This is a troubling trend that betrays the fundamental values of a free society: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/20/solitary-confinement-psychological-effects-sarah-shourd/print
When will we learn? Make sure to see the video.
I am certainly not a pacifist and would not agree with the protesters on several matters. This includes the notion that we can just unilaterally stop having nuclear weapons or that we should stop using drones.
Further, I expect protesters engaging in civil disobedience to be willing to accept reasonable punishment (which apparently these ones are). These sentences, however, seem retributive and excessive. How do we put individuals like this away for so long when we allow CEO bankers who have engaged in presumably criminal activity and thereby done infinitely more damage to millions of people and to the well-being of our nation and world to go scott-free? Not only do they have their freedom, but they even get to dine and schmooze with leading politicians, including the president, and other glitterati. There’s something wrong here.
Perhaps the government was simply embarrassed by their incompetent and ineffective security around the most powerful weapons in the world.
In any case, we apparently have a two-tiered society: one for the privileged, and one for the rest of us. This will have to change for us to meet our ideals.
Even Donald Rumsfeld agrees that water-boarding was not important in the intelligence that identified the location of Osama Bin Laden:
Isn’t it amazing how quickly Bradley Manning recovered from his problems? Gee, I wonder if public pressure had anything to do with it.
More on the treatment of Bradley Manning and the degradation of our constitutional freedoms:
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