The U.S. Army disciplined 15 people over their failure to adequately supervise suspected WikiLeaks leaker Bradley Manning, according to a news report.
In the wake of an internal report written by Lt. General Robert Caslen chronicling disciplinary failures that allowed Manning to maintain access to classified networks despite repeated assessments documenting his emotional and behavioral difficulties, the Army demoted one non-commissioned officer for dereliction of duty. Fourteen others were also disciplined in an undisclosed manner, according to Politico.
“Appropriate action has been taken against 15 individuals identified in Lt. Gen. Caslen’s report,” an Army spokesman told Politico. “In accordance with the Army’s long-standing policy to protect the privacy of individuals below the general officer level, specific information concerning their misconduct is not releasable.”
According to a recent list of proposed witnesses that Manning’s defense attorney hopes to call for testimony at a pre-trial hearing for his client on Dec. 16, the supervisor who was demoted apparently drafted three memos detailing Manning’s behavior but failed to notify anyone of his concerns.
“Over the course of several months, he will testify that he drafted three memorandums detailing various behavioral health concerns of PFC Manning,” Manning defense attorney David E. Coombs wrote in his witness list filed with the court and released publicly. “Despite this, [redacted] will testify that he failed to notify anyone of these concerns that could have taken steps to take care of PFC Manning and ensure that he was getting the help that he needed. Instead, he will testify that he simply allowed PFC Manning to continue to work … as an intelligence analyst.”
Manning’s emotional and disciplinary problems have been reported before. Last year, Manning’s attorney revealed that the Army was so concerned about his client’s mental health prior to the alleged leaks that supervisors removed the bolt from his military weapon, disabling it.
McClatchy News Service reported last year that prior to Manning’s deployment to Iraq, the soldier’s supervisor at Ft. Drum in New York had told his superiors that Manning had discipline problems and had thrown chairs at colleagues and shouted at higher-ranking soldiers. The supervisor had warned against sending Manning to Iraq, due to his problems.
Manning was sent to Iraq anyway. He was demoted in the spring of 2010 after he allegedly punched another soldier in the face in Iraq and was removed from the secure facility where he had been working and re-assigned to a supply annexe, losing his access to classified networks. By then, however, he had already allegedly stolen thousands of documents from classified networks and leaked them to WikiLeaks.