Drafting Private Chestnut was because they could since there was a draft on
Draft =/= grabbing people off the street and beating them until they say, "Yes sir." That's more usually called 'press ganging'. The SSS documents that I have been able to find says he merely has to have 'an occupation' (portal aerial) not 'a job'. And indeed a person can have an occupation (career) even if they are currently without a job. I think that the portal equipment counts as a vital war industry. Consider if your interpretation was true. Then in times of war the US government could save huge amounts of money (which is always a problem in times of war) by drafting the entire population of Boeing and Lockheed and insist that $50k+ professionals and executives suddenly have to make do with $1000 a month - minus deductions. All other professionals at DIMO(N) were offered healthy compensation, yes? That stage seems to have been skipped for Chestnut. So they saving money argument doesn't really hold water. Nor does the 'and use force if needed' part, since he *was* willing to work if they paid him a salary appropiet to the uniqueness of his skill. There are thousands of executives in America with 6 figure incomes. His requests were extravigent, but not completely unreasonable since (once again) the US government effectively pays the baulk of those salaries already to the Boeing and LockMart CEOs.
I do not claim to be an expert in this are (is anyone here?) but I’ve looked and have yet to find documentation that drafting in the US at any time ever worked this way. Can anyone point them out? Also can anyone point out the parts of SSS which give officers above a certain rank the ability to draft people because they don't like them? The impression I got of Sparky and Chestnut was that he made a nuisance of himself so they solved the nuisance by drafting him. Not, "You remember that guy we all hate? Well he just got drafted by random chance! Ha ha ha!" Again, everything I've found on SSS indicates it's supposed to be random and fair. The term lottery features quite strongly.
Speaking of money problems...
The draft was already established. He was going to get drafted anyway.
Really? He was? The US is planning to draft everyone? Hmm. According to the CIA there are 100M eligable and fit for military service. All of them? Okay. 100M people at $10,000 per anum each... Well that's a trillion for wages each year, plus another 2 trillion each year for other costs, and about 5 tillion for training. This is an excessive amount of military spending, even by American standards. Even if you take out a huge chunk for the local volonteers. If it's not 'all of them' (for any reason, such as cost, or practicality) then it's a lottery, with rules, and doesn't the certainty of that 'anyway' dissapear? In which case wasn't it exceptionally lucky and convenient (for DIMO(N)) that he was one of the 1 in 50/100 that actually get drafted at all. In either case none of the other experts in the centre got drafted. I must have missed the part when it happened to kitten and Randi. If it was done personaly and only for Chestnut, simply because he was unpleasent, then we do appear to come back to the abuse of power issue.
And the torture was of Miss Branch by inmates (the kind of thing that happens in prisons because the guards can't supervise everybody all the time) and the hazing of Private Chestnut was a series of what were engineered to seem to be accidents, and in all honesty, I don't particularly fault the supervisors for not going to excessive lengths to determine whether anything was happening.
Well here's the difference of opinion. I think if you deliberately throw someone into a pit full of angry bears then you are responsible for the injuries they get. I also think anyone who disagrees with that definition of responsibility is an idiot, and anyone who claims, "Oh but I didn't know that would happen," is a liar and/or a moral coward. Ethics aside, putting Branch in the general population might also be questionable for military reasons. Spies are potential intelligence assets as double agents. I do not believe it is sensible to risk their lives so casually.
Again, she was arrested for treason, not Christianity.
Except that the specifics
of her charge was that she was 'talking to an inhabitant of heaven' an act more usually referred to as prayer; and considered by many a vital part of Christianity. So in effect she was arrested for being a practicing Christian in a time when the 'christian' god was an enemy of the state.
Now turning to the law books, we have part of the constitution saying you can't talk to god
(because of treason), and another part of the constitution stating that we specifically cannot legally stop you talking to your god
(because of the 1st amendment). That appears to be a conflict/loophole, one that is present because no one has ever considered god as a potential enemy of the state. Also, if what you said about precedence is true, then the 1st amendment overrides the whole constitution when it comes to religion, including the part about treason. So that would make her not a traitor.
Any kind of legal court would be capable of clarifying this instantly. But until then...In fact such a Supreme Court decision might fit in well with the dead tree version of Armageddon. Given the number of religions extremists in America today, who might be quite willing to help yahweh, and even the potential headaches such a constitutional conflict might cause... It's likely someone in the US government would have realised it within days of the Message. It’s a loophole they would want to close and could do so easily.
My problem is with the law. I don't doubt what she did.
Are you sure Branch helped with attacks on Earth? Has Michael actually used any information she's passed on? Did she pass on any information beyond DEMO(N)'s location? Given that he doesn't seem to have noticed her capture, she can't have been passing him information that regularly.
Don't make Michael a saint. <snip> Who is better? A master-criminal who committs atrocities and shows remorse? Or a police officer who shoots a hostage in the leg so they can't be used as a shield?
Believe me, I know what Michael is.
But the image of some DEMO(N) officials that springs to mind isn't a Dirty Harry style cop, but rather a giggling child. "HeHeHe! I got to hurt someone I don't like and got away with it! Aren't I clever! HeHeHe!" It is poor logic to use the excuse that there are worse people out there as an excuse for acts which are at best morally questionable.