Unprecedented Campaign Ends Torturous
Pre-Trial Treatment Of Bradley manning
By Kevin Zeese
05 May, 2011
Hundreds of thousands of individuals globally celebrate today the
confirmation that their efforts to end the torturous pre-trial confinement
conditions inflicted upon US Army PFC Bradley Manning have been successful.
Manning's lead defense attorney, David E. Coombs of Rhode Island, has
personally verified that Manning is indeed being held in Medium Custody
confinement at the Joint Regional Corrections Facility (JRCF) at Fort
Leavenworth, Kansas, as claimed by the Army last week.
"We won this battle because 600,000 individuals took the time to write
letters and sign petitions, because thousands called the White House
switchboard, because 300 of America's top legal scholars decried Bradley's
pre-trial conditions as a clear violation of our Constitution's 5th and 8th
Amendments," declared Jeff Paterson of Courage to Resist and the Bradley
Manning Support Network. "We won this battle because over a hundred
concerned citizens engaged in civil disobedience at the White House and at
Quantico, and because our grassroots campaign shows no sign of slowing."
These new conditions reflect a dramatic improvement for Manning following
his transfer to Fort Leavenworth on April 20, 2011, after having suffered
extreme solitary-like confinement at US Marine Corps Base Quantico,
Virginia. During the nine months at Quantico, Manning was denied meaningful
exercise, social interaction, sunlight, and was at times kept completely
naked. These conditions were unique to Manning and were illegal under US
military law as they clearly amounted to pre-trial punishment.
"I was able to tour the [Fort Leavenworth] facility and meet with PFC
Manning last week. PFC Manning is now being held in Medium Custody. He is
no longer under.harsh pretrial confinement conditions. Unlike at Quantico,
PFC Manning's cell has a large window that provides adequate natural
light....PFC Manning is able to have all of his personal items in his cell,
which include his clothing, his legal materials, books and letters from
family and friends....Each pre-trial area (including PFC Manning's) has four
cells, and each pre-trial detainee is assigned to his own cell. The cells
are connected to a shared common area, with a table, a treadmill, a
television and a shower area....PFC Manning and his group are taken to the
outdoor recreation area [for approximately two hours daily]," explained
Coombs on his blog at www.armycourtmartialdefense.info hours ago.
"President Obama's recent pronouncement that Bradley Manning 'broke the law'
amounts to Unlawful Command Influence, something clearly prohibited because
it's devastating to the military justice system. Manning will eventually be
judged by a jury of career military officers and noncommissioned officers.
Will they be able to set aside the declaration of their commander in chief?"
explains attorney Kevin Zeese, a member of the Bradley Manning Support
Network. "Along with the illegal pre-trial punishment already inflicted upon
Bradley, the government has more than enough legal basis to drop the
prosecution. Instead, the death penalty or life in prison hangs over
After nearly a year in confinement, the Army is expected to soon announce
Manning's first public hearing, an Article 32 pre-trail proceeding, which
will be held in the Washington DC area. Scores of international solidarity
events are already being planned.
US Army intelligence analyst Private First Class Bradley E. Manning,
23-years-old, was arrested in Iraq on May 26, 2010. He still awaits his
first public court hearing, now expected to begin in June 2011. Over 4,300
individuals have contributed over $333,000 towards PFC Manning's legal fees
and related public education efforts. The Bradley Manning Support Network is
dedicated to thwarting the military's attempts to hold a secret court
martial, and to eventually winning the freedom of PFC Manning.
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