Crime and Punishment

Bradley Manning’s Leaks Didn’t Actually Hurt Anybody But Let’s Torture Him Anyway

It’s no blood, no foul when it comes to Bradley Manning. This week his lawyers stated that the alleged WikiLeaks culprit and confirmed Queerty reader didn’t actually cause any damage by releasing classified government documents. After the White House and the Defense Department reviewed the actual information, they found that it was outdated, already public, or not highly classified.

And it’s not just his legal team coming to Manning’s defense. The European parliament has sent an open letter to President Obama and members of Congress expressing concern over how Manning is being treated in prison including worries over possible torture. The letter reads:

We have questions about why Mr Manning has been imprisoned for 17 months without yet having had his day in court. We are troubled by reports that Mr Manning has been subjected to prolonged solitary confinement and other abusive treatment tantamount to torture. And we are disappointed that the US government has denied the request of the United Nations special rapporteur on torture to meet privately with Mr Manning in order to conduct an investigation of his treatment by US military authorities.

Last year, the Pentagon defended putting Manning under maximum custody and making him sleep on bedding similar to “stiff carpet.” Obama claimed he was being treated no differently than any prisoner in maximum security. But earlier this year Hillary Clinton attacked the Pentagon for Manning’s harsh conditions. He was placed in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and stripped down to his birthday suit nightly.

Manning’s first hearing is set for December 16. He faces charges on 22 counts including downloading and transmitting classified information, fraud, and aiding the enemy. The last count carries the possibility of the death penalty but the Army has stated it will not go for that.