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Even a weasel should be treated humanely

March 4, 2011 |  2:01 pm

Bradley Manning Some regard him as a whistle-blower, others as a weasel. Whatever one's view of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the young soldier suspected of supplying documents to WikiLeaks, he ought to be treated humanely.

That hasn't been the case, and isn't now.

A Times editorial  in January offered this description of Manning's confinement:

"[U]under a 'Protection of Injury' order, he is confined to his cell for 23 hours a day, even though his lawyer says a psychologist has determined he isn't a threat to himself. His lawyer also says that Manning is denied sheets and is unable to exercise in his cell, and that he is not allowed to sleep between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. If he attempts to sleep during those hours, he is made to sit up or stand by his guards."

Now, according to Manning's lawyer, the conditions have become more humiliating. David Coombs  writes on his web page: "PFC Manning was forced to strip naked in his cell again last night.  As with the previous evening, Quantico Brig guards required him to surrender all of his clothing.  PFC Manning then walked back to his bed, and spent the next seven hours in humiliation."

I'm not an expert on military law, but this sort of treatment seems pointlessly degrading. If the military plans to prosecute Manning, it shouldn't be generating sympathy for him.

 RELATED:

Soldier's inhumane imprisonment

--Michael McGough

Photo: Army Specialist Bradley Manning. Credit: EPA / bradleymanning.org

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