Friday, March 11, 2011

Manning’s Abuse Reveals US Hypocrisy

By Kevin Zeese, Consortium News, March 9, 2011

Editor’s Note: President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other top U.S. officials lecture world leaders on the need to respect the free flow of information as vital to democracy. 

In other countries, brave whistleblowers are heroes, but in the United States, when Pvt. Bradley Manning allegedly exposed crimes and misconduct on a global scale, he was subjected to humiliation and punishment that would make many police states blush, as Kevin Zeese discusses in this guest essay:

Reports that Bradley Manning is being held nude every night at the Quantico Brig, then forced to stand naked in the hallway while he waits for his clothes, shows the inconsistency of the treatment of Manning with basic American values of due process, fair trial and human dignity.

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Here is how his lawyer David Coombs describes his treatment:
“The Brig has stripped PFC Manning of all of his clothing for the past three nights, and they intend to continue this practice indefinitely. Each night, Brig guards force PFC Manning to relinquish all of his clothing.

“He then lies in a cold jail cell naked until the following morning, when he is required to endure the humiliation of standing naked at attention for the morning roll call.

“According to Marine spokesperson, First Lieutenant Brian Villiard, the decision to strip him naked every night is for PFC Manning’s own protection. Villiard stated that it would be ‘inappropriate’ to explain what prompted these actions ‘because to discuss the details would be a violation of PFC Manning’s privacy.’”

Manning, who has not been convicted of anything, has been held in virtual solitary confinement for ten months. David House who has visited him since September described him as “emotionally exhausted” and “catatonic.”

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