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A message from Bradley Manning

Fri, Dec 24, 2010

News



Begin forwarded message:


Hi Judith,

Thank you for signing our letter to stop the inhumane treatment of Bradley Manning. In just 24 hours, more than 20,000 people have stood up for Bradley’s basic human rights. It’s an incredible show of support.

Bradley Manning released a brief holiday message for his supporters yesterday through his lawyer, and I want to share it with you.

“I greatly appreciate everyone’s support and well wishes during this time. I am also thankful for everything that has been done to aid in my defense. I ask that everyone takes the time to remember those who are separated from their loved ones at this time due to deployment and important missions. Specifically, I am thinking of those that I deployed with and have not seen for the last seven months, and of the staff here at the Quantico Confinement Facility who will be spending their Christmas without their family.”

David House, Bradley’s one friend allowed to visit him in prison, wrote on Firedoglake yesterday about the extreme isolation in which Bradley is detained at Quantico. David appeared on MSNBC and BBC yesterday to discuss the petition you signed, and he’ll deliver your signature when he visits Bradley next month.

Can you ask your family and friends to sign our letter urging for Bradley Manning to be treated humanely while he awaits trial? We’ll make sure every signature is delivered to the base at which Bradley is detained.

If you’re on Facebook, click here to share our petition for Bradley Manning on your wall.

If you’re on Twitter, click here to tweet about our petition.

You can forward the email message below and ask your friends to sign, or just send them this link: 

http://action.firedoglake.com/BradleyManningMessage

Your support for Bradley means so much to him as he spends Christmas completely isolated, as he does each and every day. And even has he sits alone in prison, his thoughts are with with his Army family and the guards at Quantico. Thank you so much for all you do. 

Happy Holidays,

Michael, Jane, and the rest of the Firedoglake team. 

Bradley Manning has spent 5 months in almost complete isolation amounting to cruel and inhumane conditions for allegedly giving classified information to Wikileaks. Now his health is suffering because of it.

Can you add your name to our letter
urging Manning’s severe detention restrictions be lifted?

Click here.

Judith,

Bradley Manning spent his 23rd birthday on Friday completely isolated, just as he has every day for the last five months months in his cell at the Quantico Marine Base.

Manning is the Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks. Since July, he has been held in cruel and inhumane conditions akin to how the US detains “enemy combatants.” He spends each day completely isolated, with severe restrictions placed on basic activities like sleep and exercise. Yet he has not been convicted of any crime.

The extreme isolation in which Manning has spent every day of the last five months is soul-crushing. It’s already taking its toll: Bradley Manning’s physical and mental health are suffering, according to his attorney and friend who have seen him in prison.

Bradley Manning deserves humane treatment while he awaits trial. Can you please add your name to our letter urging Commanding Officer of Quantico Marine Corp Base to lift the heavy restrictions of Manning’s detention?

Bradley’s friend, David House, will deliver your letter to the Commanding Officer at the Quantico Marine Base brig when he visits Bradley next month.

While Manning is held in “maximum custody,” the military’s most severe detention policy, he is also under a longstanding “Prevention of Injury” (POI) order that adds additional restrictions beyond those of other prisoners. While POI orders typically last a week or two, Manning has been held under a POI order for the entirety of his detention.

A day in the life of Bradley Manning is isolating, lonely, and frustrating. 

  • Manning stays in his cell for 23 hours a day
  • Guards must check on him every 5 minutes, and he must respond each time
  • He is not allowed to sleep between 5am and 8pm
  • Substantive exercise is not allowed beyond walking, potentially in chains
  • Communication with other people in the brig is banned, and he cannot write to people outside beyond the few a list approved by the brig commander; any unapproved letters he receives are destroyed.
  • He has not been allowed to read newspapers or watch international news during TV time
  • Comfortable sleep is impossible; he must surrender his clothes each night, has only a heavy “suicide blanket” akin to an x-ray vest, and guards must be able to see his face at all times.

A psychologist has said Manning isn’t a danger to himself or others, and the POI order is unnecessary. His lawyer has also been unable to have the POI order lifted. But it is clear that Bradley Manning has been subjected to inhumane and unnecessary punishment without being convicted of a crime, and it must stop now.

Stop the inhumane treatment of Bradley Manning. Please add your name to our letter urging the Marine Commander in charge of Manning lift the unnecessary POI order.

No matter what you think of Manning’s alleged acts, there is no reason to subject him to these extreme conditions. Thank you for standing up for human rights.

– Michael Whitney
Firedoglake.com

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