Bradley Manning’s Pre-Trial Punishments May Save Him From Worse

ManningThe miseries suffered by Bradley Manning, the gay Army private and Wikileaker, are well documented. After his imprisonment at Quantico, he was kept in soul-killing isolation, restricted to a 6×8 cell for 23 or 24 hours per day, barred from laying on his rack or leaning against walls during his waking hours, denied toilet paper, and forced to strip naked during cell inspections. Juan Mendez, the United Nation's "special rapporteur" on torture, decreed Manning's treatment "cruel and inhuman."

Manning may yet benefit from his difficulties in the brig. The Guardian reports that Manning's civilian lawyer, David Coombs, has filed an Article 13 motion claiming Manning was cruelly, inhumanely, and illegally punished before he'd been convicted of anything. (Manning still hasn't been convicted of anything.) From Coombs's website:

The Defense is requesting the Court to dismiss all charges with prejudice owing to the illegal pretrial punishment PFC Manning was subjected to in violation of Article 13, UCMJ and the Fifth and Eighth Amendments to the United States Constitution. 

The Guardian explains Article 13 like so:

The defence motion is brought under Article 13 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It states that "no person, while being held for trial, may be subjected to punishment or penalty other than arrest or confinement upon the charges pending against him, nor shall the arrest or confinement imposed upon him be any more rigorous than the circumstances required to insure his presence."

Under Article 13, if a judge decides that a member of the armed forces has been illegally punished before trial, he can grant the prisoner credit on the amount of time they have already served in custody, or can even dismiss all charges outright.


  1. Andy says

    He wasn’t allowed to lie down? He had to stand all day? So he likes mischief. He was a young 23. He got in over his head. The punishment definitely does not fit the crime in this case.

  2. NeverEclipsed81 says

    Good God! Do we even do that to mass murderers?! I still don’t have a good context to exactly what Manning did because I’ve never understood why the punishment is so severe.

  3. Alex Parrish says

    At the very least — the charges should be dismissed with prejudice. Someone needs to be held accountable for his torture — his cruel and inhumane punishment even though he has not been convicted — or even tried for a crime. This is UN-AMERICAN and flies in the face of all justice. The terrorists have won!

  4. DannyEastVillage says

    @ Alex Parrish: It’s not the terrorists that have won: it’s the corporatists who have…oh-sorry–never mind.

  5. UStakesinnocentlives says

    Strange that so many American acts are claimed to be unamerican.

    When people hire out to kill strangers on the other side of the world, urinate on their bodies, pretend that “collateral damage” is insignificant, and expect to be honored in any way, any nation that so honors them is seriously, defectively aberrant. The US claim to be different than Hitler’s Germany is clearly worthy of doubt.

    The US internal spying on its citizens is increasing, and its now decade-long enshrinement of laws in direct contravention of its own Constitutional human rights protection, its unremitting quest for revenge (reflected in the mentality of its citizens, all show a problematic rogue empire. Its internal destruction of its environment, its eager destruction of the world’s climate, and its blind self-aggrandizement and denial of responsibility reflect the aberrant psychology of its citizens as much as the previous most horrendous nations with which it and its citizens claim to differ.
    The question is not who won, but who in reality the terrorists are.

  6. max says

    Are we supposed to care about this traitor because he’s gay. ? I ish they would hurry up and try/convict him and throw him in the same cell as John Walker Lindh so they can rot together. Gay or not he made a choice to betray his country. The military needs to try him now

  7. says

    This is another case where the imprisoned should have never been imprisoned and it is one big black eye (of many) the U.S. keeps slapping itself with. As an American citizen I am appalled that the U.S. military would go to such lengths and the adage that you are innocent until proven guilty is no longer the reality in America. I’m disgusted by this whole situation. Let the guy go.

  8. Tommy says

    Can someone help me out? I keep hearing my family say that this guy is a traitor to America and stuff but I’ve been looking real hard and I can’t find anything in what he leaked that actually put American people in danger. I might be totally wrong but it seems more like he exposed things that were already pretty unAmerican you know?

  9. Hue-Man says

    Ignore the thousands of “brown” people rounded up immediately after 9/11 and held unlawfully and then “disappeared”. Look the other way as Bush and Cheney tortured people to death. Don’t think about the torture of Manning under the so-called “liberal” Obama administration.

    But these people don’t need protection, you say! Remember, whatever they can do to these people they can do to you – torture, illegal arrest and detention, rendition. In a country of laws, punishment in accord with the law is meted out AFTER a court has found guilt, not before.

  10. Icebloo says

    That’s what you get for revealing the truth about the military and the government’s bad behavior !

    It’s all corrupt.

    I hope this guy gets a few million dollars payout !

  11. Tommy says

    Max can you tell me what was specifically traitorous in what he did? I can’t find anything.

  12. says

    Whatever he did, he’s certainly paid enough for it. Sadly, though, we have a ‘prison fetish’ in this country that all too easily dismisses the cruelty of things like continuous solitary confinement (aka torture) and disregards things like holding people for *years* without trying them for their purported crime (aka blatantly violating the constitution, to say nothing of the many other laws and military regulations that violates).

    Personally, I think the release of those documents was whistle-blowing, pure and simple, and that’s not against the law. Moreover, most of the documents he (allegedly) released were at the minimal levels of confidentiality and much of it shouldn’t have been kept secret to begin with — far too much is kept secret in this government, much of it with no knowledge that’s critical to protect for security reasons.

  13. Diogenes says

    Traitorous or not, Manning is not guilty of anything until declared so by a court. His treatment is extreme to say the least.

  14. Drew says

    I’m not going to get into the traitor/patriot argument (and there is one), but, seriously, please stop calling Bradley Manning gay! GID and homosexuality are not mutually inclusive.

  15. "The Gay" says

    Of course you won’t get into THAT argument, that data security was SO incompetent that he could even access what he did, and nobody else was punished for THAT blatant widespread incompetence, and Manning is just a big scapegoat for the scumbag upper brass is COMPLEATLY lost on you.

    So a man isn’t “gay” if he’s not a screaming fagot, I get it..

    You’re a true POS.

  16. LincolnLounger says

    Boo hoo hoo. Poor Bradley Manning. A disgusting traitor who bragged about his traitorous acts that were so egregious that a true “whistle blower” blew the whistle on Bradley Manning.

    The United States military is not a place for “whistle blowers”. Mr. Manning knew the rules when he VOLUNTARILY signed up. He betrayed his country and celebrated the fact.

    The hottest ring in hell burns for this traitor. The fact that his actions are excused by some because he is allegedly gay turns my stomach. Just the kind of individual that advances our collective cause.

  17. ratbastard says

    1) Yes, his treatment is harsh. Is it torture? Meh, don’t know. What’s really going on is he’s being ‘softened’ up for the trial. I would question why his trial is taking so long.

    2) Manning did a VERY foolish thing. He’s paying the price.

  18. Sylvatica says

    Congratulations at winning over Jason as being the biggest assh**le on Towleroad.

  19. MaryM says

    Why hasn’t he been tried yet?

    Oh sorry – I forgot – the US is no longer a democracy.

  20. "The Gay" says

    Who needs a trial !

    It’s America, you can be locked-up with no legal recourse.

    You can “disappear” at the government’s whim.

    Apologists for this, I have no respect for them, THEY are the traitors to liberty and justice.

  21. ratbastard says

    What about Pollard?

    Why does Israel spy and steal so much from the U.S.? How does it get away with it? Pollard and people like him should be executed.

    Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m ‘anti-semitic’. Please.

  22. Tommy says

    I still don’t understand what he did that was traitorous and unAmerican! Can those of you who do please help me figure it out? Just tell me the things he did that put America at risk.

  23. "The Gay" says

    He had the NERVE to do the entire incompetent military IT and security infrastructure a HUGE favor, by showing how stunningly incompetently their information and security systems were.

    Thousands of chickencrap brass are sleeping easier because of what he did, because the focus is off them and their irresponsibility and incompetency. THEY’LL still retire with full benefits and honorable discharges. THEY will have entirely clear consciouses, as Manning is tortured, and eventually, when they get around to it, found guilty in a kangaroo court.

    And all the fake “patriots” and clones will mouth the inane platitudes, as usual.

  24. Solomon says

    I’m really glad that you’re covering Bradley Manning. He has been getting too little corporate media coverage.

  25. Drew says

    @”THE GAY”: How about paying attention before you put your foot so far in your mouth that you can rim yourself in the process?
    1) The traitor/patriot argument is not relivant to the comment I made.
    2) GID = Gender Identity Disorder = Bradley Manning has said that he felt more like a female than a male. If you’re identifying as female, and sleeping with men, guess what, NOT GAY. Applying the label “gay” to him is inaccurate and simply being used as an easy hook.
    3) Next time, perhaps you might want to know what someone ACTUALLY thinks about a situation before you decide to pummel them with every single thing you can think of. For the record:

  26. Dianne says

    And America wonders why it is so hated and despised by the rest of the Western World – you drag us, the “allies” in to your illegal wars, you run roughshod over the entire world to meet your own selfish ends, you are bigots, blaggards and selfish buffoons who bring about world financial crisis, wars and give rise to the Occupy Movement.

    USA needs to get a grip on itself because the world loathes it more and more with the passing of every day, and what you’re doing to this young man – every single one of you who’s responsible for failing him will fry along with GWB for what he did, just as y’all deserve to.

    Stay away from Australia, we’re very anti “Spetic-Tank” over here!!!