Bradley Manning Cannot Wear Underwear While He Sleeps For His Own Safety

Being forced to sleep nude, and being forced to stand nude outside his cell every morning while guards complete regular inspections, is for Bradley Manning’s own safety, claim officials at the Quantico Marine brig where he’s locked up. That means no underwear, not even the cheap paper tearaway kind you might find at a butt lift plastic surgeon’s office, because apparently underwear could be used by Manning to hurt himself. Manning, who has been charged with 22 criminal counts (including one that has his potentially facing the death penalty), is not on suicide watch. So when Manning asked brig officials what he could to do show to have some of his restrictions loosened, “Manning was informed that there was nothing he could do to have the restrictions removed, because brig officials considered him at risk of self-harm. Manning then made the apparent mistake of flippantly remarking that, if he really wanted to harm himself, he could conceivably do so with the elastic waistband of his underwear or with his flip-flops.” That’s when Quantico Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes came up with the brilliant idea to force him to sleep naked. Again, Manning is not under suicide watch.

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  • Fagburn

    I wonder if they took a perverse pleasure in trying to humiliate a gay man in this way.
    This is awful America, and you wonder why the world hates you…

  • SteveC

    The USA used to be a democracy. Those were good times.

  • ousslander

    I guess in expected gumdrops and l;ollipops. M<ilitary justice and rules are completely seperate from civilian

  • ousslander

    It should read I guess “he”, still early my apologies

  • Kieran

    The Nazi’s used to send their political prisoners to Dachau. The US government sends their political prisoners to Quantico.

  • Joel

    Gay or straight, doesn’t really matter. When you screw with one of the strongest governments in the world, they screw you back. It’s that simple.

  • kevin

    I didn’t know he was gay. Maybe I missed the confirmed report.
    However, this guy leaked confidential, national security secrets that impair our government’s ability to protect us and work on behalf of its citizens. I’m far from a flag waving American, trust me, but this guy fucked us all over with incredible consequences.

    I don’t think we should look lightly at what he did. He gave out clearly marked government secrets. People who have committed the same crimes have been put to death for the same offenses.

    What he did was wrong. Period. End of story.

  • Riker

    Pfc. Manning has been kept in solitary confinement for months and months now. He has been denied even basic things like pillows and blankets that other prisoners enjoy, and been forced to sleep in nothing but his underwear. The government is just trying to break this young man. When they realized that it wasn’t working, they took it a step forward and even removed his underwear from the things he is allowed to have.

    In their treatment of this political prisoner, the US government is proving that he was right in thinking that it had lost the virtues that once made it so great, and is now just morally bankrupt.

  • scott ny'er

    This is terrible. Murders, rapists, etc get treated better.

  • HumpDay

    Call me confused, but are you people actually defending this traitor because he happens to be homosexual? Is your position, “Crimes be damned, he’s one of us so therefore he’s beyond prosecution” ?? Really? So that means we should all jump on the Jeffrey Dahmer bandwagon, right? Or start setting up memorial funds in the name of John Wayne Gacy? Manning isn’t in jail because or in spite of the fact that he’s gay — he’s there because he compromised our national security, putting troops and civilians at risk.

  • Maxx E Padd

    Some of the treatment he has been given if way off the line but not wearing underwear isn’t really harsh treatment. So many people do not wear underwear to bed so I don’t get it. Standing naked if front of others has never been an issue to me but then America tends to have more issue about this then most other countries. If they are trying to humilate him then it is another story but for me these are minor compared to how he has been treated. Sleeping naked is a who cares issue. If he said he was going to use the elastic band to hang himself then he did say something pretty dumb. On the other hand what they are trying to do to him is appalling. But this is a military prison and as far as the military is concerned what he did is treason. We may not agree with it but no military prison is going to go soft on him. They are trying to break him down. There is a valid question in that did he harm this country. I don’t know but it is a valid question.

  • Fagburn

    @HumpDay: No, I am defending him because we are both human beings and I think he’s a hero.
    I am also disgusted that they do this to a gay man and think it is clear they are doing this because he is gay.

  • John

    I care as much about this as Manning did concerning the Oath he broke.

  • HumpDay

    @Fagburn: Like I said, you’re defending him because of his sexual orientation—period. Do you honestly think if Manning were straight that the military would have just patted him on the back and said, “Good job, my fine heterosexual soldier!”? This is the same misguided solidarity that led blacks to defend OJ Simpson, so no, I won’t support Bradley Manning unless or until I hear a “not guilty” verdict rendered in his favor.

  • Shannon1981

    They are making him stay naked around the clock? that is unreasonable.

  • RomanHans

    By the way, human rights organizations are actually investigating to see if Mr. Manning’s treatment amounts to torture. Yup, we started doing it to foreigners, and it worked so well we do it to Americans now. What a country!

  • Ken

    He will break. And there won’t even be a mark on him. And then the White House will tell us, never fear, we have what we need and all will be well.

    It’s only a matter of time.

    Welcome to the age of newspeak: He’s safe now.

    Be it in the hands of a Democrat or a Republican, in the end it is the same: When it comes to protecting the Homeland the Federal Government is always, ultimately, correct. And besides we have always been at war with… (but hey, does it really matter who, as long as Big Brother keeps us “safe”?)

  • Ken

    PS: On the issue of Security: On multiple occasions since the late 70’s members of Congress have leaked or disclosed classified information to the media as a deliberate political ploy. In some cases these disclosures resulted in the death of Agency operatives as well as long standing sources overseas. In others, information resources were badly burned and ongoing intelligence operations compromised. In no case have said members been subject to anything more than the mildest rebuke.

    “All citizens are equal, but some are more equal than others.” (?)

    Is that what we want?

  • RomanHans

    Oh, forgot a good joke. After saying that Mr. Manning was being forced to sleep naked, and that he had to stand at attention, in the nude, for hours every day while waiting for his clothes to be returned, brig officials said they couldn’t divulge exactly what Mr. Manning had done to prompt this punishment out of concern for his privacy.

  • oldgayvermonter

    Manning is a true patriot – read the real story of what he was being forced to do – then contribute to his defense through the underground “Courage to Resist” movement. He is most likely being tortured in a number of ways (solitary – and now naked solitary etc) in a crude attempt to force him to implicate Wikileaks. They can then attempt to “disappear” Julian Assange before he blows the whistle of Bank of America and other criminals. Try reading up on what the Wiki-releases expose before you believe the Faux News types who are busy defending our corrupt government policies and the military occupations they have hatched. The only reason this would appear on this site is Manning being gay – but any exposure of this injustice is welcome.

  • papparon

    He did this country and the world a BIG favor by letting the TRUTH be known. Not ONE of the documents that he leaked has caused any harm to this nation except to the people who committed FRAUD, CORRUPTION and DECEPTIVE politics.

    You people who blindly believe the US Government without checking your facts should learn a lesson from Egypt, Tunisia and Libya about what happens when the people have wool pulled over their eyes on top of their rosy tinted glasses.

    It does not matter whether Manning is gay or straight (but he IS gay) because he is a hero who will be remembered by History in that light when all is said and done.

  • Paul F

    @18 & @21 AMEN! Speaking (and typing)as a nudist, just shows how screwed up the U.S. is when being or seeing nude is considered horrible while blood, guts & gruesome murder are considered “entertainment” in the media. Yes, the rich and powerful can do what ever they want but a common schmuck do the same? Throw them to the wolves! Had a Republican congress critter done the same, the result would have been a strong tsk tsk don’t get CAUGHT doing it again and it would be fox noise calling them heroes.

  • Jeffree

    Manning told someone else he leaked the documents. Is that all the proof the gov’t has?

  • Rohit

    I don’t know what is funnier, the thought of Miss Manning – who is a tranny and is not a gay man – standing around nude, or the ridiculous comments here on this blog. It only took a few comments b4 one of the august historians in the Queerty readership compared Manning’s nudity to Nazi extermination of the Jews. You folks have no idea how deranged you sound.

    Prison is unpleasant. It is a restrictive, coercive environment. There is no privacy and one must shed his clothes and even submit to body cavity searches on a regular basis. That is the life that Manning chose for himself. He thought he was so cool and clever when he violated his oath, flouted his obligations as a soldier, and took advantage of the trusting environment within his unit. But he wasn’t quite so clever as he thought. Even worse, he released a vast amount of data which has nothing to do with the war or with any alleged wrongdoing and he did so without even reading it before leaking it. He was throwing a fit, and if he now has to take his time outs in the buff, so be it.

  • Fagburn

    Drop dead.

  • Jeffree

    Did someone who hates to be called a “fæggôt” just use the word “tranny”?
    Tacky & uncalled for.

  • B

    No. 23 · Jeffree wrote, “Manning told someone else he leaked the documents. Is that all the proof the gov’t has?”

    We don’t know as they haven’t released anything other than that apparently Manning told some guy named Lamos about smuggling data out on blank CDs labeled as Lady Gaga CDs (or what have you). Maybe he actually did that, but maybe he was BSing and someone else was the actual culprit.

    I’m not buying anything the government says without solid proof: one of the factors that leads to false convictions is political pressure to solve a case ( ). And there was surely a lot of pressure, if only to convince other countries that we took the security breach seriously and would punish the people responsible. See (an innocent person was wrongfully convicted of killing a police officer, here had been a lot of pressure on the police department and the D.A. to find the culprit, and any easily framed culprit would do – ironically one of the prosecutions witnesses was the murderer).

  • igoape

    Murderers and rapists get better treatment than Bradley Manning. This is true. However in most cases their victims were few. He committed the act of TREASON and betrayed his entire country. Millions of citizens are now at risk because of his actions. Gays have fought for years to be treated as equals in the military and for one of our own to have committed the worst crime possible against your country is a slap in the face to all the other gays who served and those who continue to do so out of love of country.I am gay and ex military myself. Never would I have dreamed of committing such a dastardly offence.
    So he sleeps naked. Cry me a river. You lose most of your rights when you break the law. He is fortunate that they chose not to seek the death penalty for his crimes. If he wanted clothes and freedom then he should not have taken the actions he did.
    Some are calling him a hero which is wrong. He admittedly did what he did not out of heroics but because of supposed harassment over his sexuality. That sounds like the act of a coward to me. Maybe all those who put this guy on a pedestal really need to rethink their position. Personally as a gay ex military member if he was to come before a firing squad I would be the first to volunteer to pull the trigger.

  • Jeffree

    @B: (27): Thanks for the explanation. You’re always good at that, plus the links, and lately especially, humor. As for Manning, I’m not willing to assume / presume guilt just because he told someone he leaked documents.

    @Igoape: You might want to check your definition of “treason” before you sling that word around. Unless you’re an eye-witness, you don’t know what he did, or didn ‘t do.

  • Riker

    @Rohit: Nice to see you already know all about his guilt. As far as I know, he hasn’t had a trial yet. In this country, we are innocent until proven guilty. Based on the flimsiness of the evidence that we know of and the security holes in SIPRnet, I’m willing to bet that Pfc.Manning’s attorney will be able to establish reasonable doubt and get a “not guilty” verdict.

    Of course, if the military keep this treatment up, then he will be declared unfit to stand trial due to insanity, spend a few years in a mental institution, and then go free.

  • Ken S

    @kevin: “He gave out clearly marked government secrets.”

    And suppose that the government “clearly marked” the recipe for ketchup as “top secret”; would he deserve the death penalty for leaking that? Because when you argue that what he did was *wrong* because it was merely *illegal,* you’re intellectually paving the way for government power to run amok.

    What I’m saying isn’t about the particular documents he supplied, it’s more important; I’m talking about your elected representative body instituting or building up a system where they classify whatever they want- anything that contradicts their ideology, anything that undermines their policies, anything that exposes their lies to the people. How better to prop up a regime of lies than to stick the evidence in a “top secret” envelope and then tell the electorate “we classified the information in this envelope for your protection!” It’s an insideous tactic: turn the people against their own interests by convincing them that *anyone* knowing what they *should* know endangers them. And everyone who says “kill that traitor Manning, he leaked SECRETS!”- especially if they haven’t examined the documents themselves- is falling for it hook, line and sinker.

    Secrecy is “the law,” but the law is just the rules as written by whoever had the biggest stick. The law doesn’t necessarily have anything whatsoever to do with justice. The law doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with what’s *right.* Speaking on behalf of the law and its fallible, manipulative human architects is easy; thinking critically about what’s going on on multiple levels and questioning what’s *right,* less so.

  • Soupy

    IGOAPE: In your opinion he has committed treason. Can you define what Bush/Cheney did sending their service people to war in Iraq over known false intelligence? Isn’t that treasonous. Cheney ordered the CIA to find him information to justify an invasion. Executive privilege?

  • Kev C

    My take on this is that the Military’s case against Bradley is pretty weak, as reflected by the redundent charges (toss a lot shit, hope some sticks strategy). The use of harsh conditions is punitive, but it also shows the Military’s futility and frustration. So yeah, looks like a weak case. The fact is that a smart person such as Bradley Manning can beat a stupid system.



    Bush/Cheney are seperate arguments. Why should IGOAPE have to defend or argue this? A better argument would be to prove that in your opinion Manning isn’t guilty of treason. I can easily understand where IGOAPE is coming from.

    As any gay man we have had to establish ourself to an often times unaccepting public. The military and Sports are our last arenas. As a person who works for the Government it pained me when as a union rep I had to represent gay people who have let their personal life interfere with their work life, i.e. harassing their ex at work.

    If Mr. Manning did release these documents as IGOAPE has explained how can you not understand where he is coming from? I am not saying you have to agree but just understand how troubling this is to IGOAPE.

  • oldgayvermonter

    Thank you Ken S! A few new points, if I may… 1) Mannings treatment, from all I have read, is barbaric to say the least. He has not been convicted of anything yet. Remember this is the military that gave us Abu Ghraib, so let’s not trust the government and let them explain away what they are really up to. 2) having read some of the released documents and also seen the wide range of subjects and sheer number of files involved let’s just say it seems unlikely that a single low-ranking person could be responsible for everything. Just doesn’t pass the smell test. 3) if it is somehow “unpatriotic” to expose a casually done massacre (remember the Apache crew mowing down a crowd including journalists?) then your concept of patriotism is a bit f&*ked up. 4) Our ruling class loves to dehumanize anyone they find inconvenient, which makes it so easy to just kill “enemy” populations and, as Jon Stewart so aptly put it, “blow up s&#t in other peoples countries”, which we are so good at. BTW, I am a veteran who lost friends in that Vietnam massacre.

  • Soupy

    Dawson, if you understand the legal system, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution to prove that he is guilty of treason, not on me or the defense to prove that he “isn’t”. The charge of treason has not been proven, but IGOAPE has determined already that he is guilty. How can you not understand where I am coming from? By the definition of treason, Bush/Cheney have as good a reason to be languishing in jail as Manning does.

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