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RELEASE: Military steps up retaliation against accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower with arbitrary “suicide watch”, followed by detainment of approved visitor

2011-01-24 6 comments


Kevin Zeese
Bradley Manning Support Network


Military steps up retaliation against accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower with arbitrary “suicide watch”, followed by detainment of approved visitor

QUANTICO, VA, 23 January 2011 — Military officials at Marine Corps Base Quantico today increased the isolation of accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning by detaining Manning’s friend and regular visitor David House at the base entrance until visiting hours were over. House was accompanied by Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake.com, a website that has collected 42,000 signatures on a petition calling for improvements to the conditions of Manning’s detention, which constitute extreme and illegal pre-trial punishment.

“The Bradley Manning Support Network is dismayed that Brad was denied contact with his only regular visitor besides his attorney,” founder Mike Gogulski stated. “Immediately following a rally by more than 150 supporters at Quantico last week, Brad was put on suicide watch for two days for reasons his counsel could only conclude were punitive. He was stripped of all of his clothing except his boxer shorts and his glasses were taken away. It seems to me that the Marine command is now reacting in the worst possible way to rising pressure on them.”

David House has been making regular trips from his home in the Boston area to visit Manning at the Marine Corps brig since he was transferred there from Kuwait last summer. While detained at the base gate, House posted to Twitter that “one of the many MPs around the car says his orders to stop us come from on high.” House and Hamsher were held on entry to the base for nearly the entire period of visiting hours, repeatedly demanded to provide information and documents the MPs already had, and threatened with arrest. Hamsher’s car was towed away under the pretext that she lacked proof of insurance, despite having presented a digital copy.

At Firedoglake.com, founder Jane Hamsher wrote: “There is no doubt in my mind that the primary objective of everything that happened today was to keep Bradley Manning from having the company of his only remaining visitor.”

“This is a bizarre action by the Marines. I think they see the growing support for Bradley Manning, they see more and more people realizing that he is being treated unfairly, and that as the facts of the case come out more and more people see that he is a patriot and not a traitor,” said Kevin Zeese, Director of Voters for Peace and member of the Bradley Manning Support Network’s steering committee.

In a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week, Amnesty International stated that “the restrictions imposed in PFC Manning’s case appear to be unnecessarily harsh and punitive.” The letter also suggests that Manning’s confinement is in contravention of international law, and calls upon the military to conduct a review.

House intends to return to Quantico next weekend to once again attempt to visit Manning and to deliver the petition.

In addition to petitions and public protests across the nation, the Bradley Manning Support Network has asked supporters to speak out against Manning’s inhumane treatment by contacting officials at Quantico. The Support Network encourages concerned individuals to phone Quantico public affairs at +1-703-432-0289, to write to base commander Colonel Choike at 3250 Catlin Avenue, Quantico, VA 22134, and to write to brig commander CWO4 Averhart at 3247 Elrod Avenue, Quantico, VA 22134. We are asking that Bradley Manning’s human rights be respected while he remains in custody; specifically, that he be allowed social interaction with other inmates, that he be allowed meaningful physical exercise, that approved visitors be allowed to see him without interrogation and harassment, and that the “Prevention of Injury” order (the military’s basis for the extreme pre-trial punishment regime) be lifted.

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Firedoglake.com, “Sign Our Letter: Stop the Inhumane Treatment of Bradley Manning”, http://action.firedoglake.com/page/s/bradleymanning?source=fdl

Mike Gogulski, Bradley Manning Support Network, “Manning removed from two-day suicide watch; attorney files complaint, calls action punitive”, http://bradleymanning.org/16023/manning-removed-from-two-day-suicide-watch-attorney-files-complaint-calls-action-punitive/

David House, Twitter: http://twitter.com/davidmhouse

Jane Hamsher, Twitter: http://twitter.com/janehamsher

Jane Hamsher, “Goal of Quantico Incident Was To Abuse Bradley Manning and Intimidating David House”, http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2011/01/23/goal-of-quantico-incident-was-to-abuse-bradley-manning-and-intimidating-david-house/

Nadim Kobeissi, interviewing Kevin Zeese, CHOMP.FM, “EMERGENCY BROADCAST: Denying Bradley Manning Basic Civility”, http://chomp.fm/003/

Amnesty International, “USA: Open letter to Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense”, http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR51/006/2011/en



  • Uncle B

    You are either part of the paving machine, or you are part of the road, Brad. Sorry.

    2011-01-24 08:56
  • tricia

    it almost seems as though the military is attempting to present themselves as superior to the constitution, the barbaric conditions of Bradley Manning are extreme and unjust. these are very sad days in America when the American people have no greater fear than the fear of our own military. The article makes a good point about the military feeling a sense of growing support for Bradley which is probably why its getting worse, as an attempt to instill fear upon supporters

    2011-01-24 09:29
  • Spuds McKenzie

    “the military is attempting to present themselves as superior to the constitution”?

    President Obama — Commander In Chief. The bucks stops in the Oval Office right here and now in 2011. He is responsible for any crimes you think are being perpetrated against bradass87.

    2011-01-26 15:18
  • ron norris

    This may sound radical, but i say we need to draft some sort of rules to outline some basic rights of humankind. We’ll call it the bill of rights,, has a ring to it. Freedom of speech might be a good right ,right to a speedy trial,maybe innocent until proven guilty, or no pre trial torture. Also to be nice pre trial torture really should’t be supervised by the ones whose stand to be charged with crime . (military officers) by the tortured one’s (Manning’s) testimony.A free press would be a big help in guaranteeing the rights,tho under the present state of our government this might be going too far. Many innocent defense contractors could be trampled by disillusioned stockholders if a free press irresponsibly yelled fire in a crowded war. There really is a fire , now how do we get this darn thing out,, hope its charged.

    2011-02-08 10:07
  • Sandra

    As someone once said again and shown the truth and because some are afraid now and everything should be covered up again, he must now be removed for it, so anything can still be swept under the table, as it is everywhere! I think it’s great what Bradley did, and I’m on his side and hope for him, some come to their senses soon and he can live in freedom!
    By the way … my husband is in the army and was 2 years ago for use in Afghanistan! We have 2 children, one of which is as old as the girl in the video. If my husband would have done something like that, like the men in the helicopter, then had to pack his things may, for such a man I had not left everything in the vicinity of my children! The men in the helicopter, because the more witty and thought, and the control devices are but the real criminals!

    P.S. This text I have translated by Google … sorry for it if errors are!

    2011-02-14 04:27
  • paul

    Why is he the wiki leaks whistleblower? He was really releasing these to the American public and using not only wikileaks but NYTimes etc to do so. Why not be honest and call him the Wikileaks/Nytimes/everyone who shared these docs with another person whistleblower?

    Or is this web site in the biz of protecting major media?

    2011-02-16 19:12

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