Comments

  1. says

    Bullshit! This man has been being tortured for NINE MONTHS in that brig. For 9 months, he’s been in 23-hr/day solitary confinement; barred from exercising in his cell; one hr/day outside his cell to walk in circles alone while shackled; forced to respond to guards’ inquiries every 5 mins, all day, everyday; and awakened at night each time he is curled up in his bed or outside the guards’ full view. As a friend said to me, “can we get a reality check on what he’s alleged to have done? If he did leak these documents, I think he is patriot, not a traitor. Shouldn’t Americans be more concerned with the fact that any bureaucrat can stamp “classified” on a document and under penalty of death diminish our right to exercise proper oversight over our government? He didn’t out spies, or give away troop positions. He exposed lies about civilian casualties in Iraq, and the mishandling of a war prosecuted under false pretenses.”

  2. ratbastard says

    @Kevin,

    Do you how long it can take for an accused to get their trial? And if they can’t make bail, they remain locked up in county jail until their trial. Many months normal, a year or more not unusual. Ever hear the expression ‘Time Served’? It refers to a defendant being released after adjudication due to the time they already served in pre-trial lock up. Very common.

  3. turkey says

    Our government clearly has a very different bar for what is “appropriate” treatment of unconvicted, untried suspects than those of most other civilized nations. Hard to muster up a lot of will to dissent when the accused, not the convicted, get treated like this. Land of the free.

  4. Francis says

    You may or may not agree with this kid’s actions, but this is barbaric and inhumane. And of course, Obama and everyone else is going to cover it all up, and kick the can down the road.

  5. Brian in Texas says

    He shouldn’t have been joking about being able to use his clothes to commit suicide or harm himself. They have to take him seriously. Being naked is not torture. We don’t know all the facts.

    Releasing the video that he did only aides and fuels the enemy. The narrative that Al Qaeda perpetuates is that the U.S. is at war with the Muslim world. They use it as a recruiting tool.

    We act as though this guy is some sort of political prisoner. He’s in the situation he is in for the decisions and judgments he made.

    I can only hope that he gets to trial as soon as possible.

  6. The Iron Orchard says

    I wouldn’t actually call these lies…the US tortures, they detain people without charge indefinitely, and assassinate their own citizens without trial or arrest. So yeah, this is pretty much “meeting our basic standards”.

  7. NY2.0 says

    Had Bradley Manning not been openly gay, I doubt there would be much outrage as shown on this thread or in the gay community. This happens ALL THE TIME… you guys outrage are phony at best.

  8. says

    Since Bush II, torture and abuse have been perpetrated both by US domestic agents and by foreign proxies on behalf of the Us, even on victims specially kidnapped by the USA for that purpose.
    Torture is now endemic in US legal and political and military culture. It has been expressly sanctioned by Bybee, Woo and other self promoted luminaries.

    So the treatment of an unconvicted prisoner should come as no shock.

    What is shocking is the betrayal of values in US society and in Obama.
    And so little by little the Empire crumbled.

  9. terryp says

    This whole country is in susch a mess. But we are still lucky in a way we can email these things on a gay blog. Hope to all,
    brothers and sisters from oppression.

  10. says

    This guy may have single handedly changed the face of our entire world. The unrest in the middle east? I believe it is a direct result of information in the WikiLeaks documents. The people got a rare insight into their own government.

    Manning is a hero. We might not recognize it now, but in 50 or 100 years, his name will be in the history books.

  11. FernLaPlante says

    I agree with NY2.0 This happens to hetero military personnel often. Where is the outrage for them? Where is the outrage for the innocent hetero immigrants that have been “detained” in these US confines (read: prisons) for years sitting in limbo waiting for a hearing or to be deported. If Manning was straight no one here would care.

  12. Sean R says

    Well, Obama is turning out to be the change you never thought you’d see… I’m so disgusted by this commentary by him! He needs to explain how keeping a prisoner NAKED and without his glasses is appropriate. Just appalling! Don’t re-elect this gobshite, he’s semi-detached on so many issues, Libya, etc. Makes the USA seem like a bully boy all over again. Shame.

  13. LincolnLounger says

    If they ignored his comments about using his clothes to commit suicide and he’d actually done it, then everybody would have been screaming about how his clothes should have been taken away.

    This man signed up to serve in the military. He’s well aware of the different set of rules for military justice. He was recorded bragging about betraying his country.

    Boo hoo hoo, Bradley, and rot in jail, traitor.

  14. justme says

    Before the intentional Republican dumbing-down and coarsening of the culture, there was no such thing as a conversation about whether torturing someone really is torture. In the old reality, people recognized that not only was torture wrong and didn’t debate whether inhumane treatment was inhumane “enough” to qualify as torture. Welcome to the new reality, brought to you courtesy of the Koch brothers and other billionaire monsters.

  15. says

    @LINCOLNLOUNGER : First, it is the criminals who broke international law (to which America is a signatory) who are the traitors.
    second, have you ever reflected on the obscene way in which Americans glorify their military ?
    Third, military justice is no different from civil justice; they only have different Procedures. Both are subject to the constitution, with such provisions as a right to due process…….that includes a speedy trial in a fair court, not a kangaroo court.
    @FERNLAPLANTE : there has been plenty of outrage at hetros being tortured……or haven’t you been listening ?

  16. Obama is a war criminal says

    Obama deserves to be impeached and tried for war crimes. After all, it’s no better to have your family murdered by illegal war from a Republican than it is to have your family murdered by a Democrat. The people of Afghanistan aren’t celebrating because it’s a black man from Hawaii murdering them instead of a white man from Texas. And queers certainly aren’t better off being kept as “less than equal” by a black Democrat instead of a white Republican.

  17. Obama is a war criminal says

    Torturing Bradley Manning

    Nicole Colson reports on the humiliations to which accused whistleblower Bradley Manning is being subjected while in military custody–and the new charges he faces.

    March 8, 2011

    BRADLEY MANNING, the 23-year-old Army soldier accused of leaking information to the muckraking Web site WikiLeaks, is facing a slew of new charges from the government–and the repressive conditions he’s being kept in are growing more severe.

    On March 2, the Army announced it had filed 22 additional charges against Manning. The most serious is “aiding the enemy,” an offense that carries a potential death sentence. Other charges include wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet, knowing that it will be accessed by the enemy, and violating Army regulations on information security.

    In a blog posting, Manning’s attorney David Coombs wrote that the charges come at the recommendation of Manning’s commander, and it is unclear whether he will actually face all of them:

    The decision to prefer charges is an individual one by Pfc. Manning’s commander. The nature of the charges and the number of specifications under each reflects his determination, in consultation with his Staff Judge Advocate’s office, of the possible offenses in this case. Ultimately, the Article 32 Investigating Officer will determine which, if any, of these additional charges and specifications should be referred to a court-martial.

    In a detailing of the charges, military prosecutors recommended that Manning be sentenced to life in prison if convicted on the charge of “aiding the enemy.” However, the military judge would be able to dismiss the recommendation and impose the death penalty.

    “I’m shocked that the military opted to charge Pfc. Bradley Manning today with the capital offense of ‘aiding the enemy,'” Jeff Paterson, of the group Courage to Resist, which has supported Manning, told the Washington Post [1]. “While the military is downplaying the fact, the option to execute Bradley has been placed on the table.”

    Paterson added that “it’s beyond ironic that leaked U.S. State Department cables have contributed to revolution and revolt” in the Middle East–“yet an American may be executed, or at best face life in prison, for being the primary whistleblower.”

    The Pentagon claims that Manning should be charged with aiding the enemy because some of the information he allegedly leaked to WikiLeaks contained the names of civilian informants and others who have cooperated with the U.S. military.

    However, even the Pentagon has been forced to quietly admit there have been no deaths associated with the leaked documents. “We have yet to see any harm come to anyone in Afghanistan that we can directly tie to exposure in the WikiLeaks documents,” Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell told the Washington Post.

    If anyone is responsible for putting civilian lives at risk in Afghanistan, it is the U.S. military, not Bradley Manning. A single helicopter strike in early March, for example, mistakenly killed nine Afghan boys, all under the age of 14, as they gathered firewood on a mountainside in Kunar province. Yet those who okayed the air strike will never face a court martial or a day in prison.

    In a videotaped apology, Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez stated, “We had made a terrible mistake. These incidents are rare.”

    Except they are not. Last year, documents released by WikiLeaks that Manning is accused of passing showed that the civilian death toll of the Iraq war was higher than previously thought. According to an analysis by the Guardian newspaper and others [2], the WikiLeaks documents showed that “more than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents…U.S. and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists, but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.”

    The information provided to WikiLeaks–including the devastating “Collateral Murder” video and the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs–detail a callous disregard for both Iraqi and Afghan civilian life on the part of U.S. war planners and, often, soldiers–including not only civilian death classified as “collateral damage,” but war crimes such as the torture, rape and the murder of civilians.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    MANNING HIMSELF is now experiencing the savage behavior of the Pentagon.

    Manning has been in solitary confinement for more than seven months at a Marine brig in Quantico, Va. During that time, he has been subject to ongoing harsh treatment that, according to many experts, would rise to the level of torture under the Geneva Conventions (which Manning is not subject to, as he is not a prisoner of war).

    This includes being confined to a 6-by-12-foot cell for 23 hours each day, constantly watched on video cameras, denied physical exercise and articles of clothing and bedding, denied sleep during the day and repeatedly woken by guards throughout the night.

    The military claims Manning’s treatment is standard for “prevention of injury” watch and that he is treated the same as any other detainee at Quantico–but these punitive measures are clearly designed to break his spirit.

    Just 24 hours after being informed that he now faces a potential death sentence, Manning was reportedly forced to strip in his cell, and then left naked for more than seven hours overnight. When it came time for his “morning inspection” at 5 a.m., Manning was forced to stand, naked, outside of his cell and submit to inspection. He has had to undergo this humiliation every day since.

    According to lawyer David Coombs [3], Marine spokesperson 1st Lt. Brian Villiard said “the decision to strip him naked every night is for Pfc. Manning’s own protection. Villiard stated that it would be ‘inappropriate’ to explain what prompted these actions.”

    Forcing a prisoner to endure such humiliations and then citing “privacy concerns” to refuse to discuss the reason why is the height of hypocrisy. According to Coombs, however, the latest humiliations for Manning may be punishment for a sarcastic statement he made to his jailors.

    Coombs noted that on March 2, after Manning had been told that his request to be removed from maximum custody and Prevention of Injury (POI) Watch had been denied by the Quantico commander, Manning “inquired of the brig operations officer what he needed to do in order to be downgraded from Maximum custody and POI.” When Manning was then told that there was nothing he could do, according to Coombs:

    Manning then remarked that the POI restrictions were “absurd” and sarcastically stated that if he wanted to harm himself, he could conceivably do so with the elastic waistband of his underwear or with his flip-flops.

    Without consulting any Brig mental health provider, Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes used Pfc. Manning’s sarcastic quip as justification to increase the restrictions imposed upon him under the guise of being concerned that Pfc. Manning was a suicide risk. Pfc. Manning was not, however, placed under the designation of Suicide Risk Watch. This is because Suicide Risk Watch would have required a Brig mental health provider’s recommendation, which the Brig commander did not have….

    While the commander needed the Brig psychiatrist’s recommendation to place Pfc. Manning on Suicide Risk Watch, no such recommendation was needed in order to increase his restrictions under POI Watch…

    Given these circumstances, the decision to strip Pfc. Manning of his clothing every night for an indefinite period of time is clearly punitive in nature. There is no mental health justification for the decision. There is no basis in logic for this decision.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    THE “LOGIC” is only that the daily humiliation of Manning, on top of his already abusive treatment, is designed to make him more malleable to his jailors and to the government–in the same way that the forced nudity of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison was used as a tool of punishment.

    That abuse of detainees, of course, was rightly called out as torture and a war crime–but few are currently speaking out on behalf of Manning, who is being persecuted by the Obama administration.

    Reports suggest that military officials have spent much of the past seven months attempting to link Manning directly to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in an effort to make a case against Assange and WikiLeaks for “conspiracy.” Having been unable to find any link between the two, Manning has become even more of a scapegoat for the government.

    The treatment of Bradley Manning has one purpose and design: to punish and humiliate the young soldier into giving the government what it wants–whether it’s a trumped-up case against WikiLeaks, or his own submission and the breaking of his will.

    As Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald wrote [4]:

    The treatment of Manning is now so repulsive that it even lies beyond what at least some of the most devoted Obama admirers are willing to defend. For instance, UCLA Professor Mark Kleiman–who last year hailed Barack Obama as, and I quote, “the greatest moral leader of our lifetime”–wrote last night: “The United States Army is so concerned about Bradley Manning’s health that it is subjecting him to a regime designed to drive him insane…This is a total disgrace. It shouldn’t be happening in this country. You can’t be unaware of this, Mr. President. Silence gives consent.”

    Greenwald also pointed out [5] that last week, spokesperson Geoff Morrell declared in an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie that the only people concerned about Manning’s treatment were “some on the far left, a couple of Web sites in particular, and one of the shows on this network.”

    As Greenwald noted, that must mean in Morrell’s mind that Amnesty International and Manfred Nowak, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture, are part of that “far left,” since both have expressed concerns about Manning’s treatment. A letter Amnesty sent to Defense Secretary Robert Gates details the criminal nature of what’s happening to Manning:

    [T]he restrictions imposed in Pfc. Manning’s case appear to be unnecessarily harsh and punitive, in view of the fact that he has no history of violence or disciplinary infractions and that he is a pre-trial detainee not yet convicted of any offense.

    The conditions under which Pfc. Manning is held appear to breach the USA’s obligations under international standards and treaties, including Article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the USA ratified in 1992 and which states that “all persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.”…

    The harsh conditions imposed on Pfc. Manning also undermine the principle of the presumption of innocence, which should be taken into account in the treatment of any person under arrest or awaiting trial. We are concerned that the effects of isolation and prolonged cellular confinement–which evidence suggests can cause psychological impairment, including depression, anxiety and loss of concentration–may, further, undermine his ability to assist in his defense and thus his right to a fair trial.

    Yet while the conditions Manning is being subjected to have been widely reported, few reporters or media outlets have been willing to call out the Obama administration and the military for what amounts to torture of Manning. As Greenwald added:

    [J]ust fathom the contrived, shrieking uproar from opportunistic Democratic politicians and their loyalists if it had been George Bush and Dick Cheney–on U.S. soil–subjecting a whistle-blowing member of the U.S. military to these repressive conditions without being convicted of anything, charging him with a capital offense that statutorily carries the death penalty, and then forcing him to remain nude every night and stand naked for inspection outside his cell. Feigning concern over detainee abuse for partisan gain is only slightly less repellent than the treatment to which Manning is being subjected.

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    What you can do
    Manning’s supporters–including members of the Bradley Manning Support Network, Veterans for Peace, Courage to Resist, CodePink and others–will rally at the Quantico Marine Base in Virginia on March 20 at 2 p.m. [6] to protest his treatment. Courage to Resist is organizing a bus to the event from Washington, D.C. [7]

    Visit the Bradley Manning Support Network [8] Web site for information and updates on the case or to sign a petition in support of Manning’s release. You can also donate [9] to the Bradley Manning legal defense fund.

  18. says

    I’ll probably get totally flamed for this, but I am on the fence about how I feel. On one hand, torture is never the way to go, and even if this does not officially fall under the category of “torture,” whatever its definition is, I think it certainly surpasses the bounds of human decency.

    But I am not convinced that what Manning did was right. I think our troops overseas have it tough enough without this kind of information being leaked out there that could further stoke the already burning fires of hatred toward Americans in the Middle East. Should this information have been brought to light? Maybe, but I question the way it was done. How else could it have been done? I don’t know, but I don’t think there is a 100% correct answer in this case.

  19. X says

    America cannot be excused from moral standards just because it’s America. It tortures people, bans gays from all ends of society including in its own military that protects it, allows institutionalized inequality of gays, and all of a sudden it’s so shocked that people are calling it out?! When will America actually be the *real* America that protects liberty and justice for all? I’m so sick of waiting justice, and I’m sick of the people in power keeping down anyone who points out their problems!

  20. Bob R says

    America, where committing war crimes goes uninvestigated, uncharged and unpunished. In some cases those who advocated or approved torture are awarded medals of freedom or promoted. America, where someone dares to expose the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity, are imprisoned, tortured (sleep deprivation and being forced to remain naked and stand before other prisoners and guards naked is a form of torture). Those who defend this treatment should be forced to undergo it for just a week, I’ll wager their tunes will change.

    The world now clearly sees what America has become and Obama is little better than Bush in exercising an imperial Presidency. Obama should be charged with war crimes and abetting those that have committed war crimes. He should be held under the same conditions as Manning. And, as far as I’m concerned Manning’s sexuality is irrelevant. This is wrong and wicked and evil and unacceptable in a civilized country. The President is despicable and a coward.

    If Americans, as one poster noted, are hated in the Middle East, we have earned every ounce of that hatred by our actions. We are there to steal the oil. We have killed, maimed and tortured thousands, if not millions of innocent men, women and children in our quest for empire and continue to do so. We are as brutal as any fascist army has been.

    @OBAMA IS A WAR CRIMINAL- thank you for posting the facts of this case. Sadly, therte are too many Obamabots that are willing to accept criminal actions from Obama that they decried when Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld did likewise. Yes, in my mind Obama is a war criminal, as well as a coward. He certainly has proven he is no leader and not deserving of any “Peace” prize. The awarding of that prize to Obama will be forever recorded as a gross error and has diminished the prize greatly.

  21. dms says

    This is pretty simple to me. Anyone who aids the enemy, in this case terrorists, is no better than the terrorists themselves. In some ways worse, because he was in a position of trust and betrayed that trust. If this is the modern version of tarring and feathering, so be it.

    And for those of you who hate obama, you are just as scary as sarah palin. Overly paranoid, chicken little hysterics who actually prefer to live in fear and wallow in conspiracy theories because it makes your lives more interesting.

    Do you really think mccain would have been better?

    Do you honestly think we should get involved in Libya?!!!!

    Didn’t getting involved in Afghanistan and Iraq teach you people anything?

    I think Obama is spot on in dealing with Libya, I think this guy is a crybaby ass wipe for exposing classified documents and I wish the hell we would get out of Afghanistan and frankly the whole middle east, get ourselves more reliant on creating our own energy, forget about bending over backwards to protect israel.

  22. FunMe says

    More of the same.

    I voted for a DINO (Democrat In Name Only) and we are seeing someone be like bush, maybe even worse.

    Karma. That’s all I can say.
    :-{

  23. data_never_worked says

    somebody please loan our current president a backbone….he’s told everything is ok and he just takes it for face value?
    I would love to be first in line to pull the trigger on this traitor AFTER he is tried and convicted of his crimes.but he hasn’t even been scheduled for trial yet….this is just un-American.

    the scum at gito are being treated better than he is.

  24. Bob R says

    @DMS: This is pretty simple to you because you probably have a very simple mind. I find the entire situation very complex. Sorry you don’t seem to hold the same contempt for Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, traitors all, who exposed a covert CIA operative for political gain, and lied us into an unnecessary war but label a whistle-blower, Manning, who you say aided and abetted the “enemy” by exposing American war crimes a traitor. Until convicted, isn’t there a presumption of innocence? If Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld hadn’t started the war in Iraq, Manning wouldn’t be where he is today. To some he may be a traitor, just like all those who questioned the Bush crimes of torture were called traitors. To others, he’s a hero. All a matter of perception I guess.

    Do I think McCain would have been worse than Obama? Yes, probably. It’s a shame that we’re so often forced to decide between two turds hoping to get the one who will stink less. And yes, I have come to hate Obama, because he’s turned out to be just another liar and fraud on so many levels. I no longer trust him. I no longer believe anything he says. I supported him, worked for his campaign and voted for him. An error I don’t think my conscience will permit me to repeat in 2012.

    Nor do I live in fear. I live in disgust and despair over what my country has become. I served my country in Vietnam and put my life on the line. But saying that, I must admit that if I knew then what I know now, I’d be a citizen of Canada, or France, or Spain, but not the US.

    “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.” –Carl Schurz.

    Obama was elected with a mandate to set this country right. So far, he has failed miserably. He’s shown little leadership and no courage. In almost every instance he has shown he’d rather switch than fight. I have lost hope that he will be anything more than another political hack. I support Bradley Manning.

  25. terryp says

    Bob R thank you for your words, please don’t
    dispair.Your words give us curage to carry on. Your loved, at least by me. Together we
    can overcome oppossion. Love of liberty should give us strength. Don’t give up ever. Remember when we were young boys? That
    little guy inside us, that pulled us through. I wish we could give us a hug.

  26. Chris DaChocolatebearcub says

    OH WELL Obama these queens are NOT voting for you after all you didn’t anything for them and this has pushed them over the top.

    RE-CAST Hillary Clinton. I wonder how she feels about it and your reaction to that?..
    OH WAIT She can do no wrong!

  27. Kyle Sullivan says

    “SurPRISE, surPRISE, surPRISE!” He’s sounding more and more like Gomer Pyle, but without the moral standing or human decency.

    And I really do mean that I am NOT surprised.

  28. Bilitis says

    @LincolnLounger
    The real traitors are the people who support slaughter in order to steal natural resources from other peoples. Whistleblowers and the people who help them are to be applauded. This vile and repellant president should stand trial now in World Court for his support of torture and failure to carry out his responsibilities per the Geneva Convention.

  29. Aethon says

    What surprises me is that Obama defends this after his lovely anti-bullying speech.

    While I would rather have Obama as your president than McCain (or—gasp—Sarah Palin), this is a big let down to know that such evil is still going on.

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