Bradley Manning: The Forgotten Person in the Wikileaks Affair

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

Across the Pond: This week, Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, was released on bail from a London prison. Assange will remain under “mansion arrest” at the 600-acre estate of Vaughan Smith, a London restaurateur and former war correspondent. He plans to fight extradition to Sweden where he would face sex crimes allegations.

Back Here at Home: Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U. S. Army intelligence specialist who has been accused of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, has been held in solitary confinement at the marine brig in Quantico, Virginia, for five months. Before being transferred to Quantico, Manning was held in a military jail in Kuwait for two months. Manning will face a court martial on charges that he provided Wikileaks with classified information in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Bradley Manning is being kept under constant surveillance and is “under a regimen of authority-administered anti-depressant drugs.” He is reportedly not permitted to have a pillow or sheets—and not permitted to exercise. He is allowed out of his cell for just one hour a day.

According to MSNBC, Manning is being held under harsher conditions than “Bryan Minkyu Martin, the naval intelligence specialist who allegedly tried to sell military secrets to an undercover FBI agent.” Minkyu, who is awaiting trial, is not being held in solitary confinement.

From Glenn Greenwald: “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.”

 All this harsh treatment—and Manning hasn’t even been convicted of the crime for which he has been charged.

 For further reading on a related topic: DOJ Says Pentagon Isn’t Properly Protecting Whistleblowers (Turley Blawg)

Sources:

The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention by Glenn Greenwald (Salon)

Forgetting Bradley Manning by Laura Flanders (The Notion: The Nation’s Group Blog)

Bradley Manning’s Personal Hell (MSNBC)

 Boston Globe

Photo of Bradley Manning courtesy of the Bradley Manning Support Network

136 thoughts on “Bradley Manning: The Forgotten Person in the Wikileaks Affair

  1. Otteray Scribe,

    Thank you for your contributions to the thread and others.
    ____

    BBB,

    Otteray Scribe displayed his credentials, would you do the same?

  2. Please ignore the previous link. I was trying to embed an interview with Julian Assange. (The interview can be found via the Huffington Post link cited in my comment at 10:58.)

    From the same link:

    Despite claiming he had never met Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange jumped to the jailed U.S. Army intelligence analyst’s defense in an interview with Cenk Uygur on MSNBC.

    While discussing Manning — who is said to have provided WikiLeaks with access to the confidential documents which continue to emerge online — Assange responded, “If we are to believe the allegations, then this man [is] a political prisoner in the United States.” On reports that Manning is being kept in solitary confinement with limited access to exercise and even sleep, Assange went on to note, “He’s been a political prisoner without trial…this is serious business.”

    Currently being kept on house arrest in England, where a court battle is being waged over rape charges filed by two Swedish women, Assange also shot back at critics such as Joe Biden, who called the WikiLeaks founder a “high-tech terrorist,” and Sarah Palin, who suggested Assange be pursued with the same urgency as al Qaeda.

    “It’s clear that whoever the terrorists are here, it’s not us,” Assange said, calling the growing U.S. case against him “arguably unconstitutional.” He then added, “All members of the press and all the American people who believe in freedom and the good founding principles of the Revolutionary fathers have got to pull together and resist this attack on the First Amendment.”

  3. “Curiously, scholarly articles on the American Psychological Association web site indicating possible complicity between the APA and certain government projects have disappeared.”

    Otary Scribe,
    As a former member of the profession I have no doubt that the APA had dealings with the government that they would not like known. One of the reasons I stopped doing psychotherapy was because many members of the profession I have known lacked ehtics in their dealings, either knowingly, or by self-deception.

  4. Many of those involved in this country’s torture program are presumably enjoying the holidays with their families. The same cannot be said, of course, about Bradley Manning…

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/mannings-message-christmas-eve-i-gr/

    Manning’s message on Christmas Eve: ‘I greatly appreciate everyone’s support’ By Stephen C. Webster

    Friday, December 24th, 2010 — 2:44 pm

    “I greatly appreciate everyone’s support and well wishes during this time,” he said in a Christmas Eve statement released by his lawyer.

    “I’m also thankful for everything that has been done to aid in my defense,” Manning continued. “I ask that everyone takes the time to remember those who are separated from their loved ones at this time due to deployment and important missions.”

    “Specifically, I am thinking of those that I deployed with and have not seen for the last seven months, and of the staff here at the Quantico Confinement Facility who will be spending their Christmas without their family.”

  5. Anon Nurse, young Private Manning is showing more grace and kindness than those who would imprison him. I saw the Raw Story article and as I read it, my impression was that he is going to be harder to break than than those who hold him may expect. He displays the same sort of kindness toward those who hold him that Jesus spoke from the Cross, forgiving them for what they do.

  6. Otteray Scribe,

    Beautifully articulated, on your part…

    Private Manning’s definitely showing true “grace under pressure” and, as you indicated, his kindness towards his “captors” (for lack of a word) is quite remarkable.

  7. No sunlight for Bradley Manning in four weeks.

    Not a surprise… Confirms Otteray Scribes’s conclusion in an earlier comment.

    http://www.alternet.org/story/149317/bradley_manning_suffering_extreme_isolation_prison_torture_by_our_goverment_–_courageous_whistleblower_%27physically_deteriorating%27?page=2

    (possibly already posted…)

    Manning reported last weekend he had not seen sunlight in four weeks, nor does he interact with other people but a few hours on the weekend.

    The human nervous system needs a certain amount of sensory and social stimulation to retain normal brain functioning.

    The effects of this deprivation on individuals varies, and some people are affected more severely or quickly, while others hold out longer against the boredom and daily grind of dullness that never seems to end.

  8. RT interview with founder of cryptome.org

    ‘Spy services feed info to whistleblowers to keep tabs on site visitors’

    “Cryptome.org was publishing classified and secret documents long before WikiLeaks made headlines. Cryptome co-founder John Young told RT such sites are allowed to stay online so that spy services might keep an eye on their visitors. There is no secrecy on the Internet, John Young warned.”

    Of course, most are well aware of his last point…

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