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Former US intel specialists speak out
Sun, 24 Apr 2011 18:01:34 GMT
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Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old US Army Private, accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks
US war veteran Evan Knappenberger sheds light on role of army intelligence specialists, like himself and former colleague Bradley Manning, in the Iraq war.

“I was involved in torture in Iraq. Part of an intel analyst's job is 'targeting.' You take a human being and put him on a piece of paper,”…”You've got a grid coordinate of where he lives and a little box that says what to do with him: kill, capture, detain, exploit, source,” Knappenberger explained in an interview last week for a PBS Frontline documentary.

“When I worked in targeting, it was having people killed,” the intelligence specialist admitted regarding his missions in Iraq.

Knappenberger went to the same intelligence school as whistleblower Bradley Manning and was assigned to similar duties as Manning in Iraq.

He explains that footage of Iraqi civilians being murdered in cold blood was what prompted Manning to pass on US military intelligence to WikiLeaks.

“He (Manning) had a change of heart,”… “Most of the guys I went through intel school with, who went to Iraq with me, are either dead, killed themselves, are in a long-term care institution or completely disabled. I'm actually 50 percent disabled via PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).”

Manning, 23, was arrested in June while deployed to war-torn Iraq amid suspicions he had passed a trove of secret US government documents to WikiLeaks, many of which were then published around the world.

State Department spokesman Philip Crowley resigned last month after slamming the Pentagon's treatment of the soldier, which includes solitary confinement and being forced to sleep naked, as "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid."

US President Barack Obama, however, described the Pentagon's treatment of Manning as appropriate.

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