Has the US First Amendment been destroyed?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by the8thark, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. the8thark, Jul 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013

    the8thark macrumors 68040

    the8thark

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    #1
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1587717
    This is the background to the Bradley Manning case.

    The US First Amendment is as follows:
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"

    If the US follow this, then their congress can make to laws to prevent free speech or to mute the press. And no laws against such things mean they are not illegal to do so. But the Bradley Manning case had the following:
    1. No free speech. The defence was banned from using certain defences and manning himself even being on trial violated the free speech part of the First Amendment.
    2. Having very restricted media coverage of this trial violated the "or of the press" part of the First Amendment.

    I understand that US military personnel have different laws. But they are US citizens too. Having one law for some citizens and another law for other citizens just smells so fishy. And this potentially has very wide reaching implications to the whole country. And sets a very dangerous precedent.

    Here is also US Constitution Article 3 Section 3:

    "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."

    Bradley did not aid the enemy. He only blew the whistle on US war crimes. So that's a 2nd part of the US constitution that was violated by the USA.

    Here is Julian Assange's statement of this whole mess.
    http://wikileaks.org/Statement-by-Julian-Assange-on.html
    And I will quote the last little bit here:
    "The US first amendment states that "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press". What part of ’no’ does Barack Obama fail to comprehend?"

    What are your opinions on this? Did the USA break it's own constitution in finding Bradley Manning Guilty?
     
  2. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    Mar 22, 2010
    #2
    I highly doubt that the courts will reach that conclusion.

    All rights come with limitations.

    It would appear that Manning exceeded his.
     
  3. throAU, Jul 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013

    throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #3
    The entire US constitution has been broken for over a decade now, due to laws like the Patriot Act and the Military Commisions act.
     
  4. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #4
    " Did the USA break it's own constitution in finding Bradley Manning Guilty? "

    No.
     
  5. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    Atlanta, GA
    #5
    No, just as the second amendment hasn't been destroyed. Or the third. Or the fourth.
     
  6. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #6
    Agreed. Just because you don't like the findings OP, doesn't mean the Constitution has been violated.
     
  7. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #7
    I'm not sure many people here would agree with that. Military courts only apply to military personnel, which is something they're made aware of when they join (if they aren't already). They're still subject to all the same civil, state, and federal courts civilians are. It's well-known, well-documented, and fairly transparent. Nothing really fishy about that.
     
  8. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    Mar 22, 2010
    #8
    The 1st Amendment may have been violated, but that's for the courts to determine.

    Though the courts are not infallible, it seems as if they generally get things right over time.

    So I'll wait and see what they decide.
     
  9. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #9
    The one major thing you have to understand is that Manning isn't being judged as a US citizen blowing the whistle on the military, he's being judged as a soldier using his position to expose military secrets.

    This isn't to say what he did was more right or wrong than a civilian doing the exactly same thing, just that he's being held to entirely different standards. The first amendment doesn't apply to his situation exactly.
     
  10. AhmedFaisal, Jul 31, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2013
  11. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #11
    Yeah, I'm not talking about how right or wrong the whole thing is, just why it all played out the way it did, and why it doesn't necessarily mean the death of the first amendment for all of us USians.
     
  12. AhmedFaisal, Jul 31, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2013
  13. Andeavor macrumors 6502

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    Aug 19, 2010
    #13
    As others have pointed out; Manning is tried on military jurisdiction, which works outside the civilian law. For us it seems unfair but you this is where his judgment is based from.

    The US constitution and US law is all based on loopholes. In fact, if you really know how to wiggle your way around it you can get away with murder and come out the victim. The system is so broken, it'd cause a massive ****storm if congress ever decided to clean it up properly... and thousands of lawyers would be out of a job.
     
  14. the8thark thread starter macrumors 68040

    the8thark

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    #14
    And that's exactly what happened. The US army as a whole murders innocents and the US army is made out to be the victim. And they got away with it too. So you are 100% right here.
     
  15. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #15
    And if he was a civilian all they need to do is call him an unlawful enemy combatant and the gloves are off anyway.
     

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