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.
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.
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.