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.
The last 7 days have seen numerous developments in the Bradley Manning story, which indicate clear problems with the official line on Manning's detainment and on the criminal investigation into Manning's charges. We have also been given insight into the management of the Brig at Quantico, and into the process by which the United States government discourages supporters of causes it find troublesome. (For the complete background on the Bradley Manning story, please see FDL's excellent timeline, here.)
Manning on Suicide Watch
Last week, as summarised in this Jane Hamsher post on FDL, Bradley Manning's conditions were decidedely worsened when Quantico Brig Commander James Averhart moved him to suicide watch - a move allowing his confinement in conditions equivalent to solitary confinement, while ostensibly being "for his own good."
For over five months, Bradley Manning has been held under Prevention of Injury (POI) watch at the Quantico Brig against the recommendations of three forensic psychiatrists. Manning’s attorney, David Coombs, has filed an Article 138 Complaint under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, asserting that this represents an abuse of Brig Commander James Averhart’s discretion.