Should the Army Have Seen Manning Coming?
posted at 9:31 am on February 3, 2011 by Jazz Shaw
As we continue to move toward the court martial phase in the case of alleged traitor Bradley Manning, disturbing new details are coming to light. One medical officer was concerned enough over the Army private’s mental state to recommend that Manning not even be deployed overseas and his supervisor in Iraq had been keeping a log of his aberrant behavior.
A mental health specialist recommended that the Army private accused of leaking classified material to the anti-secrecy Web site WikiLeaks not be deployed to Iraq, but his immediate commanders sent him anyway, according to a military official familiar with a new Army investigation…
At Fort Drum, Manning balled up his fists and screamed at higher-ranking soldiers in his unit, said the official familiar with the Army inquiry. In Iraq, a master sergeant who supervised Manning was so concerned about the private’s mental health that he disabled Manning’s weapon in December 2009, the private’s attorney, David E. Coombs, previously said. Also in Iraq, in May 2010, Manning was demoted a rank for assaulting a fellow soldier, the Army said.
The article goes on to say that a deteriorating personal relationship may have contributed to his poor conduct leading up to the alleged release of classified documents. The investigation is now expanding outward to the point where Manning’s supervisors up the chain of command may be facing charges for not preventing the security breach.
In a way, I can absolutely sympathize with his Master Sergeant. While you always monitor sub-standard performance and apply discipline where required, you don’t give up immediately on every soldier who misbehaves. Back in the day in our command we had our share of unruly enlisted men at times, but with proper supervision many of them straightened up and went on to have successful careers. Still, the military is unforgiving in these matters and when a serious breakdown happens, those in command will be held responsible.
On a related note, another story is now indicating that Manning’s international network of cheerleaders are trying a new tactic to shield him. This time they’re claiming that he’s a U.K. citizen.
The British government is under pressure to take up the case of Bradley Manning, the soldier being held in a maximum security military prison in Virginia on suspicion of having passed a massive trove of US state secrets to WikiLeaks, on the grounds that he is a UK citizen.
Manning is a UK citizen by descent from his Welsh mother, Susan. Government databases on births, deaths and marriages show she was born Susan Fox in Haverfordwest in 1953.
She married a then US serviceman, Brian Manning, stationed at a US base near the city, and they had a daughter, Casey, in the same year. Bradley was born in Oklahoma in 1987.
Bad news, sports fans. While your average civilian might be able to claim dual citizenship on this sort of a clause, Bradley Manning was born on U.S. soil to an American father, enlisted in our military of his own free will and took the oath. In short… he’s ours. He is subject to the UCMJ like any other service member and the Brits have no business getting involved in the matter.
Nice try, though. We’ll give you bonus points for creative thinking. But Manning stays where he is until if / when he comes to court martial. And that will happen on the military’s timetable, not the media’s.
Note: This post was promoted from Hot Air’s Green Room. To see the original post and comments, go here.