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Concerns, Protests Grow Over Wikileaks Soldier Bradley Manning

More concern over the conditions of Wikileaks soldier Bradley Manning, which has been called "torture" by Salon's Glenn Greenwald. Now, a psychologists group concurs:

Manning In the latest public pronouncements calling attention to Manning's plight, the Psychologists for Social Responsibility this week sent an open letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates saying it is "deeply concerned" about Manning's confinement conditions at a military prison at Quantico, Va.

"As an organization of psychologists and other mental health professionals, PsySR is aware that solitary confinement can have severely deleterious effects on the psychological well-being of those subjected to it," the group said. "We therefore call for a revision in the conditions of PFC Manning’s incarceration while he awaits trial, based on the exhaustive documentation and research that have determined that solitary confinement is, at the very least, a form of cruel, unusual and inhumane treatment in violation of U.S. law."

The letter deplores the "needless brutality" of Manning's conditions and says they undermine his right to a fair trial.

According to his lawyer, "Manning is confined in a 6-by-12-foot cell with a bed, a drinking fountain and a toilet for about 23 hours a day. On a " typical day," he is awakened at 5 a.m. and is not allowed to sleep between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m.; if he tries to sleep during those hours, guards will make him sit up or stand. He eats all his meals in his cell. He is allowed one hour of "exercise" daily outside his cell, consisting of walking in figure eights in an empty room, according to Coombs. When he goes to sleep, he is required to strip down to his boxer shorts and give his clothing to the guards. He is not allowed to have any personal items in his cell.

David House at FireDogLake, visited Manning, and agrees with the assessments above. Read his extensive report here.

Some have said that Manning's conditions are an effort to get him to name Julian Assange as a conspirator in order to get Assange on espionage charges.

Manning has not been convicted of any crime.

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Comments

  1. And when will you cowardly faggots rise up against your oppressors?

    Posted by: Nanny McBone | Jan 7, 2011 10:09:31 AM


  2. This is just silly.

    This is NOT torture - is is called THE BRIG!

    He is being JAILED for being a traitor - and in the end traitors are executed - he should enjoy he last days awake.

    Posted by: willie t boned | Jan 7, 2011 10:31:13 AM


  3. @ WILLIE T BONED: What part of "due process", Miranda rights, "Innocent until proven guilty", or the U.S. Constitution don't you understand?

    Traitors are executed? What's the T in WILLIE T BONED for, "Taliban"?

    Posted by: Strepsi | Jan 7, 2011 10:39:23 AM


  4. STREPSI,
    He is in the military. The US Constitution does not fully apply to him.
    If he goes into gen pop, I don't think he would last long.

    Posted by: Brad | Jan 7, 2011 10:56:15 AM


  5. Why are you trying to make this guy in to a gay martyr? I won't make any judgements on the guy, but his actions have consequences and he is a soldier and is subject to military laws. Your posts seem to point to "outrage" where, in my opinion, there is none.

    Posted by: Tigger | Jan 7, 2011 11:19:10 AM


  6. @Tigger

    Perfectly Said!

    Posted by: Clay | Jan 7, 2011 11:40:08 AM


  7. Somehow people here have this weird notion that military laws are not subordinate to the supreme law of the land, the US Constitution.

    Posted by: Adrian | Jan 7, 2011 11:52:14 AM


  8. I agree with Tigger. This guy broke the law, a very very serious one. He potentially put many people in danger and damaged government relations. He SHOULD be in the Brig. This doesn't sound like torture to me. Is it an awful experience? Yes. Is it torture, no.

    Posted by: FernLaPlante | Jan 7, 2011 11:58:08 AM


  9. @Tigger, @Fernlaplante, try reading the article. nothing has been proven. so you're saying b/c someone accused him of something he should be killed? please refrain from voting, ever, given that you clearly have no concept of reality.

    Posted by: me | Jan 7, 2011 12:04:11 PM


  10. "This guy broke the law, a very very serious one."

    Has he?

    And what has he been charged with?

    Oh yeah! Nothing.

    "He potentially put many people in danger and damaged government relations."

    The illegal invasion of Iraq put many people in danger, and in fact caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilian Iraqis. Yet the war criminal George Bush still walks free.

    I used to feel safe when the US was a democracy. Not any more!

    Posted by: David | Jan 7, 2011 1:07:14 PM


  11. Thanks for the voice of sanity, David. Our "right to a speedy trial" is proving about as true as those alleged "equal" rights.

    Posted by: RomanHans | Jan 7, 2011 1:27:24 PM


  12. He and other's shouldn't be held for extended periods [often a year+] in pre-trial detention. Trials shouldn't take so long, and it's legitimate to demand why so many prosecutors take an eternity to bring defendants accused [at this point they, like Manning, just accused and presumed innocent until proven] to trial. IMO a lot of it has to do with judicial and prosecutorial laziness and job milking. In Manning's case, they are obviously trying to 'Break' him. It also creates a situation, when the trial finally occurs, of having a defendant in usually poor mental and physical shape. One thing they'll do is feed prisoners fattening food [with no exercise] which cause them to gain weight and be less attractive. But, he's being treated like anybody else held in brig isolation.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 7, 2011 1:47:53 PM


  13. So we are suppose to feel for him... He sold our secrets to the highest bidder and now what, he expects to get treated as if he was in the Waldorf Astoria? Come on! Could careless how he is being treated... and who is suppose to be concerned isn't because Julian Assange doesn't seem to care how he is being treated because if Julian Assange cared he would talk more about him in his interviews Julian Assange would acknowledge him but he doesn't. I am yet to hear Julian Assagne call his name.

    Posted by: g | Jan 7, 2011 1:53:48 PM


  14. @ME:

    As stated, I haven't made judgements on the guy or said he's guilty. But when a soldier is suspected of a crime (and a serious one at that), there are consequences. Enough with the gay martyr.

    Posted by: Tigger | Jan 7, 2011 1:54:29 PM


  15. @Tigger,

    Enough with your paranoid reasoning! Being suspected of a crime is not, and will never be, a valid reason for prolonged detainment of any individual, soldier or not.

    The burden of proof relies upon people with suspicions, not the object of suspicion.

    Posted by: Adrian | Jan 7, 2011 2:15:54 PM


  16. They could at least let him visit the IKEA nearby.

    Posted by: Kenneth | Jan 7, 2011 2:22:41 PM


  17. It is alarming that everyone here swallows the government's (likely) fabricated narrative of the Manning story. How do you know he was the one who gave out the secrets to begin with? Wake up: He is the fall guy and possible way to get Assange.

    Has anyone read Glenn Greenwald's excellent and continued coverage on the this case--and how Wired magazine is also involved in these shady e-mailed "top secret information" dealings? Apparently not. Also read Fire Dog Lake's coverage.

    I suppose you guys also believe that all politicians and religious people genuinely care about LGBT rights, too, because it's the right thing to do.

    So naive--and patriotic too! Just how Uncle Sam has trained you. Bravo.

    Posted by: Trog | Jan 7, 2011 2:44:40 PM



  18. Today I learned that being an oppressed minority does not automatically raise your consciousness.

    Posted by: suede | Jan 7, 2011 3:20:13 PM


  19. @G: "He sold our secrets to the highest bidder"

    What?? No one has accused him of selling anything. WikiLeaks doesn't pay for sources. The so-called "highest bidders" who buy government secrets want them to *stay secret*. That's what they pay for. The fact that you have that wrong should give you some hint of how profoundly you've misunderstood this whole story. If spouting ignorant misconceptions were criminal, you'd be in Bradley Manning's place, G-tard.

    Posted by: JJ | Jan 7, 2011 5:08:51 PM


  20. Can I just recommend this New Yorker article from 2009 by Atul Gawande (surgeon and assoc professor in public health) which examines whether solitary confinement constitutes torture:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/03/30/090330fa_fact_gawande

    His conclusion is clear - undoubtedly.

    Posted by: Dylan | Jan 7, 2011 5:45:22 PM


  21. He is being held without change, tortured ( see comment by Dylan) and appears to have no rights. Is this the American way?

    Posted by: Stephen | Jan 7, 2011 8:43:07 PM


  22. Manning has been charged under the UCMJ law established by Congress and applicable to military personnel. Is it too tortuous for some of you to know simple facts and not be outraged by made-up facts?

    Posted by: Michael | Jan 7, 2011 9:51:50 PM


  23. Awww, you mean this doofus isn't getting room service? In my mind, he's a traitor and has committed treasonable acts against the United States. Just keep him alive for trial. No swimming pools, etc.

    Posted by: Tyler | Jan 8, 2011 8:40:41 AM


  24. To all the delusional, chest-thumping, flag-waving douchebags posting to this site:

    GO TO HELL.

    The alleged "crime" that got Manning arrested and thrown in the brig under torturous conditions was the leak of the notorious Apache helicopter video showing the US Army slaughtering civilians in Iraq, including reporters, and exposing how our military and government lied about it to cover it up afterwards. All the rest to do with Assange and Wikileaks is mostly speculation, because Manning hasn't been charged with anything.

    If exposing our military's atrocities and lies in a war that was criminal from Day One constitutes treason, then I want no part of your patriotism, assholes.

    Extended solitary confinement is undoubtedly a form of torture, but prisons and governments know they can get away with it because it doesn't involve knives, bamboo slivers under the nails, electroshocks to the genitals, acid, rape, or the like. So, most stupid and insensitive people will not consider it a form of torture, just like there's a sizable contingent of blockheaded Murrkins who don't consider waterboarding to be torture. But sealing someone off from the outside world in a small gray box for 23 hours a day and cutting off nearly all human contact is a proven way of driving someone insane and seriously degrading their physical health. If you don't think it's so bad, why don't YOU volunteer for a year's worth of Manning's conditions--just as an experiment? C'mon, I dare you!

    And don't give me the tired, "But he committed a crime!" or "But he's in the military, and the same rules don't apply!" arguments. He hasn't been convicted of anything (and even if he had, his treatment would constitute cruel and unusual punishment) and the US Constitution still applies to members of the military. Uhm, don't they swear an oath to uphold and defend it when they're inducted into the military? LOL

    I swear, if Kafka were alive today, he'd look at the USA and just sigh, chuckle, and shake his head in bemused wonderment.

    Posted by: Scotty | Jan 8, 2011 11:12:24 AM


  25. Amen Scotty.

    He is a whitsle-blower, NOT a traitor.

    And he is being held indefinately under horrific circumstances by the Organization he has supposedly 'betrayed'

    He needs access to a lawyer and pulled out of Military Custody ASAP.

    Posted by: New Jersey Boi | Jan 8, 2011 8:36:19 PM


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