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Post time 2010-12-24 08:45:49 |Display all floors

UN to investigate treatment of jailed leaks suspect Bradley Manning

Office of rapporteur on torture confirms it is looking into complaint made by Manning supporter

Ewen MacAskill in Washington

The Guardian, Thursday 23 December 2010

Bradley Manning was charged in July with leaking classified material related to WikiLeaks. Photograph: AP The United Nations is investigating a complaint on behalf of Bradley Manning that he is being mistreated while held since May in US Marine Corps custody pending trial. The army private is charged with the unauthorised use and disclosure of classified information, material related to the WikiLeaks, and faces a court martial sometime in 2011.

The office of Manfred Nowak, special rapporteur on torture based in Geneva, received the complaint from a Manning supporter; his office confirmed that it was being looked into. Manning's supporters say that he is in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day; this could be construed as a form of torture. This month visitors reported that his mental and physical health was deteriorating.

The Pentagon denies the former intelligence analyst is mistreated, saying he is treated the same as other prisoners at Quantico, Virginia, is able to exercise, and has access to newspapers and visitors.

He was charged in July with leaking classified material including video posted by WikiLeaks of a 2007 US attack in Baghdad by a Apache helicopter that killed a Reuters news photographer and his driver. He is also suspected of leaking other material to the website, which is posting more than 250,000 secret state department cables. Manning has not commented on whether he is the source.

In an interview with MSNBC, Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, described Manning as a political prisoner and called on human rights organisations to investigate.

Nowak, an Austrian rights lawyer, has been involved in cases related to the Balkans, Guantánamo Bay, Iraq and China.
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Post time 2010-12-24 11:03:12 |Display all floors
Remember the ROSENBERGS....This guy will be executed
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Post time 2010-12-25 00:07:02 |Display all floors

'Inhumane' treatment for US soldier in WikiLeaks case

'Inhumane' treatment for US soldier in WikiLeaks case

– Thu Dec 23, 11:48 pm ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Months of "inhumane" solitary confinement are taking a toll on the US Army private suspected of passing secret government files to WikiLeaks, one of his supporters said after paying him a visit.

"It has become obvious to me that (Bradley) Manning's physical and mental well-being are deteriorating," David House wrote on the blog Firedoglake, recounting a visit to the military brig where the accused soldier is being held.

"It's become increasingly clear that the severe, inhumane conditions of his detention are wearing on Manning," he wrote.

Held at a military brig in Virginia at the Quantico Marine base since July, Manning, 23, has been placed under a maximum security regimen because authorities say his escape would pose a risk to national security.

Under the strict rules, Manning is allowed out of his cell for only one hour a day for exercise outside or at an indoor gym, military officers say.

But House said the Pentagon's description of conditions was contradicted by what he learned from Manning.

"He has not been outside or into the brig yard for either recreation nor exercises in four full weeks," House said.

"When told of the Pentagon's statement that he indeed receives exercise, Manning's reply was that he is able to exercise insofar as walking in chains is a form of exercise," he wrote.

As a "precaution," prison authorities have decided not to issue Manning cotton sheets and instead have provided two blankets and a pillow made of material that cannot be torn into pieces.

Manning told his visitor that "his blankets are similar in weight and heft to lead aprons used in X-ray laboratories," House said.

The army soldier was under a "Prevention of Injury" order that was the cause of some of the more strict conditions, House said, even though Manning allegedly had been cleared by a military psychologist.

"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," he wrote.

The Pentagon has rejected allegations Manning is suffering from any abuse and insists he is being treated in the same way as other inmates under the "maximum custody" regime.

The WikiLeaks website has yet to disclose its source for a massive trove of classified US military and diplomatic documents published in recent months, but suspicion has focused on Manning, who worked as a low-ranking army intelligence analyst in Iraq.

Manning was arrested in May and US authorities have yet to say when he will be put on trial on charges of violating federal criminal and military law, including transmitting classified information to a third party.

If found guilty, Manning faces up to 52 years in prison.
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Post time 2010-12-29 08:05:28 |Display all floors

The Forgotten One: Bradley Manning

26.12.2010 07:27

There has been much ado about Julian Assange, and that is well and good. It is about time that government officials be exposed for the lying sneaks, backstabbers and thieves they are. However, it all started with a soldier seeing a shocking attack and deciding to do something.

Throughout the decades since the Great Patriotic War, we have been shown the images of the Nuremberg Tribunal, wondering about what kind of men are soldiers who blindly follow orders, never questioning them, no matter how evil or immoral they are. The words of the prosecutors expressed this concern, as did the final verdicts.

Learn from history, or you are doomed to repeat it. Smugly, the west moved on, confident the message had been delivered to everyone but themselves. A solider does not blindly follow orders.

However, things haven't changed. There are still soldiers going to war, committing heinous crimes in the name of following orders, see Abu Ghraib, or just willingly committing them while their comrades either join in with relish or look on stupidly.

Then there is Bradley Manning. What a campaign of hate and vengeance is being waged against him. I doubt there is any bad name in the book he hasn't been called by countrymen or the mainstream corporate media, beginning with traitor.

Is Bradley Manning a traitor? Or is the soldier in the field who blindly follows orders, who commits war crimes gladly and without hesitation the traitor? Which man does more harm to his country? The one that sees wrong and tries to expose it or the wrongdoer who brings shame and hatred on his country as well as the eternal cries of innocent blood?

As a Bradley Manning support site says, "exposing war crimes is not a crime." In fact, it is the duty of every moral individual, a patriotic duty in fact. He had a reasonable belief that war crimes were being covered up and took action based on a crisis of conscience. This is, unfortunately, a seemingly rare thing in today's "be all you can be," video game, shoot 'em up, bomb them to the stone age, mercenary for hire U.S. military.

Inhumane Living Conditions

Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial in solitary confinement for over 200 days. He is being held in the "brig" at the Quantico, Virginia Marine Corps Base in inhumane conditions, with severe restrictions on his ability to exercise, cannot communicate with anyone save one exception, or even sleep properly.

His lawyer is quoted as saying:

"PFC Manning is held in his cell for approximately 23 hours a day. He is not allowed to have a pillow or sheets. However, he is given access to two blankets and has recently been given a new mattress that has a built-in pillow.

He is not allowed to have any personal items in his cell.

He is prevented from exercising in his cell. If he attempts to do push-ups, sit-ups, or any other form of exercise he will be forced to stop. He does receive one hour of "exercise" outside of his cell daily. He is taken to an empty room and only allowed to walk. PFC Manning normally just walks figure eights in the room for the entire hour. If he indicates that he no longer feels like walking, he is immediately returned to his cell.

When PFC Manning goes to sleep, he is required to strip down to his boxer shorts and surrender his clothing to the guards. His clothing is returned to him the next morning."

The only person allowed to speak to him (twice a month) has been David House, who vividly described the inconsistencies in the claims regarding Manning's treatment as a prisoner. His ultimate conclusion was that based on his own personal observation: Manning's physical and mental health have deteriorated considerably.

Manning told House 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 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 (Prevention of Injury) order.

Manning also told House 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. He is confined to his cell 23 hours a day, and when he is allowed to see television, he cannot see any sort of news programs. Manning also related that he is not allowed any newspapers, contrary to claims that he has access.

Manning has not been convicted of any crime. The ridiculous restrictions of his basic rights to sleep, exercise and communication under the Prevention of Injury order are unnecessary and should be lifted immediately.


Bradley Manning was born in Crescent, Oklahoma on December 17, 1987. His parents are divorced, his mother lives in Wales, his father in Oklahoma. The parents met in Wales while his father was stationed there and Bradley spent his first years there. Manning entered the Army as a private in October 2007. His job in the army was as an intelligence analyst assigned to a support battalion with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at Contingency Operating Station Hammer, Iraq.

The corporate media is portraying him as someone "despondent" who "didn't fit in" during his school years and was "going through a break up" when he acted as a whistle blower on his job.

His uncle, Kevin Fox, said the arrest and imprisonment in a military jail had taken its toll on his mother Susan, who lives in Haverfordwest. "She hasn't been well," he said, adding that if Mr. Manning had leaked the documents: "I think the boy did the right thing."

Another family member said, "Some people are saying that Bradley was a trouble-maker, but he was anything but. He was just an introverted kid who loved computers and was fired up politically."

Reportedly, if Manning felt strongly about something, he had no problem speaking up loudly to protest. There are other things being said about Manning, but they will not be repeated here since they are completely unsubstantiated.

His Words

In one message to a contact, Manning said: "I'm exhausted . . . in desperation to get somewhere in life . . . I joined the army . . . and that's proven to be a disaster now."

In an apparent swipe at the army, he also wrote: "Bradley Manning is not a piece of equipment," and quoted a joke about "military intelligence" being an oxymoron.

Bradley Manning also allegedly told a contact that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning, and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format to the public . . . everywhere there's a US post . . . there's a diplomatic scandal that will be revealed."

It's "important that it gets out . . . I feel, for some bizarre reason . . . it might actually change something," he said. He expressed a wish that the release of the information would cause large-scale scandals and lead to "worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms."

There is supposed to be a Facebook page, however, it is being blocked from public view.

Only "Worthy" Lives Count

The big complaint with the entire WikiLeaks situation is that it is "putting lives at risk." One might ask, whose lives? The lives of war criminals, snitches and rotten politicians?

One might rightly say it will hopefully save lives by throwing a wrench into the war machine and grinding it to a halt...the lives of those countless innocent civilians whose lives have been destroyed by war, bombs, rape and terrorism.

It's a matter of which lives are WORTHY lives, according to the Evil Empire, just like when they claimed the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki SAVED lives! No doubt about it, this thinking reflects every bit as much of a fascist, racist, Nazi mentality as anything to come out of Hitler or Mein Kampf.

Yes, indeed, it might and should change something, Bradley, namely the seeming impunity with which the United States and selected friends commit crimes against humanity and nothing happens as a result.

There is no doubt that the United States of America is an Evil Empire, a superpower gone mad. A superpower that flaunts and thumbs its nose at international law. A superpower that seeks to extend and have its national laws obeyed by citizens of the world no matter where they live, throughout the entire planet. Their calls for the extradition of Viktor Bout and Julian Assange have demonstrated that.

Taking Action

The international community now needs to stand together to stop war crimes, to stop war and to support those that have placed themselves in jeopardy in front of the worst monster in the history of the world. The more people who stand in the gap, the less chance each and every one who does so will come to grievous harm.

The international community needs to show officials that they are WATCHING by sending letters, signing petitions and spreading their concerns by networking with others. There cannot be another in-cell murder such as happened to Slobodan Milosevic in order for these criminals to save face in a messy trial that exposes their lack of morals and their heinous crimes.
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Post time 2010-12-29 08:06:24 |Display all floors

See the Bradley Manning Support Network: ... aks-whistle-blower/

Letters and postcards to:

Bradley Manning
c/o Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave #41
Oakland CA 94610

Letters to him are opened, "contraband" discarded and then mailed weekly to Bradley via someone on his approved correspondence list.

Lisa Karpova
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Post time 2011-1-4 16:19:01 |Display all floors

Psychologists protest ‘inhumane, harmful’ treatment of Bradley Manning

By Daniel Tencer
Monday, January 3rd, 2011

A psychologists' group has sent a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates asking him to "rectify the inhumane, harmful, and counterproductive treatment" of the Army private accused of being WikiLeaks' source for the US State Department cables.

In a letter dated Monday, Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR) argued that PFC Bradley Manning, who has been held in solitary confinement at the Marine Corps brig in Quantico for the past five months, may be the victim of political retribution. The group also suggested that the psychological damage Manning may be suffering from spending 23 hours a day alone may ruin his bid for a fair trial.

"History suggests that solitary confinement, rather than being a rational response to a risk, is more often used as a punishment for someone who is considered to be a member of a despised or 'dangerous' group," the letter stated. "In any case, PFC Manning has not been convicted of a crime and, under our system of justice, is at this point presumed to be innocent."

Manning is alleged to have been the source of the 250,000 US State Department cables that WikiLeaks began publishing in late November. He is also alleged to have been the source of the "collateral murder" video that showed civilians and two Reuters reporters being killed in a 2007 US air raid in Baghdad.

Manning's treatment came to light in an article by Salon's Glenn Greenwald last month, prompting many activist groups to speak out in favor of the Army private who has become a folk hero to some and an enemy of the state to others.

According to his lawyer, Manning is not allowed to have personal items in his cell, has no contact with other prisoners, has no access to sheets or a pillow, and is allowed to "exercise" one hour a day, meaning he is allowed to go for a walk. It's all part of a "prevention of injury" order placed on Manning that his defenders say is unnecessary, as he has shown no signs of violent behavior or suicidal tendencies.

While brig officials have defended Manning's treatment as necessary because he is seen as a national security risk, PsySR argued in its letter than "no such putative risk can justify keeping someone not convicted of a crime in conditions likely to cause serious harm to his mental health."

The group cited a long history of research showing that prolonged exposure to solitary confinement can lead to mental breakdown and even suicide.

PsySR also subtly hinted at an ulterior motive for Manning's detention, suggesting that the solitary confinement may be meant to break Manning's spirit so that he agrees to give "false testimony."

"Coercive conditions of detention also increase the likelihood of the prisoner 'cooperating' in order to improve those circumstances, even to the extent of giving false testimony," the letter stated. "Thus, such harsh conditions are counter to the interests of justice."

That appears to be a veiled reference to speculation that the US may want Manning to testify against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whom the US government is reportedly contemplating charging with conspiracy to steal classified documents.

Solitary confinement has been used in US prisons since the 19th century, but has become more prevalent with the rise of for-profit Supermax prisons in recent years. Studies have found that, depending on the prison, anywhere from 0.5 percent of US prisoners to 20 percent of prisoners are kept in 23-hour-a-day solitary confinement.

The PsySR letter notes that the UN Committee Against Torture has expressed concerns about the use of solitary confinement in US prisons, and notes that, unlike Supermax prisoners, Manning has not been convicted of any crime.
As Manning's public profile grows more prominent, activist groups have been organizing to oppose his treatment at Quantico. Anti-war group Code Pink has launched a petition asking for "humane" treatment for the private, while Courage to Resist has organized a defense fund for him.

A group calling itself the Bradley Manning Support Network has launched a blog to keep the public informed of developments in Manning's case. Among the group's advisory board members are filmmaker Michael Moore, activist and former CIA operative Ray McGovern, and Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower behind the Pentagon papers who has compared the plight of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to his own.
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Post time 2011-1-6 12:51:57 |Display all floors
According to the lawyer of Manning, he spends 23 out of every 24 hours completely alone. He is denied exercise or even a pillow and sheets for his bed. Doctors have been dosing him with antidepressants to combat the adverse psychological effects of such an incarceration.

This is shameful considering that Manning is a whistleblower discovering government's secrets of criminal and corrupt acts and then publicizing them to the world not for profit but for triggering discussion and reforms.

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