There's various topics that you can bring up around Army folks and you can predict exactly what they will say. In the case of Chelsea Manning....the 35-year sentenced former Army guy....99-percent of Army folks are pretty negative about the guy. Rarely does any Army member defend the guy.
President Obama set aside most of the 35 years today....down to seven. He'll be finished with the sentence by spring of 2017.
My opinion of Manning is kinda simple. He's a psychological question-mark. He probably was this way all throughout high-school. The stress of the Army life? It probably made him even more of a 'basket-case'.
The Army, because of recruitment shortfalls during the war period....went out and accepted a lot of people like Manning....never grasping that he needed guidance and authority extended to him....twenty-four hours a day....seven days a week. Giving him a clearance? That was a big mistake of the Army. If they'd done a psychological profile.....he would have been pushed into some Army chow-hall and given simple work to finish out his Army career. But they were never smart enough to figure that out.
What happens after May? If I were Manning....I'd go quietly into some urban area and try not to draw any attention or appear on any national TV show. The problem is that there are other people from the Army.....past or present....psychologically unfit as well, and maybe more unhinged. They might think of some weird need to attack or go after him.
Prison being the solution for Manning? No....I think the Army would have been better off doing the examination and recommending some federal mental institute and a long-term stay. Once he goes out of prison, I think he's just a magnet for problems, which will continue on.