US warned WikiLeaks suspect unfit for Iraq: Report
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Last Updated: Wednesday, February 02, 2011, 14:08
Washington: Immediate commanders of Bradley Manning, the US Army private suspected of passing secret government files to WikiLeaks, defied a mental health expert's recommendation that he not be deployed to Iraq, The Washington Post reported online.

Manning was not disqualified from deployment from his base at Fort Drum, New York, where experts said he exhibited behavioral problems, the report said.

"The final decision on whether a soldier is fit to go to a war zone rests with his immediate commanders," the Post said, citing an unnamed military official said, adding that an Army probe found the decision to not heed the advice could have contributed to the massive classified documents leak.

Manning, 23, who is being held in solitary confinement, is charged with eight violations of federal criminal law, including transmitting classified information to a third party, and two counts under military law stemming from the first WikiLeaks release last year.

He has not been charged in connection with the release of diplomatic cables late last year by WikiLeaks, but attention has focused on his role.

Held since July at a military brig at the Quantico Marine base in Virginia, Manning has been placed under a maximum security regimen because authorities say his escape would pose a risk to national security.

Separate from the ongoing criminal probe, "the Army investigation ... found that Manning's immediate supervisors did not follow procedures for overseeing the secure area where the classified information was kept, greatly increasing the risk of a security breach," the Post said citing the unnamed official.

The WikiLeaks website has yet to disclose its source for a massive trove of classified US military and diplomatic documents published in recent months, but suspicion has focused on Manning, who worked as a low-ranking army intelligence analyst in Iraq.

Manning was first arrested in May and authorities have yet to say when he will be put on trial.

If found guilty, Manning faces up to 52 years in prison. Last month Manning filed a complaint on his conditions of detention, his lawyer said. Attorney David Coombs said in a blog post that Manning was being inappropriately held under maximum security and special surveillance.


First Published: Wednesday, February 02, 2011, 14:08

Tag: USWikiLeaksIraq
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