Beaver County Blue

Progressive Democrats of America – PA 12th CD Chapter

Archive for December 15th, 2010

Ask President Obama to Stop Torturing Whistleblower Bradley Manning

Posted by randyshannon on December 15, 2010

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The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention

The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning's detention 

Reuters/Jonathon Burch/AP/Salon

http://www.bradleymanning.org/

Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime.  Despite that, he has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months — and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait — under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture.  Interviews with several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning’s detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard) who confirmed much of what they conveyed, establishes that the accused leaker is subjected to detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries.

Since his arrest in May, Manning has been a model detainee, without any episodes of violence or disciplinary problems.  He nonetheless was declared from the start to be a “Maximum Custody Detainee,” the highest and most repressive level of military detention, which then became the basis for the series of inhumane measures imposed on him.

From the beginning of his detention, Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement.  For 23 out of 24 hours every day — for seven straight months and counting — he sits completely alone in his cell.  Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he’s barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions.  For reasons that appear completely punitive, he’s being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch).  For the one hour per day when he is freed from this isolation, he is barred from accessing any news or current events programs.  Lt. Villiard protested that the conditions are not “like jail movies where someone gets thrown into the hole,” but confirmed that he is in solitary confinement, entirely alone in his cell except for the one hour per day he is taken out.

In sum, Manning has been subjected for many months without pause to inhumane, personality-erasing, soul-destroying, insanity-inducing conditions of isolation similar to those perfected at America’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado:  all without so much as having been convicted of anything.  And as is true of many prisoners subjected to warped treatment of this sort, the brig’s medical personnel now administer regular doses of anti-depressants to Manning to prevent his brain from snapping from the effects of this isolation.

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Support Georgia Prisoners’ Demand for Humane Conditions

Posted by randyshannon on December 15, 2010

by Randy Shannon

The United States has the largest prison population and the highest rate of imprisonment on Earth. The prison population across the state of Georgia is on strike. The prisoners are remaining in their cells demanding more humane treatment. Given the diverse racial composition and social groups and gangs in the prison, the complete unity of the prisoners across the state system speaks to the seriousness of the conditions.

Please go to this page to sign a petition to the Georgia Department of Corrections to improve conditions there. Below is a video of Elaine Brown, a prisoner support activists discussing the strike and the conditions.

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