New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted
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Manning Up

December 03, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Politics, Randall Amster

The Just Actions of a ‘Fan of Sunshine’

by Randall Amster

Whatever one’s views about his alleged actions, you would need a pretty hard shell not to be moved by the case of Bradley Manning. Hero to some, traitor to others, this diminutive soldier has endured an unprecedented level of mistreatment, languishing in a largely incommunicado pretrial state for more than two years and facing repeated episodes of humiliation and degradation. Compounding this case is Manning’s status as a gay solider, for which he had experienced repercussions well before gaining international notoriety as a purported Wikileaks source for some of the whistleblowing site’s most damning allegations about governmental and military machinations around the world.

Being accused of revealing the “emperor’s new clothes” is likely to land one in hot water, but Manning’s treatment has crossed all bounds of fairness, decency, and legality. Having one’s life stripped down (literally) to its most basic functions, being confined in a space barely the size of a standard bathroom, having to formally ask even for toilet paper while standing at attention, and getting access to the outdoors for only 20 minutes per day is the sort of thing that could drive anyone mad. (more…)

A Tale of Two Soldiers

March 26, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Guest Author

Choosing Another Path, Before It’s Too Late

by Terri Shofner

There are two soldiers that represent so much of what is wrong in our war culture. One is Bradley Manning and the other is Robert Bales.

Bradley Manning, a queer boy bullied at home and abroad, in a final bid to fit the expected “tough boy” mold, joined the Army. In a futile attempt to suppress his feminine side, the very side that yelled every time he watched innocent people die needlessly, he finally succumbed in a desperate hope and belief that if American people could see the horror of war they would stop it. The kinds of atrocities that tore at the soul of Manning were exactly that very evil allegedly committed by Robert Bales.

Robert Bales is the Army Sergeant accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers as they slept, including nine children. What drives a father of two to kill the sleeping children of others? (more…)