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Bradley Manning Is Being Tortured

December 7, 2010

BRADLEY MANNING is in solitary confinement at a US military installation. Solitary confinement, extreme isolation, is psychological torture. Manning’s mind is being broken right now.

Even if you are a fan of the state’s criminal justice system, even if you are uneasy about the assertion that the United States government is torturing him, you will do well to acknowledge that Manning is already being punished, not just being held, for crimes he has yet to stand trial for. You will do well to also acknowledge that whistleblowing, which is often afforded protection under the law, isn’t even a crime wrong* to begin with.

* The edit serves to remind me that “a crime,” technically, is whatever They say is a crime, and that I would do well to not employ Their terminology.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2010 1:20 PM

    It seems to me that Manning needs to be kept separate from the rest of the prison population, and perhaps from all but a few highly trusted guards, for his own protection. If the conditions of his confinement are such as we see in the movies–a dark cell where his only human interaction for days on end is when someone slides a tray of food through a small window in the door–then I’d agree he is being punished, at least, before being tried. But I doubt his confinement fits that description.

    Whistleblowing is protected, but by even the most generous account, Manning went far beyond whistleblowing. If the helicopter attack video were the only thing Manning had leaked, you could make that argument. However, he transferred hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents, most of which contained no evidence of wrongdoing but some of which did contain information that could bring harm to intelligence sources if it fell into the wrong hands.

  2. December 9, 2010 3:04 PM

    what i have read says he is being held in solitary, and isn’t allowed to have visitors, not even family, or any contact with the outside world. he’s been in there half a year already. i don’t know how you define ‘punishment’, but Manning’s freedom has certainly been forcibly abridged.

    i knew i shouldn’t have been using the terminology of the law. it doesn’t matter what “whistleblowing” is or whether Manning has done something outside the definition of it. i don’t buy that intelligence sources were harmed or endangered by Manning. the intelligence sources are living IN A WAR ZONE created by the very forces accusing Manning of endangerment.

    those opposed to WikiLeaks apparently don’t value transparency, and allow that even ostensibly democratic governments should be permitted to operate in secrecy. why should this be? forget the law and punishment. what is it that Manning has done wrong?

  3. December 14, 2010 10:00 AM

    will i soon be vindicated for this outrageous and overwrought post title?

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  1. Persuading Private Manning « Stump Lane

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