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The Abusive Detention of Bradley Manning

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(2)      Later that same day, I was approached by GYSGT Blenis. He asked me what I had done wrong. I told him that I did not know what he was talking about. He said that I would be stripped naked at night due to something that I had said to MSG Papakie. Shocked, I told him that I hadn't said anything. I told GYSGT Blenis that I just pointed out the absurdity of my current confinement conditions.

(3)      Without consulting any Brig mental health provider, Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes used my sarcastic comment as justification to increase the restrictions imposed upon me under the guise of being concerned that I was a suicide risk. I was not, however, placed under the designation of Suicide Risk. This is because Suicide Risk would have required a Brig mental health provider's recommendation in order for the added restrictions to continue. While the PCF Commander needed the Brig Psychiatrist's recommendation to keep me under Suicide Risk, no such recommendation was needed in order to increase my restrictions under POI Status. The conditions of POI Status require only psychiatric input, but ultimately remain the decision of the PCF Commander.

(4)      In response to this specific incident, the Brig Psychiatrist met with me. After speaking to me, he assessed me as a "low risk and requiring only routine outpatient follow-up [with] no need for ... closer clinical observation." In particular, he indicated that my statement about the waist band of my underwear was in no way prompted by "a psychiatric condition."

(5)       Since 2 March 2011, I have been stripped of all my clothing at night. I have been told that the PCF Commander intends on continuing this practice indefinitely. Initially, after surrendering my clothing to the Brig guards, I had no choice but to lay naked in my cold jail cell until the following morning. The next morning I was told to get out of my bed for the morning Duty Brig Supervisor (DBS) inspection. I was not given any of my clothing back. I got out of the bed and immediately started to shiver because of how cold it was in my cell. I walked towards the front of my cell with my hands covering my genitals. The guard told me to stand at parade rest, which required me to stand with my hands behind my back and my legs spaced shoulder width apart. I stood at "parade rest" for about three minutes until the DBS arrived. Once the DBS arrived, everyone was called to attention. The DBS and the other guards walked past my cell. The DBS looked at me, paused for a moment, and then continued to the next detainee's cell. I was incredibly embarrassed at having all these people stare at me naked. After the DBS completed his inspection, I was told to go sit on my bed. About ten minutes later I was given my clothes and allowed to get dressed.

(6)       After apparent outside pressure on the Brig due to my mistreatment, I was given a suicide prevention article of clothing called a "smock" by the guards. Although I am still required to strip naked in my cell at night, I am now given the "smock" to wear. At first, I did not want to wear this item of clothing due to how coarse it was and how uncomfortable it felt. However, the Brig now orders me to wear the "smock" at night.

(7)      Given the above circumstances, the decision to strip me of my clothing every night for an indefinite period of time is clearly punitive in nature. There is no mental health justification for the decision. I am under 24 hour surveillance, with guards never being more than a few feet away from my cell. I am permitted to have my underwear and clothing during the day, with no apparent concern that I will harm myself during this time period. The determination to strip me of all my clothing every night since 2 March 2011 is without justification and therefore constitutes unlawful pretrial punishment.

The denial of Manning's request to be removed from Prevention of Injury Watch and to have his custody classification reduced from Maximum to Medium Detention-In treatment has been appealed is now on its way to Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, for his final review.  If Secretary Mabus denies PFC Manning's requested relief, Manning's attorney David Coombs will file a Writ of Habeas Corpus to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley recently speaking to a small audience at MIT on "The Benefits of New Media as it Relates to Foreign Policy" put it mildly when he said what's being done to Bradley Manning by my colleagues at the Department of Defense "is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid."   Let's hope Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has more humanity and sense of justice then the Marines at the Quantico Brig.

Take Action:

Visit the Bradley Manning Support Network to support Manning and get involved.

If you are in the Washington, DC area, please join us for a fundraiser this Sunday at Busboys and Poets at 5th and K Streets NW, Washington, DC, 4p.m

There will rally to support Bradley Manning in the Quantico/Triangle area at 2p.m., Sunday the 20th. Among the speakers at the rally are Daniel Ellsberg, Col. Ann Wright, Jeff Patterson of the Bradley Manning Support Network, and David House who will join us immediately after visiting his friend Bradley at the brig. Invite your friends and family.

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Kevin Zeese Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Kevin Zeese is co-chair of Come Home America, www.ComeHomeAmerica.US which seeks to end U.S. militarism and empire. He is also co-director of Its Our Economy, www.ItsOurEconomy.US which seeks to democratize the economy and give people greater (more...)
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