Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

Even a weasel should be treated humanely

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

 

Comments () | Archives (12)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Annie Oakley

Gee, it's a good thing he's just an accused suspect with the assumption of innocence until proven guilty, I wonder what they'd do to him if he's actually convicted of a charge?

Oh, wait, Yeah, the death penalty for exposing America's dirty laundry, that's right.

Mark

In the past he would have been hanged by now.

Frank25

He is receiving humane and protective service. Removing items he could use to harm himself, is standard in jail or prison (watch some cop shows). I worked in military intelligence unit and Manning endangered my peer group and people he does not know. He also violated his security oath when he received securiy clearance. I still question his NCOs and Officers for not supervising him more closely. In my sections or work, no one of his low rank would ever work without higher ranking supervision (direct). No individual should ever be able to steal such high level comm traffic, and transfer to unauthorized others. EVER. As for degrading or humilating him, he has already done that to himself. And being Gay is no excuse or defense.

michele deranleau

Separation from friends and family, flourescent lighting, inadequate diet, incessant boredom, lack of reading materials, paper and pen, comforts, pillows, blankets .. isn't this punishment? Has there been a trial? Support Dennis Kucinich's efforts to visit bradley manning.

michele deranleau

Try sleeping without a pillow or blanket on the floor for one night. Not your carpeted floor, but a concrete floor, with no cardboard. Try it for one hour without anything for a pillow because everything has been removed. Now try it for another hour. Your alternative is to try to sleep sitting, so try that. Remember, the temperature can be lowered. There are no blankets. You have a thin gown, or nothing. The lights don't go off. Try to sleep. I have. Now you try it and tell me it is not torture for two minutes.

David

He deserves everything he gets. What he has done is high treason. Mannings is lucky he did not get shot in Kuwait.

Eva24

This headline is disgraceful. Manning is a human being, not a "weasel" and the article itself argues for his humane treatment. If you're saying he shouldn't be "degraded," why chose that headline? It's offensive as well as misleading.

Sylvain Pimpare

Don't forget Manning help exposing those too
"Cover Up: U.S. Funded Afghan Police Drug Use, Pedophilia"
http://tinyurl.com/2b6a4uw

Sylvain Pimpare

If Bradley Manning soil himself at night due to his mistreatment it's not by giving more mistreatment that will solved the issue . He need to see a doctor.

Thomas T. Dodds II

Private Manning's protection order may not be related to the potential of his harming himself. It may be that if he were allowed to 'socialize' with the other prisoners they might do harm to him. He is accused of TREASON, remember? He also 'came out' saying he was gay. The brig a Quantico probably has some testosterone laden Marines in there and "There are some things you don't do!" Most Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines probably look upon TREASON as "one of those things you just don't do!" Then there is the assertion of homosexuality... Well around a bunch of confined men that just may not be the claim you really want to make. My personal opinion is they should just ship him to Gitmo or somewhere else and forget him. Some people call him a whistle blower. NO!
The reports have said he did this after a confrontation with his commander. This was done out of pure spite, revenge. TREASON IS TREASON. The Walker family should have been executed. The FBI guy a few years ago, should have been executed. It's just like gun crimes. The laws are already on the books. The judiciary just will not enforce those laws! If the laws we already have were enforced we might see a reduction in the crime rates.
Some people are saying that he is not being treated fairly. He provided aid and comfort to the enemy by releasing that data. HE IS A TRAITOR AND DESERVES TO BE TREATED AS SUCH. THEY SHOULD PAINT A YELLOW STRIPE DOWN HIS BACK. DO THIS BECAUSE TREASON IS A FORM OF COWARDICE!
IF FOUND GULTY HE SHOULD BE HANGED BY THE NECK UNTIL DEAD ON THE COURTHOUSE LAWN OR FACE A FIRING SQUAD! NO EXCUSES!

Bob

Don't worry . . . I am not becoming sympathetic! Don't worry at all, I remaining unbiased and impassive! I am glad to know the government seeks to handle Bradley with the greatest care . . . without all due respect to his lawyer's considered and unbiased opinion. That lad is in the U.S. Army now and subject to a whole different set of laws and rules than afforded "civilians-not-under military law. Gee whiz, I don't want the lad hanging himself before we take the guilty miscreant before a fair court martial give him his fair trial and then take his treasonist butt out and hang him properly! Yes, we must protect him, even if it means he wears his birthday suit 24-7! No "child's play" for Bradley. Bradley's a grown man and is getting the pure benefit of his deeds. God Bless the lad! Sympathy! Baaa . . . humbug!

Shaylee

"We have heard that half a million childrean have died [as a result of sanctions in Iraq]. I mean, that is more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?"

"I think this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth it."

Madeleine Albright (at that time, US Ambassador to the UN):
------
What we do to others we do to ourselves.

Most writers on the subject agree on some fundamental causes for the eventual fall of Rome.
They are:
1). Over-militarization and military overreach 2); Bankruptcy and Indebtness as well as a widening gap between rich and poor 3); the imposition of dogmatic religious fundamentalism as the state religion, 4); the denigration of rational thought in favor of faith, and, 5), the moral decay and Bread and Circus within the Roman Empire.

It all sounds too familiar...........


Connect

Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video


Categories


Recent Posts
Reading Supreme Court tea leaves on 'Obamacare' |  March 27, 2012, 5:47 pm »
Candidates go PG-13 on the press |  March 27, 2012, 5:45 am »
Santorum's faulty premise on healthcare reform |  March 26, 2012, 5:20 pm »

Archives
 


About the Bloggers
The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.



In Case You Missed It...