Stunning mini-documentary about Bradley Manning

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Muntie McSporrin, May 29, 2011.

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  1. 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.
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  2. 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!
  3. 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.

  4. 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.
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  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. As JJH pointed out one time, the US Army had made a decision to utilise the dross, given the adroitness with which most of the 'best and brightest' managed to dodge the war.
  8. 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.
  9. Fixed that for you.
  10. Yes, that does seem more likely! :)
  11. 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!

  12. Nor his Jewish ancestory for that matter....
  13. 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.
  14. 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.