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Democracy Now! ~ Accused WikiLeaks Whistleblower Bradley Manning Testifies He Thought He Would "Die in Custody" ~ With Michael Ratner, Julian Assange, Amy Goodman & Juan Gonzalez (11-30-12) ~ Plus 3 Articles About Bradley Manning's Trial

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      Democracy Now! – November 30th, 2012

      Accused WikiLeaks Whistleblower Bradley Manning Testifies He Thought He
      Would "Die in Custody"



      Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private accused of leaking hundreds of
      thousands of classified documents to the whistle blowing website WikiLeaks,
      has testified for the first time since he was arrested in May 2010. Speaking
      Thursday at a pretrial proceeding, Manning revealed the emotional tumult he
      experienced while imprisoned in Kuwait after his arrest in 2010, saying, "I
      remember thinking, ’I’m going to die.’ I thought I was going to die in a
      cage." As part of his testimony, Manning stepped inside a life-sized chalk
      outline representing the six-by-eight-foot cell he was later held in at the
      Quantico base in Virginia, and recounted how he would tilt his head to see
      the reflection of a skylight through a tiny space in his cell door. Manning
      could face life in prison if convicted of the most serious of 22 counts
      against him. His trial is expected to begin in February. He has offered to
      plead guilty to a subset of charges that could potentially carry a maximum
      prison term of 16 years. "What’s remarkable is that he still has this
      incredible dignity after going through this," says Michael Ratner, who was
      in the courtroom during Manning’s appearance. "But I think all these prison
      conditions were — sure, they were angry at Bradley Manning, but in the face
      of that psychiatric statement, that this guy shouldn’t be kept on suicide
      risk or POI, they’re still keeping him in inhuman conditions, you can only
      ask yourself — they’re trying to break him for some reason. The lawyer,
      David Coombs, has said it’s so that he can give evidence against Julian
      Assange and WikiLeaks." Ratner is president emeritus of the Center for
      Constitutional Rights and a lawyer for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.





      Guest:

      <http://www.democracynow.org/appearances/michael_ratner> Michael Ratner,
      President emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a lawyer to
      Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. He recently returned from attending part of
      the pretrial hearing for Bradley Manning.

      JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private accused of leaking
      hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the whistle blowing website
      WikiLeaks, has testified in a courtroom for the first time since he was
      arrested in May 2010. Speaking Thursday at a pretrial proceeding, Manning
      revealed the emotional tumult that he experienced while imprisoned in Kuwait
      after his arrest in 2010, saying, quote, "I remember thinking, ’I’m going to
      die.’ I thought I was going to die in a cage."

      As part of his testimony, Manning stepped inside a life-sized chalk outline
      representing the six-by-eight-foot cell he was later held in at the Quantico
      base in Virginia, and he recounted how he would tilt his head to see the
      reflection of a skylight through a tiny space in his cell door.

      Manning could face life in prison if convicted of the most serious of 22
      counts against him. His trial is expected to begin in February. He has
      offered to plead guilty to a subset of charges that could potentially carry
      a maximum prison term of 16 years.

      On Thursday, Democracy Now! spoke about Manning’s case with WikiLeaks
      founder
      <http://www.democracynow.org/2012/11/29/exclusive_julian_assange_on_wikileak
      s_bradley> Julian Assange, who is currently residing inside the Ecuadorean
      embassy in London, where he sought refuge nearly six months ago.

      JULIAN ASSANGE: What is happening this week is not the trial of Bradley
      Manning; what is happening this week is the trial of the U.S. military. This
      is Bradley Manning’s abuse case. Bradley Manning was arrested in Baghdad,
      shipped over and held for two months in extremely adverse conditions in
      Kuwait, shipped over to Quantico, Virginia, which is near the center of the
      U.S. intelligence complex, and held there for nine months, longer than any
      other prisoner in Quantico’s modern history. And there, he was subject to
      conditions that the U.N. special rapporteur, Juan Méndez, special rapporteur
      for torture, formally found amounted to torture.

      There’s a question about who authorized that treatment. Why was that
      treatment placed on him for so long, when so many people—independent
      psychiatrists, military psychiatrists—complained about what was going on in
      extremely strong terms? His lawyer and support team say that he was being
      treated in that manner, in part, in order to coerce some kind of statement
      or false confession from him that would implicate WikiLeaks as an
      organization and me personally. And so, this is a matter that I personally
      have been embroiled in, that this young man’s treatment, regardless of
      whether he was our source or not, is directly as a result of an attempt to
      attack this organization by the United States military, to coerce this young
      man into providing evidence that could be used to more effectively attack
      us, and also serve as some kind of terrible disincentive for other potential
      whistleblowers from stepping forward.

      AMY GOODMAN: That’s Julian Assange, founder and editor-in-chief of
      WikiLeaks, now under political asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy. He was
      speaking about Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private accused of leaking
      hundreds of thousands of classified documents to Assange’s website,
      WikiLeaks. Manning testified Thursday at this pretrial proceeding for the
      first time since he was arrested more than two years ago.

      For more. we’re joined by Michael Ratner. He’s president emeritus of the
      Center for Constitutional Rights, a lawyer for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks,
      and he just got back from attending the pretrial hearing of Bradley Manning
      yesterday at Fort Meade.

      Michael, describe the scene in the courtroom.

      MICHAEL RATNER: You know, it was one of the most dramatic courtroom scenes
      I’ve ever been in. I mean, for days we’ve been waiting to see whether
      Bradley Manning was going to testify, and it’s testimony about the
      conditions he was held in really for almost two years, but certainly the
      part in Kuwait and Quantico. And we’ve seen him in the courtroom, but we
      didn’t see him ever take the stand. So we’re sitting in this small
      courtroom. There’s all of these guys in these formal-dress blue uniforms. I
      mean, they look like those Custers or Civil Wars with those little things on
      their shoulders, epaulets. And then, all of a sudden, we come back from
      lunch, and David Coombs, Bradley’s lawyer, says, "Bradley Manning will come
      to the stand."

      And you could have heard—I mean, the room was just mesmerized by what was
      going to happen next. And he says to Bradley, "I know you may be a little
      nervous about this. I’ll ease you into it." When Bradley opened his mouth,
      he was not nervous. I mean, he was—the testimony was incredibly moving,
      emotional roller coaster for all of us, but particularly, obviously, for
      Bradley and what he went through. But it was so horrible what happened to
      him over a two-year period. But he described it in great detail in a way
      that was articulate, smart, self-aware. I mean, he knew what was going on.
      He tried to make it so that they wouldn’t keep him on the suicide risk, they
      wouldn’t keep him on preventive injury status, where he didn’t have clothes
      and all of that. And he couldn’t do it. And he kept trying it, and they kept
      lying to him. And it was really dramatic.

      What it began with was his arrest in late May of 2010. He was almost
      immediately taken to Kuwait. And that’s really where they got him in a way
      that, for a period of time, almost destroyed him. They put him into cages
      that he described as eight-by-eight-by-eight. There were two cages. He said
      they were like animal cages. They were in a tent alone, just these two
      cages, side by side. One of them had whatever possessions he may have had;
      one of them, he was in, with a little bed for a rack and a toilet, dark, in
      this cage for almost two months. He was taken out for a short while and
      then, without explanation, put back in the cage, meals in the cage, etc.,
      all of that.

      And wait until you hear this. They would wake him at night at 11:00 p.m.,
      10:00 or 11:00, and his day—or night—was all night, and he was allowed to go
      back to sleep at 12:00 or 1:00, noon, the next day. So when we think about
      what happened to people at Guantánamo or sensory deprivation or what McCoy
      says in his books on torture, what are they trying to do except destroy this
      human being?

      And he said, "For me, I stopped keeping track. I didn’t know whether night
      was day or day was night. And my world became very, very small. It became
      these cages. And I’m a person," he said—this was really, I thought—all of us
      really were interested in it. He said, "I’m someone who likes current
      events. I take a broader view of the world." And he gave an example of the
      oil spill in the Gulf. And he said, you know, "When that ended," and he
      said, "my world all of a sudden was totally confined to these cages." And
      that was almost two months in Kuwait, something that none of us really knew
      about for this period. And he went on to talk about then what happens when
      he went to Quantico.

      JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And Michael, you’re describing a person who was the exact
      opposite of some of the portraits of him that have come out from some
      supposed supporters of his, but also people who have had grudges against
      him, of being an emotionally unstable person. The sense that you got of how
      intelligent and how clear he was about what was happening to him?

      MICHAEL RATNER: Even one of the psychiatrists who testified and who was one
      of the psychiatrists who said this guy should never have been put on
      prevention of injury or suicide risk when he was at Quantico—that was right
      after Kuwait—said he’s highly intelligent. And you could see that. And the
      image was just the opposite of what I would have thought going in there, of
      this person who couldn’t make their way in the world, of who just was unable
      to really function. This person was articulate, strong, self-aware, as I
      said, and it was very sympathetic. I mean, very sympathetic. And not even a
      shade that he shaded anything, not anything close to mendacity, lies,
      nothing. This was incredible testimony.

      AMY GOODMAN: The psychiatrist who treated Bradley Manning while he was in
      prison at Quantico Marine brig testified on Wednesday that commanders there
      consistently ignored his medical advice and continued to impose harsh
      restrictions on Bradley Manning, even though he posed no risk of suicide.
      Captain William Hoctor said he treated prisoners at Guantánamo but had never
      encountered military officials so unwilling to heed his medical advice. He
      testified and said, "I had been a senior medical officer for 24 years at the
      time, and I had never experienced anything like this. It was clear to me
      they had made up their mind on a certain cause of action, and my
      recommendations had no impact," he said. Michael Ratner?

      MICHAEL RATNER: No, yesterday when I was in court, they put up another
      psychiatrist on, the defense did, Ricky Malone, a very substantial
      psychiatrist, head of Walter Reed at some point, in forensic psychology. And
      he said essentially the same thing. He said, "I went in there. I treated
      Bradley Manning. I gave him a sleep medication when he needed sleep. And I
      went to the person who ran that brig, and I kept saying he does not have to
      be on POI," that’s short for preventive injury, "he doesn’t have to be on
      suicide risk watch."

      AMY GOODMAN: And explain what that means when he’s put on those.

      MICHAEL RATNER: Right, I’m glad you asked that, because this was so
      dramatic. They showed a video at some point at the trial of what—of where
      Bradley Manning was kept. And there’s no natural light. If he presses his
      face to the screen—it’s not really bars, it’s like a square screen—he could
      see the reflection of light on the floor at the end of the hall. Immediately
      across from his cell is the observation booth that looks right into him, so
      even if he goes to the bathroom and sits on the toilet, they see everything
      he does. There’s a bright light on him—again, sensory stuff, if you look at
      that—24 hours a day.

      They show in the video, when they—when they actually—something happens where
      they decide they’re going to put him—he’s always on POI, but they’re going
      to put him back on suicide risk. And they showed the video of—it’s
      videoed—of him passing his clothes through the mail, through the little
      hatch, out of the prison.

      AMY GOODMAN: Like a mail slot.

      MICHAEL RATNER: Like a mail slot. And that night, he’s standing there stark
      naked. They only show you the top, but he’s standing there stark naked in
      front of these really beefy, big marines in camouflage. That’s the scene you
      see.

      And then there’s another video showing, he’s trying to ask, "Why am I here?
      What did I do wrong?" And they’re lying to him. One of them, who’s playing
      like Mutt and Jeff, saying, "Well, you’re a great—if I had a hundred, you
      know, defendants like you—or prisoners like you, it would be—you know, I
      would be great." They’re lying to him all the time.

      And what comes out, because as that video—as that clip you read, Amy, of the
      psychiatrist, is that it never happens, really never happens, that the head
      of a brig disregards psychiatric information like they were given about
      Bradley Manning. And here they did. And so, the question you have to ask
      yourself is, where was that order coming from? We know there was a
      three-star general involved. How much did it go up to the Pentagon?

      AMY GOODMAN: Who was the three-star general?

      MICHAEL RATNER: I don’t remember his name.

      AMY GOODMAN: And this is, of course, all under President Obama.

      MICHAEL RATNER: Right. Right, that’s correct. I mean, this was— when he’s in
      that cell, when we talk about the light on, when he sleeps on that little
      bunk and he has to face the light so they can observe him. If he turns over
      to avoid the light, they come in, and they wake him up. That’s night.
      Day—what happens during the day? He’s in that cell 23-and-a-half hours a
      day, maybe 20 minutes of what they call sunshine exercise, which is just
      nothing. And what can he do? Because he’s on duty, supposedly, he has to
      either stand or he can sit on that metal bunk with his feet on the ground
      and can’t lean against anything. That’s 10 or 15 hours a day of what you
      have to call sensory deprivation.

      JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And Michael, I’d like to ask you about—given that he’s been
      under these conditions now for two-and-a-half years, it’s not surprising
      that he would be attempting to try to negotiate some kind of a plea deal on
      a reduced sentence. Could you talk about that part, that aspect of what
      happened with the court?

      MICHAEL RATNER: Yeah, yeah. Let me back up on that for one second, because
      he was in Kuwait 'til end of July 2010. He then was taken to Quantico ’til
      April or so of 2011. That's the nine months that this hearing is really
      about and whether the charges should be dismissed because of the serious
      misconduct and torture and cruel treatment by the government.

      So, then he was taken to Leavenworth. And just as an illustration of how he
      did not have to be treated like he was treated at Quantico, they put on the
      head of Leavenworth brig by telephone yesterday, and she said, "Well, as
      soon as he got here, he went right into medium security." And that’s the
      best you can do when you’re pretrial. Then, you mix with the population. You
      get—you get all your hygiene items.

      There’s a scene in this—in this—where he has to actually beg for a piece of
      toilet paper. He has to stand in front—at Quantico, stand there with no
      shirt on, with his boxers, and said, whatever, "Corporal something, this is
      Corporal Manning, or Private First Class Manning, can I have a piece of
      toilet paper?" And he has to stand there at attention, while he’s begging
      for a piece of toilet paper.

      Your question, Juan, what David Coombs, the lawyer for Bradley Manning, has
      said, they are trying to force Bradley Manning into testifying if he knows
      anything, probably falsely, because we don’t think there’s anything
      there—but against my client, Julian Assange. They are trying to break
      Bradley Manning.

      What’s remarkable is that he still has this incredible dignity after going
      through this. But I think all these prison conditions were—sure, they were
      angry at Bradley Manning, but in the face of that psychiatric statement,
      that this guy shouldn’t be kept on suicide risk or POI, they’re still
      keeping him in inhuman conditions, you can only ask yourself—they’re trying
      to break him for some reason. The lawyer, David Coombs, has said it’s so
      that he can give evidence against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

      AMY GOODMAN: So this pretrial hearing, where does it lead? There—he is
      talking about these conditions that many have said amount to torture. What
      could it lead to?

      MICHAEL RATNER: Well, the lawyer, David Coombs, has asked for two things. He
      said, "I’ve asked for dismissal of all the charges, because the government
      essentially has dirty hands." They can’t do this to people and still go
      charge them with crimes. And that has happened rarely, but it has happened,
      where the government engages in such bad conduct that they’re saying, even
      if it’s not about the truth of what happened and the facts, we’re going to
      get rid of the case.

      JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And he’s also asked for 10 days’ credit for every day that he
      was held in those kind of conditions?

      MICHAEL RATNER: Right. So he’s held, I think, some 293 days. He would get
      credit for almost—you know, a number of years off his sentence. In the end,
      he’s asked for 10 for one, understanding that he may not win ultimate
      dismissal.

      But what it also really did is it showed us how this government—and when
      Julian Assange said yesterday on your show, Amy, this is really about the
      U.S. being on trial, that’s what this is. This is how the U.S. treats—treats
      people who, in my view, have taken heroic actions around disclosing secrets
      of this government.

      AMY GOODMAN: And what does this possible plea mean, where he admits that he
      gave documents to WikiLeaks but will not plead guilty to aiding the enemy?

      MICHAEL RATNER: Right, I want to explain it as simply as I can.

      AMY GOODMAN: And we only have 30 seconds.

      MICHAEL RATNER: OK, what it means is—he said, "I’ll accept responsibility
      for mishandling of documents." Potential sentence, the judge said, is 16
      years. If the judge accepts the plea, the prosecutor does not have to. Or
      the prosecutor can accept the plea but can still prove that he aided the
      enemy and try and get a more severe sentence.

      So the question here is going to be, is the prosecutor going to stop at the
      16 years maximum sentence, or is the prosecutor going to go on and try and
      get Bradley Manning life? My opinion, of course, is the prosecutor ought to
      stop. Bradley Manning, you know, is someone who has disclosed some of the
      most important secrets of our government having to do with torture and wars
      and U.S. complicity in human rights violations.

      AMY GOODMAN: Michael Ratner is president emeritus of the Center for
      Constitutional Rights, a lawyer for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, just came
      back from the pretrial hearing where Bradley Manning testified for the first
      time in court.

      www.bradleymanning.org


      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



      WikiLeaks Suspect Bradley Manning Gives Evidence for First Time

      Manning takes stand at pre-trial hearing and speaks at length about his
      treatment by the military following his arrest in 2010

      * Ed Pilkington <http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/edpilkington> at
      Fort Meade, Maryland <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/maryland>
      * guardian.co.uk <http://www.guardian.co.uk/> , Thursday 29 November
      2012

      After 917 days in military captivity, the world finally heard on Thursday
      from Bradley Manning <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/bradley-manning> , the
      army soldier accused of being the source of the largest leak of government
      secrets in US history.

      In a dramatic opening half-hour of testimony on the third day of the
      pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade military base in Maryland
      <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/maryland> , Manning spoke at length for the
      first time about the period after his arrest in May 2010.

      Manning detailed the trauma he experienced at the hands of the US military
      <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-military> while he was incarcerated for
      having allegedly handed hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables to
      WikiLeaks <http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/wikileaks> .

      His defense lawyer, David Coombs, drew a life-sized representation on the
      courtroom floor of the 6ft by 8ft cell in which Manning was held at the
      Quantico base in Virginia after he was brought to the US.

      Manning seemed initially nervous but relaxed into his subject. He described
      a breakdown he had in Kuwait in the days after his arrest. "I was in a
      pretty stressed situation," Manning said. "I had no idea what was going on
      with anything. I was getting very little information.

      "I began to really deteriorate. I was anxious all the time about not knowing
      anything, days blend into night, night into days. Everything became more
      insular."

      Manning described how his guards stopped taking him out of his cell,
      preventing any interaction with other detainees. "I didn't have a good
      understanding of the reasons. Someone tried to explain to me but I was a
      mess. I was starting to fall apart."

      He claimed that two or three times a day his guards would give him a
      "shakedown". This involved taking him out the cell, then tearing apart
      everything he had in the cell.

      Coombs asked Manning whether he had any recollection of an incident on 30
      June 2010, when he had lost control of himself to the extent that doctors
      had to intervene. "He was screaming, babbling, banging his head against the
      cell," said Coombs.

      Manning replied: "I knew I had just fallen apart, everything is foggy and
      hazy at that point."

      The soldier said he thought he would die in Kuwait. "I remember thinking I'm
      going to die. I thought I was going to die in a cage," he told the hearing.

      A few weeks later, on 29 July, Manning was transferred from Kuwait to
      Quantico marine base in Virginia. "I had no idea where I was going," said
      Manning, who thought he might be taken to Germany. "I was very scared, I had
      no idea."

      On board the plane, he was placed in full restraint. "The captain went over
      the intercom, 'We'll be arriving in Germany'," he said. After an hour and a
      half on the ground, Manning was put back on the plane. Only when the crew
      announced they were going to Baltimore did Manning discover he was being
      returned to the US.

      That made him feel better, he said. "I didn't think I would set foot on
      American soil for a long time."

      Coombs told how conditions in Quantico were tough, however. He drew a
      life-size representation of the cell on the floor of the court, and asked
      Manning to step into it, to recreate his conditions. Manning told how he
      could see a reflection of a skylight through a small gap in the cell door if
      he angled his head in a particular direction.

      Earlier, before Manning took the stand, the military judge accepted the
      terms under which he would enter a guilty plea to seven charges for
      disseminating classified documents.

      Colonel Denise Lind approved the language of the offences to which Manning
      would admit. She said those carry a total maximum prison term of 16 years.

      The Associated Press reported that the judge's ruling on his plea language
      does not mean that pleas have been formally accepted. That could happen in
      December.

      In the proposal, Manning admits to leaking a battlefield video file, some
      classified memos, more than 20 Iraq war logs, more than 20 Afghanistan war
      logs and other classified materials. He would also plead guilty to
      wrongfully storing classified information.

      Manning had made the offer
      <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/08/bradley-manning-wikileaks-respo
      nsibility-trial> as a way of accepting responsibility for the biggest leak
      in US military history. Government officials have not said whether they
      would continue prosecuting him for the other 15 counts he faces, including
      aiding the enemy, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      ~~~~~~~


      WikiLeaks Suspect Manning Mistreated by Military, Psychiatrist Says


      Bradley Manning was held in solitary confinement despite expert's claim he
      was no longer a suicide risk

      * Ed Pilkington <http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/edpilkington> in
      Fort Meade, Maryland
      * guardian.co.uk <http://www.guardian.co.uk/> , Wednesday 28 November
      2012

      The psychiatrist who treated the
      <http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/wikileaks> WikiLeaks suspect,
      <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/bradley-manning> Bradley Manning, while he
      was in custody in the brig at Quantico has testified that his medical advice
      was regularly ignored by marine commanders who continued to impose harsh
      conditions on the soldier even though he posed no risk of suicide.

      Captain William Hoctor told Manning's pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade that
      he grew frustrated and angry at the persistent refusal by marine officers to
      take on board his medical recommendations. The forensic psychiatrist said
      that he had never experienced such an unreceptive response from his military
      colleagues, not even when he treated terrorist suspects held at Guantanamo.

      "I had been a senior medical officer for 24 years at the time, and I had
      never experienced anything like this. It was clear to me they had made up
      their mind on a certain cause of action, and my recommendations had no
      impact," Hoctor said.

      The psychiatrist was testifying at Manning's court martial for allegedly
      being the source of the massive leak of hundreds of thousands of
      confidential US government documents to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks.
      The 24-year-old soldier, who worked as an intelligence analyst until his
      arrest in Iraq in May 2010, faces 22 counts and possible life in military
      custody.

      Manning's defense lawyers are attempting to have the charges thrown out or
      any eventual sentence reduced by seeking to prove that the soldier was
      subjected to unlawful pre-trial punishment at Quantico. During the nine
      months he was in custody at the marine base in Virginia he was put on
      suicide watch and a "prevention of injury" order, or PoI, that kept him in
      solitary confinement and exposed him to extreme conditions that were
      denounced by the UN and Amnesty International as a form of torture.

      Hoctor began treating Manning from the day after he arrived at Quantico on
      29 July 2010, seeing him initially every day and then later once a week. At
      first he recommended that the soldier be put on suicide watch - the most
      stringent form of custody - given that he had mentioned killing himself
      while previously held in Kuwait and that nooses that he had made were found
      in his cell.

      But within a week of seeing Manning he changed his recommendation, reporting
      to officers that in his medical opinion the soldier could be put on the
      lesser PoI status. His advice was ignored for a couple of weeks, Hoctor told
      the court. "At Quantico they often did not immediately follow, or sometimes
      did not follow at all, my recommendations."

      The failure to act on the doctor's recommendation was an apparent violation
      of the instructions under which marine installations operate. The
      regulations state that "when prisoners are no longer considered to be
      suicide risks by a medical officer, they shall be returned to appropriate
      quarters."

      By 27 August 2010, Hoctor testified, he had spent enough time with Manning
      to recommend a further easing of conditions. From then on he advised in a
      regular weekly report that Manning should be taken off PoI altogether and
      returned to the general brig population.

      "I was satisfied he no longer presented a risk. He did not appear to be
      persistently depressed, he was not reporting suicidal thoughts, in general
      he was well behaved."

      Specifically, Hoctor was convinced that Manning no longer needed to be
      subjected to restrictive conditions that included: no contact with other
      people, being kept in his cell for more than 23 hours a day, being checked
      every five minutes, sleeping on a suicide mattress with no bedding, having
      his prescription glasses taken away, lights kept on at night, having toilet
      paper removed.

      Only on two occasions did Hoctor report that Manning appeared upset and
      should be put temporarily under close observation. The first incident
      occurred in December 2010 when Fox News erroneously reported that Manning
      had died, and the second in January 2011 when the soldier broke down in
      tears while in the exercise room.

      Yet the psychiatrist's recommendation that other than these isolated
      incidents Manning should be treated like other inmates was consistently
      ignored. The soldier was kept on PoI throughout the rest of his time at
      Quantico.

      The blanket denial of his expert opinion was unprecedented in his quarter
      century of practice, the psychiatrist said. "Even when I did tours in
      Guantanamo and cared for detainees there my recommendations on suicidal
      behavior were followed."

      Hoctor said he openly protested about the thwarting of his expert opinion at
      a meeting with the commander responsible for the brig, Colonel Robert
      Oltman, on 13 January 2011. At the meeting Oltman informed the doctor that
      Manning would be kept on PoI "for the foreseeable future".

      Hoctor said that the marine commanders should no longer pretend they were
      acting out of medical concern for the detainee. "It wasn't good for Manning.
      I really didn't like them using a psychiatric standard when I thought it
      clinically inappropriate," Hoctor said.

      The court heard that Oltman replied: "You make your recommendations, and
      we'll do what we want to do."

      Earlier the court martial heard from Oltman himself, who told the judge
      presiding over the proceedings, Colonel Denise Lind, that he had chosen to
      overlook Hoctor's advice because he didn't fully trust the doctor. A few
      months before Manning arrived at Quantico, an inmate of the brig, Captain
      Michael Webb, had killed himself while under Hoctor's care.

      "I did not have the utmost confidence in Captain Hoctor," Oltman testified.

      When that lack of trust was put to Hoctor by Manning's defense lawyer, David
      Coombs, the psychiatrist replied: "If they felt that way they should have
      got another person to do the job."

      Despite the unprecedented conditions that Manning was held under, Hoctor
      said the detainee coped quite well. "Most people would have found it very
      difficult, being watched every five minutes, but he did better than expected
      – I think he decided he was going to be strong."

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


      Bradley Manning: Marine Commander Warned Detention Was Inappropriate


      WikiLeaks suspect held at Quantico for nine months despite recommendation of
      90 days maximum, pre-trial hearing told

      * Ed Pilkington <http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/edpilkington> in
      Fort Meade, Maryland
      * guardian.co.uk <http://www.guardian.co.uk/> , Wednesday 28 November
      2012

      The former commander of Quantico marine base in Virginia has revealed to the
      court martial of <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/bradley-manning> Bradley
      Manning that he warned his Pentagon superiors that the jail on the base was
      insufficiently prepared to deal with the long-term detention of the
      <http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/wikileaks> WikiLeaks suspect.

      Daniel Choike told a pre-trial hearing in Fort Meade, Maryland, that when
      Manning arrived at the brig on 29 July 2010, having been arrested in Iraq on
      suspicion of being the source of the massive WikiLeaks dump of state
      secrets, he informed his superior officer in the Pentagon that in his
      opinion Quantico was not the right place for the soldier should his
      detention last long.

      "I didn't feel that PFC Manning should be detained more than 90 days in the
      brig," he said.

      In the end, Manning spent nine months at Quantico – three times the maximum
      Choike thought appropriate. The soldier's treatment there prompted
      international
      <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/28/bradley-manning-treatment-custo
      dy-wikileaks> protests from the UN, Amnesty International and other
      organizations that likened it to torture.

      Choike's admission that he had been aware of problems relating to Manning's
      incarceration at the Quantico brig came on Tuesday, at the end of an intense
      first day in the latest pre-trial hearing in the soldier's court martial.
      The army private, who worked as an intelligence analyst in a military base
      outside Baghdad from 2009 until his arrest in May 2010, faces 22 counts
      relating to the transfer of hundreds of thousands of confidential US
      documents to the whistle blowing website.

      After about seven hours of questioning, Choike told the judge presiding over
      the court martial, Colonel Denise Lind, that he had been concerned from the
      beginning that the brig at Quantico was unprepared for the long-term
      detention of such a high-profile case as Manning. He said he was worried
      about dealing with the media, about co-ordination of command and about
      medical handling of the detainee.

      He added that he "constantly" told his superior, Lieutenant General George
      Flynn, based in the Pentagon, that there were problems with the soldier's
      prolonged detention in Quantico.

      On Wednesday morning the court learnt that concern about the way Manning was
      being treated within the Quantico brig reached high levels within the
      military. An email was read out from Lieutenant Colonel Wright, the most
      senior expert on corrections issues within the Marines.

      He wrote to the commander of the brig to express his "concerns about recent
      decisions", in particular the removal on 2 March 2011 of Manning's
      underpants at night. Wright pointed out that the move was a contradiction –
      it treated Manning as if he were a suicide risk, and yet he had not actually
      been placed under a suicide risk order. "This is not the way we do
      business," Wright wrote.

      Despite his reprimand, the chief warrant officer at the brig, Denise Barnes,
      continued to remove the soldier's underwear every night for the next six
      weeks, until his transfer to a lesser-security regime at Fort Leavenworth on
      20 April 2011.

      The morning was taken up with defense questioning of Robert Oltman,
      Quantico's security battalion commander in charge of the brig. Like Choike's
      earlier testimony, Oltman expressed his dissatisfaction that Manning had
      been placed in Quantico in the first place, given the parlous state of its
      brig.

      "We indicated we didn't think our facility was the best for his detainment.
      It was supposed to be closed, it was not in the best of conditions, it
      needed repair," he said.

      The testimony throws into a new light the events at Quantico during
      Manning's nine-month incarceration. His treatment under a so-called
      "prevention of injury" order, or PoI, has become a cause célèbre for his
      supporters, who believe that the soldier was subjected to unlawful pre-trial
      punishment in an attempt to squeeze him for information that might prove
      useful in any ensuing prosecution of WikiLeaks and its founder,
      <http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/julian-assange> Julian Assange.

      This week's hearing is attracting considerable media attention,
      <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/27/bradley-manning-speak-wikileaks
      -trial?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487> because it holds the promise that Manning might
      speak in public for the first time. He is listed on the defense roster of
      witnesses, though he has not yet been added to the official order of play
      for the hearing.

      Should Manning be called, it is not likely to be on Wednesday. His defense
      lawyer, David Coombs, is expected to question first Marine Colonel Robert
      Altman, who was commander of the brig while the soldier was detained there.
      Then the defense will turn to three forensic psychiatrists who were
      responsible for Manning's medical care at Quantico: navy captains William
      Hoctor and Kevin Moore and army colonel Rick Malone.

      The defense will be quizzing the doctors about the recommendations they made
      to the military hierarchy about the state of Manning's mental health. Court
      documents already released suggest that they advised on several occasions
      that the soldier was well enough to be taken off the PoI and returned to the
      general brig population, as he was no longer a suicide risk, yet the marine
      commanders ignored their specialist advice, in contravention of military
      rules.

      Article 13 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibits punishment
      before trial of any individual, on the same assumption as that in civilian
      law that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Should the judge be
      convinced by the defense argument that Manning was subjected to unlawful
      pre-trial punishment at Quantico, she has the power to reduce his sentence
      should he be found guilty, or even throw out all the charges.





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