Lawyer wants WikiLeaker kept off suicide watch
Abuse of discretion alleged
The attorney for accused WikiLeaker Pfc. Bradley Manning has petitioned his client's living conditions, which require him to be watched around the clock and forbid him from exercising except for one 30-minute period each day.
The complaint was filed on Wednesday with the commander at the Quantico base, where Manning has been held since July under suicide watch and POI – prevention of injury – designations. The Article 138 complaint argues that there is no basis for Manning, who allegedly turned over hundreds of thousands of secret US documents to WikiLeaks, to be considered a threat to himself.
Attorney David C. Coombs concedes that forensic psychologists have on several occasions recommended that his client be put under suicide or POI watch, with the last one, for POI, coming in December. The following week, a psychologist recommended that Manning be taken off POI watch, but so far that hasn't happened.
As Coombs describes it:
Life for PFC Manning, however, is not much better now that he has been returned to POI watch. Like suicide risk, he is held in solitary confinement. For 23 hours per day, he will sit in his cell. The guards will check on him every five minutes by asking him if he is okay. PFC Manning will be required to respond in some affirmative manner. At night, if the guards cannot see him clearly, because he has a blanket over his head or is curled up towards the wall, they will wake him in order to ensure that he is okay. He will receive each of his meals in his cell. He will not be allowed to have a pillow or sheets. He will not be allowed to have any personal items in his cell. He will only be allowed to have one book or one magazine at any given time to read. The book or magazine will be taken away from him at the end of the day before he goes to sleep. He will be prevented from exercising in his cell. If he attempts to do push-ups, sit-ups, or any other form of exercise he will be forced to stop. He will receive one hour of exercise outside of his cell daily. The guards will take him to an empty room and allow him to walk. He will usually just walk in figure eights around the room until his hour is complete. When he goes to sleep, he will be required to strip down to his underwear and surrender his clothing to the guards.
Manning's routine is even more restricted under suicide watch, which requires him to surrender his prescription glasses and remain in his cell 24 hours a day, with no clothing except for his underwear.
“He was forced to sit in essential blindness with the exception of the times that he was reading or given limited television privileges,” Coombs adds. “During those times, his glasses were returned to him. Additionally, there was always a guard sitting outside of his cell watching him.”
The petition will be forwarded to the officer in charge of court-martial proceedings, who is required to inquire into the complaint and take proper measures. ®
I am titled
I may be naive, I may have had too many on a Friday evening, but I can't for the life of me work out what the hell is wrong in the U.S.
After stories on Alternet about conditions and the treatment of prisoners in "maximum security" prisons, the continuing saga of Mr Manning, Gitmo et.c I am convinced that the United States is a barbaric country that cares not one whit about citizens, rights (human or otherwise) or anything else that doesn't mean more oil/coal/heavy metals/minerals/money/whatever for megacorp bosses/GOP leaders.
When I see their attempts at humanitarian responses and "fighting for human rights" in not just foreign countries but their own freaking backyard (New Orleans?) I can only laugh and thank $INSERT_PERSONAL_DEITY that I was not born there, my parents never emigrated there and that my only connection with them (aside from sending dozens of nasty emails to the shitehouse when Bush was in power) is a section of my family that buggered off 4 or 5 decades ago.
To think they believe they are a fount of democracy and "an example for the rest of the world" should give rise to a short skit that might become the funniest TV ever made. Their right-wing print and TV media are enough to make one want to put a bullet in someones' skull - more than likely me putting one through my own skull.
I just had to unload a bit. Wankers.
This is clearly torture in a very flimsy disguise. I really pitty this man, and all americans who might one day be subjected to this treatment.
Pfc. Bradley Manning has NOT been convicted of anything
so he can not be named as the source of Wikileaks material.
The treatment he is suffering is unadorned governmental torture as he is very lightly, partially clothed, denied all reading material, prohibited from exercising in his cell where he remains for 23 hours each day.
Every 5 minutes he is visually checked on and if he is sleeping face to the wall, he is awoken.
By any measure he is being tortured but what else would you expect from a country that abducts people (rendition) and then tortures them in an isolated prison. Hypocritically the U.S, accuses other countries of torture.
I might possess a U.S. passport but I refuse to use it as the government abuses it's very own citizens it is duty bound to protect.