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Bradley Manning's Life Behind Bars [Sniff, sniff]
The Daily Beast ^ | December 17, 2010 | Denver Nicks

Posted on 12/19/2010 8:25:25 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

Bradley Manning, who allegedly leaked hundreds of thousands of secret government documents to Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks, turns 23 in jail Friday. The Daily Beast’s Denver Nicks, in an exclusive interview with Manning’s attorney, reports on his solitary confinement, what he’s reading (from George W. Bush to Howard Zinn), and his legal strategy.

The last time Bradley Manning saw the world outside of a jail, most Americans had never heard of WikiLeaks. On Friday, Manning, the man whose alleged unauthorized release of hundreds of thousands of classified documents put the website and its controversial leader, Julian Assange, on the map, turns 23 behind bars. Since his arrest in May, Manning has spent most of his 200-plus days in solitary confinement. Other than receiving a card and some books from his family, his birthday will be no different. In an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast, his attorney, David Coombs, revealed key details about Manning’s imprisonment and kind gestures from his family that provided a bit of comfort in the inmate's otherwise extremely harsh incarceration.

“They’re thinking about him on his birthday, that they love and support him,” Coombs said of Manning's family and the card his mother, father, sister and aunt passed along via the lawyer on Wednesday. “They wish they could be with him on his day, but they are not allowed because visitation is only on Saturday and Sunday, and a family member would be going down to see him on Saturday.” Coombs passed a message to Manning from his aunt on behalf of the family; Manning, the lawyer says, asked Coombs to tell his aunt he loved her and wishes he could be with her as well. Manning asked for a list of books, which his family bought for him and will be delivered over the next few weeks to coincide with his birthday and Christmas. On the list?

Decision Points, by George W. Bush
Critique of Practical Reason, by Immanuel Kant
Critique of Pure Reason, by Immanuel Kant
Propaganda, by Edward Bernays
The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins
A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn
The Art of War, by Sun Tzu
The Good Soldiers, by David Finkel
On War by Gen. Carl von Clausewitz

Manning is being held at Marine Corps Base Quantico, in Virginia. He spends 23 hours a day alone in a standard-sized cell, with a sink, a toilet, and a bed. He isn’t allowed sheets or a pillow, though First Lieutenant Brian Villiard, an officer at Quantico, said he is allowed bedding of “non-shreddable” material. “I’ve held it, I’ve felt it, it’s soft, I’d sleep under it,” he told The Daily Beast.

He isn’t allowed to exercise (Quantico officials dispute this), but he has started stretching and practicing yoga.

For an hour every day, a television is wheeled in front of his cell and he’s allowed to watch TV, including news, though usually local news, Coombs told The Daily Beast. He is allowed to read the news as well. Courtesy of Coombs, Manning now has a subscription to his favorite magazine, Scientific American. The November “Hidden Worlds of Dark Matter” issue was his first.

The conditions under which Bradley Manning is being held would traumatize anyone (see Salon’s Glenn Greenwald for a rundown of the legal and psychological issues associated with extended solitary confinement).

He lives alone in a small cell, denied human contact. He is forced to wear shackles when outside of his cell, and when he meets with the few people allowed to visit him, they sit with a glass partition between them. The only person other than prison officials and a psychologist who has spoken to Manning face to face is his attorney, who says the extended isolation—now more than seven months of solitary confinement—is weighing on his client’s psyche.

When he was first arrested, Manning was put on suicide watch, but his status was quickly changed to “Prevention of Injury” watch (POI), and under this lesser pretense he has been forced into his life of mind-numbing tedium. His treatment is harsh, punitive and taking its toll, says Coombs.

“The command is basing this treatment of him solely on the nature of the pending charges, and on an unrelated incident where a service member in the facility took his own life,” Coombs said, referencing the February suicide of a marine captain in the Quantico brig. Coombs says he believes Quantico officials are keeping Manning under close watch with strict limitations on his activity out of an overabundance of caution. Both Coombs and Manning’s psychologist, Coombs says, are sure Manning is mentally healthy, that there is no evidence he’s a threat to himself, and shouldn’t be held in such severe conditions under the artifice of his own protection.

Manning faces a military court-martial on charges of providing WikiLeaks with classified information in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

His future remains uncertain. Rep John Conyers (D-MI), in Thursday's congressional hearing on WikiLeaks, called for calm and a measured response to the new challenges the whistleblower's site presents to the future of governance. "When everyone in this town is joined together calling for someone's head, it's a pretty sure sign that we need to slow down and take a look."

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) followed with a call for punishment. “I have no sympathy for the alleged thief in this situation,” Poe said, insisting the source of the leak, whoever it is, be held responsible. “He’s no better than a Texas pawn shop dealer that deals in stolen merchandise and sells it to the highest bidder.”

Manning’s fate will be determined over the following months. What is clear today is that he’s being held in extraordinarily harsh conditions—notably harsher than Bryan Minkyu Martin, the naval intelligence specialist who allegedly tried to sell military secrets to an undercover FBI agent, and is currently being held awaiting trial, though not in solitary confinement. Manning, who has been convicted of nothing, has spent the better part of a year incommunicado, living the life of a man convicted of a heinous crime. Coombs challenges the legality of what he says is “unlawful pretrial punishment.” He is working to lift the POI restrictions placed on his client.


TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Conspiracy; Government; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: 201005; bleedingheartattack; bradleymanning; bush; conyers; coombs; crime; davidcoombs; decisionpoints; espionage; military; poe; poorbaby; quantico; tedpoe; treason; wikileaks; wot
I need someone to fax me a crying towel.
1 posted on 12/19/2010 8:25:29 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
the inmate's otherwise extremely harsh incarceration.

Not nearly harsh enough.

2 posted on 12/19/2010 8:28:06 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The ultimate insult? He's not allowed either of his two preferred choices of recreation when out of confinement: 'Drop The Soap' or 'Hide The Salami'. GLAAD needs to look into this cruel and unusual punishment!

Props to cripplecreek for the graphics!

3 posted on 12/19/2010 8:32:52 PM PST by Viking2002 (2012 - NO PRISONERS! NO QUARTER!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Yeah, just think of all of his opportunities for romance.


4 posted on 12/19/2010 8:48:28 PM PST by Last Dakotan (Hunting - the ultimate in organic grocery shopping.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Not too worried about the incarceration treatment of this POS. While I wonder what the US can do to Assange, I do know that the Army can court martial this clown and hopefully, bring him before a firing squad.


5 posted on 12/19/2010 8:54:44 PM PST by tpmintx (Liberalism=Envy + Governmental authority. [I'm green; are you?])
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Geez, you’d think they were making him work for a living ... or whatever.


6 posted on 12/19/2010 8:58:22 PM PST by freespirited (This tagline dedicated to the memory of John Armor, a/k/a Congressman Billybob.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
[sniff / sniff] /s
yhea, you got that right.
oh! ....and its' Bush's Fault!

7 posted on 12/19/2010 9:12:27 PM PST by skinkinthegrass (Imam Zer0: DeathCARE, Is my only "health" plan....to hell w/ free enterprise system :^)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

here’s a kleenax- i’ll blow on it to send it to you by air mail...............


8 posted on 12/19/2010 9:20:03 PM PST by MissDairyGoodnessVT ( JC Webster's fav words: "the boiling pits of sewage" roflmao)
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To: Mr. Mojo

needs harsher treatment- but you know in the end this pos will get off the hook . what a damn shame - he should be locked up for LIFE


9 posted on 12/19/2010 9:21:31 PM PST by MissDairyGoodnessVT ( JC Webster's fav words: "the boiling pits of sewage" roflmao)
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To: All

Shoot him for Treason.


10 posted on 12/19/2010 9:32:21 PM PST by Rodney Dangerfield (David Horowitz: "The War on Sarah Palin is really a War on Conservatives.")
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To: MissDairyGoodnessVT
needs harsher treatment- but you know in the end this pos will get off the hook . what a damn shame - he should be locked up for LIFE

He should be given a long drop while attached to a short rope.

11 posted on 12/19/2010 9:37:22 PM PST by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I agree with the attorney. Manning should be thrown into the general population; cast down with the sodomites.
Sure, he’d have fun, but hey...


12 posted on 12/19/2010 9:45:49 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

‘Scuse me, but didn’t we used to HANG TRAITORS? WTF?


13 posted on 12/19/2010 9:48:27 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: MissDairyGoodnessVT
> he should be locked up for LIFE

I'm usually very cautious in prescribing capital punishment, but in cases of convicted traitors, life in prison is too good. I don't want my tax dollars supporting a convicted traitor. If he's found guilty, hang him. Preferably in public, or live over the internet, so that perhaps it can have some value as a lesson to others.

14 posted on 12/19/2010 9:51:51 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Someone with the requisite details could provide some info on the treatment of prisoner Daniel Pearl, just as a counterpoint, so we could REALLY feel sorry for this poor POS Manning!


15 posted on 12/19/2010 9:53:26 PM PST by Rembrandt (.. AND the donkey you rode in on.)
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To: Grizzled Bear

There is much more to this than meets the eye. No single E3 Pfc is going to get unfettered access to millions of so-called classified documents. An E3 is lucky to see the menu for next weeks mess hall. This was either carried out with the aid of many others, or it was a setup to create more secrecy and censorship on our internet. The sounds of this UN action means it is about global censorship. People need to get their head out of their sand before their liberties are gone.

http://www.crn.com.au/News/242298,un-mulls-internet-regulation-options.aspx


16 posted on 12/19/2010 9:54:07 PM PST by apoliticalone
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I so hoped that little homo traitor would get some serious voltage such that his hair would catch on fire. Too bad. A life sentence for him will likely mean that he will be like a pig in feces what with all those sex starved men in prison. The food will be better in a federal pen than the Army and he will have all the TV and ping pong a “guy” could want.

I’m not liking this sentence talk at all.


17 posted on 12/19/2010 10:06:36 PM PST by anton
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To: tpmintx

I have been wondering what we can do to the guy too. For the life of me i can not understand why he is still alive. We should simply make him and his associates disappear. Gone, plant him right next to Hoffa. Just do it and do it silently and it would be over with. Why let this little a**hole live? Both should be dead by now.


18 posted on 12/19/2010 11:28:09 PM PST by Plumberman27
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This guy could not have pulled this caper off by himself. Time for some waterboarding and find out all he knows.


19 posted on 12/20/2010 12:03:50 AM PST by taxesareforever (Release Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich and let him and his family get on with their lives.)
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To: apoliticalone
Much more than meets the eye. Which could be why they are pushing him over the edge. And either he kills himself, or any testimony he provides will be brushed off as ramblings of a loon.
20 posted on 12/20/2010 2:39:50 AM PST by DainBramage
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Again, what are the odds that an E3 gets hold of 250,000 gummint documents and not a ONE of them deals with the birth certificate?


21 posted on 12/20/2010 2:42:10 AM PST by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

No mention of any broom handle —or similar substitute for
his missing “friends” in the barracks-or met in the local gay bar and watering hole.


22 posted on 12/20/2010 4:30:44 AM PST by StonyBurk (ring)
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To: Mr. Mojo
True. Breaking rocks in the winter would be good exercise.

I refuse to believe that this little piece of fecal material did all of this on his own.

I hope to heck the Feds are looking around all of his contacts to see who else was in on this.

23 posted on 12/20/2010 4:58:20 AM PST by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Stuff trhat little punk so deep in the joint that they’ll need to pipe daylight to him. Traitor is too soft of a word for him.

I’d also run up the chain of command and crash every career that was involved in putting this low-level putz into possession of such powerful and secret material.


24 posted on 12/20/2010 5:25:12 AM PST by Buckeye Battle Cry (Conservatives want a CHOICE not an echo - No more RINOs!)
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To: dayglored

hanging is good it’s better than life


25 posted on 12/20/2010 6:15:57 AM PST by MissDairyGoodnessVT ( JC Webster's fav words: "the boiling pits of sewage" roflmao)
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