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Hero or Villain?Follow

#102 Jun 18 2013 at 11:57 AM Rating: Good
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NaughtyWord wrote:

It is well-documented that military brass has gone to great lengths to cover up or diminish something as trivial (comparatively) as sexual assault, at what lengths would they go to cover up a war crime?


-NW
I would think that the 'brass' would find brushing war crimes under the rug to be unethical.
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#103 Jun 18 2013 at 11:58 AM Rating: Good
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When has politics ever been about ethics?
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#104 Jun 18 2013 at 11:58 AM Rating: Excellent
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When the public finds out, and they can't pin the blame on anyone else.
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#105 Jun 18 2013 at 1:22 PM Rating: Good
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Ahaha, can't find someone to blame. That's a good one.
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#106 Jun 18 2013 at 3:14 PM Rating: Default
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Move past Manning for a moment, what if someone had classified proof of wrong doing, just exactly who would they go to without breaching non-disclosure agreements inherent to classified materials? Who would see the report? Who could stop it?


IG to start off with. You possibly can't believe that the system isn't set up with checks and balances. There are too many people seeking power to believe that there wouldn't be someone who wouldn't want to legally/ethically disclose/bust wrong doing, especially if it's political.
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#107 Jun 18 2013 at 3:27 PM Rating: Decent
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IG to start off with. You possibly can't believe that the system isn't set up with checks and balances. There are too many people seeking power to believe that there wouldn't be someone who wouldn't want to legally/ethically disclose/bust wrong doing, especially if it's political.


That sometimes goes well for the person who gets the information, it's almost always career ending for the person who provides the information. There's not a good way to be a government whistle blower. It's partially that way by design in a culture that values loyalty above ethics in many cases.
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#108 Jun 18 2013 at 4:00 PM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:

IG to start off with. You possibly can't believe that the system isn't set up with checks and balances. There are too many people seeking power to believe that there wouldn't be someone who wouldn't want to legally/ethically disclose/bust wrong doing, especially if it's political.


That sometimes goes well for the person who gets the information, it's almost always career ending for the person who provides the information. There's not a good way to be a government whistle blower. It's partially that way by design in a culture that values loyalty above ethics in many cases.


Kinda the nature of blowing the whistle though. The folks in charge would much rather someone come to them quietly and internally with concerns about something and at least give them a chance to fix the problem. Doesn't mean that they'll actually do anything, but there's at least some motivation to address such things *before* they become public knowledge. Blowing the whistle basically eliminates that quiet outcome for everyone. We all like to assume a scenario where the whistle blower has exhausted all other means of getting the problem addressed and resolved, but it's also not uncommon for folks to magically realize something terrible is going on only after they become pissed off about something completely unrelated. It becomes more about revenge than about justice.

And the next potential employer isn't necessarily going to know for sure which it was, so is likely to just not take the chance in the first place.
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#109 Jun 18 2013 at 4:06 PM Rating: Decent
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And the next potential employer isn't necessarily going to know for sure which it was, so is likely to just not take the chance in the first place.

While there is a revolving door at the top, there frequently isn't a viable "next employer" for many career government employees, especially if they've burned their network of contacts still in government service.
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#110 Jun 18 2013 at 4:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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Maybe he can get a 1 year fellowship with a Chinese University.
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#111 Jun 18 2013 at 5:16 PM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:
And the next potential employer isn't necessarily going to know for sure which it was, so is likely to just not take the chance in the first place.

While there is a revolving door at the top, there frequently isn't a viable "next employer" for many career government employees, especially if they've burned their network of contacts still in government service.


I was expanding the issue to include private business as well. Also looking at local level government whistle blowing (which I'd assume numerically is where it happens the most). Obviously, once in the federal government employment system, you've got one bridge to burn, then it's over.
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#112 Jun 18 2013 at 7:12 PM Rating: Good
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Why would someone hire an ex-government employee? Businesses want productivity, not lazy cnuts.
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#113 Jun 18 2013 at 7:19 PM Rating: Decent
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
Why would someone hire an ex-government employee? Businesses want productivity, not lazy cnuts.


Well, duh.
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#114 Jun 19 2013 at 12:01 AM Rating: Decent
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Elinda wrote:
NaughtyWord wrote:

It is well-documented that military brass has gone to great lengths to cover up or diminish something as trivial (comparatively) as sexual assault, at what lengths would they go to cover up a war crime?


-NW
I would think that the 'brass' would find brushing war crimes under the rug to be unethical.


Top military leaders not to mention other people in high places in government spent a great deal of time hiding war crimes in the past. Ethics are largely an afterthought at best.


Almalieque wrote:
Quote:
Move past Manning for a moment, what if someone had classified proof of wrong doing, just exactly who would they go to without breaching non-disclosure agreements inherent to classified materials? Who would see the report? Who could stop it?


IG to start off with. You possibly can't believe that the system isn't set up with checks and balances. There are too many people seeking power to believe that there wouldn't be someone who wouldn't want to legally/ethically disclose/bust wrong doing, especially if it's political.


Those checks and balances, if they exist at all, have failed time and time again. A great example is Iran-Contra, for nearly a year government officials including military leaders were brazenly violating US law. Several prominent members of the Regan Administration were indicted, tried, convicted, and subsequently pardoned by the then President H.W. Bush.

The initial leak didn't come from our government, but from a Lebanese magazine. So we had massive corruption at the highest level of government and military leadership, the checks and balances failed, and who knows how long it would have continued if an external source didn't blow the whistle.

-NW
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#115 Jun 19 2013 at 5:14 AM Rating: Default
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Smash wrote:

That sometimes goes well for the person who gets the information, it's almost always career ending for the person who provides the information. There's not a good way to be a government whistle blower. It's partially that way by design in a culture that values loyalty above ethics in many cases.


If that were true, then we wouldn't be having these discussions of "Hero or villain". As long as there are decent people and/or people who seek power (good or bad), there will always be a job for person who whistle blows. Regulations are there for a reason and the concept of upholding logical regulations that aren't illegal, unethical and/or immoral will always exist. Especially if we're dealing with something on such a large scale that most people might agree with. You don't get fired for "whistle blowing", you get praised for doing the right thing that negatively affects a large number of people.

There is absolutely no excuse for this guy (or anyone for that matter) can put together to excuse his actions.
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#116 Jun 19 2013 at 5:21 AM Rating: Default
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NW wrote:
Those checks and balances, if they exist at all, have failed time and time again. A great example is Iran-Contra, for nearly a year government officials including military leaders were brazenly violating US law. Several prominent members of the Regan Administration were indicted, tried, convicted, and subsequently pardoned by the then President H.W. Bush.

The initial leak didn't come from our government, but from a Lebanese magazine. So we had massive corruption at the highest level of government and military leadership, the checks and balances failed, and who knows how long it would have continued if an external source didn't blow the whistle.

-NW


Wrong doing doesn't negate checks and balances. That's the point. You have to actually take advantage of the available options. More times than not, your supervisor will advise you to "look the other way", I see that all of the time on a smaller scale. However, unrelated parties tend not to "look the other way". If you do not go out seek those unrelated parties, i.e. IG, then you can not say that those checks and balances have failed. What you have are a bunch of people intentionally doing the wrong thing, not saying anything in hopes of not losing their jobs. That's not checks and balances.

In any case, that also doesn't excuse the duplication and/or leakage of the classified material. He could have addressed the issue without doing either. I'm seasoned enough to say that guy is full of BS regardless if his claim is legit or not.

Edited, Jun 19th 2013 1:23pm by Almalieque
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#117 Jun 19 2013 at 8:00 PM Rating: Default
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NaughtyWord wrote:
A great example is Iran-Contra, for nearly a year government officials including military leaders were brazenly violating US law. Several prominent members of the Regan Administration were indicted, tried, convicted, and subsequently pardoned by the then President H.W. Bush.

The initial leak didn't come from our government, but from a Lebanese magazine. So we had massive corruption at the highest level of government and military leadership, the checks and balances failed, and who knows how long it would have continued if an external source didn't blow the whistle.


Except that technically, no (US) laws were violated. The problem is that the government often engages in operations that are "legal", but which would not look good politically if the public were aware of it (like say, selling drugs in one country, to fund/supply rebels in another). It's not technically illegal (within the US) for the US government to use CIA operatives to sell drugs or provide guns (or assassinate people) in other countries. But it's bad politically for those kinds of operations to become public knowledge.

Where the illegality often comes about is that the need to not allow public knowledge (which btw usually has more to do with not pissing off or embarrassing foreign governments than our own citizens) often leads various people in the know to lie about the operations. Which then results in them going to jail. And sometimes, they go to jail even though what they did was completely legal and authorized by their chain of command (leading to the president), but solely to protect that chain (and president) from the political fallout of having ordered something that the public might not like. Sad fact is that not all secret missions involve killing OBL and can be publicly declared after the fact. Most are no more illegal (legality is a gray area when it comes to executive operations outside the US btw) than that operation, but not so publicly acceptable.

Doesn't mean that there aren't cases of actual illegality outside the bounds of what was authorized, but a good percentage of the time the operations *were* authorized (and thus legal), but they don't want anyone to know it was authorized for numerous political reasons, so someone has to take the fall by claiming it wasn't, and he violated the law anyway. Which was precisely what Oliver North did in the aforementioned Iran Contra deal.


What's somewhat interesting in all the various scandals surrounding the Obama administration is that no one is coming forward and taking the blame. Which only makes these sorts of things worse in the long run. You have to either say "we authorized this" and take the political heat for doing something unpopular, or you must have a fall guy who'll say "It wasn't authorized, and I broke the law". This administration is trying to thread the needle between those, and I'm not sure that's going to work.
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