This month new and incriminating details have come to light about a secret meeting of high-level Quantico officials that took place on January 13, 2011, resulting in Manning's illegal punitive pretrial confinement.
On March 2, 2011, PFC Bradley Manning, then confined under Maximum custody and Prevention of Injury Watch (POI) at Quantico, where he had been since July 29, 2010, was told that his Article 138 request to be placed under Medium custody and removed from harsh and punitive pretrial confinement was denied by Daniel J. Choike, Quantico base commander (pictured at the left).
The continued placement of Manning under such terms and conditions, indeed the exacerbation of his illegal pretrial confinement in March, when he was stripped every evening and forced to stand at attention naked every morning until his unexpected transfer to Fort Leavenworth on April 20, 2011, happened despite numerous cited evaluations by brig personnel, including brig psychiatrists, who recommended his removal from Maximum Custody and POI Status.
Defense had filed the original Article 138 request on January 19, 2011, one day after Manning was placed under "suicide risk", which resulted in his remaining in his cell for 24 hours a day and being stripped of all clothing with the exception of his underwear. His eyeglasses were also removed, which left him, as he describes in "total blindness". According to defense documents, the stripping and interrogation that Manning endured was videotaped by the Quantico facility.
*Myself pictured with Daniel Choi on December 18, 2011. Choi was also in attendance at Fort Meade, MD. You can hear him describe the abuse he experienced at Fort Meade, MD on December 19, 2021 on democracynow.org. He was reportedly thrown to the ground, handcuffed, had his rank ripped off his unifom, and was forcibly ejected from the pretrial proceedings.
I sat next to or near Daniel Choi in the courtroom on both Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. I only saw Daniel Choi behaving in a respectful manner during the proceedings or while the court was at recess - both in the gallery or on the premises. The Federal Police Officers began watching the public in attendance more overtly - even hanging around to watch us outside the security perimeter of the courthouse - when Daniel Choi showed up on Saturday.
Unlike Friday all day, and Saturday morning, when Daniel Choi was not in the public gallery, Bradley Manning exited with armed soldiers through the public gallery when recesses were called or at the end of the day.
Starting Saturday afternoon - after Daniel Choi showed up - the public was told to leave the gallery before the guards would even move Bradley Manning, or Bradley Manning was exited through the back.
In fact, after the morning's proceedings on December 18, 2011, I moved to a back row on the defense side of the gallery, and away from Daniel and the others who were talking at a recess. I did this in order to collect myself for the task of transcription.
*Image by Michael Barczynski, artist and occupy participant, who allowed me to publish his sketches of the court proceedings.
These 37 pages of typed transcription were taken by hand, and may contain errors, misspellings of names, and or may be incomplete.
There were around 500 protesters outside the gates of Fort Meade on Saturday, Dec 17, 2011. #Occupy Wall Street had sent down a bus, and there were two bus loads from #Occupy in DC, both Freedom Plaza and McPherson. In addition Veterans for Peace were present at the rally and members of the Bradley Manning Support network. Individuals were represented from all over the country, and even the world.
I arrived at Fort Meade, Maryland at 1:20 p.m. and rushed into the theater just as defense was questioning the day's second witness, Special Agent Calder Robinson's testimony, via telephone from Germany.
After his testimony a recess was called and I conferred with four individuals about the morning's proceedings and the first witness that day, Special Agent Toni Graham.
*The arrow indicates the Federal Officer who escorted me to the courthouse, and told me he was in charge of the event. The picture comes from cryptome.org
I arrived at Fort Meade, Maryland before the Visitor Control Center was open, around 6 am. I drove right up to the vehicle inspection center, and was granted entry after they had me open every door, trunk and hood, and show them my license and registration.
One of the soldiers inspecting my vehicle did not know what I was talking about when I asked him where Bradley Manning's pretrial was being held. Another stepped in and directed me.
Arriving near the courthouse, I saw an MP walking a bomb-sniffing dog through the wooded area behind the courthouse building. A bit later I approached him, and asked him where I needed to be as a member of the public to gain access to Bradley Manning's trial. He said he didn't know. He took my Passport and walked over to an SUV to make a phone call.
Soon after another SUV with four soldiers pulled up and approached me. A female soldier directed me to a theater and told me it would open at 7am.
Metal barricades, like the kind the NYPD use for crowd control, lined the theater and the courthouse, two small one-story western style brick buildings that look like a grammar school and a small town church.
At the theater the barricades were arranged like a gerbil maze, and suggested they expected long lines. I asked a soldier if I could take in pen and paper, he had to check, "because they could be considered a 'recording device'", using his fingers to make air quotes.
On May 4, Mr. Colangelo, a Senior attorney at US-based Dorsey and Whitney LLP, and a consultant with Human Rights Watch was bared entry into Bahrain. Authorities cited his need for a visa, because of the "kind of work" he does, although Colangelo has frequently travelled to the country on various business matters with no prior incident.
In February, Mr. Colangelo spoke at a press conference at Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS) in Manama. Mr. Colangelo has also represented Bahraini who were Guantanamo detainees.
HRW has released an 89-page report stating that Bahrain needs to take "urgent steps to end torture and ill-treatment of security suspects during interrogation. The report also called on the government to promptly investigate all torture allegations and prosecute security officials suspected of abusing detainees" (Source; Saudi News Today).
Bahrain's ongoing crackdown has escalated since February, targeting every level of society with fewer and fewer outside observers allowed into the country. See WL Central's ongoing coverage of Bahrain: May, April, March 1 through 21, March 22 through 31, and February.
I spoke last night EST with Mr. Colangelo, while he was on a stop over in Paris, en route back to the Unites States from Bahrain.
Why were you going to Bahrain?
I have been involved with issues concerning Bahrain for a number of years. It began with representing the Bahraini who were detained at Guantanamo, and more recently I have worked as a consultant with Human Rights Watch on domestic Bahrain issues.
Between January 11, 2002 and April 23, 2011 (one day before the latest Wikileaks release of the Guantanamo files) there were already about 15 million search entries, 5 million images, 25,000 videos, 6 thousand news items, 900 related books
and around 80 releated movies - including an American stoner styled 'comedy' pictured to your right - about the Guantanamo bay detention and torture camp.
While new information has been published in Wikileaks' latest release of the Guantanamo files, a plethora of evidence about Guantanamo's child detainees, its specious justification and illegality were already available in the public domain. That includes a Senate Armed Services Committee report that stated that detainees were murdered in US custody.
As Jason Leopold said in my interview with him last week, "Murdered. I am talking about murder. I mean, this report talks about how the torture program was based on the US military's resistance to interrogation survival training technique...So, yes, you are absolutely right there are a number of documents and a number of reports that are out there. The problem is that people, and that includes some journalists, frankly don't take the time to read it."
The image above of 'Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo' is not a comedy. It's a horror show. And, Guantanamo Bay is only the beginning of the entertainment superpower's 'theater of cruelty', coming to a town near you.
The institutions of society and of government - in other words, the organs of power, their structure, and their relationship to one another - the press, the legislature, the executive, and the judicial - no longer function in a manner that ensures their intended counter balance to tyranny. As a result our nation's civic, civil, and military power has been usurped by the highest bidder, some of them even foreign, and our democratic republic is drowning in a sea of Blackwater.
Andy Worthington is a journalist, blogger, and author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison. He is also co-director of a new documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo”.
Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi's testimony, which was obtained under torture and coercion, and later recanted, was cited by the George W. Bush Administration in the months preceding the 2003 invasion of Iraq as evidence of a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.
The head of the Washington office of Human Rights Watch stated al-Libi was "Exhibit A" in hearings on the relationship between pre-Iraq War false intelligence and torture. Confirmation of al-Libi's location came two weeks prior to his death.
Most recently, Worthington partnered with WikiLeaks on its latest release of thousands of pages of documents regarding the cases of 758 out of 779 Guantanamo detainees dating between 2002 and 2008. The documents consist of memoranda from JTF-GTMO, the Joint Task Force at Guantánamo Bay, to US Southern Command in Miami, Florida.
I wanted to talk to you a little bit about a couple things that you had mentioned when you were talking with Amy Goodwin on Democracy Now. One of the things you talked about was that ‘guidelines’ needed to be set up for filtering or discriminating the content that was found in the documents. Could you tell me a little bit about what that would be like in terms of application?
Well, you know, to be honest...a certain amount of hard work is required and some of that has already been done… I am glad to know…by some of the journalists who’ve been writing about it already...who have worked out that a lot of this supposed ‘body of evidence’ consists of allegations that have been made by a small number of prisoners… who have made repeated allegations against large numbers of their fellow prisoners, which have been called into doubt.
Now, you know, the doubts about this information are not necessarily mentioned, in fact, they are rarely mentioned in these military documents.
This is our second interview in a series of interviews with former Guantanamo Bay detention camp guards and detainees.
Several current and former U.S. soldiers have expressed interest in speaking publicly about their experience at Guantanamo: including a CIA psychologist, interrogators, guards, and medical personnel. They are disgusted with what they witnessed or took part in at Guantanamo, but declined my request for an interview, because they fear opening themselves up to prosecution by the US government, which required them to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement.
I was also told that many are afraid of being prosecuted for war crimes, since low level soldiers are often the ones who shoulder the brunt of punishment and backlash; whereas higher ranking officials seem to escape scrutiny completely.
Terry Holdbrooks is a former guard at the Guantanamo Bay detention camps. He was stationed at GTMO in 2003 and 2004. During his time there, he converted to Islam. He is now a vocal critic of the camp. You can find him on twitter @BrotherMustafa
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