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.