BY WILLIAM C. HENRY Never before has a supposedly sophisticated military establishment demonstrated such spitefully infantile behavior over a wholly contrived crisis brought on by its own colossally bungling incompetence. You guessed it. I’m talking about that back-in-the-news stupendously-exaggerated-harm-
In case you missed it, one of the army’s legal lackeys has made a recommendation of court-martial of Bradley Manning to the commander of the Military District of Washington who will ultimately decide whether Manning will stand trial. My guess? It’s a foregone conclusion. How else would you expect the army to cover its ass for imprisoning this troubled young man under unconscionably inhumane conditions for nearly 600 days now without trying or convicting him of ANYTHING! Mr. Manning, if you’ll recall, is the army PFC accused of passing troves of “secret” military documents to Wikileaks. Yeah, right. The stuff was so secret that as few as THREE MILLION people had access to it! You thought this administration might be more supportive of whistleblowers? Wrong. They are among the worst EVER in that regard. In reality, protection for whistleblowers doesn’t even come close to what the public perceives it to be.
Given the fact that the only “harm” proven to have resulted from this act of conscience has been to Manning’s well being and the military’s “image,” Pentagon response to it has been nothing short of outrageous. No deep-cover operatives were “burned.” No super-sensitive clandestine
Surely, however, none of this can be of much consolation to an unduly maligned fearful young patriot awaiting his fate in some godforsaken military garrison. Here’s how the “powers that be” SHOULD end this mockery: immediately release Manning from custody, formally apologize, allow him to leave the armed services under a Medical Discharge, and agree to forgo any and all existing or future legal actions against him. But, recognizing that our military leadership is entirely too petty and pharisaic to ever do the altogether proper thing, here’s a given-the-circumstances decent and honorable face-saving alternative that deserves serious consideration, if not straight-up acceptance, by both sides: Manning is unconditionally released from custody; the army issues him an unspecified General Discharge; both parties agree to abstain from any and all legal action in perpetuity; a permanent iron-clad gag order is imposed on both sides. Enough is enough. It’s time to set things right.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fed up early stage septuagenarian who has actually been most of there and done most of that. Born and raised in the picturesque Pocono Mountains. Quite well educated. Very lucky to have been born into a well-schooled and somewhat prosperous family. Long divorced. One beautiful, brilliant daughter. Two far above average grandsons. Semi-retired (how does anyone manage to do it completely these days?) and fully-tired of bullshit. Uncle of the Editor-In-Chief.
1878 = The number of Americans killed in action in Afghanistan
18,342 = The number of Americans wounded in Afghanistan
0 = The number of financial industry kingpins indicted for having committed the most massive FRAUD in American history and wrecking the global economy, plunging untold millions into lives of misery and deprivation.