Wikileaks: Manning's dad protests conditions of son's incarceration, new legal filing complains conditions unjust

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The attorney for Pvt. Bradley Manning, the 23-year-old Army intelligence analyst who is accused of downloading thousands of classified State Department documents and making them available them to WikiLeaks, today posts this update on the condition of Manning's incarceration in maximum security at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, VA:

manning.jpg On March 1, 2011, the Quantico Base Commander, Colonel Daniel J. Choike, denied PFC Manning's request to be removed from Prevention of Injury Watch and to have his custody classification reduced from Maximum to Medium Detention-In. The defense filed the following rebuttal to Colonel Choike's response. Colonel Choike will now complete his action on the Article 138 complaint, and then forward the proceedings to the Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, for his final review. If Secretary Mabus denies PFC Manning's requested relief, the defense will file a Writ of Habeas Corpus to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals.

You can read the legal filing here.

Manning remains in solitary confinement and under a "prevention of injury" watch, and is now required to strip naked at night.

From a PBS Frontline blog post today, a tease of an exclusive interview with Manning's dad:

His attorney, David Coombs, told reporters the brig's action followed his client's complaint that the so-called "prevention of injury" restrictions on him were absurd. Manning said if he wanted to harm himself, he could do so with the elastic waistband of his underwear. In an exclusive Frontline interview this week with correspondent Martin Smith, Manning's father, Brian Manning, spoke for the first time about his son's incarceration.

For Boing Boing readers who can't play the video, Brian Manning says:

His clothing is being taken away from him, and he's being humiliated by having to stand at attention in front of people, male or female, who are fully clothed. This is someone who has not gone to trial or been convicted of anything. It's shocking enough that I would come out of our silence as a family and say, now then, you have crossed the line. This is wrong.

The Frontline update also includes a statement from the Department of Defense.

More of the PBS interview with Brian Manning on tonight's edition of NewsHour, and Bradley Manning will be profiled in a special edition of Frontline airing March 29. The network will publish a documentary on Wikileaks in May.


  1. “Manning said if he wanted to harm himself, he could do so with the elastic waistband of his underwear.”

    Cute, smart and funny in the face of tyranny. What a guy.

    1. I wonder, was the requirement that he strip naked at night directly in response to his remark about the waistband of his underwear? If so, that’s cold.

  2. Remember folks this is the Obama administration doing this. Meet the new boss same as the old boss. …. Will you be fooled again?

    1. Remember folks this is the Obama administration doing this. Meet the new boss same as the old boss. …. Will you be fooled again?

      Lesser evil is still evil. Wasn’t fooled in the first place.

      1. Lesser evil is still evil.

        This is very true, Cowicide.

        Unfortunately, if one had to choose between a political party that occasionally feels guilt over being craven, or one that actively seeks to drag the planet back to the 1400s and feels no shame about it, I’d say you should pick the occasionally guilty-feeling ones.

        1. Unfortunately, if one had to choose between a political party that occasionally feels guilt over being craven, or one that actively seeks to drag the planet back to the 1400s and feels no shame about it, I’d say you should pick the occasionally guilty-feeling ones.


      2. I love how people don’t think about the fact that the President may be tyrannized just as much as we are.

        1. I love how people don’t think about the fact that the President may be tyrannized just as much as we are.

          Actually, I do consider that. I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point high level psy-ops got to him after the election and I would never in million years put it past corporatists to threaten the life of his loved ones and/or other terroristic threats designed to coerce him into doing their biddings.

          But even if that is the case, he needs to stand up to tyranny like the rest of us. Do the right thing even at great risk. Or, he’s going to go down in history as yet another failure of a man that allowed the corporatists to continue their destruction of the American public at large.

          There’s already so much death and suffering… it needs to stop. Someone in power needs to revolt. Change we can believe in… it’s time.

  3. Whatever you think about the rights and wrongs of Manning’s (alleged) actions, this sounds like simple sadism. To borrow a line from Oscar Wilde, “If this is the way the Marine Corps treats its prisoners, it doesn’t deserve to have any.”

  4. Here is what I see:

    I see THIS SAME GOVERNMENT trying to FORCE Muslims to turn each other in based on nothing but “suspicion” and “possible beard size”, while making it impossible for people IN the government to do to each other. The first is incredibly ethnocentric, and the second is an example of the FREE DEMOCRACY OF THE GREAT UNITED STATES current stance on “checks and balances” (basically, we have OFFICIALLY [and you can NOT argue against this and win with anyone, I swear] turned the American Government into a less-obvious version of the ones our “forefathers” ran away from and died to keep out).

    This isn’t Obama’s fault, nor is it the United States governments
    (see? I’m forgiving).

    It’s ours for settling on only have the option to choose between shit and crap for so long. They just opened the secret files in Egypt. What do you think we would find if we went through the archives of the CIA, FBI, and all other government orgs?

    I’ve gotta stop these responses. Pissing in the wind is incredibly frustrating.

    1. …turned the American Government into a less-obvious version of the ones our “forefathers” ran away from and died to keep out…

      Our forefathers bravely forced/paid other people to fight to cut the British monarchy out of the colonial economy, so that they themselves could suck on that sweet taxation teat.

  5. Someone should post another picture in the next article.. every time I read about Manning I see him smiling, and it’s tricking my brain into thinking of him as a pretty happy guy. How about a picture of a stark cell or something, so my brain can get around that?

  6. @happytweak, you are so right on.

    We have to start the conversation and just agree that we are broken. Left/right, dem/repub is a waste of time.

    The system is oh so broken, and has been sold. We are now owned by, as Michael Moore puts it, 400 men.

    Time for a reset. Peaceful resistance needs to begin, we need true democracy now.


    1. Please, please, do not equate left/right philosophy with democrat/republican politics. They are not the same thing. Or even similar.

  7. Brian Manning’s emergence to defend his son, along with Christine Assange’s defense of Julian, is a welcomed addition to this unfolding Wikileaks Story. We can all relate to the rage and frustration of parents when they feel their children (even if they are now adults) are threatened. Along with the popular uprisings by real people (some say catalyzed by Wikileaks)this “Mama Bear” and “Papa Bear” activity brings a more human and familial element to what has to-date been a story of cyber leakage, sensational legal trials and cable gate policy discussions. Thanks from the team!

  8. Well Ive seen lots of suicide watches, some get pretty crazy, and thats in the barracks, but never having to get naked. If we were really worried than we just made the motherfucker sleep with the door open and we had a sitting guard…

    The problem is that say he does commit suicide(AND IT HAPPENS), now the officer on watch and NCOs are all screwed, particularly the officer. It isn’t hard to fathom that they treat him this way quite honestly.

    Saying “Im going to kill myself” or something similar is telling your chain on command “I dont care, do whatever you want to me.”

    I think the bottom line is that he has not been committed of a crime or even tried and yet he lives like this.. Pretty disgusting in my opinion. I would be beside myself if I was the father..

    1. A heckler feigns cool distance while attempting a facetious response to news they didn’t have to read, thereby losing 2.5 points for ‘Needless Waving of Arms’.

    2. So… anyway… (if you’re an American) how do you feel about being part of a country that not only keeps political prisoners but also tortures them?

      Sigh… this country is full of coward idiots who are too stupid to learn what tyranny looks like even when it’s… RIGHT IN YOUR FACES.

      America… Fuck…..

        1. sadly Godwining this thread

          It’s not Godwinning when it’s relevant. thanks for the link.

    3. Someone doesn’t like BoingBoing reporting on violations of rights, what a comment.

      (Someone doesn’t like an anti-BoingBoing comment…sorry, you can only use that once per debate).

  9. “I don’t know what they’re all whining about. I would’ve had him waterboarded.”
    -Dick Cheney

  10. Americans must be the most naked population. Never before have so many been stripped naked by so few. The Obama Admin promised to be the most transparent admin in history. Instead they strip us naked, grope us, tap our phones, read our e-mail and do so all in the name of protecting us. Manning is archetype of the modern American, stripped naked in the name of his own safety by a government afraid of what he knows and what he said. Manning is America, are all violated by the government we raised to protect us.

  11. A parent defends their kid who is accused of a crime, what a shocking news story.

    Some internet floater (yes, I’m comparing you to a buoyant turd) weighs in with his irrelevant opinion, what a shocking post!

    The story here is that your asshole government is torturing one of its citizens, not that his dad is (understandably) upset about it. Are you so stupid that you didn’t catch that?

    Let me say it again:
    Americans: let this be a lesson NOT to join your bad-haircut killers’ club. It’s for morons and robots (not the good kind).

  12. Innocent until proven guilty, those were the good old days…

    Today, the American military can determine your innocence or guilt (without trial), and you will subject to whatever punishments and denial of human rights that they choose. Welcome to modern America!

  13. What should be upsetting to most here is that the treatment Manning is receiving is common for black & latino inmates in jails and prisons across the country, many of whom are, like Manning, awaiting trial in custody because they cannot afford bail and being submitted to treatment not befitting any of our citizens. You don’t need to be guilty to be doing time in the United States, and guilt doesn’t need to be proven to place you before a jury in shackles and orange & blues — where you’ll look guilty enough. These kinds of tactics are commonplace. And for anyone who hasn’t been in solitary confinement, it doesn’t matter how clean the cell is, how regularly they feed you, how many books you’re allowed to read — it will turn your brain into pudding after a week. And how many months has Manning sat in that environment before charges were brought against him? They’re breaking him, innocent or not. And it’s not on Obama’s watch — it’s on all of our watch. It sickens me to see what a Fascist nation we’re becoming.

  14. The blog post from Manning’s attorney (“the specialist you need at your site”) is on (a Google service), the legal filing is at, where there is no permanent URI you can use to download the source file, and the only means of contact which the blog provides to tell the attorney in question that this might be a problem is via Google FriendConnect.

    Is it just me, or – particularly in this situation – does this just scream “single point of failure”.

  15. Let us try to think from the other perspective of the evil jail warden, when they are not busy waterboarding or electrocuting Manning obviously. Is out not a damned if you do and damned if you do not situation by placing him on suicide watch? What if Manning killed himself because these restrictions where not in place? So the evil baby killers would be villified regardless. There should be a little asterisk when you mention this criminal trial because it out falls into UCMJ not USC. He was a soldier that may have violated the very punitive term of having a state secert clearance.

    1. He should not even be held in custody prior to trial….and then the warden would not have his heavy burden of ensuring that the Prisoner does not kill himself prior to trial.

      Why not?
      The only harm he has caused has been to the reputations of those American politicians who feel that their elections qualify them to make life-and-death decisilons as to thelives and forthuens of people living in other countries: in secrecy from those who elected them; and using their tax dollars to further the interests of their business backers abroad.

      And those allies don’t stop at torture; and the US Government would rather the US Citizenry not know nor think about that: Americans are taught to hate all that is deemed to be “foreign”.

      iMHO some American politicians are have for thirty or more years been secretly working to ensure most Americans stay unhappy: because happy people would not volunteer to fight their cruel and useless wars of profit.

      America has never ever been wealthier as a whole than it is now: but the majority of Americans are presently ready for blood. Even, as in Manning’s case, the blood of those Americans yet presumed innocent who had the gall and courage to wish to tell them as to what is going on behind the scenes so carefiully arranged presented and lit for the “education” of Americans, by the US Government.

      Personally, i find it funny, eh?

      But i’ve often mistaken tragedy fo comedy.

      Mel Brooks says the difference is that when others suffer, he the result is funny….but when he himself suffers injury, it’s a tragedy.

      American foreign policy in a nutshell, eh?
      And does it describe the attitude of of Officials charged with carrying out Government policies, American Government policies as to those of its Citizens (or others) deemed “unworthy” by their Officials, without the benefit or trial, too?

      Mr Martinex, do you find what is ah happening to Mr Manning “funny”?
      Or simply “just”?

      I ask again: why is he being held in custody, at all?
      But then again, i am not an American.

  16. American Governemtn is “big” on torture, and have backed the demonstrators, only in Libya.

    American Government did not support the Egyptians protesters… and are working hard behind the scenes to stymy it, and slow it down, and control it.

    No US media coverage as to Saudis shooting protesters? Or Israeli “settlers” and soldiers killing Palestinians?

    Oh wait here’s today’s political news from the mid-east as reported by the US Media:

    Gaddhaffi bad!!!!


  17. ericmartinex1: The Brig psychiatrists have, on at least 16 occasions, recommended that Manning be taken off of POI restrictions. This means that medical professionals have said that Manning is NOT A SUICIDE RISK. You don’t need to worry about the poor evil Warden, his ass is already covered. Quit with the asinine arguments. There is no way to defend what is being done here. PFC Manning, a US citizen and soldier under CiC Obama’s command, who has not been charged with any crime, is being tortured. Even without any of the other things they’ve done to him, solitary confinement is a form of torture.

  18. Do the parents of killed Afghan supporters helping us fight the Taliban get the same sympathy?

    Do you even care to know their names?

    Do you care what the Taliban does to human beings?

    No – you don’t. Because Manning is a romantic figure to everybody in their teens and early twenties.

    1. Do the parents of killed Afghan supporters helping us fight the Taliban get the same sympathy? Do you even care to know their names?

      Name ONE Afghan supporter that was killed because of Manning’s alleged leaks?

      I care to know their names. So let’s hear the names, buddy.


  19. At least the people in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia etc have the courage and commitment to resist their oppressive and corrupt governments. I do not understand how Americans can sit back and eat their fried chickens and hamburgers and knowingly tolerate the behaviour of their Leaders. Afro America did not sit back and tolerate the beating of Rodney King, 3 cheers for them.

  20. re: physical harm from revealing secrets

    1) Naming soldiers isn’t the only way to harm them. It only takes 3 pieces of benign info to identify someone and the fact that you are in the US military is one.

    2) I hope we won’t be told If someone is hurt. Doing so would reveal even more and threaten even more.

    3) Keeping ones secrets or breaking others has been a part of war since the 16th century. Weak encryption got Mary queen of Scots killed.

    4) Even if a soldier or a supporter is never hurt, identifying what goes on behind the scenes will only embarrass our allies and make others even more reluctant to befriend us. It looks to me like Wikileaks has done much more damage than what is claimed the previous president administration did.

    5) The idea of complete transparency is as naive as the idea of complete national isolation that Jefferson had until Napolean opened his eyes (which should have already been opened by the French revolution, Monticello being captured by foreign troops, the whitehouse being burned by foreign troops, etc.).

    6) “innocent until held guilty” is in a civil court, and not a military one. How citizens are treated in civil court is another story that we must investigate.

    If Manning didn’t want to be held to these standards, then why did he/she swear to do so?

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