Wikileaks source suspect Manning transferred from Kuwait to Quantico, VA

A press alert received by Boing Boing from the U.S. Army Public Affairs Office reports that PFC Bradley Manning— who is believed to have provided Wikileaks with a trove of classified data including the "Collateral Murder" video and the recent "Afghan War Diaries" archive— was today transferred from the Theater Field Confinement Facility in Kuwait to the Marine Corps Base Quantico Brig in Quantico, Virginia. Snip:

Manning remains in pretrial confinement pending an Article 32 investigation into the charges preferred against him on July 5. Manning was transferred because of the potential for lengthy continued pretrial confinement given the complexity of the charges and ongoing investigation. The field confinement facility in Kuwait is designed for short-term confinement.

The criminal investigation remains open. Preferral of charges represents an accusation only; Manning is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The case will be processed in accordance with normal procedures under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

With this transfer to Quantico, Manning is now under the General Courts-Martial Convening Authority of Maj. Gen. Karl Horst, the commander of U. S. Army Military District of Washington. Manning will remain in pre-trial confinement as the Army continues its investigation.

An Article 32 investigation is similar to a civilian grand jury hearing or a preliminary hearing. The investigating officer will make findings and recommendations that the chain of command considers in determining whether to recommend the case be referred to trial by court-martial.

Earlier today, an announcement that investigators had found evidence linking Manning to the Wikileaks material, and Wired reported of previous conflicts Manning may have had with Army higher-ups, over YouTube videos the 22-year-old uploaded containing information about classified facilities.


  1. After reading the previous post about him leaking things on YouTube, I am now to the conclusion that he was a disaster waiting to happen. Never should have been put in a position of access like he was.

  2. I fully expect the states to blow this out of proportion for this kid, guilty or not.

    Wonder how many punches to the head he got, since this is a S.O.P. for the US military for even being thought of as breaking rank.

    Bet we soon find out he once downloaded a (gasp) song.

  3. They need the Wikileaks cables to be attributable to Manning. If Manning wasn’t the source, they’re screwed and have no idea who has what. If they can pin them to Manning, they can go through logs to find his others, as well as know exactly what talking points are going to be necessary. I don’t think they have the means to trace the hands that every cable has been touched by, so if it isn’t Manning, it’s who knows.

  4. Completely off topic, I know, but these damnable Verizon ads are infuriating. I have several tabs open with boingboing articles, and verizon ads and up blocking the article in each one of I don’t pay attention to mouse placement. Grrr…

    Now, back to the regularly scheduled topic.

  5. You could argue about “duty” and endangering lives or whatever, but ultimately he told the truth.

  6. I’m glad, mind you, that the data (and that video) came out. I just don’t think the guy is a perfect altruistic white hat “I must sacrifice myself for the good of the people” kinda guy. I think he’s just sort of a mixed up confused kid who bit off a lot more than he though he could chew.

    1. I think he’s just sort of a mixed up confused kid who bit off a lot more than he though he could chew.

      That would describe quite a few of history’s heroes.

  7. He’s got a good amount of blood on his hands. The Taliban is using the reports to determine coalition-friendly targets, whom they then assassinate. So yeah, maybe the US shouldn’t be there or whatever, but because this jackass leaked the docs, real people are deader than they would be if he hadn’t.

    1. gosh, quite unlike the POTUS boys, and the rest of the military machine you think he’s more culpable ?

    2. I hadn’t heard about this Taliban policy document that has acquainted you with their methods. Was it on Wikileaks too?

    3. The Afghans named in the docs are collaborators.

      Remember French collaborators with Nazis?

      There are US SSNs in the DB too.

    4. Disclaimer: I *HATE* the wars we are in and want our troops home.

      Well, I am a proud American, thanks. But I have to say, I think we are killing civilians over there at an alarming rate, and I care about those deaths too. So I think that the Wikileaks release, with all its attendant gray area, may have in that sense been a good thing, if it exposes even more civilian deaths. Hard to be saving a place if you’re killing even ONE of the people you’re trying to save.

  8. Yeah, real hero. He signed the contract when he volunteered to join the army. When was that by the way? Before the US was involved in questionable foreign military excursions? Did our involvement in the middle east suddenly take him by surprise? Was he unaware of the long history of “friendly fire” incidents? He was given several chances to say “No thanks” when he enlisted and when he went through the security clearance process. Just when he gets the clearance and access to sensitive material he develops this heroic conscience and decides to start throwing around classified material, the disclosure of which has strengthened the Taliban’s position (I guess they’re the “good guys” here) and endangered the lives of coalition military personnel and Afghans working with them.
    If this guy’s a hero, we’re fucked.

    1. You don’t know what his intention was when he joins military. His intention of joining military could be to reveal government’s atrocities of which they are trying to hide from people. That’s the only way he could get access to this kind of information. Of course, if he is the one who actually released them. At this point, you can’t say for sure he did this. He may be sacrificial lamb. You never know.

    2. Or maybe it was seeing report after report of civilian casualties, precisely because he finally had access to the real intelligence of the war, that created his crisis of conscience.

      I was recruited by the military in 1995. Nobody sits fresh-faced recruits down and says, “Before you sign, you need to know that the U.S. Army is merely a mechanism for imperialist control of foreign lands. We lie about friendly fire incidents, we cover up civilian casualties, and we honestly don’t give a shit about the pain and suffering of the people we’re ‘liberating.'”

      This doesn’t happen because practically nobody in the military thinks it’s true. The picture is, at a minimum, much more nuanced than that. Though I think the military’s presence abroad has done more harm than good (at least since WWII), the reason the cognitive dissonance is manageable is because the men and women in uniform frequently perform acts of genuine heroism and self-sacrifice.

      The point here isn’t that the military is evil, but that the mythos of the military is very difficult to avoid. You’re demanding far too much insight from a twenty year old kid who signed up to be a hero and serve his country, then was asked to stand idly by while war crimes were committed and innocent lives were lost.

  9. “So yeah, maybe the US shouldn’t be there or whatever, but because this jackass leaked the docs, real people are deader than they would be if he hadn’t.”

    StJohn, #9, is that anything like the fictional people being blown to smitherines by the NATO forces now?

    War crimes is a tautology. How is that so hard to figure out?

    1. I have trouble with the logic that the net result of the disclosure could save lives. Or comparing lives lost because of the disclosure to how many have already been killed. I have trouble for mathematical reasons. There may be moral reasons, but lives saved isn’t likely one of them.

      I’d like to ask for a bit of patience as I go through this. There are many simplifications, but the point remains.

      4 scenarios – Get out sooner, get out unchanged, get out later. The fourth is “no disclosure”. There is a probability of each of the first 3, call it P1, P2, P2 which add up to 1. We do the math, compare it to 4

      The lives lost before now, soldier, civilians, and those in between, are dead now and forever. No disclosure will ever bring them back. Include them in all three, or don’t. Won’t change anything. It’s a fallacy to compare past to future.

      But we can estimate the effect of those still alive.

      1 (sooner) dead1 = P1*(killed from leaks + rate of death * time * (1-percent war reduced))

      2 (no change) dead2 = P2*(killed from leaks + rate of death * time)

      3 (longer) dead3 = P3*(killed from leaks + rate of death * time * (1+percent war increased))

      total dead = dead1 + dead2 + dead3

      total dead = killed from leaks + rate * time * (P2+P3*(1+%increase)-P1*(1-%decrease))

      4 (no leak) dead4 = rate of death * time

      So total dead will always have those killed by leaks to have to make up for.

      Obama already has a target date for getting out. So P2 is pretty darn large. Usually, having your allies killed doesn’t speed things up, not when you have huge resources that can plug the holes. Instead of P1 being larger, it could make P3 larger. Also, percent of time saved from a war is finite, time added can be very large (theoretically infinite, but not really).

      So because those dead due to leaks will always be dead, and because time added to the war could be longer than subtracted, it’s more likely more people will be dead overall (I’m skipping a Monte Carlo step).

      So disclosure may be moral, but please be cautious before saying it will save lives. Better to admit it will cost lives and explain why it is worth it.

  10. Only military persona I’ve seen and heard of that I’d describe as a ‘Hero’.

    I hope ‘help our heroes’ pays for his representation in court. Rather than simply supporting the families of war criminals.

  11. “You could argue about “duty” and endangering lives or whatever, but ultimately he told the truth.”

    Also the armed forces better start realising who pay their wages, We do the public through our taxes. So if there doing anything immoral, illegal or just plain stupid. I want to know about it.

    Oh a please don’t talk about endangering lives, they do that all by themselves, regularly on a day to day basis.

  12. It’s been a while since anybody brought the Nazis into anything so I’ll pick up the slack.

    In the aftermath of WWII, Germany passed a law obliging soldiers to disobey immoral orders from their superiors. That’s right, they had to think for themselves. That’s what we need more of — not blind obedience.

    As far as being a kid, it seems like a lot of kids still have an innate moral sense that’s been broken down in their elders. It takes a too-clever 40-plus-year-old male to really f things up.

  13. To those who don’t seem to understand that Manning is a modern day hero: do you feel the same about Daniel Ellsberg?

    These comments about how the Taliban may use the information to kill informants are also interesting. Did you worry equally as much about the “collateral damage” when it was Afghan civilians being killed by US predator drone strikes and other means of violence? The concern for collateral damage now strikes me as one-sided and false.

    Or how about the war as a whole? How many people may be saved from dying, both American soldiers and Afghanis, by the potential the Wikileaks documents have to end the war sooner?

    Manning, if he did this, is nothing short of an American hero. Regardless of whatever human shortcomings he may also have, he has my gratitude. I suspect many feel the same way.

  14. Moral questions aside, the leaks make it worse. Maybe more lives are saved overall, possibly because of this, policy will shift and the war will end sooner. However, agree or not as you will with US foreign policy, the prosecution of the war, the collateral injury to civilians, platitudes about omelettes and eggs, a primary goal of trying to achieve a positive outcome is to foster the perception that cooperating with coalition forces will make the war end sooner. This is not possible if leaked documents allow reprisals against those who do cooperate. Yes, US Imperialism, stop trying to be world police, yada yada. That’s not my point. My point is that this conflict may well have been extended by the consequences of these leaks and that it’s probably a little soon to call this kid a hero. Time will tell.

  15. Uniquack, yes. I was just as concerned about civilian casualties and collateral damage before the leaks. I’ll thank you not to paint me as a neocon monster or gibbering teabagger. There is very little I agree with in the major points of US policy, both foreign and domestic, with respect to use of military force, surveillance, law enforcement, environmental stewardship, and industrial regulation.

  16. I have heard a lot of concern about the negative consequences leaking classified information may have, which is fair. I haven’t heard one, though, condemning the military for mixing things that merely makes it look bad in with material important for security, which is why the two came out together in the first place.

  17. Or shorter: if the military actually told people what it was doing, it wouldn’t have to worry about fallout from people finding out dangerous things, would it?

  18. Well, speaking as someone not from the US, but from among the ‘Coalition of the willing’ (and whose fellow citizens are also still in Afghanistan in combat roles), I say give the kid a medal.

  19. Stjohn, you might be sincere, but your comments sound like spin from neocons/wingnuts/Bushites/Obama apologists/Pentagon. The Taliban already knew who the ‘informers’ were by watching who the Americans talked to in the village with binoculars from the hills. I don’t think there are very many computers or internet access in Afghanistan, outside of NATO. The Afghans have lots of cell phones. A computer is not something they’d use. So I think it is total BS to start talking about how ‘collaborators’ are in danger. IT.IS.JUST.SPIN.
    The main reason the Afghan war is being lost is that NATO is killing civilians right & left, & this infuriates the Afghan people.

  20. I’m pretty sure there are plenty of computers in Afghanistan, certainly in Pakistan. There are also no shortage of computer-savvy jihadis willing and able to aid the Taliban in their cause. And if they’ve got cell phones, they’ve got access to people with computers. You are probably right that the Taliban is watching the Americans from hidden positions. That’s traditionally how it’s done. But I’m not going to accept the impossibility of what I brought up. What I’m saying is it’s too soon to call this kid a hero. Compare this kid to the Rosenbergs, who sold the Soviets the plans for the A-bomb, which contributed to 45 years of cold war, its associated military buildup and the strengthening of the military industrial complex to what is probably a level insurmountable by the citizenry within the current system. This system takes its informational security very seriously, even if they are largely clueless about modern information vectors. So as long as we’re forecasting the impact this person’s alleged actions will have on the conflict, let’s also assume that one of the consequences could be enhanced surveillance of domestic electronic traffic and a further weakening of already shaky privacy protections and an easier path to unwarranted or unreviewed search and seizure. So in one scenario, you have the heroic story of the kid who helped end the Afghan war. In the other, you get to curse the name of the idiot whose actions are forcing you to stand in line at the DMV for your government-approved online ID and your license to connect to the Internet. Or maybe you’ll think damn, this sucks, but at least the war’s over.

    1. But I’m not going to accept the impossibility of what I brought up.

      In fact you’ve gone further than that, saying that the Taliban are using this information and so on. How does anyone, either you or strangefriend, know where the Taliban get their information?

  21. In the other, you get to curse the name of the idiot whose actions are forcing you to stand in line at the DMV for your government-approved online ID and your license to connect to the Internet.

    Presumably because blaming the government who is doing all the actual forcing has been outlawed, or something?

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