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View Diary: ‘You Failed to Break the Spirit of Bradley Manning’: An Open Letter to President Obama (217 comments)

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  •  There Are No Heroes in This One (10+ / 0-)

    Bradley Manning is not a hero. It's pretty clear that he is a troubled person. Quoting the AP from a while ago: Lawyers for Army Pfc. Bradley Manning opened their case Monday in the sentencing phase of his trial by attacking commanders' decisions to send the young intelligence analyst to Iraq and let him keep his top-secret security clearance despite emotional outbursts and concerns about his mental health.

    Had Manning released that single helicopter video, and not 700k of documents that did harm our security, I would have had his back.

    But that is not what happened.

    Shame on the Marines in Quantico.

    And shame on the Army for giving someone so young and so green such a high security clearance (TS/SCI -- the same as Snowden) and not taking action when it was apparent to more than just a few people that Manning was troubled.

    Roughly half of the Sargents (Grade E-5 and above) in the Army possess only a secret clearance, while Manning as an E-3 was given a Top Secret with Sensitive Compartmented Information. It's the same clearance as mine, so I know the kinds of information to which Manning had access, and leaked.

    There Are No Heroes.

    •  That's my read. (6+ / 0-)

      Manning was inadvertently set up to fail.

      The hierarchy knew he was deeply troubled. They put their needs ahead of his actual wellbeing.

      I see many shades of gray in this case. I think everyone did what they thought was right for the country  at the time.

      I think everyone chose wrong.

      And as usual, only the little guy will pay the price. I'm tired of our service members being thrown into situations beyond what they can handle. But their commanding officers, truth be told, are often just as overwhelmed and stressed.

      Accountability lies higher than most citizens want to admit. An acquaintance  was droning on and on to me about Manning and how he risked so many lives.. His congressman is the biggest hawk I know, and this guy always votes GOP.

      Uh-huh. I said. You and your Congressman are why we're sending vulnerable men and women into war in the first place.

      It's a mess.

      © grover

      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 10:58:00 AM PDT

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      •  Good Point (5+ / 0-)

        Any higher-ups suffer for their failure to exercise command in the Manning case?

        •  No. They never do. (5+ / 0-)

          I'd like, just once, for people like Duncan Hunter, John McCain, and Darrell Issa to have to answer for why keep sending people to war when we have more broken bodies and souls than we can manage, much less fix right now.

          The four and three star guys can answer in their places. But ultimately they're carrying out orders too.

          We put people like Manning and Sgt Bales in places they NEVER should be ; then we blame them all to hell when things go catastrophically wrong. And we blame them exclusively.

          Do these men need to account for what they did? Of course they do. Am I comparing what Manning did with Bales' actions? No. Of course not.   If anyone was harmed or killed because of Manning's disclosures, we'll never know. But likely, the harm wasn't as heinous as what Bales did. And Manning wasnt the one holding the gun.

          But dang,  I'm just tired of this country not taking care of men and women that we broke (or never should have signed) in the first place.

          Accountability is a great word when you're pointing your finger at others, you know?

          © grover

          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:54:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Disagree. Manning is a hero. (8+ / 0-)

      I think it takes a lot of courage to do what he did, to stand up for what you believe is right.  Thousands of soldiers witnessed the abuse he speaks of in that statement, only a small few have the courage to speak out about it.  

    •  Troubled people can be heroes. nt (3+ / 0-)

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:37:30 AM PDT

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