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Sometimes it seems that the worse things get, the more we tolerate. It's not that we become impartial to a particular wrong, but it does seem that we often "sit on the fence" when we see wrongdoing.

It's difficult to hear about what the US government is doing to Bradley Manning and simply think "well, they mean well" or "they just don't know any better" or "torture is for the public good." So, rather than being neutral or taking sides, oftentimes we just ignore the behavior. For, if we are to judge something, we must have a basis for that judgment. In other words, we must have a standard. It is difficult to have standards in a world of moral relativism.

What does it mean to have moral authority? Is it hypocritical to claim a moral authority if you ignore moral misconduct or don't pronounce moral judgment? Do we have a duty or moral obligation to speak out against atrocities? If so, to whom do we have that duty? What reward, if any, do we receive by loyally performing that duty? Do we have a moral responsibility to judge people's actions? If we don't condemn torture, do we become an accessory to the crime?

Britain risks losing its moral authority if it fails to officially challenge the US government on its "cruel and unnecessary" treatment of the US marine Bradley Manning, parliament is to be told.

Ann Clwyd, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on human rights, will on Monday evening say UK's credibility in "places where human rights are not nearly so well observed" is at risk.

She will call on the government to offer practical support to the British-based relatives of Manning, who is currently imprisoned on a US marine base, accused of leaking state secrets to the WikiLeaks website.

"I do not want us to get drawn into a discussion of the rights and wrongs of the WikiLeaks revelations. I would like us now to concentrate on the current conditions of detention for Bradley Manning," Clywd is expected to say at the adjournment debate speech.

"Manning's case is important because of the message it sends out to the rest of the world about what kind of treatment the United States thinks is acceptable for people in detention. And, for us, it is important what we say - or what we don't say - because of the message that it sends out about what kind of treatment we in the United Kingdom and in the UK government think is acceptable.

Bradley Manning case: British moral authority 'at risk.' Welsh MP says UK must challenge US over treatment of marine being detained for alleged leak of state secrets to WikiLeaks


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Apr 11, 2011 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=525

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