Stop The Torture of Pvt. Bradley Manning

 

Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, (rafflaw), Guest Blogger

 

The nightmare started back in July of 2010.  Pvt. Bradley Manning was arrested and detained in the Brig at the Quantico Marine Base on allegations that he stole and then leaked classified documents to Wikileaks.  The conditions that Pvt. Manning has been held under have been outrageous from the start. He has suffered shackling, solitary confinement and he has not been allowed normal contact with visitors and the outside world.  His visitors have been denied access to him and now the latest humiliating tactic being used by the Department of Defense is to force Pvt. Manning to strip naked in his cell for hours! 

“All Americans should be horrified and outraged by yesterday’s revelations that PFC Bradley Manning, already being held under Maximum Security and a Prevention of Injury (POI) order, has now been forced to spend seven hours each night and morning stripped naked:  Last night, PFC Manning was inexplicably stripped of all clothing by the Quantico Brig. He remained in his cell, naked, for the next seven hours. At 5:00 a.m., the Brig sounded the wake-up call for the detainees. At this point, PFC Manning was forced to stand naked at the front of his cell.  The Duty Brig Supervisor (DBS) arrived shortly after 5:00 a.m. When he arrived, PFC Manning was called to attention. The DBS walked through the facility to conduct his detainee count. Afterwards, PFC Manning was told to sit on his bed. About ten minutes later, a guard came to his cell to return his clothing.” ‘ Firedoglake   How can a detainee who has not been convicted of anything and has been an exemplary prisoner be subjected to this kind of treatment?  It appears that this latest degrading treatment is in response to a remark made by Manning when his Article 138 request to be removed from the suicide watch was denied.   David E. Combs, Esq.  

‘“Brig officials notified defense lawyers that mental health providers were not consulted in deciding to strip manning of his clothes.  “This type of degrading treatment is inexcusable and without justification. It is an embarrassment to our military justice system and should not be tolerated,” Coombs said. “No other detainee at the Brig is forced to endure this type of isolation and humiliation.”’  RawStory   We have a situation where the United State government has been holding a prisoner who has only recently been charged with leaking classified documents and more recently the charges were amended to add in a charge of “aiding the enemy”.  This is not some convicted killer that requires some tougher sanctions to keep him under control.  This is a soldier who has been a model prisoner who just wants to be treated according to the law and according to normal military procedures. 

Didn’t President Obama make it a campaign issue that he considered the Bush interrogation methods as torture and that those methods were illegal and that they would not be continued under his administration?  I realize that the claim has been made that those methods have been outlawed at Gitmo, but I wonder why they haven’t been outlawed at Quantico?  If Pvt. Manning is guilty of leaking classified documents, then prove it in a trial or court-martial. 

Is there another reason why Manning has been the recipient of these harsh measures?  Could the Obama Administration and the Department of Defense just be embarrassed that the leaked documents actually showed that they had been lying to the American people by taking official steps to prevent Bush-era torture from being investigated internationally?  Anyone who reads about the horrible treatment that Private Manning has been receiving from our government, should be ashamed and outraged.  What are we going to do about it?

Additional Sources:  Emptywheel

Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, (rafflaw), Guest Blogger

157 thoughts on “Stop The Torture of Pvt. Bradley Manning

  1. Sexual Sadist Denise Barnes Strips Bradley Manning Naked Over Sarcastic Quip
    By: Jane Hamsher Saturday March 5, 2011 10:27 am

    Bradley Manning civilian clothesBradley Manning’s attorney, David Coombs, writes about the true reason Bradley Manning is being stripped each night and forced to report naked each morning in the same way prisoners were tortured at Abu Graib:

    http://firedoglake.com/

  2. Thanks for doing a post on Bradley Manning!

    Bradley Manning’s forced nudity to occur daily
    By Glenn Greenwald
    (3/5/2011)
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/03/05/manning/index.html

    Excerpt:
    To follow-up on yesterday’s observations about the prolonged forced nudity to which Bradley Manning has been subjected the last two days: brig officials now confirm to The New York Times that Manning will be forced to be nude every night from now on for the indefinite future — not only when he sleeps, but also when he stands outside his cell for morning inspection along with the other brig detainees. They claim that it is being done “as a ‘precautionary measure’ to prevent him from injuring himself.”

    Has anyone before successfully committed suicide using a pair of briefs — especially when under constant video and in-person monitoring? There’s no underwear that can be issued that is useless for killing oneself? And if this is truly such a threat, why isn’t he on “suicide watch” (the NYT article confirms he’s not)? And why is this restriction confined to the night; can’t he also off himself using his briefs during the day?

    *****
    Bradley Manning could face death: For what?
    By Glenn Greenwald
    (3/3/2011)
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/03/03/manning/index.html

  3. Hey, does anybody remember way back when the fact that the Bush Regime tortured people came to light? People kept saying that if we let the government torture foreign nationals it will lead to them torturing U.S. citizens?

    Sometimes being right sucks.

  4. rafflaw,

    Thanks for keeping up on this horrific story! If enough people keep screaming there’s a chance to stop this. Gyges, you are right.

  5. Elaine,

    I was assured that they would only use those techniques on enemy combatants. Since this guy isn’t the enemy, and his alleged crime was non-violent it must be just plain torture.

  6. Why not put him in general population so some nut case can break a broom stick off in his ass so you bleading heart liberal, dope smoking hippies would have something to really cry about. I hope they put him to death after they find him guilty of treason during a war…….

  7. Forced nudity and sexual humiliation by government officials is a key feature of a government prepped to commit mass murder and genocide on its own people (democide). When government does this without flinching you can be sure your government, military, and police forces are ready to murder their own in large numbers (absolute power murders).

    Obama is in charge of this. (please note: molesters at the TSA, DHS)

    I wonder why the guy is on suicide watch anyway? It wouldn’t have anything to do with his being tortured by government officials?

    Pay some schmuck to watch him on camera 24/7 and give him some clothes. Even if they are those awful paper exam clothes you wear before the doctor checks you over. In Florida hospitals (where “disturbed” people are held under the Baker Act) the detained individual is observed by security cameras, has hospital clothes on, and hangs out in a room with an open door (observable) to medical personnel at all times.

    Put him in a room with a nurses desk just outside it. Have it staffed 24/7.

    Rafflaw asks what can we do about this?

    Not much when our leaders are lawless, have militarized our local police, ask us to spy on each other at Wal Mart, sexually molest us at transport hubs, and demonize those devoted to the Constitution. Democrats are in charge of totalitarian police-state and they like it real well. In my day leftists loathed the police state. Not much hope now.

    Pray.

    Because the government tyrants, perverts, Torquemadas, and despots are already in the gates and we have armed them to the hilt.

  8. “14 Tootie 1, March 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    To: I Don’t Care

    What war? Did I miss the declaration?”

    Tootie:If you missed that declaration don’t feel bad you are** NOT** alone on that question.

  9. To: I Don’t Care

    And your description of prison rape? If leftists put you in jail: YOU WILL CARE?

    Or most likely enjoy it? Why else do you advocate it for others?

  10. eniobob

    I’m usually the last to know about things. I appreciate that it is not true in this case.

    Sadly.

  11. Tootie,
    There has been no declaration of war, but that didn’t stop the Bush administration from torturing detainees and now citizens are being abused by the Obama government. Where and how do we stop this abuse?

  12. One broad objective of our government is to crush dissent and broaden state power.

    Keeping that in mind, there are two reasons for the torture of Manning in prison:

    1. To coerce evidence – real or falsified – against Assange. This evidence will support his extradition to the United States. Once extradited, Assange will be tortured, tried and executed to media acclaim. Wikileaks staff and supporters will also be punished.

    2. To severely deter future whistleblowers. This is accomplished by being sure that the public knows the array of barbaric conditions and tortures Manning (and future whistleblowers) will be subjected to, even without trial. Ultimately, Manning will be executed.

  13. So what do you call what we are doing, a picnic. My son had a friend blown to pieces by an IED and another who had part of his brain distroyed by one and this scum gives away secrets to aid the enemy. Sorry if I don’t feel the same pity you do but to me he is the lowest of the low. But I supposed you would have him receive a medal for what he did.

  14. Puzzling,
    I agree with the two reasons that you give for the government to abuse Manning. I thought at least citizens still had rights in the U.S.
    IDC,
    Who is the enemy that Manning is alleged to be aiding? It is not al-Qaeda. Read the wikileak documents and you might feel different. Besides, since when do allegations of a crime allow the government to punish anyone? I have a son in Afghanistan so I care what secrets are disclosed. The wikileak documents didn’t put any soldiers at risk.

  15. “Why not put him in general population so some nut case can break a broom stick off in his ass so you bleading heart liberal, dope smoking hippies would have something to really cry about. I hope they put him to death after they find him guilty of treason during a war…….’

    I Don’t Care is the perfect name for you. Good choice,
    since you obviously don’t care about the facts, the issues, the Constitution and or anything else. You don’t care about the fact that your comments are those of a no-nothing thug. For your limited information there is no war going on. The War on Terror is absurd since one can’t fight a war against a point of view, no matter how reprehensible.

    Though our brave soldiers are being killed and maimed in Iraq and Afghanistan, because people like you support ignorance, there is no war in either Iraq or Afghanistan. Why? Because under the Constitution only Congress can declare war and it hasn’t

    As for a nutcase breaking a stick and sodomizing him, why do I think it would be someone like you who would attempt it? I say attempt because unlike you Manning has “cojones” and would kick your ass, he’s proven his courage already. You? Other than talking tough, not so much.

    Regarding you as Jimmy Clift put it:

  16. Mike S.,
    Well said. It always amazes me how tough people can be when someone is “accused” of a crime. Where does it say you throw out the Constitution when someone is accused?

  17. I agree that this is inappropriate and should be stopped, but I’d call this mistreatment, not torture. The conduct seems designed to isolate and humiliate Pvt. Manning—which, while inappropriate, is not torture.

    There is really such a thing as torture and people are really subjected to it. Calling the mistreatment of Pvt. Manning described above torture cheapens the word.

  18. (In contrast, water boarding and stress positions are about inflicting pain and fear—both characteristic of torture.)

  19. James,

    The UN disagrees.

    “Part I
    Article 1

    1. For the purposes of this Convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
    2. This article is without prejudice to any international instrument or national legislation which does or may contain provisions of wider application. ”

    http://www.hrweb.org/legal/cat.html

  20. Manning has “cojones” and would kick your ass, he’s proven his courage

    Hey Mikey, it’s people like you who think this guy is a hero and has courage who make me sick. Were you ever in the military or did you run off to Canada instead. You wouldn’t know courage if it jumped up and bit you in the butt. As for me I’ll hold my piece until the day they put the needle in his arm and he slips off to his special place in hell. Yea I agree the guy hasn’t been convicted yet but how can you overlook the evidence and still call him a hero. That,s just not right.

  21. I don’t care: The Collateral Murder video shows the US Military shooting unarmed civilans. When did they change the Rules of Engagement?

  22. rafflaw:

    You ask: “Where and how do we stop this abuse?

    Don’t we have a justice department?

    Okay, joking aside.

    Nullification? How about some states (like Virginia?) making it illegal for any government official to do what they are doing to Manning? Then arrest them so as to trigger a run at the Supreme court.

    How else will we wake up our leaders when they won’t listen to common sense or, worse, when they become uncontrollable despots with toys that can wipe us out? We have to take from them what they crave most: absolute power over others. New Hampshire is going to make it harder for TSA officials to molest citizens. We need more of this sort of thing. Chase the feds. Make them blink. Make them think twice. Hit the Feds with a constant barrage of laws against them when THEY violate the law.

    http://www.examiner.com/libertarian-in-national/bill-would-subject-some-tsa-screening-techniques-to-sexual-predation-laws

    The revolt in the Middle East is merely a switching of despots. And that is all we would get if we rose up that way without dismantling the centers of despotism. Only things would be worse for us if we tried what they are doing mainly because we are welled armed ourselves and passions would get out of hand. Many more would die here because government would slaughter us.

    Jefferson said that our government had to fear us (and not the other way around) in order for our government to be a good one.

    I say they do not fear us. Not by a long shot. Nullification appears to be a good means for giving them a good taste of fear. But this cannot be done unless the left joins in on the effort. They just need to overcome their bias against the 10th amendment.

    May I suggest the Tenth Amendment center. They have a good article about everyone uniting against the despots in government:

    http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2010/11/10/bridging-the-political-chasm/

    I don’t hate government. My Christian faith teaches me to recognize its authority while at the same time to resist it when it is evil and lawless. Our founders and framers have provided a good example of how to do it.

    Our leaders have forgotten that absolute power is an evil. And our inability to rein in government abuse after decades of elections proves that absolute power is in full operation.

    Nullify. Do it now. Do it often.

    And if they buck it: secession would be our last resort. Then we will see what kind of people they really are: will they mow us down or not? Will they murder us because we will not agree to their despotism?

    They need to see who THEY are. And we need to see where we stand.

  23. Raff said, “The wikileak documents didn’t put any soldiers at risk.”

    And this is quite true. There was only one net effect of the Wikileaks documents. It embarrassed our incompetent bought off fascist government. And their fascist masters if Assange ever comes off the bank documents.

  24. I agree that this is inappropriate and should be stopped, but I’d call this mistreatment, not torture. The conduct seems designed to isolate and humiliate Pvt. Manning—which, while inappropriate, is not torture.

    There is really such a thing as torture and people are really subjected to it. Calling the mistreatment of Pvt. Manning described above torture cheapens the word. – James M.

    I agree. Unless they’ve been doing physical harm or threatening physical harm I don’t see any reason to call the mistreatment torture. They should have followed the rules on court martial, which are codified and stringent, but torture? No; and to call it so does cheapen the word and the concept. Hyperbole, once again, which does more to damage civil rights than to strengthen them.

  25. Well said Buddha.
    Buckeye, you are a victim of the John Yoo definition of torture. To claim that shackling, solitary confinement and forced nudity is not torture is easy to say. Why don’t you give it a try and see what you think then.
    Tootie,
    Nullification is a nullity.

  26. rafflaw,

    Drawing on the rack? Cutting the flesh and breaking the bones? Electrocution? Classic torture.

    Shackling in stress positions, simulated drowning, and forced nudity in freezing temperatures? I call that torture. If anyone disagrees (John Yoo), it is likely to be as a matter of degree.

    Enforced nudity and and needless isolation from visitors? Wrong, inappropriate, and a violation of his civil rights. However, I don’t think it’s torture. It’s different not only in degree but in kind.

  27. It looks like the DOD is stonewalling Dennis Kucinich’s request to see Pvt. Manning, after 30 days of delay he has received a response that is utter drivel and totally uncooperative.

    I did not know that such a thing was possible. What would the legal ramifications be if a Congressperson showed up at a military prison and just said “I’m here to see so and so and remind them that Congresspersons are elected members of the Executive branch? Has the military assumed so much power that it can just say no to such requests or demands and hide behind BS regs?

    http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/dod-stonewalls-dennis-kucinichs-attem

  28. From CBS News
    February 10, 2011
    Why Bradley Manning Is a Patriot
    Chase Madar: An Opening Statement for the Defense of Private Manning
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/02/10/opinion/main20031354.shtml

    Excerpt:
    Bradley Manning, a 23-year-old from Crescent, Oklahoma, enlisted in the U.S. military in 2007 to give something back to his country and, he hoped, the world.

    For the past seven months, Army Private First Class Manning has been held in solitary confinement in the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Virginia. Twenty-five thousand other Americans are also in prolonged solitary confinement, but the conditions of Manning’s pre-trial detention have been sufficiently brutal for the United Nation’ss Special Rapporteur on Torture to announce an investigation.

    Pfc. Manning is alleged to have obtained documents, both classified and unclassified, from the Department of Defense and the State Department via the Internet and provided them to WikiLeaks. (That allegedly is important because the federal informant who fingered Manning, Adrian Lamo, is a felon convicted of computer-hacking crimes. He was also involuntarily committed to a psychiatric institution in the month before he levelled his accusation. All of this makes him a less than reliable witness.) At any rate, the records allegedly downloaded by Manning revealed clear instances of war crimes committed by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, widespread torture committed by the Iraqi authorities with the full knowledge of the U.S. military, previously unknown estimates of the number of Iraqi civilians killed at U.S. military checkpoints, and the massive Iraqi civilian death toll caused by the American invasion.

    For bringing to light this critical but long-suppressed information, Pfc. Manning has been treated not as a whistleblower, but as a criminal and a spy. He is charged with violating not only Army regulations but also the Espionage Act of 1917, making him the fifth American to be charged under the act for leaking classified documents to the media. A court-martial will likely be convened in the spring or summer.

    Politicians have called for Manning’s head, sometimes literally. And yet a strong legal defense for Pfc. Manning is not difficult to envision. Despite many remaining questions of fact, a legal defense can already be sketched out. What follows is an “opening statement” for the defense. It does not attempt to argue individual points of law in any exhaustive way. Rather, like any opening statement, it is an overview of the vital legal (and political) issues at stake, intended for an audience of ordinary citizens, not Judge Advocate General lawyers.

    After all, it is the court of public opinion that ultimately decides what a government can and cannot get away with, legally or otherwise.

  29. From Democracy Now (2/10/2011)
    http://www.democracynow.org/2011/2/10/headlines/cables_torture_linked_egyptian_police_trained_in_us_xw

    WikiLeaks Docs: Torture-Linked Egyptian Police Trained in U.S.

    Newly released classified U.S. diplomatic cables from WikiLeaks have shed more light on the key U.S. support for human rights abuses under Mubarak’s regime in Egypt. The cables show Egyptian secret police received training at the FBI’s facility in Quantico, Virginia, even as U.S. diplomats in Egypt sent dispatches alleging extensive abuse under their watch. Coincidentally, Quantico also hosts the military base where alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning is being held in solitary confinement. A cable from October 2009 cites allegations from “credible” sources that some prisoners were tortured “with electric shocks and sleep deprivation to reduce them to a ‘zombie state.'” One cable from November 2007 shows then-FBI deputy director John Pistole praised the head of Egypt’s secret police for “excellent and strong” cooperation between the two agencies. Pistole currently heads the Transportation Security Administration in the United States.

  30. Whether one calls the mistreatment of Manning torture or simply maltreatment is a matter of semantics. Look at it this way. If a civilian correctional officer, warden or jailer treated a prisoner this way, it would be an indictable offense and the jailer might find him or herself a guest in their own jail. I am not an expert on international law or war crimes, but would not be the least surprised if this also came under the heading of a war crime if a POW were treated in the same manner.

    I do not care one way or the other whether this treatment of Manning is called torture or mistreatment. It is wrong, and the perpetrators themselves would be jailed in a perfect and just world.

  31. James M.,
    As I stated above, it is not as obvious as electrocution,but ask people who have been subjected to it.
    Elaine,
    Great links. It seems the more that you torture, the more successful you are in government service!
    Lottakatz,
    Kucinich needs to turn up the heat and bring the press with him.
    OS,
    I think torture or mistreatment can be a war crime, except when it is done by Americans! At least that is what Bush and Obama think.

  32. From Salon/Glenn Greenwald (3/4/2011)
    The serial deceit of Geoff Morrell
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/03/04/morrell/index.html

    Excerpt:
    On January 26, 2011, Defense Department spokesman Geoff Morrell stood before the Pentagon press corps and made a series of patently false statements about Bradley Manning (the video is here). Even taking into account the position Morrell occupies — in which a penchant for telling the truth is not exactly a job requirement (it actually would be disqualifying) — this Press Conference was an extraordinary display of pure official mendacity.

    Morrell was asked several times about the evidence — first reported here — that Manning was being held in repressive and inhumane conditions: specifically, 23-hour/day solitary confinement, a prohibition on exercising in his cell, and being allowed out only 1 hour per day to “exercise” which entails walking around alone in a room, shackled. Morrell repeatedly insisted that everything being done to Manning was being done to all of the other detainees at the brig; in his words:

    he is being treated just like every other detainee in the brig. . . . assertions by liberal bloggers, or network reporters or others that he is being mistreated, or somehow treated differently than others, in isolation, are just not accurate . . . Just as though he is not being treated any worse than any other detainee, he is not being treated any better than any other detainee. . . . He is being treated exactly like everyone else in the brig is being treated. . . . what I come back to time and time again, Chris, is the notion that the manner of his confinement is not in the least different from the manner in which anyone else at the brig is being held. . . . that is consistent with how every other person in the brig is being held.

    To describe those statements as “misleading” is to be extremely generous. Morrell’s claims were the opposite of reality: factually and demonstrably false. Manning was the only detainee being held under those conditions, the exact opposite of what Morrell told the public. As Lt. Col. David Coombs, Manning’s counsel, detailed that day:

    Morrell stated during today’s Pentagon briefing that PFC Manning’s “confinement is not in the least different from the manner in which anyone else at the brig is being held.” This statement is patently false. . . .

    Under the above restrictions, every other detainee is allowed outside of their cell for the majority of the day. The facility is not locked down when they are walking in the brig. They do not wear hand and leg restraints outside of their cell. They are not escorted by guards when outside of their cell. Every other detainee is assigned to work details during the day. These work details allow them move freely within the facility and also outside of the facility whenever within the security perimeter. . . .

    Due to the POI watch, [Manning] is held in solitary confinement. For 23 hours per day, he sits in his cell. The guards check on him every five minutes by asking him if he is okay. He is required to respond in some affirmative manner. At night, if the guards can not see him clearly, because he has a blanket over his head or he is curled up towards the wall, they will wake him in order to ensure that he is okay. He receives each of his meals in his cell. He is not allowed to have a pillow or sheets. He is not allowed to have any personal items in his cell. He is only allowed to have one book or one magazine at any given time to read. The book or magazine is taken away from him at the end of the day before he goes to sleep. 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 receives one hour of exercise outside of his cell daily. The guards take him to a room and allow him to walk. He usually walks in figure eights around the room. When he goes to sleep, he is required to strip down to his underwear and surrender his clothing to the guards.

    Every other detainee is not subjected to constant monitoring or asked if they are okay every five minutes. Every other detainee is allowed to have sheets and a pillow. Every other detainee may have personal items in their cell. Every other detainee may have paper and pens in their cell in order to write to family and friends. Every other detainee may have any combination of 15 books or magazines in their cell at all times. Any other detainee can exercise in their cell during the day. No other detainee has to strip to their underwear at the end of the day and surrender their clothing to the guards.

    Is there any way to compare the facts to the multiple statements made to the media by Morrell — e.g., Manning ” is being treated exactly like everyone else in the brig is being treated” — and reach any conclusion other than that Morrell is a completely deceitful and untrustworthy individual?

    Yesterday, Morrell went on MSNBC to be interviewed by Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie about a variety of topics, including the conditions of Manning’s detention — and by “interviewed,” I mean: have a series of open-ended questions reverently posed to him without the slightest challenge to a word he uttered. Guthrie touted beforehand her intent to ask Morrell about Manning, but despite being told before the interview about the series of deceitful statements, and despite the fact that she should have been independently aware of that episode as a journalist preparing to interview the Pentagon spokesman, Morrell’s false statements were, needless to say, never brought up.

  33. From
    Bradley Manning and the stench of US hypocrisy
    The US condemns human rights abuses abroad yet appears to be allowing the psychological torture of Bradley Manning
    By Ryan Gallagher
    guardian.co.uk, Friday 4 March

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2011/mar/04/bradley-manning-us-wikileaks-hypocrisy

    Excerpt:
    One of the few people to have visited Manning, David House, spoke yesterday of how he had witnessed his friend go from a “bright-eyed intelligent young man” to someone who at times has appeared “catatonic” with “very high difficulty carrying on day to day conversation”. House drew similarities with the case of Bobby Dellelo, an American prisoner who developed psychosis after a lengthy period in solitary confinement conditions similar to Manning’s. “For me this has been like watching a really good friend succumb to an illness or something,” he said. “I think that Bradley Manning is being punished this way because the US government wants him to crack ahead of his trial.”

    While there has been widespread and well publicised condemnation of issues surrounding Manning’s detainment, his conditions have failed to improve. In fact, things may have got worse, not better, for the Oklahoma-born soldier who is incidentally entitled to UK citizenship through his Welsh mother. Just two days ago, for instance, only 24 hours after having been told he now faces a capital charge, Manning was made to strip naked in his cell for no apparent reason. According to David Coombs, Manning’s lawyer, the soldier was then left without clothes for seven hours. When the wake-up call sounded for the detainees at 5am, in an act of forced humiliation, Manning was made to stand naked at the front of his cell.

    The incident, described as “inexcusable and without justification” by Coombs, is symbolic of the entire twisted saga: a gross injustice on a nauseating scale. We must bear in mind, of course, that Manning allegedly leaked military files because he, according to unverified internet chat logs, saw wrongdoing and had no other course of action because his superiors told him they “didn’t want to hear any of it”. He did not want to be complicit in war crimes, and felt that by leaking the files he could prompt “worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms”.

    In recent days and weeks the US government has condemned human rights abuses and repression in almost every country across the Middle East – yet at a prison within its own borders it sanctions the persecution, alleged psychological torture and debasement of a young soldier who appears to have made a principled choice in the name of progress.

    “Government whistleblowers are part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal,” said Barack Obama in 2008. But the stench of his hypocrisy is no longer bearable. It is time, now more than ever, that Bradley Manning received the justice he so clearly deserves.

  34. For those who are concerned about whether this is torture or not, sleep deprivation is considered a form of torture. In fact, sleep deprivation will cause the victim to hallucinate, become disoriented, and most important, suggestible. Do we see an ulterior motive here folks. A suggestible person is more prone to be “guided” into making a false confession.

    These are two areas in which I have considerable expertise and have testified about in state and Federal court. The sleep deprivation softens the target up and given a skilled interrogator, he will admit to almost anything. I think I can say with some confidence that if I were to spend some time with him right now, in the condition he reportedly is in, I could get him to admit to killing John Lennon.

  35. Otteray,

    I think some people believe it isn’t torture unless a person is physically hurt. No broken bones, no fingernails pulled out, no beatings, no electric shocks to genitals, etc.–no real harm done…right?

  36. rafflaw

    No, I am a victim of calling an action by it’s appropriate name. Shackling, solitary confinement, and forced nudity occurs in every civilian and military prison in the United States as anyone who has watched the prisoner reality shows will know.

    Is it your position that the authorities of all these institutions should be tried for torture? If not, then why consider this particular prisoner to have been tortured? If so, why has no one called for these authorities to be prosecuted for torture?

    Now the case could be made that Pvt. Manning has undergone cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment and that is also prohibited under the Convention against Torture.

    “Because it is often difficult to distinguish between cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and torture, the Committee regards Article 16’s prohibition of such treatment as similarly absolute and non-derogable.[6]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_Against_Torture#Signatories_of_CAT

    Perhaps you see no distinction between torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment – as the UN states, it is difficult – but I am condemned to make that distinction in Pvt. Manning’s case. He may have been treated to cruel and degrading treatment – it’s difficult to determine just what has happened with all the hoopla – but not inhuman treatment or torture as far as I can tell. I would prefer to reserve the word torture for those acts so inhuman or henious that no one could deny it is torture (other than Professor Yoo, et al).

    Because his case has been mishandled under the Uniform Code of Military Justice as I read it – not that I’m a lawyer, of course, his case will be difficult if not impossible to prosecute.

  37. It seems that they are making an example of Bradley Manning, attempting to intimidate anyone who steps out of “their” parameters. Of course, he has done nothing to deserve the treatment he is getting, now with even more cruelty. Then remember who has the most to lose with the documents that WikiLeaks has disclosed, our very own Hilary Clinton, who is not known for taking prisoners.
    Our liberties are very fragile at this time, since even criticizing government here can get you on a list. The is outrageous and frightening and fear is their weapon to control the masses, in American and elsewhere.
    Manning and Assange have been charged with disclosing information we have a right to know, and the transparency we were promised and has yet to be given.
    We must stand together as a people and let the government know we oppose treatment of Bradley Manning in this manner without a trial, and even if he had a trial and been found guilty such treatment is un-American and is outrageous.
    Other countries are losing respect for us, and we well deserve it. We are living under double speak and what Obama and Hilary announce publicly as universal human rights is certainly becoming disguised as something else here. Thank you, Bradley Manning, as the people are outraged with your treatment and find it abhorrent. Please hold on to your reality and do not let those who are breaking the law in your treatment cause you to lose yourself. You are strong and remember that you have been given new strengths to handle this through your special overseer. I called it a guardian angel when under political persecution.
    You have many supporters out here who think and pray for your release daily.
    I also thank your attorney who is fighting the fight to protect your rights. This is all appealable and can result in embarassent to the military and Attorney General’s office. The world is watching.
    Any soldier who participates in this cruelty and torture should be charged with violating their oath to uphold the constitution. I have no respect for any military persons involved in torture of any American citizen, military or foreign prisoner.
    God is watching.

  38. Elaine, you are correct. “Some people believe…” does not make it so. There are ingenious ways to torture that leave no marks. Sleep deprivation is one of the worst. Extreme sleep deprivation can actually cause the body to shut down and end in death. Many years ago Dr. Hans Selye at McGill pioneered the study of stress on a living organism. He coined the term General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) to describe the phenomenon. He found organ damage in mice that had been subjected to prolonged stress.

    So much for the organ failure excuse of Lord Cheney.

  39. The only real chance Pvt Manning has of getting a fair trial and humane treatment resides with us, the public. It is vital to his survival that we keep his name on our lips and publicize every action those who are in charge of his imprisonment and prosecution take.

    Every two weeks I send an email to the President, Vice-President, Secy. of Defense, Secy. of State, my U. S. Senator and House Representative inquiring as to the legal status and physical health of Pvt. Manning.

  40. Our leaders have forgotten that absolute power is an evil. And our inability to rein in government abuse after decades of elections proves that absolute power is in full operation.

    Nullify. Do it now. Do it often.

    And if they buck it: secession would be our last resort. Then we will see what kind of people they really are: will they mow us down or not? Will they murder us because we will not agree to their despotism?

    They need to see who THEY are. And we need to see where we stand.

    Another tool is a constitutional convention. Once 2/3 the states’ legislatures call for one Congress has to agree to it. If they don’t, a mass march on Washington would be in order to MAKE them do it.

    Nullification, constitutional convention, secession. And the central government probably WOULD respond with violence.

    And of course they will murder us. ALL of us. This government will not hesitate to mow us all down once they and their state organs, the corporations, perceive that we are a threat to them.

  41. Well, I still remember in horror the bizarre interview of Justice Scallia (sp?) telling Lesslie Stall in 60 Minutes (some 6 months ago) that the Constitution does not have anything forbidding torture. When Leslie parroted the famous “cruel and undue punishment” he burst: “Punishment? what are we punishing him for?!” Namely, torture is a stand-alone act, not a punishment.

    He may legally be right, but by me!
    It is through such events that we can see the vicious behavior of our legal system.

  42. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-dennis-kucinich/is-this-quantico-or-abu-g_b_831606.html

    by Rep. Dennis Kucinich
    U.S. House Representative

    March 4, 2011 03:39 PM

    Is This Quantico or Abu Ghraib?

    After initial allegations of mistreatment, I requested a visit with Private First Class Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, to see for myself the conditions of his treatment.

    Despite the fact that Manning has not been found guilty of any crime, his lawyer reports that he is in isolation 23 out of 24 hours every day, conditions which may violate his 8th Amendment protection from ‘cruel and unusual’ punishment. This treatment is in stark contrast to a presumption of innocence and raises questions of whether Pfc. Manning can be fit for trial.

    My request to visit with Pfc. Manning must not be delayed further. Today we have new reports that Manning was stripped naked and left in his cell for seven hours. While refusing to explain the justification for the treatment, a marine spokesman confirmed the actions but claimed they were “not punitive.”

    Is this Quantico or Abu Ghraib? Officials have confirmed the “non-punitive” stripping of an American soldier who has not been found guilty of any crime. This “non-punitive” action would be considered a violation of the Army Field Manual if used in an interrogation overseas. The justification for and purpose of this action certainly raises questions of “cruel and unusual punishment,” and could constitute a potential violation of international law.

    ———————-

    The Army Field Manual, 2-22.3 (FM 34-52): Human Intelligence Collector Operations, Page 5-21, section 5-75 clearly states that: “If used in conjunction with intelligence interrogations, prohibited actions include, but are not limited to — Forcing the detainee to be naked, perform sexual acts or pose in a sexual manner.”

  43. “Hey Mikey, it’s people like you who think this guy is a hero and has courage who make me sick. Were you ever in the military or did you run off to Canada instead. You wouldn’t know courage if it jumped up and bit you in the butt.”

    I was 4f in the Viet Nam era for high blood pressure and a lifelong heart condition backed up the SSS designation.
    However, I was in various marches and protests trying to end that illegal and fruitless war. As for courage I can top any exploit of courage you might think you’ve evinced, but why bother when I’m responding to a tough talking nonentity who reveals nothing of themselves but false bravado. With the tendency to talk tough, while displaying their ignorance of the topic. In other words a pimply, overweight high school kid, who unfortunately
    salves his insecure psyche with fantasies of heroism.

  44. James and Buckeye,

    “In my opinion, solitary confinement – that is confinement of a prisoner alone in a cell for all or nearly all of
    the day, with minimal environmental stimulation and minimal opportunity for social interaction – can can
    cause severe psychiatric harm.”

    http://www.prisoncommission.org/statements/grassian_stuart_long.pdf

    “It has been convincingly documented on numerous occasions that solitary confinement may cause
    serious psychological and sometimes physiological ill effects.3 Research suggests that between onethird
    and as many as 90 per cent of prisoners experience adverse symptoms in solitary confinement.
    A long list of symptoms ranging from insomnia and confusion to hallucinations and psychosis has
    been documented. Negative health effects can occur after only a few days in solitary confinement,
    and the health risks rise with each additional day spent in such conditions.”

    http://www.solitaryconfinement.org/uploads/Istanbul_expert_statement_on_sc.pdf

    Well, I’d say that forcing this man into months of solitary confinement pretty much meets the definition of “an act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental,” is being “intentionally inflicted on” Pvt. Manning “for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person.”

  45. Gyges

    Yes, I’ve agreed that Pvt. Manning’s treatment may have been cruel and degrading. Again, we only know what his lawyer David Coombs asserts and his friend David House implies from conversations with Pvt. Manning. And I believe that his treatment should change and change immediately.

    Although his solitary confinement was in a block of 30 cells with other inmates and not like Steve McQueen’s solitary confinement in “The Great Escape” in a darkened cell where the only people he could speak to were the guards, it would be considered solitary confinement under the definition in your linked organization.

    I’ve looked at his lawyer’s website, searched all of his entries about Pvt. Manning, and not found the word torture used in any capacity. Probably because he is an officer of the court and may not make false charges.

    I think the way this prisoner has been handled is foolish and counter productive to the government’s assumed purpose of a trial and should be corrected. But mental and physical treatment causing severe suffering? I’m not convinced. Eventually we will know, though that doesn’t help Pvt. Manning now.

  46. Buckeye,

    He’s being treated in a way that you agree that experts in the mental health field say can cause severe harm. Yet, some how that doesn’t meat the requirement that something cause severe harm to be torture?

    Or are you instead arguing that this private is such a risk of… something… that he needs to be kept in solitary confinement for, not allowed to exercise, etc. as part of being held for trial?

    Because if not, then you’re saying his treatment meets the legal definition of torture, but isn’t really torture.

  47. I’ve read scientific studies that show long term isolation of prisoners is extremely harmful to their mental state. Couple this with the degradation imposed by the other conditions of Manning’s treatment and his youth, it is likely that if he survives for a trial he will not be mentally competent.

    And this is “innocent until proven guilty”?

    Whatever he did or did not do, we have seen tons of proof of how wrong our judicial system can be, incarcerating and condemning to death innocent people.

    It could be you, me, our children, our grandchildren, our dearly loved friends or relatives, our neighbors who are next. If we as US citizens do not raise sufficient objection to these acts by our government. This is being done, after all, in our name.

  48. poor kid, he got in over his head. He should have joined the Air Force or Coast Guard or just gone to college.

    He was a dupe.

  49. Gyges

    As the United Nations stated:

    “Because it is often difficult to distinguish between cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and torture, the Committee regards Article 16′s prohibition of such treatment as similarly absolute and non-derogable.[6]”

    I suspect that some mental health authorities would consider Pvt. Manning’s treatment will definitely cause severe mental suffering, some would consider it to have to be considerably more constrained – no books, no TV, no ability to hear other prisoners – to definitely cause severe mental suffering.

    They don’t agree just as we don’t agree. Just as the UN knew people wouldn’t agree so they decided to Article 16 to prohibit such treatment. Which is why the military shouldn’t be doing it.

  50. Daniel Ellsberg: “Bradley Manning Is Acting in the Interest of the United States”

    Friday 04 March 2011
    by Nadia Prupis

    http://www.truth-out.org/bradley-manning-faces-new-charges68226

    Excerpt:

    According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a defendant who is convicted of “aiding the enemy” must have knowingly harbored or communicated with the enemy “either directly or indirectly.” Jon Shelburne, the clinic defense coordinator at the Roger Williams School of Law, said prosecutors might have difficulty showing what particular benefits any US enemies gained from the documents.

    “The third element of the charges is the biggest problem. Is any information in this area that was made public … visible to the enemy?” Shelburne said during a teleconference Thursday with the Bradley Manning Advocacy Fund. “I don’t know how they are going to show that.”

    Also speaking during the call was Daniel Ellsberg, the former military analyst who, in 1971, released classified Pentagon documents detailing US political and military involvement in Vietnam.

    “Our enemy is generally al Qaeda, and they want these wars to continue,” Ellsberg said. “The people who give comfort to the enemy are the people who sent troops there and are keeping the cost of the war from the people. Bradley Manning is acting in the interest of the United States and against the interest of our enemy al Qaeda.”

    “There’s a campaign here against whistleblowing that’s actually unprecedented in legal terms,” Ellsberg said.

  51. Gyges,
    Great links to some expert evidence on the damage that can be caused by solitary confinement.
    Anon nurse,
    Welcome back and thanks for the link with the updated charges!

  52. Gyges,

    totally off topic … last weekend I had Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale … Kentucky Ale is aged for up to 6 weeks in freshly decanted bourbon barrels from some of Kentucky’s finest distilleries … honest to god best stuff I’ve had in a long, long time.

  53. Blouise,

    Can’t say that I’ve ever seen anything from that brewery before, but I’ll keep an eye out. Colorado is a great place to be a beer drinker.

    It’s hard to beat a good barrel aged beer. J.W. Lee’s 2009 Vintage Harvest Ale aged in Port Barrels is the closest any beer I’ve ever tasted has come to being art.

    Buckeye,

    Yeah, having one book sure would make the difference. It is hard to punish a man who doesn’t have anything.

  54. It’s ironic in a round about way but the US has now proven conclusively that they treat foreign nationals with the same levels of respect and humanity with which they treat their own.

    Reagan once refered to the existence of an “Evil Empire” I think everyone is now waking up to the fact that there was more than one.

  55. A final aside as to why I see the distinction between torture and cruel and unusual punishment as important in this case:

    I doubt anyone would argue that forbidding Pvt. Manning from doing push-ups some how keeps him from escaping, or harming himself or others. The same can be said for almost all of the measures being taken. So, the question that begs to be answered is, what is the goal of these actions? Examining the long term effects of each of these, we see one possible result emerge: The complete and total destruction of a healthy human personality.

    This is NOT merely harsh punishment, this is a very real and very systematic obliteration of what makes Pvt. Manning who he is. All because he’s accused of doing something. To call that anything but severe harm is to devalue the psyche of Pvt. Manning(and be extension all individuals) to a worth below that of any component of his physical body. No one would call the amputation of a limb under these circumstances anything other than torture.

    For such actions to have an official sanction like in this case, can only be seen as proof of an intentional and thorough undermining of the system of justice and laws this country supposedly holds dear.

    That is why the difference between cruel and unusual punishment and torture is so key. One can be the result of overzealous action that might be the result of noble goals. The other can only be part of a system wide and conscious decision.

  56. Gyges,
    well said. I agree that the illegal and cruel and unusual treatment that Manning is receiving is part of an intentional process being used to destroy his will and make it more difficult for him to mount a defense. It is also meant as a public punishment to deter future whistleblowers.

  57. Gyges,
    Agreed. The DOJ and DOD are sending a message that they don’t take kindly to people telling the truth or allowing the truth to be told.

  58. The psychological torture of Private Bradley Manning is apparently having its intended effect. According to his friend who visited him, he is in a near-catatonic state. I have written here before about the cumulative effect of sleep deprivation alone. Extended sleep deprivation can cause irreversible psychological damage as well as measurable organ damage. If prolonged long enough, sleep deprivation can result in death. At this point, I have to think they are not intending to try him on the charges, but intend to make him a horrible example for future whistleblowers. “This is what is going to happen to you if you blow the whistle on us.”

    Here is a story about it:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/03/07/953639/-Bradley-Manning-Now-Catatonic;-Obama-ENOUGH!

  59. rafflaw

    Sorry, I missed the link in your original article. After looking at the link, I’m even more convinced that this isn’t torture; even his attorney doesn’t call it torture and if he’s satisfied, I am also. I would think the attorney would state it if he thought Pvt. Manning was being subjected to harmful sleep deprivation, also. Nor is anything mentioned about his mental state deteriorating.

    I didn’t know he was suicidal before anything happened. Perhaps that’s what made him do the deed, if he did it, in the first place.

    His solitary confinement does sound very confining, but not very solitary. He has visitors, can send and receive correspondence, read books, watch TV, hear other prisoners, and the only sleep deprivation seems to be that when his head is covered or he’s facing away from where the guards can see him, the guards can wake him up at night. From what I understand, sleep deprivation is the result of not allowing the prisoner to sleep at all, or very little.

    His attorney seems to be looking out for him and the more noise that is made about the irregularity of the conditions, according to his attorney, the more likely it is that Pvt. Manning’s detainment will be corrected. I can’t think they want a zombie showing up in court for the world to see – that would be the worst possible scenario.

    btw I’m completely turned off by the hyperbole of dailykos and firedoglake about this particular case. It makes me wonder how much they have distorted other things.

  60. Buckeye,
    Just because the attorney doesn’t call it torture, doesn’t discount the experts who consider sleep deprivation dangerous. Read what his visitors say about his mental condition. Did you read the last link and what it has hot say about isolation? Do you think the forced nudity which was one of the cornerstones of the Bush torture program, was used by accident? I do not think so.

  61. Bush’s medical team decided that it is not torture so long as it does not lead to long term psychosis…..Can someone call John McCain and ask him if he was tortured… or was that acceptable under the Viet practices…

  62. rafflaw

    Sorry, I didn’t read all the links you had listed prior to my first post.

    I have trouble reconciling “near catatonic” with the psychiatrists evaluation that Pvt. Manning should be moved to Moderate incarceration. And I don’t know why what the friend says (if true) isn’t reflected in what the attorney says.

    I have trouble reconciling “isolation” with near constant interaction with his guards, hearing others in the cell block, reading, watching TV, receiving visitors, making phone calls, and corresponding with his attorney and others. I have trouble reconciling “sleep deprivation” with night sleep interrupted only when certain conditions occur.

    Being naked (under blankets) and forced to stand for morning inspection can be nothing but harrassment meant to degrade, but it’s not like being naked 24 hours a day in a cold environment.

    I’ve read enough psychology to understand how severe sleep deprivation and complete isolation can affect someone’s mental state. I don’t see either in this case, but I know no more than anyone else about what is really going on. I’m inclined to take his attorney’s word because I assume he’s not going to make false charges which might prejudice this case.

    I hadn’t known (none of the websites told us) that Pvt. Manning was suicidal before he allegedly did the deed. Perhaps that’s why he did it, if he did.

    Again, why would they want a zombie to show up in the courtroom? That would be stupid, I’d think. I was told I wasn’t born in Missouri, but sometimes I think I must have been.

  63. Buckeye,
    You seems to want to believe what the government information is on this case instead of from the witnesses to his cndition. Forcing someone to remain naked for hours is part of the torture and it was a central part of the Bush torture regime. They want a zombie to show up so that he cannot assist in his defense, much like they have done with other Gitmo detainees. There is a reason why the Brig is not following their own rules for the treatment being given to Pvt. Manning. They know the brig psychiatrist would not allow this activity so they keep him/her out of the loop.

  64. rafflaw

    As far as I know his attorney is not part of the government and he’s the one I am following – not the government.

    I know nothing about the friend but his version and the attorney’s version don’t mesh.

    Many people sleep naked for hours. It’s the morning cell check that’s degrading.

    The brig psychiatrists have constantly been in the loop, the commander simply hasn’t followed their advice.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree about the value of a zombie prisoner in court.

    I’ll wait to make a judgement – you go ahead without me.

    Thanks.

  65. Buckeye,

    I know that psychologists were implicated/participated in the torturing/brutal interrogations of prisoners at Guantanamo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Do we know we can trust the psychiatrists/psychologists who have been “in the loop” at the brig where Bradley Manning is being held?

    *****
    An Open Letter to Sharon Brehm, President of the American Psychological Association
    On Psychologists and Torture
    By STEPHEN SOLDZ, STEVE REISNER
    and BRAD OLSON, et al.
    http://counterpunch.org/apa06072007.html

    Excerpt:

    June 6, 2007

    Sharon Brehm, Ph.D.
    President
    American Psychological Association

    Dear President Brehm:

    We write you as psychologists concerned about the participation of our profession in abusive interrogations of national security detainees at Guantánamo, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and at the so-called CIA “black sites.”

    Our profession is founded on the fundamental ethical principle, enshrined as Principle A in our Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct: “Psychologists strive to benefit those with whom they work and take care to do no harm.” Irrefutable evidence now shows that psychologists participating in national security interrogations have systematically violated this principle. A recently declassified August 2006 report by the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General (OIG) ­Review of DoD-Directed Investigations of Detainee Abuse-describes in detail how psychologists from the military’s Survival, Evasion Resistance, and Escape (SERE) program were instructed to apply their expertise in abusive interrogation techniques to interrogations being conducted by the DoD throughout all three theaters of the War on Terror (Guantánamo, Afghanistan, and Iraq).

    SERE is the US military’s program designed to train Special Forces and other troops at high risk of capture to resist “breaking” during harsh interrogations conducted by a ruthless enemy. During SERE training, trainees are subjected to extensive abusive treatment, including sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, isolation, cultural and sexual humiliation, and, in some cases, simulated drowning (“waterboarding”). By SERE’s own admission, these techniques are classified as torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.

    The OIG report details a number of trainings and consultations provided by SERE psychologists to psychologists and other personnel involved in interrogations, including those on the Behavioral Science Consultation Teams (BSCT), generally composed of and headed by psychologists. The OIG confirms repeated press accounts over the last two years that SERE techniques were “reverse engineered” by SERE psychologists in consultation with the BSCT psychologists and others, to develop and standardize a regime of psychological torture used by interrogators at Guantánamo, and in Iraq and Afghanistan. The OIG report states: “Counterresistance techniques [SERE] were introduced because personnel believed that interrogation methods used were no longer effective in obtaining useful information from some detainees.”

    The OIG report also clearly reveals the central role of psychologists in these processes:

    “On September 16, 2002, the Army Special Operations Command and the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency [the military unit containing SERE] co-hosted a SERE psychologist conference at Fort Bragg for JTF-170 [the military component responsible for interrogations at Guantánamo] interrogation personnel. The Army’s Behavioral Science Consultation Team from Guantánamo Bay also attended the conference. Joint Personnel Recovery Agency briefed JTF-170 representatives on the exploitation techniques and methods used in resistance (to interrogation) training at SERE schools. The JTF-170 personnel understood that they were to become familiar with SERE training and be capable of determining which SERE information and techniques might be useful in interrogations at Guantánamo. Guantánamo Behavioral Science Consultation Team personnel understood that they were to review documentation and standard operating procedures for SERE training in developing the standard operating procedure for the JTF-170, if the command approved those practices. The Army Special Operations Command was examining the role of interrogation support as a ‘SERE Psychologist competency area'” (p. 25, emphasis added).

    It is now indisputable that psychologists and psychology were directly and officially responsible for the development and migration of abusive interrogation techniques, techniques which the International Committee of the Red Cross has labeled “tantamount to torture.” Reports of psychologists’ (along with other health professionals’) participation in abusive interrogations surfaced more than two years ago.

    While other health professional associations expressed dismay when it was reported that their members had participated in these abuses and took principled stands against their members’ direct participation in interrogations, the APA undertook a campaign to support such involvement. In 2005, APA President Ron Levant created the PENS Task Force to assess the ethics of such participation. Six of the nine voting psychologist members selected for the task force were uniformed and civilian personnel from military and intelligence agencies, most with direct connections to national security interrogations. Perhaps most problematic, it is clear from the OIG Report that three of the PENS members were directly in the chain of command translating SERE techniques into harsh interrogation tactics. Although we cannot know exactly what each of these individuals did, their presence in the chain of command is troubling.

  66. Great link Elaine!
    Buckeye,
    Sleeping naked is one thing when you have a choice and you are not behind bars, being forced to give up your clothes is part of a program to humiliate and denigrate the indivudual. It is not part and parcel of normal life behind bars. Even Mannings attorney thinks the treatment is degrading. “The Brig’s treatment of PFC Manning is shameful. It is made even more so by the Brig hiding behind concerns for “[PFC] Manning’s privacy.” There is no justification, and there can be no justification, for treating a detainee in this degrading and humiliating manner. “http://www.armycourtmartialdefense.info/2011/03/truth-behind-quantico-brigs-decision-to.html

  67. Elaine M.

    Do we know we can trust the psychiatrists/psychologists who have been “in the loop” at the brig where Bradley Manning is being held?

    ————————————————

    I don’t know. They and the attorney have been saying Pvt. Manning’s status should be changed from Maximun to Medium security for quite some time. It’s the brig commander that refuses to do it. That would indicate to me that the psychiatrists are on the same page as the attorney.

    I’m beginning to wonder if anyone other than myself has actually read the whole blog of the attorney. It states everything I’ve been saying. Mr. Coombs seems to be the most aware of Pvt. Manning’s situation – at least to me – which is why I’m sticking with him until we learn otherwise.

    I’ve looked up David Chase. He’s a contributor at firedoglake along with Jane Hamsher. I’m not the only one that questions the way facts are presented at firedoglake, though I didn’t know about this site before today. shoq contends that (why does this keep popping up?) everyone should follow the money.

    http://shoqvalue.com/regarding-team-bradley-manning

    I don’t know the real skivy which is why I’m sticking to David Coombs blog and skeptical about others. Just sayin’

  68. Buckeye,
    I already told you I read the blog and I also linked it to the original article and I also quoted from Attorney Combs blog which stated that the treatment was “degrading and humiliating” He also used the term “shameful” to describe the treatment.
    Since you are not be honest about what Attorney Combs is stating, here it is again for you:
    “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. PFC Manning is under 24 hour surveillance, with guards never being more than a few feet away from his cell. PFC Manning is permitted to have his underwear and clothing during the day, with no apparent concern that he will harm himself during this time period. Moreover, if Brig officials were genuinely concerned about PFC Manning using either his underwear or flip-flops to harm himself (despite the recommendation of the Brig’s psychiatrist) they could undoubtedly provide him with clothing that would not, in their view, present a risk of self-harm. Indeed, Brig officials have provided him other items such as tear-resistant blankets and a mattress with a built-in pillow due to their purported concerns. The Brig’s treatment of PFC Manning is shameful. It is made even more so by the Brig hiding behind concerns for “[PFC] Manning’s privacy.” There is no justification, and there can be no justification, for treating a detainee in this degrading and humiliating manner.” “http://www.armycourtmartialdefense.info/2011/03/truth-behind-quantico-brigs-decision-to.html

  69. You say I’m not being honest. Here’s what I said about Pvt. Manning’s treatment. It’s as honest as I can get. Sorry if it doesn’t satisfy you.

    “I agree that this is inappropriate and should be stopped, but I’d call this mistreatment, not torture. The conduct seems designed to isolate and humiliate Pvt. Manning—which, while inappropriate, is not torture.”

    “Yes, I’ve agreed that Pvt. Manning’s treatment may have been cruel and degrading. Again, we only know what his lawyer David Coombs asserts and his friend David House implies from conversations with Pvt. Manning. And I believe that his treatment should change and change immediately.”

    “Being naked (under blankets) and forced to stand for morning inspection can be nothing but harrassment meant to degrade, but it’s not like being naked 24 hours a day in a cold environment.”

    I THINK MUCH OF THE TREATMENT HAS BEEN UNNECESSARY, WAS DESIGNED TO ISOLATE AND HUMILIATE AND SHOULD CEASE IMMEDIATELY; BUT HAS NOT TOTALLY ISOLATED, HAS NOT CAUSED SLEEP DEPRIVATION, AND IS NOT TORTURE.

    I think we’ve reached the end of any profitable discussion. I will wait until more information is available and will continue to follow Mr. Coombs blog.

  70. Thanks for your responses Buckeye! I think what we may be missing is how central forced nudity was to the Bush torture program. I will continue to update this thread as we learn more about Pvt. Manning. I don’t mean to suggest that you are not being honest, but that you were not stating all of what Mr. Combs stated on his blog.

  71. rafflaw

    After re-reading Mr. Coombs entries, I think we may have interpreted his words differently. I read that he was stripped but provided blankets. You may have read that he was left naked in a cold cell. There’s a world of difference, and a world of wrongful conduct, between the two.

    Abu Graib was not just nakedness, it was forced sexual contact, dog collars, exposure to the opposite sex and worse. I don’t see any of that here. But, again, we don’t know – but we will eventually.

    Let’s let it rest until we know more.

  72. From Glenn Greenwald (Salon)
    The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/14/manning

    Excerpt:
    In sum, Manning has been subjected for many months without pause to inhumane, personality-erasing, soul-destroying, insanity-inducing conditions of isolation similar to those perfected at America’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado: all without so much as having been convicted of anything. And as is true of many prisoners subjected to warped treatment of this sort, the brig’s medical personnel now administer regular doses of anti-depressants to Manning to prevent his brain from snapping from the effects of this isolation.

    Just by itself, the type of prolonged solitary confinement to which Manning has been subjected for many months is widely viewed around the world as highly injurious, inhumane, punitive, and arguably even a form of torture. In his widely praised March, 2009 New Yorker article — entitled “Is Long-Term Solitary Confinement Torture?” — the surgeon and journalist Atul Gawande assembled expert opinion and personal anecdotes to demonstrate that, as he put it, “all human beings experience isolation as torture.” By itself, prolonged solitary confinement routinely destroys a person’s mind and drives them into insanity. A March, 2010 article in The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law explains that “solitary confinement is recognized as difficult to withstand; indeed, psychological stressors such as isolation can be as clinically distressing as physical torture.”

    For that reason, many Western nations — and even some non-Western nations notorious for human rights abuses — refuse to employ prolonged solitary confinement except in the most extreme cases of prisoner violence. “It’s an awful thing, solitary,” John McCain wrote of his experience in isolated confinement in Vietnam. “It crushes your spirit.” As Gawande documented: “A U.S. military study of almost a hundred and fifty naval aviators returned from imprisonment in Vietnam . . . reported that they found social isolation to be as torturous and agonizing as any physical abuse they suffered.” Gawande explained that America’s application of this form of torture to its own citizens is what spawned the torture regime which President Obama vowed to end:

    This past year, both the Republican and the Democratic Presidential candidates came out firmly for banning torture and closing the facility in Guantánamo Bay, where hundreds of prisoners have been held in years-long isolation. Neither Barack Obama nor John McCain, however, addressed the question of whether prolonged solitary confinement is torture. . . .

    This is the dark side of American exceptionalism. . . . Our willingness to discard these standards for American prisoners made it easy to discard the Geneva Conventions prohibiting similar treatment of foreign prisoners of war, to the detriment of America’s moral stature in the world. In much the same way that a previous generation of Americans countenanced legalized segregation, ours has countenanced legalized torture. And there is no clearer manifestation of this than our routine use of solitary confinement . . . .

    It’s one thing to impose such punitive, barbaric measures on convicts who have proven to be violent when around other prisoners; at the Supermax in Florence, inmates convicted of the most heinous crimes and who pose a threat to prison order and the safety of others are subjected to worse treatment than what Manning experiences. But it’s another thing entirely to impose such conditions on individuals, like Manning, who have been convicted of nothing and have never demonstrated an iota of physical threat or disorder.

    In 2006, a bipartisan National Commission on America’s Prisons was created and it called for the elimination of prolonged solitary confinement. Its Report documented that conditions whereby “prisoners end up locked in their cells 23 hours a day, every day. . . is so severe that people end up completely isolated, living in what can only be described as torturous conditions.” The Report documented numerous psychiatric studies of individuals held in prolonged isolation which demonstrate “a constellation of symptoms that includes overwhelming anxiety, confusion and hallucination, and sudden violent and self-destructive outbursts.” The above-referenced article from the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law states: “Psychological effects can include anxiety, depression, anger, cognitive disturbances, perceptual distortions, obsessive thoughts, paranoia, and psychosis.”

    When one exacerbates the harms of prolonged isolation with the other deprivations to which Manning is being subjected, long-term psychiatric and even physical impairment is likely. Gawande documents that “EEG studies going back to the nineteen-sixties have shown diffuse slowing of brain waves in prisoners after a week or more of solitary confinement.” Medical tests conducted in 1992 on Yugoslavian prisoners subjected to an average of six months of isolation — roughly the amount to which Manning has now been subjected — “revealed brain abnormalities months afterward; the most severe were found in prisoners who had endured either head trauma sufficient to render them unconscious or, yes, solitary confinement. Without sustained social interaction, the human brain may become as impaired as one that has incurred a traumatic injury.” Gawande’s article is filled with horrifying stories of individuals subjected to isolation similar to or even less enduring than Manning’s who have succumbed to extreme long-term psychological breakdown.

    Manning is barred from communicating with any reporters, even indirectly, so nothing he has said can be quoted here. But David House, a 23-year-old MIT researcher who befriended Manning after his detention (and then had his laptops, camera and cellphone seized by Homeland Security when entering the U.S.) is one of the few people to have visited Manning several times at Quantico. He describes palpable changes in Manning’s physical appearance and behavior just over the course of the several months that he’s been visiting him. Like most individuals held in severe isolation, Manning sleeps much of the day, is particularly frustrated by the petty, vindictive denial of a pillow or sheets, and suffers from less and less outdoor time as part of his one-hour daily removal from his cage.

    This is why the conditions under which Manning is being detained were once recognized in the U.S. — and are still recognized in many Western nations — as not only cruel and inhumane, but torture. More than a century ago, U.S. courts understood that solitary confinement was a barbaric punishment that severely harmed the mental and physical health of those subjected to it. The Supreme Court’s 1890 decision in In re Medley noted that as a result of solitary confinement as practiced in the early days of the United States, many “prisoners fell, after even a short confinement, into a semi-fatuous condition . . . and others became violently insane; others still, committed suicide; while those who stood the ordeal better . . . [often] did not recover sufficient mental activity to be of any subsequent service to the community.” And in its 1940 decision in Chambers v. Florida, the Court characterized prolonged solitary confinement as “torture” and compared it to “[t]he rack, the thumbscrew, [and] the wheel.”

  73. Elaine,

    Yes, Glen is a passionate and articulate purveyor of his opinions. I’ve learned a great deal about Pvt. Manning by reading Glen’s critic’s opinions.

  74. Buckeye,

    Might I suggest that you may bring more people around to your point of view if you offered something more than “I think X” as justification for it. I mean, those who call it torture have provided quotes from psychologists, international human rights organizations, and a Supreme Court Decision.

  75. Gyges

    I’m not trying to convince anyone. Everyone can make up their own mind. I just wanted to be sure everyone had read the attorney’s blog, and was not relying on what Greenwald, dailykos, firedoglake, etc. have interpreted for us in regard to what the facts are.

    As I said, I’ve done a fair amount of reading in psychology including about isolation and sleep deprivation. I’ve also read a fair amount about media’s manipulation techniques – and experienced it over the past 65 years.

    Pvt. Manning’s father has given an interview to Frontline which will run March 29. They showed a short portion of it this evening on the Jim Lehrer Show. It’s worth a look.

  76. Amnesty calls for protests over Bradley Manning’s treatment
    BY GLENN GREENWALD
    March 10, 2011
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/03/10/amnesty/index.html

    In late January, Amnesty International wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates denouncing the conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention as “unnecessarily harsh and punitive” and in “breach the USA’s obligations under international standards and treaties.” In the wake of the prolonged forced nudity to which Manning is now being subjected, Amnesty has escalated its denunciations: as the Associated Press put it today, the group is now “urging people to complain to the Obama administration about the confinement.”

    In particular, Amnesty said that “the conditions inflicted on Bradley Manning . . . amount to inhumane treatment by the US authorities” and “appear to breach the USA’s human rights obligations.” As a result, the group is encouraging as many Americans as possible to demand an end to these conditions (independent of Amnesty, there is a planned protest outside the Quantico brig on March 20, expected to be fairly large in size, with others being planned at military detention facilities around the country for later dates). In case anyone is wondering what Amnesty is: it’s the world’s premiere human rights organization which Democrats once held up as authoritative on issues on detainee abuse circa 2001- January 20, 2009 — remember that?

    Yesterday, the Quantico base commander denied Manning’s formal request for less harsh treatment — including an end to his forced nudity and 23-hour-a-day solitary confinement. That request — which is really a formal complaint of mistreatment — will now be forwarded to the Secretary of Navy, and if he also rejects it, then Manning’s lawyer will file a Writ of Habeas Corpus with the Army Court of Criminal Appeals. Manning’s counsel today released his rebuttal to the Commander’s decision and it supplies much more detailed information about just how harsh and punitive is Manning’s treatment; Marcy Wheeler documents how similar in language and content is this treatment to many of the core methods of degradation popularized during the Bush administration. But as we well know, caring about what Amnesty thinks is — just like concerns over detainee abuse and indefinite detention — so very 2005.

  77. From David Coombs
    10 march 2011

    Article 138 Complaint
    On March 1, 2011, the Quantico Base Commander, Colonel Daniel J. Choike, denied PFC Manning’s request to be removed from Prevention of Injury Watch and to have his custody classification reduced from Maximum to Medium Detention-In. The defense filed the following rebuttal to Colonel Choike’s response. Colonel Choike will now complete his action on the Article 138 complaint, and then forward the proceedings to the Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, for his final review. If Secretary Mabus denies PFC Manning’s requested relief, the defense will file a Writ of Habeas Corpus to the Army Court of Criminal

    http://www.armycourtmartialdefense.info/2011/03/article-138-complaint.html

    Link to the rebuttal:
    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B_zC44SBaZPoMzMyNWExZmUtZjEzMS00ZjM2LWE3OWMtM2I4NzY5NDNkMmFh&hl=en&authkey=CMKgiogG

  78. Elaine,
    That was a great link to Manning’s rebuttal. That treatment is insane and illegal. If the rebuttal is denied, I can’t imagine a Federal judge would allow this treatment to continue.

  79. Buckeye,

    That’d be a valid point, except for the fact that all of the opinions calling prolonged solitary isolation torture come from well before he was arrested. We didn’t see X and decide that X was torture. We thought X was torture, and then when we saw X happening said “this is torture.”

  80. Gyges,
    Well said! This kind of “treatment” is torture and the experts are pretty much in agreement. The forced nudity is one more part of the process and it was a central part of the Bush torture program and was seen in Gitmo and elsewhere. Yesterday the State Department Press Secretary voiced his opposition to the treatment. Since it is public knowledge, you know the top has approved this treatment. President Obama has a lot to answer for on this one!

  81. There is a news item up this morning. British journalist (now a journalism fellow at Harvard) reports that US State Department spokesman has slammed the treatment of Private Manning.

    http://philippathomas.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/the-state-department-spokesman-and-the-prisoner-in-the-brig/

    Greenwald also has the story and a summary is posted on Daily Kos by a blogger who has been following the story. There are several good links in this account.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/03/11/955246/-Top-State-Department-Spokesperson-Denounces-Treatment-of-Bradley-Manning

  82. Thanks, Raff.

    I am working on a diary about the effects of cumulative sleep deprivation. I expect to publish it on DKos in a few days. Right now, I am about to leave for Alabama to see my teenage grandson who is gravely ill.

    When I post that diary, I will link to it here.

  83. Otteray Scribe:

    Please also accept my own best wishes for your grandson and your family. We all hope and pray that he will recover.

    Jonathan Turley

  84. OS,

    Copy that on your grandson. As others have expressed, I wish him a speedy and full recovery.

  85. Otteray Scribe:

    I and my entire family send our best wishes to you and your family and we pray as one for your grandson’s recovery.

  86. OS,

    I am so sorry your Grandson is gravely ill, may he soon be well. Peace and Hope, to you and your family during this anxious time.

  87. Pvt. Manning, is being stripped? Who cares! What about all the people he hurt by leaking the information he leaked! Sometimes you need to feel the pain, to really understand the pain you have caused! Just my thoughts on this matter.
    Bill Bowermaster
    1stSgt USMC (ret)

  88. Infantryman,
    Thank you for you service. With all due respect, you statement assumes that Manning is guilty when he hasn’t even been tried yet. Your statement also assumes that stripping a detainee or prisoner is a legal procedure. Finally, who was harmed by the leaks? From the reports I have seen, the only “harm” was the government was embarrassed by the disclosures. Thanks for your comments. Stop by again!

  89. as some would say OS….Keep the Faith….it is not in anyone’s time but time….know that and run with it…Please keep us informed…

  90. Infantryman,

    I echo rafflaw in thanking you for your service. Make no mistake, First Sergeant, I know that I am free to sit here at this blog expressing my thoughts because men like you answered the call and served this nation. I trust you will always be given the genuine respect your service deservedly earned.

  91. Thanks, everyone, for the support and kind words. I got here a little while ago and spent time with him. I can tell you the clock is winding down for him very rapidly. It is a particular aggressive type of cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. Hospice is trying to keep him comfortable. He just had his 17th birthday. It will be his last. Sometimes the fates are unkind, which is all the more reason we must be kind to each other.

    That is what makes me so angry at the needless cruelty, insensitivity and unkindness I see when I look at the political landscape around me, and that is the topic of this thread. Thanks again, everyone. Thanks especially Rafferty for posting this and Professor Turley for making this forum available to us.

  92. Otteray Scribe,

    Robert Mercer, the first husband of one of my dearest friends–award-winning children’s author and illustrator Grace Lin–had Ewings Sarcoma. Grace organized some fundraisers for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston to raise money for the Jimmy Fund and cancer research. She and Robert even compiled a book of poems and and of art created by famous children’s picture book illustrators. All of the book’s royalties went Dana-Farber. I have several copies of the book. Email me your address. I would love to send you a copy of the book, “Robert’s Snowflakes: Artists’ Snowflakes for Cancer’s Cure.”

    You can find some information about the Robert’s Snow fundraiser and the book at the following links:
    http://www.jimmyfund.org/abo/press/pressreleases/2007/the-seasons-first-snow.html
    http://www.gracelin.com/content.php?page=book_snowflake&display=behind_the_story

  93. Otteray Scribe,

    The Cord

    We are connected,
    My child and I, by
    An invisible cord
    Not seen by the eye.

    It’s not like the cord
    That connects us ’til birth
    This cord can’t been seen
    By any on Earth.

    This cord does it’s work
    Right from the start.
    It binds us together
    Attached to my heart.

    I know that it’s there
    Though no one can see
    The invisible cord
    From my child to me.

    The strength of this cord
    Is hard to describe.
    It can’t be destroyed
    It can’t be denied.

    It’s stronger than any cord
    Man could create
    It withstands the test
    Can hold any weight.

  94. OS, I am so sorry to hear this latest news. My thoughts are with you and your family. I am very glad that you are have been with him.

  95. Otteray Scribe, I am sorry to hear your news. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  96. “Pvt. Manning, is being stripped? Who cares! What about all the people he hurt by leaking the information he leaked! Sometimes you need to feel the pain,”

    Sgt. Bowermaster,

    I respect your service and your sensitivity. As a retired serviceman you are no doubt more familiar with the UCMJ than I, so could you please cite for me where torture is allowed prior to conviction, or after for that matter?

  97. OS,
    I am glad that you got to spend some time with your grandson. Cancer is so scary and so brutal. I know that your presence will give both of you some modicum of peace. Let us know if we can do anything.

  98. “That is what makes me so angry at the needless cruelty, insensitivity and unkindness I see when I look at the political landscape around me”

    OS

    Tears came to my eyes and as I read you last comment and the worsening condition of your Grandson. This life we lead is so capricious and offtimes cruel, that the only alternative is for humanity to band together as siblings, facing the vagaries of life as one. Life is such a damned crap-shoot that each of us becomes familiar with personal tragedies happening to ones we love.

    As I know your family and friends are, we must all band together, in support of our fellow humans. Yet many see only their personal interests and pleasures as real.
    One cannot diminish the sadness of this affliction upon this young man and for those who love them. There are no comforting words to relieve the pain felt now and later by you all. The best I and we here can do is to allow our sadness and empathy for you touch our own hearts and express the hope that you all will be able to bear this unbearable pain and be strengthened in your bonds by it.

  99. rafflaw,

    WH forces P.J. Crowley to resign for condemning abuse of Manning
    By Glenn Greenwald (3/13/2011)
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/03/13/crowley/index.html

    Excerpt:
    On Friday, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley denounced the conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention as “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid,” forcing President Obama to address those comments in a Press Conference and defend the treatment of Manning. Today, CNN reports, Crowley has “abruptly resigned” under “pressure from White House officials because of controversial comments he made last week about the Bradley Manning case.” In other words, he was forced to “resign” — i.e., fired.

    So, in Barack Obama’s administration, it’s perfectly acceptable to abuse an American citizen in detention who has been convicted of nothing by consigning him to 23-hour-a-day solitary confinement, barring him from exercising in his cell, punitively imposing “suicide watch” restrictions on him against the recommendations of brig psychiatrists, and subjecting him to prolonged, forced nudity designed to humiliate and degrade. But speaking out against that abuse is a firing offense. Good to know. As Matt Yglesias just put it: “Sad statement about America that P.J. Crowley is the one being forced to resign over Bradley Manning.” And as David Frum added: “Crowley firing: one more demonstration of my rule: Republican pols fear their base, Dem pols despise it.”

    Of course, it’s also the case in Barack Obama’s world that those who instituted a worldwide torture and illegal eavesdropping regime are entitled to full-scale presidential immunity, while powerless individuals who blow the whistle on high-level wrongdoing and illegality are subjected to the most aggressive campaign of prosecution and persecution the country has ever seen. So protecting those who are abusing Manning, while firing Crowley for condemning the abuse, is perfectly consistent with the President’s sense of justice.

  100. Elaine,
    I saw that story about Crowley being forced out. Thanks for linking to it. It is incredible.
    Swarthmore Mom,
    I agree with Mr. Sullivan that Obama now owns this issue. I hold him personally responsible for the proper care of Pvt. Manning.

  101. Otteray Scribe

    I’m so very sorry to learn that your grandson will not survive. Your family surely has known the worst things that can happen to any family. Please know that my thoughts are with you and yours.

  102. Otteray Scribe 1, March 12, 2011 at 1:15 am

    I am so sorry to hear your news.
    There are no words but my thoughts are with you and yours…

  103. Thanks everyone. I just came from his bedside. It will not be long. Your support is accepted gratefully.

    But, regardless of what happens to us, we must never lose sight of the bigger picture of the horrors visited on the living. I have been distracted but while driving I have been reflecting on Private Manning and his family. Cancer is a disease and we can accept that no cure is yet on the horizon. Some survive and some do not–that is the way of the vagaries of nature.

    On the other hand, what is happening to Private Manning is deliberate, man-made, wanton and cruel. When I started learning about the precious first ten Amendments back in the fourth grade, I was particularly impressed when our teacher explained why there was a prohibition against cruel and unusual treatment of a prisoner, no matter what they had done. I am old enough to have been riveted to the newsreel and print accounts of the trials at Nuremberg and of the trials of Japanese war criminals for the cruel treatment of prisoners of war.

    What in the name of all that is Holy has happened to our country? Manning might have been shot as a traitor in 1943, following a Courts Martial, but he would not have been tortured or mistreated before trial. In 1946, his jailers would have been given lengthy sentences for war crimes. I have read the accounts of the treatment of the Nazi war criminals before trial. I have a copy of Dr. Gilbert’s book. He was the Army psychologist who gave the pre-trial detainees their tests and he mentions nothing remotely resembling the treatment of Manning. In fact, I think he would have written about it had it been present, because the sleep deprivation and enforced nudity, etc., would have invalidated the tests. He felt his testing was valid and reliable.

  104. Welcome back OS. You were missed. I feel the same as you about the treatment Pvt. Manning is suffering through. Ever since Bush started this nonsense, they spent enormous amounts of time producing the big lie that it was not torture and was saving lives. I expected more from a Democratic administration.

  105. Thanks, raff. We are probably preaching to the choir for the most part here, but maybe with our combined expertise, we can offer SOMETHING that might help the case. While driving for eight hours today I also did some mental composition for that diary I plan to post on DKos. It will come up in a few days, but as everyone knows, we are more than distracted at our house.

  106. ” I expected more from a Democratic administration.” (rafflaw)

    That is an extremely important statement and one worth repeating over and over. Simply because we support certain philosophies and platforms within the Democratic Party does not mean we must be blind followers of all they do. Nor does it mean that our criticisms should be whispered or kept behind closed doors.

  107. Rafflaw, I too expected better. Obama is easily as ruthless as Bush about not allowing any off-message statements to be made.

    Same thing just happened with the NLRB. It’s targeted for budget cuts and will no doubt to me, have its budget cut. A very mild, short and factual statement went up on the NLRB site on 2-18. It was scrubbed on 2-22 after OMB directed that it be removed in the interest of the Administration speaking with one voice. OPM stated that the President had already made a statement.

    If you follow the link on the NLRB site directing you to the OMB site looking for the President’s statement on the budget proposal there isn’t really one, just the bland, non-specific, rah-rah statement he released on the 14th to Congress.

    I’m getting sick of bait and switch.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/09/nlrb-white-house-muzzled-_n_833354.html

  108. See Paul Krugman’s column in the NY Times (“Another Inside Job”) and compare the treatment of criminals in banks and on Wall Street with the treatment of Manning.

    It seems to me that the wealthy who destroyed our economy (and affected most of the world) should be considered to have aided the enemy and committed treasonable acts.

    But they have the power and control of our Congress, whereas Manning has none, just his lawyer and those of us who whistle in the wind.

    Would Manning be undergoing such treatment if Bank of America or Goldman Sachs supported his rights?

  109. i find many of the posts on this board scary and treasoniness YOU MIGHT LIKE THE FACT THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS LYING TO YOU. but I DON”T.

    You might like having our CHILDREN PUT IN WARS BUILT ON LIES FOR PROFIT. I DON’T
    You might like Your government going into other countries and forcing their way on them I DON’T.

  110. Rafflaw,
    Thanks, for your input! Being stripped and searched, is an every day thing and he needs to get use to it. Yes, this happens prior to being found guilty or not. There were several deaths in Afghanistan that are related to this persons actions.
    Regards,
    Bill Bowermaster.

  111. infantryman, you know this how? He has not been tried and no proof has been put on. There has not been any proof produced that he did what he is accused of.

    Also, in the law, there is something called proximate cause. What proximate cause evidence do you have that any action of Private Manning was responsible for the death of anyone?

    Serious claims require serious credible evidence.

Comments are closed.