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21 August 2013


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Personally I loved the other photo.

Millions will be made, to paraphrase a former poster here, off St. Bradley of the thumb drive. He just won't see too much of it. Those folks from the prior photo would have been intimidating him into giving up most of the contents in those left cross packages sent from his admirers. They would sure as hell be smart enough to know that the goal is to shear the sheep, not skin them. Rape would get him preferential transfer. Intimidating a weakling, however, that's another story. I think the problem for the warden and the guards would have been the fights over the sheep, not his being skinned (or raped).


Dear Col Lang,
MI was rife with incompetence and corruption during my 2 years and 10 months or so a long time ago. I expect it hasn't changed much.
Manning was a canary in a coal mine that indicated a appalling level of incompetence.
Whatever happened to "need to know" and "compartmentalization". Same goes for Manning.
No, it's CYA and big gimmee all the time. Ride it to retirement and go into the private sector on a big salary to make contracts with your old buddies still in "service". Booz, Allen, Hamilton, anyone?
And if anything goes wrong? Scapegoat an underling.
The Egyptian military models itself after DOD. Just your basic good old crony capitalist revolving door.
Eisenhower nailed it and we have ignored it.
And you, sir, never got past your time in Lexington. But that's a puzzling affliction of a number of people I know.
And then there's the old question, should Lee and the rest have been hung for their treason? All the way to the top, right?



One of the worst decision I ever made was to transfer to MI in the mid-sixties. I was lucky enough to be asked to be a founding member of SF Branch before I retired. The Confederates were not traitors. they were no longer citizens of the US. The US did not want that defense made in court. pl

steve g

Col. Lang
Pardon the off topic but I read an
article by William Lind at The Am-
erican Conservative site about Col.
John Boyd USAF ostensibly America's
foremost military theorist whose OODA
Loop or Boyd Cycle helped revolutionise
modern warfare. One might call him our
Clausewitz or Sun Tzu. In modern times
possibly Gen. Giap of NVN. His wiki
entry stated he helped plan Gulf War I
at Dick Cheney's request. The famous
"Left Hook" was his idea. Its seems
our allies/adversaries/enemies are
practicing his theorems on us. The main
thrust, as I understand it, is one's
orientation to the events at hand. IMO
our political leaders are caught in the
closed system trap he outlines vis a vis
world and domestic events. Apparently,
he did not suffer fools gladly. Did you
have any expeniences with him you could share?



Lind is is a charlatan. His generations of warfare crap finally wore thin and he went broke here. the "left hook" plan was written by a team of Jedi Knights from Leavenworth based on their wide experience and knowledge of military history. pl


I can understand that we were so stretched out and facing so many new challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan that nobody had enough time to really think through the implications of allowing kids to have access to so much information.

I wonder though what is in place to stop another Manning from doing much the same thing.

Even more important, what is in place to prevent us from being so overwhelmed the next time?

If anything, all trends seem to point to us being even more likely to be overwhelmed the next time. We like to think we won't be in two such remote places fighting such different kinds of enemies than we expected, but the truth is we don't know what we'll face in the years ahead.

The only obvious truth is that we don't have the resources we once did while at the same time the world has such great expectations of us. In the meantime, we are also attempting to give millions of new people a second chance in life in America while we cannot even create enough jobs for American citizen workers or agree to raise enough revenue to pay for the level of government and government services that most of us clearly want and expect.

There's a lot more to worry about here than just one private who was able to do what he shouldn't have been able to do.

joe brand

Company and battalion. Did anybody higher than that know about a PFC?

Mark Logan


I'll suggest that his confession may have been completely genuine.

He was a 19 year old practically uneducated soldier who was exceptionally alienated within the society of Army. Isolated, he kept only his own and his internet "friends" council. Certainly there have been a great many things he had been unaware of described and explained in great detail since then.

Bill H

And, perhaps, the failure of integrity and breach of trust with those with whom he shared the uniform. If those who serve can't trust each other then all is lost.


As far as I'm concerned Steve G, the rot in system began to manifest itself when we started blowing this genius, "left hook' find em, kill em' smoke up our collective butts. Although there was a hint of it in all the medals handed out in the Granada 'campaign'.

None of this is to diminish the willingness of the personal involved to make the ultimate sacrifice. And more sacrifices short of the ultimate one.

But in the end, for god sake's..this was the god damn rag-tag Iraqi Army...coming off 8 years of a grueling war, that we went up against. And we made them out like Wehrmacht or something. And stormin Norm as Rommel or somebody similar. I mean they ran a professional campaign, against a minor foe. Ok...good...but VE Day it was not. But that has been the way it has been played since.


jonst et al

Chelsea Manning's civilian lawyer is saying that she will serve her sentence in a military prison. I guess that means the USDB at Ft. Leavenworth. Someone explain to me how that can be. She will receive a Dishonorable Discharge before being "sent away." Why would a civilian be confined in an army prison? pl


well, I'll look into it...because I don't understand it either. Unless, some how, legally, the DD does not actually go into effect until the sentence is up. I don't see how that can be. Although I did know a ton of Marines who--for a fact-- did their time (6 months, usually, in the Camp Lejune Brig before their BCD went into effect. What a time that was...the brig riots, vicious racial battles inside, as well, in 69-71. We were always hearing about.I knew a lot of guys on "Thump Squad" that broke the riots up. 'Fun' times in the Corps. And indeed, in America.

In any event, I predict he will get the DD upgraded to a BCD or UD....one day. I also suspect...one day, he will get the sentence reduced to 10 years. Again, one day. I am not calling for these things. Nor am I against these things. All I can say is I am feeling a bit chagrined, and more sympathetic to Gen Lee et al than I once was. Not with their particular cause...but I am beginning to have my doubts about the loyalty owed to the 'Deep State', if one exists. I don't mean it in a silly, 'man the ramparts' way....I hope I mean it in a soberly, 'just what the hell is evolving here?' way. But I will try and figure out your question Col...cause I got the same one.


Disclaimer - I am absolutely not a JAG/SJA and though I am a reserve component MP, all of my mobilized/deployed experience was in other areas.

That said, several military lawyers have related in various training environments that dds and dismissals can be processed and kick in while the prisoner is incarcerated. He isn't automatically transferred to bop. Ucmj apparently remains in effect. In fact, a 31E (corrections specialist) related bringing ucmj charges for larceny against prisoners for lifting sugar packets from the dfac to ferment.

I do not understand the legal regime. I am glad we have jags and 31Echos. I am glad I am neither a Jag or a 31E.

William R. Cumming

What books or articles best document the impact of Manning's releases of classified info on US military and FP?

Or is the impact of the releases also classified?



There are no civilian publications other than polemics in favor of Chelsea and against military discipline. I am sure there are classified damage assessments, but, as I said, the real need for the sentence was "to encourage the others." pl


They did probably think they were shooting at insurgents. I do know that people get killed in war by happenstance. I also think that some people make more effort to distinguish between armed opponents and civilians than others, and that that has a lot to do with the culture. I think the soldiers in the helicopter made very little effort to ascertain the nature of their target, although they do not sound like they are under any significant threat or stress. I am not a lawyer, but is that not an offence? I think the problem of culture is clearly revealed in that horrible sentence: "serves them right for bringing their kids to war".

David Habakkuk

‘the real need for the sentence was "to encourage the others."’

Absolutely. It is a major problem that the recent conduct of American – and British – governments encourages a predisposition in some people towards an indiscriminating sympathy for ‘whistleblowers’.

But anything which indulges a propensity on the part of armed men to regard the obligations they undertake, and the loyalty to the institutions they join, as matters not to be taken with the utmost seriousness, undermines an absolutely central pillar of the constitutional order. An example had to be made, if we are not to head down the road towards anarchy.

As regards the Voltaire quotation, incidentally, the general view now appears to be that the execution of Admiral Byng had a marked salutary effect on the Royal Navy – teaching that it was always safer to risk an attack than not to, even if one had powerful ‘friends at court’.

steve g

There was alot of trouble at Camp
Pendleton during the time frame you
reference. Black on white fights at
the enlisted clubs. When I was at
Camp Margarita '69 the armory was broken
into and the rumor was the brothers
sold or gave the weapons to the Black
Panthers. In RVN fraggings happend at
the Red Beach enlisted clubs. Who was
the enemy anyway??

William R. Cumming

PL! Did you mean "discourage the others"?

Robin Fennessy

Manning is reduced in grade to E-1 and will serve his sentence at that grade. He will then be released with a dishonorable discharge from the military incarceration facility in Leavenworth, Kansas.


It is easy to disparage Manning - a seeming wimp, physically unimposing, effete and now apparently one of those poor transgender beings. He looks like anything but the soul of bravery. Yet let's keep in mind that this kid underwent a year of brutal treatment - physical and psychological - that aimed to break him (as well as to punish him)so that he would exchange a lenient sentence for fabricating lies about Wikileaks and Assange. Lies about who initiated the contacts, the sequence, the terms of the relationship. In near total isolation, he resisted.

Whatever else one thinks of him, he showed some guts and character that many of our macho types in and out of the military lack. I doubt that Petraeus, Clapper or Alexander have it in them to do anything like that. As to the Obamas, Clintons, etc.....

That may be one contributing reason to the readiness of Snowden to do what he did in full awareness of the personal risks he ran. Snowden's actions, IMHO, leave the country in a far better position than if he had taken the path of least resistance and just followed the rules.



Baloney. i don't csare how much "good" Chelsea Manning did for world peace or whatever. pl



RF works as a civilian in the J-1 Section of the JCS so I guess that is the definitive word on the subject. IMO this is a bad policy since the armed forces should be rid of her as soon as possible. I will correct my post. pl



Voltaire intended the phrase to be ironic. pl



For the helicopter attack on the people in the street to be a chagreable offense you would have to prove that they did not think the targets were insurgents. Killing people is not an offense. Killing people and destroying things is what being a soldier is about. That IS the culture. pl

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