Shameful Abuse of Truth Teller Bradley Manning

Marines Lying:

Shameful Abuse of Truth Teller Bradley Manning,

Stripped Naked Every Night,

Bradley Manning Tells of Prison Ordeal

Monday, March 14, 2011 2:18 PM

From:
“alex james” <alexjamesnews3@gmail.com>

From: BritishConscience@yahoogroups.com [mailto:BritishConscience@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2011 12:25 AM
Subject: [BC] Shameful Abuse of Truth Teller Bradley Manning, Stripped Naked Every Night, Bradley Manning Tells of Prison Ordeal

 

 

Friday, March 11, 2011 by the Guardian/UK

Stripped Naked Every Night, Bradley Manning Tells of Prison Ordeal

US soldier held on suspicion of leaking state secrets speaks out for first time about experience

by Ed Pilkington in New York

Bradley Manning, the US soldier being held in solitary confinement on suspicion of having released state secrets to WikiLeaks,

has spoken out for the first time about what he claims is his punitive and unlawful treatment in military prison.

Image removed by sender.Bradley Manning believes he was placed on suicide watch in retribution for a protest

over his treatment held outside the prison.In an 11-page legal letter released by his lawyer, David Coombs, Manning sets out in

his own words how he has been “left to languish under the unduly harsh conditions of max [security] custody” ever since he was brought

from Kuwait to the military brig of Quantico marine base in Virginia in July last year. He describes how he was put on suicide watch in

January, how he is currently being stripped naked every night, and how he is in general terms being subjected to what he

calls “unlawful pre-trial punishment”.

It is the first time Manning has spoken publicly about his treatment, having previously only been heard through the intermediaries of

his lawyer and a friend. Details that have emerged up to now have inspired the UN to launch an inquiry into whether the conditions

amount to torture, and have led to protests to the US government from Amnesty International.

The most graphic passage of the letter is Manning’s description of how he was placed on suicide watch for three days from 18 January.

“I was stripped of all clothing with the exception of my underwear.

My prescription eyeglasses were taken away from me and I was forced to sit in essential blindness.”

Manning writes that he believes the suicide watch was imposed not because he was a danger to himself but as retribution for a protest about

his treatment held outside Quantico the day before. Immediately before the suicide watch started, he said guards verbally harassed him,

taunting him with conflicting orders.

When he was told he was being put on suicide watch, he writes,

“I became upset. Out of frustration, I clenched my hair with my fingers and yelled: ‘Why are you doing this to me? Why am I being punished?

I have done nothing wrong.'”

He also describes the experience of being stripped naked at night and made to stand for parade in the nude, a condition that continues to this day. “

The guard told me to stand at parade rest, with my hands behind my back and my legs spaced shoulder-width apart.

I stood at parade rest for about three minutes … The [brig supervisor] and the other guards walked past my cell.

He looked at me, paused for a moment, then continued to the next cell. I was incredibly embarrassed at having all these people stare at me naked.”

Manning has been charged with multiple counts relating to the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US government cables,

videos and warlogs from Iraq and Afghanistan to WikiLeaks. The charges include “aiding the enemy”, which can carry the death penalty.

The legal letter was addressed to the US military authorities and was drawn up in response to their recent decision to keep Manning on a restriction

order called Prevention of Injury (PoI). It means he is kept in his cell alone for 23 hours a day and checked every five minutes by guards including,

if necessary, through the night.

The letter contains excerpts from the observation records kept in the brig which consistently report that Manning is

“respectful, courteous and well spoken” and “does not have any suicidal feelings at this time”.

Sixteen separate entries made from 27 August until the records stop on 28 January show that Manning was evaluated by prison psychiatrists who

found he was not a danger to himself and should be removed from the PoI order.

Saturday, March 12, 2011 by the Guardian/UK

This Shameful Abuse of Bradley Manning

The WikiLeaks suspect’s mistreatment amounts to torture. Either President Obama knows this or he should make it his business.

President Obama tells us that he’s asked the Pentagon whether the conditions of confinement of Bradley Manning,

the soldier charged with leaking state secrets, “are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. They assure me that they are.”

If Obama believes that, he’ll believe anything. I would hope he would know better than to ask the perpetrators whether they’ve been behaving appropriately.

I can just hear President Nixon saying to a press conference the same thing:

“I was assured by the the White House Plumbers that their burglary of the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s doctor in Los Angeles was appropriate and met basic standards.”

When that criminal behavior ordered from the Oval Office came out, Nixon faced impeachment and had to resign.

Well, times have changed. But if President Obama really doesn’t yet know the actual conditions of Manning’s detention –

if he really believes, as he’s said, that “some of this [nudity, isolation, harassment, sleep-deprivation] has to do with Private Manning’s wellbeing”,

despite the contrary judgments of the prison psychologist – then he’s being lied to, and he needs to get a grip on his administration.

If he does know, and agrees that it’s appropriate or even legal, that doesn’t speak well for his memory of the courses he taught on constitutional law.

The president refused to comment on PJ Crowley’s statement that the treatment of Manning is “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid”.

Those words are true enough as far as they go – which is probably about as far as a state department spokesperson can allow himself to go

in condemning actions of the defence department. But at least two other words are called for: abusive and illegal.

Image removed by sender.Crowley was responding to a question about the “torturing” of an American citizen,

and, creditably, he didn’t rebut that description. Prolonged isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity – that’s right out of the manual of the CIA for

“enhanced interrogation”. We’ve seen it applied in Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib. It’s what the CIA calls “no-touch torture”, and its purpose

there, as in this case, is very clear: to demoralize someone to the point of offering a desired confession. That’s what they are after, I suspect,

with Manning. They don’t care if the confession is true or false, so long as it implicates WikiLeaks in a way that will help them prosecute Julian Assange.

That’s just my guess, as to their motives. But it does not affect the illegality of the behavior. If I’m right, it’s likely that such harsh treatment

wasn’t ordered at the level of a warrant officer or the brig commander. The fact that they have continued to inflict such suffering on the prisoner

despite weeks of complaint from his defence counsel, harsh publicity and condemnation from organizations such as Amnesty International,

suggests to me that it might have come from high levels of the defence department or the justice department, if not from the White House itself.

It’s no coincidence that it’s someone from the state department who has gone off-message to speak out about this. When a branch of the

US government makes a mockery of our pretensions to honor the rule of law, specifically our obligation not to use torture, the state department

bears the brunt of that, as it affects our standing in the world.

The fact that Manning’s abusive mistreatment is going on at Quantico – where I spent nine months as a Marine officer in basic school –

and that Marines are lying about it, makes me feel ashamed for the Corps. Just three years as an infantry officer was more than enough

time for me to know that what is going on there is illegal behavior that must be stopped and disciplined.

 

 

 

 

 

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