injured 1 million (in Iraq). They even ordered the CIA to forge a document that purported to show Iraq buying uranium from Niger.

    Seymour Hersh (Pulitzer-prize winning journalist) claims that Obama and Hillary approved the use of sarin gas in Syria, with the intent of blaming the incident on Assad. Obama, of course, denies that and continues to blame Assad for the attack. So perhaps those two should be doing some time as well.

    I find it fascinating that Saddam Hussein was portrayed as evil for gassing the Kurds, but our public leaders (Obama, Bush, Cheney, Clinton) don't face the same scrutiny.

    I agree that the US use of mercenaries and for invasion of privacy are among things that should be leaked, for the good of everyone. However, if you leak this material, you are breaking the law, and you have to suffer the consequences. To deliberately break the law and expect no consequences doesn’t work for me.

    Nor would I indiscriminately call these people national heroes: Snowden, maybe, but he fled the consequences of his actions, and that tarnishes his actions. Manning, no, because they is obviously seriously mentally ill. In the case of Assange, he is not an American citizen and as far as I am concerned he can do what he likes. I don’t know what Greenwald has brought to this.

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  55. CCZ says:
    @Anonymous

    Byron York
    @ByronYork

    WSJ reports Brennan wants his CIA legacy to be 'promoting the interests of gay, lesbian, and transgender officers.' http://ow.ly/pw7t3084MKa
     

    All that LGBTQ legacy, but no “Queer International Theory.” Brennan missed his opportunity to have the CIA further enhance his legacy by creating “Queer International Theory.” Then Ms. Weber would not need to ask: “why has the discipline of International Relations not gone somewhat queer?”

    Why Is There No Queer International Theory?

    Cynthia Weber, University of Sussex, UK
    Abstract
    Over the last decade, Queer Studies have become Global Queer Studies, generating significant insights into key international political processes. Yet, the transformation from Queer to Global Queer has left the discipline of International Relations largely unaffected, which begs the question: if Queer Studies has gone global, why has the discipline of International Relations not gone somewhat queer? Or, to put it in Martin Wight’s provocative terms, why is there no Queer International Theory?

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  56. SFG says:
    @JohnnyD
    Maybe, Putin, Snowden and Assange should come out as transgendered people to get on the deep state's good side...

    Snowden and Assange I could see.

    Putin? He’d rather die. He managed to give a weak defense of Trump while bragging about Russia’s prostitutes–”he wouldn’t waste his time going after Russian prostitutes, which, by the way, are the best in the world.”

    I remember thinking, dude, that is a serious alpha.

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  57. I’ve always just assumed that Manning was pulling a Klinger and now it’s finally paid off.

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  58. The Trannies against Tyranny lobby is strong.

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  59. @Jefferson
    Is Barack Hussein Obama attracted to Trannies in his personal life? Is he the Black Jim Norton?

    “We all know Obama is gay and Michelle is a tranny.”
    –Joan Rivers’ last public statement.

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  60. anonguy says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Btw, can someone explain to me why the Constitution allows presidents to pardon people. It's seems out of order with the rule of law. This isn't my area, so apologies if the explanation is well known or obvious.

    Btw, can someone explain to me why the Constitution allows presidents to pardon people. It’s seems out of order with the rule of law.

    Right. In principle, he’s not supposed to be able to throw people in the can arbitrarily, so why..?

    FWIW, for the peanut gallery, I know how habeas corpus, etc, has been diminished in recent years, but I said in principle.

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  61. Mr. Anon says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Btw, can someone explain to me why the Constitution allows presidents to pardon people. It's seems out of order with the rule of law. This isn't my area, so apologies if the explanation is well known or obvious.

    “Btw, can someone explain to me why the Constitution allows presidents to pardon people. It’s seems out of order with the rule of law.”

    Because the Founders couldn’t imagine the sort of people who would eventually come to govern this country. They tacitly assumed that the government would always consist of people not too different from themselves.

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    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    Your last two sentences may well be the epitaph for the United States.
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  62. Mr. Anon says:

    As a commenter above said, Manning only made Bush look bad, not Obama. Snowden is another matter. The military talking heads on TV all say that Manning released vital information that endangered US military personnel, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s true, and that he should do some time for it. But I think the main reason why the national-security establishment hates Manning is because he leaked gun-camera footage from Iraq that made clear the squalid and immoral nature of our occupation of that country.

    Releasing Manning might also make it harder for President Trump to grant any clemency to Snowden.

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    As a commenter above said, Manning only made Bush look bad, not Obama
     
    I don't know about your Manning, but my Manning made Brady look bad. Twice.
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  63. Mr. Anon says:
    @Kyle McKenna

    I can’t figure out if Obama seems gay or just incredible pajama-boy smug. Can anyone help on this?
     
    The latter, most definitely. In spades, you might say.

    About Snowden, IIRC he has to be charged/convicted before he can be pardoned. So it's not in the cards. Is that right?

    “About Snowden, IIRC he has to be charged/convicted before he can be pardoned. So it’s not in the cards. Is that right?”

    Ford gave Nixon a blanket pardon, and Nixon hadn’t been charged with anything.

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    • Replies: @Kyle McKenna
    Good point, and thanks for reminding me. Alas, Barack isn't going to be pardoning Ed Snowden, it appears. I actually wanted Snowden for president, but I recognize that opinions differ on this score.
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  64. CCZ says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Btw, can someone explain to me why the Constitution allows presidents to pardon people. It's seems out of order with the rule of law. This isn't my area, so apologies if the explanation is well known or obvious.

    I needed to review myself.

    The President…shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the
    United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
    Article II, Section 2, Clause 1

    The power to pardon is one of the least limited powers granted to the President in the Constitution. The only limits mentioned in the Constitution are that pardons are limited to offenses against the United States (i.e., not civil or state cases), and that they cannot affect an impeachment process. A reprieve is the commutation or lessening of a sentence already imposed; it does not affect the legal guilt of a person. A pardon, however, completely wipes out the legal effects of a conviction. A pardon can be issued from the time an offense is committed, and can even be issued after the full sentence has been served. It cannot, however, be granted before an offense has been committed, which would give the President the power to waive the laws.

    Heritage Guide to the US Constitution

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  65. utu says:
    @JohnnyWalker123
    Manning is a hero. Commuting his sentence is one of the few worthwhile things that Obama has done during his otherwise underwhelming presidency.

    I'm not sure why him being a transsexual is such a huge issue for the media or for people here. I'd think people would be more concerned about the revelations that came from his leaks. To me, that seems infinitely more interesting that his sexual fetishes.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/08/21/what-bradley-manning-revealed/

    Below are some key facts that PFC Manning have helped reveal to the public.
    There is an official policy to ignore torture in Iraq.
    The “Iraq War Logs” published by WikiLeaks revealed that thousands of reports of prisoner abuse and torture had been filed against the Iraqi Security Forces. Medical evidence detailed how prisoners had been whipped with heavy cables across the feet, hung from ceiling hooks, suffered holes being bored into their legs with electric drills, urinated upon, and sexually assaulted. These logs also revealed the existence of “Frago 242,” an order implemented in 2004 not to investigate allegations of abuse against the Iraqi government. This order is a direct violation of the UN Convention Against Torture, which was ratified by the United States in 1994. The Convention prohibits the Armed Forces from transferring a detainee to other countries “where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.” According to the State Department’s own reports, the U.S. government was already aware that the Iraqi Security Forces engaged in torture (1).
    U.S. defense contractors were brought under much tighter supervision after leaked diplomatic cables revealed that they had been complicit in child trafficking activities. DynCorp — a powerful defense contracting firm that claims almost $2 billion per year in revenue from U.S. tax dollars — threw a party for Afghan security recruits featuring boys purchased from child traffickers for entertainment. DynCorp had already faced human trafficking charges before this incident took place. According to the cables, Afghan Interior minister Hanif Atmar urged the assistant US ambassador to “quash” the story. These revelations have been a driving factor behind recent calls for the removal of all U.S. defense contractors from Afghanistan (2).
    Guantanamo prison has held mostly innocent people and low-level operatives.
    The Guantanamo Files describe how detainees were arrested based on what the New York Times referred to as highly subjective evidence. For example, some poor farmers were captured after they were found wearing a common watch or a jacket that was the same as those also worn by Al Queda operatives. How quickly innocent prisoners were released was heavily dependent on their country of origin. Because the evidence collected against Guantanamo prisoners is not permissible in U.S. courts, the U.S. State Department has offered millions of dollars to other countries to take and try our prisoners. According to a U.S. diplomatic cable written on April 17, 2009, the Association for the Dignity of Spanish Prisoners requested that the National Court indict six former U.S. officials for creating a legal framework that allegedly permitted torture against five Spanish prisoners at Guantanamo. However, “Senator Mel Martinez… met Acting FM [Foreign Minister] Angel Lossada… on April 15. Martinez… underscored that the prosecutions would not be understood or accepted in the U.S. and would have an enormous impact on the bilateral relationship” (3).
    There is an official tally of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Even though the Bush and Obama Administrations maintained publicly that there was no official count of civilian casualties, the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs showed that this claim was false. Between 2004 and 2009, the U.S. government counted a total of 109,000 deaths in Iraq, with 66,081 classified as non-combatants. This means that for every Iraqi death that is classified as a combatant, two innocent men, women or children are also killed (4).
    U.S. Military officials withheld information about the indiscriminate killing of Reuters journalists and innocent Iraqi civilians.
    The “Collateral Murder” video released by Wikileaks depicted the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad, including two journalists working for Reuters. The Reuters news organization has repeatedly been denied in its attempts to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters photographer and his rescuers. Two young children who were present in the attempted rescue were also seriously wounded. Ethan McCord, a U.S. army soldier who can be seen in the video carrying wounded children to safety, has said that whoever revealed this video is a “hero.” An internal U.S. military investigation concluded that the incident was consistent with the military’s “Rules of Engagement.” (5)
    The State Department backed corporate opposition to a Haitian minimum wage law.
    Leaked diplomatic cables show that in 2009, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince pushed then-Haitian President Rene Preval to come out in support of powerful textile manufacturers who sought to block a popular minimum wage increase. These factory owners, who produce apparel for large brands like Nike and Nautica, had benefitted from recent free trade agreements that had severely lowered wages and working conditions in Haiti. A series of cables show that the US Embassy closely monitored the movements and activities of student protestors supporting the $5/day minimum wage bill. The bill’s supporters had argued that the increase was justified in light of rising inflation and food costs that had led to widespread starvation. According to the leaked cables, the U.S. delegation dismissed the proposed minimum wage increase as nothing more than a populist measure aimed at appeasing “the unemployed and underpaid masses.” Ultimately, the U.S. delegation succeeded in their efforts when President Preval agreed to block the increase (6).
    The U.S. Government had long been faking its public support for Tunisian President Ben Ali.
    The Tunisian people were already well aware of the corruption plaguing the autocratic ruling family, which for decades had abused their rights. However, the United States government had long presented a public image of strong support for the Ben Ali regime. The U.S. campaign of unwavering public support for President Ali led to a widespread belief among the Tunisian people that it would be very difficult to dislodge the autocratic regime from power. This view was shattered when leaked cables exposed the U.S. government’s private assessment: that the U.S. would not support the regime in the event of a popular uprising. While extreme economic hardship and popular discontent with rights abuses had already set the stage for an uprising, this new information played a critical role in transforming the landscape of political possibilities in Tunisia. The Tunisian people finally realized that, contrary to the U.S. government’s public relations efforts, they weren’t really up against the full force of the world’s superpower. Within one month, Ben Ali became the first Arab leader to be swept from power in the ongoing democratic movements in the region (7).
    Known Egyptian torturers received training from the FBI in Quantico, Virginia.
    According to a leaked diplomatic cable from Cairo, the head of Egypt’s notorious State Security Investigative Service (SSIS) thanked FBI Deputy Director John Pistole for the “excellent and strong” cooperation between the two agencies. In particular, the FBI’s training sessions in Quantico, Virginia were of “great benefit” to his interrogators. Another cable documented what the US embassy considered “credible” allegations of human rights violations by the SSIS, including torturing prisoners with “electric shocks and sleep deprivation to reduce them to a ‘zombie state’” (8). After the autocratic Mubarak regime was driven from power in the recent Egyptian Revolution, protestors stormed the “Amn Dawla” headquarters of the SSIS to uncover further evidence of torture and abuse. They posted these documents on their own site, known as “Amn Dawla Leaks.”
    The State Department authorized the theft of the UN Secretary General’s DNA.
    According to the “National Humint Collection Directive,” a secret document that was signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and published by WikiLeaks, US diplomats were authorized to collect “biometric” and other sensitive information from top UN officials as well as UN representatives from other nations. The leaked documents show that “biometric data” specifically included samples of the officials’ DNA, among other forms of personally identifying information. They also ordered diplomats to collect credit card information and secure passwords. These activities contravene the 1946 UN Convention (9).
    The Japanese and U.S. Governments had been warned about the seismic threat at Fukushima.
    A cable from December 2008 showed that officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency had warned the government about the danger posed by potential seismic activity in the area. The official stated that Japan’s “safety guides for seismic safety have only been revised three times in the last 35 years.” He also noted that the government had fought against a court order to close down another nuclear facility that was not adequately prepared for an earthquake. After being ignored by the Japanese government, the IAEA official also warned the U.S. ambassador to Japan about the looming threat from possible earthquake damage. These warnings went unheeded. The International Atomic Energy Agency has now ranked the Fukushima disaster as severe as Chernobyl (10).
    The Obama Administration allowed Yemen’s President to cover up a secret U.S. drone bombing campaign.
    Since December 2009, President Obama has authorized a secret drone bombing campaign in Yemen. A year later, WikiLeaks revealed that Yemen’s President Saleh had agreed that his regime would “continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours.” These drone strikes have killed large numbers of civilians. One of the strikes that occurred shortly before the cable in question was written had killed 55 people, 41 of whom were classified as civilians (21 of these were children) according to a report by Amnesty International (11). This US military operation in Yemen, which persists to this day, has not been officially acknowledged by our government.
    “The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.”     – United States founding father Patrick Henry (1775)
     

    I’m happy that Manning will be out of prison. Personally I do not believe that prison sentences should be longer than 7 years.

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  66. @Mr. Anon
    "About Snowden, IIRC he has to be charged/convicted before he can be pardoned. So it’s not in the cards. Is that right?"

    Ford gave Nixon a blanket pardon, and Nixon hadn't been charged with anything.

    Good point, and thanks for reminding me. Alas, Barack isn’t going to be pardoning Ed Snowden, it appears. I actually wanted Snowden for president, but I recognize that opinions differ on this score.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    I should hasten to add - I don't think it's right. I don't think the President should be able to pardon anyone for anything. I certainly don't think he should be able to pardon people for crimes as yet uncharged, and Ford's actions might not have withstood a court challenge, in a sane legal system, if one could have been brought.
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  67. @Mr. Anon
    As a commenter above said, Manning only made Bush look bad, not Obama. Snowden is another matter. The military talking heads on TV all say that Manning released vital information that endangered US military personnel, and I wouldn't be surprised if that's true, and that he should do some time for it. But I think the main reason why the national-security establishment hates Manning is because he leaked gun-camera footage from Iraq that made clear the squalid and immoral nature of our occupation of that country.

    Releasing Manning might also make it harder for President Trump to grant any clemency to Snowden.

    As a commenter above said, Manning only made Bush look bad, not Obama

    I don’t know about your Manning, but my Manning made Brady look bad. Twice.

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  68. CCZ says:

    And finally, if there was any doubt, the big winner is: LGBT.

    “Asked about the state of the nation over the past eight years, Americans say the U.S. gained ground in four of 19 policy domains, and they say it lost ground on 14 and held steady on one. More Americans see progress than decline on the situation for gays and lesbians. They see the biggest setbacks on the federal debt, crime, the gap between the rich and the poor, and race relations.”

    When asked: Did the U.S. Gain or Lose Ground Under President Barack Obama?

    Situation for gays and lesbians: (highest % “made progress” response)
    Made progress 68%
    Stood Still 11%
    Lost Ground 16%

    Gap between rich and poor:
    Made progress 14%
    Stood Still 34%
    Lost Ground 48%

    Race relations:
    Made progress 25%
    Stood Still 20%
    Lost Ground 52%

    Full details at:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/201683/americans-assess-progress-obama.aspx?g_source=Race%20relations&g_medium=search&g_campaign=tiles

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    • Replies: @Kyle McKenna
    Debt, violent crime, race relations, economic inequality. Whatever! Trannies can hang out in the rest room with your kids. Now that's progress.
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  69. @CCZ
    And finally, if there was any doubt, the big winner is: LGBT.

    “Asked about the state of the nation over the past eight years, Americans say the U.S. gained ground in four of 19 policy domains, and they say it lost ground on 14 and held steady on one. More Americans see progress than decline on the situation for gays and lesbians. They see the biggest setbacks on the federal debt, crime, the gap between the rich and the poor, and race relations."

    When asked: Did the U.S. Gain or Lose Ground Under President Barack Obama?

    Situation for gays and lesbians: (highest % "made progress" response)
    Made progress 68%
    Stood Still 11%
    Lost Ground 16%

    Gap between rich and poor:
    Made progress 14%
    Stood Still 34%
    Lost Ground 48%

    Race relations:
    Made progress 25%
    Stood Still 20%
    Lost Ground 52%

    Full details at:
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/201683/americans-assess-progress-obama.aspx?g_source=Race%20relations&g_medium=search&g_campaign=tiles

     

    Debt, violent crime, race relations, economic inequality. Whatever! Trannies can hang out in the rest room with your kids. Now that’s progress.

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  70. @Mr. Anon
    "Btw, can someone explain to me why the Constitution allows presidents to pardon people. It’s seems out of order with the rule of law."

    Because the Founders couldn't imagine the sort of people who would eventually come to govern this country. They tacitly assumed that the government would always consist of people not too different from themselves.

    Your last two sentences may well be the epitaph for the United States.

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  71. Jack D says:

    The Founders were trying to re-create the best aspects of the English common law system but with a President instead of a King. The King had always had the royal prerogative of mercy so they gave that to the President too.

    It was seen as part of the checks and balances system – a check by the executive on mistakes made by the judicial system. The counter check was supposed to be that if the President abused the pardon power to pardon his corrupt friends then Congress could impeach him. The only flaw is what happens at the end of the term when the President no longer cares about being impeached.

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    • Replies: @EdwardM
    I wonder if Congress can impeach and convict the president retroactively? At least deny him his pension, Secret Service protection, and other allowances. Like how the NCAA "vacates" the wins of John Calipari, leaving blanks or asterisks in the record books.

    Such a punishment would deter lame-duck abuses of power, which Obama took to new highs.
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  72. Mr. Anon says:
    @Kyle McKenna
    Good point, and thanks for reminding me. Alas, Barack isn't going to be pardoning Ed Snowden, it appears. I actually wanted Snowden for president, but I recognize that opinions differ on this score.

    I should hasten to add – I don’t think it’s right. I don’t think the President should be able to pardon anyone for anything. I certainly don’t think he should be able to pardon people for crimes as yet uncharged, and Ford’s actions might not have withstood a court challenge, in a sane legal system, if one could have been brought.

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  73. Mr. Anon says:

    It would have been funny if Bob Dylan had appeared on stage with an electric guitar sporting a sticker that said “This Machine Kills Folk Singers”.

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  74. Dan Hayes says:
    @Anonymous

    Byron York
    @ByronYork

    WSJ reports Brennan wants his CIA legacy to be 'promoting the interests of gay, lesbian, and transgender officers.' http://ow.ly/pw7t3084MKa
     

    Anonymous:

    What about Brennan supporting the interests of Moslem CIA employees, of whom he is purported to be one?

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  75. It’s a bit puzzling why Obama is so progressive on LGBT issues when, as Steve has pointed out, his primary obsession is race. I doubt it’s because he has a strong sympathy for white male nerds with gender dysphoria.

    One possibility is that he has an attraction to certain androphilic Trans Women of Colour, like Janet Mock:

    http://time.com/4581350/janet-mock-trump-election-trans-list/

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  76. @neutral
    I want to know how they reconcile the transgender issue and the fact that Manning gave stuff to Wikileaks which is, according to them, a Russian operation.

    It’s all about adding up those Diversity Pokemon Points. Reading iSteve is how I keep up with that.

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  77. @CCZ
    The madness continues to grow. The "T Bill of Rights" continues to expand, example, prohibit the tyranny of "state-sanctioned compulsion" to "define bodily integrity" and "personal autonomy."

    Transgender Woman Sues N.J. for Right to Change Birth Certificate

    Susan K. Livio | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

    A transgender woman has sued the New Jersey Health Department for refusing her request to amend her birth certificate, according to the complaint filed in federal court.

    State law requires a transgender person to prove he or she has undergone sexual reassignment surgery before the health department will change the gender on a birth certificate. But the plaintiff, identified as Jane Doe, does not intend to get the surgery that would change her anatomy from male to female, according to the lawsuit.

    Calling the requirement "a state-sanctioned compulsion," the lawsuit accuses the state of violating her due process and equal protection rights under the constitution "to define her bodily integrity" and "personal autonomy."

    "To have a bureaucracy or people think we are immoral or think we are mentally ill is not right, and is not the way the United State government is set up," said Julie Chovanes, co-founder of the Trans-Help, a national advocacy organization in Philadelphia who is representing the plaintiff with Haddonfield attorney Paul R. Fitzmaurice.

    "If people don't get this, they have to understand these are children of God just like them, and the want to be recognized how God made them," she said.


     

    CCZ, These people are f*cked up in their heads, I’m going to call them cranies.

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  78. @SPMoore8
    Not really happy Manning is being released in May, but 35 years was too much anyway. I've known of murderers who got out after only 7 years. I'd let Snowden go too, but he has to come back, take responsibility, and do some serious time. You don't get to pull these stunts for free.

    SP, Murderers who served only seven years is a bigger problem than Manning being sentenced to 35 years. And I hope you meant, you know OF murderers who got out after only 7 years, and not that you personally know murderers.

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    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    No, I don't know any murderers but I did have a bank robber work on my house. Well, actually he robbed the bank after he worked on my house ......

    Seven years might be a little light for Manning but I do think 35 years is too harsh. As for murderers, I think seven years is ridiculous.
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  79. SPMoore8 says:
    @Buffalo Joe
    SP, Murderers who served only seven years is a bigger problem than Manning being sentenced to 35 years. And I hope you meant, you know OF murderers who got out after only 7 years, and not that you personally know murderers.

    No, I don’t know any murderers but I did have a bank robber work on my house. Well, actually he robbed the bank after he worked on my house ……

    Seven years might be a little light for Manning but I do think 35 years is too harsh. As for murderers, I think seven years is ridiculous.

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  80. Nick Diaz says:

    “After all, isn’t that what ultimately matters more than anything else imaginable: Transgender Rights”

    It matters a lot if you happen to suffer from gender dysphoria, and your life was a made a living hell from an early age because conservative people, that make the bulk of the population, don’t accept you. It matters then. A lot.

    But I don’t expect you to understand this, Sailer. It requires a little something called “empathy” for you to relate to and sympathize with other people’s problems, and you are devoid of it. Conservatives like you only learn to empathize with a problem when the problem happens to you or your close kin.

    Conservatives are naturally selfish people.

    In one of your articles, you said that liberals take the side of the oppressed just to feel morally superior to conservatives. That certainly applies to some liberals, but not to all or even the majority of them.

    And this is your greatest fear, that liberals might *actually* be morally superior to conservatives. Claiming that liberals are in it for self-promotion is the only line of defense you have to morally justify the selfish conservative ideology.

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  81. melendwyr says: • Website
    @Kyle McKenna

    I can’t figure out if Obama seems gay or just incredible pajama-boy smug. Can anyone help on this?
     
    The latter, most definitely. In spades, you might say.

    About Snowden, IIRC he has to be charged/convicted before he can be pardoned. So it's not in the cards. Is that right?

    Nope, Nixon was pardoned without being either convicted or IIRC charged. At the very least, everyone decided to go with it, regardless of whether it was ‘truly’ legal or not. Given the nature of our legal system, determining what the actual laws are is usually difficult and almost always meaningless.

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  82. EdwardM says:
    @Jack D
    The Founders were trying to re-create the best aspects of the English common law system but with a President instead of a King. The King had always had the royal prerogative of mercy so they gave that to the President too.

    It was seen as part of the checks and balances system - a check by the executive on mistakes made by the judicial system. The counter check was supposed to be that if the President abused the pardon power to pardon his corrupt friends then Congress could impeach him. The only flaw is what happens at the end of the term when the President no longer cares about being impeached.

    I wonder if Congress can impeach and convict the president retroactively? At least deny him his pension, Secret Service protection, and other allowances. Like how the NCAA “vacates” the wins of John Calipari, leaving blanks or asterisks in the record books.

    Such a punishment would deter lame-duck abuses of power, which Obama took to new highs.

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