Anorak | Bradley Manning: the sexual torture of a mentally ill hero

Bradley Manning: the sexual torture of a mentally ill hero

by | 21st, December 2011

US ARMY analyst Bradley Manning, 24, is appearing at a courthouse in Fort Meade, Maryland. It’s a military hearing to decided whether Manning should face court-martial for his alleged role in leaking classified material to WikiLeaks. Did Bradley Manning orchestrate the biggest national security leak in U.S. history? And even if he did, what harm did he do?

Also appearing are:

Adrian Lamo a former hacker, who gave the chat logs to authorities, leading to Manning’s arrest

Jennifer Robinson lawyer for Wikileak’s fonder Julian Assange

David Coombs Bradley Manning’s attorney

This is a big deal. Bradley Manning is number 8 on Time’s list of 2011’s 100 most influential people. Bradley Manning was jailed at Quantico, a Marine base in Virginia. He passed his days in solitary confinement for 23 hours each day. He was forced to stand naked during inspections. He was not given his glasses. He could not see properly.

His one hour of exercise was in an empty room.

Daphne Eviatar  noted :

Manning is also said to be a threat to himself, given the serious trouble he’s in. As a result, he’s on “Prevention of Injury” watch, which accounts for the lack of sheets and pillows. But his lawyer thinks that’s a ruse. And indeed, it’s hard to imagine why prison officials would treat someone who they worry is mentally disturbed by isolating him to the point that, as medical experts have documented, is likely to make him crazy.

There is no little irony in the how the US treated the whistle blower.

In May 2011, Bradely Manning’;s wquarters improved. David Coombs, his Army Court Marshall Defense Specialist,  told media:

PFC Manning is now being held in Medium Custody.  He is no longer under Prevention of Injury watch and is no longer subjected to harsh pretrial confinement conditions. Unlike at Quantico, PFC Manning cell has a large window that provides adequate natural light.  His cell also has a desk, a bed, and a toilet.  The cell is approximately 80 square feet.  He is provided with a normal mattress, sheets and a pillow.  None of his clothing is taken away from him at night.

Matthew Norman writes :

The harder bit is deciding whether, in revealing some of the unlovelier aspects of US military endeavours, Manning is a hero, a traitor, or a confused, lonely, nomadic superhacker with father issues and a dash of save-the-world-from-itself Narcissism in the Julian Assange mould…

Then again, there is no overstating the abject incompetence of the US military, which, after decades of insanely counter-productive wars, one has come to take on trust. Manning’s most conspicuous act of heroism, along with publicising the corruption that helped to wash away the Tunisian regime, was exposing the insouciant brutality to which, in a less dramatic form, he has since been subjected himself. If the world had no right to see footage of US helicopter pilots gunning down Baghdad civilians with the giggly whoopings of teenage video gamers, what right does it have to know anything at all?

Collateral Murder is destined to be a new buzzphrase

Army Special Agent David Shaver and civilian contractor Mark Johnson said they found evidence Manning downloaded and e-mailed nearly half a million sensitive battlefield reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and

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Posted: 21st, December 2011 | In: Key Posts, News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink