03 December 2012


The abuse of power in the United States of America grows apace, and some of the articles to be posted on this page give a clear picture of Obama's dictatorial actions in his treatment of Bradley Manning and his threats against Julian Assange.

Bradley Manning's abusive and inhumane treatment by the Obama regime is not very different from George W Bush's Abu Ghraib - but Quantico is in the USA and Bradley Manning is a serving soldier in the US Army!

Bradley's first testimony in court: On unlawful pretrial punishment at Quantico.

Help us continue to cover 100% of Bradley's legal fees! Donate today.

Bradley Manning takes the stand, details months of abuse

Nine months in solitary ordered by brig command against the recommendations of three mental health professionals. David Coombs to speak in Washington, DC on December 3rd, and talk to be broadcast by CSPAN.

Bradley Manning took the stand for the first time this week at the motions hearings addressing his unlawful pretrial punishment at Quantico prison. Three mental health professionals who evaluated Bradley during his nine month detention in the Quantico brig, revealed that Bradley Manning posed little to no risk and that their ongoing recommendations to remove Bradley from the aggravating and abusive conditions were ignored by the brig command.

Further, testimony by Quantico officers revealed that while brig officials claimed to be isolating Bradley due to his mental health, that in reality the high profile nature of the case, and a prior suicide at Quantico brig, had resulted in a highly sensitive environment where senior officers gave directives to have Bradley Manning held in an extreme "Prevention of Injury" (POI) status throughout his stay. This directive led to the unheard of situation where brig commanders ignored the recommendations of the mental health professionals, and left Bradley Manning to endure nine months in solitary, segregated, conditions that a psychiatrist associated with interrogation techniques harsher than the treatment he had seen given to deathrow inmates.

Further, officials deceived Bradley as to the reasons he was being kept in segregated POI status. Bradley's calls to improve his situation were ignored by the military command, and it was revealed that Quantico commanders colluded to block an independant review of his conditions.

Supporters out in the rain during the November 27th Protest at Fort Meade

In defending the Quantico command decisions to keep Bradley Manning isolated in Prevention of Injury status, officers attempted to portray normal behaviors as being erratic - such as that he would dance in his cell and make faces in a mirror.

Bradley took the stand Thursday, testifying that yes indeed he danced in his cell as there was little else he could do. He was not permitted to lean his back against the walls of his cell during day hours, nor was he allowed to exercise in it. Dancing was however not a prohibited activity and it allowed him to move around.

Bradley also testified that yes, indeed, he spend a lot of time looking in the mirror as "it was the most interesting thing in his cell." Considering that he was not permitted to communicate with people or do anything else, three mental health professionals testified that this behavior was not only normal, but healthy, and that Bradley did a remarkable job enduring such a prolongued and abusive incarceration.

It was also revealed that the Quantico brig was ill prepared for long term pretrial confinement as it lacked the necessary staff to handle Bradley's detainment, and that in fact, it was not prepared to handle any detainee for longer than three months. Contrasts were drawn against other prisons, such as Ft. Leavenworth where Bradley was eventually transfered, where keeping prisoners isolated for so long was unheard of, and completely against regulation.

Reporting from the Courtroom - click on each item below the date to read the item

November 27th

"Military feared independent reviews of Bradley’s treatment"

November 28th

"Quantico psychiatrist says Bradley treated worse than death row"

November 29th.

"Bradley takes the stand to describe abuse, brig deception"

Watch the report from Democracy Now!

Exclusive presentation by Bradley's attorney

Washington DC. December 3rd

Talk will be broadcast on CSPAN and live streamed at www.bradleymanning.org December 3, 2012
Washington, DC
6pm doors/refreshments - 7pm event
All Souls Church Unitarian
1500 Harvard Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20009
(2 blocks from the Columbia Hts Metro Station, Yellow/Green lines; also near the S2, S4, H8 and 42 bus lines)

On December 3, 2012, Army PFC Bradley Manning’s civilian defense lawyer David Coombs will make his first ever public appearance to provide an overview of pending defense motions before the court and other facts regarding U.S. v. Manning. Mr. Coombs is expected to focus on the unlawful pretrial punishment that PFC Manning was subjected to for nine months while at the Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia – the subject of international outrage and a UN investigation.


This article appeared in The Age newspaper on 3 DECEMBER 2012:

Whistleblower's treatment exposes dark side of Obama

December 3, 2012
By Glenn Greenwald

America's behaviour towards Bradley Manning is revealing.

Wikileaks suspect testifies at hearing

US army private Bradley Manning, takes the stand at his trial, where he faces suspicion of leaking secret documents to the WikiLeaks website.

More video:

The Wikileaks Whistleblower

• The Bradley Manning story, watch the 20-minute mini-documentary on .tv

OVER the past 2½ years, all of which he has spent in a military prison, much has been said about Bradley Manning, but nothing has been heard from him. That changed late last week, when the 23-year-old US army private, who is accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, testified at his court martial about the conditions of his detention.

The oppressive, borderline-torturous measures he endured, including prolonged solitary confinement and forced nudity, have been known for some time. A formal UN investigation denounced them as ''cruel and inhuman''. President Barack Obama's State Department spokesman, retired air force colonel P.J. Crowley, resigned after condemning Manning's treatment. A prison psychologist testified last week that Manning's conditions were more damaging than those found on death row, or at Guantanamo Bay.

Barack Obama ... his treatment of Manning a "disgrace". Photo: Reuters Still, hearing the accused whistleblower's description of this abuse in his own words viscerally conveyed its horror.

''If I needed toilet paper I would stand to attention and shout: 'Detainee Manning requests toilet paper!','' Manning said. And: ''I was authorised to have 20 minutes' sunshine, in chains, every 24 hours.'' Early in his detention, he recalled, ''I had pretty much given up. I thought I was going to die in this eight-by-eight animal cage.''

The repressive treatment of Manning is one of the disgraces of Obama's first term and highlights many of the dynamics shaping his presidency. He not only defended Manning's treatment, but also, as commander-in-chief of the court martial judges, improperly decreed Manning's guilt when he asserted that he ''broke the law''.

Bradley Manning. Photo: AP

Worse, Manning is charged not only with disclosing classified information but of ''aiding the enemy'', for which the death penalty can be imposed (military prosecutors are seeking ''only'' life in prison).

The US government's radical theory is that, although Manning had no intent to do so, the leaked information could have helped al-Qaeda, a theory that essentially equates any disclosure of classified information - by any whistleblower or a newspaper - with treason.

Whatever one thinks of Manning's alleged acts, he appears the classic whistleblower. This information could have been sold for substantial sums to a foreign government or a terrorist group. Instead he apparently knowingly risked his liberty to show them to the world because - he said when he believed he was speaking in private - he wanted to start ''worldwide discussion, debates and reforms''.

Compare the aggressive prosecution of Manning to the US administration's vigorous efforts to shield Bush-era war crimes and massive Wall Street fraud from legal accountability. Not a single perpetrator of those crimes has faced court under Obama, a comparison that reflects the priorities and values of US justice.

Then there's the behaviour of Obama's loyalists.

Ever since I first reported the conditions of Manning's detention in December 2010, many of them not only cheered that abuse but grotesquely ridiculed concerns about it. Joy-Ann Reid, a former Obama press aide and now a contributor on the progressive network MSNBC, sadistically mocked the report: ''Bradley Manning has no pillow?????''. With that, she echoed one of the most extreme right-wing websites, RedState, which identically mocked the report: ''Give Bradley Manning his pillow and blankie back.'' They hold themselves out as adversarial watchdogs, but nothing provokes the animosity of establishment journalists more than someone who challenges government actions.

Typifying this mentality was a CNN interview on Thursday night with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. It was to focus on documents revealing secret efforts by US officials to pressure financial institutions to block WikiLeaks' funding, a form of extra-legal punishment that should concern everyone, particularly journalists.

But the CNN host was uninterested. Instead she tried to get Assange to condemn the press policies of Ecuador, a tiny country that exerts no influence. To the mavens of the US press, Assange and Manning are enemies to be scorned because they did the job that the press refuses to do: namely, bring transparency to the bad acts of the US government and its allies.

Manning has bestowed the world with multiple vital benefits. But as his court martial finally reaches its conclusion, one likely to result in a long prison term, it appears his greatest gift is this window into America's political soul.

Glenn Greenwald is a columnist on civil liberties and US national security issues for The Guardian.

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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