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Torturing Bradley Manning

By The Reverend Published: December 16, 2010

One of the most regrettable practices our nation has embraced and defended over the last 10 years is the practice of torturing those we have incarcerated. Nothing is more cowardly than punishing a person who can not defend himself.....either physically or psychologically. The moment the news leaked to the world that America had adopted torture as a policy, was the moment we surrendered in the so-called war on terror.

Bradley Manning is a United States citizen. He is 22 years old, a U.S. Army private, and he is accused of leaking classified material. For the past 5 months, Bradley has been detained in a Quantico, VA brig. Before that Manning spent 2 months in a military jail in Kuwait.

Manning has not been convicted of any crime. Accused and detained for 7 months.....but not tried or convicted.

Here's how he's being treated.....

From the beginning of his detention, Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement. For 23 out of 24 hours every day -- for seven straight months and counting -- he sits completely alone in his cell. Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he's barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions. For reasons that appear completely punitive, he's being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch). For the one hour per day when he is freed from this isolation, he is barred from accessing any news or current events programs. Lt. Villiard protested that the conditions are not "like jail movies where someone gets thrown into the hole," but confirmed that he is in solitary confinement, entirely alone in his cell except for the one hour per day he is taken out.

Bradley Manning, a U.S. citizen, has not been convicted of any crime, is not a flight risk and has been a model detainee. But America no longer holds to the nostalgic notion of 'assumed innocence until proven guilty.' America no longer holds to the quaint, old-fashioned notion that premeditated acts of cruelty and savagery....what we used to call cruel and unusual punishment, and what I call cowardly,.....are unacceptable and should be prohibited by law.

And so "innocent until proven guilty", U.S. citizen, Bradley Manning has been insidiously tortured, physically as well as psychologically....though still not convicted of a crime....for the last 7 months. Manning is prohibited from exercising while in his cell, the same cell he is kept in isolation for 23 hours every day.

How do the American monsters who are inflicting this torture keep the unconvicted Manning from losing his mind while they keep him in these conditions?......

.....as is true of many prisoners subjected to warped treatment of this sort, the brig's medical personnel now administer regular doses of anti-depressants to Manning to prevent his brain from snapping from the effects of this isolation.

Not that it matters for a nation that no longer abides by a rule of law, but according to Glenn Greenwald,.....

....in its 1940 decision in Chambers v. Florida, the Court characterized prolonged solitary confinement as "torture" and compared it to "[t]he rack, the thumbscrew, [and] the wheel."

Manning is being held on suspicion that he leaked classified information. Part of that alleged information was the video of a U.S. helicopter gunship mowing down unarmed men in Iraq. Perhaps you've seen the ugliness...if not, go here.

Manning's intentions in leaking material.....

Lamo: what's your endgame plan, then?. . .

Manning: well, it was forwarded to [WikiLeaks] - and god knows what happens now - hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms - if not, than [sic] we're doomed - as a species - i will officially give up on the society we have if nothing happens - the reaction to the video gave me immense hope; CNN's iReport was overwhelmed; Twitter exploded - people who saw, knew there was something wrong . . . Washington Post sat on the video… David Finkel acquired a copy while embedded out here. . . . - i want people to see the truth… regardless of who they are… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.

Manning wanted Americans to know the evil being done in our names in the so-called war on terror.....so that those evils, once known by the American public, might be stopped. Far from being America's enemy....Manning is a brave American patriot who loves his country.

And yet, the 23 hour-per-day solitary confinement, the prohibition on exercising, the no-sheets-or-pillow.....and the daily anti-depressant shots....continue to be Bradley Manning's daily routine.....as U.S officials actively punish an unconvicted American citizen who dared to reveal the truth.

We've been told that the so-called war on terror will only be won by winning over the hearts and minds of Muslims in the middle east.

Winning over the hearts and minds of middle eastern Muslims by PROVING that we are not worthy of that trust.

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