• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Bradley Manning Jailed Naked

The saga of accused Wikileaks conspirator Bradley Manning continues to get uglier, with the military acknowledging that he was forced to spend the day naked for, well, no apparent reason.

Charlie Savage for NYT (“Soldier in Leaks Case Was Jailed Naked, Lawyer Says“):

A lawyer for Pfc. Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking secret government files to WikiLeaks, has complained that his client was stripped and left naked in his cell for seven hours on Wednesday.

The conditions of Private Manning’s confinement at the Marine brig in Quantico, Va., have drawn criticism in recent months from supporters and his lawyer, David E. Coombs.

The soldier’s clothing was returned to him Thursday morning, after he was required to stand naked outside his cell during an inspection, Mr. Coombs said in a posting on his Web site. “This type of degrading treatment is inexcusable and without justification,” Mr. Coombs wrote. “It is an embarrassment to our military justice system and should not be tolerated. Pfc. Manning has been told that the same thing will happen to him again tonight. No other detainee at the brig is forced to endure this type of isolation and humiliation.”

First Lt. Brian Villiard, a Marine spokesman, said a brig duty supervisor had ordered Private Manning’s clothing taken from him. He said that the step was “not punitive” and that it was in accordance with brig rules, but he said that he was not allowed to say more. “It would be inappropriate for me to explain it,” Lieutenant Villiard said. “I can confirm that it did happen, but I can’t explain it to you without violating the detainee’s privacy.”

Private Manning is being held as a maximum security detainee under a special set of restrictions intended to prevent self-injury, even though supporters say there is no evidence that he is suicidal.

During an appearance on MSNBC earlier on Thursday, Geoffrey Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, attributed the general conditions of Private Manning’s confinement to “the seriousness of the charges he’s facing, the potential length of sentence, the national security implications” and to protect him from potential harm.

Also, earlier on Thursday, one of Private Manning’s friends, David House, said in a conference call with reporters that he had visited the soldier the previous weekend and that his mental condition was severely deteriorating as a result of being confined to his cell 23 hours a day, with one hour to exercise in an empty room, and largely isolated from human contact. But Mr. House said that Private Manning did not seem suicidal and contended that he was being pressured to cooperate.

Coombs’ blog post is here. He’s obviously a biased source–but the Pentagon has corroborated the key elements.

The “suicide watch” argument has long since worn thin. And the fact that he’s been held in solitary confinement for months on end, a condition that many of us contend amounts to torture, seems to be the chief rationale for the suicide watch.

This treatment would be an international scandal if done to an accused terrorist at Gitmo or to a convicted criminal on death row. Manning was subjected to it for months before any charges were filed against him.

I’m in no way sympathetic to Manning, much less Julian Assange and the Wikileaks gang. But this treatment by the American government is simply shameful. And both admitting to doing it but refusing to explain why–under claim of concern for Manning’s privacy no less–should embarrass anyone wearing the uniform of a United States Marine.

UPDATE:  Via Glenn Greenwald I see that Savage has a follow-up (“Soldier in Leaks Case Will Be Made to Sleep Naked Nightly“):

Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, the Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking government files to WikiLeaks, will be stripped of his clothing every night as a “precautionary measure” to prevent him from injuring himself, an official at the Marine brig at Quantico, Va., said on Friday.

Private Manning will also be required to stand outside his cell naked during a morning inspection, after which his clothing will be returned to him, said a Marine spokesman, First Lt. Brian Villiard. “Because of recent circumstances, the underwear was taken away from him as a precaution to ensure that he did not injure himself,” Lieutenant Villiard said. “The brig commander has a duty and responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of the detainees and to make sure that they are able to stand trial.”

Private Manning is a maximum-security detainee under “prevention of injury watch,” a special set of restrictions — a step his supporters, who contend that he is not suicidal, have said is unjustified. He has not been elevated to the more restrictive “suicide watch” conditions.

Lieutenant Villiard said the new rule on clothing, which would continue indefinitely, had been imposed by the brig commander, Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes. He said that he was not allowed to explain what prompted it “because to discuss the details would be a violation of Manning’s privacy.”

I’d hate to see what additional restrictions are applied under full-blown suicide watch, if possession of undergarments is deemed too risky in the lower status. And, again, the idea that they’re simultaneously concerned with Manning’s privacy and making him spend the night naked does not compute.

I completely agree with Mark Kleiman here:

This is a total disgrace. It shouldn’t be happening in this country. You can’t be unaware of this, Mr. President. Silence gives consent.

Hell, Obama promised to close Gitmo because he was embarrassed that we were doing this kind of thing to accused terrorists. But he’s allowing it to happen to an American soldier under his command?

Related Posts:

About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. There seems to be no purpose to this treatment other than humiliation and wouldn’t that be barred by the UCMJ, not to mention simple human decency?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Tanin says:

    I’m only speculating but maybe he was forced to sleep naked and stand naked outside his cell during an inspection because he found a way to keep himself warm enough at night to fall asleep. His imprisonment conditions as of yet seem to be designed to induce depression and a psychological breakdown. Sleep deprivation using lighting conditions and the removal of clothes and blankets at night may not be working as his body may have adapted to the conditions after 11 months of imprisonment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  3. ratufa says:

    Doug,

    If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the way we treat prisoners, particularly prisoners who have been arrested on terrorism or national security-related charges, you’d realize how naive your mention of “simple human decency” sounds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Konstantin Doren says:

    Thank you for your post. No matter what Pfc Manning has allegedly done, all Americans should be appalled at his treatment as he awaits trial.

    And while I am in sympathy with the “WikiLeaks gang”, I in no way think Manning’s treatment reflects on the US Marine Corps. This involves high-level politics and politicians who do not truly believe in the American system of justice, under civilian law or the UCMJ.

    Glenn G’s tweet got me here, BTW.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Franklin says:

    The United States: we do it the right way, except when we don’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. tom p says:

    ”It would be inappropriate for me to explain it,” Lieutenant Villiard said. “I can confirm that it did happen, but I can’t explain it to you without violating the detainee’s privacy.”

    Talk about cognitive dissonance…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. anjin-san says:

    No doubt they will find a private or two to hang out to dry, then close the books on this one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Geno says:

    @ ratufa: Your point is well made, sadly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Franklin says:

    No doubt they will find a private or two to hang out to dry, then close the books on this one.

    You made a funny!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. ptfe says:

    I’m just going to throw a couple things out here. If anyone can see a way in which the UCMJ is being followed here, I’d love to hear it:

    809. ART. 9. IMPOSITION OF RESTRAINT

    (a) Arrest is the restraint of a person by an order, not imposed as a punishment for an offense, directing him to remain within certain specified limits. Confinement is the physical restraint of a person.

    (b) An enlisted member may be ordered into arrest or confinement by any commissioned officer by an order, oral or written, delivered in person or through other persons subject to this chapter. A commanding officer may authorize warrant officers, petty officers, or noncommissioned officers to order enlisted members of his command or subject to his authority into arrest or confinement.

    810. ART. 10. RESTRAINT OF PERSONS CHARGED WITH OFFENSES

    Any person subject to this chapter charged with an offense under this chapter shall be ordered into arrest or confinement, as circumstances may require; but when charged only with an offense normally tried by a summary court-martial, he shall not ordinarily be placed in confinement. When any person subject to this chapter is placed in arrest or confinement prior to trial, immediate steps shall be taken to inform him of the specific wrong of which he is accused and to try him or to dismiss the charges and release him.

    813. ART. 13 PUNISHMENT PROHIBITED BEFORE TRIAL

    No person, while being held for trial, may be subjected to punishment or penalty other than arrest or confinement upon the charges pending against him, nor shall the arrest or confinement imposed upon him be any more rigorous than the circumstances required to insure his presence, but he may be subjected to minor punishment during that period for infractions of discipline.

    830. ART. 30. CHARGES AND SPECIFICATIONS

    (a) Charges and specifications shall be signed by a person subject to this chapter under oath before a commissioned officer of the armed forces authorized to administer oaths and shall state–

    (1) that the signer has personal knowledge of, or has investigated, the matters set forth therein; and

    (2) that they are true in fact to the best of his knowledge and belief.

    (b) Upon the preferring of charges, the proper authority shall take immediate steps to determine what disposition should be made thereof in the interest of justice and discipline, and the person accused shall be informed of the charges against him as soon as practicable.

    Indeed, if “brig rules” allow prisoners to be non-punitively subjected to degrading confinement and conditions beyond what’s necessary to ensure that they are present at trial, said brig would appear to be in direct violation of the rules laid down for pretrial confinement. What’s next, starve the guy because he might choke on his food? Forced labor for a few months “for his own safety”? This is disturbing enough on its own. What’s worse is that, in spite of what he may be guilty of, Manning has not been found guilty of a crime. I don’t think it’s possible to repeat that enough: he’s being subjected to this in pretrial confinement. Embarrassing and unconscionable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Hello World! says:

    When I find people who are indifferent to Mannings treatment I am worried that the USA population has lost its common values that we all supposedly subscribe to (the constitution).

    With Wikileaks, I am unsure, I do believe someone needs to be watching the government and its all too easy for the government to declare critics an enemy. I guess I’d feel better about wikileaks if the didn’t just dump documents, and instead vetted them and took up specific causes, but they should not be persecuted if those specific causes are embarrassing to the USA – as long as they are in support of our common values (which I don’t think everyone agrees on anymore).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. largebill says:

    Why is this guy still in the news? He should have been tried and executed if guilty or released if innocent months ago. If the goal is to discourage more traitors then the punishment should be swift and severe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. ptfe says:

    @Hello World!: A choice quote from here, re: the “just dump documents” comment:

    WikiLeaks’ critics assert—without evidence—that its leaks have endangered lives, but a senior NATO official told CNN in October that “there has not been a single case of Afghans needing protection or to be moved because of the [Afghanistan] leak.” Critics characterize WikiLeaks’ actions as indiscriminate document dumps, but at press time WikiLeaks had released only 1,095 cables, almost all vetted and redacted by its partner news organizations. WikiLeaks even asked the State Department to help redact the cables before they were released. It refused.

    This isn’t a news organization arschkrieching high government officials by exchanging agreements not to publish for future interviews. This is an organization trying to do the right thing by releasing information that has been reviewed by other news organizations. The State Department, DoJ, and FBI have thrown around the charge of the documents simply being deposited on the universe, but the reality is that the leaks are carefully controlled to minimize personal harm while providing significant information.

    Compare this to, say, the New York Times, which frequently simply does not publish or pursue some stories specifically because it’s been asked not to by the government — and out of fear that their access to government officials will diminish as a result.

    Which method do you think is better for transparency?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Navy Mom says:

    Ever hear the World War II slogan, “Loose Lips Might Sink Ships”? While, it’s obvious that our government hides things from us, there are just some things that should remain confidential. How would people feel to know that their son, husband, daughter, wife, sister, brother, whomever, was harmed because some lowly PRIVATE FIRST CLASS took it upon himself to download confidential material and give it to anyone else, much less someone he knew would disseminate it.

    As a Navy parent, we are told regularly to be careful what we say about where our children are to any groups, even at church. I don’t know why this traitor had his boxers withheld, but it sounds like he was either scared and messed himself, or maybe he just thought it would get him out of solitary.

    Aiding and abetting the enemy is TREASON! and that’s exactly what this pip-squeak did.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. sam says:

    @Navy Mom

    “Aiding and abetting the enemy is TREASON! and that’s exactly what this pip-squeak did.”

    Can you provide us a link to the transcript of the trial. I know we’d all like to read it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. george says:

    Aiding and abetting the enemy is TREASON! and that’s exactly what this pip-squeak did.

    Possibly. So why hasn’t his case been taken to court? If the courts find him guilty, then he can be punished appropriately. Until then he’s considered innocent but detained, and should be treated as such. Or have we given up the whole idea of trial, and the gov’t can now determine who’s guilty and who’s innocent just by talking within itself. Is that what your kids are fighting for – the right of the gov’t to do as it damn well pleases with everyone without trial?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. HoopsDogg says:

    The case is UNWINNABLE. They know it. Any good lawyer can argue that hundreds of thousands people had access to these files with absolutely no accountability for who was accessing them, and that loony Adrian Lamo, kn.own black hat hacker, is the prosecution’s only evidence (and may have done this all himself and set Manning up as U.S. history’s greatest patsy). No jury outside of the military would convict this guy on the evidence they have, which is why he is still rotting. The Army won’t try him. They don’t want a trial. They will torture Manning until he pleas, and turns into a stoolie for Assange. His plight is literally a real life version of the end of 1984.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. Franklin says:

    Aiding and abetting the enemy is TREASON! and that’s exactly what this pip-squeak did.

    Even if this statement was proven to be correct doesn’t actually make it okay to psychologically torture him. But then, some people don’t really believe in the rule of law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. cian says:

    Like most people commenting here, I’m not entierly sure what it was exactly Manning released to the general public, something to do with diplomatic memos. What I do know is, the previous administration did some seriously bad shit, and had there been someone out there willing to expose it at an early enough stage, we might be a better country today.

    By the way, as commandedr in chief, isn’t there something Obama could be doing about what’s happening to this man? I mean, whatever you think about his actions, this is being done in our name.,and is foul stuff. We didn’t used to be these kind of people,did we?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Navy Mom says:

    Maybe psychological torture really isn’t okay. They used to just shoot or hang traitors.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. Mike Cormany says:

    Maybe psychological torture really isn’t okay. They used to just shoot or hang traitors.

    Mom, you aren’t getting it. He has not been tried, therefore at this point he is an innocent man. You don’t torture or shoot or hang innocent men. You have to try them in a court of law first. Not even the military gets to ignore that. If we get surrender that right, is that really the country your son joined the Navy to defend?

    I’ve long agreed with HoopsDog, the reason he’s been in prison under torture like conditions is because without a confession from him, they have no case. Although the shape he’s probably in by now after he’s been held under these conditions, makes it difficult to understand how any confession he made could be presented in a courtroom If they had anything at all on him besides Lamo’s BS, they’d have had him in court months ago.

    Cian – Our CIC is doing what he can. Nothing like this gets done without him signing off on it. The DOJ doesn’t spend months trying to come up with something/anything to hang on Assange without the president signing off on it. Our former constitutional lawyer turned president has no respect for the rule of law or the constitution, giving us two presidents in a row who considered themselves above the law and above accountability. So things like this aren’t really that shocking anymore.

    It saddens me to say that but the truth is the truth. To some of us. To the government, it seems the truth is whatever they say it is. Criminals are those who call them out for lying or disagree with them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. George Orwell says:

    Yeah, it’s almost like the USA is some kind of authoritarian country. Didn’t we used to give medals to people who spied on those, back in 1949-1989? Manning is the first of many such heroes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. MM says:

    Shorter Navy Mom: if I ignore questions and keep saying “look over here”, eventually people will leave me alone and I’ll claim victory.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. G.A.Phillips says:

    Damn that Bush and his inhumane torture factories, oh wait…..It’s 2011….silly me…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. You write: “I’m in no way sympathetic to Manning, much less Julian Assange and the Wikileaks gang. But this treatment by the American government is simply shameful. And both admitting to doing it but refusing to explain why–under claim of concern for Manning’s privacy no less–should embarrass anyone wearing the uniform of a United States Marine.”

    I am supportive of Manning and Assange generally. On this was can respectfully disagree. I do of course support the rule of law, and expect our courts to enforce the laws of this country. The system may be imperfect, but it’s ours: it is the system we have established and have agreed as citizens to live by. Let the courts determine guilt or innocence and appropriate punishments as required.

    But this. This? What has happened to America?

    I have never felt so ashamed to be an American citizen as I do today. I weep.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. Ed-M says:

    Given the amount of indifference or outright support of the US government in its ongoing utterly inexcusable treatment of Pfc Bradley Manning ~ with no courtmartial or Article 32 Hearing even ~ I am in total despair in the direction of this country. It really looks like we are in for a dark, dark age where the central government will have total power over everybody and even thoughts will be criminalised and the persons thinking them prosecuted.

    It is too late to limit the central government under the present Constitution. Regime change through a constitutional convention is required.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. Spc Lee says:

    What? Torture? If he wasn’t in a damn brig he’d be doing push ups, flutter kicks, “little man in the woods”, bear crawls until he cramped up, and that was what happened to me if I screwed up like come a minute late for formation, or any other minor infraction let alone released classified documents. Someone how I fail to sympathize with PFC Manning here. Standing naked while his cell is inspected humiliating, no, standing naked outside his cell doing jumping jacks while singing “I’m a little teapot”, yeah probably. So cry me a river.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. Barry says:

    ”It would be inappropriate for me to explain it,” Lieutenant Villiard said. “I can confirm that it did happen, but I can’t explain it to you without violating the detainee’s privacy.”

    tom p says: “Talk about cognitive dissonance…”

    How many butchers in the world would love that defense: “We can’t allow pictures of the bodies to be shown, because that would violate their privacy!”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. Barry says:

    Navy Mom says:

    “Ever hear the World War II slogan, “Loose Lips Might Sink Ships”? While, it’s obvious that our government hides things from us, there are just some things that should remain confidential. How would people feel to know that their son, husband, daughter, wife, sister, brother, whomever, was harmed because some lowly PRIVATE FIRST CLASS took it upon himself to download confidential material and give it to anyone else, much less someone he knew would disseminate it. ”

    Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but it’s clear by now that 5K US soldiers and marines are dead because Bush & Co wanted their glorious, profitable war in Iraq. And that’s not counting the 10’s of thousands of maimed, or the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed, nor the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis maimed, or the sh*t which will echo through the next generation in the Middle East due to this.

    By the standards you assert, Dubya and Dick should be decorating a gibbet, with people throwing garbage at them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. No jury outside of the military would convict this guy on the evidence they have, which is why he is still rotting.

    I think you underestimate the skepticism of civil jurors. People get convicted on little or no evidence all the time. Although Bradley Manning has being white going for him, so he has a somewhat better chance of an acquittal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. Overestimate the scepticism of civil jurors, even.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. Navy Mom says:

    Barry, if you took anything I said as pro-Dubya or the current wars fiasco, you are totally wrong. What I am is “pro” keeping our military men and women and our country safe. I know this young man hasn’t been tried yet, but what he did endangered the lives of thousands more of our sons and daughters. Why a private thought it was his job to give out classified material is a mystery to me. Who in the world did he think he was? Maybe that’s why he joined in the first place. We judge people because of their color, nationality, or name. I know this kid hasn’t had a trial, and I am judging him, but it is only my opinion. As to your illustration of Dubya and Dick, that’s a bit harsh, even for me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. [...] James Joyner noted yesterday, Pfc. Bradley Manning, currently being held in the brig on the Marine base at [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. george says:

    know this young man hasn’t been tried yet, but what he did endangered the lives of thousands more of our sons and daughters.

    Isn’t the whole point of the trial to determine if what you say is true? You’re assuming guilt until proven innocence – isn’t it supposed to be the other way around?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. matt says:

    I disagree completely with Navymom… But what do I know I’ve only had a brother die in Iraq to an IED and my family has a long tradition of service for this country….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. Ben Morris says:

    In response to cian:

    >>Like most people commenting here, I’m not entierly sure what it was exactly Manning released to the general public, something to do with diplomatic memos.

    Actually I think the accusation is that he leaked the video footage of a US helicopter gunship shooting and killing a group of civilians including two Reuters journalists in Baghdad. You can see the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4LNFHlSemA as part of an Al Jazeera segment including discussion with Assange.

    Arguably what really “aided the enemy”, and is still aiding the enemy, is the civilian death toll in Iraq (then) and Afghanistan (now). In a strong democracy, these kinds of “incidents” would be acknowledged, not denied, and discussed widely and publicly and used to inform and improve policy. Not so, it seems, in the USA. Over to you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  38. Ed-M says:

    In response to Barry:

    How many butchers in the world would love that defense: “We can’t allow pictures of the bodies to be shown, because that would violate their privacy!”.

    Except when they want to email the pics or send CDs of them to their friends and acquaintances as torture porn, like what happened at Abu Ghraib.

    This is not about the vics’ privacy at all, but the potential shaming of the victimizers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  39. It wasn’t/isn’t the gunship video footage that Manning’s being run up on. It’s the leaked diplomatic cables chaff. The gunship video was probably leaked via Reuters, who already had a copy of it, but didn’t care to officially release video of their employees being shot dead by haughty and glib hick/hessians.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  40. Sam says:

    Just read UCMJ Article 106a….. I would much rather have him be sentanced to death by firing squad. The treatment that they are giving him isnt that bad as to what he will be facing in time to come.

    Remember….this man took an OATH to defend the country and its people, to OBEY the orders of the CnC and those appointed over him. Hes a traitor and has done unscalable amounts of damage to the US and her Allies. Seriously, if this was in WW2 he would be shot dead for his crime. The U.S has become this carebear, squishy entity that makes the rest of the world laugh at us….how long as it been since we won a war? We have been going wrong since Vietnam and saying this RAT has rights proves it. I would really wish they would take a picture of him in his cell, he doesnt deserve the photo of him in uniform with the flag behind him to be shown.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. matt says:

    I love how he’s guilty till proven innocent to some of these people. Hell even if he was proven innocent these nut cases would still be thirsting for his blood. These is fundamentally something wrong with this country when people cannot be bothered to follow the law themselves in their eagerness to hate and kill.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. matt says:

    “in the name of the law”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. Ed-M says:

    @ Frank Zappatista:

    He’s being run up on charges for the collateral murder video as well. But I don’t think he’s had much to do with all this. When Wikileaks asked the DOS and DOD to go over the docs to see what needed redacting, they refused!

    INSIDE JOB.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. Right you are, he is being run up for allegedly leaking the gunship video too. It seems odd that such a video was being stored on the network he had access to. Diplomatic cables and communications? Sure. But why would that video be available on a network accessible by the low end security clearance likes of Manning, stationed out in the field like he was?

    On a different note, the Manning story kind of illustrates the split taking place in the USA. That so many citizens are so are outraged (outraged!) that anyone would violate the sanctity of state secrets in any way shape or form, and want to see Manning suffer mightily for his watered down Icarus act? Those are imperialists. They believe the USA is an empire, and the sanctity of state secrets is vital. A big benefit of being an imperial serf is that your lords are the ones who take care of stuff. You just pay your taxes and put in your hours of labor, you don’t have to hear about whatever criminal imbroglio your imperial masters are engaged in. The act of hearing about imperial misdeeds is distressing. The people don’t want to know what’s being done with their money and labor. They cling to a sense of deliberately fostered ignorance as a misguided defense. As if being able to say “I didn’t know what my leaders were doing” will somehow excuse them from culpability for the boorish behavior of their nation on the world’s stage.

    In Catholic ethics, this behavior is called out as “vincible ignorance”. In law it is called out as “willful blindness”. It is not how our Republic is supposed to function.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. Ellie Light says:

    Exactly what sort of treatment does a traitor merit? What sort of pervert dishonors his uniform and country because of a homosexual relationship gone bad? What sort of treatment does a man deserve who smuggled thousands of classified documents to provide to our enemies?

    Cry me a river. I for one hope he is tried quickly and gets his neck elongated or better yet is confined to some faculty lounge for life till his brains turn to mush and he begs to be put out of his misery rather than hear one more academic cheezit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. Why do so many feel compelled to fuzz the line between “accused” and “convicted”? Is it just to rationalize (if only internally) severe punishment before trial? Good serfs, but awful citizens.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. Ed-M says:

    Exactly, Frank, why? There’s really no difference between these people and those people back in Roman days who taunted crucified people as they hung impaled on their (believe it or not) “erect male” crosses.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. John says:

    One thing I find interesting is that lost in the discussion of whether or not PFC Manning is a traitor is that what was actually leaked hasn’t materially harmed ANYONE and Sec Def Gates even went on record a while back saying it was being blown out of proportion for this reason. It actually has only exposed various governmental wrongs around the world. None of these wrongs have been addressed by the people and agencies exposed, and the discussion is simply shifted back to Wikileaks.

    I am a former Army officer, and I think UCMJ has not been properly used here at all. I feel that PFC Manning has only been tried in the court of public opinion and in the back rooms of power at this point and has been unconsciounably held without charges until very recently. If we are to hold true to actual American values, he should be charged (a lot sooner than the 9 months it took to charge him), tried (which they still have not done), and convicted (which it is questionable they can make their case of “aiding the enemy” – he did nothing materially different than what news organizations do EVERY DAY – are we going to arrest and hold the New York Times?)

    If he is tried and convicted, then so be it, but to hold a man for this long under these conditions without trial is shameful, and counter to the freedoms I helped fight for during my time in the military. I voted for Barack Obama in the last election, but if this is what he stands for, he can no longer count me as a supporter. To me this is no better than what we had under Bush from a Civil Liberties standpoint.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. Sean O'Donnell says:

    Just what this country needs…another hired thug of the US military – Joyner – with a PhD, now spreading pro-military propaganda to our nation’s young people.

    Never any discussion about what Manning allegedly leaked: evidence of CRIMES committed by the US government, very serious crimes.

    Never any mention that Manning is being held PRE-TRIAL. Convicted murderers, child molesters and armed robbers are treated better than this.

    We have become a nation that is proud of torturing human beings, especially the ones that expose us as a military empire, torturing and murdering people worldwide for profit. I wish I was being dramatic, but that’s what it comes down to: murder for profit, and whatever it takes to keep the racket going.

    I wonder if any of these blockhead Marines or ex-military loyalists have read MGen Smedley Butler’s book, War is a Racket? It’s funny….2 Congressional Medals of Honor and I’ve never heard of the guy until a few years ago…no buildings named after him…no monuments…no mention anywhere that I know of except for a sandwich shop on Camp Lejeune, our nation’s East Coast adult retardation center.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  50. Sean O'Donnell says:

    CORRECTION (Sorry to James Joyner)

    In my haste, it appears I’VE AIMED VENOM AT EXACTLY THE WRONG GUY, JAMES JOYNER.

    My above opinion is the same about the topic. Of course, I regret assigning blame to Joyner, the author of this article CONDEMNING the handling of Manning.

    My sincere apologies to James Joyner. Yes, it’s embarrassing to slam the exact wrong guy. You’ll have to excuse me…I was out with Charlie Sheen all night last night.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0