the prisoner

Visiting Bradley Manning Behind Bullet Proof Glass

Powered by article was written by David Leigh, for The Guardian on Wednesday 16th March 2011 08.00 UTC

It is difficult to get in to see the imprisoned Bradley Manning, who is currently kept in chains as though he were a wild animal. However David House regularly sets out for the military prison holding the diminutive (5ft 2in) US army private. House, a 23-year-old computer researcher friend from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, leaves Boston every couple of weeks on a Friday afternoon after work: “I immediately run home and grab my army rucksack, throw in a bunch of socks and loose clothing, hop on an Amtrak train to Washington DC. It’s a seven to eight hour train ride.”

Riding the overnight train, one of the things House says he tries to put out of his mind is the hate mail resulting from his part in the campaign to support the solitary young man accused of being the “hacktivist” behind all the notorious recent publications of Wiki-Leaks. “I receive probably 10-15 pieces a day. It’s quite a lot, but only one or two a week are actual death threats.”

He arrives in DC at 6am, and often checks in to a cheap student hostel near Union station before picking up a car-share vehicle for the 36-mile drive south down Interstate 95 to Quantico, Virginia. It’s important to get there at noon on the Saturday. Too early, and the guards turn him away: too late, and it cuts into the strictly enforced weekend visiting periods between 12 and 3pm.

House reckons he is lucky to have got on the visiting list. It helped that he could claim to be a friend of Manning. A year ago, they met when the young soldier turned up at a hacker conference organised by House, “just a kid from Alabama” who had made it on intellectual merit into the hacker elite based around Boston University and MIT.

“Clearly Bradley was somehow involved in the hacker culture,” House recalls. “But he looked a bit like an outsider. Bradley had obviously slept well, he hadn’t been up for days on end, his hair was fixed, he had showered. He wasn’t dirty, like a typical hacker is.” He laughs. “Especially in Boston! These are people who wouldn’t shave for days on end, they would smell bad. These are all marks of intellectuals who are engaged or obsessed to a degree with their passions. It’s a badge of honour. If you’ve got somebody who’s concerned with their appearance to any degree, that doesn’t mesh very well with the academic hacker scene in Boston.”

House warms to his theme, quoting from the “hacker manifesto”, a 1986 essay by the notorious hacker Loyd Blankenship: “Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for. I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto.”

Manning’s family say that the young soldier should never have been posted to Iraq, and was already showing signs of depression before being sent there. This kind of hackerdom, to which he was introduced while on leave, via a Boston boyfriend, might perhaps have seemed an environment that could save him. The 22-year-old junior soldier had recently come out as gay, and had a disrupted childhood and a troubled relationship with his father, a former US serviceman who had met and later divorced Manning’s mother in Wales. Manning was an unlikely soldier, who recounted that his custom dog tags gave his religion as “humanist”, and had strong political opinions.

He had joined the US army as an intelligence analyst, largely, according to House, so he could study afterwards with the financial help given to ex-soldiers under the GI Bill. “He told me he wanted to go to college to get a master’s in physics and a bachelor’s in political science – this is what he was shooting for, this intellectual engagement.”

So Manning was drawn to “hacker culture”? “Yes, I would say so. It’s a very creative community, very alluring. These are people who seemingly have no limits. When you come in contact with this very empowering culture, it can suck you in.” House pauses slightly: “In a good way, that is.”

House’s Saturday morning car trips end at the gates of Quantico’s Marine Corps base. Manning was flown here from the Middle East last year and locked up, charged with successfully hacking into the military databases to which his “secret” clearance gave him access, and passing reams of data to Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. Manning had been detained following the release of video footage of an Apache helicopter killing 12 Iraqi civilians in 2007; Assange subsequently passed on 250,000 diplomatic cables and field reports from Afghanistan and Iraq to newspapers including the Guardian, who published some of them to international uproar.

Ever since, the harsh conditions of Manning’s imprisonment – untried and unconvicted – have been causing growing concern, culminating in Hillary Clinton‘s spokesman Philip Crowley telling a Boston seminar audience at the weekend: “What is being done to Bradley Manning is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid on the part of the department of defence.” He was promptly forced to resign.

House too feels the displeasure of the US military when he pulls up at the Quantico guardhouse: “Recently it’s become really hard. The brig seems to have done playing nice. I have to pull over. They ask for ID, and radio ahead. They pop the trunk, these guys with shotguns. Then I have to wait sometimes 20 minutes for an escort. Two black SUVs arrive and they take you into the base, for two or three miles, very slowly with police lights going. It nowadays takes about 30 minutes.”

Manning is allowed visits only on Saturday and Sunday. The rest of the week he is kept in his cell 23 hours a day, fed a daily diet of antidepressant pills, forbidden to exercise in his cell, and forcibly woken if he attempts to sleep in the daytime. He is continually subject to what is called “maximum custody”, and also to a so-called “prevention of injury” order, which among other things, deprives him of his clothes at night and also of normal sheets and bedding in favour of a blanket he describes as being like the lead apron used when operating x-ray machines. He is allowed no personal possessions.

Problems increased after a small demonstration at the Quantico gates. He was then abruptly placed on a further “suicide watch”. He wrote in a letter of protest, submitted by his lawyer, a reserve lieutenant colonel in the military: “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.” 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.’”

The suicide watch was lifted after protests, but following the refusal of an appeal to downgrade his status to that of a normal prisoner, more indignities appear to have been invented. Manning says he made the mistake of saying sarcastically that he could no doubt harm himself with the elastic of his boxer shorts at night. The shorts were then taken away and he was made to parade naked.

Having arrived under escort at the 20ft razor-wire fence surrounding the squat one-storey building housing the brig, House is searched and required to hand over all his own possessions. “They take your cellphone, your pens, your IDs.” He points to his bracelet, made of looped black parachute cord. “They take this bracelet and everything except the clothes off your back. They wand you and you go into the waiting area – and they call lockdown in the brig and I can hear all these hydraulic doors shutting way in the back. It goes really quiet for a while – and then you hear chains . . .

“You can hear Bradley coming from a long way away because of the chains – his feet have chains on them, they go to a leather belt around his waist. His hands go into them and he has no free movement of his hands.”

The room is split by a screen of bullet-proof glass, with a small hole cut in it for conversation. The slight figure of Manning shuffles in to sit on a metal stool bolted to the floor. Three burly Marine guards stand a few feet behind him throughout, while a ceiling microphone records everything he says, and a fourth guard patrols behind the door through which House has entered.

“Fluorescent lights, cement-block walls, guards with guns and chains – that’s the environment of our conversation. Very non-relaxing, I would say . . . ” House laughs a little.

He says Manning rarely writes letters: “He has to take the antidepressant medication the military give him – directly before the hour in which he can either watch TV or write or take a shower. He finds it very hard to write under the influence of these antidepressants – and also at some points they do not give him a pen.”

Nor does he receive much correspondence: “Around Christmas, there was a campaign to send him cards. But he said, ‘Please don’t: it’ll overburden the brig and make people angry.’”

Early on Manning and House had what he describes as “wonderful conversations – we had this really deep philosphical conversation about the nature of the internet. We talked about this term – I don’t know if he coined it – ‘neuro-sociology’, the idea that the human race is now connected by the internet, which is like a nervous system for the human race enabling people to organise much quicker and faster. What does that do to us as a species from an anthropological point of view?”

The picture became bleaker, however, as the months of imprisonment wore on, House says. After the suicide watch episode, he says, Manning seemed “catatonic” and exhausted. But he perked up after receiving a small flood of family visitors. His Welsh mother, Susan, flew over last month, accompanied by his aunt and uncle, who also live in Wales (they were prevented from visiting on the grounds that they “weren’t on the list”, and were made to stay in the brig car park). His father, Brian Manning, has re-married and, despite his own military background, also visits and has made public statements against his son’s prison conditions.

The Welsh MP Ann Clwyd has now discreetly taken up his case too, impressed by the plight of Manning’s family, and by the alleged reason for Manning’s final disaffection: that he was shocked by the injustices experienced by Iraqi detainees, and the uncaring attitude of his US military superiors.

Amnesty International in Britain has expressed similar strong concern. International UK campaigns director Tim Hancock said: “We’ve heard that Bradley Manning is made to strip each night and then stand to attention, naked, each morning and wait for his clothes. This is completely degrading and serves no purpose other than to humiliate and punish him, given that he’s already under close supervision.

“Manning is being subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. This is particularly disturbing when one considers that he hasn’t even been brought to trial, let alone convicted of a crime.”

This young man who is accused of responsibility for the biggest leak in journalistic history, is, however, apparently at the entire mercy of his superior officers: he remains an enlisted man until October this year, subject to military discipline and orders.

In the latest escalation of his conditions, he has now been charged with 22 new offences, including the potentially capital crime of “aiding the enemy”. To his supporters, it seems that this small figure chained up in Quantico must represent something very terrifying to the US Army. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

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  • Roman


  • Oprah

    Gosh, imagine being treated the same as murderers. A life sentence,a small cell, lost life. I mean, Manning will should be an example to future ‘wikileak’ offenders. BE AWARE< ITS NOT WORTH IT!!!!!!!!

  • Lefty

    I think that quote from Tim Hancock of Amnesty International says it all:

    “Manning is being subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. This is particularly disturbing when one considers that he hasn’t even been brought to trial, let alone convicted of a crime.”

    This is the way the US treats its own citizens.
    One wonders what exactly those who approve of and defend his mistreatment think they’re protecting.

    “You can hear Bradley coming from a long way away because of the chains – his feet have chains on them, they go to a leather belt around his waist. His hands go into them and he has no free movement of his hands.”

    The room is split by a screen of bullet-proof glass, with a small hole cut in it for conversation. The slight figure of Manning shuffles in to sit on a metal stool bolted to the floor. Three burly Marine guards stand a few feet behind him throughout, while a ceiling microphone records everything he says, and a fourth guard patrols behind the door through which House has entered.

    What an absolute disgrace.

  • Eminent Victorian

    Why is this in Queerty?

  • Simon

    @Eminent Victorian Because Manning is gay.

    I always thought that USA is land of freedom, looks like I was terribly wrong. Treating smart guy like he’s a mass murderer. Looks like it’s more of Russia or China. Maybe I should be proud that I still need a visa to go to your country.

    BTW. Your government should keep own nose out of polish-israeli retribution for lost property after 1945 (communism)case. Why? Because we don’t demand that your government should give all ground back to Indians.

  • damon459

    Only in America where you really are guilty until proven innocent providing you have the legal pull and the cash to seek justice. Until I see really proof this man did anything wrong morally or legally I will consider him an innocent victim of a government witch hunt.

  • KC67

    The weasel Julian Assange is enjoying a tough life in a mansion writing his memoirs, with all the rich bitch support of the wealthy and famous, while taking all the credit and cudous for Bradley Mannings real bravery, this man is a real hero and is now being treated like a serial killer, just goes to prove nice guys truly do finish last.

  • Zack

    our world is so screwed up. what manning did was wrong and he should be in jail, but not treated they way he is being treated

  • Jeffree

    @Zack: You forgot the word “allegedly” when you referred to “what Manning did.” We still presume innocence in the US until a trial has been held. Perhaps things are different in the country where you grew up.

  • justiceontherocks

    Oy gevalt. Are they holding Osama Bin Laden or a scared 23 year old who couldn’t do any harm right now if he wanted to? i don’t know what he did or didn’t do, but I know that the only reason for punishment like this is so some commandant can prove he has a bigger dick than the prisoner.

  • Richard

    Have any of you commenters been in the military?

    The article should refer to him as Pvt. Manning. He is not osme college student who made some silly little mistake. He is a soldier who went through weeks of basic training to prepare him for military life. Then he went through months of advanced training for his specialized job. During that training the FBI and military did a background investigation to see if he was trustworthy.

    During each of those phases it was HAMMERED in his head what the consequences would be if he did what he did. He would not have a single ounce of doubt in his body.

    On each and EVERY document that is classified, the document is placed in a folder with the classification marked on it….AND the penalties for sharing it. Again… he would have known of the consequences.

    So now, PRIVATE Manning, the volunteer who joined the military is being held for his military hearing. So he sits in a military brig… like all other military prisoners. This write up gives an impression like he is being held in some private jail like Hannibal Lecter. He is where all military prisoners are held for that base. Yes.. he is in a private cell because that has been ordered as a result of the espionage related charges.

    As for the medication, the suicide prevention methods, and related actions… that came from a doctor. At some point he would have been interviewed by a medical doctor and the result of that interview was this extra “care”. As this write up says… he sarcastically, playfully, or whatever you want to call it made comments that he would hurt himself. Well the military is not going to take chances that a high profile prisoner is going to hurt himself. So again… he is reaping the consequences of his actions.

    So Im sorry.. but he knew all of this going in and during his short career. Oh… and lets not forget his dad was military. So he knew before he joined too. Now, unfortunately, he is living with the daily reminders of what he seemed to forgot when he did what he did.

    Remember people… he sought out the hackers. He went to their conventions. He then spent time seeking out the information to leak. It wasnt something he made a copy of as it crossed his desk. He searched. When one of his hacker civilian buddies got busted… they pointed the finger to him. Its not hard for the military to trace who did what with classified information when they have a trail to follow.

    I do agree with KC67 on here…. Julian Assange definitely has a great life. The person who made him rich from the sold information is suffering under military law… and he gets a posh life as he fights his situation in civilian law. Sort of like the military guys who go through hell for making gay porn and the porn distributor makes the money and reaps the rewards. Again, the soldier knows the consequences when they make a stupid mistake.

  • hephaestion

    Quantico’s cruel treatment of Manning is unfathomable. I would not even imagine Hitler being treated so brutally treated if he had survived the war. NOBODY deserves to be treated in that manner. It is absolutely cruel and unusual punishment. Hillary Clinton needs to get her balls back and stop this unconstitutional cruelty.

  • Shannon1981

    His treatment is inhumane. I feel so bad. Bradley, I’m rooting for you baby. Stay strong. You’re a hero.

  • Jeffree

    @Richard: You’re making assumptions as to Pvt. Manning’s guilt. Is such flawed thinking what our military academies are teaching? Perhaps in your rush to judgement, you’ve forgotten he’s not been tried yet?

  • Riker

    @Richard: Keep in mind, we don’t know that he did anything. Because of security holes in SIPRnet, there is likely no physical evidence. All that exists is a chat log passed on by Adrian Lamo, a notorious computer hacker. If he can break into Microsoft, The New York Times, NBC and MCI Worldcom, he can probably forge a convincing chat log. Social engineering is one of his strong suits.

  • reason

    @Richard: As B stated in an earlier thread he hasn’t been found guilty yet, so it should be clarified that the treatment that he is receiving is standard for people facing criminal charges especially of such a high level in the military. Manning is not being treated any differently than any other high level military suspect, the military doesn’t have the time or inclination to coddle suspects, it’s a totally different ball game. This man may allegedly have more information that is a threat to U.S. security hence the solitary confinement, like every other enlisted military prisoner he will have his day in court. But, I must say things are not looking on the up for him, why in the world would a enlisted man of the U.S. military be associating with known criminals, forging relationships with hackers is not something that makes him seem innocent. If he is found guilty he should be punished severely, less it send a message that the U.S. is so weak that providing comfort and informational support to the enemy has no recourse.

  • Oprah

    Oh Jeffree, get over yourself. Manning is guilty. Do you think someone framed him? I agree with most commenters, he should be treated the way he is now. Its inhuman and even unconstitional, that if only we could update on what is constitiional.

    Anyway, America is the only western world where it treats its prisoners like animals. Only western country that has death penalty. Heck, if i were a murderer, i would escape to Mexico first, and then give the united state hint that i am in mexico. When the government comes after me- they will have to make a deal with the Mexican country to remove death penalty on the table. Can you imagine that?A third world country is instruct a first world country(well this argueable) how to be ‘humanistic’?

    PS I learnt about this fact from watching lots of 48 hours crime shows. Smart killers out there right? LOL

  • Oprah

    clarification. it shouldnt not should lol

  • B

    No. 16 · reason wrote, “why in the world would a enlisted man of the U.S. military be associating with known criminals, forging relationships with hackers is not something that makes him seem innocent.”

    Don’t assume he was associating with criminals in general – the word “hacker” apparently originated at M.I.T., where it referred to a person who was more or less a compulsive programmer, one who could get things done quickly by cobbling together pieces from existing programs. The result might work, but was rather ugly and not very maintainable, but they typically got things done very quickly. You could then take the best ideas and implement those carefully as you didn’t waste a lot of time on the bad

    Then teenagers discovered computers and modems and started to break into systems with weak passwords. The press heard the word “hacker” and decided it meant something else, and basically redefined it as a result of media clout. The result is that most people use “hacker” in a negative sense but there are still a few holdouts who insist that the word should mean what was originally intended (it was their slang, after all).

    I do think we have a reason to object to his reported treatment – some accounts have him being forced to stand stark naked with his hands behind his back and his legs spread apart, something you’d image going on in a BDSM dungeon. That sort of treatment is hardly necessary for national security and he has not yet been convicted of any crime. We treat people like the notorious mass murderer Charles Manson better than that.

  • niles

    You can’t trust short people. Fry him.

  • damon459

    @niles: I’m sure I could say that about any physical feature as the old saying goes there are bad apples in every barrel. In your case the whole barrel should just be thrown out. Even if you being facetious this is still American where everyone is innocent until proven guilt in a court of law.

  • Lefty

    @reason: As has already been said over and over again, there isn’t a single shred of evidence to show that what Bradley Manning allegedly did has resulted in a single death, so the idea that he provided “comfort and informational support to the enemy” (whoever ‘the enemy’ happens to be this week) is false.

    @Richard: “As for the medication, the suicide prevention methods, and related actions… that came from a doctor. At some point he would have been interviewed by a medical doctor and the result of that interview was this extra ‘care’.”

    It’s clear from the Brig’s observation records that between August 3rd 2010 and January 28th 2011, the Brig psychiatrist recommended on 17 separate occasions that Manning be removed from POI (Prevention of Injury) status. This was ignored time and time again. This is not being done for his safety.

  • Ronbo

    Nor is any of this done in the name of peace. It is being done so that the Military Industrial Complex can continue to earn unlimited dollars from a broken American government. Of By and For the rich.

    America is broken. When criminals are exhalted and enriched and decent men are imprisoned for exposing them, we know our way is doomed. Growing up, I was told this is what they do in Communist China. Hand meet glove. Our owners have purchased the USA and we now follow the second golden rule – the man with the gold rules.

    What about the many, many serious crimes exposed? If you aren’t angry, you aren’t paying attention.

  • reason

    @Lefty: No one has to die for you to commit treason, no one has to die for you to provide comfort and informational support to the enemy. That fact is immaterial granted people have died, besides the fact that what was done weakened the credibility of the U.S. government and put our allies in heated situations where people are dying. People have died in Yemen and the hands of the terrorist have been strengthened against the anti-terrorist pro-western government, people have died in Bahrain were the U.S. Navy 5th fleet operates interfering with U.S. military operation in the middle of a war resulting in a death toll that is unknown. The U.S. has lost some of its credibility weaken the power of our government to protect the American people and its vital interest around the world.

  • Riker

    @reason: You may want to look up the Constitutional definition of treason. It requires both an overt act and two witnesses, neither of which exist in this case.

  • Lefty

    @reason: Your position seems very confused, to say the least. Your point about treason has been dealt with by Riker above.
    No one has died as a result of what Manning is alleged to have done. You use words like providing “comfort” or “informational support” to the enemy. An enemy that has taken this “comfort” and “informational support” and killed precisely no-one.
    But you then go on to say this fact is “immaterial granted people have died” – not as a result of anything Bradley Manning is accused of doing, as has been said, but in your opinion the fact that “people have died”; that somewhere, someone (you don’t say, or seem to know, who or where) has died is valid reason to justify Manning’s mistreatment.
    “People have died in Bahrain” – have you any idea what’s happening in Bahrain and why it’s happening!?

    “The U.S. has lost some of its credibility weaken the power of our government to protect the American people and its vital interest around the world.”

    I rather think the fact the US is torturing someone in such a blatant and sickening way, someone who hasn’t been convicted of a single crime, is why it’s lost some of its “credibility” at home and around the world.
    The fact you argue that disregarding the rights of and torturing one of its own citizens is protecting the American people is perhaps one of the most laughable and self-refuting arguments I’ve ever come across from any of the commenters here who try to defend what’s happening to Bradley Manning – and there’s been stiff competition.

    Christ, and you think you’re a voice of “reason”? The mind boggles.

  • Paul F

    Back when I could actualy afford cable T.V. there was a documentary about how this country got into this national security/top secret bull-pucky. It seems the military had sent up a bomber during the cold war with some piece of commmon off the shelf stuff to test. They were told there was a problem with the plane by the manufactor. They ignored the warning and it crashed. When the widow of one of the men went to investigate, the military blocked all investigation into it citing “national security” and labled it “top secret”. She went to her congressman who also was denied access under the guise of “national security”. Years later after finaly declassifing the documents in question it was shown that there was NOTHING in the documents that merited the classification. It was shown that it was all a scam to coverup their negligence and cover thier asses. The whole incident was the foundation for our current policy for slapping “top secret” on anything and everything to keep the public in the dark about military malfesance. As another poster pointed out in a related article on his (Pvt. Manning) situation, if the government put a “top secret” label on a ketchup recipe and you leak it to the public, it ISN’T treason to reveal the fraud. I wish I could remember the name of the documentary because it showed how all this classifing crap actualy HURTS our country. Should there be national security top secrets, most definately yes. Does the majority of the crap they give the label to deserve it, NO! Should he be treated in the way they are doing right now, ABSOLUTELY NO. Military prison and military rules are no excuse for THIER behavior for his treatment, his presumend guilt or not. Like it’s said, absolute power corrupts and I smell a heaping helping of corruption going on.

  • justiceontherocks

    @reason: Were you home schooled by Mr. Potato head figures? For someone who can’t put a coherent sentence together you sure do know a lot about military prisons and the facts of case that have yet to go public.

  • Kieran

    Ve haf vays of making you talk.

  • Cam

    Wikileaks just exposed that the Japanese govt. was warned that their nuclear facilities were unsafe years ago and that they did nothing about moving the spent fuels, storing them more safely or shoring up their facilities against the earthquakes they were warned about.

    So if wikileaks had exposed this a few years ago, we might not be facing the possible meltdown we are looking at in Japan.

  • Mitch


    Actually, Manning’s doctors have denied that he needs to be treated the way the officers are treating him.

  • reason

    @Lefty: Actually I took the name reason because I generally attempt to be reasonable and assess the other opinions. The fact that you would automatically assume that it means I think I am the voice of reason may point to your grandiose views of yourself. The leaked documents exposed all sorts of secrets like the Yemen government giving approval for U.S. bombings privately and condemning it publicly, the terrorist in Yemen used that to pit the anti-western populace against their government. Explain how that does not hurt America’s security? If you really believe that attacks and killings have not resulted from that, even by the hands of the Yemen government, you are being intellectual dishonest with yourself or are just naive. There may have been a small fire there as a result of grievances, but the leaks just poured gasoline and sticks of dynamite on it. Protecting the nation involves clandestineness actions and questionable behavior that America has exhibited throughout history, trying to air that dirty laundry does not help our cause or the quest for stability. We don’t live in a world where if the truth is told everybody will hold hands and dance in the streets, the privileges that we enjoy in this country came with the blood of others around the world: the roads that you drive on, the steel in the bridges, the rubber in your tires, the rare earth metals in the computer that you are typing at, the gas that you pour in your tank, and the list goes on. We didn’t get here by being squeaky clean, and our alias didn’t get where they are by being saints. It is easy to condemn the actions taken why you are enjoying the vary comforts they provide, would you rather be parked in a third world country that took it rather than dished it. We are an immoral and duplicitous nation accept it already and move on, there is no alternative regardless of what man or woman on this earth was in charge.

    Furthermore, if you think the constitution is on Manning’s side you are sorely mistaken, don’t believe me lets just wait and see. Manning should be rejoicing that they only plan to lock him up forever instead of killing him, I can assure you that on the back channels our alias have called for blood. It is no secret for why the GOP has called for him and Assange to be sent to Saudi Arabia, the third arm of America, that is clearly out of constitutional, judicial, subpoena, or nosy citizen’s reach. If the average citizens knew the history between the two countries they would be dumbstruck, there is a reason the government did everything in its power to exculpate them from any blame in 9/11, though they were innocent. I wished we lived in a better world, I truly do, but lets be realistic.

  • reason

    @Cam: The amount of things the government is warned about on a daily basis is staggering, there was a part in a documentary about it. Nearly every American has a warning to give, nearly any mistake someone has made they have been warned in the past about it. I warned legislators about the possibility of a plant leaking tritium that actually ended up leaking it, but for every warning there was someone else ensuring them that it would never happen. I could warn you to never go out after dark, then one day you get attacked after dark and I come back and present papers saying I warned him. People are then like oh he was warned, he must be an idiot, but was he truly an idiot? No. People can never agree on anything so someone is always issuing a warning that what was done is all wrong. If they spent all their time chasing warnings nothing would get done, and 99.999 percent would be worthless warnings. Hindsight is always 20/20.

  • Oli

    @Richard: oh I don’t give a flying F*** about whether or not other commenters have been in the military! Come on! You KNOW this is wrong. Really seriously horribly wrong. I don’t understand why things like this aren’t approached on the basis of the risk posed by the accused. This is clearly utterly disproportionate to the risk Manning poses. I don’t care if the punishments for his (apparent) crimes were tattooed on his forehead before whatever happened happened, this treatment is just ridiculous. There is no debate to be had about it. What he is accused of doing is definitely wrong, but this clearly a very vulnerable young man who poses very little risk. I can’t ever imagine being in the state of mind where I thought this was just and good. Shame on you.

  • Viciente

    Hee! Thanks again Queerty for another awesome post on this traitorous tranny. It sounds like an absolutely miserable existence, and she has another 60 years or so yet to come, unless she gets the death penalty.

    This vile traitor leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents without a thought as to what might be in them or who he might be endangering. Of these, a tiny fraction of one percent have anything to do with Iraqi detainees. And Manning leaked the documents at a time when the US no longer held any Iraqi detainees.

    No, this was not a brave act of whistleblowing. This was a hissy fit by a mentally unstable, vindictive tranny. And that fit, in addition to endgangering lives all around the world, nearly smeared gay and lesbian troops an destroyed the effort to repeal DADT. Hopefully, some openly gay troops will get to serve on the shim’s firing squad after she is convicted at her court martial.

  • joseluis

    You have to hold a rally for his release is innocent just because he is gay is because a second-class citizen so I propose a march led by her boyfriend for his release and his reunion.

    Julian Assange clarify he is guilty he is guilty of everything.

    Bradley’s boyfriend are with you

    Julian Assange hate you

    you used to bradley for your purposes

  • McMike

    Wow, who would have thought America had turned into China?

  • Riker

    @Viciente: first off, I’m beginning to sound like a broken record. Look up the definitions of treason and traitor, in the US Constitution. They require an overt act and two witnesses, neither of which exist.

    Second, we don’t know that he did it. The evidence is flimsy, and based mostly on a chat log given to the FBI by a notorious computer hacker that could easily have been forged. There are also some PGP encrypted emails confirmed to have been sent by Pfc. Manning but can’t be decrypted, because the aforementioned hacker conveniently forgot the passcode to his old private key.

    Third, I absolutely LOVE the trannybashing! not.

  • Riker

    @joseluis: I’m not quite sure what you’re trying to say. Please learn some basic grammatical structures and try again.

  • Jeffree

    @Riker: Solid writing, thinking and knowlege there. Yes, it stinks that you & B etc. have to repeatedly remind people of how the justice system works, what is / isn’t treason and the whole ball of wax, but what you’ve been doing helps keep the “conversation” more grounded in reality so that the trolls’ unfounded opinions don’t go unquestioned.

  • Riker

    @Jeffree: Thank you, it is nice to be appreciated.

    All that is necessary for the government’s FUD campaign to succeed is for those who know better to stay silent. The military wants to convince the entire nation that he is guilty and that his trial is just a formality, to make the people afraid of the consequences of whistleblowing.

  • MaxH


    Amen, Richard. He knew what he was doing, he knew it was against the law, and he did it anyway.

    For everyone else – the military is not run like the civilian world. The Uniform Code of Military Justice treats the accused as guilty until proven innocent. It is not unusual to treat a military prisoner like this.

    Outside of that, his trial SHOULD proceed a bit faster.

  • Viciente

    @Riker: Obviously, comments on Queerty are not purporting to set forth the formal legal charges against Manning. His indictment does that. When people here refer to treason or his being a traitor, they are using those terms generally to refer to his betrayal of country. Also, it may well be that the US will produce two witnesses to Manning’s criminal acts, as it is widely believed that he had help. One of his conspirators may decide to turn rather than spend a lifetime in Leavenworth.

    Those chat logs are an admission by the criminal himself. It doesn’t get much better than that. Lamo has no absolutely no motive to manufacture fake chat transcripts and turn them over to the feds. That would be a felony and he has nothing to gain by taking such a risk.

    Also, it won’t be difficult to go back to the terminals Manning used and sync the times of his access with the volume of downloading. This punk abused the sense of trust and confidence in his unit by bringing in blank CDs masked as Lady Gaga CDs. Pretending to listen to Gaga, he deceived his fellow soldiers, violated his oath and downloaded gigabytes of data which he never even bothered to read b4 sending them off into cyberspace. He thought he was so clever, but this activity leaves a readily identifiable trail.

  • Kev C

    @Viciente: The problem with your argument is the classification of non-secret documents as secret. The release of non-vital documents has posed no harm to the security of the USA, but rather exposed war crimes and embarrassed government officials. By that definition, Bradley is, in fact, a whistle-blower.

    All documents of a democratic government are the property of the people of that democracy. Labelling documents as “secret” to hide crimes, is a crime. We – the People – must demand that war criminals working for government are brought to justice.

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