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View Diary: CNN Losing Bradley Manning Story: Manning Was Reporting a War Crime, "The Van Thing" (286 comments)

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  •  Its my job (0+ / 0-)

    I follow every counter intelligence case because that is what you pay me for.

    This is a pretty good description of his detention:

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/...

    Now for some perspective.  When I was in Kuwait I was afforded roughly 6' x 4' and there was no TV, internet or bathroom in that space.  Because I was not a prisoner, I could travel to all those.  In Afghanistan I had 6' x 8' and again, I was not a prisoner.  Kuwait was not set up for holding prisoners long term and his behavior from the time he was first detained made it extremely difficult to safely control him.  You have to understand that in Iraq and Kuwait EVERYONE is armed so the normal program of assigning an escort/guard doesnt work.  

    I have seen the "shark attack" once in person.  It is not pretty but it has a purpose.  Military prisoners are not like normal ones.  Some of us have been specifically trained to survive detention and all of us are trained in the basics.  The "shark attack" is designed to strip away any sense of self and sense of control so that the prisoner is completely at the mercy of the guards and understands that they are in control.  I was on the receiving end of the exact same thing my first day in Basic Training.  The difference there was it was 20+ drill sergeants for 20 recruits.  At a detention facility its normally 4-6 detention sergeants and one prisoner.  The one I saw lasted three hours and at the end the person - an experienced Staff Sergeant who was about 6' and fit - was on the ground in the fetal position sobbing.  No one touched him during that time.  It was all mental and very effective.

    The linked article provides a good description of how PFC Manning has consistently made his situation worse though his own actions.  Whether anyone here believes it or not, his safety and well being is a primary concern for the military.  First, it is a professional obligation.  Second, if he harmed himself it would be a public relations disaster.  Finally, he knows things that we want to know - the mechanics and extent of his betrayal.  Even he seems to acknowledge that his statements during intake in Quantico were not the smartest thing to do.  And yet once he got to Leavenworth and his conditions improved he still managed to get into trouble.  He seems to lack the ability to stay out of trouble - a trait he had before he decided to betray secrets.  

    Not everyone should be in the military. Of those in the military, not everyone should be in military intelligence.  We work very hard to screen out those who dont belong - PFC Manning was in fact selected for discharge at one point.  In peace time, we probably would have caught and screened out PFC Manning but many of the behaviors that would normally trigger discharge are the same for someone scared to deploy.  I assume that his command looked at him and decided it was deploying that was causing the issues.  They were wrong but it is an understandable mistake.  

    We in the CI community are actively reviewing his case because in hindsight there were lots of indicators that he was a problem.  What seems to have thrown us off is that he never had contact with any foreign actors and was missing all the normal motivations - money, sex, ideology.  He is quite possibly the first person to "give away" secrets instead of selling them.  

    Never forget that PFC Manning found himself in the military, in Iraq of his own doing.  He actively sought out and choose to be there.  No one forced him to sign up in January of 2008 and he cant say he didnt think he would deploy.  The news was filled with stories of people deploying too often, not stories of bored soldiers wanting to "get in the fight."

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 09:07:38 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  He is a square peg in a round hole. (0+ / 0-)

      Round off his edges, break him, and you will have the authority and moral standing of the armed services in Iraq restored!  (That is snark) Real life means he will get some kind of multi year penalty, otherwise the system looks like crap.

      It really devolves down to making sure the machinery of permanent war and profits there from are protected. You, me, Manning, Petraeus, the rest are simply actors in the political theatre to keep it going.

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