Wikileaks: Bradley Manning speaks about his conditions

At Firedoglake, David House writes a lengthy and detailed report from visits with Pfc. Bradley Manning, who has been in military detention for months for being the presumed source of Wikileaks' most damning US government leaks. He has not yet been convicted of a crime. Manning's lawyer and others have written about his detention conditions as "extreme" and amounting to cruel and inhumane treatment. The sleep deprivation, movement deprivation, solitary confinement, and other elements of his current condition amount to torture, by widely accepted definitions.

Before this, no one has heard from Manning himself about those conditions. Snip:

I am one of the few people allowed to visit Bradley Manning while he is detained in the Quantico brig. Manning is held in "maximum custody," the military's most severe detention policy. Manning is also confined under a longstanding Prevention of Injury (POI) order which limits his social contact, news consumption, ability to exercise, and that places restrictions on his ability to sleep.

Manning has been living under the solitary restrictions of POI for five months despite being cleared by a military psychologist earlier this year, and despite repeated calls from his attorney David Coombs to lift the severely restrictive and isolating order. POI orders are short-term restrictions that are typically implemented when a detainee changes confinement facilities and these orders are lifted after the detainee passes psychological evaluation.

Our conversations, which take place in the presence of marines and electronic monitoring equipment, typically revolve around topics in physics, computer science, and philosophy; he recently mentioned that he hopes to one day make use of the GI Bill towards earning a graduate degree in Physics and a bachelors in Political Science. He rarely if ever talks about his conditions in the brig, and it is not unusual for him to shy away from questions about his well-being by changing the subject entirely.

When I arrived at the brig on December 18th I found him to be much more open to lines of inquiry regarding his circumstances, and in a two and a half hour conversation I learned new details about his life in confinement.

Bradley Manning Speaks About His Conditions (firedoglake)

The article includes a petition to the brig commander, asking him to remove Manning's uneccessary POI status.

A note about the author of the piece: David House is a 23-year-old researcher at MIT who helped set up the Bradley Manning Support Network, a group raising funds for Manning's legal defense. Glenn Greenwald has an account here of House being harassed at the border, like others associated in one way or another with Wikileaks.