Like Manning, I served in the United States Army. I was assigned to Army Intelligence as a special agent. The background investigation and the subsequent appointment process were extensive and grueling. It is not easy to get a TOP SECRET security clearance, a requirement for agents, and it is even more difficult to maintain that level of clearance. I understand that Manning was no doubt what we used to call a “coordinator” which is the equivalent of a secretary, but he would still have to have, at a minimum, a SECRET clearance, and given what we know about him I’m surprised he made it through basic training much less was assigned a security clearance.
When I read the summary from Newser and viewed the video I was shocked, and I think you will be too:
Bradley Manning never should have been let near Iraq, much less the classified trove he spilled to WikiLeaks, reports the Guardian in a look at the Army private’s mental health. “He was harassed so much that he once pissed in his sweatpants,” says an anonymous officer from the base where Manning trained, calling him “a mess of a child.” He was prone to outbursts, regularly hauled in for psych evaluations, and once punched “a chick in the face”—yet sent on his way to Baghdad, security clearance intact.
“Low-flying planes could have seen that kid wasn’t suitable,” says a former soldier who recalls Manning “curled up in a fetal position on his bunk.” “He was a wreck.” Couple that with security so lax that passwords were scrawled on sticky notes on laptops at Manning’s base, and as a former comrade says, “no wonder something like this transpired.” Watch the 19-minute Guardian video here.
What do you think of this latest revelation? Let us know what you think of Bradley Manning in the comments section.