Moral Outrage
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Protest Bradley Manning in solitary at Quantico Marine Corp Base brig

Bradley Manning, the 23-year-old Army private accused of leaking classified information to Wikileaks, has been held in the brig at Quantico Marine Corp Base for five months in inhumane conditions, with severe restrictions on his ability to exercise, communicate, or even sleep. Manning has not been convicted of any crime. Nor is there a date certain for any court hearing.

David House writes: I traveled to see the man himself at the Marine Corps detainment facility in Quantico, VA. In my visit, it became clear that the Pentagon’s public spin from last week sharply contradicts the reality of Bradley Manning’s detainment.

[For example, among points related to me, Manning explained] that his blankets are similar in weight and heft to lead aprons used in X-ray laboratories, and similar in texture to coarse and stiff carpet. He stated explicitly that the blankets are not soft in the least and expressed concern that he had to lie very still at night to avoid receiving carpet burns. The problem of carpet burns was exacerbated, he related, by the stipulation that he must sleep only in his boxer shorts as part of the longstanding POI order. Manning also stated on December 19 2010 that hallway-mounted lights shine through his window at night. This constant illumination is consistent with reports from attorney David Coombs’ blog that marines must visually inspect Manning as he sleeps.

In his five months of detention, it has become obvious to me that Manning’s physical and mental well-being are deteriorating. What Manning needs, and what his attorney has already urged, is to have the unnecessary “Prevention of Injury” order lifted that severely restricts his ability to exercise, communicate, and sleep. Manning is held in “maximum custody,” the military’s most severe detention policy. He has been living under the solitary restrictions of POI for five months despite being cleared by a military psychologist earlier this year, and despite repeated calls from his attorney David Coombs to lift the severely restrictive and isolating order.

Our conversations, which take place in the presence of marines and electronic monitoring equipment, typically revolve around topics in physics, computer science, and philosophy; he recently mentioned that he hopes to one day make use of the GI Bill towards earning a graduate degree in Physics and a bachelors in Political Science. He rarely if ever talks about his conditions in the brig, and it is not unusual for him to shy away from questions about his well-being by changing the subject entirely.

Media skirmishes 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 Villiard. Additionally, I gave an interview to the Guardian in which I made my concerns for Bradley’s health known.

Please add your name to my letter urging the Quantico Brig Commanding Officer to lift Bradley Manning’s unnecessary POI order. I’ll deliver your signature to the Quantico Brig when I visit Bradley next month.

Aside from that, I encourage any curious parties to file an FOIA request for the government-curated audio tapes created in brig visitation room #2 on December 18 and December 19 2010 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm.

[Excerpt of an article by David House, MIT researcher who helped set up the Bradley Manning Support Network, a group raising funds for Manning’s legal defense]


3 Responses to “Protest Bradley Manning in solitary at Quantico Marine Corp Base brig”

  1. 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.

  2. […] the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has been detained in solitary confinement for the last seven months, despite not having been convicted of any…. As Glenn Greenwald reports, “the brig’s medical personnel now administer regular doses […]

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