Bradley Manning “a mess of a child” who should not have been sent to Iraq

bradley manning a child, bradley manning a wreck

Bradley Manning a major wimp

How did a guy Manning get a security clearance?

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.

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Posted by on May 28, 2011. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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15 Responses to Bradley Manning “a mess of a child” who should not have been sent to Iraq

  1. Eddie

    May 28, 2011 at 10:15 am

    You know what that poster of him is perfect for? Restoring don’t ask don’t tell. PBS Frontline did an extensive look at him. He has been a f-ing loser before he signed up for the Army. I think there is a bipartisan and international consensus that people that threatens their parents with a knife is anything but respectable.

  2. Leslie Parsley

    May 28, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Ditto but disagree totally re the poster being good for repealing DADT. For God’s sake, are you saying that he’s unstable because he’s gay or all gays are mentally ill? Sharing on FB.

    • A Michael J. Scott

      May 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm

      I’m not saying it just reporting it 🙂

    • Eddie

      May 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm

      Take what we know. Gays in the military or out of it does not mean anything in terms of pure numbers (on the account that there isn’t really much of them). There is some indication that it causes massive harm in mission critical posts, but we will never have enough people to fill the posts anyways. Arguments to end DADT have always been about moral fairness, which I perfectly agree. The Republicans like McCain have been presenting gays as people that hurt the military. Now all they have to do is wave that poster of that maniac around, point out this man caused an even worse intelligence leak that the people that leaked the nuke to the Soviets, and guess what will happen? Manning f-ed up his cause.

  3. Steve Wilkerson

    May 28, 2011 at 10:53 am

    1. He probably wouldn’t have gotten a clearance or sent to Iraq if we re-instituted the draft, something that would have other favorable effects on our war-making too, not least of which would be more public interest and involvement.
    2. DADT was in effect when he was doing all this.
    3. Some of what he gave to WikiLeaks has been of importance to public discussion while most of it has not (unless there is more to be found in it).
    4. The rules and purpose of pre-trial detention are supposed to be followed no matter what the accusation. He hasn’t had his day in court, something we are all entitled to, no matter how serious the crimes we are ultimately found to have committed. It’s one thing to conclude on the basis of what is none that he was an undesirable “wimp” and another to conclude that he did anything that meets the standard of guilt. We should hold off on the latter. (Not that this entry or comments have concluded that, just added as a caution.)

    • Eddie

      May 28, 2011 at 1:12 pm

      I will like to point out that I completely disagree with your first point. Remember Vietnam? I am not old enough, so I don’t know. However, everything in my history book tells me that the draft failed to unite the country under a common suffering. MLK thought is was a war against the poor or something. We barely held it together in WWII. By 1944, the table had permanently turned and victory is clear and after 1 year after turning into a full war time economy (we managed some time in 1943), we were ready to give up.

      • lazersedge

        May 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm

        Eddie, the draft was not responsible for either of the scenarios you mention. In both cases we let our military stature dwindle of trained, prepared troops. After WWI and Korea we cut back substantially on our military. When we decided to enter WWII we had to beef up the military in a hurry and were force into battle with less than fully trained experienced soldiers. The same thing occurred in Vietnam plus the added burden of being somewhere we didn’t need to be. I personally think a return to a for of draft in which everyone gives a minimum of two years of their life to service to their country in some form would be a good thing. While everyone would not have to serve in the military they would have to serve in some form regardless with no exemptions for education or social status. MLK’s comments were made because most draftees were the poor and minorities because they could not afford to go to college or Canada.
        As for Private Bradley I must agree with Mike. I had a Top Secret classification while in the Marines and I don’t understand how he got into the military other than they were hard up for troops.

        • Eddie

          May 28, 2011 at 2:39 pm

          Actually, that is incorrect. After the Korean War, we shrunk down a lot in terms of personnel, but definitely not military might. Eisenhower believed that we if were to contain communism, they can’t keep re-enacting the Korean War. It is too costly in both troops, money, and popular support. Take a look at support for the Korean War. In less than a year (and I think even less than a combat tour), the public went from being royally pissed about Truman giving MacArthur the boot to thinking the Korean War is just plain useless. Truman’s popularity, of course, went to hell. As an alternative, Eisenhower enacted the “New Look”, which basically is any attack on the US will equal nuclear annihilation. For obvious reasons, you do not need a lot of manpower to maintain that policy.

          • lazersedge

            May 29, 2011 at 2:31 am

            Eddie, it is obvious that you do not study military history very much. If you were correct Vietnam would not have happen just like Korea would have never happen. Remember, in neither case were we attacked thus the nuclear option was never really an option. The M.A.D concept was useful only in holding the U.S.S.R at bay such as it did during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. In both Korea and Vietnam we chose to intervene in other countries’ politics in our war against communism which required large number troops on the ground. That lead us to have to have dramatic increases in our ground troop capabilities, more so in Vietnam than Korea because of our continuing commitments in South Korea and in Germany. When President Johnson launched a major offensive in 1966 the demands on our troops make the Iraq and Afgahn wars pale in comparison. Before public opinion, and the royal butt whipping we were receiving in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive forced us to pull out 50,000 + of our people had died. This was primarily due to us not understanding how to fight the war and partially due to troops who were ill trained for their combat missions.
            So Eddie, my friend, it is not I who is incorrect it is you. Much of this I know from personal experience as well as a lot of research.

            • Eddie

              May 29, 2011 at 9:59 am

              No, you are incorrect.

              Eisenhower’s New Look was specific to his administration and no it was not just MAD. If Canada, an ally and a non communist, try to claim Alaska for nationalistic reason, they too will face a nuclear holocaust. After his administration, Kennedy came in and implemented his “Flexible Response”, which entailed having the choices between conventional response, special forces, and nuclear responses.

              And I can’t believe you just said the military got an ass kicking in the Tet Offensive. The Vietcong got their ass handed to them, failed to hold onto their captured land, and failed to draw massive support from the SV locals. It was a public relations disaster since the public was faced with a war with no quick end (well, duh).

              I can go and on. However, you may not realize it, but you just completely justified my point. The idea of drafts increasing public commitment to satisfactory level has NO historical basis. It didn’t rally iron clad public support for ANY war, including the one where, at first glance, we lost the entire Pacific Fleet in the Pearl Harbor raid.

              • sanmigmike

                May 29, 2011 at 6:36 pm

                All one has to do is look at the government of Vietnam to see who got their ass whipped. At some point we realized that we didn’t have any real strategic reason to be in Vietnam. We could not get our side to fight with the dedication and zeal that the North was able to get out of their troops. (Look at the record, we lost battles and the South Vietnamese had months of supplies left when they fell…they just could not fight.) We could have stayed there years and years and the answer without some miracle happening would have been the same. “Our” side lost. It was not due to reporting, it was not due to a lack of support in the beginning. The seeds of failure were planted when we decided to make that a battlefield without understanding just what the heck was going on and ignoring the few people that did have some ideas.

                During a good part of that war we kept to our idea of a Moscow lead Red world that was marching in lock step and any American that said differently found he had no voice in government.

                Gays in the military. A short look back in history tells that the military thought that blacks could not fight. Then we heard that women could do nothing for the military. Now gays are considered somehow unsuitable… To claim that Bradly represents gays…okay I charge that George Bush and Randy Cunningham and any other white male that has taken a bribe or screwed up represent white males and that is why we should not allow white males in the military.

                Most European armed forces have open gays. We have had a lot of gays in our past. To let gays serve open would reduce a lot of the claimed problems with gays. It if was okay to be gay then no blackmailing for being gay. Remember when the Navy went on a witch hunt for gays and the memo said…look at your best sailors…

                We got our butt whipped in Vietnam for several reasons but the real important one was that from day one except for the idea of “fighting international communism” (that imaginary Red block) we had no real goals, no understanding of the situation in Vietnam, no understanding of the culture and no understanding of the VC and their appeal. Aside from that…we knew it all.

                As one officer said…”We started Korea with a horrible Army and ended with a great one, we started Vietnam with a great Army and ended with a bad one.” Poorly led troops with a mission that is not at all understood don’t do well, draftees or not. But Vietnam was a mess for us from beginning to end. Part of the problem is that it is political suicide to do anything that the other political party can claim is “soft” even if it gets us into messes that we not only have no idea what we are trying to do but we are clueless to pretty much everything about that situation. Afghanistan’s freedom fighters against the Soviet Union. Vietnam, Iraq, Iran in the ’50s and on and on…we reap what we sow.

                I think the draft should be reinstated. One of the reasons we have a “professional” military is that when they die…we can think…hey, they signed up for it. An Army with draftees means selling the public on the war and keeping them sold on the war. Since Korea that has been a problem and the problem might be more due to our choice of wars not the quality of Americans and America.

              • lazersedge

                May 29, 2011 at 10:14 pm

                I not sure what part of Vietnam you were in Eddie but General Westmorland lost that war for us before we started. It is a classic example of why you cannot go into another people’s country and defeat a dedicated force. To us body counts equaled winning. To the North Vietnamese it was a process of simply wearing us down. Read the “Art of War”. They used it perfectly against us. They fought us on their terms when and where they wanted to. How can you contend we didn’t get our heads handed to us when we barely got the people out of embassy safely. It is the same reason we have to get out of Afghanistan. We can never win there just like we never won in Korea. Just like the Russians got their butts kicked in Afghanistan. It takes too much to conquer and occupy a country. The last country we actually conquered was Germany. Japan surrendered to keep us from using more atomic bombs on them. If we had tried to actually conquer Japan with troops it would have resulted in us winning with a tremendous loss of troops estimated at 150,000.

  4. Tamra

    May 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Reminds me of my Criminal Justice class I teach….. people advocate for ‘incarcerated people’ to be MANDATED to serve our military!!! Crazy isn’t it? I am proud of all our soldiers! (ok, not this one 😉 )

    • lazersedge

      May 29, 2011 at 4:18 am

      Yeah, I don’t think criminals would make good soldiers. No discipline.