90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
WikiLeaks And Bradley Manning

Going after Wikileaks, and what’s going on with Army Private Bradley Manning.

Activists protest outside FBI headquarters in support of U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, the alleged leaker of documents to WikiLeaks, who is currently jailed. (AP)

Activists protest outside FBI headquarters in support of U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, the alleged leaker of documents to WikiLeaks, who is currently jailed. (AP)

Before the giant Wikileaks dump of classified cables and video, there was the accused leaker: Army private Bradley Manning.

He saw himself as a whistleblower, now he’s a prisoner in the brig at Quantico, awaiting trial. For many months. In conditions critics say smack of Abu Ghraib. Stripped naked. Prolonged isolation. Sleep deprived. Shackled when he moves.

The Army says, necessary. State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.” Now Crowley’s gone.

This hour On Point: Wikileaks, state secrets, and the alleged abuse of Private Bradley Manning.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Scott Shane, correspondent for the New York Times, covering the Bradley Manning case and Wikileaks.

Glenn Greenwald, columnist for Salon.

Jon Shelburne, Marine reservist and JAG lawyer. He is Acting Director of the Criminal Defense Clinic and professor at Roger Williams University School of Law.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Michael

    Woot Glenn’s on,

    I guess on-point finally felt the need to cover the immune treatment of Bradly Manning (whoses yet to be charged yet)

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Maybe they felt the need in order to do their “media doody” in diverting attention from a nuclear meltdown, but felt it too silly to discuss William & Kate. We shall see how far Tom chooses to bury Pvt. Manning beneath the jail, or is he so toxic as to require a sarcophagus?

    • Anonymous

      inhumane?

  • Michael

    Woot Glenn’s on,

    I guess on-point finally felt the need to cover the immoral treatment of Bradly Manning (whoses yet to be charged yet) by our Military.

  • Michael

    Could you ask your guest how keeping someone naked and in solitary confinement is helping there mental health and not cruel and inhumane treatment?

    I thought we had laws against this in the U.S.?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joshua-Hendrickson/1652586055 Joshua Hendrickson

      The only real crime is telling the truth.

      • Grady Lee Howard

        Thongs are a misdemeanor.

    • William

      I think they took away his clothes so he does not try to hang or choke himself with his clothes. At least that is what the prison officials said a few days ago.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PGPTBZSLWVTRAZG2UHRCDOFY3Q Jonathan

        He apparently made a sarcastic reply to the effect that Yeah, I’ll hang myself with my underwear. They are now getting back at him.

        • Greg Camp

          That’ll teach him to make saucy remarks in a military prison.

  • Grady Lee Howard

    No truly good deed ever goes unpunished.
    No truly good deed ever goes unpunished until the good deed doers outnumber the conformists.
    Do every possible good deed at every opportunity.
    Do every possible good deed at every opportunity because the keepers of the law are criminals.

  • Mrhein

    Pvt. Manning betrayed his oath and our trust. He is forsworn and a proven traitor. I hope they put him at hard labor so we can get some benefit from feeding him for the rest of his miserable life.

    • Grady Lee Howard

      So punish him because you can’t handle the truth?

    • Steve T

      No he did what his oath stated! Have you heard or taken it yourself.

    • LeFabe

      that’s funny, I don’t recall Manning being tried and found guilty.

  • AnitaC1040

    His treatment seems un American. Charge him, put him on trial, and let the punishment fit the crime. I hope Mrhein was just as troubled when the Bush administration betrayed the country by uncovering a CIA agent and the front company which was investigating nuclear traffic. How many people went killed by that exposure? And no one was put on trial or jailed in solitary. For what, a “Curve Ball” lie.

    • Grady Lee Howard

      “Running the economy in the ditch and starting a war to divert attention,” is the polite version of societal and war crimes properly punishable by public execution. Most of the world population knows this. Why don’t we?

  • Grady Lee Howard

    The President should pardon Manning in exchange for complete disclosure. Complete disclosure could not help but implicate those far above the rank of Private in malfeasance of duty. How many Privates and former Privates are walking about with secrets that could get them executed? To the Oligarchy he’s only another Lynndie England, just not pregnant: another scapegoat. Someday he’ll get a mushy article in “Marie Claire.”

    • Greg Camp

      Complete disclosure of what specifically?

      • Grady Lee Howard

        Wise-teacher-of-the-rural-south- who-needs-Prius-desperately, You’re getting into Rumsfeld territory. “There are things you don’t know that you are aware you don’t know. There are things you are unaware you don’t know.” It’s kind of an aspartame/stevia dichotomy. Stevia must be prohibited so that aspartame is viable. “Sometimes you can’t admit what you are aware you do know, you know.” Think of stevia as the natural truth and aspartame as something the Pentagon cooked up to sweeten the Manning situation. War profiteering, how sweet it is! Freedom is standing naked before your interrogator without shame.

        • Greg Camp

          In other words, you have no idea.

          • Grady Lee Howard

            You have no knowledge of Searle, and are not exercising your imagination.

          • Greg Camp

            Artificial sweeteners didn’t seem relevant to the discussion.

          • Grady Lee Howard

            John Boehner always insists that freedom is sweet.

          • Greg Camp

            And we’re deep in the syrup here. Cheers!

  • Anonymous

    Tom,

    Can you discuss the fact that Wikileaks overall intent is to discredit the US government and the US military. It hopes that by doing so they will change US society, and only time will tell what that change will be.

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Rogue or not,
      That’s the question.
      To cast one’s career against a sea of troubles,
      And by disclosing them,
      thereby end them.
      The Big Fish rots from the head, and something’s rotten in Denmark.

    • Jim in Omaha

      I agree with you that releasing the truth will discredit the US government and military. So is it your position that we mere citizens should not be told the truth? Or just told the version of the truth that our revered leaders decide we need to know?

      • Anonymous

        I see you don’t trust the government is acting in our best interests. Since this is the case, you must be a tea party member that is trying to limit the government and thus limit the lies they tell!?!?

  • Dave in CT

    For the “transparency” President and the Party so many like to believe is against the military complex (ha!), this state of affairs really strips the emperor.

  • Michael

    Anyone catch Susan Rice and the SOS hypocrical statements on Libya and than on bahrain? both using snipers,tanks, live rounds and shot guns. Just that civilians in bahrain have no way to fight back and are now being targeted in there homes.

    Also,

    Davis blood money paid to the families, turns out the family memebers were place on house arrest and forced to sign papers forgiving Davis.

    “Faizan Haider, a lawyer representing the family of one of those killed, told the BBC on Wednesday that the “blood money” deal was done without his knowledge and that he was in detention when it was made.”

    bbc .co. uk /news/world-south-asia-12769714

    Davis better not go to tennessee cause he just engaged in Sharia Law

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Michael
      Can the $400,000 to $500,000 in death benefits paid to Mom’s and spouses of killed U.S. soldiers be considered blood money? If it can we are very similar to Muslims under Sharia Law. Uncle Sam says he’s sorry and tosses you this big wad.

    • Zeno

      In a government where everything has a price and is up for sale, then its no surprise that our government has a Money for hostage mentality backed by the moral stance of the Obama Administration, but then soldiers are gunned down in Germany, and the moral stance is on it’s lying head….That dastardly assassin should prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.

      Money is the measure of all things, and whatever Davis was doing would have changed the money/power flow…Just like Manning.

  • WINSTON SMITH

    Bradley Manning is a traitor and should be executed. You can’t have each individual deciding what the government should keep private vs. release to the public as governments need to operate with some secrecy. He has no right to put CIA agents/local informants’ lives in jeopardy becuase he has a personal ax to grind because of the fact that many people don’t accept his deviant homosexual lifestyle as normal. Fry him.

    • Raoul

      Who made you judge, jury and executioner? Oh, that’s right, you are obviously anti-gay as illustrated in your comment. Are you “pro-life” too, except in the case of allowing the government to put people to death? You may want to learn more about cognitive dissonance Mr. Smith. Mr. Manning deserves that justice be done, regardless of the bigoted views held by folks like you.

      • Greg Camp

        Can we limit our interpretations of the comments of others to what they actually write? It’s possible to believe that Manning committed crimes without making any disparaging remarks about his orientation, whatever that may be.

        • Grady Lee Howard

          Well, they used to put all the gays out the State Department so they wouldn’t be subject to blackmail, or the sweetest bed buddies, but then they found heterosexuals were just as vulnerable, if not more so. Hillary Clinton has not yet shared any state secrets with Oprah, and that’s a good thing.

      • WINSTON SMITH

        I certainly believe in due process. But if he did break the law in publicizing classified documents and the punishment is the death penalty, then it should be carried out. What about the people whose lives will be in jeopardy because of his vigilante “take the law into his own hands approach”? Also as far as cognitive dissonance, it cracks me up that those who are against the death penalty are ok with the murder of millions of unborn children each year because it is convenient. Talk about cognitive dissonance!

        • Jim in Omaha

          Disclosing classified documents is not punishable by the death penalty, or Dick Cheney and Scooter Libbey would be on death row or in their grave. It’s aiding the enemy that triggers the extreme punishment. And if it’s the Taliban who are the enemy in question, what Manning has done pales in comparison to the actions of those who played a role role in creating the Mujaheddin and their more formal entity, the Taliban.

          In my view, what Manning has done is much like the release of the Pentagon papers, but that earlier release was done after the fact, too late to make a difference in the disastrous policies it revealed. I’ve heard Ellsberg say he regrets not having released them when he found out about our government’s crimes, and taking his certain-to-follow punishment.

          And someone who thinks Manning and Wiki leaks disclosures started the process of putting lives in jeopardy makes Rumpelstiltskin look like an alert news junkie.

          • Dave in CT

            Agreed, we should be clamoring for Dick and Scooter to be stripped to their skivvies!

            ….right after we get the Wall. St. perp walk……

          • Grady Lee Howard

            Dave, are you gonna pull Dick’s heart plug?

          • Zeno

            LOL I think I heard Cheney mumbling this behind the podium: “It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion, it is by the juice of safu that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning.”

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joshua-Hendrickson/1652586055 Joshua Hendrickson

            you just love that movie, huh?
            It’s the Juice of Sappho (like the ancient poetess) that the mentats consume, by the way.

        • Grady Lee Howard

          When convicted murderers hide in a woman’s uterus…
          When pigs fly.
          I advocate cognitive dissidence.
          So if computers are a lethal tool let’s execute us some robo-signers and other banking types.

    • Zeno

      In the Bush administrations revenge for the Yellow Cake lie, who fried for the Valerie Plame outing? Oh that’s right, treason committed by the plutocracy to engage the nation in the Iraq war for profit is not treason.

      Manning mistake is that what he exposed did not transfer wealth in the non-treasonous direction, and he was not a standing member of the plutocracy.

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Homophobia is a cage too. Take off your clothes.

    • Don Ryan

      Hi Winston,

      Good Idea!!! What do you suggest that we do to the person who “outed” Valerie Plaine?

      Don from NYC

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joshua-Hendrickson/1652586055 Joshua Hendrickson

      From George Orwell’s 1984:

      WINSTON SMITH: You reduced me to this!
      O’BRIEN: No, Winston. You reduced yourself to this.
      WINSTON SMITH: When will you shoot me?
      O’BRIEN: Hard to say. You are a difficult case. But everyone is cured sooner or later. And in the end, we will shoot you.

      You really don’t deserve that name. From now on, I think I’ll call you O’Brien.

  • Michael

    I love how our “Government can’t do anything right”" posters are so quick to defend our Government when it acts in a Authoritarian and undemocratic way. Even underminding everything these supposed Patriots claim to be protecting.

    examples,
    -torture
    -due process
    -Wars
    -Human Rights Abuse
    -Convicting criminals in a court of law
    -Fair hearings
    -First to defend autocrats,depots in light of democracy

    We even have a congressman from FL who got booted from the military for poor conduct being called to run for president, who stated a shoot first ask question later view on civilians and suspected tailban.

  • Michael

    I love for a hardcore obama supporter to explain how Obama can defend the treatment of Bradley Manning?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PGPTBZSLWVTRAZG2UHRCDOFY3Q Jonathan

    Manning is an American hero. He exposed and embarrassed the military, much as at Mai Lai. Now he is receiving their vengeance.

  • Frank

    Bradley Manning is a hero and deserves the Medal of Honor and compensation for his torture. He has obeyed the oath to support the Constitution which includes the Geneva Conventions on war crimes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    Bradley Manning is a hero. And incredibly principled individual with valor way above a medal of honor.

    The US Army helecopter hotshot murderers should be undergoing the deprivation and torture that Manning is enduring.

    A brazen killer Raymond Davis gets released, while a freedom and justice fighter Bradley Manning gets tortured and humiliated. The USA has turned into a nation run by psycopaths and fascists.

    • Greg Camp

      Notice how you’re convicting or honoring various suspects based on politics, rather than evidence? Davis was defending himself or he’s a brazen killer–which one is it? I’d like the evidence first.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

        Hey Greg Campfollower, Raymond Davis was in someone else’s sovereign country, 10,000 miles away from the US. In a public place… not a war zone and was shooting and killing people like he was Wyatt Earp. People dont defend themselves by shooting teenagers in the back. He in fact was a spy in civilian cloths in another country. What makes you think you are any better than the guy that got run-over by the US embassy vehicle?? I read your posts, and you are a typical meathead american that is about to experience an epifany in realty and humility. You are no better than people with more skin pigment that you are apparently lacking.

        • Greg Camp

          So you’re making personal attacks on me without knowing much about who I am. Note that I’m not reciprocating.

          In Davis’s case, the reports–and they may be wrong, but they are what we have–are that he was attacked by armed men. As to why he was in Pakistan, the Pakistani government wants us there to fight our common enemies, although we’re just supposed to keep quiet about it.

          • Steve T

            ??????????????

          • Greg Camp

            A question?

          • Grady Lee Howard

            Greg
            I advise you not punch tarbabies anymore. I like your style and often see your point. Bradley Manning is a much nicer guy than Ray Davis. Davis is a Blackwater mercenary without national loyalty. The Indian and Pakistani press have both reported he was offering nuclear material to the Taliban in order to escalate our involvement there. I can understand the motivations of our war profiteering oligarchy, and I expect you can too. Haven’t you ever resisted peer pressure in an all-male group? Don’t you understand how secrecy is an initiator of evil? Don’t respond to guys who are just messing with you. I can’t even get the smartened up Brandstat to do that.

          • Greg Camp

            Thank you for your courtesies. I’m loath to rely on the Pakistani press, and I can’t see how Davis would have access to such materials. Generally, I like sunshine in government, but I do see a need for some secrets. One of the complaints after 9/11 was that we have almost no information and few contacts about the world of terrorism, and the agencies that we need to gather those have to be secretive.

          • Ellen Dibble

            I heard that 2-1/2 million dollars of blood money were paid to those killed by Davis in Pakistan, and that the US Government denies that they are paying said blood money, but that was the upshot of the “trial.” Also I heard that the families of those killed did not want said blood money. They wanted “justice,” and I suppose what is seen as a fair trial.
            Anyway, there are so many things we don’t know. Undercover CIA operatives having diplomatic immunity? That’s a new one to me, and whether they are working hand-in-glove with the Pakistani government, and whether they are doing that in spite of perhaps a politically based denial of that cooperation, and whether something might happen “extracurricularly,” as in a murder that was off-duty? Give me a break. We have nothing like enough information to evaluate this situation, and this reminds me of the building at the WTC that collapsed the next day. It may be that we’ll never know, and if this does not trigger a war the way the assassination of the Austrian grand duke in Serbia led to World War I, we should just offer a prayer.
            This is a case that calls for “laundering facts,” like money is laundered in other cases. If both sides agree to the washing, that’s the end of it. Maybe fortunately, maybe not.

          • Greg Camp

            Undercover officers have had diplomatic immunity for a long time. Think of the “cultural attaches” that many governments send out.

          • Zeno

            Davis is not a “cultural attache”. I don’t think we will ever be certain he was CIA or an ambassador. The only thing we know for certain is that what he had in his head was worth over two million, and that he was a Blackwater mercenary.

        • Greg Camp

          I would like a clarification regarding the “epifany in realty.”

          • Steve T

            Epiphany: that’s Something you have or go through. And I don’t see you having or going anywhere near reality.

          • Greg Camp

            Once more, personal attacks are not good reasoning. Give me arguments based on facts and logic, not ad hominem slurs.

  • RL

    They are so concerned about his mental health but impose conditions that would eventually drive anyone crazy.

  • rre

    I am not sympathetic to Pvt Manning. He may have considered himself a whistleblower but he should have known the govt would have taken a dim view of his behavior. I am not for this war but neither can someone who betrays his govt in such a manner expect much sympathy from its citizens.

  • David

    Simple facts:
    1. Manning joined the Army & was granted, after investigation, a security clearance for performance of duties.
    2. Manning was briefed on the terms of his security clearance, which include exceptionally grave punishments for traitorous acts, and signed paperwork agreeing to such terms, under oath.
    3. Manning admitted to stealing classified information with the intent of dissemination to foreign nationals, in direct violation of the terms of his military security clearance.

    How many of you have held, and worked within the confines of, a military security clearance? Do you realize that in time of war, the military is legally allowed to line Manning up in front of a wall and shoot him? That’s the punishment for traitorous acts, folks. This isn’t something made up to make a dramatic point in a movie. Manning had to be aware of those facts, and the fact that he defied them anyway shows his contempt for his country.

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Boilerplate rituals upon induction are voodoo. Scientology does the same drill and threatens bane upon revealing comic book scenarios to the public. If our military were not morally hollowed out there would be no objection to our seeing inside.

  • Susie

    There is no proof that Bradley Manning released the cables.

    In the U.S. and in any free country, all accused are innocent until proven guilty. The U.S. should not torture anyone as it is now torturing Bradley Manning.

    Obama is as bad or worse than Bush for turning our country into a Police State rather than a Democratic Republic.

    • David

      “There is no proof that Bradley Manning released the cables.”

      Let us assume for the moment that nobody here commenting in the forums is an attorney attached to the case; do you have specific evidence pointing to his innocence? References? From what I’ve read just online (in a quick cursory Googling), just the charge of leaking the helicopter video is enough to prove treason.

      “In the U.S. and in any free country, all accused are innocent until proven guilty. The U.S. should not torture anyone as it is now torturing Bradley Manning.”

      Yes, and when you join the military, you are expected – as a matter of due course – to suspend certain rights that are afforded to other citizens of the country, in order to be able to perform your duties as a servicemember. In other words: given the fact that Manning was in the Army – and put in the position where he COULD breach those serious security protocols, for whatever reason – certain of his rights have to be assumed to be nullified. In fact, you could make the water cooler case that by agreeing to his security clearance, he gave up certain extents of his freedom of speech.

      He’s not allowed to have it both ways.

      • Holly

        Why not? The military has it both ways.

        During the My Lai massacre, soldiers were ordered to kill Vietnamese civilians. Those who did not were in danger of execution by their commanding officer. Later, when the facts about the event came out, those who followed the orders were condemned and punished–people said they should have NOT followed the orders if they felt they were immoral.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ellen-Lincourt/100001650014339 Ellen Lincourt

          Holly, get your facts straight. There was no higher command order at My Lai. Firthermore, all soldiers are instructed to DISOBEY illegal orders. I assume you have never served and you definately have never served in JAG.

          • Grady Lee Howard

            So Ellen Lincourt accepts the Colin Powell version of My Lai? These people who assert they know it all just because they’ve served a hitch as an indentured servant to the oligarchy are just bluffing and posturing. Maybe their brainwashing from booty camp persists.

  • Potter

    Thank you for doing this show. Shame on Obama. Shame on us!!!

  • Ezra

    Manning’s conditions of confinement sound similar to, if not the same as, solitary confinment. If these are found cruel and unusual, which they very well are, how are these so different from a “conventional” prison system?

    • Anonymous

      They’re not, Ezra. And I think the reason for so many of us being so upset about this is that we — that is to say America — haven’t lived up to our own billing for years, decades. This stuff goes on all the time. Each incident (rendition, Abu Graib, etc.) creates an uproar. But we do nothing effective to change the system that uses torture and other atrocities to “defend America.” I’d go so far as to ask whether that particular America is worth defending.

      • Dave in CT

        If we can’t even defend it against ourselves……..

  • Greg Camp

    The military is a volunteer organization, and Manning knew what he was getting into. We can’t have a military that functions like public high schools where we care more about a person’s self esteem than his actions and duties.

    Greg Camp
    Springdale, AR
    http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/

    • Holly

      It isn’t about self-esteem. It is about humane treatment. Do you think it is humane to wake someone up every five minutes?

      • Greg Camp

        I don’t know the specific conditions of his detention, but I can imagine reasons for doing that. Someone who is on self-harm watch has to be monitored.

    • Anonymous

      I’m not into self-esteem — there’s a too much of it going around, often when the self doesn’t really deserve the esteem.

      But what’s lacking in Manning’s treatment isn’t about self-esteem. It’s about respect for his mental and physical well-being, his dignity, and his innocence. Yes, innocence. He hasn’t yet had a trial, much less been convicted.

      Meanwhile we’re treating a soldier very, very badly.

  • Rdanby

    This person did not cause physical injury to anyone. It is disgusting how people are treated overall in jail. No person should be treated this way. The people that do this to another are sick themselves and should be confined away from others. My daughter just read in Essence how a police officer in Chicago tortured hundreds of African Americans by holding a gun in their mouths or hitting their genitals with a cattle prod, and that man got only 4 years of jail or probation. The abuse of people everywhere must be stopped, including this stupid army person who make a very stupid mistake.

  • Michael

    The current guest is BS your listeners, and studies show that the military will often engage in such behavior to achieve the outcome of attempted Suicide.

  • Kksinclair

    I worked in Federal corrections for 11 years. Private Manning in being treated no differently than any other maximum security inmate. Alot of what he is experiencing is for his own safety. Administrative detention versus disciplinary segregation.

    • Ezra

      Well, as my comment alludes to bellow, this really questions the treatment of solitary confinement. It’s been in the dialogue for quite some time concerning humane treatment of individuals. Is it psychological torture to house naturally social being in isolation?

    • Holly

      Waking someone up every five minutes is normal in maximum security prisons? Somehow I doubt that.

  • Susie

    Iagree that whoever released the cables is a hero. We citizens of the U.S. need a transparent government, not a corrupt one that tortures.

  • Dave in CT

    The day we reject well-meaning whistle blowers because they “break the rules” is a sad one for a supposedly free and vigilant populace.

    Maybe he did break laws and will be held accountable, maybe the laws broken do in fact have a rational and important basis.

    But when we know we have a corporate-govt-military complex that is a well-oiled machine that colludes against the true peace and prosperity goals of honest regular people, we should at least be able to applaud what may be a fall-on-ones-sword type of act.

    • Greg Camp

      Perhaps we need an affirmative defense that one is blowing a whistle on illegal activities, but releasing diplomatic cables is something else entirely.

      • Dave in CT

        Sunshine and Liberty hand in hand.

        We can’t handle the truth?

        If lives have specifically been place in mortal danger, let that be proved and punished accordingly. Until then, let the sun shine down any way it can.

        • Greg Camp

          This program isn’t discussing the specific charges against Manning–what he released. But from what I have seen, this doesn’t look like someone who is revealing injustice. He was just looking for attention. I am willing to hear evidence in his defense, though.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ellen-Lincourt/100001650014339 Ellen Lincourt

        What illegal activities did Manning expose? A war that had the overwhelming support of the American public when it was concieved? Legal diplomatic musings and activities? Get real. There might be one or two things that might be considered “whistle blowing.” The vast majority of the information he stole were completely legal.

        • Greg Camp

          That’s my point. He’s not telling us about a conspiracy to hide pollution being dumped in a harbor or illegal medical testing on unaware subjects. He’s not a whistleblower.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Stewart/100000778247199 Joseph Stewart

            Interestingly, among the thousands of revelations released by Wikileaks, you can find pollution being dumped in a harbor, and illegal testing on unaware subjects. (The latter is from a cable.)

            Was your comment sarcastic?

          • Greg Camp

            I’m just going on the reports about the leaks, since I haven’t had time to read the whole mass. That being the case, is there anything in them that Manning knew to be a government coverup of illegal activities? I was referring to the usual case of a whistleblower, someone say who works in a nuclear plant who reveals that the safety equipment is failing.

  • HalBaker_MA

    If he did hang himself, they would be responsible for not preventing it. However remote the possibility, they need to take the precautions.
    Also, I have little sympathy for Manning. I do not think he’s a hero.

    • Jack Shultz

      I disagree with you. I believe that he is a hero who was moved by his conscience to act, and that those who are holding him are the real criminals.

  • Potter

    Circular reasoning- they treat him harshly- this supposedly makes him suicidal- then they have to treat him harshly to prevent his suicide!!!

  • JTE

    Host Tom Ashbrook asked the question, “Have we brought a little bit of Abu Ghraib home to the US?”

    Actually, what happened at Abu Ghraib was not something beyond what had already happened numerous times at numerous US jails and prisons. We first exported mistreatment of prisoners from the US to Abu Ghraib, so Bradley Manning’s treatment is fully home grown with no need to import the style of treatment back from Abu Ghraib.

    One example is from Corcoran prison in California, where guards intentionally put hostile prisoners into spaces together to encourage fights, then used deadly force when they had decided the fight had gone on long enough for their amusement. A related case is the police beating and rape of Abner Louima while he was in custody. (Notes on both at http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/1998/February/086.htm.html.) The list goes on much longer. These are just a couple of examples.

    I don’t mean that all guards and all prisons are like this, but unfortunately, it’s a fact that abuse of prisoners has a long and sordid history in the US.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I’m curious whether any kind of imprisonment can achieve a “re-set,” a reprogramming, though this apparently is only tangentially the case here. My memory is that Bradley Manning was/is very religious, very confident of the rightness of his actions. I know plenty of people who say you engage in civil disobedience and you go to jail; it’s part of it; and they manage to live on pizza in jail; this is particularly a good route if you are homeless.
    But think of all the totally self-confident people who are the unquestioning sort, unquestioning because they have “convictions,” religious undergirding that has led to their behavior.
    Do you “break” such a person?
    So many questions.

  • Inchul

    In the Frontline interview Mr. Manning said that he had forced his son to join the military to gain structure in his life. The interviewer asked if Pvt Manning was patriotic. The Father replied he didn’t know and that to his knowledge his son had no ideology. Mr. Manning did not know whether or not his son was patriotic.

    I would imagine Pvt Manning has some anger issues. Why do you Tom automatically believe without reservation Pvt Manning statements about his treatment? Considering recent events at NPR and to maintain the credibility of NPR now is the time to practice at least a semblance of objectivity.

    • Holly

      The military has not disputed how Manning says he is being treated.

  • CD

    Having dealt with suicide in my family I can’t think of anything more counterproductive for someone who is at risk than depriving them of human contact, exercise and sleep. The conditions your guests are describing are despicable and shameful.

  • Rnldjnsn

    If Manning does “harm” himself, it will be because of the treatment he’s received, not in spite of it.

  • Carol

    If the military is so concerned about Bradley Manning being suicidal why don’t they alleviate the conditions that might lead to that outcome?

    • Scott Villiard

      That doesn’t make sense. What you’re saying is, “If the military thinks he’s going to harm himself, why don’t they allow for conditions that would make it easy for him to do so?”

  • Melanie

    What a tidy Catch 22: subject someone to such inhumane treatment that they despair. Then subject them to more inhumane treatment so they don’t attempt suicide.

    • Greg Camp

      Surely he knew what would happen. Does he bear any responsibility for his current situation?

      • Rnldjnsn

        Of course he does…he blabbed about it, that’s why he’s there…

      • Jack Shultz

        It is said that no good deed ever goes unpunished.

        Here we have a perferct example of that theorem.

  • find the accomplice

    If, even if, there was no real fallout, such as the people who assisted our troops being revealed to the public, it would still be a prison and interrogation case.

    Often, a spy or collaborator will not even ask for the good stuff first, they would present it as a game. “Let’s go get your ex-girlfriend’s file!” After they have cooperation on stupid fun stuff, then they would up the ante and threaten to reveal the compromised soldier.

    So even if there was not any game-changing data revealed, the army has a real case to find out who put him up to this. If they don’t find out, that will leave that agent free to try again elsewhere.

  • Kurt

    Typical militaryCatch-22! By the time the military gets the psychological or psychiatric evaluation of Manning, he’ll be psychologically or psychiatrically damaged. If he wasn’t suicidal before, he will be. This is outrageous. Let Rep. Kucinich visit him.

  • Holly

    Has PFC Manning been arraigned on any charge? How does the military justify holding him in prison on no charge?

    • Jmarshall

      This behavior on behalf of the government is no different from when the (W) Bush administration held the power.

      Hopefully the media can make the coverage of this story to be a positive thing – to give individuals the courage to stand up for democracy in the future, rather than a deterrent so bthat potential future Wikileaks contributors will think twice.

  • Celeste Marie Girrell

    As a former Correctional Facility Superintendent, the conditions described are common for high risk for self harm inmates. There are mental health professionals involved in such decisions.
    Pvt. Manning is national news. The incarcerated mentally ill have no such notoriety and so their plight is not discussed.
    My concern here is the same as with Abugrave: are corrections professionals running these institutions or are military personnel?
    Celeste Marie Girrell
    Sutton Vermont
    Retired Corrections Superintendent

  • Dan

    To whomever just got their comment read about a hardcore Obama supporter defending the President on this: in the words of Doc Holliday, “I’m your huckleberry.”

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • http://twitter.com/Seabreezii Laurie Freeman

    Manning’s treatment is shocking and shameful. And we are doing this to a U.S. citizen, not because he poses extreme danger to us, like plotting to blow up a city but because he wants to expose lies and corruption within our government!! Can any of your guests, or you, Tom, tell me what the difference is between that behavior and what your typical oppressive dictator does with government critics? They imprison them without charges endlessly, brutalize them (solitary confinement with no human contact, constant sleep deprivation is certainly torture, maybe worse than other types), and label them a traitor who threatens the general public.

  • Greg Camp

    He is not being tortured! Toughen up, people.

  • Salinfert

    Nidal Hasan, the shooter who killed 13 people at fort hood, is receiving PAY!
    Is hasan being held in the same circumstances as our heroic whistle blower, Bradley Manning?

  • Freeman Kirby

    Looking more and more like Mr. Obama is going to be a “one term” president

    • Tom

      Obama: The only president to make Carter’s presidency look GOOD!

      • Jack Shultz

        There are many, including myself, who believe that in comparison to those elected since 1980 to the presidency, that Carter’s presidency was a high point in American history, and its been downhill ever since.

        • Grady Lee Howard

          People began to prefer “Death Valley Days” to “Star Trek” in the autumn of 1980. By 2008 they were addicted to “24.” Let’s watch the documentary work of Adam Curtis for the BBC to solve the puzzle and claim our prize. Reagan was “The Living Dead”, Clinton was “Century of the Self” and Bush-Obama are “The Trap.” (Go to Google video now)

    • Jim in Omaha

      You might be right. Democratic candidates can’t rely on a coterie of mindless supporters to vote for them after they do a poor job in anywhere near the same numbers as Republicans. As for “Tom’s” comment below, as I see it, if we had done the things that Carter favored while President, the US and world would be a much better place.

  • Brandstad

    To the caller that referenced “international law”, I would like to remind her that we are in the US and we are a sovereign nation and not subject to “international law”. US law trumps all “international law”.

  • Dave

    An old buddy of mine grew up in Romania in the ’70s. At one time he tried to start an alternative communist youth group. He was put in a mental institution, tortured in a similar way to Manning, and his family was told that he was mentally ill. This sounds like a similar approach.

    • Tom

      Your buddy tried to set up a communist youth group in the 1970′s? If he was in the US, he would have been greatfully accepted into the democrat party and possibly a community organizer in Chicago.

  • David

    Caller “Robert” (just at around :44 after by my watch) is way off the mark on his comments, as was Susie/Susan earlier on that caller break.

  • Greg Camp

    People who get put into the “hole” in prison are dangerous criminals who refuse to comply with the rules. Such sympathy for bad actors. . .

  • Wes

    Didn’t Pvt. Manning sort of make his own bed in this instance? I mean, wasnt he the one that blew his own cover?

    Also, thousands of Americans, including those who are awaiting trial and not yet convicted, are subjected to this type of treatment every day. Where’s the outrage for them?

    • Jack Shultz

      Wes,
      If what you say is true, and thousands of Americans, including many who are awaiting trial, are indeed being subjected to this kind of treatment, and this is standard treatment in the US., then you should be doubly outraged.
      The implications of what you say is that the worst suspicions of Americas enemies are true, and the US is indeed a torture state.

  • Catherine

    Has the question been addressed as to how a PRIVATE has access to classified sensitive military information? Manning took an oath to defend his country. Why is this not treason?

    • Dan

      He was an intelligence analyst, and the classification system has some flaws. That’s how this happened.

    • Steve T

      Because what was uncovered was Our governments lies and deception, to us the American citizens.

      • Dave in CT

        Yeah, but it’s illegal for us to know about that, silly!

        • Dave in CT

          Again, he may have broken real laws that have real value, while making a good faith effort to spread some sunshine on our corrupt, hypocritical and secretive system.

          We can accept that he might be held legally responsible and punished (in an accepted way; jail), but we can still be grateful for his sacrifice to give us a ray of sunshine we rarely get.

          We can walk and chew gum can’t we?

  • Fred from Newton

    If this situation bothers you, consider the plight of prisoners in other parts of the world who are held totally incommunicado, no contact with any outside party, Red Cross, etc.
    Name any totalitarian regime – China, Libya, Iran holding political prisoners, Hamas holding a young Israeli soldier who was kidnapped 5 years ago. Obama and the Republican leadership should be denouncing these atrocities regularly to the world.

    • Joachim_10289

      …and start in their own backyard. Its degrading to the nation to be in the same boat with China, Libya and Iran when we want to demonstrate that democracy is so much better based on law and not on illegal torture practices.

    • Alex

      that’s right Free GILAD SHALIT at least let the RED CROSS see him !!!!!

  • Christian

    SHAME ON UNCLE SAM ! S H A M E !

    “Human Rights?”

    This is a clear violation of our 8th Amendment.

    No wonder the world hates us.

  • RThomp

    Isn’t a whistleblower someone who exposes law breaking? if so, what did Manning’s leaks show? My understanding is that most of what was leaked in the way of wrongdoing or law breaking was already out in the media. The new info Manning exposed was either diplomatic dealings that could be emabarrassing or dangerous to our foreign representatives/intelligence employees — that borders on treason.

    Not that he should be treated as though he has no rights. Hold him in a way that protects both his life and his constitutional rights.

    • Greg Camp

      Exactly. He’s not a heroic whistleblower. He was just seeking attention.

    • Shultz Jack

      Among the documents that Mannings released was video of an American helicopter gunship mowing down innocent civilians in Baghdad.
      In doing so, he exposed the fact that the US was committing war crimes in Iraq.
      I believes that should qualify him as a whistle blower.

      • Greg Camp

        Did he know what he was releasing? Given the volume, he appears to have just grabbed a handfull and given it away. A whistleblower would give over the proof of a specific act.

      • Grady Lee Howard

        Some of those killed were journalists. Some shot were children.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Not only is this pre-trial detention with Bradley Manning, and therefore he is innocent until proven guilty. Beyond that, even if he did what he’s accused of, he thinks he was right to have done so. He considers himself innocent regardless; that’s my understanding. It seems the “breaking” we’re hearing about has to do with getting Manning to the point where he questions (on the basis of loneliness and so on) whether he was right in his actions, and therefore innocent.

  • Greg Camp

    Is Manning being beaten? Is he being subjected to electric shocks? Is he getting waterboarding? How are the conditions that he is experiencing torture?

    • joachim-10298

      You dont’ know this and this solitary confinement itself is against the constitution.

      • Greg Camp

        How so? Detainees who are a danger to self or others may need to be kept in solitary. That’s not torture.

      • Greg Camp

        How so? Detainees who are a danger to self or others may need to be kept in solitary. That’s not torture.

  • Rachael

    What disgusts me about this case is that it takes the fact that Manning is an American to draw attention to the abuses and tortures, when foreign prisoners have faced abuses and torture much worse than this in American prisons all over the world, and still do. Torture is unacceptable no matter a person’s nationality. Manning’s case highlights the corrupt nature of our (in)justice system.

  • Dave in CT
  • David

    Certainly Mr. Greenwald isn’t suggesting that the sitting POTUS should be dropping everything else in front of him to personally investigate how a single Army PFC is being treated?

  • Alex

    striping to underwear is torture? pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease give me a break . That’s an insult to prisoners tortured all over the world !!!!!

  • 11 Bravo

    I have not paid as much attention to this case as I probably should but how did a Private E-1 or E-2 get access to all this information, that’s the real crime here. Why aren’t there Lt.s, Captains and Cols. and Generals in a cell next to this kid? For me this is all too common, where young enlisted kids are held up to a higher standard then our officers and government officials. What about Scooter Libby and Cheeney (recent bribe case settled). I think this should serve as a wake up call to the U.S. government that it’s citizens are not so gullible. Why is it so hard for our government to just choose to follow the right path, that’s the way I try to lead my life…..

  • Greg Camp

    How are his rights being violated? He’ll have pretrial hearings and a trial.

    • Jack Shultz

      How are his rights being violated?

      He has not yet been convicted of any crime and yet he is literally being tortured.

      If I understand the US constitution correctly, even if he had been convicted, he could not be subjected to “cruel and unusual punishment”.

      The fact that he has not been convicted only makes me believe that he is being tortured in order to get him to say the things thats the authorities want to hear.

      • Greg Camp

        I’m still waiting to hear what in his treatment is torture? The definition of torture is not “treatment that I wouldn’t want to receive.”

  • Ellen Dibble

    The caller is asking about habeas corpus. In Massachusetts we have dangerousness hearings, I think it’s 51a hearings, in which there is a hearing before a judge, with lawyers on both sides, deciding whether the person can be out and free pending trial. Sometimes a GPS unit and an accommodating aunt is all that is needed.

  • Dave in CT

    Do we have any reports or quotes about Pvt Manning’s motivation and goals for this?

  • margaret /Omaha

    What if he had turned classified information to China instead of wiki leaks would it be different?.
    Is he a whistle blower when he deals with a source outside America?
    Why not have a psychiatrist discuss depression and protecting someone from suicide?

  • Sadpearls

    Pvt Manning knew what he was doing and being in the military he knows he has to face justice. He has committed a crime and therefore is a subject to treatment in the brig as any other criminal.

  • Joachim_10289

    When Obama campaigned he promissed reforms but all we see from him is the continuation of the bad policies of the Bush administration and worse. His administration has argued even more against civil liberties and for a lawyer by profession i wonder what constitution he has studied. This President does not uphold the constitution and civil liberties, he war mongers his way through and it is embarrassing to the whole world that we still have to keep up with this banana republic military courts and deprive soldiers of constitutional rights. Democrats remember that in the next election!

  • what is whistle blowing?

    This is the opposnite of whistle blower.

    If a soldier found out that a trusted political contact as a military contractor, was making separate deals with the Taliban and revealing the identities of people who help us. THAT would be whistle blowing.

    Actually doing the bad things, can’t be construed as whistle blowing.

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Whistleblowing would be Manning’s next step, except that they’ve denied him his whistle.

  • Greg Camp

    Where do we have to right to a pleasant experience in the criminal justice system? He is not being tortured. He is going through what many accused experience. He’ll get a trial, and he seems to have a good lawyer.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

      Hey Greg Campfollower, You are desperately trying to hold on to that AMERICAN DREAM. Hold on very tight my friend.. because thats all it is … a DREAM.

      An illusion of goodness, fairness, free speech, all men are create equal, mom’s apple pie etc. Hold on real tight Greg while your reading the Wikileaks cables and viewing the Iraqi helecopter video.

      • Grady Lee Howard

        Democratic aspirations include civilized discussion without ad hominem attacks. What do you aspire to? Don’t get caught in the snark like I did. It was not rewarding. You are not the only one who sees our nakedness. Unknowingly flashing is a hazard of public discourse. Franks and beans, Paolo.

  • Kurt

    There are too many unanswered questions here:

    How do we know Manning released the e-mails and not somebody out to get him because he is gay? Could it be he was forced–at gunpoint?–to give up passwords or other computer access enabling others who hated him to frame him?

    Innocent until proven guilty.

  • Dsweeton

    Thank you for this discussion re Pvt Manning’s inhumane treatment.His exposure of the maleficent actions of our and other government officials should be applauded. Our government monitors actions of its citizens: in the same token government should be monitored for wrong doing and be held accountable.
    Assange is more than likely right about the government’s ill treatment of Pvt. Manning in order to break his spirit and get him to testify against Assange for putting the exposures out to the public. If this boy is suicidal, his maltreatment could be the cause or a ruse to cause him even more stress.
    How much more evil can this country become?!! Please, let us stop digging this deep dark hole before we are irrevocably in the clutches of the devil!

  • margaret/Omaha

    Turning classified documents in a document dump to foreign national by military personnel is actually treason.
    Now is he under suicide watch and treatment related to that is a good question not answered.

  • margaret/Omaha

    Turning classified documents in a document dump to foreign national by military personnel is actually treason.
    Now is he under suicide watch and treatment related to that is a good question not answered.

  • Jack Shultz

    The treatment of Bradley Manning by the authorities is barbaric and unconscionable.

    This is the kind of treatment one might expect from a totalitarian dictatorship, not from a mature liberal democracy that claims to respect the rule of law. The hypocrisy is now evident for the whole world to see.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Bring him Julian Assange. That’ll cheer him up and fortify him somewhat.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Is nobody mentioning that solitary confinement is partly to protect prisoners? I believe plenty of prisoners ask for this treatment. It is better than the treatment doled out by fellow prisoners, depending on the crime. I don’t know about military prisons, but in nonmilitary situations, those who have sexually abused children are said to be treated worst by fellow prisoners. I can imagine in military confinement, many of the fellow prisoners would totally despise what Manning is accused of, and he may be too stupid to deny it forcefully enough. I mean, it is pretty stupid to say tauntingly to the guards that oh, by the way, I could hurt myself with my underwear or my flipflops. DUH!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ellen-Lincourt/100001650014339 Ellen Lincourt

    Look, first, Manning is a soldier. If you’ve joined the US military, you’ve been given numerous briefings on the UCMJ and the results of any illegal acts covered by the UCMJ. The UCMJ is just as much about good military discipline as it is about justice.

    I can tell from most of the comments here, that few have actually served. He’s getting his meals, he’s not being physically abused and he’s being allowed to meet with lawyers and friends. He’s naked to keep him from killing himself. He’s in isolation to keep others from killing him. Well, we have a saying, “S*ck it up and drive on.”

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Has anyone mentioned that military service remains a form of indentured servitude which might in itself be unconstitutional?

      • Greg Camp

        How so? Our military is an all-volunteer force, and those who serve get benefits that many hourly-wage workers don’t get. There is also the honor of service. I don’t see the connection.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ellen-Lincourt/100001650014339 Ellen Lincourt

        And Grady, here’s a thought for you, most of us who server feel it is an honor to have had the opportunity. What it’s hard for outsiders to wrap their minds around is how serving gives you so much emotionally and mentally than you could ever imagine. I meet another soldier today and I have an instant connection. We understand how to put the needs of the many before our own. We understand how we would give our lives for our buddies and how we serve the civilian sector. If we go to war, it’s because YOU sent us. We don’t get to pick and choose what we do and where we go. We don’t get to pick and choose when we get up and when we go to bed. But in all my life, the military and my church are the only two places where the word honor actually meant something.

        Oh and before you jump to any conclusions, I joined the US Army at the age of 30. I already had a Master’s degree in History. I joined because I felt that if I truly believed in the tenents of democracy, that I had to put-up-or-shut-up. I thought I would do one tour and be done with it. What I found in the military surprised me and my only regret is that I had waited so long.

        • Grady Lee Howard

          There are many things I must theorize about, Ellen L., because I suffer from dwarfism caused by a medical mistake when I was 8.
          You were lucky if you mustered as an officer and a mature woman, less subject to sexual coercion and rape. You say you enjoy discipline and enforced structure. I wonder about your parental relationships. How can it be an honor to serve in the spearpoint of global corporate aggression? Your connection with other soldiers makes you sound like a Mason or a Borg. I know the emotionality of teamwork but I don’t take it home at night. I never, never, never sent any of you to war and I do not want you to kill and destroy overseas in my name. Maybe this would be a better country if people did not serve like robots, unable to question. Does your church also advocate violence as a matter of honor. What is honor among serial killers? I’m glad you found a home but dismayed because you surrendered your personal volition and your capability to dissent in corrupt and sadistic circumstance. You are less than you could have been. (And so am I, but I had no choice.)

          • Ellen Dibble

            When the military here was not voluntary — during the Vietnam War — we had much, much ardent criticism of our military undertakings. Not just those in the military, but those subject to the draft were constantly thinking about it. Those subject to the draft did NOT necessarily “agree with” US policy in Vietnam. If the draft had been voluntary, how many of them would have been protesting?
            How many college kids are out protesting and having moratoriums and sit-ins and all that, as to Iraq or Afghanistan? Do we assume that because they are silent they agree? Or just that they are not planning to go personally and fight there?
            Young people may not be the best qualified to evaluate American foreign policy, and in fact in the Vietnam era, basically their parents were the ones who had fought World War II, and the parents were shocked/shocked that their children would even think to question the government.
            But I see the role of the military now to proceed without questioning, and the role of the civilians to be all that the draft-dodgers and protesters were during the 1965 to 1975 period. If the military starts to do the civilians’ role, we end up with mutinies and dysfunctionality. Bradley Manning should have gotten out of the military if he wanted to be a conscientious objector. But maybe “conscientious” is not the apt description. Maybe we don’t know.
            Maybe we badly need people like him, now and then, just like exposures to viruses from time to time build up our immunities.

        • Bob Garcia

          How would you feel if you were in Manning’s shoes and you found definitive proof that our own military was actually committing war crimes and covering it up? Would you just go along with the program or would you take the harder road to expose the truth, as Manning did? Or is it that your military training does not allow you to make ethical or moral decisions on your own?

          Is their any real justice in the military? Do you ever think anyone will be held accountable for those crimes he exposed? I’m sure there are many more that have been hidden from us and have created new enemies abroad as a result.

          P.S. If you go to war, it is usually because Congress or the President sent you. Most civilians do not want to send their loved ones to war and die, no matter how patriotic the military makes it sound. Iraq was a horrible debacle and had nothing to do with our national security.

    • falzonie

      He’s being forced into a situation that has only ever proved to make people lose their minds and become suicidal. If you are being sincere, you will at least admit that there are awful reasons this is happening.

  • Rpmoore

    Those that caused the housing crisis and put America’s economy in the toilet did more damage than Pvt. Manning. In fact the oil spill in the gulf did more damage, which can be measured, than anything by Pvt. Manning which cannot be measured. In fact, the military action in Iraq and Afghanistan has caused more innocent deaths that any action by Pvt. Manning. Why don’t we punish the truly guilty?

    • Dave in CT

      “Why don’t we punish the truly guilty?”

      That is the #1 question for America.

      Accountability and equality before the law is so old fashioned I guess.

      We still need Tom to do an aggressive show on this idea.

      The elite are smarter, more important and know what is best for us. Best to just shut up and let them run things while maintaining a paltry appearance of respecting liberty and self-government by the masses and the rule of law applied to all.

      Live by well-meaning central planners, die by well-meaning central planners. Hand over the power, never expect it back.

      The notion of limited central government, self-rule, and protecting the individual from the collusion and corruption of the powerful via the constitution was a great gift of history to this country.

      Too bad we have failed to stay in touch with its importance and its protection and have frittered away our individual sovereignties to both government and corporate elites.

      They might have meant well, we might have meant well. But it just doesn’t work to concentrate power, and to engineer utopian solutions be they social or military.

      • Dave in CT

        Liberty is the ultimate pragmatism.

  • Ellen

    I work in a mental health unit in a hospital. There are often people on suicide watch. A staff person gets assigned to sit in or just outside the room for a few hours at a time. That is enough to prevent suicide. These people have clothes, blankets, pillows etc.

  • Zeno

    I will re-post this here as well.

    In the Bush administration,s revenge for the Yellow Cake lie, who fried for the Valerie Plame outing? Oh that’s right, treason committed by the plutocracy to engage the nation in the Iraq war for profit is not treason.

    (Every member of the Bush cabinet took oaths too… so whats the difference between their treason and the treason you state for Manning?)

    Manning’s mistake is that what he exposed did not transfer wealth in the non-treasonous direction, and he was not a standing member of the plutocracy.

    • Fester Clock

      Nonsequitur.

      • Zeno

        Sometimes the comment system does not function. Clicking the reply button does not guarantee that the reply will be posted to the correct place. I don’t know where this will end up either. It is all pretty random.

        • Ellen Dibble

          I think, Zeno, the “random” effects are due to a big discussion taking place off the block that is “shown now,” and I recall there were problems when they tried to keep ALL comments on the board, so they split it. What is shown can be searched and, apparently, replied to.
          Today I notice that when I click on the “show” new comments posted, there might not be any displayed. So I go to the “show more comments’ at the bottom, and pay attention to all the times of posting. I with there were a search I could do that would get me to the new ones fast.
          But just now, they’ve switched it, so the new replies do indeed come up, even if they apply to the off-screen old discussions.

  • Margaret

    In the US, society takes responsibility for protecting us from our own self-destruction e.g. seat belts, helmets, drunk driving laws. We also have laws that require anyone who is professionally assessed to be suicidal to be cared for against their will in ways that prevent them from killing themselves. Even prisoners in our correctional systems have this right. I suspect that, like me, many hard-working professionals working in the mental health field and in correctional institutions will find the assumptions behind the OnPoint discussion disturbing. They daily walk the fine line between trying to keep people alive against their will while doing their best to respect their other rights and respect the individual’s humanity.

    • Ellen

      See my post below re suicide watch in mental health ward – a staff person is assigned to sit in or just outside the room for a few hours at a time. The patients have clothes, blankets, pillows, books etc. The staff person can tell if something unusual is going on.

      • Kurt

        That sounds more humane than what’s been happening to Manning. If they’re concerned about suicide, they should have this kind of suicide watch, not solitary confinement.

    • Kurt

      “Professionally assessed to be suicidal” in this case would mean somebody outside the military system doing the assessing. And it would mean having psychiatrists who are good at determining whether a person’s actually mentally ill or not. Military psychiatrists work for the military! By definition, they are not unbiased. If Manning were to say he felt people in the military were out to get him, he might actually be right, not paranoid!

      And how good are they at determining mental illness, when Dr. Hasan, the shooter in Fort Hood Texas -who was a psychiatrists!– went beserk and shot up the base? Nobody on the whole staff could get the incompetent, angry guy removed from duty–he was just promoted upward. These are psychiatrists you’d trust to make sure Manning was getting a good, unbiased assessment?!

      We’ve got the fox guarding the henhouse here. Or is it duck house? Manning being a sitting duck.

  • Zeno

    Sorry folks I cannot post this as a reply so it keeps ending up here???

    In the Bush administration,s revenge for the Yellow Cake lie, who fried for the Valerie Plame outing? Oh that’s right, treason committed by the plutocracy to engage the nation in the Iraq war for profit is not treason.

    (Every member of the Bush cabinet took oaths too… so whats the difference between their treason and the treason you state for Manning?)

    Manning’s mistake is that what he exposed did not transfer wealth in the non-treasonous direction, and he was not a standing member of the plutocracy.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Would Bradley Manning be safe on the street? If he hid in the Montana mountains would he be safe? What do you think? The word “protective custody” comes to mind. Do the military judges think he is a danger to his family, his friends, strangers on the street? Is he dangerous as a model of pro-active whistle-blowing?
    If so, he seems to be getting a whole lot more press by being locked up than he would on the streets of Local City, USA.

  • Michael

    “Greg Camp 33 minutes ago in reply to Paolo Caruso

    So you’re making personal attacks on me without knowing much about who I am. Note that I’m not reciprocating.

    In Davis’s case, the reports–and they may be wrong, but they are what we have–are that he was attacked by armed men. As to why he was in Pakistan, the Pakistani government wants us there to fight our common enemies, although we’re just supposed to keep quiet about it. show more show less ”

    What you wrote is false from all the evidence and history/reporting so far. The U.S. government told the Pakistani’s that it did not have any BlackWater or contractors workin for the CIA. It turns out months before and the ISI outed a U.S. offical for doing such.

    This was before the whole Davis thing, not to mention if for the sake of Argument davis was on (sic) guard duty. It does not explain why he was by himself, that after being freed from (sic) Kidnappers felt the need to lay two bullets in ones back. If Davis was such then…. why would the U.S. government tell MSM newspapers to hold the story that was counter to what the WH was saying?

    Not to mention the U.S. government openly denied such contractors where in Pakistian, As well it’s widely reported the Pakistianis views on the U.S., drone attacks and the CIA in there country.

    Please cite the below comment to the Pakistiani government

    “the Pakistani government wants us there to fight our common enemies”

    Please have included officals willingness to have the U.S. involved in there country.

    Also for the military soilders are often require to receive at least 4 hours of sleep each day due to the impact of not having sleep can do to there mental and Physical state with exception in spec opps.

    Waking up someone every 5 minutes could not be justified esp after weeks or months for people even on SW.

    As for soilders disobeying unlawful orders many don’t due to punishment and it takes even longer to prove that was the case (ususally after ones been threaten or punished)

    A example was what happen in afganistan where the soilder told his father about his Sgt actions(hunting and framing civilians) and was threaten. (There was actually a show on this man on ONpoint) There’s another where a sniper was told to fire on civilians to keep there positions clear in iraq.

  • Michael

    “Greg Camp 33 minutes ago in reply to Paolo Caruso

    So you’re making personal attacks on me without knowing much about who I am. Note that I’m not reciprocating.

    In Davis’s case, the reports–and they may be wrong, but they are what we have–are that he was attacked by armed men. As to why he was in Pakistan, the Pakistani government wants us there to fight our common enemies, although we’re just supposed to keep quiet about it. show more show less ”

    What you wrote is false from all the evidence and history/reporting so far. The U.S. government told the Pakistani’s that it did not have any BlackWater or contractors workin for the CIA. It turns out months before and the ISI outed a U.S. offical for doing such.

    This was before the whole Davis thing, not to mention if for the sake of Argument davis was on (sic) guard duty. It does not explain why he was by himself, that after being freed from (sic) Kidnappers felt the need to lay two bullets in ones back. If Davis was such then…. why would the U.S. government tell MSM newspapers to hold the story that was counter to what the WH was saying?

    Not to mention the U.S. government openly denied such contractors where in Pakistian, As well it’s widely reported the Pakistianis views on the U.S., drone attacks and the CIA in there country.

    Please cite the below comment to the Pakistiani government

    “the Pakistani government wants us there to fight our common enemies”

    Please have included officals willingness to have the U.S. involved in there country.

    Also for the military soilders are often require to receive at least 4 hours of sleep each day due to the impact of not having sleep can do to there mental and Physical state with exception in spec opps.

    Waking up someone every 5 minutes could not be justified esp after weeks or months for people even on SW.

    As for soilders disobeying unlawful orders many don’t due to punishment and it takes even longer to prove that was the case (ususally after ones been threaten or punished)

    A example was what happen in afganistan where the soilder told his father about his Sgt actions(hunting and framing civilians) and was threaten. (There was actually a show on this man on ONpoint) There’s another where a sniper was told to fire on civilians to keep there positions clear in iraq.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I’ll see that there is a new post, and click “show,” and nothing comes up. So I’ll do a search and find for “Just now” and come up with nothing. But I think I forgot to go to the bottom and do “show more” first to make sure I had the full 163 comments, because the “new comments” were in reply to something in the first 120 that are not shown. Right?

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Did your skirt hike up when you hit “show more”?

      • Ellen Dibble

        LOL. It did. Once the whole set of comments was displayed, I think (“think”) I was getting ALL the new posts.
        But if I minimize this to go work on something, then I can’t get back to anything useful. The screen shows that it is doing live updates, but there don’t appear to be any. So I reload the screen, and lo and behold there are ten more. I can try searching “Just now” or “0 minutes ago,” remembering to go to the bottom to first get the whole “show more” (EDIT, I mean “load more,” oops) — because search doesn’t go “below the radar” like that. I’m learning.

  • Bob Garcia

    Obama is now apparently a willing accomplice to torture that he himself stated we would not do to prisoners of war let alone our own american soldiers.

    Obama has been made aware and apparently approves of Manning’s harsh treatment by the Pentagon. His statement that he would end torture was just another public lie that fooled supporters in believing he is a true democrat and progressive.

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Obama like Bill Clinton is a true corporate Republican. Maybe they were Manchurian candidates. Maybe we are a one party state? Maybe the president is another layer of press agency? Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich might turn to jelly once they saw the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain. We are not being told what Jackpot is back there in the Dark.

  • Bob Garcia

    From Obama’s interview on 60 Minutes (Nov. 2008)

    CBS: There are a number of different things you can do early on pertaining to executive orders.

    OBAMA: Right.

    CBS: One of them is to shut down Guantanamo Bay. Another is to change interrogation methods that are used by U.S. troops. Are those things that you plan to take early action on?

    OBAMA: Yes. I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. I have said repeatedly that America doesn’t torture, and I’m going to make sure that we don’t torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America’s moral stature in the world.

    What happened Prez?

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Bush could legislate with “signing statements.” For Obama such statements might constitute a suicide note. JFK’s head is still smoking. Like a ratchet the fascist axle turns one way only, tighter and tighter. The center cannot hold.

  • Bryan

    Is there really much of a debate here? Glen Greenwald’s argument ought to have settled the question: Manning has not been convicted of any crime yet, and his treatment is in violation of international law (not that it would justify such treatment if he were to be convicted). Further, it is galling that the military can claim the very treatment that could potentially make Manning suicidal is now necessary to prevent him from killing himself. One can hardly imagine a more convenient and self-fulfilling justification.

    One must point the finger at our benighted president. Obama, as evidenced by his aggressive treatment of reporters like the New York Times’s Eric Lichtblau, who reported on the Bush administration’s illegal wiretapping program, clearly aims to go Bush one better when it comes to retribution and active hostility toward government whistleblowers of all kinds. And as Greenwald stated, he employs Bush’s circular reasoning when he claims that the military assured him Manning’s treatment was proper. Recall how Bush used to parrot the line endlessly about asking the generals how the Iraq invasion was going and wound up giving them whatever they said they wanted in waging their war. (A further irony is that the generals simply parroted back to Bush what they thought he wanted them to do, since no one had the nerve to go against the wishes of the Commander-in-Chief. These points are detailed in several books about Iraq – for example, “A Pretext for War,” by James Bamford.)

    How convenient it all is for everyone in the end. No one is accountable, whether it is Bush and his cronies for their lies and lawbreaking (after his election, remember how Obama blithely ignored calls for prosecuting Bush et al. by saying it was time to look forward) or, in Manning’s case, those who at the highest levels approved of his harsh treatment (perhaps even Obama himself).

    Obama is not a seeker after truth, not a pursuer of justice, not a transformative president. He blunts dissent from the left while tending assiduously to the needs of corporate America. Consequently, there will be no major questions asked about U.S. military and foreign policy under his watch and no reforms undertaken, especially since he has weakly handed the reins of government without so much as a whimper to the rabid right wing (read: Republican party) in our country, all in the name of “bipartisanship.”

    In a better world, there would be much open discussion of the frank assessment of our country’s role in the world, a role made a little clearer by the courageous release of the Wikileaks documents, a role that occasionally becomes public in a rare moment of candor from a military person without the need for a dramatic type of expose along the lines of Wikileaks or the Pentagon Papers. An example is the retired right-wing Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, who took the rhetorical gloves off by writing in 1997: “The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault.” Peters, whose belligerent, pro-military views have been published in major newspapers, obviously doesn’t like to mince his words. But there will be no open debate on his candid pronouncements at this time or, indeed, within the foreseeable future.

    • Grady Lee Howard

      When did this coup occur exactly? I think in 1789 when the Constitution legitimized great wealth, elite covert contract and slavery, later modified to wage slavery. The Supreme Court was always there to fill in the blanks.

    • Bob Garcia

      Great post, Bryan! Well said.

      • Grady Lee Howard

        Bob and Barlow might enjoy a reality show where they torture and murder anyone with whom they disagree. Oh, that’s illegal without the state owning people, so maybe they could just veg out before the same as a video game. They could babysit your little girl when they come up for beer. They have each found their cuate’.

  • Bob Garcia

    “Torture is how you create enemies, not how you defeat them,” Obama said in October 2007

    You are absolutely right, Prez! Your previous electoral base has been slowly falling away from supporting you in your next bid for another term, because you don’t seem to be able to live up to your own words or promises. You are making enemies out of your own previous supporters.

  • Ellen Dibble

    To me, the basic question about Private Manning is why don’t they let him commit suicide? Plenty of people in prison succeed in doing that, or so it seems. The “torture” of Manning seems to be mostly the elaborate measures needed to prevent him hurting himself. I mean, solitary confinement does mean living with your demons, but maybe one can come to a kind of truce with one’s demons. Some people can do that.
    To me, the answer to that question is the very big question in this: What does Manning represent that cannot be “lost”? Would it be the secret of his motivations? If so, maybe he is actually too dense to understand his own motivations. Or simply feels “sent,” by a Higher Power or something else. Maybe his lawyers haven’t been able to explain to him how to switch to schizophrenic mode as fast as would be useful for his legal defense. Brains can come unwired in legally useful directions, in which case is it the prosecution or the defense that is pushing.
    What does Manning know that can’t be allowed to die? I really wonder.

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Vengeance is Mine sayeth the (Land) Lord. Without the sadistic threat authority loses credibility. Then the people begin doing what comes naturally, and it ain’t capitalism.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Grady Lee, you are waxing epigrammatic, and this time I’m not sure what you mean. What various things you mean. Maybe your post is a spur for various ruminations…

        • Grady Lee Howard

          Manning might be allowed to kill himself once the public is aware that he has suffered in retribution for all tendencies and inclinations to mock or defy the military and the state. In other words they are ripening him like a green banana, to yellow and brown, then slimy black. Once he is “reduced” and has no resistance or independent will he might be exhibited as a deterrent before the critical masses, maybe then allowed to suicide, or even snuffed in a staged suicide.

          You reveal yourself as an innocent and humane person when you speculate that they could allow him to die by his own hand and in his own time. I don’t think he was ever suicidal by his own motivation but that anyone subjected to routine and systematic cruelty eventually becomes suicidal. That’s how false confessions are elicited. I have committed civil disobedience before and been jailed, mistreated illegally in custody, with no friendly witnesses. You understand almost immediately that your rights are remote and that you have no choices. Imagine months have passed.

          • Ellen Dibble

            Manning will be “exhibited as a deterrent before the critical masses” after ripened to blackened banana phase? Hmm. This sounds so much like a totalitarian maneuver. Your own experience leads you to project that overripening to the point of mush, from experience of knowing “your rights are remote and you have no choices.”
            Leaving aside whether I am “innocent and humane” about “letting him die… in his own good time,” I question (a) whether you can generalize about the effects of such mistreatment, and (b) whether the parading as a cautionary piece of evidence would be an objective.
            I tend to agree that Private Manning, from the usual photo, seems like a green banana, and it is hard to ascribe the breadth and depth of serious motivation to his actions that you might ascribe to Julian Assange. Assange might be the best articulator of Manning’s “persuasion,” in which case the defense of stupidity is what you’ve got. I don’t think further “ripening” is going to further the stupidity factor. I do think one can lose all confidence, and that maybe that is a very good thing, for anyone, a sort of church-going piece of human reality, that it is purgative to come face-to-face with one’s own fallibility. But then we have to proceed as if we were whole anyway, Humpty Dumpty post-fall, in a nice suit. A defense attorney might do just the reverse, and say, “This is Humpty Dumpty all in shreds; you can’t bring him to trial. Give him his meds.” Manning might be trying to assert he is totally competent. Besieged in various ways, alone, one is not exactly competent. Whether that is black banana, I don’t know. It’s all too human, in fact.

    • http://twitter.com/NewshamJ Jack Newsham

      He’s not suicidal. Or even prone to injuring himself. Either way, they still have a needless and maddening prevention-of-injury watch on him.

    • falzonie

      as every study shows, Solitary is how you make somebody suicidal.

      • Ellen Dibble

        So solitary shouldn’t exist?

  • Barlow_307thAEB

    Manning, deserves no rights.

    He is property of the Federal Government, He gave up the only personal rights a Soldier is allowed to have when he gave away state and military secrets.

    This Person is scum, I think that he is getting off being stripped naked every day, then he would if we had a stronger Government that would execute him for HIGH TREASON against his nation.

    On the other hand, I say hang him or at least let him do what our weak president cant.

    I am a liberal American. But American FIRST!

    Execute this trader, and dont waist my TAX MONEY KEEPING THIS CLOWN ALIVE.

    • http://twitter.com/NewshamJ Jack Newsham

      A liberal American who doesn’t believe in due process, the thirteenth amendment, or prohibitions on cruel and unusual punishment. Right.

      • Jeff Falzonie

        amazing that there really still are American’s who believe we should be able to murder citizens pre-trial.

        • geffe

          Where have you been. Good “nice Americans” use to go to lynchings and they would make an event of it and bring the children and a picnic basket.

    • Hulkhoganpaxamericana

      So kill an American not convicted of any crime? And if America is committing crimes you support covering them up rather than bringing them to light? Barlow please please America doesn’t need you, go away.

    • Grady Lee Howard

      I doubt you have any interest in facts or due process.

    • Diogenes

      “Execute this trader, and dont waist my TAX MONEY KEEPING THIS CLOWN ALIVE.”
      I totally agree we should execute all Wall Street and hege fund traders who drove the U.S. into our current depression.
      As for Pfc Manning, he is being held, has not yet been charged with any crimes, much less convicted. It is too premature to accuse him of being a traitor.
      By the way, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post have all published information obtained thru Wikileaks which Pfc Manning allegedly provided. Should all be prosecuted for treason too?

  • Ryan

    If you’re a liberal american, Barlow, I’m the Easter Bunny.

    • Barlow_307thAEB

      I would like a Big Chocolate Bunny in my basket this year.

      • Hulkhoganpaxamericana

        Barlow, fill it with cyanide and take a bite

        • Barlow_307thAEB

          trust me, If I was this guy I would.

          Trust me when I say, I am a Liberal American, Not a Liberal Communist.

          I love my country and the men and women who stand up and lay down their own lives for my and your freedom.

          When you compromise that trust and love for those brave soldiers just to get your rocks off, then you deserve to be taken out behind the tent and shot.

          If I was his parents I would beg for the Government to shoot my Non American Son.

          • Hulkhoganpaxamericana

            You are such a total tool!!!!

      • Grady Lee Howard

        So you’re calling it a “basket” now.

  • Pwakeman

    Clearly this is cruel and unusual punishment. These conditions would not be tolerated as punishment for a convicted traitor. Since he has not yet been convicted, he should not be punished at all prior to a verdict.

    An American’s 8th amendment rights cannot be signed away when you join the military (other rights clearly can be). The reason why is because when you take the right to be free from cruel or unusual punishment away from 1 American, we’ve all lost the right. Simply put, there can be no excuse for allowing this.

    I do not believe in the death penalty, but if he is guilty of treason, fine, follow the law and kill him. This is something different.

    Never forget what Niemoller said:

    “First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

    “Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    “Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

    “Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/flourintinekid James Oconnell

      Punishment must be cruel and unusual in order to have effect. It is worth nothing to punish someone in a way which is merely boring and/or inconvient. It is a waste of both time and effort to attempt to bore someone into obeying a law which they do not respect.

      • Bryan

        To Mr. O’Connell: What kind of an argument are you making? Are you saying that solitary confinement amounts merely to boredom? Or are you implying that the framers of the Constitution were wrong in creating the Eighth Amendment, since, in your view, cruelty is always necessary as a deterrent? Let us mention once again that Manning has not yet been convicted of a crime. To ignore the time-honored practice of considering a prisoner innocent until proven guilty and to punish him before trial (and I do believe it is “cruel and unusual” punishment, to judge from the descriptions) puts the U.S. on a par with fascist regimes throughout the world.

        Since you seem to support harsh treatment in the case of a lowly Army private, I’d like to know whether you would have applied this same standard to convicted criminals who were conspicuously more privileged than Manning. Should we have roughed up Richard Nixon in a common jail cell and caused him physical pain as punishment for his high crimes and misdemeanors? Or did you buy President Ford’s argument – the argument that most conservatives of the day bought – that having to resign and being publicly humiliated were ample punishments already? Do you accept the relative kid-glove treatment that upper class and powerful convicts (so-called “white collar criminals”) receive, in general, as compared with lower-class lawbreakers? If you do accept this difference, then your argument reduces simply to a desire for revenge.

        Indeed, it seems to me that the fanatical hatred of Manning among “conservatives” (i.e., those who admire and act as apologists for the wealthy and powerful) is nothing more than vindictiveness, plain and simple, as many comments on this website reveal. The same venom is spewed regularly by right-wingers at anyone who dares to criticize the current brand of unbridled capitalism in the U.S. that dominates our lives, either domestically, as with historic levels of wealth inequality, or in our less-than-heroic, thoroughly militaristic foreign policy. It’s the window on reality that conservatives today can’t abide, which explains the irrational vitriol directed toward Bradley Manning, toward Daniel Ellsberg in his day, and toward all who continue to reveal the truth despite great personal peril.

    • flipperhead

      The rights of a pre-trial detainee do not fall under the 8th Amendments proscription against cruel and unusual punishment because they haven’t been convicted and are not being punished. Their rights fall under the 14th Amendment. It would be illegal to subject the detainee to restrictions on his liberty that are without reasonable relationship to the governments interests in ensuring the detainee’s appearance at trial. These restrictions could give rise to a federal civil action under 42 USC 1983.

  • alxzba

    in your dialog, you said that President Obama was asked about the treatment of the prisoner and you said he said: “everything is ok.” But when you played the President’s comments, THAT IS NOT WHAT HE SAID. If you are going to semi-quote the President, then GET IT RIGHT!

  • GMG

    I think the use of the word “detainee” is unfortunate, and I don’t recall hearing it much before 9/11. It is a euphemism implying that the person in question is momentarily inconvenienced, and therefore does not have the full rights accorded those who are accused of or convicted of a crime. Same with the term “person of interest.” I think we should use the more traditional terms “suspect,” “prisoner,” etc., which carry with them commonly-understood limitations on the coercive power of the state.

  • Tried and railroaded

    Honey, They put me in solitary, It did NOT make me suicidal! It DID make my punishment (some of which was also pretrial). more cruel and more bizarre and unusual. The enigma is: how can the American Military be relied on to determine what is a legal or constitutional incarceration for somebody they view as a traitor?

    He may be acquitted, and they cannot live with that idea. They are hoping to keep him alive so that they can then execute him. After all, they are just that logical!!

  • Cvitelli58

    I listened to the program today and would like to respond.There was a question about military justice.In the military laws our different,I Spent 13 months 26 days as a POW in vietnam.When we were released we had to sign in triplet forms too not talk to anyone about the way the enemy treated us.sure,Bradley Manning spilled military information,but, as a PRIVATE he should have never been privilaged to such in formation.Primarily a soldier has to be NCO or higherto know such inportant information.Should he be in the jail no. His superior officer should be for allowing him to know the classified info. This is no different
    than when the PENTAGON PAPERS book was brought to light, where the puplic found that President Johnson and elite members of his cabinet and out side friends lied about sending soiders to Viet NAM. It seemed easier to prosecute the in sider Daniel Elsberg,than the corrution shown in the papers, and might add the were his.They call it in our constitution free speech. Capt. CV USMC/ AGENT ORANGE patient….

  • Writeme_rey55

    Wish your merciless computer had let me talk, Tom. I was in a similar situation to Manning (without the publicity). But, alas, it doesn’t accept calls from outside the good old U S of why don’t they call it S. U. S. A. (Sort of United States of America) or T.U.S.A. “Theoretically United…”

    I was subjected to most of the same things Manning is facing. The “hole”, the food, the cold concrete mattress, scalding showers, and always administered by a rather junior enlisted man who had sworn to support and uphold the constitution (but who had, surely, little idea, if any, about what that might mean. And, yes, though I was only 19, they really thought they were going to “break” me. (That was in the Viet Nam (undeclared) War.)

    I am nearly 63, but broken me, they have NEVER!

    After two consecutive 6 month sentences (for the same crime) and five more months (without trial) they finally let me go as result of ONE phone call from a competent (civilian) lawyer.

    It is my experienced opinion that no one can EVER get a fair trial in the military (“code of justice”). Reason being: the military is both judge, jury and defense. They all wear the same uniform! By the way, you are NEVER tried by your “peers” (enlisted men) but by officers, who are “advised” by a higher officer, (duh). So what is there to keep them from just going along with the military. Sure, they’re SWORN to support the “Constitution..blah, blah..”, but they’re conditioned to follow orders and to submit to authority an rank, wherever the cow tows.

    They CLAIM bravery, but in these matters they are Major (and even Lieutenant Commander) CHICKENS. They “protect and defend” alright.. but not YOU, and not even the public (in this case) but the MILITARY! Every time!

    You think there are patriots in the military?.. well that was Mel Gibson.. oh guess he was a civilian, wasn’t he!

    • quigon52

      we need to ‘pull the financial plug’ on the damn thing… let it rust in peace !

  • http://www.facebook.com/art.scrivener Art Scrivener

    This soldier is charged with the crime of releasing classified material. This is not a whistle blower case. There was no corruption, no fraud, no crime being exposed. In being granted a security clearance to handle the classified material, Private Manning was briefed on the seriousness of mishandling the material. Maybe the real crime was Julian Assange using Private Manning for his own agenda.

  • wised

    I’m sick and tired of hearing from this schmuck. This guy is a traitor pure and simple. The maximum penalty for treason under UCMJ is still death. His supporters should stop whining about his incarceration conditions, which are by the standards of our ubiquitous supermax facilities, more than linient. This guy is soldier, in a time of war, he should be thankful he didn’t receive a summary judgement and was hanged right after. He should count his blessings.

    • Zing

      Indeed he should

    • Arnold

      Try him and then throw him away.

    • Zeno

      No trial? No presumption of innocence? Just military personnel accusing and executing whoever they want with out filing charges? No legal representation. Do you think soldiers who fight for freedom are using your definition of it?

      Your form of “patriotism” is the kind that Pinochet would have admired. He had his military lining up and shooting all of the traitors 24/7. I don’t recognize your vision of American freedom.

      “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” -George Orwell

  • minority report

    This case is not at all “pure and simple” as you claim. That is only a characterization from those who wish to punish Manning before any trial or evidence is presented. That is not the American way (or is it?). He has not even been officially charged with any crime yet!

    If things were really so simple to decide, then why didn’t we punish Scooter Libby for his self-admitted releasing the information about Valerie Plame? Now that action (treason anyone?) did place many of our other CIA agents and her former associates directly at risk, plus ruined her career in the agency.

    We all know that using the “suicide risk” excuse is just a ruse to punish Manning before any formal charges or hearings take place, as is to keep others from harming him. How did the military determine he was at risk of harming himself and has any independent physician confirmed that fact? A little research will show that even the Quantico brig psychologists and psychiatrists don’t agree with that assessment either. Manning is not a risk to himself. So why the harsh treatment? His alleged crime is serious but not a violent one and the brig where he is confined only holds about a dozen people. Surely they can manage an inmate population that small to keep him out of harms way.

    The military is trying to both punish and break him by confining hime to unnecessarily harsh and restrictive conditions, to make an example of him…pure and simple. The sad thing is that Obama himself promised to put an end to this type of torture treatment when he said, back in November 2008:

    “I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. I have said repeatedly that America doesn’t torture, and I’m going to make sure that we don’t torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America’s moral stature in the world.”

    And now, in ironic turn of events, even the Washington Post in a recent editorial compares Obama’s “humiliating treatement” of Bradley Manning to Gitmo & Abu Graib:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/pfc-bradley-manning-doesnt-deserve-humiliating-treatment-/2011/03/15/AB0Jj2Z_story.html

  • Darlene

    Pleaase Tom

    Invite Architect Richard Gage and look into WTC #7

    You will see all of these programs are unnecessary when you see the big picture.

    Geraldo Rivera did … with 8.5 years of delay.

    It is your turn Tom Ashbrook; your turn

    • geffe

      Oh for the love of sanity. Leave it alone already.

  • Mo O’Connell

    IF you accept the premise that the US Government believes Manning committed treason, I believe their treatment of him is very fair. Treason is a serious crime against every US citizen, and I would want him to pay dearly for that crime.
    IF they are only using him to get to Assange, then this treatment is unfair. He should get a trial for what they have on him.
    Frankly, my position is that all criminals should be given only the basic life necessities: no law libraries, no gyms, no conjugal visits, no special diets (except as medically necessary).
    The fact is, even as a parent, I am only required to give my children a roof, food and clothing — it does not have to be a fine roof, the best food or designer clothes. Why do criminals get more rights that children? OK…I digress and this is a whole other topic….sorry.

  • Hwurf

    Please discuss Army psychologists clearing Bradley Manning, repeatedly if reports are true (from December and more recently), as not being suicidal – and if these reports are true, then how can the military justify the treatment.

  • Ted Hagen

    Isn’t 23 hour confinement and 1 hour to exercise the regulations at SuperMax Prisions.. I thought this was a Brig.

  • G Blyden

    Lots of negative commentary here about the military’s inability to administer justice. The gist of many of the comments show a profound lack of understanding about the military, the people who serve in it, and the gravitas that is attached to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. In a fews cases the commentary degenerates into outright scorn or disdain for those in uniform.

    More importantly, many posters seemingly do not understand the primary purpose behind the UCMJ: to promote good order and discipline, without which a military force cannot effectively operate.

    PVT Manning’s treatment may or may not be unreasonable, but there is a process in place to decide the matter. Bear in mind that DoD rules prohibit the investigators or prosecution from commenting publicly on the case…hence, we only hear one side of the story.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_P2BBEAGYJFF7NOBD2QWHCAITOA JAMES

      Bull! This isn’t about a “disdain for those in uniform” and you know it! That’s one of the cheapest, emptiest slurs thrown at people questioning what the US military is doing IN THE NAME OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE! It’s as is the last 8 years, the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, indefinite detention, and locking people up in a barbaric system where no files are charged & no trials are held, had never happened (and is still happening today). From the information regarding Manning that has come out so far we know 2 things:

      1) No evidence has been presented that justifies the claim that Manning’s actions have endangered or lost lives.

      2) That Manning is receiving treatment that cruel and unusual.

      This idea among some people, such as yourself, that the US military is an entity unto itself that the American people should not stick their nose in, is nonsense! It’s bad enough that the military has been dictating our foreign policy for the past 50 years, but it also now believes the American people should butt out of it’s affairs – it can torture, render, and murder whoever it wants whenever it wants. It’s on MY DIME and the dime of every American what the military does, and it’s in OUR NAME! The US military has become an insatiable beast that consumes an utterly insane percentage of the budget, spending trillions on out-dated, ineffective weaponry and involving itself in countries at has no place being. While the average American KNOWS that the Congress, the White House, and the government is rife with corruption and shouldn’t be trusted, somehow the actions of the military are sacrosanct and above reproach. The US military, like our congress & president is part of the government, and it’s just as corrupt and needs CONSTANT oversight!

      • quigon52

        its just sick James…. our tax support this bullshit ! BUT when the history of republicorp is recognized its more understandable why all this HELL is going on …… history repeats itself; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISOs_GXEL40 summed up- the ‘financiers of hitlers regime are here supporting republi-corp. *D-DAY 2012* get all register to vote and do their duty…. get the conserva-nazis OUT!!!

        • Posimosh

          stop plugging your video

      • Hhsswimmer21

        absolute truth!

    • Anonymous

      While the UNJC requires the prosecutors not discuss Manning’s case, those in charge of his imprisonment may. They have determined that Manning is a clear and present danger to himself and would attempt to harm himself if was allowed more than underwear at night, be in an unlit room at anytime, or not be eyeballed every 15 minutes. Manning can expect to live the rest of his life this way until he can prove beyond any shadow of a doubt he is not suicidal. This is not punishment. If it was, Manning would be able to file an Article 138. This for Manning’s own good.

  • Jcole

    If the intent of this treatrment iss to protect him from self-destructive acts please have someone explain the removal of hisd reading glasses. For someone to be confined for 23 1/2 hours per day the denial of the ability to read something/anything is simply mental torture and can’t be explained as anything else.

  • Bliss

    Obamba says the Defense Department told him the treatment was correct. Let our country never ever forget the American hero Patrick Daniel “Pat” Tillman Jr. The Defense Department told alot of lies about that incident.

  • Anonymous

    Imposing special conditions on someone because he may harm himself SEEMS legitimate. It may be that, or it may be a clever way to ratchet up the screws. What is being missed is that putting Bradley Manning in (effective) solitary confinement, even though he hasn’t been convicted of anything, could be CAUSING him to become suicidal. There is no doubt in my mind that they are trying to get at Assange (sp?) thru Manning, at the same time sending a message: This is what happens to people who cross the government.
    As far as the secret cables, I am willing to admit that, if informants’ names were revealed, that could put them in danger and be wrong. I have not seen evidence to that effect. What I have seen is a great brou-ha-ha over the publication of confidential material and very little discussion (at least in the mainstream media, including NPR) about the CONTENTS of the cables.

    • Hhsswimmer21

      ill get hell for saying it but ill say it (*type) it again. borin shit wikileaks was. why it was treated as a security breach or the end of america as we know it i have no friggin idea. have you heard of wikileaks causing any problems with other countries thus far? have we declared war on another country or visa versa? no but we did go to war b/c of supposed weapons of mass destruction, and then to free the poor ppl. and there was a few other bull reasons we went ( and if you give me 9/11 as a reason ill cyber slap you thats afghanistan not iraq, id shoot osama myself im not some crazy liberal so shut it.)point is wikileaks hasnt sent us to war corrupt officials have. until i see chaneys head on a steak in my front yard i dont want to see any underling suffering for military crimes they were told to commit. chaneys free to walk around being his ass self yet this guy does this and is being emprisoned? military code or not ppl rape kids and get treated better. wtf is going on.

      • Hhsswimmer21

        just realized i typed steak not stake hahaha can you tell i was hungry

  • http://www.facebook.com/flourintinekid James Oconnell

    Former Enlisted member of the army. Manning should be given all the courtesies of military law, a courtmarshal and most likely, a hanging as a traitor. Violation of a security clearance is serious buisiness. The systems from which the data was copied are heavily protected in ways which prevent casual tinkering. Violated regs by sending the junior watchperson to do an install after giving intentionally wrong directions on how to do it and stole the data while alone, after having intentionally knocked out a security camera earlier that week. It saddens me to have anyone accused of crimes so heinious in the military. Also, as a member of the military, he voluntarily placed himself under a far more restrictive set of laws known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So long as his treatment follows UCMJ and Army regulations, the military can do whatever they please with him. It would please me to no end to send him to kandahar without body armor and put him on route clearance without a weapon.

  • Shane

    Manning should not be in prison. A soldier witnessing criminal acts is required to report those acts. Although Manning did not witness the actual acts, he had something better; typed confessions from the participants.

    His options for reporting his knowledge of criminal actiivities would have resulted in his incarceration no matter what portion of the chain of command he tried to utilize. His clearance prevented him from telling anyone except for those who already knew.

    In short, he could have told the people who were responsbile for making sure no-one told anyone about anything.

    His options for reporting what he witnessed were non-existent.

    Because the military and the intelligence community fail to provide any sort of oversight for the reporting of abuse (“it’s too classified to oversee”), Pvt. Manning had little recourse save for going public.

    I feel his pain. I worked as an intelligence analyst in the Army, similar to Manning. For years I have been plagued by my own cowardice and failure to expose criminal acts conducted by my superiors. I have been troubled and filled with self-loathing over my casual collaboration in certain events.

    Unlike Manning, I just volunteered for a new job to deal with the things I was witnessing.

    Pvt. Manning’s courage in revealing criminal acts should be admired by anyone with a sense of liberty burning anywhere within their spirit. One can argue military protocol and the breach of intelligence standards all day. The facts remain…

    There is no doubt that this kid thought he was doing the right thing.

    There is no doubt that he felt he was bringing to light criminal activity.

    The activity he exposed permeated to the highest levels of government.

    He had no recourse or outlet for reporting these abuses.

    He is innocent until proven guilty.

    The precedent has been set for Pvt Manning’s case in the My Lai Trials. The charges brought up against the accused officers were not about murdering civilians, it was about suppressing information related to the crime. The crime was simply not reporting a crime.

    Pvt. Manning reported crimes. He courageously did his duty as a soldier. He should not be in jail.

    • Hilburn

      yea, he is a traitor..he caused people to be in danger… and he was an idiot…he had to know what he was doing was wrong, had to be money involved……he needs to go to jail.

      • PeterGrfx

        The fact that you believe, or claim to believe, “money [was] involved” and that he “he caused people to be in danger,” despite the absolute lack of any evidence to support those assertions, means you don’t care about facts, evidence, or truth. You believe whatever supports your preconceived notions, facts to the contrary be damned.

  • Shane

    Manning should not be in prison. A soldier witnessing criminal acts is required to report those acts. Although Manning did not witness the actual acts, he had something better; typed confessions from the participants.

    His options for reporting his knowledge of criminal actiivities would have resulted in his incarceration no matter what portion of the chain of command he tried to utilize. His clearance prevented him from telling anyone except for those who already knew.

    In short, he could have told the people who were responsbile for making sure no-one told anyone about anything.

    His options for reporting what he witnessed were non-existent.

    Because the military and the intelligence community fail to provide any sort of oversight for the reporting of abuse (“it’s too classified to oversee”), Pvt. Manning had little recourse save for going public.

    I feel his pain. I worked as an intelligence analyst in the Army, similar to Manning. For years I have been plagued by my own cowardice and failure to expose criminal acts conducted by my superiors. I have been troubled and filled with self-loathing over my casual collaboration in certain events.

    Unlike Manning, I just volunteered for a new job to deal with the things I was witnessing.

    Pvt. Manning’s courage in revealing criminal acts should be admired by anyone with a sense of liberty burning anywhere within their spirit. One can argue military protocol and the breach of intelligence standards all day. The facts remain…

    There is no doubt that this kid thought he was doing the right thing.

    There is no doubt that he felt he was bringing to light criminal activity.

    The activity he exposed permeated to the highest levels of government.

    He had no recourse or outlet for reporting these abuses.

    He is innocent until proven guilty.

    The precedent has been set for Pvt Manning’s case in the My Lai Trials. The charges brought up against the accused officers were not about murdering civilians, it was about suppressing information related to the crime. The crime was simply not reporting a crime.

    Pvt. Manning reported crimes. He courageously did his duty as a soldier. He should not be in jail.

  • Irene Moore

    Tom Ashbrook is the master of the complex investigative interview.

  • Hhsswimmer21

    i guess i need to read more i thought he only downloaded the wikileaks?

  • Vickels

    The military wants you to know this is what happens to you if you spill the beans –

    • minority report

      And nothing will happen to you if you commit a war crime. So join the Army and be “All that you can be!”

      • Hilburn

        you are an idiot……my daughter is a medic in the army and it is people like you that make me sick… I guess we could all be “pannie wastes like canada…” who basically walk around Afghanistan with coffee all day. our guys are out there helping and getting hit everyday…..you people need to shut the hell up….get out of the country and live in one of these other freaking countries if you want to say crap like this…..who needs ya

  • quigon52

    the corporate/banking empire that supported hitlers regime is here financing Republi-corp and thats why all hell is breaking loose here.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISOs_GXEL40

    *D-DAY 2012* register all to vote and get the neo-nazi’s out of office!!

  • Sternenwaerts

    where is the great freedom of speech of america? it`s all a lie!
    humanity is for trained murders. upright minds are criminal!
    WAR IS PEACE! FREEDOM IS SLAVERY! IGNORENCE IS STRENGTH! said
    georg orwell in 1984…

  • Pingback: Douglas R. Beam Legal News and Blawg - Wikileaks And Bradley Manning

  • http://twitter.com/JoanieGentian Joanie MacPhee

    One picture of a “badly beaten up Bradley Manning” floating around on the ‘net turns out to be a mugshot of a completely different person: http://www.drumsnwhistles.com/2011/03/18/meet-the-other-kenneth-bradley-manning/

    • Posimosh

      What does this have to do with anything?

  • Te-oui

    Bradley Manning’s speedy trial rights are being violated. This unwarranted delay in bringing him to trial is outrageous. The fact is that the government is afraid to try him. The longer he is held without trial, the more likely he will go free. Assange is right, they are trying to coerce Manning into a plea deal. The Art 92 violations in the amended charge sheet are an invitation to a plea bargain.

  • Anonymous

    Cutting off the commercial processing of defense funding by PayPal, etc. may be a problem for corporations that are doing business in California (PayPal is headquartered in Cali). Check out California Civil Code Section 51 (prohibiting “arbitrary discrimination”). It also provides for attorneys fees if you win the case. Go get ‘em!!!

  • Gregg Smith

    “Nucular” was on purpose.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 24, 2014
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, left, talks with Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Covina at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, April 21, 2014. Hernandez proposed a constitutional amendment that would ask voters to again allow public colleges to use race and ethnicity when considering college applicants. The proposal stalled this year after backlash from Asian Americans. (AP)

California as Exhibit A for what happens when a state bans affirmative action in college admissions. We’ll look at race, college and California.

Apr 24, 2014
A Buddhist monk lights the funeral pyre of Nepalese mountaineer Ang Kaji Sherpa, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, during his funeral ceremony in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 21, 2014.  (AP)

A Sherpa boycott on Everest after a deadly avalanche. We’ll look at climbing, culture, life, death and money at the top of the world.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

 
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

More »
Comment
 
Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

More »
Comment