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Bradley Manning Speaks: I’m Being ‘Left To Languish’ In This Jail Cell

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Ed Pilkington in New York, for The Guardian on Friday 11th March 2011 00.29 UTC

 

Bradley Manning, the US soldier being held in solitary confinement on suspicion of having released state secrets to WikiLeaks, has spoken out for the first time about what he claims is his punitive and unlawful treatment in military prison.

In an 11-page legal letter released by his lawyer, David Coombs, Manning sets out in his own words how he has been “left to languish under the unduly harsh conditions of max [security] custody” ever since he was brought from Kuwait to the military brig of Quantico marine base in Virginia in July last year. He describes how he was put on suicide watch in January, how he is currently being stripped naked every night, and how he is in general terms being subjected to what he calls “unlawful pre-trial punishment”.

It is the first time Manning has spoken publicly about his treatment, having previously only been heard through the intermediaries of his lawyer and a friend. Details that have emerged up to now have inspired the UN to launch an inquiry into whether the conditions amount to torture, and have led to protests to the US government from Amnesty International.

The most graphic passage of the letter is Manning’s description of how he was placed on suicide watch for three days from 18 January. “I was stripped of all clothing with the exception of my underwear. My prescription eyeglasses were taken away from me and I was forced to sit in essential blindness.”

Manning writes that he believes the suicide watch was imposed not because he was a danger to himself but as retribution for a protest about his treatment held outside Quantico the day before. Immediately before the suicide watch started, he said guards verbally harassed him, taunting him with conflicting orders.

When he was told he was being put on suicide watch, he writes, “I became upset. Out of frustration, I clenched my hair with my fingers and yelled: ‘Why are you doing this to me? Why am I being punished? I have done nothing wrong.’”

He also describes the experience of being stripped naked at night and made to stand for parade in the nude, a condition that continues to this day. “The guard told me to stand at parade rest, with my hands behind my back and my legs spaced shoulder-width apart. I stood at parade rest for about three minutes … The [brig supervisor] and the other guards walked past my cell. He looked at me, paused for a moment, then continued to the next cell. I was incredibly embarrassed at having all these people stare at me naked.”

Manning has been charged with multiple counts relating to the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US government cables, videos and warlogs from Iraq and Afghanistan to WikiLeaks. The charges include “aiding the enemy”, which can carry the death penalty.

The legal letter was addressed to the US military authorities and was drawn up in response to their recent decision to keep Manning on a restriction order called Prevention of Injury (PoI). It means he is kept in his cell alone for 23 hours a day and checked every five minutes by guards including, if necessary, through the night.

The letter contains excerpts from the observation records kept in the brig which consistently report that Manning is “respectful, courteous and well spoken” and “does not have any suicidal feelings at this time”.

Sixteen separate entries made from 27 August until the records stop on 28 January show that Manning was evaluated by prison psychiatrists who found he was not a danger to himself and should be removed from the PoI order.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

By:           Queerty Editor
On:           Mar 11, 2011
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • 53 Comments
    • HumpDay
      HumpDay

      Awwww, poor little traitor doesn’t like being punished for endangering the life of every American. Too bad, so sad. Next time you try stealing U.S. secrets, Brad old boy, maybe you’ll think twice.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 10:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Soupy
      Soupy

      Can you detail how Mr. Manning has endangered the life of every American. Then can you examine how Bush/Cheney endangered the life of every service man and woman in pursuit of a false war in Iraq?

      Mar 11, 2011 at 10:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      It’s shocking just how many times the Brig Psychiatrist recommends that he be removed from Prevention of Injury (POI) but this is totally ignored by the PCF Commander.
      As he says himself:

      “I am being treated differently from any other detainee at the Quantico Brig. While the PCF Commander follows the recommendation of the Brig Psychiatrist in dealing with other detainees, this does not happen in my case. Other detainees usually remain on MAX custody or in POI Status for about two weeks before they are downgraded. I, however, have been left to languish under the unduly harsh conditions of MAX Custody and POI Status since my arrival on 29 July 2010. In fact, I am currently the only detainee being held under MAX Custody and the only detainee being held in POI status by the Brig.”

      All of this against the constant and persistent recommendation by the Brig Psychiatrist that he should be removed from POI.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 10:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Lefty: They are trying to break him. I don’t even see how this is legal. I realize military law and civilian law are two different animals, but seriously? This is ridiculous. Bradley is a hero in my book.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 10:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AmericanPatriot
      AmericanPatriot

      @Shannon1981: A hero? For real? I suppose the 9/11 hijackers are just as heroic in your book. Unbelievable.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 10:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @HumpDay: said…


      Awwww, poor little traitor doesn’t like being punished for endangering the life of every American.”
      _________________________________________

      I have seen in the Wikileaks how the U.S. knew that Pakistan was endangering U.S. lives and not stopping it, I’ve seen how they knew that the money flowing into Afghanistan from our Taxpayers was being funnelled to foreign bank accounts of minor Afghan officials by the millions and they were doing nothing about it, I saw how they were suspicious that Karzi was playing both sides of the fence putting U.S. lives in danger.

      Honestly what I haven’t seen is anything in the links that detail one thing that would be dangerous to American lives by it’s revelation.

      What I see, is that the U.S. was aware of taxpayer money being stolen and of Pakistan giving dangerous and deadly info to the Taliban that already had caused the death of soldiers and not done anyting about it.

      So Manning broke the law and will be punished, but unless you have a link to back up what you’re seeing I don’t see how anything in the leaks endangers American lives, I would imagine that it’s exposure would actually save them.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 11:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      @AmericanPatriot: I was wondering how long it would take before a “patriot” made some hysterical comparison to 9/11.
      The anti-Bradley Manning commenters on this site are in the minority, thankfully, but they are a depressing bunch. Not so much because of what they say, but the fact that they clearly can’t see how utterly mad they sound.
      Most either call for his execution or revel in the inhumane treatment of Bradley Manning despite the fact he hasn’t been convicted of anything. They belittle the victims of 9/11 and Timothy McVeigh by making idle comparisons. They show shocking bigotry by referring to Trans people as “Trannys” or “shims”.
      And they seem to think they represent all that is great and good in the America of which they’re so proud.
      Patriotism, to them, clearly means total, blind and unquestioning servility.
      Unbelievable.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 11:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      Other than Manning’s statement to Lamos, what else implicates him in the leaking of documents?

      [the sound of silence]

      Until the evidence is evaluated, we’re just speculating as to what he actually did or didn’t do. Do we automatically presume guilt in the US?

      Mar 11, 2011 at 11:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @AmericanPatriot: completely different. the 9/11 folks were radical religionists who wanted everyone to believe as they do. Bradley simply exposed the truth.m Yes, a hero, and how dare you equate him with terrorists.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 11:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      @AmericanPatriot: Whoa whoa whoa. We know what the 9/11 hijackers did. All we have are allegations about what Manning did. Can we at least give the guy a trial before we hang him.

      People said the same thing about the Berrigan Brothers many years ago. They’re now almost universally regarded as heroes.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 11:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      @Shannon1981: “Bradley is a hero in my book.”

      I agree, he is a hero in mine too; and reading the Brig’s observation records shows that, apart from one entry on the 18th January 2011, the 291 days he has been imprisoned under the harshest conditions they can place him in, his conduct has been exemplary and without incident.
      Most people would crack under these conditions, I think.
      The saddest part of the letter is where he explains what happened on January 18th:

      (1) On 18 January 2011, over the recommendation of Capt. Hocter and the defense forensic psychiatrist, Capt. Moore, CWO4 Averhart placed me under Suicide Risk. The Suicide Risk assignment resulted in me being required to remain in my cell for 24 hours a day. I was stripped of all clothing with the exception of my underwear. My prescription eyeglasses were taken away from me and I was forced to sit in essential blindness.

      (2) The basis for the above treatment was due to my alleged erratic behavior on 18 January 2011. On that date, I was pulled out of my cell for my one hour of recreation call. When the guards came to my cell, I noticed a change in their usual demeanor. Instead of being calm and respectful, they seemed agitated and confrontational. Also, instead of the usual two to three guards, there were four guards. Almost immediately, the guards started harassing me. The first guard told me to “turn left.” When I complied, the second guard yelled “don?t turn left.” When I attempted to comply with the demands of the second guard, I was told by the first, “I said turn left.” I responded “yes, Corporal” to the first guard. At this point, the third guard chimed in by telling me that “in the Marines we reply with “aye” and not “yes”. He then asked me if I understood. I made the mistake of replying “yes, Sergeant.” At this point the forth guard yelled, “you mean ‘aye, Sergeant’.”

      (3) The harassment by the guards continued as I was escorted to my one hour of recreation. When I arrived at the recreation room, I was told to stand still so they could remove my leg restraints. As I stood still, one of the guards yelled “I told you to stand still.” I replied “yes Corporal, I am standing still.” Another guard then said, “you mean „aye? Corporal.” Next, the same guard said “I thought we covered this, you say “aye” and not “yes,? do you understand?” I responded “aye Sergeant.” Right after I replied, I was once again yelled at to “stand still.” Due to being yelled at and the intensity of the guards, I mistakenly replied, “yes Corporal, I am standing still.” As soon as I said this, I attempted to correct myself by saying “aye” instead of “yes,” but it was too late. One of the guards starting yelling at me again, “what don?t you understand” and “are we going to have a problem?”

      (4) Once the leg restraints were taken off of me, I took a step back from the guards. My heart was pounding in my chest, and I could feel myself getting dizzy. I sat down to avoid falling. When I did this, the guards took a step towards me. I instinctively backed away from them. As soon as I backed away, I could tell by their faces that they were getting ready to restrain me. I immediately put my hands up in the air, and said “I am not doing anything, I am just trying to follow your orders.” The guards then told me to start walking. I complied with their order by saying “eye” instead of “yes.”

      (5) I was allowed to complete my hour of recreation. During the hour, the guards did not harass me further. The guards also did not harass me when I was escorted back to my cell. Only later did I learn that there had been a protest outside the gates of Quantico the previous day.
      The rally was intended to bring attention to the conditions of my confinement. It is my belief that my treatment on 18 January 2010 by the guards and later by the PCF Commander was related to this protest and my earlier complaints.

      (6) After being returned to my cell, I started to read a book. About 30 minutes later, the PCF Commander, CWO4 James Averhart, came to my cell. He asked me what had happened during my recreation call. As I tried to explain to him what had occurred, CWO4 Averhart stopped me and said “I am the commander” and that “no one could tell him what to do.” He also said that he was, for all practical purposes, “God.” I responded by saying “you still have to follow Brig procedures.” I also said “everyone has a boss that they have to answer to.” As soon as I said this, CWO4 Averhart ordered that I be placed in Suicide Risk Status.

      (7) Admittedly, once I heard that I would be placed under Suicide Risk, I became upset. Out of frustration, I placed my hands to my head and clenched my hair with my fingers. I did yell “why are you doing this to me?” I also yelled “why am I being punished?” and “I have done nothing wrong.” I then asked CWO4 Averhart “what have I done to deserve this type of treatment?”

      (8) CWO4 Averhart did not answer any of my questions. He instructed the guards to enter my cell and take all my clothing. At first I tried to reason with CWO4 Averhart by telling him that I had been a model detainee and by asking him to just tell me what he wanted me to do and that I would do it. However, I gave up trying to reason with him once the guards entered my cell and ordered me to strip. Instead, I lowered my head and starting taking off my clothes.

      (9) CWO4 Averhart placed me on Suicide Risk, over the recommendation of Capt. Hocter and the defense forensic psychiatrist, Capt. Moore. His decision was also in violation of Secretary of Navy Instruction (“SECNAVINST”) 1649.9C Paragraph 4205.5d. As a result of being placed on Suicide Risk, I was confined to my cell for 24 hours a day. I was also stripped of all clothing with the exception of my underwear. Additionally, my prescription eyeglasses were taken away from me. Due to not having my glasses, I was forced to sit in essential blindness during the day. I remained on Suicide Risk until 21 January 2010. The determination to place me on Suicide Risk was without justification and therefore constitutes unlawful pretrial punishment.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 11:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel
      Joel

      Whistle blowers are rarely, if ever, treated well. I wonder, what did he think was going to happen? While I do not agree with how this young man is being treated, it is certainly not surprising. When you embarrass one of the strongest governments in the world, you can expect to be embarrassed in return.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PerplexedStudent
      PerplexedStudent

      @HumpDay:

      We live in a nation of laws; he hasn’t been convicted of anything yet. There’s no point in a trial if you apply punishment *before* conviction–if you’re just going to assume guilt just because someone’s been accused.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 1:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Samuel
      Samuel

      Other than him being put in a cell alone all day, what exactly is inhumane about his treatment? There are prisoners across the country in solitary confinement every day and who will be for the duration of their lives.

      Regardless of whether you think what he did was heroic, no one should applaud a soldier breaking the law in the way he did. We don’t want soldiers assuming that what they are doing is “the right thing” means they should just go ahead and do it.

      If you have moral difficulty serving your country, leave your post, quit service and then speak out. You don’t leak internal documents to Julian Assange to blow a whistle. I understand many liberals (and yes, I consider myself a liberal) are borderline anti-government, but praising what he did is a joke. Why don’t we just dismantle the government and live in anarchy?

      I don’t think he should be treated inhumanely, but he will not be going free any time soon. If he believed so much in his cause then he should be willing to accept the punishment. That is heroism.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 1:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      @Samuel: “We don’t want soldiers assuming that what they are doing is “the right thing” means they should just go ahead and do it.”

      I’m not sure who this “we” is that you feel you’re speaking for, but becoming a soldier in the army doesn’t mean you automatically relinquish all moral judgement.
      Forgive me, but you don’t sound very “liberal”, to me.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 1:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ousslander
      ousslander

      I have to agree with Samuel. INhumane treatment especially while not found guilty is wrong. If he’s convicted , they could throw away the key for all I care.

      As for soldiers making moral judgments, you can make them but don’t act stupid. You are there to follow the chain of command , if you don’t like an order go up the ladder and complain. If every soldier did whatever they wanted to, there would be anarchy and no army. You give upa lot of your autonomy in the service.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nathan
      Nathan

      Bradley Manning is a crusader for justice. He owed nothing to America, the heterosexual apartheid state.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      @ousslander: “As for soldiers making moral judgments, you can make them but don’t act stupid. You are there to follow the chain of command , if you don’t like an order go up the ladder and complain. If every soldier did whatever they wanted to, there would be anarchy and no army. You give upa lot of your autonomy in the service.”

      “You are there to follow the chain of command”
      Yes, but if you come across wrongdoing or corruption, if you’re faced with something you feel is immoral then you act on it. If the “chain of command” tells you to shoot an innocent baby, do you do it? No, of course not – though it seems like this issue isn’t so black and white for some here. Maybe you do kill the baby? Maybe not killing the baby is unpatriotic? The baby may turn out to be a terrorist in later life anyway, seeing as some here have no time for due process.

      “If you don’t like an order go up the ladder and complain”
      Yes, but this is a lot more serious than someone “not liking an order”.
      I rather think it’s you who is being disingenuous here.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 3:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ken S
      Ken S

      @Samuel: “I understand many liberals (and yes, I consider myself a liberal) are borderline anti-government, but praising what he did is a joke. Why don’t we just dismantle the government and live in anarchy?”

      There’s a world of difference between “dismantling” the government and trying to see that it’s responsible to its people. The point of the Wikileaks “security breach” was to provide the electorate with the information they need to hold their government accountable- to judge whether its conduct is in keeping with their values, whether their legislators are obeying their own laws, and whether they want to change their representation.

      The people shrilling on about Manning “endangering troops’ lives” should look a bit more critically at who’s *really* putting them in harm’s way: their elected leaders. By continuing to do business with regimes that funnel money to the terrorists, by propping up leaders whose tyrannical reigns continue to crank out disillusioned radicals, and by perpetuating war because of shitty intel or as corporate welfare for arms manufacturers. Wikileaks tries to *make* people make *informed* decisions about how they want to be governed, to *reduce* the wasting of blood- or at least to make its expenditure count for something more than politicans’ lies. Attacking it for blowing the whistle amounts to tacit support of a massive secrecy apparatus that the government’s created *so that it can lie to us* with impunty- so that it can classify and bury anything that contradicts its ideology and undermines its policy, even (especially!) when that ideology and those policies go against the good and the will of the people.

      People want to attack the people associated with Wikileaks? I’d contend that that brand of thinking would lead to the oblitteration of democracy; because if the dissenters and the objectors and the Wikileaking ‘traitors’ were all silenced, no one would be challenging the corrupt egomaniacs that aspire to perpetual power. Everyone braying for Manning’s blood is casting their vote for secretive government power run amok, whether they know it or not.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AmericanPatriot
      AmericanPatriot

      @Ken S: You stated, The people shrilling on about Manning “endangering troops’ lives” should look a bit more critically at who’s *really* putting them in harm’s way: their elected leaders.
      And you’re right: Obama should be impeached immediately.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 6:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ken S
      Ken S

      @AmericanPatriot: Just like Bush before him should have been, right? The guy who threw thousands of soldiers at Iraq without adequate armour for a massive lie?

      Mar 11, 2011 at 6:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Will
      Will

      You do NOT take matters into your own hands. Take him out back and shoot him.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 7:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 1 · HumpDay wrote, “Awwww, poor little traitor doesn’t like being punished for endangering the life of every American.”

      If you were arrested due to some mistake, do you think it would be OK to punish you first and try you later? Manning has not been tried, much less convicted. Like any other American citizen, he deserves a fair trial, and should not be punished until found to be guilty.

      Also, if an American soldier was captured and treated as Manning is being treated, most of us would want the captors charged with war crimes (a clear violation of the Geneva conventions). If it is not OK for them to do it, it is not OK for us to do the same thing.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 7:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Roman
      Roman

      Cruel and unusual retaliation for an American. His rights to be treated humanly have been ignored under this new, harmful, and political oppression. It’s outrageous!

      Mar 11, 2011 at 8:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker
      Riker

      @B: Except it *is* okay for us to do it, even if other nations can’t. Didn’t you hear? America can do no wrong, ever. We are the shining beacon on a hill, the nation that everyone wants to live in, the one that holds liberty in such high esteem.

      Or at least, that’s what we’ve been telling ourselves.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 8:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • wannabegay2
      wannabegay2

      Manning is the hero of our generation! We will look back in history and condemn the way he was treated and so on. But for now, everyone should realize that he is and will be “innocent until proven guilty.” That’s why we have human rights, to protect against abuses. And what the govt is doing is abusive.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 9:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      Hehe! Thanks for posting this Queerty. It really made my day to hear how much the tranny traitor is suffering. And to hear the self-righteous tone! They are violating my privacy, she squeals! Ah, the sweet delicious irony.

      Hey, all (s)he did was violate his oath, defile his loyalty to his country and fellow servicemembers and endanger the lives of countless intelligence sources around the world, all in the cause of leaking documents that (s)he never even read and 99 percent of which had nothing to do with the war or any alleged wrongdoing. And just because of that, all these people are watching her naked. Poor dear, she probably wouldn’t be so self-conscious if she had had the surgery.

      Just a thought: some intrepid whistleblower should snap some pics of She-Manning in the buff and then leak them onto the web. Maybe then Manning will have a better understanding of what it means to violate a trust.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 9:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Johnny Exchange
      Johnny Exchange

      We always get a kick out of ‘high profile’ cases like this where the ‘offender’ gets press about his treatment in US federal prison custody. Welcome to the feds Bradley! Wait until you get sentenced and sent to a real federal prison instead of a detention center. That’s when the fun begins…as a federal prisoner you can get used to a life where you are treated like crap every waking day… leave your constitutional rights at the door please. Noone cares…. that is… unless you are an Islamic terrorist.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 9:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MaxH
      MaxH

      Good. I’m glad he’s being treated piss poorly. He’s a traitor. He committed treason, and he deserves every ounce of punishment he gets. He’s lucky we don’t hang him high.

      Mar 11, 2011 at 11:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 29 · MaxH wrote, “He’s a traitor.”

      That’s one possibility. Another is that he was BSing that Lamos guy (who turned him in), who then could have told someone else, adding they had a perfect victim to frame (one who had framed himself) if that someone else released the information. Not to suggest that Lamos did something like that, but if you jump to conclusions, you may not only punish the wrong guy but not stop the real culprit from doing it again.

      Mar 12, 2011 at 12:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rich
      Rich

      I see nothing wrong with the way he’s being treated. Most of that was what it was like in boot! People who cry about his story either don’t understand what it means to be in the armed forces, or have the wrong idea.

      Mar 12, 2011 at 12:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      @MaxH: Are you new to posting on a blog? Sounds like the answer is YES, golly gee. Before making a comment, please read the article and prior comments so you won’t make a complete fooool of your naive, uneducated self by showing how little you know on the subject.

      Mar 12, 2011 at 12:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MaxH
      MaxH

      @Jeffree

      Listen, sweet pea. I read the article. I am not naive, nor am I uneducated, especially about this traitor. I know plenty, thanks. If it were up to me, I’d hang him. But it’s not. Good. I’m glad the Justice System is doing it for me, and taking as much emotion out of it as possible, and making it as just as possible.

      That said, I’m sure Tim McVeigh wasn’t treated lovingly, despite the ideals of the Justice System. Some people are just plainly evil.

      Mar 12, 2011 at 12:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ken S
      Ken S

      Oh well- here’s at least hoping that when the secretive “big-government” puppet masters withdraw their hands from the asses of their witless truth-and-democracy-hating cheerleaders, they keep the fist closed and pull their guts out too.

      Mar 12, 2011 at 12:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      @MaxH. I judged you too quicky. I hope that neither you, nor I nor anyone else will judge Manning until all the evidence is evaluated & weighed.

      So far, we the public are left to speculate based on hearsay and possible {?} self-incrimination. Not a great basis to pre-judge what he did or didn’t do. The popular rush to yell “hang him” is worrisome, so is our collective need to assume the result before the hearings occur.

      Mar 12, 2011 at 2:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D Smith
      D Smith

      i am amused by all those here advocating further inhumane treatment of this amazing patriot…

      clearly they have no clue on the history of the NSA, CIA and the Armed forces intel divisions. there have been whistle blowers in the past and i pray to a non-existent sky pixie that there will continue to be whistle blowers in the future.

      had i been able to expose these truths myself i would have… in an instant. and if you do not believe that others have in the past released more sensitive and “dangerous” information then you are a fool.

      Manning’s gender identity or sexual orientation are a irrelevant distraction that only serve to illustrate how having an organization that actively discriminates against LGBT individuals is a danger to our national security.

      *this part is specifically for PFC Manning*

      Hun, i know how you feel at this point, many of us have been there in the past… do not let them break you. Take that part of you that had the courage to stand up and hold it close, never forget that exposing the truth even when its painful is the fullest extent of our profession. accuracy and truth are all that matters, and history will know you for the actions you have taken and not the bigoted treatment that have meet with now.

      as i have said your gender identity or sexual orientation is a distraction from the real purpose of bringing this information to light… whether or not that had any part of your original motivation. but, if it had influenced your decision… then know that others have walked your path before you and lived to tell the tale, and stronger for it. hold your heart close, and you will weather this storm.

      Fellow “former” analyst and current transgendered individual

      D Smith

      Mar 12, 2011 at 3:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      @Ken S: It seems to me very strange when apparent gay adults, who one assumes have a history of questioning the government’s treatment of its citizens and the law, follow the government’s line so blindly and so slavishly. The fact that they call for his mistreatment with so much glee can only mean they get some kind of enjoyment out of the suffering of others. The humiliation of a gay man (not to mention the silence over the systematic murder of gay Iraqis that Bradley Manning exposed) clearly means nothing to them. But appeasing straight society does.
      I wondered if gay people toeing-the-line in this kind of blind and sickening way was a new thing – more a symptom of integration and an understandable desire to fit in and please homophobes who tar all gays with the same brush – but I was reading about Stonewall the other day and there were even gay groups and individuals who publicly condemned the rioters there, saying it was better not to stand out and risk the disapproval of straights. Better to just do as we are told. Better to look the other way. Better to shut up and toe the line.
      It’s sad to see.

      Mar 12, 2011 at 3:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MattGMD
      MattGMD

      After extensive reading in re: how Pvt. Manning was discovered to be the allegedly sole person responsible for the cable leaks, it defies logic that this one guy was really acting alone. Of special interest is the involvement of a very shady Adrian Lamo. Anyone interested should check out the comprehensive and well-resourced pieces by Glenn Greenwald on salon.com.

      Mar 12, 2011 at 4:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kieran
      Kieran

      This man betrayed and disgraced the Fatherland! He deserves to be sent to Dachau and shot by firing squad! Seig Heil!

      Mar 12, 2011 at 12:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Lefty: That is sad. They really are trying to make him go crazy.

      Mar 12, 2011 at 12:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ~PR~
      ~PR~

      @Samuel:
      We don’t want soldiers assuming that what they are doing is “the right thing” means they should just go ahead and do it.

      As a veteran, I have to boldly disagree with you. Our troops have to act on personal convictions as well… otherwise we get situations like Abu Garub, where a select few “felt it was wrong” but decided to not go against orders. Please! Our nation, heavily weighed down by christian doctrine, likes to preach that we should always do the right thing when in a situation that calls for such… unless, of course, the right thing goes against the chain of command or some big governmental fund raising scheme.
      If I had been privy to the same information, I’d like to think that I would have done the same thing. There is NOTHING heroic turning a blind eye to corruption, even if it is within the ranks of one’s own government. Like others have pointed out, his alleged actions have caused humiliation to our mighty government and that is unforgivable. But y’know what? I say it is about friggin time!

      Mar 12, 2011 at 1:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ~PR~
      ~PR~

      @Kieran: key word: disgraced. and just how was the “fatherland” disgraced. Oh yea… it was exposed for having some-not-so innocent connections in all this mayhem. Surprise, surprise. Now, little blind sheep, run off so you can be made into a sweater.

      Mar 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @~PR~: WTF are you talking about? This traitor leaked three quarter of a million documents and 99 percent of it had nothing to do with Iraq or Afghanistan or any alleged wrongdoing by the US government.

      In fact, the real story of the Wikileaks saga so far is how little dirt there is on the US government. The leaks so far encompass military communications from Iraq and Afghanistan and hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables from all over the world going back years. And out of all of that, there have been basically 2 controversies relating to a single helicopter strike and a single decision to turn over some prisoners to the Iraqis. The diplomatic cables show that our people are doing their jobs and have a pretty good grasp of the local situation. In one recent case, the cables show that the US rejected a lucrative offer by Gaddafi to purchase military equipment disguised as civilian equipment.

      So don’t call Manning a whistle blower. There is no whistle here. All he did was have a tranny hissy fit over personal conflicts and a relationship breakup. Because of his mental and emotional issues, he endangered many lives. This whole incident should give us pause about linking gays and lesbians with transgendereds as a matter of definition.

      Mar 12, 2011 at 5:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Lefty: Yes, because people like Bradly never ever lie about their conditions. Where is the actual evidence that this is happening. Maybe the little dude truly isn’t right in the head. I’d assume you aren’t right in the head when you decide to declare your own personal war against your entire country.

      @Cam: So what if all of that is true. Its completely in the past, and releasing it to the media just incites public outcry from a public that didn’t want this war in the first place. Its a little late to go back in time. I’m all for this war never having occurred, but now that it has, its time to get behind the war effort. Not doing so puts American lives even more at risk because it destroys morale.

      @Lefty: Lets take this to the extreme. Lets assume every soldier had morale issues. Killing someone is pretty damn worthy of a morale issue. YES, you DO relinquish all things that were yours or are yours before joining the military. You sell your soul and your ass to Uncle Sam for four years. Its the way the military works.

      Mar 12, 2011 at 6:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Roman: What rights are those exactly. Please tell me where the constitution says you have the right to be placed in a cell with fluffy bunnies and lots of naked porn stars. Seriously, the only thing they have done is place him in solitary confinement. That doesn’t violate his rights.

      Also, you have no idea why he was placed on suicide watch. If the guards thought for a moment he was thinking of killing himself, which at this point it is very possible he might be, they are required to act. In prison, you don’t own anything, so they have the right to take anything away from you.

      Mar 12, 2011 at 6:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Johnny Exchange: You are forgetting about the fact that he will actually be sent to a military prison where there will be more than enough people pissed off about what he did that they will have to keep him isolated for his safety. Lets be honest, solitary sucks, but the alternative is to intermingle him with prisoners that honestly believe in this country, and that will end up with him being killed in prison.

      Mar 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Mike: I didn’t realize he was a trans. That right there pretty much points out that he has extreme emotional problems. I have never met or even heard of a trans that didn’t have extreme emotional issues often including many psychiatric disorders. If he was truly psychotic, then the treatment he is receiving is completely in line with what it should be.

      Mar 12, 2011 at 6:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      Seeing as the last few comments are either stuff that’s been dealt with over and over again already or just outright bigotry, here’s a link to the Bradley Manning Support Network:

      http://www.bradleymanning.org/

      Mar 12, 2011 at 7:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      @Lefty: Yep, agreed, time to let the bigots & trolls just go back & forth on the thread. ! You’ve done good work here & thanks for the link.

      Mar 12, 2011 at 8:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David
      David

      How did Manning get access to all of these classified state secrets in the first place? I mean, it’s not as though he’s at a high enough level that he would have access to any of this information.

      Regardless, sometimes I wonder about President Obama…is he even aware of what is going on, and if so…why is he allowing it to continue? While at the same time preaching to the rest of the world about human rights and the rule of law…and he’s a Nobel Laureate!!

      In this respect, he’s no different than the Rethuglican Administration that preceded his…I think he is scared shitless of doing anything to offend the military brass.

      HE is the commander in chief…so why doesn’t he start acting like one?

      Mar 13, 2011 at 12:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon
      Shannon

      WHO CARES???

      Mar 13, 2011 at 2:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      Cracks in the Obama administration? StateDepartment spokesdude CJ.Crowley got canned for publicly criticizing Manning’s treatment in custody. He was speaking at MIT. See gooogle news for more 411.

      Mar 13, 2011 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom Ford
      Tom Ford

      I made a short to support the cause of Bradley Manning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXJ1BpFqUfE

      Jun 11, 2011 at 4:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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