PFC Bradley Manning (cont.)

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Bradley Manning

Army Private First Class Bradley Manning’s Article 32 hearing begins at Fort Meade, Md., Friday – 18 months after his arrest for allegedly leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks.

Because the Army has released little about the case – a couple of documents listing the charges against him is pretty much it – we will likely learn a lot about it in the coming days. But it all boils down to this:

— The military classifies way too much stuff.

— The military lets way too many people have access to the stuff it classifies.

— The military never should have let someone as depressed as Manning have so much access to so much classified material.

— Manning never should have allegedly pilfered classified material.

— While Manning, if convicted, is the guilty party here, the Army – through lack of oversight and typical bureaucratic inertia amid war – was his accomplice.

— That is why, if Manning – who turns 24 on Saturday — is convicted, prosecutors have made clear they will not seek his execution.