Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bradley Manning - US Army - Security - SNAFU

Wouldn't you think, for a country that spends hundreds of billions of dollars to become the world's most hi-tech killing machine, that they might try and secure it a little?

Try this for starters:

.....also contains a summary of testimony that claims security at Pte Manning's base in Iraq was so lax that soldiers would buy films, music and games from a local market and install them on army computers.

One hardly needs to be a geek to fully appreciate the implications of that little pearl. But what about the system as a whole, that a bloke sat in his bedroom in the UK, (McKinnon) can wander through the Pentagon's computer system seemingly at will, or some Iranian geezer can take over a gazillion dollar stealth drone and land it in Ahmadinejad's back yard, or as Ahmadinejad said himself, thanks for the Christmas present. (ooh you bitch)

One thing that that appears to have been recognised by the killing machine clique, is that not everyone is suitable for membership. Possessed of the least bit of sensitivity, or as I like to think about it, a decent human being, the last place in the world you would want to find yourself is the US Army.

The last place, other than of course, in solitary confinement for an inordinate amount of time. And it surely is all of that, an inordinate amount of time. I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to be incarcerated for such a length of time, period, but a year and a half banged up in solitary, surrounded by people, every one of them hating your guts and doing everything in their power on a daily basis, to make your life as miserable as possible, is beyond my comprehension.

Such vindictiveness, as that displayed towards manning by the Pentagon/army, is of course two fold, the obvious warning to others as to what they might expect in similar circumstances, and the other, to turn Manning into a compliant cabbage in order that he implicate Julian Assange. "Did Manning jump, or was he pushed?" Much Lies In The Answer

Whereas I have every sympathy with the lad, and believe me I do, I cannot help but think that Manning had better get used what he is experiencing now, because this is exactly what the rest of his life is going to look like.

He is going to be banged up on his own in some secure housing unit (SHU) for the rest of his days. No one to talk to, no books, no television, no stimulation whatsoever, no nothing, just a mental and intellectual void for eternity, because that's just what it's going to feel like for Manning, eternity.

And all the campaigning that is going on, ''free Bradley Manning'' and all the rest, forget it, an absolute waste of time. Bradley Manning is going down for the rest of his life. The Pentagon and Obama administration will have their pound of flesh, come hell or high water.

In some respects he's lucky that he is getting a hearing at all. If the Indefinite detention Act, the one that Obama was going to veto but is about to sign into law, had already been in place, then that would have been the end of it, curtains, game over. Manning would have been tossed into the hoosegow without further ado and left to rot. Not unlike Thomas Silverstein has been left to rot, "No Human Contact" (For twenty eight Years)

America’s Most Isolated Federal Prisoner Describes 10,220 Days in Extreme Solitary Confinement

The treatment meted out to Bradley Manning, albeit his is pre-trial, is not unique, it is par for the course in the vindictive society that is the United States of America, and make no bones about it, it is as vindictive as it is perverse.

Will You Please Stop Whinging About Bradley Manning

But with all that said, Bradley Manning you have my sympathy lad, you really really do.

Exclusive: Alleged US whistleblower was 'danger to himself and others'

Defence papers tell of Manning's stress, poor leadership by superiors, and serious security lapses
David Randall, David Usborne
18 December 2011

Bradley Manning, the abandoned man of the WikiLeaks saga, may have been kept mostly in solitary confinement and incommunicado since he was arrested, but he is about to make his presence felt. Startling claims by army personnel about both his mental state, and lax security at the US base from which he is alleged to have leaked a huge tranche of classified US cables, are contained in a document prepared by his defence team.

It quotes several officers saying that the army intelligence analyst, who has a Welsh mother, was so disturbed, immature and unsuited to military life that either he should never have been deployed to Iraq or that he should have been deemed unfit for service once he was there. At one point during his time in Iraq, according to the report, an officer "found Manning curled in the foetal position in the brigade conference room, rocking himself back and forth". The 20-page dossier, itemising potential witnesses at the arraignment hearings, which continued yesterday at Fort Meade, Maryland, also contains a summary of testimony that claims security at Pte Manning's base in Iraq was so lax that soldiers would buy films, music and games from a local market and install them on army computers.

It was from this base – where passwords to army computers were reportedly written on Post-it notes stuck on laptops – that Pte Manning is alleged by US officials to have captured and sent to WikiLeaks the classified information. If the defence claims are true, then the army could be accused of contributory negligence.

They also seem to have missed repeated warning signs that Pte Manning – gay, confused about his gender identity, and apparently subject to some bullying – was a deeply troubled individual. Neither, until too late, did it act on assessments of him when they were made. Other comments from potential witnesses (all of whose names are redacted) include that Pte Manning's "mental and emotional issues were more than enough to put others at risk... his condition made him unfit for service as an intelligence analyst", and the statement that "Manning should not have been deployed".

Pte Manning, a one-time intelligence analyst stationed in Baghdad, is accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive items, including Iraq and Afghanistan war logs. The leaked items also involved State Department cables and a classified military video of a 2007 American helicopter attack in Iraq that killed 11 men, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver. The US said the leaks threatened valuable military and diplomatic sources, while WikiLeaks was feted, until sex allegations were made against its founder, Julian Assange, which led to protracted extradition proceedings and continuing appeals. Mr Assange has been staying in a supporter's country mansion, while Pte Manning has spent much of the past 17 months in a cell.

According to the defence document, one witness "will testify that he recommended Manning should not deploy". And on 24 December 2009 – months before Pte Manning was arrested in May 2010, but a month after he first contacted WikiLeaks – a psychologist examined him. He found him "under considerable stress... [he] did not appear to have any social support system and seemed hypersensitive to any criticism". The defence document said the psychologist "determined Manning was potentially dangerous to himself and others and recommended removal of his weapon or removal of the bolt from his weapon". Two months later, the material Pte Manning is accused of leaking first appeared on WikiLeaks. It was not until 28 May 2010 that a psychiatrist recommended his security clearance be rescinded.

Other evidence from army specialists is that Pte Manning, while having good computer skills, "seemed to act immature" and "was not receptive to commands", and that there was a "lack of leadership" on his night shift. An officer with Pte Manning's unit will testify that when he raised the matter of soldiers having unauthorised material on their army computers, "nothing was done".

Other personnel, whose claims are not part of the defence document, have previously said that poor security meant many of the 300 stationed on Pte Manning's base could breeze in and out of the computer room.

In a bizarre detail reported on a chat log published by Wired magazine, Pte Manning made out he was miming to a Lady Gaga track while downloading US cables.

His local commander will testify that it was not until Pte Manning allegedly assaulted another soldier that he was made aware of his psychological problems. Another officer will testify that, having learned of the full facts, he believes Pte Manning should not have been deployed to Iraq. There is also potential testimony that, although Pte Manning was "a very good intelligence analyst", he "should have been removed from his position early on in the deployment".

Yesterday, on his 24th birthday, Bradley Manning was back in a military courtroom to hear prosecutors begin presenting their case. The hearing will determine whether there is enough evidence to bring him to trial.

The Wikileaks pair: A tale of two whistle-blowers Brief Bio's

h/t xklamation

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Providence — a short film featuring Bradley Manning's voice