06 March 2011


The United States of America - that bastion of "human rights" accusations against states around the world - is advised to clean up its own act before becoming the arbiter of human rights elsewhere!

The latest appalling behaviour of the US government is over the detention of Bradley Manning and his ongoing abuse while in custody in the US military prison system.

The US is very good at torture - the previous administration under George W Bush achieved results undreamed of by previous administrations in how to treat people who fall into their hands - but the present administration under Barack Obama for whom such high hopes were held in the earliest days of his administration has shown he is no slouch when it comes to human rights abuses of his own citizens. In fact the USA has sunk to the levels of China, Burma, certain middle eastern dictatorships and on the lines of African dictatorships in the disgusting state in which prisoners find themselves!

Just read the following and be horrified - and DO SOMETHING!!!!!

Manning stripped of dignity: lawyer

By David Dishneau, Washington

March 6, 2011
THE US Army private suspected of giving classified documents to the whistleblower group WikiLeaks was stripped of all clothing for two nights to keep him from hurting himself in his military jail cell, a Marine Corps spokesman said.
The order was issued last Wednesday, the same day Private First Class Bradley Manning was hit with a new charge, aiding the enemy, which could carry the death penalty.

Manning's civilian lawyer, David Coombs, called the treatment degrading. He said the brig commander, Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes, issued the order without consulting the brig's mental health providers. Mr Coombs has repeatedly complained that Manning's strict confinement conditions are punitive, which the military denies.
''There can be no conceivable justification for requiring a soldier to surrender all his clothing, remain naked in his cell for seven hours, and then stand at attention the subsequent morning,'' Mr Coombs wrote on his blog.

But First Lieutenant Brian Villiard said Chief Warrant Officer Barnes was striving to keep Manning safe, secure and able to stand trial.

''The circumstances required that his clothing be removed as a precaution to ensure that he didn't harm himself,'' Lieutenant Villiard said.

He said privacy rules prevented him discussing the circumstances that prompted the order, but ''I can tell you that this was event-driven''.

Manning, a former intelligence analyst, has been in pre-trial confinement since his arrest in Iraq in May.

He is charged with 34 offences for allegedly stealing computer files of more than 250,000 confidential State Department cables, classified video of a deadly US helicopter attack and a plethora of Iraq and Afghanistan war logs. The video and thousands of the documents have been published on the WikiLeaks website.

The 23-year-old soldier was brought on July 29 to Quantico, 55 kilometres south of Washington, where he is in maximum custody and on prevention-of-injury status. Those designations keep him confined alone 23 hours a day, and require removal of all clothing except his boxer shorts at night.

On Wednesday, the Army announced 22 new charges including aiding the enemy. The charge is punishable by death, but prosecutors have said they will recommend that the charge be sent to trial as a non-capital offence.

On Wednesday, the government issued a preliminary denial of Mr Coombs' January complaint seeking to have Manning's custody status reduced from maximum to medium security. Manning said he will file a rebuttal this week, and then await reviews by Quantico commander Colonel Daniel Choike and the Secretary of the Navy.

Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich issued a statement saying the clothing-removal order could amount to cruel and unusual punishment and may violate international law. ''Is this Quantico or Abu Ghraib?'' Mr Kucinich said, referring to detainee abuses at a US military prison in Iraq in 2003.

The United Nations torture investigator is pursuing an inquiry into Manning's confinement, based on allegations by a Manning supporter.

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90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm