Stunning mini-documentary about Bradley Manning

#1
#2
The Graun seems to be implying that his culpability is somehow lessened by the fact that he was a fairly pathetic individual with a taste for the intimate company of other gentlemen. The stuff about only joining to go to University afterwards, is a bit thin when you realise he had joint nationality and could thus have attended a British University on the bounty of Her Maj.

I don't see how the fact that he was a worthless soldier somehow invalidates his signature on the dotted line, nor the responsibilities he took on when he placed it there. According to the Guardian's peculiar world-view, the more pathetic a person, the less criminal and moral responsibility he bears. The US Army takes a different view, I believe.
 
#3
Interesting article, and I guess it goes some way to explaining what Manning did.

Yet the question still remains, if the article is correct and he was a basket case, why did the powers that be send him in the first place? The answer may be as follows. I work in an field where emotion can sometimes overide logic, and would argue that a number of my collegues are not up to the challenge of working with problematic youth, yet they get the job as we struggle to find enough suitably qualified or emotionally strong people for the industry. Simply put, if you have to take stress leave (or wet your pants as in Manning's example) you're not up to industry standards!
 
#4
I well remember the "penny wise pound foolish" attitude sometimes found in military and other occupational training. The argument of the trainer(s) was "We have made a major investment in this chap and by the way are you criticizing our judgement?" Result, pass him on to the next team and get on with the job in hand. I'm not saying that this is the norm or even common, but it paves the way for this type of mega-f**k up.

B
 
#5
If the documentary is correct, the US Army is guilty of gross negligence.

They allowed a manifestly unstable individual access to a large amount of secret data.

They endangered the lives of their soldiers by allowing that individual access to weapons for the majority of the time that he was deployed.

They failed to take even basic safeguards to protect secret data and restrict unecessary access to files.

Bradley Manning is a little shit who I have minimal sympathy for; but in fairness he was systematically failed by the military. Manning should have been discharged from the army as soon as it was evident that he couldn't cope. There is a blame chain that begins with his commanders in basic training, ends with his commanders in Iraq, and includes very senior officers who directed retention policy. The US army set itself up for a disaster, if Manning has a half decent legal team, they are going to rip the army to shreds during the Court Martial.

Manning has ruined his own life and will pay a very high price for his actions. But his head should not be the only one that rolls.
 
M

Mark The Convict

Guest
#6
I think Manning's life was ruined for him well before he joined up, but you're quite right. Surely the US Army has some process to follow when clearly unsuitable members are ID'd? Manning can hardly have been the first nutter to slip through the enlistment psych. testing system?

ISTR that Lt. Calley was spotted as being clearly sub-standard well before he popped loose at My Lai.
 
#7
I think Manning's life was ruined for him well before he joined up, but you're quite right. Surely the US Army has some process to follow when clearly unsuitable members are ID'd? Manning can hardly have been the first nutter to slip through the enlistment psych. testing system?

ISTR that Lt. Calley was spotted as being clearly sub-standard well before he popped loose at My Lai.
Sure, Reading between the lines Manning was broken kid who was going to struggle wherever he went in life. He made a mistake when he joined the army; a more pragmatic and compassionate system would have immediately returned him to civilian existance. This whole situation was avoidable from day one.
 
M

Mark The Convict

Guest
#9
Or been killed in it. @ Abner B - it makes you wonder how many other Mannings may be lurking in the woodwork, although it's hard to imagine that the US mil. hierarchy haven't taken preventative measures against just such a recurrence.
 
#12
Didn't know he'd been out there, sposse all the Paki jokes wouldn't have gone down too well in the middle east I surpose!

 
#13
Didn't know he'd been out there, sposse all the Paki jokes wouldn't have gone down too well in the middle east I surpose!
Nor his Jewish ancestory for that matter....
 
#14
How does a man...err...individual...get security clearance when he clearly throws up red flags left right and Chelsea. I would hazard a guess in our upside down world that him being a homosexual the head honchos did not want to deal with it lest they get accused by the self righteous gay lobby.
 
Z

Zarathustra

Guest
#15
How does a man...err...individual...get security clearance when he clearly throws up red flags left right and Chelsea. I would hazard a guess in our upside down world that him being a homosexual the head honchos did not want to deal with it lest they get accused by the self righteous gay lobby.
Maybe he didn't throw up red flags when he got his clearance? Though it sounds like his IT qualifications/experience were more valuable to the military in Iraq than waiting for someone more suitable to be trained up.

They might have kept him in his job when he started going down hill in Iraq because someone somewhere believed that to remove him from his job would have been more detrimental to his mental state and they probably didn't think how it would end up.
 
#16
If the documentary is correct, the US Army is guilty of gross negligence.

They allowed a manifestly unstable individual access to a large amount of secret data.

They endangered the lives of their soldiers by allowing that individual access to weapons for the majority of the time that he was deployed.

They failed to take even basic safeguards to protect secret data and restrict unecessary access to files.

Bradley Manning is a little shit who I have minimal sympathy for; but in fairness he was systematically failed by the military. Manning should have been discharged from the army as soon as it was evident that he couldn't cope. There is a blame chain that begins with his commanders in basic training, ends with his commanders in Iraq, and includes very senior officers who directed retention policy. The US army set itself up for a disaster, if Manning has a half decent legal team, they are going to rip the army to shreds during the Court Martial.

Manning has ruined his own life and will pay a very high price for his actions. But his head should not be the only one that rolls.
Top class reply. Cheers.
 
#17
For those who don't have 19 minutes, here's a summary.

Does Mothercare do DPM?
Who said that?
It's me, Bradley, I'm down here.

Ooh, ooh, look at me I'm gay. Look at me.

I'm smart too. Way smarter than the rest of my platoon so why do they keep kicking the sh1t out of me?

Did I mention I was gay?

I'm a computer genius. I can send emails and burn CDs and everything.

Yeah. I'll say whatever you like about Bradley so long as you blur my face so nobody can sue me.

Shut up. This is all about me, me, me. I'm the only gay in the barracks.

My man-wife is a hunk. Check him out. Whaddaya mean, somebody else checked him out?

Be silent officer bitch woman. Kneel before my superior intellect, gaming prowess and sperm gargling skills. While you're kneeling, I'll just give you a punch in the face to put you in your place.

Say, is there a gay society here at Fort Leavernworth? If not, I'll start one. I'm gay you know.
 
#19
Maybe he didn't throw up red flags when he got his clearance? Though it sounds like his IT qualifications/experience were more valuable to the military in Iraq than waiting for someone more suitable to be trained up.

They might have kept him in his job when he started going down hill in Iraq because someone somewhere believed that to remove him from his job would have been more detrimental to his mental state and they probably didn't think how it would end up.
The army, acting in the interests of a private's mental state? Pull the other one!

As one of the blurred face guys says, 2007 was the nadir of the Army's recruiting crisis. I've read elsewhere they were taking petty crims, people with drug arrests, high school drop-outs and even blokes with neo-nazi tattoos. Anything to fill the outbound C-17s with fresh meat.
 
#20
How does a man get security clearance when he clearly throws up red flags left right and Chelsea.
Millions of bisexuals, lesbians, and gays served throughout the 20th/21st centuries, and 78,000 are serving today. The U.S. military always looks the other way whenever it is beneficial to do so, which it often is. The 14,316 discharged over the last 17 years were let go only because replacements for each of them were readily available, although at a cost of US$756 million.

Q. So the real question isn't why was a gay soldier allowed to serve (because they often are), but why was a soldier whose instability was identified years ago during training still sent into a desolate outpost in a war zone?

A. Because despite frequent lowering of standards, military recruiters had such a short supply of soldiers with Manning's technical skills that they deployed him anyway, placing technology needs above human factors.
 

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