The Guardian: Bradley Manning Was Mentally Unfit for Duty in Iraq
The Guardian has a shocking and sad compilation of reports gleaned from interviewing soldiers who served along side Pvt. Bradley Manning, the alleged source for much WikiLeaks material.
The takeaway is a disturbing story of a "mentally fragile" and unstable young man, prone to sensitive or violent reactions, who worried many but was nonetheless sent to duty in Iraq, and who, while there, had easy access along with his unit to highly sensitive material. The report of his mental and psychological condition also sheds an even harsher light on the isolation and abusive treatment he suffered during his initial imprisonment.
The findings from the Guardian article:
- It was highly questionable to send Manning overseas: "Despite several violent outbursts and a diagnosis of adjustment disorder, a condition that meant he was showing difficulty adjusting to military life, Manning was eventually sent to Iraq..." where he retained his security clearance, and from where he is accused of downloading and leaking files.
- At his workplace in Iraq, "security was so lax that many of the 300 soldiers on the base had access to the computer room where Manning worked, and passwords to access the intelligence computers were stuck on "sticky notes" on the laptop screens...soldiers would watch grisly "kill mission" footage as a kind of entertainment..."
- And then there's this telling quote: "I escorted Manning a couple of times to his 'psych' evaluations after his outbursts. They never should have trapped him in and recycled him in [to Iraq]. Never. Not that mess of a child I saw with my own two eyes. No one has mentioned the army's failure here – and the discharge unit who agreed to send him out there," an anonymous officer told the Guardian.