The plot has began to thicken in the Bradley Manning saga. The information which thickens the plot is the fact that Pfc Manning’s commanders were told not to take him to Iraq and not to allow him to handle classified materials. For the one or two of you out there who don’t know, Pfc Manning is the Intelligence analyst who downloaded hundreds of thousands of classified documents which eventually found their way onto the Wikileaks whistleblower web site.
His immediate supervisor warned about some negative behavior but his commanders overruled him and took the troop anyway. The commander would not have had the intimate knowledge of the soldier because he probably seldom saw him. He was looking at the fact that he was short of analysts and felt that he had no other choice but to take the soldier. In this case and in all cases the first line supervisor knows best. Commanders are always afraid that they won’t have enough troops or equipment or whatever to do the job that needs to be done. In this case he attempted to be cautious but this caution jumped up to bite him.
I have seen this mentality in the military in the officer corps but our custom military ring customers who serve in the rank and file of the military don’t share it so much. Many times the commander will have the attitude that all troops will go to the field because they think a troop who has a reason not to go is a malingerer. Sometimes it’s best just to leave a soldier back. Especially if his or her presence will be disruptive to the unit. Hopefully this will be a lesson to commanders in the future.