I'm reminded of what happened Arlo Guthrie on the "Group W Bench" when one of the "mean 'n' ugly 'n' nasty 'n' horrible and all kind of things" guys already there, "...sat down next to me and [...]said, "What were you arrested for, kid?" And I said, "Littering." And they all moved away from me on the bench there, and [gave me] the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things...." D'you suppose Julian Assange and Edward Snowden flinched away in like manner when the Army released a photograph of Bradley Manning in a wig and makeup? (See there what happens when you embarrass the Army? They'll tell everybody what was in the note you sent the Algebra teacher! O-M-G, adult life is just Junior High writ way too large.)
...But I don't mention that to trot him out like Milton Berle in a gold lamé* miniskirt, a human punchline. The afternoon chat shows have done learned me that Life Is A Many-Patterned Quilt and has little if any fashion sense. Nope, I'm still wondering how an Army Private ends up with access to such sooper-sekrit documents and exactly what kind of "rigorous, in-depth screening program" cleared a soldier with that much baggage for such a job -- and kept him in it, long after warning signs that would get most people bounced from running a cash register at Ted's All-Nite Discount House Of Stuff?
I disapprove of gummint secrets on general principles; history tells me a government sneaky enough to need so damn' many secrets is likely to be gettin' up to nasty stuff, there in the shadows. Military secrets (in the classic or war-movie sense) are a different sort of thing, usually one with a short shelf-life: D-Day is no secret the day after troops land in Normandy. Nevertheless, you take the oath, you've got to know the price for breaking it. I'm pretty sure you don't get a discount for being a girl and even more so for tryin' to put in for a transfer to the distaff side -- even in the post-DADT military, they frown on that.
Is it too much to hope for that this sort of leak-thing could happen with a little less ready-for-Jerry-Springer drama? Congratulations, modern whistle-blowers and leakers: you've managed to make the process not merely sordid but tacky. All you need now is Bette Midler to belt out a theme song.
Of course, in a world with a lot less CYA-secrecy (and that's what at least eighty percent of it is) to be unveiled, Manning would've been sent home from the Army on a General Discharge, Snowdon would still be just another .gov IT nerd snapping a whip over lowest-bidder servers, Assange would merely be a creep who gets slapped a lot at parties and we'd'a never heard of any of them. O, happier, better world!
Don't hold your breath.
* It was probably really gold guipé, but why confuse matters? More than already, I mean.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
9 months ago