Marcus Aurelius: Private Manning Public Context

04 Inter-State Conflict, 07 Other Atrocities, 09 Justice, 10 Security, 11 Society, Corruption, Cultural Intelligence, Director of National Intelligence et al (IC), DoD, Government, IO Impotency, Military, Officers Call
Marcus Aurelius

Article  below, based on views of three or so retired senior military officers, two of them former Service TJAGs, takes an unfortunate tack on Manning’s treachery.  Their contention is that command and systemic failures set conditions for Manning to compromise documents.  They assert that since he was  “juniorest guy in the office,” everybody but him was responsible for what he did.  I disagree.  Responsibility for security is absolutely an individual one.  Individuals sign general nondisclosure agreement SF-312 and other program-specific non-disclosure agreements as a priori conditions of access.   Rules are stated up front.  Personnel security clearances, training, and indoctrination are approaches used for our side.  Gates, guards, guns, and all technical computer stuff are oriented against adversaries.  Manning should have been able to work in a totally open storage area with hardcopy and softcopy documents of all classifications immediately at hand without anyone having to worry about him.  Further, as we know, decision to commit treason is a profoundly individual one, often facilitated and rationalized by adversaries through considerations of sex, money, ideology, compromise, ego, excitement, etc. Individuals are supposed to individually withstand and deflect such adversary facilitations and inducements.  So, in my mind, Manning is party at fault here.  If justice system cannot generate a capital conviction for him, then he should go way of Jonathan Pollard, Israeli agent within NIS — life in prison, throw away key,  No compassion on my part for either.

Private First Class Bradley E. Manning

Bradley Manning’s WikiLeaks case: The larger issue

Josh Gerstein

POLITICO, 12/23/11

After 19 months in military prisons — much of the time in solitary confinement — Pfc. Bradley Manning finally emerged over the past week from the netherworld to which he has been confined since his arrest in the largest breach of classified information in U.S. history.

Seven days of hearings at Fort Meade, Md., produced what the prosecution called “overwhelming” evidence that the low-ranking Army intelligence analyst was the one who sent hundreds of thousands of military reports and diplomatic cables to the transparency website WikiLeaks.

But the hearing also produced equally compelling evidence of the larger issue that is often overlooked in discussions of Manning’s alleged misdeeds: the systematic breakdown in security that enabled a low-ranking enlisted man to abscond with a staggering quantity of classified Pentagonand State Department documents.

Phi Beta Iota:  All issues can be looked at on many levels, the most obvious being strategic, operational, tactical, and technical.  As Robert Steele outlined in ON INTELLIGENCE: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World (AFCEA, 2000), the system was then and is now a failure at all four levels.  The above article touches on just two of the four levels, the technical and the tactical.

Strategic:  Why, almost a century after the US public forced Congress to outlaw war, is the US Government still so out of control that it can wage elective wars on false premises, legalize financial crime to the nth degree, and generally not be held accountable for betraying the public trust?
Operational:  Why, with over a decade of clear and present warnings of disaffected troops, cognitive dissonance across multiple commands  (including direct communications to General Jim Clapper, then USD(I)), is the “leadership” of the US Government still oblivious to the fact that most of their junior officers and enlisted personnel do not believe in the missions they have been assigned, or the behavior of the US Government generally?
Tactical:  Why, decades after The Falcon and  the Snowman, is the US Government still not able to establish a chain of command, a chain of custody, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to assure the integrity of the human handling of classified information?
Technical:  Why, a quarter century after Projects GEORGE and CATALYST at CIA, is the US Government still not able to triage authorized access by document, topic, and individual?