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Hillary Clinton’s Spokesman Attacks the Pentagon over Manning’s Treatment

Hillary Clinton’s Spokesman Attacks the Pentagon over Manning’s Treatment

PJ Crowley, the assistant secretary of state for public affairs at the US state department and a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, has ‘launched a public attack on the Pentagon’ over the treatment of Bradley Manning, says the Guardian. Manning is the soldier accused of passing thousands of secret government documents to WikiLeaks. He was arrested last year after he revealed that he had leaked video of a helicopter attack that killed two Reuters photographers and Iraqi civilians, and also some 260,000 diplomatic cables and intelligence reports. Last week, Manning was accused of an additional 22 charges, including ‘aiding the enemy,’ a crime that can carry the death penalty.

Since July, Manning has been held in solitary confinement in a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va; he is condiered a maximum security detainee and is under a special set of restrictions intended to prevent self-injury, though his supporters say that he is not suicidal. Manning is confined to his cell 23 hours a day. Reports surfaced last week that he was jailed naked. The March 11 Guardian reported further details of his treatment in prison, including Manning’s own account as detailed in an 11-page legal letter to the US military that his lawyer has released.

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

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

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

The Guardian quotes Crowley saying that Manning is being ‘”mistreated”‘:

‘”What is being done to Bradley Manning is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid on the part of the department of defence.” 

As the Guardian says: Crowley’s comments, which he said were ‘on record,’ are the ‘first sign of a crack within the Obama administration over the handling of the WikiLeaks saga’ and ‘the first time anyone within the administration has expressed concern about Manning’s treatment.’ The comments were posted on the personal blog of BBC news correspondent Philippa Thomas. The remarks are, she says, ‘an extraordinary insight into tensions within the administration over WikiLeaks.’

And while we can debate about the import of Manning’s leaking of thousands of classified US government document, the kind of treatment and humiliation he is being subjected to in Quantico—with his glasses and almost all his clothes taken away from him—is simply very troubling. 

 

Care2 Coverage

Bradley Manning Jailed Naked For 7 Hours; 22 New Charges Filed

The Case of Pfc Bradley Manning

 

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Photo by Takver.

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51 comments

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7:59AM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

my name is andrew dedman i work for the city of london fraud squad i have been accused of using strange names,white washing credit card fraud and amongst others leaking out information to eastern europeans ive been accused of being a foundation stone of new muslim culture in the uk and working with former kgb officers let me tell the readers the police in london will come down hard on people spreading defamation aboat the police in the uk and their alleged running protection racketts.

8:31PM PDT on Mar 14, 2011

Hitlary Clinton is a very dangerous person. She is enormously ambitious, is a Rothchild, and does not take prisioners. Google she and her husbands name and deaths and you will see that more than 50 people who have been associated with them have died questionable deaths, been murdered, i.e. four executed at WACO with bullets to the brain more than a half mile from the homes grounds blamed on the people of the church. Hitlary was shredding documents that were supeoned for investigation on she and Bill's involvement with some questionable transactions shortly after he was sworn in. She does not like that some of her dirty dealings have been exposed by WikiLeaks and possible Mannings involvement. As I said she does not take prisoners. Don't defend Mannings humanity or rights or you will lose you job if you work for the gvmt. OOOOps there goes my social security.

3:51AM PDT on Mar 14, 2011

Well folks, the patriot act started all this lack of democracy and openess. Without whistleblowers we would be so brainwashed and in the dark there would be similar tyranny as exists in North Korea or used to be in East Germany. It seems that the politics of fear are finally removing any vestige of freedom from the US. Why can't you folks see, this man should be applauded not tortured.

9:44PM PDT on Mar 13, 2011

hmm when i said 'tortured' i misspoke. i only meant that he brought having his clothing taken from him on himself.

sorry about that.

5:45PM PDT on Mar 13, 2011

someone commented that no one has been hurt by what this boy did but the taliban have stated publicly after reading some of the un-redacted leaks that they made a list of people to 'look at'. so i wouldnt say no one is getting hurt, just hasnt happened yet.

someone also commented that it is not illegal to report misconduct.. maybe so but why jeopardize peoples safety in doing so..he shouldve found someone more responsible to leak him information to. someone who wouldnt have thought the exposed names were an 'acceptable risk' as julian assange stated on 60 minutes.

someone also commented something to the effect of how has this benefited any american. give that man a prize. most of those leaks were not really of national concern..

so far as being tortured in jail...well he kinda brought that on himself by making a smartass comment that he could use the elastic in his shorts to hang himself. he was probably being sarcastic but what if he carried out that threat? then they would be accused no doubt of his murder.

not 100% sure how he was caught but i 'think' i read that he bragged to another person about his actions...

this boy is not completely innocent but he shouldnt be mistreated either...at the same time he should really be careful what he says..if you even joke about committing suicide they will react and probably not the way he wants.

so in short mr manning ...stfu ;p

1:38PM PDT on Mar 13, 2011

I don't believe it! My comment was removed by Care 2! It was about dictatorship and the erosion of democracy in this country, and they removed it! Let's see if they remove this one...

1:27PM PDT on Mar 13, 2011

That which most people should be concerned about in Mr. Manning's case is the absence of justice and the rule of law in his treatment. This treatment undercuts the premise of our democratic system. I have been saying to my friends for some time that I believe Pres. Obama is a "human face" - a term used in the cold war era to define Soviet bloc country leaders that were elected as Populists, but were actually Soviet-picked leaders given to the people as a sop to prevent further unrest and rioting. Actions like this in the case of Mr. Manning, the undermining of democratic principles in the WI Assembly, and other examples point to the erosion of democracy in the USA. People should be concerned not about Republican vs. Democrat or Conservative vs. Liberal, but about People vs. Dictatorship and the loss of basic Freedoms and Civil/Human Rights.

11:43AM PDT on Mar 13, 2011

Wow. Not the first time Secretary Clinton has gone off-reservation in expressing more progressive values than President Change.

I'm starting to wonder if the campaign frame during the primary, of Hillary the tedious establishment machine verses Barack the insurgent progressive had it exactly backwards. Maybe we made a horrible mistake.

9:38PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

@ Helen D.--When was the last time the US lived up to its stated values ? in China, a reporter that reveals corruption is punished, not the corrupt official . In the US the one revealing corruption and war crimes is punished instead of the perpetrators. Same same. That is what happens in third world dictatorships, even those who call themselves “the good guys”..

8:39PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

This is so stupid dishonorable discharge the man or try him in a court of law and be done with it.
The very treatment he is receiving is the same reason it was necessary to reveal state secrets in the first place. Reporting the misconduct of other soldiers is a duty not a crime. On several occasions the military has jailed, mistreated and even tortured soldiers who have reported criminal behavior within the US army, so what other choice did the man have, live with letting the abusive behavior continue or break his oath and report the crimes to the press. discharge him and be done with it, so stupid, man when you reveal state secrets you don't admit it to anyone, because about half of them really believe being patriot means supporting your country even when it commits crimes against other human beings. People really need to find a good documentary on the Nuremberg trials.

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