Wikileaks doc leaker had a rough early life: NY Times

This is something that the New York Times has perfected over the years; turning a perp into a victim.

Nothing really subtle about it. Instead of journalism, we get soap opera. Instead of analysis, we get an emotion-laden jag designed to elicit feelings of sympathy for someone who doesn't deserve it.

Still, it is interesting to examine the latest effort in this genre - especially since it's mildly amusing to see what lengths the Times reporter, Ginger Thompson, has to extend the meme of victimhood in order to cover the extraordinary betrayal of PFC Bradley Manning:

He spent part of his childhood with his father in the arid plains of central Oklahoma, where classmates made fun of him for being a geek. He spent another part with his mother in a small, remote corner of southwest Wales, where classmates made fun of him for being gay.

Then he joined the Army, where, friends said, his social life was defined by the need to conceal his sexuality under "don't ask, don't tell" and he wasted brainpower fetching coffee for officers.

Given the fact that he has put hundreds of Afghan friends of the US army as well as his brothers in arms in danger, I hardly think it is "wasting brainpower" for this idiot to fetch coffee. In fact, that task may have been beyond his capability.

And is there anyone on planet earth who was not made fun of for something while in school? It's interesting that the Times treats this commonplace occurrence as a revelatory episode that shaped Manning's personality.

Another thing of note in this apologia is that the Times can never seem to find anyone to quote who doesn't support this dummy and aid in their effort to whitewash his crimes. How about this miserable excuse:

"He would get upset, slam books on the desk if people wouldn't listen to him or understand his point of view," said Chera Moore, who attended elementary and junior high school with him. "He would get really mad, and the teacher would say, ‘O.K., Bradley, get out.' "

It was something he would hear a lot throughout his life.

Are you in tears yet? If you read the piece, you are struck by the unintentional side effect of all these revelations; PFC Manning brought this misery largely on himself:

And then, students began to suspect he was gay.

Sometimes, former classmates said, he reacted to the teasing by idly boasting about stealing other students' girlfriends. At other times, he openly flirted with boys. Often, with only the slightest provocation, he would launch into fits of rage.

"It was probably the worst experience anybody could go through," said Rowan John, a former classmate who was openly gay in high school. "Being different like me, or Bradley, in the middle of nowhere is like going back in time to the Dark Ages."

By the time you reach the end of the piece, Manning's betrayals as well as the blood he has on his hands are forgotten and the pity party is in full swing. As only the Times is capable of doing, the sins of the perpetrator are washed away in a flood of sympathetic tears for this poor, mistreated malcontent.

What a hero!

And as he faces the possibility of a lifetime in prison, some of Private Manning's remarks now seem somewhat prophetic.

"I wouldn't mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much," he wrote, "if it wasn't for the possibility of having pictures of me plastered all over the world press."