Let's consider the original quote:
Originally Posted by nils
You're arguing that a soldier should break orders he finds unjust. You are arguing this against submessenger, who said the above, which is different than what you're arguing. Thus his irrelevance claim.
There's a significant difference between failing to follow an order and violating several laws. Your argument is irrelevant.
Just so we're clear, here, Manning's charges are not "failure to follow orders." He has been charged under Article 92, "failure to follow a lawful order," among other things.
The presumption, there, is that any orders he disobeyed were lawful, legal, and appropriate (apologies for redundancy). Since everything he did was in secret - that is, he wasn't directly ordered by a superior officer to NOT disclose information that he illegally obtained - any discussion related to orders pretty much falls flat on its face. The "orders," he broke were, by and large, laws and standing orders. In other words, the Supreme Court will probably not be hearing his case, because in ANY other context, the same wrongdoings by a different individual would be a slam-dunk by the prosecution.
Manning is not a hero by ANY stretch. He is a very disturbed individual that, for some reason of incompetence or another, was allowed to continue in his duties and/or with clearance which allowed him to continue to break the law, to the detriment of the United States.
...'swept under the carpet' etc.
Originally Posted by Stickybomb
"Discipline". Now, there's a word that has much resonance in Military Matters. It can mean an ability to accept (lawful) Orders from superiors, whether it be Officers or NCOs. The ability to put them into effect. The ability to suffer provocation and not react to the same. Provocations can be verbal or physical or outright dangerous. The military practise these sort of things regularly, especially before Deployment. For example, re Civil Disorder, they may only have plastic shields yet be subject to bricks, stones, petrol bombs etc.
Royal Military Police. Special Investigation Branch. Now, the US will their equivalents.
Regimental Police. These will be battalion nominated and will impose Discipline, they are NOT RMP. No unit wants THEM involved if they can avoid hence Regimental Police will look to provide a visible reminder to soldiers against major misbehaviour (which would certainly draw in the professional RMP/SIB).
Now, why mention this Policing element? Well, because if you train men to prepare for Combat and give them the Weaponry to do so, you want to make sure that they don't go off the rails and behave in an illegal manner by targeting Non-Combatants (Robbery, Assault, Rape, Murder etc).
The Military produce Doctrine that covers: Rules of Engagement; the treatment of Surrendered Enemy Personnel (that's the terminology, POWs is the old shorthand). So, there is a Legal Framework and all underpinned by, say, Queens' Regulations (QRs) in the British Military and this will be true for all National professional military organisations.
Elite Regiments have often standards that are difficult to attain without great effort. The soldiery will defend them and want those who wish to join their Professional Family (Battalion/Regiment) to meet them as the price of admittance. One takes on the mores of such elites if one is to be a serving member. For example, in martial arts, a Black Belt signifies such virtues as Knowledge, Understanding, Technical Ability, Skill, Clean Gi, Medical training, Insurance Coverage, etc etc.
Reputations are hard-won and are built up by 'honourable' actions, accountability and Time. Reputations can be lost overnight - and taint everyone in the process. To avoid this, you need to filter and remove those without the Aptitude, Ability but also those with a questionable moral compass - and the psychopaths. Some would say, especially the psychopaths.
Food for thought: Consider how My Lai became public knowledge.
Re Iraq: We've all seen the video from the helicopter targeting Iraqi men - amongst whom was a Reuters cameraman. We've heard the exultant whoops of joy from the remote keyboard soldiers. Now, I stand to be corrected on this but I think that those targeted were not actually 'Terrorists' moreover I think they have have been unarmed. Be that as it may - there have been illegal actions by mil personnel in Iraq and some took a long time to come out. 'Cover ups' can take place but, really, the victims will always been known of and it may become 'local knowledge of what Coalition Forces did and how they behaved and hence Reputations (and Confidence) are easily lost.
I'll stop there. Just my 2bob.
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