Glenn Greenwald: U.S. Treatment Of Bradley Manning Akin To Torture
Glenn Greenwald at Salon says Bradley Manning, the private accused of stealing information and giving it to WikiLeaks, is being held in inhumane conditions and experiencing what has been defined as torture.
…he has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months — and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait — under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture. Interviews with several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning’s detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard) who confirmed much of what they conveyed, establishes that the accused leaker is subjected to detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries.
Greenwald sums up the conditions under which Manning is being held:
Manning has been subjected for many months without pause to inhumane, personality-erasing, soul-destroying, insanity-inducing conditions of isolation similar to those perfected at America’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado: all without so much as having been convicted of anything…the type of prolonged solitary confinement to which Manning has been subjected for many months is widely viewed around the world as highly injurious, inhumane, punitive, and arguably even a form of torture. In his widely praised March, 2009 New Yorker article — entitled “Is Long-Term Solitary Confinement Torture?” — the surgeon and journalist Atul Gawande assembled expert opinion and personal anecdotes to demonstrate that, as he put it, “all human beings experience isolation as torture.” By itself, prolonged solitary confinement routinely destroys a person’s mind and drives them into insanity. A March, 2010 article in The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law explains that “solitary confinement is recognized as difficult to withstand; indeed, psychological stressors such as isolation can be as clinically distressing as physical torture.”
Manning has not been convicted of a crime. He is not known to be violent. And he is being treated as though he is a convict.
If one believes the authenticity of the highly edited chat logs of Manning’s online conversations with Adrian Lamo that have been released by Wired…Manning clearly believed that he was a whistle-blower acting with the noblest of motives, and probably was exactly that. If, for instance, he really is the leaker of the Apache helicopter attack video — a video which sparked very rare and much-needed realization about the visceral truth of what American wars actually entail — as well as the war and diplomatic cables revealing substantial government deceit, brutality, illegality and corruption, then he’s quite similar to Daniel Ellsberg. Indeed, Ellsberg himself said the very same thing about Manning in June on Democracy Now in explaining why he considers the Army Private to be a “hero”…Click here for reuse options!
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