Whine, whine, whine. The “Professional Left” are at it again.

I haven’t done this in a while, but I took a swing around some of the self-styled “progressive” sites – usually inhabited by the frustrati and the Professional Left, and lo, the stupid is still strong.   Which means

Yes, despite there being plenty going on with the Republicans and their assault on progress, the Professional Left can’t be bothered.  Here’s a good one.  It turns out that George Bush’s daughter Barbara came out in favor of gay marriage.  OK, good, fine.  On the scale of things that really are going to make a big political difference?  Not a lot.  But, you wouldn’t know that from this particular editorial:  Bush daughter adds to Obama’s problems.

The more the president remains silent or unchanged on the marriage equality issue, the more he runs the risk of alienating his base. However, if he speaks out the way Bush did in her PSA, he provides the GOP with the kind of sound bite Karl Rove can only dream about.

Right.  Sure.  You’re the “base.”  In case the author, LZ Granderson, hasn’t noticed, the President has other things on his plate, and just delivered some major victories for LGBT’s.  But, it’s not good enough.  He has to whine because the President isn’t making a public service announcement in favor of it!  No, it’s not a “problem for Obama.”   Granderson might  want to take a look around and realize that hey, the Republicans are busily trying to roll back all the initiatives and laws in states that allow gay marriage, let alone civil unions,  and lock it into national law.   So on the overall scale of things, he’s pompously thundering about something that he thinks is important, while  ignoring the very real issues facing LGBTs right now – and it isn’t whether or not the President makes a statement about gay marriage.  It’s about having to fight to keep the gains already made, and if they stayed home and didn’t vote, well, they’re getting an object lesson on the difference between Republicans and Democrats.

Then there’s the usual screaming inanity from Jane Hamsher.  Her new “cause” to try to discredit the President is getting all over the case of PFC Bradley Manning.  If you’ve never heard the name, he’s the one who took the government data and gave it to Wikileaks.  He’s now in pretrial confinement.  Which Jane, and her minions, are painting as “torture,” “harsh,” and “solitary confinement.”  The problem?  Not the truth.

Q:  Well, why is he being held in solitary confinement?

MR. MORRELL:  He’s not being held in solitary confinement.  That’s a misnomer, among many in the reporting of this case.  What I — let me describe how Private First Class Manning is being held.  He is not in solitary confinement.  He is not in isolation.  He is in max — he is a maximum-custody detainee in a prevention-of-injury status.  He is not on suicide watch.  He is being held in the same quarter section with other pretrial detainees.  He’s allowed to watch television.  He’s allowed to read newspapers.  He’s allowed one hour per day of exercise.

He is in a cell by himself, but that is like every single other pretrial detainee at the brig.  It just so happens that the configuration of the brig is that every individual is confined to his or her own cell.  He’s being provided well-balanced, nutritious meals three times a day.  He receives visitors and mail, and can write letters.  He routinely meets with doctors, as well as his attorney.  He’s allowed to make telephone calls.  And he is being treated just like every other detainee in the brig.

So assertions by liberal bloggers, or network reporters or others that he is being mistreated, or somehow treated differently than others, in isolation, are just not accurate.  And I’m glad you asked the question, so I had the opportunity, hopefully, to clear that matter up once and for all.

Another blogger, Shoq Value, did an in-depth look at Jane’s assertions, along with what the reality is.  Not to anyone who’s dealt with her surprise,  it turned out that her assertions didn’t meet the reality test.

Above, I’ve tried to list just a few of the things that have been reported by Team Manning which are just never quite as urgent or outrageous as they first seemed, once some thoughtful questions are asked, or mitigating facts are considered. Those are things good journalists are supposed to do for us before we think we need them. If a  crowd-sourced wiki were to be set-up on this subject, a few thousand people could probably pick apart most of what Team Manning has reported in the past 6 months.

Which didn’t go over well with Jane.

But I still got hit. In Greenwald’s place, came a series of Twitter air strikes from Jane Hamsher and her supporters, replete with fact-free, ad hominem attacks, spurious assertion, straw men, and fallacious attribution.  It was the argument tactic often called “throwing everything at the wall to see what might stick,” and it was the only time I’d ever seen a notable liberal do this to another liberal (outside of a political campaign). This mugging was so detached from facts, reality, or ethical anchors, that it was clear to all but her staunchest supporters that Ms Hamsher’s moral ship may have finally broken free of its tenuous moorings, capsized in a vicious rip current, and was sliding on down toward Titanic town.

Sounds typical of her.  Oh, and it looks like Jane may have a financial motive as well to this.  Which doesn’t really surprise anyone who has bothered to look at Jane in the past, or her tactics when it comes to “political action.”  She’s done this several times.  She gets all over something, because after all, she’s still bitter about the election (she supported Hillary), and not only does she like to vindictively gin up outrage against the President, she likes to keep her personal bankroll building while she’s doing it.  What’s it going to do for Private Manning?  Nothing, really.  They’re not helping him, really, they’re using him as a nice fundraising tool  He’s been charged with stealing a huge amount of classified information and passing it to Wikilieaks.  He is not being tortured, and yes, he will go to trial.  If he’s found guilty, he’s going to spend a very long time in prison, and deservedly so.  He’ll be forgotten, as Jane and Glenn move on to some other “cause.”

It must be nice to get paid so well to be wrong so often.   One of the refrains you often hear from them is that the President “lost” them, when it’s obvious that they were never for him.   They’re so locked into their own little version of “what should be” that they miss what is.  The reality:  For the next 22 months Democrats and progressives are going to fight just to keep much of the progress made in the last two years.   A lot of the Professional Left doesn’t seem to get that point.  They’ve spent the past two years bitching and crying about what they want.  They even thought it would be “a good thing” if the Republicans were to take back Congress.    Apparently they haven’t woken up yet, because faced with the reality of that, they’re still as reality-challenged as ever.



Filed under Politics

69 responses to “Whine, whine, whine. The “Professional Left” are at it again.

  1. Thank you for helping to get the facts about about PFC Manning’s detention status. As noted, he is receiving the same treatment as any other pre-trial detainee in that brig, and the full benefits of due process of law. Whether he broke the law is for a military court to determine, as he is subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    I may sympathize with PFC Manning’s reasons, and if he broke the law in good conscience I may even applaud his courage. But we should remember that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” was written … from the Birmingham Jail.

    • I hang out on some of the military law blogs, and this case does draw discussion there. One of the things about those blogs is that most of the participants are either active duty military lawyers or civilians who are certified to practice in military courts. They’re the ones who know the UCMJ backwards and forwards, as well as all the procedures. The whole assertion that Manning is being “tortured” is going over like a lead balloon with them – and many of these same lawyers regularly go to Quantico to visit their clients.

      From what I’ve read about Manning, he didn’t do it for “noble” reasons, he did it because he was an arrogant jerk who didn’t want to be overseas, and thought he could get back at the military for putting him there. That, and he thought he could get away with it. One of the key indicators is that he was a Specialist, but had been reduced in rank (Article 15) for something that had nothing to do with stealing the data.

      Besides the damage this did to our diplomatic relationships, there’s an actual human price to this:

      Anyway, so the Taliban are doing exactly what I said they would do, in my pieces for PBS and CJR: they are vowing to hunt down and murder anyone who is identified in the Wikileaks archive as having worked for the U.S

      Not that Jane and Glenn care.

      • “Not that Jane and Glenn care.”

        Why would they? Collateral damage is only bad when it’s the Other Guys who are guilty of it. Their own noble, lofty ends certainly justify any such petty, meaningless fallout from their means.

      • Norbrook,
        Not exactly a lead balloon. What’s not getting traction is the idea of “torture,” or the supposed issues with the supporters at the gate. Over the years the Quantico Brig has been the subject of litigation in the military courts about how they effect the conditions of pretrial confinement. In some cases their practice in a group of cases or for an individual accused have been found to violate the regulations or military law. But I think we would all agree that the idea they are torturing Manning is hyperbole and cant at its worst. You should consider that about six months ago a Marine captain confined at Quantico for pretrial confinement killed himself. So I can understand the Brig may be feeling concerned about “another one,” especially with Manning’s seeming mental health issues. I think we will find that the Brig was being overly aggressive in some of their practices because of the prior death. And yes I do visit clients there, was just down there last week. They have increased perimeter security with lots of lights. And if you’ve noticed Senator Kucinich wants to visit Manning (check CAAFLog).

        • Phil,
          Thanks for the clarification. I recognized it was hyperbole and cant, because of who was writing it. I’ve had a lot of … history … with Greenwald, Hamsher, and their minions. I did see the initial response to Greenwald’s column over at CAAFLog, and my own take was that it wasn’t really flying with anyone there. 😀 I did know about the previous suicide, and I also have, as I said, some friends who were civilian prison guards, so I can understand why they’d do the things they did when they felt Manning was a potential suicide risk. Being ex-military, I also remember that there’s nothing to make a unit get stringent about procedures like having something bad happen recently. Given his record of issues before this, it’s not surprising that he would fall into the category of potential suicide risk. Just as a question, would you say that conditions there are better than in the past?

          • Conditions are fine. My experiences going there for the last 12 years off and on have been fine. I’ve had one client complain. We litigated the issue. The humor was the Marine NCO trying to tell the judge that her (the judge’s) understanding of the rules was wrong. It was Judge Vowell, and you don’t mess with her. I tell clients to behave, don’t mess with the cadre and they won’t mess with you, walk away from the chow line if there’s an inkling of trouble, and generally follow the rules. The Marines generally run a tighter ship, it comes naturally to them. But in my experience the Army RCF at Fort Lewis is the worst to deal with.

          • Thanks. That is a funny story, I’m trying think of any judge I’ve heard of (civilian or military) that would like being told they don’t understand the rules. 😆 One of the things that Shoq pointed out (and a few others have as well) is that there seems to be a remarkable lack of concern on the part of these advocates for the other people being held there.

  2. I should also note … seeing the PSA message from former President Bush’s daughter as a reason to criticize President Obama smacks of looking for any excuse to criticize President Obama….

    • That was why I highlighted it. It’s the same crap I saw right after DADT was passed. It didn’t matter that a major victory had just been achieved, they still came up with reasons to criticize the President and Senator Reid about it. 🙄

  3. Great post, Norbrook. This is so important that it needs a bolded reminder:

    Yes, despite there being plenty going on with the Republicans and their assault on progress, the Professional Left can’t be bothered.

    The LGBT issue is indeed “having to fight to keep the gains already made” as is the health care issue and the stimulus funds issue and the Green Jobs initiatives and the tiny progress made on Climate Change and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    The Teapublicans are pushing back at everything from the two years of progress that we have made. Pushing back at them would be a better use of any power the progressive blogosphere has. People getting angry at Wisconsin Gov. Walker’s wind farm initiative actually caused the state legislature to refuse to consider it in the special session and for Walker to step in it by trying to go around them and then backing off. That is the kind of pressure that intense media scrutiny, including the blogs, can help bring.

    • It’s why I wrote this – the sheer idiocy of the narrowminded focus on some “grievance” and using that to attack the administration – all the while ignoring their real opponents.

      As I pointed out, I don’t expect anything different from Jane Hamsher or Glenn Greenwald. They’re PUMA’s from the word “go,” and they really don’t want Democrats – and in particular this administration – to succeed. They have too much of a vested financial interest in Democrats failing, and keeping the frustrati agitated.

      • I do believe you’ve nailed a major element of the relentless attacks from the PL on President Obama — it makes money for them. Being asked on the political shows to bloviate on how enraged ‘The Base” is at Obama makes money for them. Driving clicks to their sites makes money for them. And on and on and on….

    • “Teapublicans”

      Haven’t heard that term before. Nice! I like that JanF…very fitting for them (and honestly, much better than the “teabagger” insult).

      • DWG over on our blog BPICampus.com uses it and I like it a lot. I also cringe a bit at the teabagger insult and Tea Party GOP or Tea Party Republicans are too long.

        In reality, they are a different breed. Tea Party is a movement and Republican is a political party. There are still a few sensible Republicans out there (Dick Lugar is not bat-sh*t crazy, for example) although they are disappearing quickly (Lincoln Chafee becomes an Independent, for another example). The Tea Party has created a hybrid which has enough power to demand things but I believe that they will just be a blip in history. Ha! That may be wishful thinking but most progressives are optimists.

        • Well, the Teahadists are very much in the tradition of the Know Nothing Party – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_Nothing – which flourished in the two decades before the Civil War but collapsed of its internal divisions. We can only hope they implode a lot faster than their historical forebears.

          • It’s an apt comparison, and sometimes I think it’d be funny to point out to the more … nativist … Tea Party groups that it’s very likely that their ancestors were as welcome as fleas on a dog when they first hit these shores.

  4. J Brunner fan

    Thanks for the excellent post. I bash the R’s all day everyday because they deserve it and why contribute to our own dividedness. Why give the other side ammunition?

  5. overseasgranny

    Excellent post, Norbrook. Thanks!

  6. Excellent, my friend. Much love.

  7. sherifffruitfly



    • The really funny thing is that apparently she had a conniption fit about not being allowed into see Manning on her last visit to Quantico. She tried to paint it as a “conspiracy” to hide his treatment. The real reason she wasn’t allowed on base? The tags on her car were expired. Apparently Jane can’t be bothered to do things like the “little people” do, and make sure her car is properly registered. 😆

      • And there’s another thing the frustrati, the PL seem to share: an immense sense of entitlement. How dare anyone deny them the instant gratification of their every wish?

      • TrumpDog

        The real reason she wasn’t allowed on base? The tags on her car were expired

        OMG are you serious?

        Ah well. Maybe she can somehow blame President Obama for that too.

        • Dorothy Rissman

          TrumpDog, I think you are right. She probably felt she couldn’t find time to take care of her license tags, because she was so busy trying to destroy PBO.

          DT. I haven’t seen you around for a while.

          • TrumpDog

            Yes, my life took an unexpected turn the last two weeks.
            I still read People’s View and sites linked from it.
            You – as usual – give wonderful responses. Glad to see you.

        • Dorothy Rissman

          TrumpDog, I hope the changes good.

  8. Faith

    Excellent post, reflecting so much of what I feel. Thanks.

    I have a very leftie goddaughter who served in military intelligence. The damage Manning did makes her crazy with rage. The chill his actions sent into the far reaches of normal people who try to help the U.S. is incalculable.

    But if Intelligence fails us because we lose the trust of friends we need, will the frustrati take any responsibility? I think this is what is driving me the craziest: they are without blame in anything.

    As far as Jane Hamsher goes (and Paul Krugman for that matter): If Hillary did exactly what Obama has done as President, or even more right-leaning as was her inclination, Jane and Paul would praise her political prowess and the progress being made. It is a petty fight by petty people who have abdicated their principles.

    • I think the thing that the ones who try to paint Manning as a “hero” for exposing “wrongdoing” miss is that he wasn’t whistleblowing on a specific item or incidents because of moral outrage. He simply bulk copied everything because he didn’t want to be in the Army anymore, and he was angry that he’d been sent to Iraq – and he also had an exaggerated opinion of his own skills. Then he dumped the whole thing on Wikileaks, and they were the ones who found the video and some of the other things. Most of what I’ve seen released from this are not things that really point to major illegal activity on the part of the government, but are instead the frank exchange of opinions and data that we’d rather hope our overseas people would be giving their superiors. But releasing that destroyed the trust that had been there, as well as potentially causing people to lose their lives in some cases. The damage to diplomacy is going to take years to restore.

      What I have seen described of his detention is that he’s being held in a standard method – and no, it’s not torture. They apparently had, at one point, cause to put him on suicide watch. I have friends who were prison guards, and I know what that means – you take away everything that they could use to harm themselves.

      I agree with your assessment of Jane. It’s very obvious she’s a PUMA, and that’s her principal motivation. Really, look at the platform Hillary was running on, and it wasn’t that much different from Obama. What’s interesting about looking through FEC documents is that it shows just how much she and Glenn Greenwald are tied together – and yes, they make money off of it.

  9. Since the PL seem to love talking about President Obama “loosing his base”, why don’t we wage a campaign to tell them “PL commentators are loosing their base”. Write to sites that publish their articles, the TV stations that put these folks on the air, and the sponsors. Something along the lines of we are the base of the Democratic party, we no longer watch your show, read your publication, etc because…..

    • TrumpDog

      The real reason she wasn’t allowed on base? The tags on her car were expired

      I like Lawrence O’Donnell but have stayed away from his show because he regularly features Hamsher and that Adam Green guy.
      Hamsher has been shown to be wrong on so many issues that I question anyone that gives her platform airtime. She’s simply not credible and ODonnell should know better.

      • Dorothy Rissman

        Well, Lawrence has to live up to the KO standard you know. Anything Obama is immediately scorned. I think he started out fine, but needing to keep all of those viewers happy takes a lot of negativity being mouthed.

    • Nathan Katungi

      What Is Working:
      Great Suggestion. We must actively challenge them for pretending to speak for the base. As always, Norbrook, excellent post.

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  11. Catzmaw

    Awesome diary, starting with the fabulous LolCat photo and just getting better as it went along. Glad I found the link at BWD’s wonderful site.

    p.s.: hope you don’t mind I swiped that great image for my own future endeavors. It’s too good to pass up.

  12. bjw2

    Being a former military service person when I heard her account of her treatment at Quantico I instinctively knew it was hogwash, as a matter of fact anyone who had ever served in the military knew her account of why she wasn’t allowed admittance was a bold face LIE.

    Having served in the military its elementary knowledge that even military personnel must provide proper identification before entering any military establishment such as Quantico, and for Jane to say that she was detained because of some nefarious plan to prevent her from seeing the tortured Manning is starting to make her look like the tinfoil hat people who believe in those government Black Helicopters.

  13. Great post my friend (especially the pic 😉 ).

    It’s hard enough to deal with correcting the facts and getting the truth into the public eye when the opposition is misrepresenting an issue. It makes hard fighting a regular necessity – but you expect that with your opposition.

    What is a distraction to a goal set is when some segment of the side you are on misrepresents the issues. It reduces the efforts against the “enemy” and takes away from the credibility of your side.

    • Exactly. It’s expected that the opposition will doing things – although I admit that the recent trend has been to skip “misrepresenting” things and just go to “outright lie.” Getting it from those theoretically on the same side is beyond irritating.

  14. dannie22

    Great diary Norbrook.

  15. lilaf1

    Nicely said, Norbrook. I don’t understand the desire to live every day with your outrage meter turned to 11, but there is definitely an audience for it. Hamsher and Greenwald are very tapped into that audience. They make a lot of money by exaggerating and misleading–just like the outrage promoters on the right. Perhaps they saw the financial success of those right wing bloviators and decided to emulate them with a leftward spin. Or maybe they are truly still bitter about HRC’s loss to President Obama. Or maybe they just like the attention and “fame” they get from it all. Whatever their reasons may be, they are pointless at best and harmful to us all at worst. All we can do is keep pointing out their inaccuracies, counter their overblown anxiety and keep letting everyone know that they do not speak for the majority of Democratic voters.

  16. professorx10

    Great Article and so true.

  17. Aquagranny911

    Another great one Norbrook! I had read quite a bit here and there about the Manning case. Plus we are a military family with two members still on active duty. I can’t print what my nephew, a Marine, said about Manning. Manning will get fair treatment and a fair trial in a military tribunal. When or if he is found guilty he will serve the sentence imposed just like any other convicted felon.

    Hamsher is a piece of work totally enamored with her own self importance and willing to do anything to promote her “brand” and make the $$$. Trying to turn Manning’s current incarceration into another “Gitmo” for her drooling fans is just plain ridiculous. I think she is making herself irrelevant.

    • Jane made herself irrelevant to any thinking human being when she allied with Grover Norquist to “Kill the bill”. Anyone of a leftward persuasion who could continue to support her after that is either lobotomized or pursuing an agenda that has little to do with true progress toward the (lower-case) left’s goals.

      • TrumpDog

        I believe it was around that time that I unsubscribed from her emails. I was actually fooled into thinking her intent was to help our side, rather than hindering. Then she claims she and her followers are the president’s “base”. I’m still trying to find out on what basis they believe this is so? They don’t support the president’s policies and do any and everything to thwart any positive efforts. They constantly broadcast whatever conspiracy theory about the administration and any good news is met with derision or is immediately downplayed. I think their claim to be “the base” is just about making money. They don’t give a damn about furthering any specific policies, or even actually working towards it. It’s much easier to piss and moan., which they are extremely good at.

        • Well, but if they confessed themselves to be merely embittered ankle-biters, who would pay attention to them?

          • TrumpDog

            LOL, true, janicket. So true! 🙂

          • Aquagranny911

            “embittered ankle biters” lol! I am so going to be quoting that.

            Hamsher and FDL also lost me during the health care debates when it became “all or nothing” with them and their supporters. I had family members desperate for some kind of health care reform. They needed something, not nothing.

            “All politics is local” and personal, imho.

  18. angee

    Another Great post!

  19. dorothyrissman

    Norbrook, I am thrilled. Great job. I have not been around much. Nice to get back to your site.

    • Thanks! 😀 Welcome back – I’ve generally been more after the right this year, and taking this blog more in the direction I’d wanted in the first place. But, since Jane just intruded herself on my attention, I decided to indulge.

      • Dorothy Rissman

        We are grateful for your work. Always good information, but you also add a sense of humor that will makes us laugh. Laughs are good you know!

  20. sjterrid

    Thank you for your excellent diary.

  21. g

    Kiddo, you ROCK.
    But I believe that should Hamsher et al win the freaking lottery, they would should their mouths. My bet is that although money is part of it, the larger piece is A*T*T*E*N*T*I*O*N. Fame, they want to live forever, light up the sky with their names…. Someday, I’d love to check out their backstories
    and correlate them with degree of success/notice desired and accrued and their current obsession for it. Just a theory.

    They make me ill.

    • Hamsher has an … interesting … history. I think she’s mostly in it for the attention, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t like the money. What I find interesting is her pattern of attacking people who either crossed her somehow or who contradict her version of reality. The funny thing is reading her attack on Shoq – she didn’t bother to check to find out that Shoq has a lot of followers on Twitter, and that a lot of them don’t particularly care for her. 😛

  22. Bobfr

    Hey, Norbrook, you’re gonna love this … and I could not imagine a more appropriate post of yours to provide the heads up:

    In case you had any question about ms huff-n-puff’s motivations …. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/AOL-to-buy-Huffington-Post-apf-3188339858.html

    That should make it crystal clear ….

    Now, let’s be sure AOL gets proven a fool ….

    • I saw that this morning!

    • TrumpDog

      I saw it on the news as well.
      I know I should be surprised, but I’m not.
      I guess people could look forward to more celebrity breasts and even more President Obama bashing. Not me; I stopped visiting their site after realizing Arianna goes wherever the wind blows and the writing reflects to fickleness of their stances.

      • I pretty much stopped reading it after realizing that 95% of it was mostly geared around a) bashing the Democrats; b) gossip; c) scam medicine; and d) fake science. It was like reading the National Enquirer with side of the NY Post. The occasional actual news story or insightful analysis that would appear didn’t make it worth the effort to go there on a regular basis.

        • Aquagranny911

          My attitude about HuffPo for a long time has been:
          ‘If you need a huff, use a bong’

          I rarely visit unless someone posts a link. My next thought is I wonder what Marcos will do when DK4 tanks. Sell to Twitter, perhaps or maybe Face Book?

          • TrumpDog

            My attitude about HuffPo for a long time has been:
            ‘If you need a huff, use a bong’

            I’m stealing that!
            Good one 😀

        • Actually, Norbrook, I’m not surprised. Even a site like Smirking Chimp has turned into a Dem-bashing enterprise, leaving the Repubs alone in favor of screaming how much Obama sucks.

          One recent example:


          …I gotta give it to the President though. He’s trying to do his job the best way he can. He’s a better man than all of us.

          • If I ever needed a reminder of “going off the rails of reality,” it’s when various bloggers and members of the professional left get wanking about Chavez. 🙄 Objectively, the man has not installed a socialist paradise in Venezuela, made life enormously better for the poor, but has managed to install himself as a president for life while crushing dissent, nationalizing the media, and supporting various military initiatives outside his country. Sounds to me like a typical dictator, with the exception that he calls himself a “socialist.”

    • TrumpDog

      I saw this at TPM:

      AOL’s own news Web sites like Politics Daily and Daily Finance are likely to disappear when the deal is completed, and many of the writers who work for those sites will become Huffington Post writers, according to people with knowledge of the deal, who asked not to be identified discussing plans that are still being worked out.”

      Thanks, Arianna!

      So much for the “liberal” media….

  23. Pingback: Creative-i : Bradley Manning Newslinks for 7 February, 2011