United Nations Officials Denounces Obama Administration For Denying Access to Bradley Manning

A senior United Nations official is condemning a country’s refusal to allow the UN to speak to an alleged whistleblower being abused by the government. The same government recently fired a high-ranking official who denounced the treatment of the whistleblower and has openly defied international treaties requiring the prosecution of officials responsible for a torture program. Syria? Iran? China? Of course not. It is the United States of America and the administration of Barack Obama.

UN envoy, Juan Mendez, unleashed the criticism this week over the continuing refusal of the Obama Administration to give him access to private Bradley Manning, the American soldier who is accused of being the WikiLeaks source. Mendez stated “I am deeply disappointed and frustrated by the prevarication of the US government with regard to my attempts to visit Mr Manning.”

The United States of course routinely demands other countries give access to UN investigators and Red Cross officials. The Bush Administration first blocked the Red Cross at Gitmo and then ignored its findings after it was given access. Now the Obama Administration is blocking the UN investigators.

Source: Guardian

59 thoughts on “United Nations Officials Denounces Obama Administration For Denying Access to Bradley Manning”

  1. Mar 7, 2012

    UN top torture official denounces Bradley Manning’s detention

    By Glenn Greenwald


    “It is remarkable that the administration of President Obama, who repeatedly railed against and vowed to end detainee abuse, first obstructed the investigation of the U.N.’s top torture investigator, only to be now harshly condemned by that investigator for “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”: treatment that endured for eight full months until the controversy became too intense to permit it to continue any longer. Last month, it was announced that Manning was one of 231 individuals officially nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by at least one person with formal nominating rights vested by the Nobel Committee. In a Guardian Op-Ed in December, I argued that the abuse of Manning was part of the larger war on whistleblowers being waged by the Obama administration, and that “for what he is alleged to have given the world, Manning deserves gratitude and a medal, not a life in prison.””

  2. Obama on Bradly Manning:

    “He broke the law.”



    Additional source:



    Holy smoke. He is a Harvard trained lawyer, so how come he is pronouncing a pre-trial detainee guilty? There has been something of a firestorm in parts of the legal community about this breach of Presidential protocol as well as ignoring that little Constitutional thing about ‘innocent until proven guilty.’

    Oh wait……that Constitution thing has been being used as toilet paper by Washington insiders for so long it appears it may not be worth the paper it is written on.

  3. Anon nurse,
    I saw that article. I just don’t think they will get away with it now. Too many eyes on them now!

  4. rafflaw,

    Just posted the above article to the today’s “Signing Statements” article. Didn’t realize until after I posted it, that you had posted the news here (and maybe elsewhere as well?). Scooped by a few hours… I’m always right on top of things… 🙂


    From an “Out Magazine” interview with Greenwald”


    Greenwald is a fan of Julian Assange, the embattled founder of WikiLeaks, and Bradley Manning, the 23-year-old army intelligence analyst who last year sent thousands of classified Iraq war documents to WikiLeaks. Ratted out to military authorities by Adrian Lamo, a publicity-seeking blogger, Manning is now in a military prison, awaiting trial. Manning is gay, which may have led him to Lamo, who is active in the LGBT community, and possibly caused him to let his guard down during online chats with Lamo. And it has also enabled critics to depict him as unstable — a typical antiwhistleblower technique. In fact, Greenwald says of Manning, “When he talks about his motivations, he’s extremely politically insightful, astute, and thoughtful.”

    Greenwald believes Manning might have been less likely to reveal government secrets if he were straight: Gay people, because they’re already “outside the sphere of comfort,” have a “huge advantage in being willing to challenge authority,” he says, speaking from experience.

    (end excerpt)

  5. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/04/19/us/politics/AP-US-US-WikiLeaks-Army-Private.html?_r=2&hp

    WikiLeaks Suspect Being Moved Out of Quantico

    Published: April 19, 2011 at 8:02 PM ET

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Army private suspected of giving classified data to WikiLeaks is being moved to a state-of-the-art facility at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, where Pentagon officials said more extensive mental, emotional and physical health care will be available.

    Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon’s top lawyer, said the move does not suggest that Army Pfc. Bradley Manning’s treatment at the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Va., was inappropriate.

    But the transfer, which Johnson described as “imminent”, comes in the wake of international criticism about Manning’s treatment during his detention at the Marine Corps base at Quantico. And the conditions of Manning’s detention have been the focus of repeated protests from human rights groups and lawmakers.

    Johnson, however, said that “The fact that we have made a decision to transfer this particular pretrial confine … should not be interpreted as a criticism of the place he was before.”

    Speaking to reporters Tuesday during a hastily arranged briefing, Johnson and Army Undersecretary Joseph Westphal acknowledged that the brig at Quantico was not designed to hold pretrial detainees for more than a few months.

    “This is the right decision, at the right time,” said Westphal. “We were looking at a situation where he would need an environment more conducive for a longer detention.”

    The new facility, they said, will be more open, have more space, and Manning will have a greater opportunity to eat and interact with other prisoners there. They added that the move was in Manning’s best interest because Leavenworth’s Joint Regional Correctional Facility has a broader array of facilities, including trained mental, emotional and physical health staff.

    Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton, who is in charge of the medium-security detention facility at Leavenworth, said Manning will undergo a comprehensive evaluation upon his arrival to assess whether he is a risk to his own or others’ safety. The 150 inmates there — including eight who are awaiting trial — are allowed three hours of recreation per day, she said, and three meals a day in a dining area.

    She said the facility, which opened in January, is designed for long-term detention of pretrial inmates. Officials agreed that Manning’s case, which involves hundreds of thousands of highly sensitive and classified documents, is very complex and could drag on for months, if not years.

    Johnson said that Manning, who has been at Quantico for more than eight months, can be moved now because his interview in the Washington region to determine his competency to stand trial has been completed. That interview lasted one day and was done April 9.

    Johnson also said he believes that Manning’s lawyer was told about the move Tuesday. The lawyer, David Coombs, did not respond to a request for comment.

    Manning faces nearly two dozen charges, including aiding the enemy, a crime that can bring the death penalty or life in prison.

    His transfer to Leavenworth comes a bit more than a week after a U.N. torture investigator complained that he was denied a request to make an unmonitored visit to Manning. Pentagon officials said he could meet with Manning, but it is customary to give only the detainee’s lawyer confidential visits.

    The U.N. official, Juan Mendez, said a monitored conversation would be counter to the practice of his U.N. mandate.

    A few days later, a committee of Germany’s parliament protested about Manning’s treatment to the White House. And Amnesty International has said Manning’s treatment may violate his human rights.

    Human rights activists have also staged protests near the Quantico facility.

    Tom Parker, a policy director at Amnesty International, said Tuesday that it would be good if the military was responding to concerns about Manning’s detention.

    “The conditions that he was reported to be held in at Quantico were extremely harsh and could have damaged his mental health,” said Parker.

    Manning has been held in maximum security in a single-occupancy cell at Quantico, and he is allowed to wear only a suicide-proof smock to bed each night.

    At least part of that will not change, Hilton said, noting that all of the pretrial detainees at the Leavenworth facility are held alone in their cells.

    President Barack Obama and senior military officials have repeatedly contended that Manning is being held under appropriate conditions given the seriousness of the charges against him.

    A former intelligence analyst, Manning is accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, including Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, confidential State Department cables and a classified military video of a 2007 Apache helicopter attack in Iraq that killed a Reuters news photographer and his driver.

    Army prosecutors, however, have told Manning’s lawyers that they will not recommend the death penalty.

    There are several detention facilities at Fort Leavenworth, including the military’s maximum security prison. The new 464-bed Joint Regional Correctional Facility, which opened last fall, combined the operations of several military prisons around the country.


    Associated Press National Security Correspondent Robert Burns contributed to this report.



    Joint Regional Correctional Facility: http://www.army.mil/jrcf

  6. It was just announced that Manning is being transferred to Ft. Leavenworth and will be in the general population! It looks like someone in the Pentagon or the White House, is reading Prof. Turley’s blog!! 🙂

  7. More international condemnation. Keep it coming everyone!

    “German Parliament Writes to Obama About Abuse of Bradley Manning
    Submitted by davidswanson on Thu, 2011-04-14 12:12

    On April 12th, the Human Rights Commission of the German Parliament (Bundestag) wrote to President Obama criticizing the treatment of Bradley Manning. On April 14th, they issued a press statement and published the letter to Obama on the Website of the German Parliament.

    Press Release:

    (at WarisaCrime.org)

  8. Ex-NSA worker charged in leaks case honored

    SARAH BRUMFIELD, Associated Press
    Wednesday, April 13, 2011


    Thomas Drake was awarded the Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling on Wednesday by the Fertel Foundation and the Nation Institute. The organizations said he risked his career and freedom when he “exposed the ethical, budgetary and acquisition shortcomings at the NSA,” including a multibillion-dollar program that was designed to analyze communications data.

    “I have already paid a frightfully high price for being a whistleblower, but worse still lies ahead of me,” he said in a speech at the award ceremony, the first time he has spoken publicly about his circumstances since being charged. “I now stand before you as a criminal defendant with my own life and liberty very much at stake.”

    Drake said the government is making whistleblowing a crime, but he won’t “live in silence to cover for the government’s sins.”

    He is charged with violating espionage laws without being accused of spying. Instead, he’s accused of shredding documents, deleting files from his computer and lying to investigators. His trial is set to begin in June in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

    Drake was charged after an investigation into leaks of classified information to a newspaper. His supporters claim he’s being punished for blowing the whistle on inefficiencies and mismanagement at the NSA.

    “My case is centered on a government prosecution bent not on serving justice, but on meting out retaliation, reprisal and retribution for the purpose of relentlessly punishing a whistleblower,” he said. “Furthermore, my case is one that sends a chilling message to would-be whistleblowers: Not only can you lose your job, but also your very freedom.”

    Federal prosecutors declined through a spokeswoman to comment on Drake’s remarks.

    Drake’s “real crime” was complaining, said Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project, a whistleblower advocacy group. He reported his concerns to bosses, Congress and the Department of Defense Inspector General, which vindicated his concerns, she said.

    “Tom Drake went through all the proper channels, but it made no difference,” Radack said. “He is still facing 35 years in jail.”

    At Wednesday’s luncheon ceremony at the National Press Club, the organizations also awarded the Ridenhour Courage Prize to former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold for a career “valuing principle over political expediency.”

    end excerpt

  9. GREAT REVIEW! I agree with pretty much all you said in your post, especially at the middle of your article. Thank you, this info is very useful as always. Keep up the good work! You’ve got +1 more reader of your blog:) Isabella S.

  10. Buddha wrote:

    anon nurse,

    What could be worse than getting caught with your breaches down?

    Other than being caught red-handed breaking the law?

    Oh. Wait.



    What was that you said, Buddha? Listening to a little Hannah Arendt this morning… Some lite listening…

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