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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 2 July, 2020

Bradley Manning 'too mentally fragile to be sent to Iraq'

The soldier suspected of leaking documents to WikiLeaks was “a mess” who wet himself, a former training officer has said.

Bradley Manning is accused of being the source of most of WikiLeaks' high-profile publications.
Bradley Manning is accused of being the source of most of WikiLeaks' high-profile publications.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER suspected of leaking four major troves of classified US documents to the WikiLeaks website was too mentally fragile to be deployed in a war – regularly being set for psychiatric assessment and occasionally wetting himself, according to a man who trained him.

The unnamed training officer told a film produced by the Guardian that when he had come across Manning during the latter’s training in 2007, Manning was not in the frame of mind to be sent to Iraq, where he was ultimately deployed two years later.

“I escorted Manning a couple of times to his psych[iatric] evaluations after his outbursts. They never should have trapped him in and recycled him in [to Iraq]. Never. Not that mess of a child I saw with my own two eyes,” the anonymous officer said.

In one specific example, Manning had become so hassled about the prospect of deployment that “he once pissed in his sweatpants”.

When Manning did finally make it to Iraq, where he worked as an intelligence analyst, he is thought to have downloaded full copies of the US’s military and diplomatic documents which were ultimately forwarded to WikiLeaks.

The Guardian’s investigation also alleges that the computers used at Manning’s station in Iraq were open for use by many of the 300 US soldiers who worked at his base, and that many soldiers would routine watch footage from “kill missions” on the computers as a form of entertainment.

It was the leak of one such video to WikiLeaks – again, with Manning the chief suspect – that the site began to come to prominence.

Manning was last month transferred to a medium-security prison in Kansas, being housed in a cell with natural light and a normal mattress, having previously been kept at a Marine Corps base in Virginia where he was essentially kept in solitary confinement.

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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