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Old 19th November 2020, 07:15 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My position is that a real hero would do the time.
Maybe he will. But I would be totally okay with him not. And in general I am very supportive of the idea of restricting access to information for reasons of national security. But this was something that we needed to know.
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Old 19th November 2020, 09:57 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My position is that a real hero would do the time.
A real hero would be willing to do the time.

It would not diminish his heroism in any way if he did not have to do the time.
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Old 20th November 2020, 01:01 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by The Fool View Post
I feel sick.
I will never wear my service medals again as I am in the process of parcelling them up and sending them back to the Australian department of Veterans affairs.

I have no words. The stories I have heard so far are appalling and apparently this is just the tip of the iceberg.
I feel your hurt. I didn't serve (my birth date wasn't drawn) but my grandfather did in WWI. I have great respect for our armed services.

How you feel is understandable, but I don't think you should return your medals. I know how poorly Vietnam vets were treated when they got home, but with each passing year I believe that younger Australians have come to appreciate your services. Keep the medals so you can pass them on.
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Old 20th November 2020, 07:26 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My position is that a real hero would do the time.
A real hero would indeed be willing to do the time. Would a decent nation allow that to happen?
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Old 20th November 2020, 07:31 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by The Fool View Post
I feel sick.
I will never wear my service medals again as I am in the process of parcelling them up and sending them back to the Australian department of Veterans affairs.

I have no words. The stories I have heard so far are appalling and apparently this is just the tip of the iceberg.
You have brought out a memory that resonates with me. I once found out that my grandfather, a WW2 Navy veteran in the Atlantic theatre, turned in his service medals when he found out about the My Lai massacre. Even though we didn't usually see eye to eye politically, he was a deeply principled man that I revere and admire. I've tried to incorporate that kind of moral fortitude in my own life, inspired by his examples.

If you have or ever have children, I hope you have a similar influence on them.
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Old 21st November 2020, 02:24 AM   #46
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Well I did it today....with a cover letter Addressed to the Prime Minister I sent back my medals. They are nothing special, no Valor decorations and I cannot send back the medal from The South Vietnamese Government because I never accepted it in the first place. I rarely wore them as I am not a great fan of commemoration and ceremony,

I wonder if I will get a reply. From what I hear the revelations are going to be widespread and revolting. Hang on.......

As an aside during my service in Vietnam a couple of times when we were doing long Patrols where we would not have been able to manage prisoners we were told by our commander that we would be terminating the patrol and helo back to base with any prisoners so believe me the taking of prisoners would have been a popular outcome but it never happened. A few times when we took prisoners closer to Base we handed them over to ARVN troops. I heard rumours they sometimes shot them out of hand but frankly we really didn’t give a Damn as ARVN troops captured by NVA regulars were likely to be spared but VC were notorious for not taking prisoners. But then again...ARVN executed anyone even suspected of being VC......

It was a real circus.
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Last edited by The Fool; 21st November 2020 at 02:26 AM.
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Old 21st November 2020, 03:12 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by The Fool View Post
Well I did it today....with a cover letter Addressed to the Prime Minister I sent back my medals. They are nothing special, no Valor decorations and I cannot send back the medal from The South Vietnamese Government because I never accepted it in the first place. I rarely wore them as I am not a great fan of commemoration and ceremony,

I wonder if I will get a reply. From what I hear the revelations are going to be widespread and revolting. Hang on.......

As an aside during my service in Vietnam a couple of times when we were doing long Patrols where we would not have been able to manage prisoners we were told by our commander that we would be terminating the patrol and helo back to base with any prisoners so believe me the taking of prisoners would have been a popular outcome but it never happened. A few times when we took prisoners closer to Base we handed them over to ARVN troops. I heard rumours they sometimes shot them out of hand but frankly we really didn’t give a Damn as ARVN troops captured by NVA regulars were likely to be spared but VC were notorious for not taking prisoners. But then again...ARVN executed anyone even suspected of being VC......

It was a real circus.
I can barely imagine what you went through. I don’t think anyone could came back from Vietnam without being deeply effected.

I’m sorry you felt you had to send back your medals.
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Old 21st November 2020, 03:34 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
I can barely imagine what you went through. I don’t think anyone could came back from Vietnam without being deeply effected.

I’m sorry you felt you had to send back your medals.
I had it fairly easy...missed all the big engagement and spent most of my time as a spare prick at HQ running errands and digging holes for officers.
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Old 21st November 2020, 12:27 PM   #49
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In declaring there wouldn’t be a whitewash I was underestimating the bastardry of Morrison.

https://www.theage.com.au/politics/f...21-p56gol.html

Quote:
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he is distressed and disturbed by the damning report into war crimes allegedly committed by Australia's special forces but warned against a "media trial" ahead of the justice system dealing with the findings.
The only reason the Brereton Inquiry happened at all is due to the Age/Herald investigations.

Even worse.

Quote:
the Prime Minister said the government was not currently considering compensation for those in Afghanistan
.

What the ****? This was a specific recommendation of the report. I can see Morrison thinking “if we pay compensation, we’re admitting guilt, and we can’t do that”.

The disgust I currently have for Morrison is already off the scale, but it has nevertheless increased. Worst PM ever.
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Old 22nd November 2020, 03:43 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
I was underestimating the bastardry of Morrison.
I find that hard to believe.

Seriously though, it is a bit premature for Scumo to get involved. This is a legal matter and any interference by Scumo could prejudice future trials.
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Old 22nd November 2020, 10:40 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
This is a legal matter and any interference by Scumo could prejudice future trials.
Had you considered that might be exactly what his game is?
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Old 22nd November 2020, 11:09 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Had you considered that might be exactly what his game is?
Correct. It looks like he’s also goading the press into making further revelations.
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Old 22nd November 2020, 10:28 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Had you considered that might be exactly what his game is?
I don't think that Scumo has a game beyond his flapping gums. He is just trying to sound like a statesman.
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Old 24th November 2020, 11:52 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
It happened for Abu Ghraib and it happened for some of the BLM circumstances. I am hoping it doesn't happen here too.
BLM? I'm assuming neither "Black Lives Matter" nor "Bureau of Land Management"...
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Old 24th November 2020, 11:57 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
It looks to me as though the rinsing of this has already begun.

Australian special forces were allegedly involved in the murder of 39 Afghan civilians...

becomes:

The report has recommended that 36 matters be referred to the Australian Federal Police for criminal investigation, relating to 23 incidents and involving 19 individuals.

Halved during the course of the report
I must be reading this differently than you. It looked to me as if only 3 of the alleged murders were dropped. I read the second bit as:

19 military personnel killed 26 Afghan civilians, in 23 separate incidents.

It's not very explicit though, so I'm not sure.
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Old 24th November 2020, 12:47 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
A real hero would indeed be willing to do the time. Would a decent nation allow that to happen?
Would a decent nation have been doing the cover up in the first place that necessitated his actions?
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Old 24th November 2020, 04:51 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
BLM? I'm assuming neither "Black Lives Matter" nor "Bureau of Land Management"...
I think they do mean "Black Lives Matter", with "BLM Incident" referring to instances of apparent police misconduct.
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Old 24th November 2020, 05:39 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
I think they do mean "Black Lives Matter", with "BLM Incident" referring to instances of apparent police misconduct.
Yes. Both the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and the murder of unarmed civilians by law enforcement officers have been blamed on "a few bad apples". I haven't seen that phrase used in this case, though it has been pointed out that the behaviour appears to have been limited to certain individuals rather than being widesdpread. However, people in the command structure have suggested major changes. Some people are calling for the entire SAS regiment to be disbanded.

Australia's entire SAS regiment must be disbanded after Brereton report, expert says

Quote:
Failure to take strong steps could drive terror-recruiting and undermine future Australian counter-insurgency efforts


An international security specialist has argued the entire Special Air Service regiment must be disbanded after the Brereton report, saying its continued existence will drive terror-recruiting campaigns and undermine future Australian counter-insurgency efforts.

Dr Allan Orr, an expert in counter-insurgency who served as a consultant to the Coalition Counter-Insurgency Academy in Iraq during the war, says the failure to take strong steps in response to the Brereton inquiry would also risk placing Australian soldiers in heightened danger during future operations in Muslim nations, and undermine Australia’s standing at international bodies such as the United Nations.

Counter-insurgency campaigns depend heavily on establishing legitimacy and winning over local populations.

But Orr says the continued existence of the SAS – given the public allegations of dozens of unlawful killings of Afghan civilians – would make that objective extremely difficult...



...But Orr argues disbanding 2 squadron is not only “completely disingenuous” but sends the wrong message.

“Disbanding a squadron also places blame on the enlisted ranks firmly,” he said. “Disbanding the entire regiment would be the officer corp taking responsibility also, but of course we see now rampantly that wasn’t ever an option.”

He said the failure to disband also sends a wider message to the international community.
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Old 25th November 2020, 10:30 PM   #59
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I'm reading now that the ADF has begun the process of terminating those people mentioned in the Report who are still serving.
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Old 25th November 2020, 10:34 PM   #60
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Defence starts dismissing SAS soldiers in wake of Afghanistan war crimes inquiry

Quote:
At least 10 current members of the elite Special Air Service Regiment implicated in the damning Afghanistan war crimes inquiry have received termination notices from the Defence Department.

The ABC can reveal Defence "initiated administrative action" against serving Special Forces members within days of last week's landmark Brereton war crimes report being made public.

Defence sources have told the ABC the elite soldiers facing expulsion are members of the SAS's now disbanded 2 Squadron as well as the Regiment's 3 Squadron.

The personnel are suspected to have been "accessories" or "witnesses" to alleged murders carried out by other Special Forces soldiers but are not among the 19 personnel who Justice Brereton recommended be referred to Federal Police.
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Old Yesterday, 12:16 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Surely that's the start of the brownwash?

They're not being charged with being accessories, as would normally be the case outside the army.

Also, no mention of whether they retain pension & other benefits. Getting the sack's a fairly light punishment for covering up murders.
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Old Yesterday, 12:37 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Surely that's the start of the brownwash?

They're not being charged with being accessories, as would normally be the case outside the army.

Also, no mention of whether they retain pension & other benefits. Getting the sack's a fairly light punishment for covering up murders.
No. None of those named in the Brereton Report were among the sacked soldiers. A far more serious fate awaits them.
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Old Yesterday, 12:40 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The military lawyer who leaked the classified documents to the media that led to this report is currently undergoing prosecution. People have now started calling for those charges to be dropped. I agree. Whistleblowing this situation is grounds for praise, not criminal charges.
Shouldn't he both be praised and prosecuted? He violated a duty. I don't see why that should be waived.
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Old Yesterday, 01:22 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Shouldn't he both be praised and prosecuted? He violated a duty. I don't see why that should be waived.
It should be waived if the internal systems for accountability failed so badly that a press leak was the only way it came to justice. Shall they be more consistent at enforcing secrecy than addressing internal crimes?
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Old Yesterday, 02:04 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
It should be waived if the internal systems for accountability failed so badly that a press leak was the only way it came to justice. Shall they be more consistent at enforcing secrecy than addressing internal crimes?
He violated his duty and should be punished. The fact he had to do the right thing doesn't modify the other duty. Praise for adhering to duties and punishment for disobeying.


What is this weird western notion that a single resolution needs to be assigned to someone's mixed duties in aggregate?
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Old Yesterday, 11:14 PM   #66
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I don't know if I'm insisting on a single resolution in all situations--but in this situation, punishment would make it likely that the next person in his shoes will just shut their mouth and let the wrongdoing continue, and I would rather that not be.
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Old Yesterday, 11:37 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
He violated his duty and should be punished. The fact he had to do the right thing doesn't modify the other duty. Praise for adhering to duties and punishment for disobeying.


What is this weird western notion that a single resolution needs to be assigned to someone's mixed duties in aggregate?
If you are arguing that he should expect to be punished for leaking the documents then absolutely. He has embarrassed some powerful people and they will want their revenge.

If you are arguing that morally he should be punished then I disagree. There is a strong case for declining to prosecute - even if the letter of the law says that he can be prosecuted.
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Old Today, 06:39 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
If you are arguing that he should expect to be punished for leaking the documents then absolutely. He has embarrassed some powerful people and they will want their revenge.

If you are arguing that morally he should be punished then I disagree. There is a strong case for declining to prosecute - even if the letter of the law says that he can be prosecuted.
The latter. There is no case for declining to prosecute. He unambiguously violated the duty he agreed to uphold.
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Old Today, 06:41 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
I don't know if I'm insisting on a single resolution in all situations--but in this situation, punishment would make it likely that the next person in his shoes will just shut their mouth and let the wrongdoing continue, and I would rather that not be.
Solution: don't employ people with such low regard for honor that they would refuse to fulfill duty Y because they won't be willing to suffer the consequences for violating duty X.
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Old Today, 08:14 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Solution: don't employ people with such low regard for honor that they would refuse to fulfill duty Y because they won't be willing to suffer the consequences for violating duty X.
You are arguing in support of the murder of civilians and the high level cover up of these crimes.
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Old Today, 08:47 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You are arguing in support of the murder of civilians and the high level cover up of these crimes.
No, I am not. The person has a duty to report it and I'm glad they did. It was the right thing to do. I was saying people should employ more people like that.
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Old Today, 08:53 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
The latter. There is no case for declining to prosecute. He unambiguously violated the duty he agreed to uphold.
Do prosecutors have zero discretion? Do they decline to prosecute others who unambiguously committed a violation of duty?

If you want to say zero, then I would say the best solution is a pardon.

I cannot agree with punishing someone for doing the right thing. Consider--what is the goal of punishment? To deter behavior. You do not want to deter this.

What is the goal of punishing him, in your eyes? To satisfy some words on paper?
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Old Today, 08:53 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Solution: don't employ people with such low regard for honor that they would refuse to fulfill duty Y because they won't be willing to suffer the consequences for violating duty X.
If it were so easy as that the crimes would never have been committed in the first place. And it isn't.
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Old Today, 09:20 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
Do prosecutors have zero discretion? Do they decline to prosecute others who unambiguously committed a violation of duty?

If you want to say zero, then I would say the best solution is a pardon.

I cannot agree with punishing someone for doing the right thing. Consider--what is the goal of punishment? To deter behavior. You do not want to deter this.

What is the goal of punishing him, in your eyes? To satisfy some words on paper?
Again, you are aggregating duties before assigning consequence. There are two separate duties that receive two separate outcomes.

There isn't a goal. One has duties. Adherence and violation of duties gas consequences.
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Old Today, 09:33 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
No, I am not. The person has a duty to report it and I'm glad they did. It was the right thing to do. I was saying people should employ more people like that.
You can't have it both ways. You can't say it is right that he blew the whistle then in the same breath say he must be punished for blowing the whistle. Preventing murder is a higher duty than adherence to a document.
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Old Today, 09:46 AM   #76
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You can't have it both ways. You can't say it is right that he blew the whistle then in the same breath say he must be punished for blowing the whistle. Preventing murder is a higher duty than adherence to a document.
That is exactly what we can do. You literally can do both those things and have it both ways.

And the fact that it is such a higher duty undercuts the issue of incentives, making punishment even more sustainable.

Last edited by BobTheCoward; Today at 09:48 AM.
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Old Today, 10:24 AM   #77
RecoveringYuppy
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
What is the goal of punishing him, in your eyes? To satisfy some words on paper?
Do you want to live in a world ruled by law or one where prosecutors can ignore crimes when it suits them?

Originally Posted by gnome View Post
I cannot agree with punishing someone for doing the right thing. Consider--what is the goal of punishment? To deter behavior. You do not want to deter this.
Deter doesn't actually mean "absolutely prevent". We do want to deter this behavior. We certainly don't want people doing what this guy did on a whim.

When doing something like this you should have to consider that your actions are going to get a hard looking at. Making the case that he did the right thing in front of a court is probably exactly the right venue. It seems like too much discretion for prosecutors to be wielding.

If, hypothetically, at the end of the process he gets convicted because the law doesn't allow a "right thing" defense and it still appears to be a travesty of justice then that's for legislatures and pardon processes to fix.

Last edited by RecoveringYuppy; Today at 10:25 AM.
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Old Today, 10:28 AM   #78
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Do you want to live in a world ruled by law or one where prosecutors can ignore crimes when it suits them?


Deter doesn't actually mean "absolutely prevent". We do want to deter this behavior. We certainly don't want people doing what this guy did on a whim.

When doing something like this you should have to consider that your actions are going to get a hard looking at. Making the case that he did the right thing in front of a court is probably exactly the right venue. It seems like too much discretion for prosecutors to be wielding.

If, hypothetically, at the end of the process he gets convicted because the law doesn't allow a "right thing" defense and it still appears to be a travesty of justice then that's for legislatures and pardon processes to fix.
But why would that be a travesty of justice? Why do we, as members of western society, regard it in aggregate rather than two different duties?

I get that people aggregate it, but I don't know why.
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Old Today, 10:45 AM   #79
RecoveringYuppy
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
But why would that be a travesty of justice? Why do we, as members of western society, regard it in aggregate rather than two different duties?

I get that people aggregate it, but I don't know why.
I'm not sure what you mean here but I'm going to just assume you're not even asking the right question.

I think the potential problem here is simply that the laws might be wrong. Specifically, it may not be spelled out what "your duty" is when the situation you are in is that the official whistle blower channels are broken.

And my point is that deciding if he was correct when he took it upon himself and decided official channels needed to be bypassed belongs in the realm of a court and not a prosecutor.
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Old Today, 10:52 AM   #80
RecoveringYuppy
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Are any of the people in this thread arguing the prosecutor shouldn't even prosecute also in a Star Trek thread arguing that simply forgiving and forgetting major crimes too easily is a major plot hole?
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