US warned WikiLeaks suspect unfit for Iraq: Report

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 2, 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.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - 14:08

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