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MAY 24, 2012 10:39AM

The Real All-American Tragedy of Prvt. Manning: Divorce

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Whether Prvt. Manning committed a crime I cannot say, although I have doubts that a private could have, all by his lonesome, gotten into such a mess, if of course now he's expendable, like he was to his father, which is the real reason this happened in the first place.

Manning's father's abandonment of his son, if you look at Manning's life, is the real tragedy.

That is because it made no sense that Manning was in the Army in the first place, save for him being regarded as expendable by both his father, and therefore the U.S. Army, in the end.

Some people have to be expendable too.

But when you look at Manning's life, you can see such a tragedy as to who he could have been, if his father had not abandoned him.

Manning's mother drank heavily, and was not the easiest person to deal with, but was by all accounts a very devoted wife and mother while Manning's father traveled extensively in the computer business in Europe.

Manning's father walked out on his family when Manning was around nine, and started a new family, even having the new children take his name, thereby signalling to Manning that he was nothing, expendable.

That's what a lot of divorced parents do, as the sexual, emotional, and especially financial needs of the new partner come first, generally speaking.

Someone like Manning learns, no matter the slanders later, actually to be very agreeable, as they know that they are part of a dog and pony show, and will have much less room for error, if any, in their new family unit.

There is very little that the child can do in that situation, as because of divorce, that child may well have a parent that actually wishes them dead, to allocate resources to the new life, and especially new children,and later in life, grandchildren.

Such is not always the case after a divorce, but it rather often is, and is totally and clearly the case with Manning; expendable was his fate from the get-go.

Manning's mother was a British citizen, and after the divorce, eventually moved back to Britain to coalesce her alcoholism in effect, while Manning the entire time was actually a star in school.

He had done so earlier in Oklahoma where his father abandoned him, winning science fairs, captaining the quiz bowl team, even though no parent ever showed up to watch, and all the while of course mainly earning the ire and hatred of his fellow classmates, as Americans generally speaking detest the intellectual type, like Manning.

In any event, while in England, Manning created an early version of file-sharing, like an early Facebook or MySpace, if he didn't get rich like Zuckerburg, probably because by nature unlike Zuckerburg, he wasn't a confirmed thief.

When Manning was sixteen, his mother had deteriorated to the point where he had to find what family he could, as there was no one to take him in in Europe, even if he was a nice, smart kid, who because he was smart, most people hated in his age-cohort, something he never understood, and so he returned to his biological father, who had in the previous four years made zero effort to contact him.

That's a sad lonely place for a teenage boy, but having no family that would take him, he went back to his "father."

His "father" had a new life, and so didn't really want anything but the appearance of being a decent human being, taking him a little bit and then smashing him later probably always being the real plan.

As to evidence, in spite of Manning's excellence in computers, his father forced him to take a full-time job at a friend's start-up, that he had no intention of really working out, but rather to provide cover to burn him, rather than providing a dime for his education, which of course like the pondscum Baby Boomer that he was had been done by his parents, save for his outlandish drinking in high school that sent him to Naval Intelligence.

Manning was actually the son many would like to have, if a little overeager as to intellect, since Americans don't like people any smarter than George W. Bush, IQ 129 not being dumb but actually elite at the 97th percentile, but not a rocket scientist, which starts at about 140.

(That's why we need to use force against China sooner than later, because we are dumber than they are, because we incentivize stupidity in this country; we revel in it, glorify it, elect it.)

If you want a villain of this whole piece, Private Manning's really not the villain, but his father, like the rest of the Baby Boom generation, the worst collection of narcissists assembled in world history on average.

In any event, after the "job" didn't work out, Manning's step"mother" provoked a fight with him by ordering him out of the house with no warning, resulting in the 911 call.

What was he supposed to do when ordered onto the streets with no warning to die like an animal by people who his whole life had betrayed him?

Thus, forced into the streets with zero possessions, but still a nice, smart kid, Manning did the only thing he could do: joined the Army. Expendable was his GI issue.

Of course the Army understood his background very well, since Manning's father was a Naval intelligence specialist, and so knew that he could be burned at any time; expendable human being was Private Manning's fate always.


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exactly Baltimore: E of MICE, and everyone sees him as expendable, because his father did too.
As always, a fresh perspective. r
"Someone like Manning learns, no matter the slanders later, actually to be very agreeable, as they know that they are part of a dog and pony show, and will have much less room for error, if any, in their new family unit."
that was brilliantly
(and I am so so lucky I got the 2nd Dad I did)
You have written an excellent piece, here. It should be be an EP. From your observations regarding the expendability of children of divorce, to your aside regarding this country's embrace of stupidity - to me seen most obviously in the rejection of those with higher education as being untrustworthy, etc. - this is just full of insight.
That's very kind of you Julie and Onislandtime, and I've been there and done that, and can't complain about my stepmother, or actually really any of the stepfathers, save in the latter case for possibly the number of them, if I learned a lot too.