Bradley Manning | Military | News | Wikileaks

Former Marine Base Commander Testifies He was Worried About Handling of Bradley Manning

Pre-trial hearings have begun in the case of Wikileaks soldier Bradley Manning, with the questioning of the former commander of Quantico marine base in Virginia, the Guardian reports:

ManningDaniel Choike told a pre-trial hearing in Fort Meade, Maryland, that when Manning arrived at the brig on 29 July 2010, having been arrested in Iraq on suspicion of being the source of the massive WikiLeaks dump of state secrets, he informed his superior officer in the Pentagon that in his opinion Quantico was not the right place for the soldier should his detention last long.

"I didn't feel that PFC Manning should be detained more than 90 days in the brig," he said.

In the end, Manning spent nine months at Quantico – three times the maximum Choike thought appropriate. The soldier's treatment there prompted international protests from the UN, Amnesty International and other organisations that likened it to torture.

Choike's admission that he had been aware of problems relating to Manning's incarceration at the Quantico brig came on Tuesday, at the end of an intense first day in the latest pre-trial hearing in the soldier's court martial...

...After about seven hours of questioning, Choike told the judge presiding over the court martial, Colonel Denise Lind, that he had been concerned from the beginning that the brig at Quantico was unprepared for the long-term detention of such a high-profile case as Manning. He said he was worried about dealing with the media, about co-ordination of command and about medical handling of the detainee.

He added that he "constantly" told his superior, Lieutenant General George Flynn, based in the Pentagon, that there were problems with the soldier's prolonged detention in Quantico.

Manning could possibly be questioned in the trial, and it would be the first time he has spoken publicly. He is trying to have the charges against him dropped on account of his pretrial treatment.

And New York mag adds this detail about the recent hearing:

At one point, the guards confiscated Manning's underwear after he allegedly said, "I have everything I need right here to be able to harm myself. The waistband of my underwear can do this," the Associated Press reports. That inspired one of the guards to pen a version of Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham that Manning's attorney David Coombs read aloud in court:

"I can wear them in a box,
I can wear them with a fox,
I can wear them in the day,
I can wear them so I say,
But I can't wear them at night,
My comments gave the staff a fright."

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  1. I am so disgusted over how our own government has handled this case. They have tortured Manning for no reason other then they believe they can get away with it. I hope the guy walks away from this and then sues the US for a poopload of money. BTW, I don't care if he blew the whistle or not, no one should ever been subjected to the horrors this man has been by our own government. Disgusting.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Nov 28, 2012 12:53:00 PM

  2. Military gives dumb kid with history of emotional instability access to classified materials. Kid leaks classified materials (which hardly "blew the whistle" on anything, btw). Military responds by torturing kid for years. Ladies and gentlemen, your government at work!

    Posted by: jd | Nov 28, 2012 1:44:26 PM

  3. Just an appalling situation all-around. Hopefully this charade ends ASAP and Bradley is let go.

    Posted by: Francis | Nov 28, 2012 1:59:10 PM

  4. The government routinely treats convicted criminals the way Manning was treated. The issue here is that Manning hadn't been convicted of anything yet.

    The American people should probably be more outraged about the conditions in prisons operated in our names, but I wish we could find a better cause than a traitor who was inappropriately placed on suicide watch for 3 days.

    Posted by: BABH | Nov 28, 2012 2:04:45 PM

  5. "Traitor" you say. I had no idea he was convicted of any charges. I hear there is a country where people are innocent until proven guilty. It is a shame this did not happen there. I think the place is called the United States of America.

    Posted by: Nigel | Nov 28, 2012 2:25:10 PM

  6. Please note that Manning is not gay. He is transgender. Once again, gay people are getting smeared with the emotional and psychological instability that is prevalent in transgenders.

    This "man" released hundreds of thousands diplomatic cables - without even reading them or knowing what was in them. He thus undermined diplomacy, the best and only alternative to war as a means of conflict resolution. An attack on diplomacy is an attack on civilization. Although trans activists are mistaken to be "progressive," most are actually very reactionary. Manning is no exception.

    Posted by: James | Nov 28, 2012 2:48:35 PM

  7. Logic fail, Nigel. If I steal something, then I am a thief, whether or not I am ever convicted. "Innocent until proven guilty" is a legal principle, not an ontological one.

    Some folks aren't clear on the facts in this case. ("torturing kid for years"?!? No. Under very close guard for 9 months pre-trial? Yes.) At least read the Wikipedia article. Manning is a self-confessed traitor. He was also treated very badly before trial, and the court will have to decide what to do about that. The fact that he's gay should be irrelevant, yet there's significantly more reflexive support for him on gay media than elsewhere.

    Posted by: BABH | Nov 28, 2012 2:53:41 PM

  8. He confessed to the charges. He's a former member of the military. He showed off his actions online.

    The government and military can hold people on issues involving serious charges without having convicted them. I'm not accusing him of having achieved much, but he messed up. No one else leaked those documents. He filmed himself doing it. That makes any claims to innocence a bit moot. Yes, he should have been treated properly, but he did some stupid things that put at risk the lives of many people.

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 28, 2012 2:55:24 PM

  9. The line between traitor and hero is a thin one, sometimes. Ask Daniel Ellsberg. This case is nothing less than a travesty, and Barack Obama should have his peace prize revoked (for more than just this)

    Posted by: Zell | Nov 28, 2012 2:57:41 PM

  10. Wow just read the Wikipedia article. His trail scheduled for Feb 2013, that is in the future! I will still wait to call him a traitor until his conviction for treason. Just call me old fashioned or say that my logic has failed, but I like the concept of innocent until proven guilty. If you like the concept of guilty before trial then by all means use it when you are being charged with a crime but don't impose it on anyone else.

    Posted by: Nigel | Nov 28, 2012 3:19:08 PM

  11. "I will still wait to call him a traitor until his conviction for treason."

    You may have to wait a while. The actual charge is "aiding the enemy."

    If you think that courts decide the nature of reality, then do you think OJ Simpson never killed anyone? That someone can be a rapist for 15 years, then magically become a non-rapist when they are exonerated by DNA evidence? No, people are free to make their own judgments based on the evidence available to them (which is pretty clear, in this case).

    Posted by: BABH | Nov 28, 2012 3:32:52 PM

  12. @ James,
    Doll, u r the emblem of the LGBT unity! Yikes!

    Posted by: Iban4yesu | Nov 28, 2012 3:55:57 PM

  13. BABH,
    A whistleblower acquiring the evidences of crime against the humanity among others doesn't constitutes a stealing! The notion of such a noble act might be too huge for ur pretty head, though!;-)

    Posted by: Iban4yesu | Nov 28, 2012 4:01:16 PM

  14. I would like to know why he stole and released the cables (having never read them) and why he bragged online. Surely a man in his position would know the consequences. Not only did he have psychological problems such as violence and depression, he had already been reprimanded for posting 3 YouTube videos about his top secret security clearance. I am surprised the military needed him that badly, considering all of his previous bad actions. Its both of their faults. The u.s. didn't heed the warning signs and discharge him and manning was an idiot.

    Posted by: sarah | Nov 28, 2012 4:15:53 PM

  15. Leaking the Collateral Murder video was
    a good and noble thing. Leaking 50 years of diplomatic cables was an appalling betrayal that caused real damage and put real lives at risk. If you do some good things and some bad things, the bad things still count.

    Posted by: BABH | Nov 28, 2012 4:23:05 PM

  16. @ sarah

    Among the so many 'clever' self-interests ("Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room", for example ) which r ruining the world we live in , an "idiot" savant is what we badly need sometimes...

    Posted by: Iban4yesu | Nov 28, 2012 4:45:05 PM

  17. @ BABH ,
    No one's perfect and the bully empire gets its karma, once in a while, for a change,(from an unexpected direction)!
    Surely, I've seen worse. Waaaaaay worse.

    Posted by: Iban4yesu | Nov 28, 2012 5:28:26 PM

  18. The irony is the US spends enormous sums to get exactly the kind of info he made public from other countries. I'm not sure all the cables were made public since the NY Times redacted a lot of them after consulting the CIA. Perhaps other news outlets published them somewhere. I don't recall anything particularly controversial being released, which makes sense since most the stuff marked secret is not really secret, it's just stuff someone would like to later deny exists.

    Posted by: anon | Nov 28, 2012 5:41:33 PM

  19. We say traitor like it makes things so much worse. What's the difference between Bradley Manning and Julian Assange? Just the country where they were born. They both released government secrets. There's no need to bandy around the word "traitor." It wasn't Bradley Manning's choice to be born in this country. I fail to see how his U.S. Citizenship makes it so much worse of a crime.

    If he were never a red-blooded American patriot to begin with, could he still be considered a "traitor?"

    Posted by: Eric | Nov 28, 2012 7:26:29 PM

  20. The claim that he confessed to the charges appears to be misleading - he did not sign a confession. He told some guy named "Lamo" he was "confessing" something (to Lamo), but there is always a possibility that Manning was simply a wise guy and wanted to see how much Lamo would believe. If Manning had been fooling Lamo, Lamo could have told someone else that he could release the documents because they now had the perfect victim to pin it on.

    The more convincing evidence against Manning is what they found on his computer and various flash drives lying around.

    Posted by: Bill | Nov 28, 2012 7:40:02 PM

  21. Eric, Manning wasn't just a U.S. citizen. He chose to serve in the U.S. military and took an oath to support and defend the United States. Manning betrayed the trust that he was given - that he voluntarily asked to be given. Call it what you like: betrayal, treachery, treason. Does that make it worse? I guess it depends on whether you think loyalty and duty are important, and whether you think breaches of them are wrong.

    From the U.S. government's point of view (not necessarily mine), the word for Assange is simpler: "enemy."

    Posted by: BABH | Nov 28, 2012 9:09:30 PM

  22. He's a member of our LGBT community. He's one of our people.

    An attack on his liberty, is an attack on all of us. I put our people before any government,cause, or religion.

    Posted by: Case Crum | Nov 29, 2012 3:06:33 AM

  23. As a former army 'translator' I fell under the same command as PFC Manning. Both he and I and thousands of other military members had to sign multiple forms, make 'under oath statements' as to how we might deal with breaks in security or our handling of classified documents. Pfc Manning, like many of the translators/crptologists and intell personel are gay. It seems our abilities with language, pattern identification and nuance are second to none. This was evident when essentially my entire basic company was gay, excepting a handful of str8 guys out of their league. Pfc Manning did far more then release confidential and secret materials, he broke trust with himself, the men and women he had also sworn to protect and defend, and what knocked me out, all for some Australian who sought only material for his own agrandizment. Bradley confessed, knowing what the charges could well be, he bet on the politics of destruction to provide cover for him. I have one question, what about all of us he exposed? The men and women who work long and hard to protect all Americans, even if we are primarily members of the LGBT community? Seems we were disposable to Pfc Manning.

    Posted by: marc | Nov 29, 2012 10:43:35 AM

  24. The *Marines think that they defend the USA, while actually they have helped to destroy it:
    "The US is losing even a bigger war at home where a veteran dies by suicide every 80 minutes."

    The types of crimes committed by the fbi/cia/dod,etc., as I have witnessed over the course of my lifetime are not new to mankind; indeed, for as long as man has walked on the face of the earth he has been confronted with his own savagery and inhumanity to fellow man. War has become legal; fbi/cia covert intelligence operations (including mass murder and other assassinations & tortures) are well known by many but never spoken about in polite conversations because they are also legal by awful custom. Thus, the end game for man is now being shaped by the most barbaric feature of his character: man's criminal urge to destroy one another for myriad purposes. Mark Twain perhaps captured this truth as he said,

    " A crime preserved in a thousand centuries ceases to be a crime, and becomes a virtue. This is the law of custom, and custom supersedes all other forms of law."

    The recent wars are paid for largely by the lives of (and taxed on the backs of) the poor .

    Send the senators (like Lindsey Graham, et al) into battle on the front lines to remove the hidden bombs and see how long the war would last.
    Other candidates for the proposed congressional bomb squad battalion are found in the marble hallways of Congress and specifically from here:

    War not worth fighting by a USA not worth defending

    The awful irony of our time is that the three official branches of government are now overthrown by the unofficial fourth branch, Administrative Agencies.






    *The fbi remove the data on brain entrainment from the internet; here is the former link to the site which shows the US Marines use of the torture tool:

    Posted by: geral | Nov 30, 2012 12:10:42 PM

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