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Bradley Manning stripped, left naked

2011-03-03 26 comments

Private First Class Bradley Manning, in detention at United States Marine Corps Base Quantico Brig in Virginia, was forced to strip naked on the evening of March 2nd, 2011, left naked in his cell all night and forced to stand at attention for the facility’s five a.m. wake-up call, according to his legal representative, US Army Court Martial specialist, David E. Coombs.

Coombs posted a report earlier today on his website announcing the humiliating and degrading treatment his client was forced to endure. Coombs added that Manning has been warned that he will endure the same treatment again this evening, and posted this commentary:

This type of degrading treatment is inexcusable and without justification.  It is an embarrassment to our military justice system and should not be tolerated.

Coombs also posted a response today to statements made by Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell. Morrell implied he had personally visited Manning’s cell at the Quantico brig to confirm his treatment there, that Manning was not held “away from others” and “is allowed to have conversations with others in the corridor” outside his cell, and that his treatment is “for his own good.”

The US Army Criminal Investigation Division Command (CID) announced 22 additional charges against Manning yesterday, including a violation of Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). This specific charge alleges that Manning violated Article 104 by knowingly giving “intelligence to the enemy, through indirect means.” Such a violation is a capital offense, punishable by death.

According to the original US Army News Service press release from Fort McNair, D.C., the US prosecution team will not recommend the death penalty to the convening authority in Manning’s court martial, Maj. Gen. Karl R. Horst, commanding general, U.S. Army Military District of Washington.

Jon Shelburne, professor of law at Rhode Island’s Roger Williams University, views the new charges as an attempt to put additional pressure on Manning to agree to some sort of plea deal. The military has again stated that Manning’s court martial is delayed until the completion of an inquiry into Manning’s mental health. Shelburne’s views were published by Los Angeles Times bureau reporter David S. Cloud.

Manning’s Treatment a Result of Army CIDC Charges

Despite protestations to the contrary, it is obvious that Bradley Manning is being subjected to torturous confinement conditions. There is no record of Manning being a difficult prisoner. Coombs said today:

Given his “exemplary” behavior and the fact he is not considered at risk for self-harm, the confinement conditions appear to be based solely on the nature of the charges.

The Bradley Manning Support Network urges you to take action now to help save Bradley Manning’s life.

Hon. Mr. John M. McHugh
Secretary of the Army
101 Army Pentagon, Rm. 3E560
Washington DC 20310-0101

General George W. Casey, Jr.
Chief of Staff of the Army
101 Army Pentagon, Rm. 3E672
Washington DC 20310-0200



  • violetwhite

    I would submit that all this gives a powerful indicator to those people who are wavering as to which of the parties might invite our trust in this situation.

    The authorities have demonstrated over and over again in this case just how compromised their integrity is.

    This has OUR name on it; we have to show them that there are too many of us for them to ignore: now is the time to BUILD SUPPORT like never before; this is OUR STORY, not just Brad’s and Julian’s; get the word out wherever you go; study to understand the issues; stand on the streets handing out leaflets; do mass emails; tell all your groups: work, clubs, churches etc and KEEP ON AT THEM – this is LIFE and DEATH; our civilisation’s life and death as well as the key protaganists’

    Someone started this on Change -

    DONT LET THEM GET AWAY WITH THIS – your voice counts whether you speak or stay silent

    2011-03-03 21:51
  • Mark Dixon

    It was my understanding that when a soldier is in the stockade or brig he is supposed to be in uniform. If he’s nude he’s out of uniform. Surely, that’s not the uniform of the day for prisoners in that brig. So they’re violating their own rules.

    2011-03-03 21:58
  • CirceThemis

    There’s no question of heroism in all this. It’s a matter of common decency. That’s an idea which may make some people smile, but the only means of fighting a plague is – common decency- Camus The Plague
    You can write to the UN which apparently launched an investigation in December 2010. I found this precedent letter on the Internet. It’s well written.

    Special Rapporteur on Torture
    c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
    United Nations Office at Geneva
    CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
    E-mail: [email protected]
    a. Full name of the victim:

    Bradley E. Manning (born 17 December 1987), Private First Class (PFC), United States Army

    b. Date on which the incident(s) of torture occurred (at least as to the month and year):

    Ongoing from May, 2010.

    The following is a summary of the conditions under which PFC Manning is being held, which in the opinion of experts and even International Law, constitute torture:

    “Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime. Despite that, he has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months — and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait — under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture. Interviews with several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning’s detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard) who confirmed much of what they conveyed, establishes that the accused leaker is subjected to detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries”

    source: [http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/14/manning/]

    Journalist Glenn Greenwald has investigated and published an extensive report on this issue. Please refer to this article in full for more details:


    c. Place where the person was seized (city, province, etc.) And location at which the torture was carried out (if known):

    * Camp Arifjan, a military jail in Kuwait

    * U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia

    “Manning was arrested by agents of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command in May 2010 and held in pre-trial confinement in a military jail at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait.”

    source: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_Manning#Arrest_and_criminal_charges]

    d. Indication of the forces carrying out the torture:

    The President of the United States, The Congress of The United States, The United States State Department, The United States Justice Department, The United States Department of Defense, The United States Army, The United States Navy, The United States Marine Corps. All of the above are responsible for this illegal activity.

    Furthermore, the torture of PFC Manning is not an isolated incident, rather, it is part of a policy shift that has been documented in The United States over the course of at least two Administrations, those of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

    For example, The United States has been found by the United Nations Committee against Torture to be responsible for:

    * the US opinion that the Geneva Convention does not apply to, and would undermine, its War on Terror

    * the US attempt to sidestep provisions of the Convention by applying it only to US territory, rather than areas under US control

    * the fact that detainees are not always registered, depriving them of safeguards against acts of torture

    * allegations of secret detention facilities which are not accessible to the International Red Cross

    * the US refusal to comment over the existence of such facilities, and the allegations of torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment which have emanated from them

    * the US involvement in enforced disappearances and its refusal to accept that this is a form of torture

    * the rendition of subjects, without judicial procedure, to states where they face a real risk of torture

    * the use of secret ‘diplomatic assurances’ to justify deporting detainees to country’s with poor human rights records

    * the indefinite detention of prisoners without charge at Guantanamo Bay without legal safeguards or judicial assessment of justification

    * the inadequate training provided to police and military personnel on the UN’s prohibition of torture

    * the 2002 authorization of the use of interrogation techniques, such as water-boarding, shackling, sexual humiliation, and dogs, which have resulted in the deaths of some detainees

    * the apparent impunity of police and military personnel accused of torture and not prosecuted

    * the lenient sentences given to many people convicted of torture

    * the proposal to withdraw the right of habeas corpus to Guantanamo detainees

    * the difficulties that victims of abuse have faced in obtaining redress and compensation

    * the apparent failure to ban evidence obtained under torture from being used at military commissions, and the limitations placed on the right of detainees to complain

    * substantiated information which indicates that US sanctioned executions can be accompanied by severe pain and suffering

    * numerous, reliable reports of sexual assault of detainees and sexual violence perpetrated by detainees on each other, to which ‘persons of differing sexual orientation’ are particularly vulnerable

    * the humiliation of female prisoners and the shackling of female detainees during childbirth

    * the large number of children sentenced to life imprisonment

    * the extensive use of electro-shock devices which have caused several deaths

    * the harsh regime imposed in ‘supermaximum’ security prisons, and prolonged isolation periods which may be used as a form of punishment

    * reports of brutality and excessive force used by law enforcement officers and the numerous allegations of the ill-treatment of racial minorities, migrants and homosexuals which have not been properly investigated.

    source: [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article721761.ece]

    e. Description of the form of torture used and any injury suffered as a result;

    * PFC Manning has been placed in a form of solitary confinement that is cruel and unusual. This is a term utilized within US Constitutional Law, and US citizens are supposed to enjoy protection against this form of treatment.

    The US Supreme Court has had occasion to adjudicate on this issue. As long ago as 1890, the US Supreme Court wrote:

    “A considerable number of prisoners fell, after even a short confinement, into a semifatuous condition, from which it was next to impossible to arouse them, and others became violently insane; others still, committed suicide; while those who stood the ordeal better were not generally reformed, and in most cases did not recover sufficient mental activity to be of any subsequent service to the community. (In re Medley, 1890)”

    Please see:

    The Psychological Effects of Solitary Confinement on Prisoners in Supermax Units

    Reviewing What We Know and Recommending What Should Change

    by Bruce A. Arrigo, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, [email protected]

    and Jennifer Leslie Bullock, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

    source: [http://ijo.sagepub.com/content/52/6/622.refs]

    * Manning’s solitary confinement is punitive:

    “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.”

    source: [http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/14/manning/]

    * Manning’s solitary confinement is known to cause permanent psychological and physical damage and is designed to inflict pain:

    This is an excerpt from an interview with psychologist Dr. Atul Gawande on the effects of solitary confinement that can be considered as torture for their psychological and physically damaging effects:

    “JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, Glenn, in January we interviewed Atul Gawande, a practicing surgeon in Boston and a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine. We asked him to talk about the effects of solitary confinement on prisoners.

    DR. ATUL GAWANDE: The science of what happens to people deprived of social contact, is they have to fight for their sanity. And many lose their sanity. That reality, that we are social beings in our physiology, led me to ask the question, is solitary confinement, the way we’re practicing it now, torture? And you can’t read the cases—and I describe the cases of both hostages and people who are in prisons—and conclude that, number one, those experiences are different. They’re the same. Number two, you can’t conclude that it’s not torture.

    What we have observed—and we’ve learned this from both hostages and from prisoners—is that you, first of all, you begin to lose the speed of thinking. You slow down to the point of needing sleep for hours a day and yet being tired. And then it advances to a point where you can dissociate, you begin losing touch with reality. One prisoner I spoke to, for example, after three months, you’re allowed to get a television, which he looked forward to as a chance for maybe a kind of social connection in the world. But by that point, he found the television was talking to him, asking him to kill people, and he had to stow it underneath his bunk just to be able to survive and live through this.”

    source: [http://www.democracynow.org/2010/12/16/alleged_wikileaks_whistleblower_bradley_manning_imprisoned]

    [see also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tu4xGI4CKLQ

    * Manning's solitary confinement is designed to coerce "cooperation" with the Authorities:

    Understanding the linkage between the US Government's intense interest in finding legal means to prosecute Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and the case of PFC Manning, it is possible to conclude that the torture of PFC Manning is being conducted in an effort to coerce him to testify against Assange.

    This is from an article in the New York Times of 15 December 2010 by Charlie Savage:

    U.S. Tries to Build Case for Conspiracy by WikiLeaks

    "...Still, prosecutors would most likely need more than a chat transcript laying out such claims to implicate Mr. Assange, Professor Richman said. Even if prosecutors could prove that it was Private Manning writing the messages to Mr. Lamo, a court might deem the whole discussion as inadmissible hearsay evidence.

    Prosecutors could overcome that hurdle if they obtain other evidence about any early contacts — especially if they could persuade Private Manning to testify against Mr. Assange. But two members of a support network set up to raise money for his legal defense, Jeff Paterson and David House, said Private Manning had declined to cooperate with investigators since his arrest in May. "

    source: [http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/16/world/16wiki.html?_r=1&hp]

    I have just brushed the surface of available material and easily found several references to the use of solitary confinement being a potential violation of International Law. Here are a few examples:

    “the Convention Against Torture, defines torture as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted” for certain specified purposes, including punishment.”

    and from the same source:

    “The European Court of Human Rights has rejected several challenges to solitary confinement under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits torture and inhuman or degrading treatment. However, while denying particular claims, it has stated that solitary confinement is sometimes prohibited depending on the circumstances. Relevant circumstances include the length of the solitary confinement (indefinite length is prohibited), the extremeness of the isolation (“complete sensory isolation, coupled with total social isolation” is categorically prohibited), the reasons for prisoner’s isolation, and whether the prisoner receives appropriate psychological monitoring and treatment. Likewise, the U.N. Human Rights Committee has stated that “prolonged solitary confinement” may violate Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which forbids torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment.”

    source: [http://www.concurringopinions.com/archives/2009/04/solitary_confin_1.html]

    I am an individual. My Name is…………………… My address is………………………

    I will leave the rest of this form unfilled, as I am not in a position to do more than to refer you to more press reports.

    I urge you to please take this matter up and pursue all available avenues to stop the continuing violations of International Law that are ongoing against PFC Manning.

    At this point, I feel that the mechanisms of an international body such as yours are my only recourse.

    Thank you for your consideration of this serious matter.

    2011-03-03 22:26
  • Cole

    Bradley Manning took a great risk to provide us with incontrovertible evidence that the American government has and continues to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity. He is now being humiliated and tortured by police state thugs whose wages and benefits are paid for by the taxpaying citizens of this country. We are responsible.

    Unless we want to join the Good Germans who stood by during the rise of the Nazi terror apparatus in the 1930s, we will organize in such numbers that the government will be forced to treat Manning with the dignity and respect all human beings deserve. And we will celebrate the day that he is honored for serving his country with such bravery and distinction.

    Cheney and Bush — they are the criminals, as the entire world knows. Even Obama, the fraud.

    2011-03-04 00:38
  • Emlix

    The Americans really are a bunch of utter lunatics. They are far, far worse, in every respect, from human rights to propagandizing, than the “terrorists” and bogey men they claim to be protecting us from. I would rather have Bin Laden to dinner than any of these mendacious, scaremongering, concentration camp running, moronic sadists. I’m not frightened of “The Terrorists”, because they don’t really exist. But Americans exist and I am frightened of them.

    2011-03-04 00:43
  • Sally Kline

    Dear Sir,

    My duty as an American citizen, who cares deeply about our country and people, is to speak up for the sake of our country and its principles, which are for truth and justness and human decency.

    My conscience is speaking on behalf of Private 1st Class Bradley E. Manning, a soldier being held in inhumane conditions in the United States Marine Corps Quantico Brig in Virgina. The reports of the conditions of his confinement are un-American. They resemble the conditions found in repressed countries using inhumane treatment, those same conditions that United States leaders are quick to call horrible and deplorable.

    Our country needs the truth for its own betterment. Intelligence agencies which also consist of Wall Street lawyers and corporate heads, and whose influences steer towards manipulating the playing field to where their own best interests come first, have already wreaked havoc upon the state of our country.

    We suffer the loss of our soldiers’ lives and health in wars where their enemies are the same fighters that our intelligence agency encouraged and funded years ago, being formed overseas to fight another country in an earlier era.

    Just as Church and State do not mix well, neither does the Military and Wall Street Corporatism. And no matter how hard a higher echelon of ties, tries to hide those enmeshments, it still shows. We don’t have to look far to see the effects it has had.

    Our country’s lifetime has gotten to the point where its health now needs the truth for its future well-being. Nothing else will be able to continue to replace that. See the facts for yourself. There are those of high level status who remain in denial, believing that they can ultimately manipulate situations into some sort of silver lining, while failing to realize that their own denial does our country no good.

    Our country needs its people’s conscientiousness. It needs its people exposing the truth. Our country does not deserve to become known as the quick cover-up capital of the world. Nor does it deserve to be influenced into being another inhumane treatment facilitator either. For those ways and means to become a policy of our country’s officials, just shows the weakness of conscience, which falls by following the methods of repressed lesser countries, rather than leading the way through the strength of truth and fairness.

    No human deserves inhumane treatment. And no one in our country who exposes the truth deserves inhumane treatment. And our military does not deserve inhumane treatment amongst one another.

    Truth is not our country’s enemy. Falsehoods may consider the truth to be an enemy, but our country and its principles don’t. Our country’s principles need the truth. For without the truth, our country’s principles will cease to be.

    All around the world there are humans being persecuted for exposing the truth. When there is a human in the Quantico Brig in Virginia being persecuted for exposing the truth, it just shows how well lies have taken hold. And our country and military and citizens don’t deserve that.

    You Sir, are in a position to intervene and stop the unfair and inhumane treatment of Pvt. Manning, and righten that unconstitutional dire situation. You Sir, are in a position to show our country, and the rest of world, that the United States Military is not like the military of repressed lesser countries.

    You Sir, are in a position to let our country and the world see, that you are on the side of truth and decency.

    Please intervene to stop the unfair and inhumane treatment of Private 1st Class Bradley E. Manning.


    Sally Kline

    (This letter will be sent to officials today.)

    2011-03-04 05:15
  • Aki

    I’ve just written (but not yet sent) a letter to Obama, please someone take a look if it’s good american english.

    I’d also appreciate a list of further e-mail-addies as well as postal adresses that the letter would make sense to be sent to.




    Achim Keiper
    PF 1708
    D-77907 Germany

    Dear Mr. Obama,

    Me and many other people over here in Germany are deeply concerned about the circumstances in which accused “whistleblower” Bradley Manning ist being held in custody.

    Depriving a person of sleep, depriving a person of communication, depriving
    a person of outdoors, making a person sleep without clothes below a
    carpet-like tissue – we are seeing all this as a measure detrimental to the
    call for human rights and proper treatment of humans, that you and your
    government currently are sending to countries far away from the US.

    The case of Bradley Manning is getting *very* much attention here in
    Germany. He has been, and continues to be, on the front pages of daily
    newspapers as well as the biggest weekly magazines. For a mass of people he
    is becoming a touch-stone for how serious US-politicians are in putting into practice their intends for a non-violent treatment of prisoners of any kind.

    Let me assure you that the positive view that many germans have about the US suffers a lot through the continuous flow of news about Brad Manning’s
    treatment. I live on the french boarder, and I know that the same ist true
    for a lot of people in our neighbouring-country, France.

    Especially after the end of Guantanamo there was hope for a big change in
    respect of a more respectful dealing with inmates of any kind.

    Please put an end to Brad Manning’s current, physically and psychologically damaging treatment, so that the current picture of the US as a country which is speaking with two tongues, may be corrected.


    Achim Keiper

    2011-03-04 05:53
  • Roman Visinski

    Good Luck for You and your Freinds.
    Human rights.we will work for it

    tank you

    Roman Visinski


    2011-03-04 06:02
  • Dr. S M Babulanam

    Letter to Amnesty International, Sweden

    Bradley Manning is being tortured inhumanely in his cell. He is a prisoner of conscience who like Xiaobo, deserves Nobel Prize for Peace.
    What is Amnesty International doing in this case? In that respect what is the difference between USA and KSA?
    Dr. S M Babulanam

    2011-03-04 08:46
  • violetwhite

    Aki -

    I think your letter is good English; and makes a really good point.

    ’tissue’ maybe should be ‘material’

    but the BIG thing you will (very very sadly) need to change is ‘after the end of Guatanamo’- because GUATANAMO HAS STILL NOT BEEN CLOSED – in fact a law has recently been passed (and signed by Barack Obama) which effectively prevents measures to shut it down; there are 173 inmates still trapped there -

    REPRIEVE (http://www.reprieve.org.uk/)wrote on 11th Jan this year:

    ‘Today is the 9th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo Bay and marks two years since President Obama promised to close the prison and seek justice for its inmates. Yet instead of closing the prison, last Friday President Obama signed a bill blocking its closure and condemning its prisoners to indefinite detention without trial.

    The 173 prisoners still trapped inside now have little hope of either trial or release after the US Congress inserted provisions into the bill that are explicitly designed to prevent even cleared prisoners from leaving.’

    It is a great letter, though; send it! xxxxxxxxxxx

    2011-03-04 10:55
  • Aki

    Thanks for your correction on Guantanamo, I must have been into wishful-thinking in this.

    Having read more about Guantanamo now and about how powerful right-whing lobbies in the US are able to act, I again can’t but ponder about wether the main problem for progressive forces is the two-party-system, that in my eyes is undemocratic (i.e. the choice between crap and crap). If you would have more parties in competition, moderate forces would be more powerful, I think;

    2011-03-04 11:56
  • Philip Heying

    I have started a facebook group called “Give Bradley Manning the Nobel Peace Prize”. Please consider joining.

    In some ways the title of the group is tongue in cheek, since there are so many people powerfully advocating for peace and taking courageous principled stands at great personal risk similar to the action Bradley Manning took.

    Ultimately though, if Manning were to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, it would send such a powerful signal to the mindset that is carrying out these absurd wars and criminally killing and persecuting innocent people, the intention of the group is completely earnest.


    2011-03-04 12:47
  • Ed-M

    They stripped him naked again last night.


    No doubt this will lead to him being kept constantly naked and given OTHER Abu Ghraib “treatments.”

    Fascist pigs!

    2011-03-04 18:01

    When an individual is taken into custody, he becomes a ward of the state and has an inalienable human right to expect the state to CARE for him since he has had his power to care for himself removed by that state. The state, for its part, has the obligation to, without delay, charge him and try him, fairly and openly, for all to see.

    Bradley Manning is being abused severely by the state; this must end immediately. All fair-minded persons call upon the Government of the USA to end this abuse forthwith.

    Try Mr. Bradley or release him. Until you do, stop torturing him.

    For pity’s sake, what has become of america when mail such as this is called for? Do the right thing.

    2011-03-04 18:58
  • Dr. S M Babulanam

    Whither USA!

    As a scientist I adore USA for the achievements in science, specially in Astronomy. But I recall the years 1930s when Germany was a paradigm in Science. Einstein also had that illusion at that time and he left his family for Germany.

    All the symptoms of USA today is ill omen. Now it needs only a National Socialist Party and a leader like Hitler. Tea-party may grow but Sarah Palin is unfit to become Hitler. She can become God Mother of a US Hitler to come. He will utter the updated password “biscuit” to set the updated “little boy” and “fatman” in action to take of us to Heaven all together.

    Whither USA!

    Dr. S M Babulanam
    [email protected]

    2011-03-05 05:28
  • violetwhite



    it costs you

    every day intensifies
    their wrath poured out on you

    they strip you
    in a 12 x 6

    like kids
    they fix their broken pride
    by breaking you

    care so much they concentrate their fate in you

    hating you
    as though their souls depend on it
    they send you endless missives of their bile

    revile and batter you
    as though their blows could make you
    take it back again

    retract and swallow down again
    your penny whistle witness to the hell in them

    as if persistence could dispel in them
    the demons you’ve disturbed in them
    the darkness that was feasting on the heart of them

    that ate the light in them

    that you have torched into a blaze upon a hill
    against the blackest of our deaths
    and into which
    you stepped yourself

    and still they think that killing you
    is all they really have to do
    to vacuum up the secrets



    from the shelf


    2011-03-05 07:29
  • Susan King

    I am so outraged at the continuing abusive nature of those under the banner of the US Government. This torture cannot continue, if Bradley Manning dies of hypothermia or his mental states deteriorates you the US Government and those who sanctioned it will go down in history worldwide as torturers . You will eventually be held accountable. This image will stick with you throughout your life and beyond.

    2011-03-05 08:42
  • Ricardo Camilo Lopez

    the naked truth … (WikiLeaks suspect -Bradley Manning- made to sleep naked (by the US government/military))
    As I worried, the US government wants to kill Bradley Manning as part of a new charge “aiding the enemy” …
    This thing about leaving you naked in a solitary cell is standard police b#llsh!t, the “state security” police did to me in Villa Marista (Cuba), yet I worry about his mental health and safety after being under harassment by the US government/military for such a long time
    While reading the headline of this piece of news a great idea crossed my mind …
    picturethehomeless(.org) does similar things here in NYC. They sleep on the street in mass in front of the buildings of greedy landlords, who keep buildings empty for decades
    As you know the US goverment not only plays master to their dogs, but they also mess with our access to the Internet …
    Please, spread the word!
    Satyagraha, and Peace and Love again, carajos!!

    2011-03-05 12:38
  • Dr. S M Babulanam

    Ricardo Lopez,

    You suggest naked demostration in protest of the savage acts against Bradley Menning.

    I recall a poem I remember that I learnt at the age of seven.
    Once upon a time a man was bitten by a dog on his way home. He could reach home with a severe pain. He narrated to his family that he was bitten by a dog on his way home. His five years old daughter became very angry over the dog and said, “Dad, why did you let the dog go away unhurt, had you not teeth too?”

    The father laughed and said, “The dog did what fits the dog. To bite back a dog does not fit a man.”

    So, those who have imprisoned Bradely Manning are mad dogs.

    Humanist scientist Stephen Hawking has fears that the primitive aggressive genes of Homo sapiens is incompetible with the technical development. The risk for self-destruction is much higher than that of celestial catastrophe.

    Newton calculated Doom day in 2060. If the evil force of USA becomes fascist Demoncracy as Germany in 1930s, the fear of Stephen Hawking is alarming! The gene manipulated Homo sapiens behaving as mad dogs torturing Bradely Manning is the symptom of that great catastrophe ahead. If we can free Bradley Mannings and imprison those mad dog gene carrying creatures looking like Homo sapiens, then the Earth can be rescued.

    So, a naked protest is like biting back a mad dog!
    Bradely Manning is living Prometheus.

    [email protected]

    2011-03-06 04:41
  • Ricardo Camilo Lopez

    Dear Dr. S M Babulanam,
    > You suggest naked demostration in protest of the savage acts against Bradley Menning.
    Yes, I do!
    > I recall a poem … “The dog did what fits the dog. To bite back a dog does not fit a man.”
    I liked that poem and it’s moral (besides I understand the “don’t upset the dogs”
    mindset), yet Manning’s action made me recall another poem written by Bertolt Brecht “General, your tank is a powerful vehicle” (here is an excerpt):
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    General, your tank is a powerful vehicle.
    It smashes down forests and crushes a hundred men.
    But it has one defect:
    It needs a driver.

    General, your bomber is powerful.
    It flies faster than a storm and carries more than an elephant.
    But it has one defect:
    It needs a mechanic.

    General, man is very useful.
    He can fly and he can kill.
    But he has one defect:
    He can think.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    To the “[S|]He can think”, I would explicitly and/or suggestively add in a poetic way “[S|]He can feel”, “[S|]He is human …” (I think Brecht has it in there and I do like to leave Goya-like (unfinished) touches in art, but sometimes you must dangle people’s own sh!t on their faces for them to be able to smell it (but well, it is not my poem ;-) ))
    and another, counter-argumenting question would be, what are we going to do then?
    > Hawking, Newton, …
    OK, regardless of what all those big and honorable minds said, silly me thinks/says we should go out there and demonstrate against “our rulers” (you call them “dogs”), but “dogs” actually are nice and friendly animals. They don’t murderously invade and occupy countries with “their allies” in order “to save democracy” …
    I think they (the US government/military/police/) are just entertaining an illusion of security (an a moronic one at that). I am myself a technical person and I am not naive at all about police b#llsh!t
    but my technical smarts and sense of reality resist believing that the US government after spying pretty much on every molecule of the known universe, employing all their technical gears (which they apparently love due to their lack of brains), paying their extensive network of snitches and “collaborators” (out of US tax payers pockets) and “under ‘God’s’ leading guidance” have been basically looking for just one person for more than two decades!!! (or have they become more than one by now?)
    Part of how desperately they need to guard their illusion is by their ongoing Nazi-like engagement, actually way more abusive that what Nazis did on a number of counts, at the very least Nazis didn’t “spread democracy” to countries which could not defend themselves on an equal basis, acted and articulated their b#llsh!ting craze and “philosophies” in the open and their killing rate (including people inhumanely killed in concentration camps) was a joke compared to what the US government/military (“our heroes” (as Prs. Obama calls them (I don’t get why people relate Obama to Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King? Heck, not even to the ideals his own mother stood for!))) has been doing in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, …
    Maybe they are too busy, as they themselves say, listening to “‘God’ blessing them”, “protecting the ‘free’ world”, being “the land of the ‘free’ and the ‘brave’”, … That to me is amazing and scary at the same time. How far can stupidity/abuse go? and it is not just a technical matter, but a very fundamentally moral one as well.
    But, hey! “Look at what happened in Frankfurt!!!” (as they say (not at WHAT -WE- DO!!!)) that is why US gov goes berserk about Julian Assange … Here in the states people what such things:
    as if it is some media thing, not as something they are themselves (their own government is) doing it
    Thank you very much and again, Satyagraha, and Peace and Love again, carajos!!

    2011-03-06 14:50
  • Ricardo Camilo Lopez

    We at the Church I am a member of here in Harlem/NYC (http://stmarysharlem.wordpress.com/) are very socially oriented and are very much against the war … These are discusions that started from this thread, so I’ll keep it here in case I post some comments in reference to it
    Sorry for getting a bit abusive, guys!
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    > I find the translation of the Brecht poem to leave me wondering if that’s really what he said.
    About Brecht’s poem; I do speak German (I went to school in Germany (in fact eine Samlung of my German poems was published)) and I can tell you that that was a word-by-word literal translation of his poem
    Deutsche Kriegsfibel aus den Svendborger Gedichten von Bertolt Brecht. Svendborg in Dänemark war von 1933 bis 1938 dessen erste längere Station im Exil. Auswahl und Einrichtung der Gedichte durch den Komponisten.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    General, dein Tank ist ein starker Wagen.
    Er bricht Wälder nieder. Er zermalmt hundert Menschen.
    Aber er hat einen Fehler: Er braucht einen Fahrer.

    General, dein Bombenflugzeug ist stark.
    Es fliegt schneller als der Sturm und trägt mehr als ein Elefant.
    Aber es hat einen Fehler: Es braucht einen Monteur.

    General, der Mensch ist sehr brauchbar.
    Er kann fliegen, er kann töten.
    Aber er hat einen Fehler …

    Er kann denken.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    > It seems a bit simplistic to be sure and I would have to know more what’s behind Brecht’s intentions.
    What’s behind Brecht’s intentions he himself explicitly wrote/expressed in his poem, no? ;-) Part of his “intentions” definitely relates to his personal biographical life, as someone who didn’t seem to like a bit the militarism of his countrymen
    About: “Democracy may not be a perfect system of gov’t but it sure beats a lot of other forms of gov’t”.
    All I would say right now is that after growing up in Castro/communist Cuba and living in the states for 15 years, I have grown thoroughly tired of “philosophies” and “politics”/politicians. And with “politicians” I mean of all talks and walks including “Obama”, “Putin”, “Chavez”, “Sarkozy”…
    It all boils down to “quality of implementation” issues. What is the point of, say, having a “free” media, when Bradly Manning is in prison, pretty much awaiting a death penalty or a life sentence for doing the job that “journalists”/the media should be doing?!? “Representative Democracy” to me more of another way of lying and entertaining illusions, fencing people’s minds … if people pay their taxes directly why “democratically” electing a government to play with it as they please?
    At the end of the day what matter are people!
    > … the US gov’t does cross lines of ethical and moral decency in its quest to “save the world from dictatorships and such”
    Actually the US gov backs plenty of dictatorships and abuses when it serves their purpose. They, all of a sudden @@, realized Hosni Mubarak was a ruthless dictator (after supporting him/his regime for 3 decades ;-) ) and not long ago the Thai military brutally abused protesters, but the US gov backed them (always taking care of “looking good” illusions) because they are “allies” … and yes regarding Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, … I think it is about time the US gov starts talking sense to themselves, but they are not going to freely do it out of their good senses as the good fellows they are, people like Bradly Manning and the rest of us must throw their sh!t back on their faces and stand in their ways, for them to start making sense of themselves …

    2011-03-06 20:48
  • ron norris

    Much of this talk is foolish , some is very, very, good and helpful. Please take this issue seriously and do not lighten it with unwise words. This man is paying a heavy price eaCH SEC. MIN. HR. DAY, WEEK MO. 10 MONTHS. NOW Seek truth and speak truth words of truth change things.

    2011-03-07 14:00
  • James Mitchell

    German television has just produced a documentary (in English) about Bradley’s plight. You can watch it here: http://bit.ly/grHK6y

    2011-03-08 06:27
  • Coyote

    AKI: Some suggestions for minor corrections, if it’s not too late for them. Beautiful letter. Thank you very much for lending your voice.

    Achim Keiper
    PF 1708
    D-77907 Germany

    Dear Mr. Obama,

    Myself and many other people here in Germany are deeply concerned about the circumstances in which accused “whistleblower” Bradley Manning is being subjected to while held in custody.

    Depriving a person of sleep, depriving a person of communication, depriving a person of outdoors, making a person sleep without clothes below a carpet-like material – we see all these as measures detrimental to the call for human rights and proper treatment of humans, that you and your government currently are demanding of countries far away from the US.

    The case of Bradley Manning is getting *very* much attention here in Germany. He has been, and continues to be, on the front pages of daily newspapers as well as the biggest weekly magazines. For a great number of people, he is becoming a touch-stone for how serious US-politicians are in putting into practice their intentions for non-violent treatment of prisoners of any kind.

    Let me assure you that the positive view that many germans have about the US suffers a lot due to the continuous flow of news about Brad Manning’s treatment. I live on the french boarder, and I know that the same is true for a lot of people in our neighbouring-country, France.

    Especially after the promise of the closing of Guantanamo there was hope for a big change in respect of a more respectful dealing with inmates of any kind. This promise too has been broken.

    Please put an end to Brad Manning’s physically and psychologically damaging treatment, so that the current picture of the US as a country speaking with two tongues may be corrected.


    [your name]

    2011-03-08 14:53
  • lin cleveland

    gee, i came to this site specifically to drop a note to BRADLEY MANNING. i cannot imagine the full extent of abandonment he must feel for the crime of telling the truth. under reagon this nation signed a pack defining torture as a crime. actually, i don’t require a government official to explain what’s right and what’s wrong.

    paraphasing a contributor to an assange discussion:

    “I am Bradley Manning! We all are Bradley Manning!”

    2011-03-09 10:12
  • Ricardo Camilo Lopez

    Hey ron,
    and, since we don’t know each other personally, with “ron” I mean people with such a mindset
    > … foolish, … good , … helpful, … serious, … unwise
    all those are very subjective adjectives. You do not specify what exactly and to what extent you found … the historical facts that I pointed out (which, of course, are not part of the media diet we get in the US)
    > This man is paying a heavy price eaCH SEC. MIN. HR. DAY, WEEK MO. 10 MONTHS.
    Yes, Bradley Manning is AND the over a million people who have have been killed in the genocide and crimes against humanity by the US government who were made to pay the ultimate price already
    > NOW Seek truth and speak truth words of truth change things.
    You again do not specify what is “untrue”, but “true” is an adjective I like much better because it is -falsifiable- (you can actually prove what is true or not)
    Given the kinds of things we are dealing with here, lets try to compare genocide by the US government/military to the Nazi’s, so we can compare them in their proper dimension. For the purpose of the comparison, let’s not even take into account that the Nazis’ were fighting an all out war against troops/governments, not primarily abusively killing people as if they were playing computer games. Let’ define some sort of -prorated killing- as the total number of people they (have (in the case of the US)) killed divided by the ratio of their own casualties
    Of course, the layers and layers of lies and manipulations the US government sits on makes virtually impossible to estimate this data and the little there is out there is even made harder to read/interpret/use. (as they say “sh!t weighs less than water”, so the truth about this data will one day float up) I will use publicly available data:
    Nazis: 70/(30.4%) = 2.30
    here 70 million is an estimate of every who died in the war, even as a result of famine and the 30.4% figure means that out of 10 Nazi troops/army … 3 died
    Opinion Research Business survey (March 2003 to August 2007): 1,033,000 deaths as a result of the conflict. So I think, after 4 more years, it is safe to approximate it to 1.2 million people
    // __ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multinational_force_in_Iraq
    As of January 2011 , 4,754 Coalition soldiers had been killed in Iraq
    Over a million troops and etc., have been deployed to Iraq so let’s consider this number to be 1.5 million troops and support personal altogether
    4,754/1,500,000 = 0.003169
    US: 1.2/(0.32%) = 3.75
    even if this is just an estimate it is a very much telling one.
    I am using this -prorated killing- comparisons because “‘we’ are a ‘Christian’ nation”, yet in the Bible does not say “you may kill as long as you are the US government/military and are having fun while doing it” and/or “hear God commanding you to do so”, “the president of your country considers you to be a ‘hero’” it actually says (among many other things): -You shall not kill-

    2011-03-10 20:48

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