Thirty miles from downtown Washington DC, the US military is engaged in the torture of an American citizen. Army Private Bradley Manning, jailed on suspicion of leaking classified documents to the whistleblower web site WikiLeaks, is being held at the Quantico Marine Corps base under conditions that approximate those at Guantanamo Bay.
Manning has been in solitary confinement for more than seven months. He is confined to his cell 23 hours a day, allowed out for one hour of solitary exercise—he is not allowed to exercise in his cell, and guards intervene if he attempts to do so. His pillow and bedding are removed during the day to prevent him from sleeping, and under the “prevention of injury” [POI] regime imposed on him throughout his imprisonment, jailers look in on him every five minutes and require him to make an affirmative response that he is “OK.”
The 23-year-old soldier is allowed only one book or magazine at a time, and may use his prescription glasses only when he is actually reading. The rest of the time he goes without them, and is “effectively blind,” he told visitors.
In some ways, the conditions in which Manning is held are worse than those in Guantanamo, or in a maximum security US prison, because solitary confinement is used largely as a disciplinary measure, or to protect those who may be at risk from other prisoners. There is no legal precedent for the indefinite solitary confinement of a prisoner who is awaiting trial, has not been convicted of any offense, and has no history of violence.
That's from Patrick Murphy's "Stop US torture of Bradley Manning!" (WSWS). I'm still thinking about C.I.'s powerful words in yesterday's snapshot. And about how Bradley, who has not been proven to be guilty of anything, is being held month after month as though he's been convicted of some dangerous and violent crime. It needs to stop. The military needs to let Bradley go or start the trial. This has gone on more than long enough.Monday on Talk of the Nation (NPR), the guests were Bill Gates, David Oshinsky, Romesh Ratnesar, Hannah Allam, Daniel Kurtzer, Tamir Moustafa and Sharifa Rhodes-Pitt (the last guest was my favorite). That's seven guests and only two were women. How does NPR get away with this?
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"