Bradley Manning speaks about the conditions of his detention

David House is one of the few people allowed to visit Bradley Manning while he is detained in the Quantico brig.

Manning is held in “maximum custody,” the military’s most severe detention policy. Manning is also confined under a longstanding Prevention of Injury (POI) order which limits his social contact, news consumption, ability to exercise, and that places restrictions on his ability to sleep.

Manning has been living under the solitary restrictions of POI for five months despite being cleared by a military psychologist earlier this year, and despite repeated calls from his attorney David Coombs to lift the severely restrictive and isolating order. POI orders are short-term restrictions that are typically implemented when a detainee changes confinement facilities and these orders are lifted after the detainee passes psychological evaluation.

Our conversations, which take place in the presence of marines and electronic monitoring equipment, typically revolve around topics in physics, computer science, and philosophy; he recently mentioned that he hopes to one day make use of the GI Bill towards earning a graduate degree in Physics and a bachelors in Political Science. He rarely if ever talks about his conditions in the brig, and it is not unusual for him to shy away from questions about his well-being by changing the subject entirely.

When I arrived at the brig on December 18th I found him to be much more open to lines of inquiry regarding his circumstances, and in a two and a half hour conversation I learned new details about his life in confinement. [Continue reading.]

Meanwhile, The Guardian reports:

The United Nations is investigating a complaint on behalf of Bradley Manning that he is being mistreated while held since May in US Marine Corps custody pending trial. The army private is charged with the unauthorised use and disclosure of classified information, material related to the WikiLeaks, and faces a court martial sometime in 2011.

The office of Manfred Nowak, special rapporteur on torture based in Geneva, received the complaint from a Manning supporter; his office confirmed that it was being looked into. Manning’s supporters say that he is in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day; this could be construed as a form of torture. This month visitors reported that his mental and physical health was deteriorating.

The Pentagon denies the former intelligence analyst is mistreated, saying he is treated the same as other prisoners at Quantico, Virginia, is able to exercise, and has access to newspapers and visitors.

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4 thoughts on “Bradley Manning speaks about the conditions of his detention

  1. Norman

    Speculation! Considering what has been told of the performance of the Military Jailers, it’s entirely possible to think that indeed, torture is the norm. Of course, the Government & the Military would disagree, so until an outside number of psychiatric examinations are held, no one can or cannot say with any certainty, one way or the other.

  2. BillVZ

    Glenn Greenwald had a heated and rather acrimonious discussion on this issue this AM on BBC with a former Reagan Pentagon official Jed Babbin,who was also one of the key members of the Bush Pentagon’s domestic propaganda program. The program was live and is now finished but Glenn has promised to post the discussion soon.
    Babbin gave the suicide watch ‘tune’, but when that didn’t fly he went to the boiler plate- this is the normal procedure for such a detainee,hey ‘no big deal’! Finally as the discussion heated up he took Greenwald to task for such publicity seeking tales and arrogantly reminded Glenn after all- he is a lawyer and a Military JAG officer and prosecutor as well and that if Glenn was serious he should go to the top- the commander of the prison and whine to him about the ‘torture’ of this prisoner.
    Sometimes Mr. Greenwald gets so caught up in his own thoughts he misses attending to dealing with the misdirection and misinformation his opponent puts out. At that point, in my mind, this person, his attitude and blindness needed to be addressed and not debated.

  3. Vince J.

    USA=Torture
    This images is attached/etched forever to Washington, to the Pentagon, to the CIA and the WH.
    The longer that whimpy H. Holder persues Assange and not Rove, Bush, Rice, Obama or Clinton amongst many US’s war criminals, the less credibility the US will have in the International community.

    Manning is a Hero, Obama/Clinton are War Criminals.

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