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Does Forcing 23 Hours of Beauty Sleep Upon Bradley Manning Constitute Torture?

Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old (gay or possibly trans) Army private who tipped off the world that Americans think Germany’s highest-ranking gay is a “wild card,” has been toiling away in solitary confinement at a Marine base in Quantico, Virginia. He’s permitted just one hour per day of escape, where he’s not even allowed to read newspaper reports about how his suspected Wikileaking has embarrassed Hillary Clinton (though his captors — basically, America — deny he’s refused the news). For the other 23 hours in the day, he gets by in a cramped cell without a pillow or sheets, even though, as Glenn Greenwald writes in a scathing takedown of Manning’s treatment, he’s never been on suicide watch. Or convicted of a crime. Or even put on trial for one. Greenwald concludes: All this amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. Or perhaps even torture. Because humans are social beings, and forcing them to spend 96 percent of their time locked up and alone makes the mind go crazy. But at least he gets to have some folks visit?

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

It won’t be long until the McCains and Hannitys (and Rogers!) point out that Manning has always been an isolated loner, so his confinement should actually be comfortable! And don’t gays love being in prison too? You know, for the sex?

By:           JD
On:           Dec 15, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , , ,

  • 55 Comments
    • Horatio Jones
      Horatio Jones

      Not to play devil’s advocate but what exactly did Manning think was going to happen to him when he did this? A kiss on the cheek from Hilary Clinton? Seriously, the US is known to do some serious shit to people that expose its secrets. That all said, Manning is pretty much fucked and even Roger Moore won’t be able to save him.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 2:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Horatio Jones
      Horatio Jones

      Oops Michael Moore … lol … although Roger Moore aka James Bond would probably be able to save him. Oopsie.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 2:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bob
      bob

      Before we get all warm and fuzzy about this guy, let’s think about the people whose lives he has endangered, not to mention the strategic interests of our country. It’s nice to be liberal and all that but being liberal does not mean you can disregard consequences to others and avoid them for yourself. This guy is one step away from being a foreign spy and, frankly, the adjective that most suits him is treasonous regardless of his ignorance or “noble” intentions. Locked up, at least no one is going to assassinate him, which will happen to Assange if he ever walks and will probably happen to this guy if he ever is released–and he should not be unless he is acquited.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QueerToday.com
      QueerToday.com

      Mannning is a hero.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 3:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AnonAmn
      AnonAmn

      So… he committed some of the most serious crimes on the books and then expected not to be treated like this?

      I wouldn’t be surprised if his solitary wasn’t more for his protection than anything else.

      But really? Are we expected to jump to the side of this traitor just because hes gay? I’m offended even by the idea of that.

      If anything, he gave the opponents of the DADT repeal more ammo to use against us. We should be vilifying Manning more than any other group of people.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 4:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jim
      Jim

      Honestly – would you have printed this article if Manning wasn’t assumed to be gay? Admittedly, he hasn’t been charged yet, but the evidence is pretty strong that he’s a bigger spy, causing more damage than any other spy in US history.

      It doesn’t matter if he’s gay, TV or a little green man from outer space.

      If we want to yell about him being abused and mistreated because he’s a human being and a U.S. Citizen, sure – go for it. Just don’t attach the “gay” tag to it. It has nothing to do with anything.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 4:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      All of you utter shits in this thread who are saying that this torture of another human being, and a gay one at that, deserves this treatment – which is undeniably TORTURE, are a bunch of fucking c*nts.

      And I despair of you.

      But then maybe i say this because i am european and maybe we have higher standards and expect similar standards from the USA.

      SOLITARY CONFINEMENT IS TORTURE.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 2 · Horatio Jones wrote, “Oops Michael Moore … lol … although Roger Moore aka James Bond would probably be able to save him. Oopsie.”

      LOL for sure – make that Roger Moore’s stuntmen. One told me that Roger just read the lines!

      Dec 15, 2010 at 5:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      QUEERTY: “But David House, a 23-year-old MIT researcher who befriended Manning after his detention (and then had his laptops, camera and cellphone seized by Homeland Security when entering the U.S.) is one of the few people to have visited Manning several times at Quantico.”

      A 23-year-old MIT researcher? Do you think he wouldn’t have made
      encrypted backup copies of anything he had on those devices regarding Manning and dropped it in mail or FTP’d it to a server in the U.S.? He’s certainly more than bright enough to have thought of that (and my guess is that the only reason he’d be
      given any access to Manning after Manning’s arrest is if he was doing research in improving Internet/computer security, so interfering with his work would be counterproductive).

      Homeland Security must be run by idiots.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 5:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      @Tallskin: No it’s not too f*king bad if Manning or any of his supporters don’t like it. He is a soldier and subject to the UCMJ, not civilian justice. They can, and probably have, put him on bread and water for a period of time if they choose. It’s all perfectly legal.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 5:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mouse
      Mouse

      @John:

      Just because it’s legal for the US military to treat him like this or worse doesn’t mean it’s ethical. Please, stop being so reactionary.

      To those who approve of his treatment, what does it actually accomplish? Denying him a pillow? Sounds like petty retribution to me, something that civilized justice systems like to think they’re above.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 5:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @bob: said..

      “”Before we get all warm and fuzzy about this guy, let’s think about the people whose lives he has endangered, not to mention the strategic interests of our country. ”
      ______________

      Well to be fair Bob, I think that officially it has been stated that there was nothing in the released docs that were going to endanger anybody. The screaming has been about the idea that classified docs were released…well except for Congressment who need a good blurb for the news cycle. Trust me, if anything he released HAD caused trouble, it would have been all over the news from morming to night.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 5:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      @Mouse: You are a civilian. Manning is a soldier. You are misapplying civilian standards to a military justice system. He is being held in tight security just as any other servicemember accused of espionage would be and has been. Manning betrayed his oath and the uniform he wears. His stunt put the lives of his fellow servicemembers and others in jeopardy. I obviously could care less whom he sleeps with but that this appears to be the reason many here support him is rather disgusting. If you thinkwhat he’s undergoing now is “torture”, just wait until the SOB is found guilty and has to do hard labor at Fort Leavenworth.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 6:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AugustLA
      AugustLA

      This guy has nothing to do with the thousands of honorable Gay/lesbian discharged members who fought with courage. Saying otehrwise is saying OJ Simpson represents all black people. Let me guess Daez and Bob are one in the same as well. Oh, daez, you make it too easy.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 7:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ILoveDudes
      ILoveDudes

      Worry about your own riots over there, tallskin.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 7:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe
      Joe

      What Manning did was expose the truth about the lauded Hillary Clinton. As it turned out, she is no different from Condoleeza Rice.

      Furthermore, the cables also exposed Obama for what he is and that is anti-gay.

      I for one am glad that I found out what Obama and Hillary really are.

      Don’t blame the messenger!

      Dec 15, 2010 at 7:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Seriously?
      Seriously?

      @Cam: This is ridiculous. The Times (and many other media outlets) has specifically stated that the documents did indeed release data which have directly put people’s lives at risk, including the precise locations of troops, the names and identities of informants, and details about intelligence collection methods.

      Bradley Manning is a traitor and is complicit in murder. He broke a vow to defend his country with complete disregard for the lives of his fellow soldiers. It’s outrageous to see people here rush to defend his right not to be uncomfortable just because he’s gay.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 8:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      @ILoveDudes – “Worry about your own riots over there, tallskin.”

      Er, yeah and the connection with riots and locking some man in solitary confinement is what exactly?

      Do enlighten me, dumbarse

      Dec 15, 2010 at 9:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AugustLA
      AugustLA [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Tallskin: He won’t be able to. He’s a bonafide board troll that contributes nothing but immature, irrational, nonesense in posts to divert away from the matter at hand, and usually throws in a “nelly” or two in the body of his “work”…this is a Grade A closet case who’s closest interaction with anything gay is this site. Hence the angst, unpredictable, and somewhat disturbing comments. It’s hard out there for a troll.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 9:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ILoveDudes
      ILoveDudes

      skin : Worry about your own problems and stop hanging around American gay websites (especially ones where half the stories are questionable, anyway). As if anywhere across the pond is so perfect. And AugustLA, what the f—k is a “nelly” ?

      Dec 15, 2010 at 9:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 17 · Seriously? wrote, “Bradley Manning is a traitor and is complicit in murder. He broke a vow to defend his country with complete disregard for the lives of his fellow soldiers. It’s outrageous to see people here rush to defend his right not to be uncomfortable just because he’s gay.”

      This may surprise you, but some of us think that “innocent is proven guilty” is not a bad idea – you don’t punish people until they’ve been convicted. I’d have a problem with it if the reports about how he is being treated are true. After a court marshal, trial, whatever, if they sentence him to 30 years of hard labor or whatever else is appropriate given the evidence, fine.

      What you should really be concerned with, however, is why someone that far down in the chain of command could browse through that much information, hardly any of which was relevant his job. You can read about part of what is going on at http://blogs.chron.com/txpotomac/2010/12/gurwitz_wikileaks_should_targe.html . This author describes the security issue reasonably, but then gets a few things wrong, stating that “The day Assange publishes the state secrets of China or Russia or Iran, he can begin to claim to be a whistleblower for freedom.” The problem with that statement is that China, Russia, and Iran have enough sense to not let bored 20 year olds get access to huge numbers of secret documents. This author also states, “For the most part, [the cables] show American diplomats working diligently and giving valuable assessments that are completely consistent with, if somewhat more colorful than, what they say in public. They do, however, show the world’s dictators and oligarchs to be two-faced thugs.” That statement is probably true but misses the point – unfortunately the U.S. has to deal with these two-faced thugs and these two-faced thugs won’t have frank discussions with us if they know that some random underling can spill the beans whenever he is having a bad hair day.

      BTW, Manning is probably more of an idiot than a traitor – given the huge amount of material he gave to Wikileaks, I’d be surprised if he read more than a tiny fraction of it and he probably had little idea of what was in it.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 10:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • reason
      reason

      He should be sent over to Saudi Arabia and let the Saudis and CIA handle him, like olden days, over there out of U.S. jurisdiction and laws. These documents no mater how innocuous has broken the trust that other countries put in the U.S. This can have some serious consequences with countries unwilling to share vital information pertinent to U.S. safety. The Yemen incident is just one example, it is going to make it more difficult for their government to cooperate with the U.S. and to fight the terrorist that are trying to take over that country. The same terrorist that plotted to bomb us on Christmas. This is a serious matter and they need to make an example of this guy to prove to our alias that we take this stuff seriously.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 11:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Seriously?
      Seriously?

      @B: Agreed that Manning is a dupe and never intended to do as much harm as he has done, but that is beside the point. He was complicit in the act and knew better. If he was frustrated with his command or thought that they were acting in an immoral manner, he had the right to appeal to his commander and commanding general. He obviously did not pursue this avenue.

      As for the US security structure being terrible, agreed there as well. Remember how it was discovered that UAV feeds were unsecured and could be observed by anyone on the ground?

      However, neither of these facts change what Manning did, and to my knowledge he hasn’t denied any of it. Count me as unsympathetic to his condition; solitary confinement sucks- prison sucks- but it does not constitute torture. It’s foolish to sympathize with this guy because (1) he’s gay and (2) he embodies certain people’s I’m-angry-at-daddy issues with the US government.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 12:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 22 · reason wrote, “This is a serious matter and they need to make an example of this guy to prove to our alias that we take this stuff seriously.”

      Making an example of him won’t help in that regard. Read http://blogs.chron.com/txpotomac/2010/12/gurwitz_wikileaks_should_targe.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIPRNet for a description of SIPRNet (and keep in mind that Manning may have used other networks/systems as well). The problem is that some low-level guy with no “need to know” was given unrestrained access to approximately 260,000 classified documents with nobody even noticing until the leaked documents were available on a web site. Other countries won’t care what we do to Manning. What they’ll care about is whether we can prove that we won’t screw up again. Think about it – if Manning had access, lots of others in similar positions had access too.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 12:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 23 wrote, “However, neither of these facts change what Manning did, and to my knowledge he hasn’t denied any of it. Count me as unsympathetic to his condition; solitary confinement sucks- prison sucks- but it does not constitute torture. It’s foolish to sympathize with this guy because (1) he’s gay and (2) he embodies certain people’s I’m-angry-at-daddy issues with the US government.”

      Under U.S. law, including military law, Manning has a right to a fair trial. He won’t be able to defend himself in court if he is being psychologically or physically abused while being held for trial. Why risk having a conviction thrown out because the defendant was treated in such a way that he was not in condition to defend himself adequately in a trial?

      Dec 16, 2010 at 1:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MCH
      MCH

      Anyone who posts on here against Bradley Manning or Wikileaks is a definite opponent of humanity itself and democracy. Like Noam Chomsky said on Democracy Now, this is about if we as US citizens are entitled to know what our government is doing. I think we all deserve to know what our government is doing. The truth is more important than vows or promises or contracts. By exposing deception, lies & outright evil, we all owe Bradley a tremendous indebtedness and he is a hero of the highest kind. Thinking otherwise only shows how fierce of a democracy hater you are. I am shocked by the amount of hatred & incitement to violence so many Americans spew to others in public forums. That kind of hatred breeds more hatred. Let’s all think positively & hope Bradley gets out soon!

      Dec 16, 2010 at 1:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Americans=Rightwingers (John From England)
      Americans=Rightwingers (John From England)

      Kill,kill,kill,kill! I’m an American god damn you!!!!

      Dec 16, 2010 at 1:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 26 · MCH wrote, “Anyone who posts on here against Bradley Manning or Wikileaks is a definite opponent of humanity itself and democracy. Like Noam Chomsky said on Democracy Now, this is about if we as US citizens are entitled to know what our government is doing.”

      When Daniel Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers, we learned a lot of details about bad decision making in the U.S. government as our leaders lied to the American public. It was what we were entitled to know, but Ellsberg knew what he was releasing and knew that releasing this information would not endanger U.S. personnel – it contained no information about planned military operations (e.g., how many troops would be at some location at some specific time).

      Manning by contrast allegedly released something like 260,000 classified documents (not pages). Given his age (which puts a bound on how long he’s been in the military), there is simply no way that he could have read all of that in the time he had available: if he read for 8 hours a day, 365 days per year, at one minute per page, he could go through 175,200 pages per year, and typical classified documents are a lot longer than 1 page.

      So, Manning almost certainly (if the allegations are true) sent classified documents to Wikileaks with no idea as to what might be in them. It’s completely irresponsible – it’s one thing to leak embarrassing information about how decisions are being made and the real motivation for those decisions, and quite another to leak a document that says N number of U.S. troops will be assigned to a particular location and how those troops are equipped (which tells an enemy what they would need to attack and win). If you don’t read what you are releasing first, you just don’t know.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 2:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Black and Tan John From England
      Black and Tan John From England

      Kill kill kill kill those Micks ! I’m an Englishman god damn you!

      Dec 16, 2010 at 3:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Seaguy
      Seaguy

      He’s kinda cute….

      Dec 16, 2010 at 6:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ait10101
      ait10101

      @bob: let’s think about the people whose lives he has endangered, not to mention the strategic interests of our country.

      Can you name them? with all the leaks it should be easy.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 6:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Seriously?:

      ‘Seriously, you keep claiming that troops lives were in danger, but from what, which sections? Additionally, I’m curious, the cabels also pointed out faulty decision making going into Iraq and the fact that our govt. is aware that the Afghan govt. is corrupt, untrust worthy and that Pakistan is working against us.

      How many lives have been lost because the State dept. would rather hide those facts than deal with them? We keep losing soldiers on the boarder in Afghanistan because of PAkistan refusing to crck down, the Afghan govt. employees are taking millions of our dollars intended to help infrastrucure and hopefully end this war sooner and placing them in foreign bank accounts. I think that not dealing with those issues is dangerous.

      That said, Manning had a clearence and knew what would happen if he broke it so I don’t think he should be surprised by his current condition.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 8:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Seriously?
      Seriously?

      @MCH: Say, for instance, a young intelligence soldier had access to the location of the last vials of smallpox, the codes to the locks, and the schedules of the guard shifts. He passes this information on to a website proprietor who then publishes said information, leading to the theft of the disease and a horrific biological attack. Can the soldier and the “journalist” be charged with treason?

      Many of the above posters would argue no, that they “deserve to know what our government is doing” and that the “truth is more important than vows or promises or contracts.” What childish nonsense. Sometimes the government does need to keep secrets, whether it be to safeguard military personnel or to negotiate in good faith with other governments. These people are free to tell themselves that there is nothing wrong with breaking your word, but that is not the world that soldiers live in and you should be thankful for that.

      As for solitary confinement prejudicing a trial, again, nonsense. Find me a JAG who will defend that and I’ll believe you. Manning will be fit to stand trial.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 9:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      Manning is a hero who is being tortured by our government to stifle dissent. You can donate to his defense at couragetoresist.org. The mocking tone of this piece is shameful.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 9:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      @B: Who said that Manning is in solitary confinement because he is being punished? It could be “protective custody” so the SOB isn’t harmed by other prisoners. Regardless, Manning is a soldier and not a civilian. You have yet to offer anything showing that his treatment is against military law, let alone a violation of the US Constutition. If Manning and his legal team want to make this argument at courts-martial, I would dearly love to see them try.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 9:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      @MCH: Manning is a soldier, not a civilian. Spin this however you wish but that crucial distinction is enough to “hang” him, legally speaking.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 10:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      @Steve: Manning is an SOB who violated his oath and betrayed the uniform he wore. I hope he rots in prison.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 10:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • @John
      @John

      Where in the U.S. Constitution is there a basis for government by secrecy? One percent of the U.S. population has a security clearance. Which law passed by Congress created a system of classification that creates “special access programs,” some of which aren’t even able to be reviewed by the Congress, President or agency leaders? Hint: There’s no “there” there.

      This whole edifice, which creates sections of the government that are not subject to democratic oversight, is based tenuously on a series of executive orders that are simply renewed by each President.

      The first freedoms enumerated in our Constitution are the rights to free speech, free press, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. All three of those rights are currently being curtailed to a dangerous degree.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 10:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      @@John: Feel free to challenge any or all the secrecy laws we have. However, this doesn’t excuse Manning who as a soldier is held to a very different standard than civilians are. He violated orders of his command and his Commander-in-Chief by releasing classified materials without authorization. Keep spinning all you like but the fact that Manning is a soldier who did this is not something you will be able to gloss over. He disobeyed orders, broke his oath and betrayed the uniform he wore. I hope he enjoys his very long stay at Fort Leavenworth and the dishonorable discharge he’s soon going to get.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 10:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • @John
      @John

      There is no “secrecy law” to challenge. There is only a secrecy executive order.

      And, according to that Executive Order (#13526 Sec. 1.7 (a)):

      “In no case shall information be classified, continue to be maintained as classified, or fail to be declassified in order to:
      ?
      (1)conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;
      (2)prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency…”

      Do you believe that authorizing the theft of the U.N. Secretary General’s DNA was a lawful order? Or, are you of the opinion of some government officials that “this is all nothing new, just embarrassing gossip” that was classified solely to prevent said embarrassment?

      Dec 16, 2010 at 11:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      @@John: Not I believe you are correct here for a second but for the sake of argument, great! Challenging this executive order should be a piece of cake for you. However, since Manning is a soldier and not a civilian this is a lawful order by the Commander-in-Chief that he violated and subject to punishment for doing so.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 11:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ousslander
      ousslander

      not a hero but douche bag who was looking for attention.

      Tallskin, you said Europeans expect better behaviour of Americans. NO place is perfect but rioting and threatening death over higher tuition?

      Dec 16, 2010 at 11:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • paul canning
      paul canning

      Is *everything* a joke to you?

      Greenwald doesn’t suggest it could possibly be torture. He patiently and thoroughly explains exactly why it is torture. Manning is being tortured.

      And you wonder why America is disrespected in the world …

      Dec 16, 2010 at 11:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • @John
      @John

      You don’t have to believe me. Since you obviously seem to know that there are, in fact, “secrecy laws,” then just go ahead and tell me what the names of these laws are.

      And, if you’re so concerned about following this Executive Order to the letter, let’s consider Sec 5.5 (b):

      “Officers and employees of the United States Government, and its contractors, licensees, certificate holders, and grantees shall be subject to appropriate sanctions if they knowingly, willfully, or negligently:

      (2)classify or continue the classification of information in violation of this order or any implementing directive;”

      On this basis, the vast majority of the diplomatic corps is in violation of E.O. 13526, because they have clearly been routinely classifying trivial information for the sole purpose of preventing possible embarrassment. Some of them, including Hillary Clinton, have classified information in order to conceal unlawful behavior. According to your rules, then, HC ought to be in solitary right next to BM.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 11:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • paulcanning
      paulcanning

      Is *everything* a joke to you?

      Greenwald doesn’t suggest it could possibly be torture. He patiently and thoroughly explains exactly why it is torture. Manning is being tortured.

      And you wonder why America is disrespected in the world …

      Dec 16, 2010 at 11:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shelley
      Shelley

      @bob:
      We got into this mess because of our government committing criminal and or subversive acts in the name of the Untied States.
      They they committed more acts to cover the previous ones.
      Isn’t it tim we knew WHY other countries hate us so much and are willing to kill our citizens?

      Dec 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      @@John: It doesn’t matter whether I believe you or not. It is irrelevant whether civilians in the State Department or in any other agency of the Executive Branch can or cannot legitimately be charged for breaking this Executive Order. You keep wanting to approach this as a civilian with civilian rights, which is not relevant to Manning. The pertinent fact you keep overlooking is that Manning is a soldier. He does not enjoy the same freedoms a civilian does in the exact same manner. IOW, when he is given a lawful order he must obey it or will be charged with a crime. Guess what? Releasing classified material to others without proper authorization is a violation of orders and a crime under the UCMJ. It’s not even just about this, any servicemember can be charged with crimes for things civilians usually are not such as adultery or fraternization. Being in the military is NOT the same as being a civilian. Manning violated orders and betrayed the uniform he wore so will suffer the consequences.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 1:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • @John
      @John

      Oh I got it, so when a civilian (Hillary Clinton) breaks the law, it doesn’t matter. Only soldiers are required to follow the rules. Makes perfect sense to me.

      And when Pfc Manning (allegedly) revealed information showing that there is a U.S. policy (Frago 242) that requires soldiers to turn a blind eye to torture, in violation of international law, who should be held accountable? The soldiers breaking international law to carry out an order from above? Or those who issued the order in the first place?

      Dec 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      @@John: I never said that, you did. If Clinton broke the law I certainly don’t have a problem charging her. Of course Clinton would be charged in the civilian justice system with everything that entails while Manning falls under the military justice system. The two are most definitely not the same. Even if your allegation about one of the items Manning may have revealed is correct, it doesn’t justify the rest nor the manner in which all of this was released. He’ll pay for that quite dearly.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 2:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steven
      Steven

      People call this guy a villain when they don’t know what he leaked while others call him a hero….without knowing what he leaked. He doesn’t even know what he leaked. He was disgruntled and childish, no lives were saved by him doing what he did. Nothing was exposed that people didn’t already know.

      His intent was to do damage and he did it. Time will tell what that damage is but what is not under debate is whether or not he violated his oath by doing what he did. I wouldn’t expect liberals to understand that soldiers don’t follow US law like civilians. There is a thing called a UCMJ, look it up.

      As for him being tortured? Please, if some of you had their way criminals would be put in time out and given therapy.

      Dec 17, 2010 at 10:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steven
      Steven

      Matter of fact I have read that it has been confirmed that Afghan informants (who were mentioned in the leaks) and their families have been murdered or driven from their country. Certainly the results of a hero.

      Dec 17, 2010 at 11:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ILoveDudes
      ILoveDudes

      Steven : As far as punishment, yes a lot of gays would propose that. Unless it’s someone convicted, or just accused, of a homophobic crime. Then the comments are filled with the espousal of the most gruesome tortures.

      Dec 17, 2010 at 11:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No. 35 · John wrote, ‘@B: Who said that Manning is in solitary confinement because he is being punished? It could be “protective custody” so the SOB isn’t harmed by other prisoners’

      The point was not whether he was being “punished” but whether his treatment would result in him being incapable of defending himself in court, thereby denying him his right to a fair trial.

      I’ll refer you to the article itself: “For the other 23 hours in the day, he gets by in a cramped cell without a pillow or sheets, even though, as Glenn Greenwald writes in a scathing takedown of Manning’s treatment, he’s never been on suicide watch.”

      Now, do you really think that someone spending 23 hours per day in a cramped cell, without even a pillow or sheets, is going to be in shape to defend himself in court? That’s the issue. It’s up to the court to figure out how to sentence him if he is convicted, which seems likely, but that hasn’t happened yet.

      Dec 17, 2010 at 11:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      To put this whole matter in perspective, let’s start with the premise that whoever released all those documents in fact committed a serious crime. The question is whether that person is Bradley Manning. The evidence against him (as far as is publicly known – some evidence may not have been released) is that he bragged to some guy named Lamos (who turned Manning in). Based on press reports, that seems to be all the evidence there is.

      To estimate the probability that Manning is guilty, you have to use Bayes Theorem from the Theory of Probability. This deals with conditional probability (the probability of X given Y).

      Suppose G means “guilty”, S means “stating you released some documents (whether true or not)”, and I means “innocent”. What we want to know is P(G|S), the probability that some guy is guilty given that he stated he leaked documents to Wikileaks.
      We can estimate P(G) (0.0001 if 1000 people had access to the
      documents) and P(I) (0.999 under the same assumption – one is either guilty or innocent and we think there was only one person responsible). You’d have to be incredibly stupid to brag if you actually released the documents, so let’s assume that P(S|G) is 0.000001 (a one in a million chance that the guilty party would make such a statement). Let’s also assume that P(S|I) is 0.00001 (one in a million is dumb enough to BS some guy about leaking classified documents, maybe to impress him or maybe out of a weird sense of humor).

      Bayes theorem says that

      P(G|S) = P(S|G)P(G) / (P(S|G)P(G) + P(S|I)P(I))

      So, given the assumptions above, the probability that Manning is in fact guilty, in the absence of any other evidence, comes out at about .001 (0.1%). Obviously you’ll get a different result if you plug in different numbers, so you want to check with some experts on human behavior (psychiatrists, etc.) to get realistic estimates.

      This should give us cause for concern. The government has an incentive to find the culprit and convict him/her to convince other governments that we take these security breaches seriously and won’t let it happen again. As far as the other governments go (mostly run by repressive thugs – those are the ones who really have something to hide) any victim will do as long as a naively credible culprit is found and punished. Bradley Manning (unfortunately for him if he is in fact innocent) fits the bill.

      Its a good reason for a “presumption of innocence” – the prosecution should be expected to make these estimates with a goal of making the false-conviction rate very low (zero is ideal but probably impossible to achieve in practice), and in the long run, we are better off if we find and convict the right guy than if we merely pick a convenient scapegoat in order to impress various thugs posing as heads of state – people like the recently (and gruesomely) executed Saddam Hussein.

      Feb 7, 2011 at 11:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      If the US government has evidence that Manning slnglehandedly gathered and released the documents, then why hasn’t it begun proceedings? (if that’s a stooopid question, my apologies!)

      Feb 8, 2011 at 12:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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