Moral Outrage
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So what of Bradley Manning accused WikiLeaks source?

While news about Julian Assange is ever before us, not much has been forthcoming about Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private who is the supposed source of the U.S. diplomatic cables being made public by WikiLeaks.

Bradley Manning has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime, but has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months — and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait. Some describe Manning’s conditions as cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture. Interviews with several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning’s detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard) who confirmed much of what they conveyed, establishes that the accused leaker is subjected to detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries.

Since his arrest in May, Manning has been a model detainee, without any episodes of violence or disciplinary problems. He nonetheless was declared from the start to be a “Maximum Custody Detainee,” the highest and most repressive level of military detention, which then became the basis for the series of inhumane measures imposed on him.

From the beginning of his detention, Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement. For 23 out of 24 hours every day — for seven straight months and counting — he sits completely alone in his cell. Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he’s barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions. For reasons that appear completely punitive, he’s being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch). For the one hour per day when he is freed from this isolation, he is barred from accessing any news or current events programs.

In sum, Manning has been subjected for many months without pause to inhumane, personality-erasing, soul-destroying, insanity-inducing conditions of isolation similar to those perfected at America’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado: all without so much as having been convicted of anything. And as is true of many prisoners subjected to warped treatment of this sort, the brig’s medical personnel now administer regular doses of anti-depressants to Manning to prevent his brain from snapping from the effects of this isolation.

Manning is barred from communicating with any reporters, even indirectly. David House, a 23-year-old MIT researcher who befriended Manning after his detention (and then had his laptops, camera and cellphone seized by Homeland Security when entering the U.S.) is one of the few people to have visited Manning several times at Quantico. He describes palpable changes in Manning’s physical appearance and behavior just over the course of the several months that he’s been visiting him. Like most individuals held in severe isolation, Manning sleeps much of the day, is particularly frustrated by the petty, vindictive denial of a pillow or sheets, and suffers from less and less outdoor time as part of his one-hour daily removal from his cage.

[Read full article at Salon]


6 Responses to “So what of Bradley Manning accused WikiLeaks source?”

    • Reportedly, a grand jury has been secretly empanelled in northern Virginia to consider indicting the WikiLeaks chief.

      US authorities have stepped up their efforts to prosecute Julian Assange by offering Bradley Manning, the American soldier allegedly responsible for leaking hundreds of thousands of government documents, the possibility of a plea bargain if he names the Wiki-Leaks founder as a fellow conspirator.

      And poor Manning, who has been held in solitary for 7 months now, and whose health and mental health is deteriorating as a result, may not have the capacity to resist. (The brig’s medical personnel administer regular doses of anti-depressants to Manning to prevent his brain from snapping from the effects of this isolation.)


  1. […] began on December 15th when Glenn Greenwald of published an article stating that Manning’s pretrial confinement conditions are equivalent to solitary confinement, assertions based partially upon written and verbal statements made by Quantico brig official Brian […]

  2. […] in an all-out crusade to figure out how to shut down WikiLeaks and imprison Julian Assange. It is subjecting Bradley Manning to unbelievably inhumane conditions in order to manipulate him into providing needed testimony to prosecute Assange. Recall that in […]

  3. Update: The United Nations is looking into the situation with Bradley Manning who is said to have been mistreated while held since May in US army custody pending trial.

    The office of Manfred Nowak, the UN special rapporteur on torture in Geneva, received a complaint from one of Manning’s supporters. The UN could ask the US to stop any violations it finds. If a complaint is verified as legitimate, the investigator sends an urgent letter or appeal to the government that it believes has committed the violation.

    While Manning is suspected of leaking troves of other material to the government secret-spilling site WikiLeaks, Manning has not commented publicly on whether he is the source of the leaks.

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assangd said the organisation’s “technology is set up so we don’t know” the sources of the material it gets. Assange said it would be “absolute nonsense” for the US to try to make Manning a witness in a conspiracy case against him. “I never heard of the name Bradley Manning before it appeared in the media,” he said.

  4. […] solitary confinement for the last seven months, despite not having been convicted of any crime. As Glenn Greenwald reports, “the brig’s medical personnel now administer regular doses of anti-depressants […]

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