View Full Version : The Inhumane Conditions of Bradley Manning’s Detention

Ed Jewett
12-15-2010, 05:27 PM
The Inhumane Conditions of Bradley Manning’s Detention (http://cryptogon.com/?p=19351)

December 15th, 2010 Via: Salon (http://www.salon.com/news/wikileaks/index.html?story=/opinion/greenwald/2010/12/14/manning):
From the beginning of his detention, Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement. For 23 out of 24 hours every day — for seven straight months and counting — he sits completely alone in his cell. Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he’s barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions. For reasons that appear completely punitive, he’s being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch). For the one hour per day when he is freed from this isolation, he is barred from accessing any news or current events programs. Lt. Villiard protested that the conditions are not “like jail movies where someone gets thrown into the hole,” but confirmed that he is in solitary confinement, entirely alone in his cell except for the one hour per day he is taken out.
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.

Peter Lemkin
12-15-2010, 06:03 PM
The Inhumane Conditions of Bradley Manning’s Detention (http://cryptogon.com/?p=19351)

December 15th, 2010 Via: Salon (http://www.salon.com/news/wikileaks/index.html?story=/opinion/greenwald/2010/12/14/manning):
From the beginning of his detention, Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement. For 23 out of 24 hours every day — for seven straight months and counting — he sits completely alone in his cell. Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he’s barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions. For reasons that appear completely punitive, he’s being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch). For the one hour per day when he is freed from this isolation, he is barred from accessing any news or current events programs. Lt. Villiard protested that the conditions are not “like jail movies where someone gets thrown into the hole,” but confirmed that he is in solitary confinement, entirely alone in his cell except for the one hour per day he is taken out.
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.

Alarming.....[along with the rest]....one can be sure these are not the 'normal' antidepressants or just antidepressants!....I'd bet my life on that!....... As I posted a day or two ago, there are rumors he is being tortured, as well...I'll try to track this down further. One who speaks the truth to power can expect NO mercy.....

Keith Millea
12-15-2010, 06:51 PM
the brig’s medical personnel now administer regular doses of anti-depressants to Manning

Oh man,his lawyer needs to do something quick about this.I bet they have some really good meds just waiting for Assange too.

Jan Klimkowski
12-15-2010, 07:09 PM
"Antidepressants" can cover a whole host of MK-ULTRA-thru-KUBARK medications.

See eg mefloquine (http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=28606&postcount=53):

Carsten Wiethoff
12-16-2010, 07:41 AM
From http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/04/solitaryconfinement/

Solitary Confinement: The Invisible Torture

By Brandon Keim (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/author/brandon9keim/) http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/wp-content/themes/wired/images/envelope.gif (brandon@earthlab.net)
April 29, 2009 |

The expanding torture scandal has left the American public horror-struck at how casually the Bush administration and its employees countenanced torture techniques like sleep deprivation, waterboarding and stress positions. However, another form of torture was not just used on detainees, but is being used on at least 25,000 Americans right now.
That’s the number of people currently held in long-term solitary confinement in the United States, living for years in 80-square-foot concrete cubes lit by round-the-clock fluorescent light, with little or no human contact. The U.S. is alone among developed countries in using long-term solitary confinement on a regular basis.
Academic scientific analysis of solitary confinement is still in its early stages, but the results are obvious, and echo the experiences of Americans who’ve been held in solitary confinement by terrorists or as prisoners of war. Human beings evolved to be social creatures. Solitary confinement drives us mad (http://law.wustl.edu/Journal/22/p325Grassian.pdf).
Wired.com spoke with psychologist Craig Haney (http://psych.ucsc.edu/directory/details.php?id=12) of the University of California, Santa Cruz, an expert on long-term solitary confinement. Asked if it’s torture, Haney replied, “For some people, it is.”
Wired.com: Everybody’s talking now about waterboarding and sleep deprivation and stress positions, but I haven’t seen solitary confinement mentioned much. Why is that?
Craig Haney: My interpretation is that the other techniques are generally regarded as more severe. But solitary confinement is in the background of all this. It’s assumed to be part of the environment in which torture is occurring. And it is itself a painful, potentially harmful condition of confinement.
Wired.com: What have you seen in your own work?
Haney: First let me note that solitary confinement has historically been a part of torture protocols. It was well-documented in South Africa. It’s been used to torture prisoners of war.

There are a couple reasons why solitary confinement is typically used. One is that it’s a very painful experience. People experience isolation panic. They have a difficult time psychologically coping with the experience of being completely alone.
In addition, solitary confinement imposes conditions of social and perceptual stimulus deprivation. Often it’s the deprivation of activity, the deprivation of cognitive stimulation, that some people find to be painful and frightening.
Some of them lose their grasp of their identity. Who we are, and how we function in the world around us, is very much nested in our relation to other people. Over a long period of time, solitary confinement undermines one’s sense of self. It undermines your ability to register and regulate emotion. The appropriateness of what you’re thinking and feeling is difficult to index, because we’re so dependent on contact with others for that feedback. And for some people, it becomes a struggle to maintain sanity.
That leads to the other reason why solitary is so often a part of torture protocols. When people’s sense of themselves is placed in jeopardy, they are more malleable and easily manipulated. In a certain sense, solitary confinement is thought to enhance the effectiveness of other torture techniques.
Wired.com: Is it fair to say that the science of sensory deprivation is “soft,” but the results are hard?
Haney: Yes. Human beings are socially connected organisms. It’s only when people are deprived of that connection that how much we depend on feedback from other people and contact becomes apparent. And all but the most resilient people begin to experience various forms of deterioration in the face of it. I’m not suggesting that everyone doesn’t recover, but not all of them do.
Wired.com: Confusion and loss of self-identity sounds uncomfortable, but is it profoundly damaging?
Haney: It’s certainly profoundly damaging if people lose hold of their own sanity. For some people, their sense of themselves changes so profoundly and so fundamentally that they are unable to regain it.
The other thing that happens more frequently, under even less long-term solitary confinement, is that people lose the ability to interact with others. They have to learn how to live in a world in which they’re in complete isolation. Their ability to be comfortable during social interaction and maintain relationships is permanently impaired.
And for some people, the actual experience of isolation is so painful that it generates an anxiety or panic reaction. People lose their ability to control themselves. They become uncontrollably and sometimes permanently depressed in the face of this kind of treatment. Others become angry and unable to control those impulses.
You also find people who suffer cognitive impairments. Their ability to process information is undermined. And it’s not clear if these skills can be brought back.
Wired.com: How many people in long-term solitary confinement are permanently damaged?
Haney: It’s difficult to estimate precisely, because the long-term solitary conditions themselves vary, and not all people are created equal in terms of psychological resiliency.
There tends to be a kind of sloppiness when we talk about this. Some people will point to a particular study where it doesn’t look like the effects were especially harmful, and conclude that there’s no harm to be concerned about. But there are many other studies showing a higher risk.
I’ve heard word informally that a large percentage of prisoners in Guantanamo have experienced psychiatric problems. Was it all because they were isolated? No. They were subjected to a variety of other things as well.
Wired.com: Based on your own experience with U.S. citizens in long-term solitary confinement, would you be able to hazard a guess as to how many have sustained long-term damage?
Haney: I don’t know. We don’t have good data on follow-ups of people who come out of this environment. This is not something that’s easy to study, and not something that prison systems are eager to have people look at.
But I can tell you that large numbers of them are in pain and are suffering while they’re in solitary confinement. And there is certainly anecdotal evidence that some people have left solitary confinement deeply disturbed. I know such cases. I’ve seen them. These are instances of people going into solitary confinement with no pre-existing psychological problems, who are given a clean bill of health when they go in. When they come out they have psychiatric problems that are permanent or long-lasting.
Wired.com: Does America need to change how it thinks of long-term solitary confinement?
Haney: Yes. In the last 30 or 40 years in the United States, we’ve slipped into more long-term use of solitary confinement. In some cases it’s a more complete form than was used before.
We have an overwhelmingly crowded prison system in which the mandate to rehabilitate and provide activities for prisoners was suspended at the same time as the prison system became overcrowded.
Not surprisingly, prison systems faced with this influx of prisoners, and lacking the rewards they once had to manage and control prisoner behavior, turned to the use of punishment. And one big punishment is the threat of long-term solitary confinement. They’ve used it without a lot of forethought to its consequences. That policy needs to be rethought.
The debate over long-term solitary confinement is always over how much harm it does, not over what positive effects it can have on people subjected to it. That’s because the latter answer is obvious: none. It’s an extraordinarily expensive, extraordinarily wrong-headed way of trying to manage prisoner populations.
Wired.com: Do you consider it legalized torture?
Haney: I don’t think correctional administrators always put people in solitary confinement just to make them feel pain. But to the extent that’s done, to the extent they know that people in these environments will feel that pain, then that creeps very close to the definition of what’s understood internationally as torture.
I think our sloppiness, our carelessness about how this policy has been implemented, raises very severe ethical concerns about the humane treatment of prisoners by both U.S. standards and international standards.

Peter Lemkin
12-16-2010, 08:39 AM
A room like that awaits everyone on this Forum and more.....they only need an itsy-bitsy 'excuse' of your doing something 'against the interest of the state [corporations]' or communication with, funding to, acting as, giving comfort to a 'terrorist'........when it is the terrorists who own, build and run these Gulags...which are growing and growing and growing. In the USA it is estimated that in a 'pinch' they can incarcerate 10% of the population. :five:

Ed Jewett
12-26-2010, 05:11 AM
They’re 'Slow-Torturing' Bradley Manning Right Under Our Noses

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 17:38 — Anonymous

John Grant

On December 18, David House, an MIT researcher, visited Bradley Manning at the Quantico, Virginia, military prison where he is being held in solitary confinement. Other than Manning’s attorney, House is the rare person allowed to visit him.
House’s report (http://my.firedoglake.com/blog/2010/12/23/bradley-manning-speaks-about-his-conditions/) is quite thorough in pointing out instances where the military authorities are lying -- or to use philosopher Harry Frankfurt’s formulation, “bullshitting” -- about how the 23-year-old Army intelligence worker is being treated.
Here’s some of psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Kaye’s comment (http://my.firedoglake.com/valtin/2010/12/22/bradley-manning-and-the-torture-that-is-solitary-confinement/) on House’s report:
"The human nervous system needs a certain amount of sensory and social stimulation to retain normal brain functioning. ... From what can be ascertained, the effects of solitary confinement are having some effects already on Bradley Manning. His concentration and thinking processes appear somewhat slowed. He avoids certain topics. He has little access to humor. His color is pale, and his musculature is starting to look soft and flabby.”
There is, unfortunately, a long and sordid history behind this kind of “slow torture,” and the use of it should be a battleground for all Americans still interested in compassion, fairness and justice.
http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/sites/default/files/images/Quantico.jpgIraq vet Josh Stieber speaks to protesters outside Quantico prison (Mary Davidson/Potomac Local)
(Iraq infantry veteran Josh Stieber, in the photo above, was a member of the ground unit shown cleaning up after the Apache strike released by WikiLeaks as "Collateral Murder" that showed two Reuters videographers being gunned down, plus two kids being wounded.)
In his book A Question Of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War On Terror, Alfred McCoy connects decades and billions of dollars of “black” US torture research with the current sophisticated techniques Global War On Terror jailers are using to torture human beings without laying a finger on them.
The key is absolute control -- and time. These are clearly the methods now being employed against Manning, who is accused of leaking the WikiLeaks material. The question is, given Manning's high-profile status, do his jailers at the Quantico, Virginia, military facility have the necessary control and time to really scramble young Manning's mind? And what are they after: his mental breakdown and/or his giving up of larger prey like Julian Assange?
House’s account from his visit with Manning suggests Manning's jailers, within the limitations they have, are doing their best to break Manning psychologically, Their primary limitation is the publicity surrounding the Manning case and the fact he has a strong, and hopefully growing, support network.
Some of the restrictions House reports would be quite absurd if they didn't make such sense as slow torture tactics.
Guards apparently enter Manning's cell and physically prevent him from doing exercises, which he is permitted to do only for one hour a day -- and that amounts to walking around in a circle in leg irons. He is not permitted any personal items in his cell. His clothes are confiscated at night and he must sleep in boxer shorts under a very heavy, scratchy blanket that causes carpet burns on his skin if he moves too much. A light always shines brightly into his cell, and he is checked on periodically all night by guards, who often enter his cell and wake him. This is his life day-in-day-out.
The fact Manning's jailers are compelled to allow people like House into the prison to talk with Manning makes "slow torture" that much more difficult, since absolute control and the exclusion of human contact are the keys to effective slow torture. Strong advocacy and loud public support can be life-savers.
http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/sites/default/files/images/Matt%20Southworth.JPGMatt Southworth, an Iraq vet with the identical intelligence MOS as Manning, speaks in support of Manning
During the mid-2000s, in the case of American citizen Jose Padilla, an entire wing of the South Carolina military brig he was imprisoned in was expensively re-designed for the special requirements ("theater") of his incarceration/interrogation. From the moment of his arrest for planning a "dirty bomb" attack Padilla was a pariah. He reportedly went three years with absolutely no contact from family, friends or lawyers. His only human contact was his interrogators. By the time of his trial for charges unrelated to those he was arrested for he was a walking zombie.
Here's how Alfred McCoy describes the process:
"(S)ensory deprivation has evolved into a total assault on all sense and sensibilities - auditory, visual, tactile, temporal, temperature, survival, sexual, and cultural. Refined through years of practice, the method relies on simple, even banal procedures -- isolation, standing, heat and cold, light and dark, noise and silence -- for a systematic attack on all human senses."
Over decades, CIA research delved into the ways these techniques create "a synergy of physical and psychological trauma whose sum is a hammer-blow to the fundamentals of personal identity."
McCoy quotes Otto Doerr-Zegers, a psychologist who treated torture victims of the regime of Chilean General Augusto Pinochet, where victims suffered "a loss of interest that greatly surpasses anything observed in anxiety disorders." The subject, Doerr-Zegers reported, "does not only react to torture with a tiredness of days, weeks or months, but remains a tired human being, relatively uninterested and unable to concentrate." Doerr-Zegers discovered that "the psychological component of torture becomes a kind of total theater, a constructed unreality of lies and inversion, in a plot that ends inexorably with the victim's self-betrayal and destruction."
Over decades, with their secret, black budget tax resources, the CIA contracted university professors and psychology departments in the US and Canada to analyze and break down the sensory deprivation process. The goal for the CIA was to achieve the psychic destruction Doerr-Zeger spoke about without resorting to the crude and atavistic methods of physical torture. They discovered that parrot’s perches and thumb screws were not needed. The goal was a form of "no touch" psychological ju-jitsu in which the victim's own internal make-up could be manipulated and leveraged so that over time the victim effectively destroyed himself or herself.
"Once the CIA completed its research into no-touch torture," McCoy writes, "application of the method was codified in the curiously named Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation Manual in 1963. The agency then set about disseminating the new practices worldwide."
McCoy quotes from the Kubark Manual that effective interrogation involves "methods of inducing regression of the personality to whatever earlier and weaker level is required for the dissolution of resistance and the inculcation of dependence." The effort is to disrupt the normal psychic process. "Such confusion can best be effected by attacking the victim's sense of time, by scrambling the biorhythms fundamental to every human's daily life." The goal is the "creation of existential chaos."
They want “to manipulate the subject’s environment, to create unpleasant or intolerable situations, to disrupt patterns of time, space and sensory perception ... to drive him deeper and deeper into himself, until he is no longer able to control his responses in an adult fashion." This last is Kubark thinking from a CIA training manual used in Honduras during the Contra War in the 1980s.
Kubark and this nefarious research is one of America’s dirty little secrets. "The American public has only a vague understanding of the scale of the CIA's massive mind-control project," McCoy writes. "There is a willful blindness, a studied avoidance of this deeply troubling topic."
Since the 1960s when the Kubark Manual appeared and the 1980s when its findings surfaced in places like Central America we've had 9/11 and its reactive Global War On Terror which led to an even wider dissemination of “slow torture” ideas and practices into all sorts of places -- to the point elements of it have been standardized and adapted into the day-to-day practices of prisons all over the United States, most especially in the notorious federal supermax prisons.
Since absolute control of inmate visitation and inmate cultural access is difficult in the United States, thanks to things like the Bill Of Rights, the process has become an imperfect back-and-forth struggle. In the case of Bradley Manning and his high-profile status, that struggle is now on-going. Contact and advocacy from outside is critical. In fact, it may not be excessive to say his sanity and the future integrity of his personal identity are at stake.
Once the fog clears, there are two sides to the Bradley Manning/WikiLeaks story, one legal and one moral. The United States government is playing the legal game because it has a lot to hide under its overwhelming regime of secrecy, which of course is all legal. Evidence suggests they are employing nefarious methods to crush a key voice on the moral side of the dialogue.
Concerned US citizens should do all they can to prevent the government from succeeding.


Ed Jewett
12-28-2010, 02:24 AM
Written on the Body: The Progressive Torture of Bradley Manning (http://www.chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/2067--written-on-the-body-the-progressive-torture-of-bradley-manning.html) http://www.chris-floyd.com/templates/rt_terrantribune_j15/images/pdf_button.png (http://www.chris-floyd.com/index.php?view=article&catid=1:latest-news&id=2067:-written-on-the-body-the-progressive-torture-of-bradley-manning&format=pdf) http://www.chris-floyd.com/templates/rt_terrantribune_j15/images/printButton.png (http://www.chris-floyd.com/index.php?view=article&catid=1:latest-news&id=2067:-written-on-the-body-the-progressive-torture-of-bradley-manning&tmpl=component&print=1&layout=default&page=) http://www.chris-floyd.com/templates/rt_terrantribune_j15/images/emailButton.png (http://www.chris-floyd.com/component/mailto/?tmpl=component&link=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5jaHJpcy1mbG95ZC5jb20vY29tcG9uZ W50L2NvbnRlbnQvYXJ0aWNsZS8xLWxhdGVzdC1uZXdzLzIwNjc tLXdyaXR0ZW4tb24tdGhlLWJvZHktdGhlLXByb2dyZXNzaXZlL XRvcnR1cmUtb2YtYnJhZGxleS1tYW5uaW5nLmh0bWw%3D) http://s7.addthis.com/static/btn/lg-share-en.gif (http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=20)
Written by Chris Floyd Monday, 27 December 2010 23:17 Tonight, in the tenth year of the 21st century, the government of the United States is torturing a young man -- one of its own soldiers -- whom it has incarcerated but not indicted. He has been held in solitary confinement for months on end, subjected to techniques of sleep deprivation taken from the Soviet gulag, denied almost all human contact except from interrogators, constantly harassed by guards to whom he must answer every few minutes -- all in an attempt to break his mind, destroy his will, degrade his humanity and force him to "confess" to a broader "conspiracy" against state power.
His name is Bradley Manning. He is 23 years old. The "crime" he is accused of committing is releasing video evidence of an American atrocity committed years ago in Iraq: the murder of Iraqi civilians by helicopter gunships. Under the American system of jurisprudence, of course, he is considered innocent until proven guilty of this heinous 'crime' of truth-telling. He has not been tried or convicted of this charge, or any other crime.
Yet tonight, in the tenth year of the 21st century, in the United States of America, under the leadership of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barack Obama, 23-year-old Bradley Manning is being subjected to same tortures routinely inflicted on other unindicted, untried captives of the militarist state.
Journalist Andy Worthington, who has been one of the most thorough and assiduous chroniclers of the modern American gulag, has noted the parallels (http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/12/20-2)between the treatment imposed on Manning and that doled out to earlier prisoners of the bizarre, lawless limbo concocted by the American war machine for those who threaten -- or are perceived to threaten -- its ever-expanding, ever-more corrupt operations around the world. Worthington states that the conditions of Manning's imprisonment
bear a marked and chilling resemblance to the conditions in which a handful of US citizens and residents were held as “enemy combatants” under the Bush administration. The key elements here are the elements of profound isolation and suffering ... not just the solitary confinement, with no other human being for company, but also the refusal to allow Manning to have a pillow, sheets, or any access to the outside world through the reporting of current affairs.
It is these factors that mark out his conditions of detention as sharing some key elements with the conditions endured by the three “enemy combatants” held on the US mainland under the Bush administration — the US citizens Yasser Hamdi and Jose Padilla, and the US legal resident Ali al-Marri.

al-Marri, along with two American citizens also held as “enemy combatants” — Yaser Hamdi and Jose Padilla — was subjected to the same “Standard Operating Procedure” that was applied to prisoners at Guantánamo during its most brutal phase, from mid-2002 to mid-2004. This involved the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” including prolonged isolation, painful stress positions, exposure to extreme temperature, sleep deprivation, extreme sensory deprivation, and threats of violence and death.

There is, at present, no suggestion that Bradley Manning has been subjected to a wide range of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” but prolonged isolation is confirmed, and depriving him of a pillow, sheets, or any access to the outside world through the reporting of current affairs are all elements of discomfort and further isolation that were key to the program of belittling and punishing “enemy combatants,” and, crucially, “softening them up” or “breaking” them for interrogation. It is, sadly, all too easy to imagine that other techniques designed to disorientate Manning and to further erode his will — involving elements of sleep deprivation, threats and sensory deprivation — could also be applied, or are, perhaps, already being applied, especially if, as has been suggested by the Independent, the authorities are hoping to cut a plea deal with him, reducing a 52-year sentence in exchange for a confession that Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, whom the US is seeking to extradite to the US, was not just a passive recipient of the information leaked by Manning, but was instead a conspirator.
As Glenn Greenwald (http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/14/manning/index.html) and others have documented, the known treatment being meted out to Bradley Manning is itself a profound form of torture. Indeed, isolation, sleep deprivation, incessant harassment and constant interrogation were primary methods of the torturers in the Soviet gulag, who in many cases did not resort to more "enhanced" techniques unless the pressure was on from above to produce large numbers of "convictions" and "evidence" of conspiracies in a hurry. These techniques -- the same techniques now used under the command of the Peace Laureate -- were considered highly effective and severely punishing tortures in their own right. They are now at the center of the American gulag's treatment of its captives.And, as Worthington ominously notes, we have no way of knowing at this moment whether "enhanced" techniques are being used on Manning as well.
I am running out of words to describe the depths we are sinking into. I am running out of ways to try to shake people from their stupor and shock them into an awareness of the monstrous evil that is rising all around them. Even those who proclaim themselves the progressive friends of all humankind spend most of their time and energy wringing their hands over the political tea leaves, parsing the strategy and tactics of the partisan squabbles between the two scarcely-distinguishable factions of the militarist establishment. And while they are sometimes bold enough to criticize this or that element of the Peace Laureate's administration, they still fret and fight and pray to keep that administration in power.
But tonight that very administration is torturing a young man -- torturing him -- for telling the truth about the crimes being committed by the machinery of evil that their standard-bearer, the Peace Laureate, now proudly directs. If you support this administration, then you support the torture of Bradley Manning. You are working to guarantee that such tortures, and worse, are inflicted on more and more truth-tellers, more and more people whose consciences have been jolted to the core by the abominations they have witnessed or learned about from others.
The militarist, corporatist, liberty-stripping evil that our earnest lovers of humanity fear will come to pass if those evil Republicans come to power is already here, it is happening before their very eyes. "Oh, that Glenn Beck, how terrible he is!" Yes, he is terrible, but I tell you this: Glenn Beck hasn't tortured anyone. Glenn Beck hasn't killed hundreds of defenseless innocent civilians, men, women and children murdered without any warning by robot drones in an undeclared war on an allied nation. Glenn Beck hasn't "surged" an endless, pointless, murderous, money-making war of domination against a broken land and its terrorized people. Glenn Beck is not going to court to defend torturers. Glenn Beck is not proclaiming he has the arbitrary, unchallengeable power to assassinate anyone on earth whenever he feels like it.
But the Peace Laureate has done all these things. He is doing all these things, and more. No doubt Glenn Beck -- and all the other greasy-pole climbers seeking wealth and domination in our degraded society -- would like to do these things too. But those with their eyes fixed on the potential or fantasized future evil of their partisan opponents are blind to the fact that their own faction is committing gross evils right here and now. Barack Obama is entrenching the machinery of evil deeper and deeper into the structures of government and society; he is strengthening the foundations of evil that others will build upon, just as he is building upon the wars and gulags and corporate whoredom of his predecessor. Progressives who support Obama -- who support this entrenching process -- are in fact guaranteeing that their dystopian nightmares of the future will come true. They are helping Obama clear the path for an even rougher, more merciless beast now slouching toward Washington to be born.
As I said, words are beginning to fail me. And in any case, almost no one is reading the words on this site. [Most of the traffic is drawn by the magnificent -- and shattering -- collection of Iraq War photos compiled by the webmaster, Rich Kastelein.] So let me end with the words of someone else: the incomparable Arthur Silber (http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/), whose mighty heart and incisive mind have blazed with light through many dark years (http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2007/12/honor-of-being-human-why-do-you-support.html):
I repeat once more: these horrors are now what the United States stands for. Thus, for every adult American, the question is not, "Why do you obey?" but:
Why do you support?
Or will you refuse to give your support? Will you say, "No"? These are the paramount questions at this moment in history, and in the life of the United States. We all must answer them. Our honor, our humanity, and our souls lie in the balance.
UPDATE: After putting this post together, I ran across the latest essay by Chris Hedges (http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/2011_a_brave_new_dystopia_20101227/) at Truthdig. Hedges, like Silber, is one of the very few who have the courage to walk the full walk and live fully by their convictions, despite the cost. Hedges was recently arrested outside the White House of the Peace Laureate, one of many protestors hauled off for speaking the truth about the Laureate's wars in a manner deemed unseemly in our great democracy.
His new piece is an eloquent description of how the nightmare dystopia noted above is already coming into being, a horrible mash-up of Huxley's "Brave New World" and Orwell's "1984." You should read the whole thing, but here are a few excerpts, beginning with his mention of the Bradley Manning case:
...The psychological torture of Pvt. Bradley Manning—who has now been imprisoned for seven months without being convicted of any crime—mirrors the breaking of the dissident Winston Smith at the end of “1984.” Manning is being held as a “maximum custody detainee” in the brig at Marine Corps Base Quantico, in Virginia. He spends 23 of every 24 hours alone. He is denied exercise. He cannot have a pillow or sheets for his bed. Army doctors have been plying him with antidepressants. The cruder forms of torture of the Gestapo have been replaced with refined Orwellian techniques, largely developed by government psychologists, to turn dissidents like Manning into vegetables. We break souls as well as bodies. It is more effective. Now we can all be taken to Orwell’s dreaded Room 101 to become compliant and harmless. These “special administrative measures” are regularly imposed on our dissidents, including Syed Fahad Hashmi, who was imprisoned under similar conditions for three years before going to trial. The techniques have psychologically maimed thousands of detainees in our black sites around the globe. They are the staple form of control in our maximum security prisons where the corporate state makes war on our most politically astute underclass—African-Americans.
...The public, at some point, will have to face some very unpleasant truths. The good-paying jobs are not coming back. The largest deficits in human history mean that we are trapped in a debt peonage system that will be used by the corporate state to eradicate the last vestiges of social protection for citizens, including Social Security. The state has devolved from a capitalist democracy to neo-feudalism. And when these truths become apparent, anger will replace the corporate-imposed cheerful conformity. The bleakness of our post-industrial pockets, where some 40 million Americans live in a state of poverty and tens of millions in a category called “near poverty,” coupled with the lack of credit to save families from foreclosures, bank repossessions and bankruptcy from medical bills, means that inverted totalitarianism will no longer work.

The noose is tightening. The era of amusement is being replaced by the era of repression. Tens of millions of citizens have had their e-mails and phone records turned over to the government. We are the most monitored and spied-on citizenry in human history. Many of us have our daily routine caught on dozens of security cameras. Our proclivities and habits are recorded on the Internet. Our profiles are electronically generated. Our bodies are patted down at airports and filmed by scanners. And public service announcements, car inspection stickers, and public transportation posters constantly urge us to report suspicious activity. The enemy is everywhere.
Hedges also provides a telling passage from Orwell's novel, where the facts of life are explained to Winston Smith:
"We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. ... The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”
These bedrock truths of our time are now being played out on the body and mind of Bradley Manning. The object of Bradley Manning's torture is not bolstering "national security" or upholding the "rule of law"; the object of his torture is the torture itself: the demonstration of power, the enactment of power, the physical embodiment of power. Power is not a reality until you exercise it -- inflict it -- upon someone else. And that is the essential, the ultimate concern of the militarist empire that rules us today.
*Go here to support Bradley Manning. (http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/content/view/858/1/)*

David Guyatt
12-28-2010, 11:29 AM
I am running out of words to describe the depths we are sinking into. I am running out of ways to try to shake people from their stupor and shock them into an awareness of the monstrous evil that is rising all around them.


Peter Lemkin
01-24-2011, 05:49 AM
2011-01-23 David House harassed, detained, and prevented from delivering petition to Bradley Manning
Submitted by Justin Paxton on Sun, 01/23/2011 - 20:26

Today, activist David House and Jane Hamsher, publisher of firedoglake, were detained, harassed, and ultimately prevented from delivering the petition to Stop the Inhumane Treatment of Bradley Manning.

David House reported from his twitter feed:
david house@davidmhouse Detained for 40 minutes now upon entering base. Advised that cannot leave.

Meanwhile visiting hours are expiring... Hopeful that I get to see Brad today. These visits are his only reprieve from solitary.

@davidmhouse david house
My, that's a big shotgun.

@davidmhouse david house
I am on approved visitation list; have been visiting since September. Was planning on asking Brad about his conditions today.

@davidmhouse david house
Vehicle being searched and impounded.

@davidmhouse david house
I am not being allowed to move on-base to see Bradley. The petition is in my lap in a tow-truck surrounded by MPs. Welcome to Quantico.

@davidmhouse david house
MPs still not letting us leave. To clarify I am authorized to be on base; have been on approved visitation list + visiting for 5 months.

davidmhouse david house
RT @janehamsher Quantico Marine brass don't want Manning 2 have sole visitor now. Isolation & enforcement of solitary confinement complete.

@davidmhouse david house
Finally released, right as visiting hours conclude. What's going on in the brig?

Magda Hassan
01-25-2011, 03:50 AM
U.S. military investigators have been unable to find a direct link between jailed Army PFC Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks, reports NBC News (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41241414/ns/us_news-wikileaks_in_security/?ocid=twitter).
However, the alleged source of the WikiLeaks diplomatic cables did download files illegally maintain military investigators. Reports NBC:

The officials say that while investigators have determined that Manning had allegedly unlawfully downloaded tens of thousands of documents onto his own computer and passed them to an unauthorized person, there is apparently no evidence he passed the files directly to Assange, or had any direct contact with the controversial WikiLeaks figure. WikiLeaks founder Assange has repeatedly stated (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/17/julian-assange-katie-cour_n_798537.html) that he had no contact with Manning prior to "reading his name in a magazine." WikiLeaks has, however, provided $15,000 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/13/wikileaks-bradley-manning_n_808659.html) towards Manning's legal fees, and Assange has referred to him (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/22/julian-assange-bradley-manning-political-prisoner_n_800499.html) as a "political prisoner."
Manning has been in the media spotlight recently as stories of his prison conditions (http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/14/manning) have emerged. He is currently being held at the Marine base in Quantico, Virginia, in solitary confinement. The military has strongly denied that Manning's detention conditions are punitive or "torture," as has been alleged.


David Guyatt
02-02-2011, 10:14 AM
He's a Brit and our grovelment does nothing, nothing. It takes Amnesty International to step in to the ring to try to shame them.

How do you spell gutless disgrace?


Bradley Manning is UK citizen and needs protection, government told

Amnesty International asks government to intervene on behalf of soldier suspected of having passed US secrets to WikiLeaks

Ed Pilkington in New York, Chris McGreal in Washington and Steven Morris
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 1 February 2011 20.00 GMT

Bradley Manning, who is being held in a military jail and charged with the unauthorised use and disclosure of classified information. Photograph: AP

The British government is under pressure to take up the case of Bradley Manning, the soldier being held in a maximum security military prison in Virginia on suspicion of having passed a massive trove of US state secrets to WikiLeaks, on the grounds that he is a UK citizen.

Amnesty International called on the government to intervene on Manning's behalf and demand that the conditions of his detention, which the organisation calls "harsh and punitive", are in line with international standards.

Amnesty's UK director, Kate Allen, said: "His Welsh parentage means the UK government should demand his 'maximum custody' status does not impair his ability to defend himself, and we would also like to see Foreign Office officials visiting him just as they would any other British person detained overseas and potentially facing trial on very serious charges."

Clive Stafford Smith, director of Reprieve, which provides legal assistance to those facing capital punishment and secret imprisonment, likened the conditions under which Manning is held to those in Guantánamo Bay.

"The government took a principled stance on Guantánamo cases even for British residents, let alone citizens, so you would expect it to take the same stance with Manning."

Manning is a UK citizen by descent from his Welsh mother, Susan. Government databases on births, deaths and marriages show she was born Susan Fox in Haverfordwest in 1953.

She married a then US serviceman, Brian Manning, stationed at a US base near the city, and they had a daughter, Casey, in the same year. Bradley was born in Oklahoma in 1987.

Born in the US, he is a US citizen. But under the British Nationality Act of 1981, anyone born outside the UK after 1 January 1983 who has a mother who is a UK citizen by birth is British by descent.

"Nationality is like an elastic band: it stretches to one generation born outside the UK to a British parent. And that makes Bradley Manning British," said Alison Harvey, head of the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association in London.

So far, however, Manning's British status has not impinged itself upon the UK authorities. The British embassy in Washington said it had not received any requests to visit Manning in jail. "It hasn't crossed our path yet," an official said.

The issue of the soldier's nationality has been bubbling furiously on Twitter in recent days and has been taken up by the UK branch of the Bradley Manning supporters network.

He has been held in the brig of Quantico marine base in Virginia since last July, having been arrested in Iraq, where he was stationed as a US army intelligence analyst two months previously.

He is alleged to have been the source of several WikiLeaks exposés of US state secrets, including the massive trove of cables released in November.

He has been charged with illegally obtaining 150,000 secret US government cables and handing more than 50 of them to an unauthorised person. Yet campaigners say the conditions in which he is being held are wholly disproportionate.

He was recently put on suicide watch for two days, in which he was stripped to his underpants, against the advice of prison psychiatrists. He remains on a regulation that keeps him alone in his cell 23 hours a day and requires him to be checked every five minutes, and he is shackled hand and foot when he has visitors.

In December the UN began an investigation into his treatment to see if it amounted to torture. The Foreign Office said that it was unable to release any information on an individual's nationality without that person's consent.

In general terms, the government normally will not intervene in cases of dual nationality where the person is held in the other country, but there are exceptions on humanitarian grounds, including claims of inhumane treatment.

Magda Hassan
02-02-2011, 11:18 AM
I would expect nothing less from the poodle. They also offered up Gary MacKinnon on a silver plate. And any number of Guantanamo prisoners and who knows who else. Spineless evil vogons.

Peter Lemkin
02-03-2011, 08:11 PM
Watch David House's latest update on Bradley Manning's condition

» Click here to watch the video (https://donate.firedoglake.com/manningfund2/contribute?rc=em20110203_nd)
Peter -

Bradley Manning's friend David House was able to visit Bradley at the Quantico brig this weekend - this time, without being detained.

David discussed his visit with Bradley on MSNBC this week - click here to watch the video and hear the latest about Bradley Manning.

Bradley is still under a punitive psychiatric detention at Quantico. Bradley was put on suicide watch as punishment for two days, and remains under an unnecessary prevention of injury order in maximum custody - far beyond any other prisoner in the brig. David told us that Bradley seemed "catatonic," and was clearly mentally and physically affected by his extreme isolation.

But it's not all bad: Bradley "brightened up" when discussing the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, particularly the role of young people and the Internet in helping spur democratic movements.

Watch David talk about Bradley Manning on MSNBC and share the video with your friends.

Thanks for standing by Bradley Manning.

Michael Whitney

Magda Hassan
02-05-2011, 01:23 AM
Kucinich demands visit with accused Wikileaks source

By Nathan Diebenow (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/author/rawnathan/)
Friday, February 4th, 2011 -- 7:33 pm

http://www.rawstory.com/images/new/bradleymanning-1215.jpgA liberal congressman has demanded a chance to visit with accused secrets leaker Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is being held in US military custody.
"As you know, I am concerned about reports of his treatment while in custody that describe alarming abuses of his constitutional rights and his physical health," Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) wrote in a letter (http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=223651) to Defense Secretary Robert Gates Friday.
He continued, "His care while in the custody of the Department of Defense is the responsibility of the U.S. Government and as a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform it is my duty to conduct effective oversight."
Recent reports have suggested that Manning's condition has declined visibly during six months in solitary confinement. Kucinich earlier in the week demanded that the Army publicly reveal Manning's mental health.
"If true, the Army’s treatment would obviously constitute 'cruel and unusual punishment' in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution," Rep. Kucinich wrote in a previous letter (http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=223468) to Gates.

Kucinich urged that Manning be immediately provided with a mental health specialist should the accusations of unfair treatment before his deployment to Iraq prove correct.
"At the very least, the Army must explain the justification for confining someone with mental health problems under conditions that are virtually certain to exacerbate those problems and explain the danger he now presents that only these extreme conditions of confinement can avoid," he added.
Kucinich's letter came in response to The Washington Post's report (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/01/AR2011020106858.html) on Pfc. Manning, an Army intelligence analyst accused of being a source of the WikiLeaks documents. The report indicated that the Army deployed Manning to Iraq in spite of a mental health screening that recommended he remain at home.
In Iraq, Manning's mental health continued to deteriorate, the report indicated, to the point where he was demoted in rank for assaulting another soldier. Since his arrest in May 2010, Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement at a prison in Quantico, Va.
Quoting from Glenn Greenwald's December 2010 report on Manning's condition, Kucinich wrote,"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."
Kucinich also quoted from a recent "Open Letter" from the Psychologists for Social Responsibility, issued in protest of Manning’s incarceration. The letter said that the group determined Manning's confinement fits the definition of "cruel, unusual and inhumane treatment" and thereby violates US law.
In January, two activist reporters (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/01/activists-manning-held-quantico/) who tried to deliver a petition protesting Manning's treatment were detained against their will at Quantico. A few days earlier, Manning had been placed on suicide watch for two days against the wishes of the prison's psychologist.
Many of Manning's defenders say the US is trying to use its leverage against the Army private to pressure him into testifying against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, something the New York Times suggested (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/charge-assange-conspiracy-report/) last month.
Manning has been held in some form of solitary confinement for at least the past six months. He faces charges the Army says could result in up to 52 years in prison.
The United Nations' special rapporteur for torture has reportedly launched an investigation (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/22/un-probing-bradley-manning-detention_n_800461.html) into complaints that Manning's treatment at Quantico amounts to torture.
This week, Amnesty International attempted to increase support (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/rights-groups-manning-uk-citizen-deserves-protection/) to Manning by suggesting he may be a British citizen because his mother is reportedly Welsh by birth. However, Manning's lawyer said that his client considered himself an American citizen.

Peter Lemkin
02-05-2011, 03:11 AM
"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."

What a country.....! Innocent until proven guilty.....of course unless first assumed to be guilty...and tried....ah, the hell with a trial [waste of time]....just let him rot in solitary.....all suspected terrorists and 'unAmericans' are de facto guilty now. I guess the government can cut some cost from the budget by just getting rid of the Judicial System. Make 'em all guilty and put em all away. Brownshirts will be issued to all good Americans shortly.

They hate us for our liberties and freedoms...Ha!!

David Guyatt
02-05-2011, 09:47 AM
Will Gates agree to Kucinich's request?

If Manning is being treated inhumanely, the answer has to be no.

Peter Lemkin
02-05-2011, 10:17 AM
Will Gates agree to Kucinich's request?

If Manning is being treated inhumanely, the answer has to be no.

I'll bet: NOT A CHANCE!!:hitler:

Magda Hassan
02-08-2011, 12:44 AM
Soldier who leaked US cables may be freed over 'denial of rights'

By Kim Sengupta, Defence Correspondent

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

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Lawyers acting for Bradley Manning, the US intelligence analyst accused of stealing classified diplomatic cables later made public by WikiLeaks, may file for the charges against him to be dismissed on the grounds that the nine months he has been held in solitary confinement breach his constitutional rights. While Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, attended an extradition hearing in London yesterday accompanied by his court of celebrity backers and 100 journalists, 23-year-old Manning spent another day in solitary confinement in his tiny, bare prison cell under conditions which have been described as inhumane and tantamount to psychological torture.
The few visitors allowed access to Private First Class Manning say that he points out that while his own reading material is subject to punitive restrictions, others, including Mr Assange, will profit from books being published about the exposure of the cables.
One of those who visited the prisoner at the end of last month, the computer researcher David House, reported that Pfc Manning has taken great interest in how new media has driven popular protests in Egypt and Tunisia and led to the fall of regimes.

Carsten Wiethoff
03-14-2011, 07:07 AM
See https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B_zC44SBaZPoMzMyNWExZmUtZjEzMS00ZjM2LWE3OWM tM2I4NzY5NDNkMmFh&hl=en&authkey=CMKgiogG&pli=1

(5) Since 2 March 2011, I have been stripped of all my
clothing at night. I have been told that the PCF Commander intends on
continuing this practice indefinitely. Initially, after surrendering
my clothing to the Brig guards, I had no choice but to lay naked in my
cold jail cell until the following morning. The next morning I was
told to get out of my bed for the morning Duty Brig Supervisor (DBS)
inspection. I was not given any of my clothing back. I got out of the
bed and immediately started to shiver because of how cold it was in my
cell. I walked towards the front of my cell with my hands covering my
genitals. The guard told me to stand a parade rest, which required me
to stand with my hands behind my back and my legs spaced shoulder width
apart. I stood at “parade rest” for about three minutes until the DBS
arrived. Once the DBS arrived, everyone was called to attention. The
DBS and the other guards walked past my cell. The DBS looked at me,
paused for a moment, and then continued to the next detainee‟s cell. I
was incredibly embarrassed at having all these people stare at me
naked. After the DBS completed his inspection, I was told to go sit on
my bed. About ten minutes later I was given my clothes and allowed to
get dressed.

Peter Lemkin
03-14-2011, 08:24 AM
Al Jazeera - English [great if you haven't yet discovered it!!!] had the only interview to my knowledge given by snitch Adrian Lamo, now living in fear of his life. It is worth looking at, can't find a transcript.....his 'explanation' is pathetic and I think he was working for the Govt. Not surprised he is now in fear of his pathetic life. angryfire

Carsten Wiethoff
04-11-2011, 11:01 AM
The following is an open letter signed by more than 250 researchers and law professionals. ( http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/apr/28/private-mannings-humiliation/) (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/apr/28/private-mannings-humiliation/)

Private Manning’s Humiliation

Bruce Ackerman (http://www.nybooks.com/contributors/bruce-ackerman/) and Yochai Benkler (http://www.nybooks.com/contributors/yochai-benkler/)

Bradley Manning is the soldier charged with leaking US government documents to Wikileaks. He is currently detained under degrading and inhumane conditions that are illegal and immoral.
For nine months, Manning has been confined to his cell for twenty-three hours a day. During his one remaining hour, he can walk in circles in another room, with no other prisoners present. He is not allowed to doze off or relax during the day, but must answer the question “Are you OK?” verbally and in the affirmative every five minutes. At night, he is awakened to be asked again “Are you OK?” every time he turns his back to the cell door or covers his head with a blanket so that the guards cannot see his face. During the past week he was forced to sleep naked and stand naked for inspection in front of his cell, and for the indefinite future must remove his clothes and wear a “smock” under claims of risk to himself that he disputes.
The sum of the treatment that has been widely reported is a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee against punishment without trial. If continued, it may well amount to a violation of the criminal statute against torture, defined as, among other things, “the administration or application…of… procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality.”
Private Manning has been designated as an appropriate subject for both Maximum Security and Prevention of Injury (POI) detention. But he asserts that his administrative reports consistently describe him as a well-behaved prisoner who does not fit the requirements for Maximum Security detention. The brig psychiatrist began recommending his removal from Prevention of Injury months ago. These claims have not been publicly contested. In an Orwellian twist, the spokesman for the brig commander refused to explain the forced nudity “because to discuss the details would be a violation of Manning’s privacy.”
The administration has provided no evidence that Manning’s treatment reflects a concern for his own safety or that of other inmates. Unless and until it does so, there is only one reasonable inference: this pattern of degrading treatment aims either to deter future whistleblowers, or to force Manning to implicate Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in a conspiracy, or both.
If Manning is guilty of a crime, let him be tried, convicted, and punished according to law. But his treatment must be consistent with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. There is no excuse for his degrading and inhumane pretrial punishment. As the State Department’s P.J. Crowley put it recently, they are “counterproductive and stupid.” And yet Crowley has now been forced to resign for speaking the plain truth.
The Wikileaks disclosures have touched every corner of the world. Now the whole world watches America and observes what it does, not what it says.
President Obama was once a professor of constitutional law, and entered the national stage as an eloquent moral leader. The question now, however, is whether his conduct as commander in chief meets fundamental standards of decency. He should not merely assert that Manning’s confinement is “appropriate and meet[s] our basic standards,” as he did recently. He should require the Pentagon publicly to document the grounds for its extraordinary actions—and immediately end those that cannot withstand the light of day.
Bruce Ackerman
Yale Law School
New Haven, Connecticut
Yochai Benkler
Harvard Law School
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Additional Signers: Jack Balkin, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Alexander M. Capron, Norman Dorsen, Michael W. Doyle, Randall Kennedy, Mitchell Lasser, Sanford Levinson, David Luban, Frank I. Michelman, Robert B. Reich, Kermit Roosevelt, Kim Scheppele, Alec Stone Sweet, Laurence H. Tribe, and more than 250 others. A complete list of signers has been posted on the blog balkinization (http://balkin.blogspot.com/2011/03/statement-on-private-mannings-detention.html).

Peter Lemkin
04-11-2011, 05:28 PM
The isolation of Bradley Manning just took a turn for the worse.:hitler:
Now Quantico Marine Base and the government are breaking their own rules to deny visits to Bradley Manning.
Government officials and Quantico Marine Base have just declared that Congressman Dennis Kucinich and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture - who have tried to visit Manning for months - would not be considered to be on "official government business." That means brig authorities could monitor their conversations and possibly use them against Manning in court.
We need to appeal this decision to the leadership at Quantico and the Pentagon, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Quantico Base Commander Colonel Daniel J. Choike, and Brig Commander CWO Denise Barnes. If enough of us call out this wrongheaded decision, we can generate pressure in the media to allow official visits with Bradley Manning.
Sign our letter to Quantico and Pentagon leaders: follow your own rules and allow official visits to PFC. Bradley Manning. Click here to add your name.
What do Quantico and the Pentagon have to hide? Are they afraid of what Bradley Manning might say about his treatment when the brig cameras are turned off?
For 9 months and counting, Bradley Manning has faced almost complete solitary confinement. He is still forced to strip nude nightly. He is still in maximum custody with an unnecessary "Prevention of Injury" order - far beyond that of any other detainee. He is still cut off from appropriate exercise and other rights afforded prisoners at the brig.
When confronted about Manning's harsh treatment, President Obama said the Pentagon had reassured him that Manning's confinement met "basic standards." If Manning's conditions meets our "basic standards," then why is the government going to such great lengths to keep him from meeting with official visitors?
Call out the hypocrisy of denying Bradley Manning official visitors. Sign our letter protesting the decision to block unmonitored visits to Bradley Manning.
The decision to block official visits to Bradley Manning isn't just ludicrous. It's against the rules. Marine rules clearly state that people "conducting official government business, either on behalf of the prisoner or in the interest of justice," can be allowed "official visits" not subject to monitoring by the brig. That explicitly includes Members of Congress like Rep. Kucinich.
Rep. Kucinich, a member of the House Oversight Committee, has been trying to visit Manning in prison for more than two months. The Congressman repeatedly wrote to Secretary Gates and other military officials requesting a visit to investigate the allegations of torture-like conditions to which Manning has been subjected. And the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has opened an official investigation into PFC. Manning's conditions.
If it seems like a stretch to say that a member of the US Congressional Oversight Committee and the United Nations visiting a military prisoner alleging abuse does not constitute 'official government business,' that's because it is. This is one big game of semantics, with the ultimate goal being to keep the public from hearing the truth about Manning's confinement.
The secrecy has to stop. Sign our petition to Secretary Gates and Commanders Choike and Barnes to stop obstructing and allow official visits to Manning.
With your help, we will make sure there is nothing secret about the way the US Government is treating Bradley Manning.
Thanks for all you do.
Michael Whitney,

Magda Hassan
04-12-2011, 02:22 AM
Bradley Manning: top US legal scholars voice outrage at 'torture'

Obama professor among 250 experts who have signed letter condemning humiliation of alleged WikiLeaks source

Ed Pilkington (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/edpilkington) in New York
guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/), Sunday 10 April 2011 20.01 BST http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/4/10/1302455212274/Bradley-Manning-Rally-007.jpg A man protests about the detention of Bradley Manning. More than 250 legal scholars have signed a letter expressing outrage. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

More than 250 of America's most eminent legal scholars have signed a letter protesting against the treatment in military prison of the alleged WikiLeaks (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/wikileaks) source Bradley Manning (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/bradley-manning), contesting that his "degrading and inhumane conditions" are illegal, unconstitutional and could even amount to torture.
The list of signatories includes Laurence Tribe, a Harvard professor who is considered to be America's foremost liberal authority on constitutional law. He taught constitutional law to Barack Obama and was a key backer of his 2008 presidential campaign.
Tribe joined the Obama administration last year as a legal adviser in the justice department, a post he held until three months ago.
He told the Guardian he signed the letter because Manning appeared to have been treated in a way that "is not only shameful but unconstitutional" as he awaits court martial in Quantico marine base in Virginia.
The US soldier has been held in the military brig since last July, charged with multiple counts relating to the leaking of thousands of embassy cables and other secret documents to the WikiLeaks website.
Under the terms of his detention, he is kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, checked every five minutes under a so-called "prevention of injury order" and stripped naked at night apart from a smock.
Tribe said the treatment was objectionable "in the way it violates his person and his liberty without due process of law and in the way it administers cruel and unusual punishment of a sort that cannot be constitutionally inflicted even upon someone convicted of terrible offences, not to mention someone merely accused of such offences".
The harsh restrictions have been denounced by a raft of human rights groups, including Amnesty International, and are being investigated by the United Nations' rapporteur on torture.
Tribe is the second senior figure with links to the Obama administration to break ranks over Manning. Last month, PJ Crowley resigned as state department spokesman after deriding the Pentagon's handling of Manning as "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid".
The intervention of Tribe and hundreds of other legal scholars is a huge embarrassment to Obama, who was a professor of constitutional law in Chicago. Obama made respect for the rule of law a cornerstone of his administration, promising when he first entered the White House in 2009 to end the excesses of the Bush administration's war on terrorism.
As commander in chief, Obama is ultimately responsible for Manning's treatment at the hands of his military jailers. In his only comments on the matter so far, Obama has insisted that the way the soldier was being detained was "appropriate and meets our basic standards".
The protest letter (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/apr/28/private-mannings-humiliation/), published in the New York Review of Books, was written by two distinguished law professors, Bruce Ackerman of Yale and Yochai Benkler of Harvard. They claim Manning's reported treatment is a violation of the US constitution, specifically the eighth amendment forbidding cruel and unusual punishment and the fifth amendment that prevents punishment without trial.
In a stinging rebuke to Obama, they say "he was once a professor of constitutional law, and entered the national stage as an eloquent moral leader. The question now, however, is whether his conduct as commander in chief meets fundamental standards of decency".
Benkler told the Guardian: "It is incumbent on us as citizens and professors of law to say that enough is enough. We cannot allow ourselves to behave in this way if we want America to remain a society dedicated to human dignity and process of law."
He said Manning's conditions were being used "as a warning to future whistleblowers" and added: "
I find it tragic that it is Obama's administration that is pursuing whistleblowers and imposing this kind of treatment."
Ackerman pointed out that under the Pentagon's own rule book, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Manning's jailers could be liable to prosecution for abusing him. Article 93 of the code says "any person who is guilty of cruelty toward any person subject to his orders shall be punished".
The list of professors (http://balkin.blogspot.com/2011/03/statement-on-private-mannings-detention.html) who have signed the protest letter includes leading figures from all the top US law schools, as well as prominent names from other academic fields. Among them are Bill Clinton's former labour secretary Robert Reich, President Theodore Roosevelt's great-great-grandson Kermit Roosevelt, the former president of the American Civil Liberties Union Norman Dorsen and the writer Kwame Anthony Appiah.
• This article was amended on 11 April 2011. The original referred to Kwame Anthony Appiah as a novellist. This has been corrected.

Carsten Wiethoff
04-24-2011, 07:35 PM
From http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2011/04/22/obama-on-manning-he-broke-the-law-so-much-for-that-trial/

OBAMA: So people can have philosophical views [about Bradley Manning] but I can’t conduct diplomacy on an open source [basis]… That’s not how the world works.
And if you’re in the military… And I have to abide by certain rules of classified information. If I were to release material I weren’t allowed to, I’d be breaking the law.
We’re a nation of laws! We don’t let individuals make their own decisions about how the laws operate. He broke the law.
[Q: Didn't he release evidence of war crimes?]
OBAMA: What he did was he dumped…
[Q: Isn't that just the same thing as what Daniel Ellsberg did?]
OBAMA: No it wasn’t the same thing. Ellsberg’s material wasn’t classified in the same way.

Constitutional Scholars aren't any more what they used to be... :mad:
Reminds me to similar pre-convictions in the Khalid Sheikh Mohamed case. Maybe Obama intends to make it impossible to hold a civil trial and go for a military tribunal instead. Just guessing...

Magda Hassan
04-25-2011, 04:09 AM
And why wasn't Obama talking this talk with Bush and company's crimes? Instead we got this "Move on, look forward not backwards" crap. No one has died from any of the Wikileaks cables and maybe many saved. Millions have died from Bush and companies murderous wars and cover ups.

Peter Lemkin
04-25-2011, 06:09 AM
We convict them first and try them never.....torture and imprison 'em in between...how nice :darthvader: As cartoon character Pogo famously said, "We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us!"

Keith Millea
04-25-2011, 01:59 PM
And why wasn't Obama talking this talk with Bush and company's crimes? Instead we got this "Move on, look forward not backwards" crap.

Well,the "Move On,look forward" crap,means the Bush company's crimes are also Obama's crimes now.Obama ain't sayin' nothing!

No one has died from any of the Wikileaks cables and maybe many saved. Millions have died from Bush and companies murderous wars and cover ups.

Which reminds me,what ever happened to the threat to release the video of the massacre of over 90 Afghan civillians?Remember,that was just after the chopper video was released.And,that video would have been 10 times more explosive than the Apache video.Did WikiLeaks think people couldn't handle it,or was there something more persuasive that Wikileaks just had to cave? :mexican:

Magda Hassan
04-25-2011, 03:10 PM
I'm sure it will come in good time. And I'm certainly interested to learn more as it was horrific enough when it was even first mentioned. I just think the Wikileaks people have had their hands full with releasing the cables and the fall out from that plus the rape trials plus internal sabotage and infiltration and the Twitter case. I'm sure it is still on the to do list and not forgotten. There is quite a bit of work to do before the releases. Checking veracity of material and safety of sources etc.

Peter Lemkin
04-27-2011, 09:02 AM
AMY GOODMAN: We turn right now to Dan Ellsberg. I want to turn to President Obama, who was questioned by supporters of accused U.S. Army whistleblower Bradley Manning last week at a fundraiser in San Francisco. The President’s comments were recorded on a cell phone. He said that what Bradley Manning had done was different from what Dan Ellsberg had revealed a generation ago. Listen very carefully. This is a cell phone recording.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We’re a nation of laws. We don’t individually make our own decisions about how the laws operate. No, he’s doing fine, he’s doing fine; I mean, he’s being courteous, and he’s asking a question. He broke the law.

LOGAN PRICE: You can make it harder to break the law, even to tell the truth.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, what he did was he dumped—

LOGAN PRICE: Isn’t that just the same thing as what Daniel Ellsberg did?

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: No, it wasn’t the same thing. What it was, Ellsberg’s material wasn’t classified in the same way.

AMY GOODMAN: President Obama openly declaring that Bradley Manning—who has yet to stand trial—has broken the law. According to Obama, the cases are not similar because, quote, "Ellsberg’s material was not classified the same way." Dan Ellsberg is on the phone with us right now, the world-renowned whistleblower who exposed the Pentagon Papers some 40 years ago.

Dan, he says don’t compare Bradley Manning with you.

DANIEL ELLSBERG: Well, nearly everything the President has said represents a confusion about the state of the law and his own responsibilities. Everyone is focused, I think, on the fact that his commander-in-chief has virtually given a directed verdict to his subsequent jurors, who will all be his subordinates in deciding the guilt in the trial of Bradley Manning. He’s told them already that their commander, on who their whole career depends, regards him as guilty and that they can disagree with that only at their peril. In career terms, it’s clearly enough grounds for a dismissal of the charges, just as my trial was dismissed eventually for governmental misconduct.

But what people haven’t really focused on, I think, is another problematic aspect of what he said. He not only was identifying Bradley Manning as the source of the crime, but he was assuming, without any question—

AMY GOODMAN: Dan, we have four seconds.

DANIEL ELLSBERG:—that a crime has been committed.

Peter Lemkin
04-30-2011, 04:36 AM
JUAN GONZALEZ: Military officials announced Thursday that accused WikiLeaks leaker Bradley Manning has been cleared to be held as a medium-security prisoner at Fort Leavenworth, where he was just transferred. Up until last week, the Army private was being held in solitary confinement at a Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia. His treatment at Quantico was condemned by Amnesty International and led to a probe by a torture expert at the United Nations.

AMY GOODMAN: Our next guest, Glenn Greenwald, revealed in December Bradley Manning was being subjected to detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injury. With an article called "The Inhumane Conditions of Bradley Manning’s Detention," Greenwald helped spark the debate over Manning’s treatment that eventually led him to be transferred out of Quantico.

Glenn Greenwald is a constitutional lawyer, blogger at Salon.com. He’s joining us here in New York.

And you had a little help from, well, the former State Department spokesperson, P.J. Crowley.

GLENN GREENWALD: Right, I mean, he was clearly the tipping point for what brought this story into national and international prominence, because he’s the one who forced the President to address the issue, and he ultimately was forced to resign. And once it reaches that level, it becomes not just a big scandal, but one that is at the top level of political controversies.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain what he did.

GLENN GREENWALD: He was in a small group meeting with internet writers and social activists in MIT, about 15 to 20 people, most of them students. And he was there to talk about the State Department’s promotion of internet freedom around the world. And one of the individuals who was there, an MIT student, had been reading lots about Manning and said, "Look, I think we need to address the elephant in the room," he called it, "before we go on, which is the torture of Bradley Manning." And without batting an eye, P.J. Crowley said, "That treatment is stupid, and it’s irresponsible and counterproductive." And it was quite an extraordinary criticism for somebody in that position to make of government policy.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Was his sense that that would get out at all, or was he figuring this was going to be a private, off-the-record conversation?

GLENN GREENWALD: Yeah, you know, it’s hard to say. I mean, one of the impressive things is that he has made no attempt to walk it back. He lost his job over it. And even given that, he seems perfectly intent on continuing to defend the position. So whether he intended at the time for it to get out is impossible to say. These gatherings tend to be—give a feeling of intimacy, even though they’re on the record. And if he wanted to say it, there were lots of other better ways for him to do so. But clearly, he is not remorseful.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about Bradley Manning, what happened at Quantico, and why he has been transferred.

GLENN GREENWALD: He was held at Quantico for eight months. The entire time, he was held in solitary confinement, 23 hours a day, inside his cell, forbidden from exercising while inside his cell—a completely punitive and irrational restriction. The one hour a day that he had was to walk around by himself in a room shackled. And so, this is the kind of isolation and psychological torment that has broken large numbers of people in permanent ways. And that’s what led to all the controversy that you just described.

In response to that controversy, it just got too big of a scandal for the Obama administration, and they just yanked him out of Quantico, in essence, without warning and have now transferred him to Fort Leavenworth, where that’s a much larger and more regularized military prison. And the claim is, although we don’t know it’s true, that his treatment will be less oppressive. He’ll have more time out of his cell and more interaction with other people.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell appeared on MSNBC and defended the military’s treatment of Bradley Manning.

GEOFF MORRELL: The issue for him really is, he’s being held in the manner he’s being held because of the sever-–the seriousness of the charges he’s facing, the potential length of sentence, the national security implications, and also the potential harm to him that he could do to himself or from others, frankly, you know, who are being imprisoned there, if he were allowed to mix with the general population. So this is as much for his own good as it is because of the charges.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, this was from last month. Your response?

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, it’s just interesting, because he’s basically acknowledging that they’re using improper means. I mean, the idea that the seriousness of the offense warrants oppressive conditions is a violation in the law. The Uniform Military Code of Justice says you can’t punish people using pretrial detention. But the interesting thing is the justification for what they were doing to him was we need to do this to protect himself from himself and from other Marines and other people in the population. And yet, now, suddenly, they’re claiming that he’s going to be able to interact with the general population more. So what happened to all of those alleged concerns that they had that necessitated keeping him in isolation? They were clearly pretext.

AMY GOODMAN: What about what President Obama said in San Francisco? He was at a fundraiser. It was disrupted by people deeply concerned about what’s happening to Bradley Manning. He didn’t know he was being recorded. I think it was on a cell phone, and he said something like, "Well, he broke the law."

GLENN GREENWALD: One of the cardinal rules of being a president is that you don’t decree private citizens guilty of crimes before they’ve been adjudicated of having been convicted of a crime. And amazingly, even John Mitchell, the most corrupt attorney general in American history, knew that, because Richard Nixon once stood up in the middle of the Charles Manson trial, who everyone thought was guilty, while the jurors were sequestered, and said, "He’s killed eight people." And John Mitchell knew that was inappropriate, that you can’t do that, and forced Nixon to retract it. Here, it’s much worse for Obama to do that, because Bradley Manning is a member of the military under his command. The people who will decide his guilt are inferior officers to Obama as commander-in-chief. It’s an amazing amount of over and improper influence on the military process.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And Glenn, recent information about the continuing criminal investigation that’s going on into the leaks, new subpoenas that seem to suggest some of the documents that the government is trying to ascertain to prove that Manning and Assange conspired even before he downloaded the material, to download the material—in other words, that Assange wasn’t just a passive recipient of the WikiLeaks documents, that he was actually conspiring to get them?

GLENN GREENWALD: Right. The problem the the DOJ faces in trying to prosecute WikiLeaks is how do you prosecute them, but then say that other newspapers like the New York Times and the Post that have published this information shouldn’t be prosecuted, as well. And their answer, according to the New York Times about six months ago, was that they were going to try and prove, as you just said, that they actually actively conspired with Manning to help him steal the documents and didn’t just get them passively afterwards. Meanwhile, there’s been no evidence that that’s the case. The Justice Department admits there’s no evidence. And what was disturbing about the subpoena, which I obtained, that was served on a Cambridge, Massachusetts, resident with connections to WikiLeaks, was that it’s clearly the grand jury is considering indictments under the Espionage Act, which would be the first time a non-government employee would be convicted under that for disclosing classified information and this conspiracy theory for which there is no evidence. They’re just desperate to prosecute.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to continue this conversation after the show and post it at democracynow.org. Glenn Greenwald, constitutional lawyer, blogger at Salon.com.