Before I start, I’d like to say that I admire Newt Gingrich for trying to reform the system by bashing negative ads. I get tired of them really quickly, too. It would be an ideal world if we didn’t have to suffer them.
I think the reason why Newt’s numbers are dropping is not solely due to negative ads. I think his singular focus in his campaigning of late about negative ads is one reason people are losing interest. He has basically made his recent campaign platform all about the negative ads, and basically talking little about any other issue. Independent voters in Iowa are just not feeling Newt.
And Mitt Romney has a point – we gave super pacs the ability to run ads for candidates and they can have like millions of dollars to spend. And we did put into effect laws that say candidates cannot tell favorable super pacs what to do. If we want to stop those negative ads coming out of the super pacs, we need to reform the law, not force candidates to respond to everything a super pac does. And if Gingrich can’t stand up to negative ad campaigns, he’s toast in the general election.
I do believe Bradley Manning is fucked, regardless of what spectators want. I understand the prosecutor’s side, and I understand the defense’s side. But in the end, the question of whether it did any real damage to security in the US or whether that info should have been classified in the first place is moot. The real question is “If you have classified, sensative information, and you leak it to the public, what does the law say?” The present laws say it’s equal to treason and people who don’t protect classified info or intentionally give it out are to face a court martial. And that’s basically what’s going to happen. He’s going to be court-martialed and possibly face 20 to 50 years in prison.
And there’s a reason for that. Most classified info is sensitive to the security and well-being of US citizens (which includes military service people). If we let everyone have access to classified info, there would be no end to the damage it could do and the lives that could be lost. Clearly, we need to stop classifying every God damn thing Secret, because that actually adds to the problem. And we have a problem with things being secret that shouldn’t be. But did he violate the law that protects classified info and people’s lives? Yes. End of story.