I do not like Bradley Manning. I have had too many conversations with military men and women: though I do not have family in the USA, I have relatives who have served or do serve her Majesty.
And if you give secrets away, you are deemed a traitor. Bradley Manning was convicted of such under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment, and then (while a prisoner in military jail) underwent gender reassignment.
President Obama pardoned Manning, and he is now planning to give a talk in New Zealand. This is being opposed by the National Party (in opposition at present). Manning apparently is being banned from entering Australia.
This has led to charges of hypocrisy, as the National Party supported Southern and Molyneaux (which was stopped by a thug’s veto). The Free Speech Coalition is at least consistent.
“The subject of our allies wartime conduct is a matter of great public importance,” says Chris Trotter, a spokesperson for the Free Speech Coalition.
“As a democracy, we have a right to be informed on the activities of our friends on the international stage. New Zealanders deserve a chance to hear her speak.”
“There are other examples of previously convicted criminals that have been allowed entry into New Zealand. Nelson Mandela was allowed entrance in 1995. And Jordan Belfort, also known as the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, was allowed to give a series of motivational speeches in 2014. If these convicted criminals were able to speak in New Zealand, why is Manning any different?”
“We agree with the reported comments Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman that Mr Woodhouse’s campaign for censorship is offensive. New Zealanders should not be denied an opportunity to hear a personal account of military use of power, even by an ally. The Free Speech Coalition hopes Ms Ghahraman continues to support the principle of free speech, no matter the politics of the individual speakers.”
You don’t have free speech unless you tolerate the speech of those you disagree with. Bradley, I think you are at best at great peril to your soul. Cam Slater gets it right.
Bradley Manning is a fake woman, a traitor and directly was responsible for the deaths of patriotic members of various Western countries as a result of his traitorous actions, in conjunction with Wikileaks. That is appalling, but he has served his sentence, and is now out. I can’t see any reason to bar his entry to this country.
The question is simply if we have free speech or blasphemy. If you allow free speech, and that has been the consensus in New Zealand since we chose not to have an established church in the constitution for New Ulster and New Munster, then you allow those who you dislike. You allow David Irving.
And you allow people such as Manning. The alternative, which is where many want to go in Australia, is that you have only acceptable speech and blasphemy laws, reformulated as acceptable speech or anti hate speech.
If you do not allow free speech, then the freethinkers, reactionaries and others will take note. When they come to power, the measure that the current elite have used to oppress them will be used for them. Australia may be wanting to make hate speech illegal, but that can and will backfire.
This will not end well. New Zealand, unlike Australia has no hate speech laws. We have a Bill of Rights Act that prevents discrimination on religious and political grounds (as well as race, sex etc) and this allows us to have frank discussions.
I want to right to call Bradley Manning by the name his mother gave him.
In silence it is not merely tyranny that breeds, but revolution. And the only thing Tim Soutphommasane got right is that it is the reactionaries that will, if this world continues down the same path, be ruling, for the progressives are imploding, nicely, as we speak.