Citizen J

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Bradley Manning’s Father: You’ve Crossed The Line

"This is someone who has not gone to trial or been convicted of anything.  That prompted me to comel out and go forward…here we have someone on our own soil and our control and they’re treating him this way.  You just can’t believe it.  It’s shocking enough that I would come out of our silence as a family and say, ‘You’ve crossed the line, this is wrong.’"

The release of this interview comes just two days after the forced resignation of US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley for comments he made on the treatment of Bradley Manning, which he called “ridiculous, counterproductive, and stupid (see previous post)

Now, both The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times have openly come out against the Pentagon’s treatment of Manning:

"The military has been treating him abusively, in a way that conjures creepy memories of how the Bush administration used to treat terror suspects."

                                                              - The New York Times’ editorial staff

In case you’re wondering why the Pentagon isn’t doing a better job at covering this up, it’s because despite the military’s sub-human treatment of Manning, his civilian attorney David Coombs, regularly meets with him and is informed of his conditions, which he duly reports to the press.  However, it’s quite possible that the government is sending a message to potential whistleblowers—those working within an insitution who leak secret information or classified documents exposing that institution for what it really is—that this is the kind of treatment they would receive if caught. 

If the Obama administration fails to end the harsh treatment and put Manning on trial soon, this could be an ugly stain by the upcoming election.  The reason he hasn’t been on trial is because there’s no hard evidence to support a convinction, besides an Internet chat he had with former hacker and now government snitch Adrian Lamo.  It seems as though Obama approves of torturing his own citizens, and it gives the Republicans a chance to jump at Obama for his policy of hypocrisy—once claiming he would outlaw all forms of torture, he is now a perpetrator of it, and right here in the United States.

Crowley’s Comment on Manning Treatment Gets Him the Boot

In a breaking news story, U.S. State Department spokesman PJ Crowley is resigning  just 48 hours after calling the treatment of Bradley Manning “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid.” By resigning, we mean he was forced out.

                  ”What the fuck, guys?”

Crowley made the comment in front of an audience during a seminar at MIT in Boston, Massachusettes, on Friday.  Obama was asked at a press conference on Sunday if he agreed with Crowley’s comments, though he failed to give a definitive answer:

"With respect to Private Manning, I have actually asked the Pentagon whether the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. They assure me that they are.  I can’t go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Private Manning’s safety as well."

He was asked again whether or not he agreed with Crowley’s comments but he avoided answering, instead segwaying into the tsunami situation in Japan.
                                                 

Bradley Manning is accused, but has not yet been convicted, of leaking tens of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks.  He was turned in by former hacker turned government-informant Adrian Lamo.  The following is an excerpt from a Jeremy Scahill article in The Nation which details an Internet conversation the two had not long before the release of the Afghan War Logs back in the summer of 2010:

In one chat, Manning and Lamo are discussing Manning’s passing of documents to WikiLeaks. Lamo asks Manning what his “endgame” is. Manning replies, “god knows what happens now,” and adds, “hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms if not… than [sic] we’re doomed as a species.”

In one of his last chats with Lamo, reportedly on May 25, Manning says, “what if i were someone more malicious i could’ve sold to russia or china, and made bank?”

"why didn’t you?" Lamo asks.

"because it’s public data," Manning responds. "information should be free it belongs in the public domain…if its out in the open… it should be a public good." He adds: "im crazy like that."

Within days, Manning was arrested.

——-

Manning’s treatment consists of 23 hours a day of solitary confinement and being stripped naked every night, apparently to prevent him from committing suicide. Manning was just a private and it seems he is being used as a scapgoat by the Pentagon to send a message to all U.S. military forces that if you so much as think about leaking classified military documents, you’re gonna get fucked up.

Following that comment on Friday Crowley also added “Nonetheless, Bradley Manning is in the right place.  There is sometimes a need for secrets…for diplomatic progress to be made.” While denouncing the Pentagon’s exceptionally malevolent treatment of Manning, Crowley appears to have also been in line with White House policy regarding Wikileaks and the leaking of classified documents.  Or maybe he just realized the consequences of what he said and tried to cover his ass.  In either case, it shows how serious the U.S. government is about maintaining secrecy, even if it means senselessly torturing this poor kid 24 hours a day—for god knows how long—in the name of national security.

Citizen J  recommends reading Glenn Greenwald’s blog for the best coverage of Bradley Manning’s treatment.