Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Back in follow-up segment tonight the sentencing phase for Bradley Manning began today convicted of espionage.
The 25-year-old army private could get life.
But in provocative column, Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters says the army is at fault in the case as well.
He joins us now from Washington.
All right, so tell me why the army is partially responsible for this.
-Bill, first of all, I wanna make it clear I have zero sympathy with Bradley Manning.
He betrayed his country.
But the US Army had-- As with Major Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, had multiple chances to stop it and they didn't take it because of a combination of the hunger for warm bodies, political correctness, apathy, bureaucracy.
And Manning, as we know, even from sources such as in New York Times, his defender, and other journalistic sources, a book about him, general reports we know he had a troubled youth.
In my day, he would not even gotten the security clearance to begin with.
And while in the army, you know, he was reportedly on the way out of basic training who's topic kept them in.
They need the warm bodies [unk] first post.
He was reportedly referred for mental health counseling.
That got glossed over kept the security clearance.
The units just kept passing him on.
Once up in Iraq, according to even the New York Times, he assaulted a superior, had multiple violent tantrums of acting out.
and only too late.
What is much too late in the game was his access to highly classified information terminated or suspended really.
So, this was something that while Manning is guilty, guilty, guilty, and the judge said that guilty on 20 of 22 counts.
Nonetheless, the army is hungry for-- hunger for fresh meat, sloppy care taking of intelligence after 9/11 where they just expanded the number of clearances hugely.
I'm not arguing for any lighter sense for Manny, but the army-- itself.
-All right, but you're painting a pretty damning picture that the army which knew according to these reports that you had an unstable guy.
The unstable guy was given access to documents that were very, very explosive.
-And then, you know, all-- I mean, his supporters say he's a patriot and he just wanted to show that America was doing wrong things and to improve blah, blah-- But it doesn't really matter that if you have an unstable person, you don't give them access to anything like that.
In fact, you-- as you said, it can share them honorable discharge or general discharge just like let me-- -You know, this guy is not quite there-- -But you also write that that-- that part of Manning's problem stemmed from the education system.
What's that point? -You know, let me just point out too that Ed Snowden, the NSA leaker was in the same general-- the Intel community where they needed warm bodies.
In my day, he would have gotten a clearance.
Now, I think there's a bigger problem putting Bradley Manning, Ed Snowden, all of them in context that even though Manning went to school in Wales for several years very [unk] anti-American school system in Wales; nonetheless, our culture, our education system, Hollywood, even talk shows have created this idea that our government is bad.
Look at what kids learn or don't learn in school.
They learned about Hiroshima-- Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not about the Bataan Death March.
They learned about the evils of slavery, but not the hundreds of thousands of Americans died in slavery and the picture they get from K through 12 through grad school is that America's somehow bad.
I mean, clearly Ed Snowden had that idea.
Clearly, Brad Manning-- Bradley Manning figured America's somehow evil.
And we keep bombarding our children with the idea that our country is not the greatest in the world, but among the worst.
-Buts-- But we're doing here with the civil rights reporting because there's no doubt that that's happening.
But you know once you get to be 21, 22, you got to figure it out.
-You know, you got-- you know, and unfortunately-- -Bill? -I-- Look, I think you've got a real strong point.
-Bill, did Obama figure it out? -What? -President Obama still hasn't figured it out.
-Well, he-- -So, how can you expect Bradley Manning to figure it out? -He comes at it Obama from-- Look, here's the problem-- -He's been propagandized.
That's-- -and here's-- and here's how I wanna solve it and his solutions I think are worsening our condition.
But I don't think he comes out at it like America is a bad nation.
But I could be wrong in that.
But anyway, I think your point about the army is very strong that once you get these guys that are acting crazy like a son, like this guy, you got to move on.
You can't just sweep it under the rug because bad things will happen.
-Colonel, thank you.
You might wanna check out the colonel's latest book, Hell or Richmond, a good summer read.
There it is.
Filter by section