Glen Greenwald writes about the conditions under which 22-year-old Pfc. Bradley Manning, presumed to be the source of classified documents published by WikiLeaks, is being held at the Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia. He's been held there for 5 months, but has not yet been convicted of any crime. Greenwald interviewed "several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning's detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard)." He writes that Manning is being held "under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture," conditions "likely to create long-term psychological injuries."
Since his arrest in May, Manning has been a model detainee, without any episodes of violence or disciplinary problems. He nonetheless was declared from the start to be a "Maximum Custody Detainee," the highest and most repressive level of military detention, which then became the basis for the series of inhumane measures imposed on him.
From the beginning of his detention, Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement. For 23 out of 24 hours every day — for seven straight months and counting — he sits completely alone in his cell. Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he's barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions. For reasons that appear completely punitive, he's being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch). For the one hour per day when he is freed from this isolation, he is barred from accessing any news or current events programs. Lt. Villiard protested that the conditions are not "like jail movies where someone gets thrown into the hole," but confirmed that he is in solitary confinement, isolated entirely alone in his cell except for the one hour per day he is taken out.