Bradley Manning, a young man who holds the lowly rank of Private First Class in the US Army, is cooling his heels in the Marine brig at Quantico, awaiting possible trial for leaking nearly 80 thousand intelligence documents to the website “WikiLeaks”, which put the stuff online for all to see.
Government and military leaders are in an uproar about the “leak”, with some claiming that the information leaked puts a lot of lives needlessly at risk.
Leak? 76,900 documents is a “leak”? Hell, the last time there was a leak that big, Noah built an ark.
On the Sunday morning talking heads TV broadcasts, there was much speculation that PFC Manning had outside help, possibly from a civilian computer hacker, who helped Manning set up encryption software to facilitate sending the classified information to the website.
So, Manning had help. Ya think???
Just like Ollie North, all by his little old self with a pot of money from a rich businessman, was able to move some of our nation’s most powerful and secret war weapons all around the globe a few decades ago. All by himself. Right.
The more people that know something, the harder it is to keep it secret. Just ask the Clintons about how they handled security for their daughter’s wedding Saturday. Need-to-know basis.
Guess: how many people do you think hold a top-secret security clearance in the US? A thousand? Five thousand? Try EIGHT HUNDRED FIFTY-FOUR THOUSAND. Yup. Nearly a million people right now hold a top-secret security clearance.
A few weeks ago the Washington Post did a story about how large, duplicative, and out of control our nation’s intelligence effort has become. 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on intelligence, counterterrorism, and homeland security. And nobody at any level of government could explain to the Post exactly which organizations do what, and with whom they share information.
So, it did not surprise me one bit that a low-ranking enlisted man in the Army could get his hands on tens of thousands of “secret” Afghanistan war documents, and send them off to a website.
Do I condone what he did? Absolutely not. Am I shocked that it happened? Not one bit. It’s a strange new world out there.