Surely not?


Just saw this item on Michael Yon’s Facebook page…you can read the actual article on Wired.  I have to admit that I find this an excellent source of hints for places to look and issues to consider…

It would be quite scary to think that our intelligence apparatus weren’t being filled by our best and brightest but then there was this bumper sticker I saw…

In all seriousness, if we’re fighting in an environment where information rules, surely it is critical that we resource the mechanisms that process and analyse our information accordingly…?

Reading between the lines in the article, it sounds as though there is quite a bit of tap-dancing and backstepping going on – and that all the checks and balances one would assume at that level weren’t so much no in place but simply weren’t being followed…it’s all a bit difficult…

3 thoughts on “Surely not?

  1. I suspect (but don’t know) that, if true, this sort of thing is the result of two contradictory impulses:

    1) As you know, young soldiers often do dopey (well, stupid) things. The military system has internalized that and realized that in many cases youthful mistakes shouldn’t ruin a career. Hence, without knowing the details of these incidents I could see them being handled through non-judicial punishment and imagine the default setting of command would be to not take actions which would jeopardize his security clearance.

    2) Further, the military has that ‘can do’ attitude and kicking a soldier out or reclassifying them may, at some level, be seen as a failure of command.

    Not a justification mind you…I’m just not sure it’s all that shocking that a 20 year old did this in the military and the Army didn’t react.

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    • young soldiers often do dopey (well, stupid) things

      Yep, been there on both the doing and “you did what?!” angles…and not for a a moment proposing we should kick out all soldiers (and young officers) who do dumb things in their formative years…many if not most of them actually turn out OK and a reasonable number have productive and successful careers…

      But, it’s one thing when it is rather faceless Spec/Pte X, one of many in pick a big unit…quite another when it is something with both a high clearance AND access to squizzillions of classified documents…it’s also been my (more painful_ experience that any blips on the radar of anyone in that category should be followed up and investigated with all haste and urgency…

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  2. Totally agree with you. And certainly the vast majority of young intell personnel are responsible and don’t do dopey stuff like Manning and there should be (much) higher standards than for others who don’t have such access. I’m just curious how much of the wider military culture to cut younger soldiers some slack influenced Manning’s command (unconsciously, perhaps) and how much was a different negligence (if that even matters).

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