In my moral world, torture, abuse and other dehumanizing acts can be worse than murder. Speaking in old-fashioned terms, the modern torturer is out to destroy the victim’s soul more than her body. And yet none of the Abu Ghraib guards got more than 10 years, and none served more than seven. That West Virginia woman did less than two years and she still does not understand what was wrong about her treatment of the Iraqis.
Bradley Manning has been sentenced to 35 years. While he did something extremely immature – driven, I suspect, by various demons in his head aka mental disorder – I don’t see how his actions are remotely as vile as torture.