back to article Lawyer wants WikiLeaker kept off suicide watch

The attorney for accused WikiLeaker Pfc. Bradley Manning has petitioned his client's living conditions, which require him to be watched around the clock and forbid him from exercising except for one 30-minute period each day. The complaint was filed on Wednesday with the commander at the Quantico base, where Manning has been …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As someone who's spent time on suicide watch (in a hospital, not a prison) I can certainly see why the guy doesn't want to be on it - it really is one of the worst experiences you can think of.

    And, has WikiLeaks ever donated the money to the guy like it said it was going to?

    1. Raumkraut

      Suicide watch: Watch suicide

      It sounds like these procedures were designed to encourage suicide attempts and self-injury, or at the very least induce severe depression. If anyone can come out of such treatment mentally unscarred, then they're surely made of stern stuff.

      I just hope Pfc. Manning's stuff is stern enough.

      1. Pablo

        Sure sounds like torture to me

        I don't suppose the Geneva Convention applies to your own soldiers though.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: Sure sounds like torture to me

          It seems obvious that reading up on either the Geneva Convention or the military law that applies didn't strike you as a good idea too. It must be hard to type when you're wringing your hands so much.

    2. g e

      Teah they donated

      I think it was $15k or something surprisingly pitiful

    3. doperative
      Big Brother

      on Suicide Watch

      re: experience # Posted Friday 21st January 2011 23:28 GMT

      > As someone who's spent time on suicide watch (in a hospital, not a prison) I can certainly see why the guy doesn't want to be on it - it really is one of the worst experiences you can think of.

      Describe the difference symptomatically between clinically suicidal behavior and the effects of the anti-suicide treatment.

    4. Scorchio!!

      Re: experience

      "has WikiLeaks ever donated the money to the guy like it said it was going to?"

      Yes. They gave him the magnificent sum of $15,100, if the press are to be believed:

      It seems to me a pity Julian could not have donated one half of his salary, but I suppose he has to think of his creature comforts. Perhaps when the pay wall system is installed he will run to a greater contribution to protecting the goose that laid his golden egg?

    5. streaky Silver badge


      I assume they want to be 100% sure he makes it to trial.

      If he dies we have another David Kelly type situation where all the world's nutjobs decide he was murdered, or actually even worse than that - him actually being murdered by either other military personel or CIA types?

      Seems like reason alone to keep him chained up and force-fed.

  2. Alien Doctor 1.1

    I am titled

    I may be naive, I may have had too many on a Friday evening, but I can't for the life of me work out what the hell is wrong in the U.S.

    After stories on Alternet about conditions and the treatment of prisoners in "maximum security" prisons, the continuing saga of Mr Manning, Gitmo et.c I am convinced that the United States is a barbaric country that cares not one whit about citizens, rights (human or otherwise) or anything else that doesn't mean more oil/coal/heavy metals/minerals/money/whatever for megacorp bosses/GOP leaders.

    When I see their attempts at humanitarian responses and "fighting for human rights" in not just foreign countries but their own freaking backyard (New Orleans?) I can only laugh and thank $INSERT_PERSONAL_DEITY that I was not born there, my parents never emigrated there and that my only connection with them (aside from sending dozens of nasty emails to the shitehouse when Bush was in power) is a section of my family that buggered off 4 or 5 decades ago.

    To think they believe they are a fount of democracy and "an example for the rest of the world" should give rise to a short skit that might become the funniest TV ever made. Their right-wing print and TV media are enough to make one want to put a bullet in someones' skull - more than likely me putting one through my own skull.

    Sorry. </rant>

    I just had to unload a bit. Wankers.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Let me get this straight. YOU want to put a bullet through someone's skull and yet WE'RE the "barbaric country" full of gun crazy people?

      Maybe you're the one that needs to be on a suicide watch.

      1. Alien Doctor 1.1

        Enobled once more

        I am so sorry Mr(s) AC if you feel denigrated by my previous post, but I must remind you again about what happens in your country:

        - thousands, perchance tens of thousands of people gaoled for weed costing your government greatly in terms of the "crime" and their punishment

        - military budgets that exceed the GDP of many, many countries as people starve and suffer horribly

        - an arrogance and empire-building moronosphere(tm) of galactic proportions when I heard on an NHL game that "servicemen from America are watching this in at least 175 countries around the world" - whiskey tango foxtrot!!! Who the hell do you think you people are? 175 countries with American bases? Bloody hell, go home and stay there.

        - right wing-nuts that think shooting innocent civilians and shooting a Congresswoman is a step forward

        - GOP-sponsoring businesses that feel their workers, unions (if allowed) and the poor are just the worker ants in some freakish US-centric hive are there to be down-trodden and denied the basics of humanity that you try to promote to other nations

        - sod it, I'm bored and fed-up with this

        If you cannot or will not see your country in the light of day then you have no right at all to disparage me or put-down anyone else.

        Finally, I'd just like to add that SHOUTING will get you nowhere and your post will follow much American rubbish - into my wastebin, ignored and treated in the way your country does to others.

        Sort out your problems, remove the fundamentalists that permeate your country as much as they do others you have tried to force into your own way of thinking and just, for once, think before you act, stop being so imperialist and above all, just try and enjoy life without trying to control it.

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Enobled once more

          Listen - I haven't read this scrap in its entirety and I don't want to be glib (heaven forfend etc), but if we could all remember that we are not our respective countries, and that there isn't a country in the world that hasn't done something evil at some point in history (and we're not exactly unimpeachable now), that might help us all to keep a cool head.


          1. thecakeis(not)alie


            No country (or individual) is without sin. Some countries (and individuals) however have significantly more skeletons in their closet than others. The issue with American however is not merely one of sin. It is one of /hubris/. When you combine America's various sins with rampant hypocrisy and American moral exceptionalism it is a very miserable combination.

            I think you will find that the kinds of people on these forums taking a bite out of America would be perfectly happy to sit down and discuss with anyone who asks the faults and flaws of their own country. I’d bed you a nice bottle of your favourite drink that they’d also be perfectly willing to have a very candid discussion about their own personal individual faults as well.

            The issue is that – on the balance – American moral exceptionalism prevents any real discourse from occurring within America about its own faults. Every time they try it breaks down into pathetic (often violently aggressive) partisan politics. That’s when (or if!) you can even get Americans to admit there even is anything wrong in the first place.

            We are none of us without sin, Sarah…but I posit that there is a distinct difference between those capable of analysing their own sins (and working to better themselves) and those unable or unwilling to do so. I know my faults. I work on them every day. That I have faults in no way prevents me from seeing the faults in others, nor wishing, hoping, and striving to see them work towards remedying theirs.

            A country may be complex, and filled with individuals that are perfectly good, productive members of society. A gangrenous leg may also have a great many perfectly healthy cells in it. Eventually however the time comes where you must remove the leg in order to save the patient. The time comes when you must prevent the spread of the disease lest it kill the host.

            I do not advocate “killing” Americans. Literally or figuratively. I do however advocate the metaphorical removal of damaged tissue (ideas and societal mores) before the excision becomes necessary. In this particular case, I would have to say that the polarisation of their society has to be brought to a screeching halt. They need to look at their society and make some hard choices.

            The issues that America faces are her own doing. They are linked to the very core of that society. They are part of and parcel of what the overwhelming bulk of the voting population of that country believes. Only education, time, a collective willingness to admit mistakes and a strong desire to buckle down and do the hard work necessary to recover from them will save them now.

            You can call it catastrophising if you want, but that country is on the edge. They are facing the very real possibility of federal financial insolvency. One wrong move and the entire house of cards comes crashing down. Combine this with the ever increasing partisan tensions in that country and I posit that there is a very real possibility of seeing an honest-to-god American civil war within our lifetimes.

            None of us wants that. I don’t think there is a reader of The Register who honestly and truly wants that to happen. To say however that we shouldn’t be pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes simply because we ourselves are not without sin…

            …well it takes away what little feeling of power, control and influence we “little people’ feel we have. I cannot personally stop America from destroying itself. I cannot slap each and every American upside the head with a wet fish and say “Wake The Fucking Holy Hell Up And Pay Attention.” I truly and honestly wish I could. There are a great many very excellent innocent people in that country. Some of my very best friends in this entire world live in that country. I want to be able to do something to help. I wish I had the power to make a change.

            The only power I have – the only power that almost anyone on these forums who isn’t an American has – is that of the words we write. Would you deny us the opportunity to attempt to convince our American brethren that there is something critically wrong – something that desperately needs their immediate attention – with their country? We have no power except that of our words. No way of exerting influence or providing help or succour excepting that we might open the eyes of the only people in this world who truly decide the fate of America…

            …her registered voters.

      2. Spanners Silver badge


        Some people from your country feel it is a sign of their freedom that you have guns. I have read of others who feel that is their moral duty to do so.

        That sounds pretty close to bats**t crazy to most people not in your country.

        Having worn a uniform in my past, I know what to do with firearms. Having this knowlege makes me really glad that guns are less common over here.

        Carrying a gun would not protect me from someone in a tank. It would not protect me from spooks battering down my door at 04:00. It would not protect me from a criminal when I was not aware they were there.

        In fact, the possibility of my being armed would make potential adversaries more likely to shoot first and ask questions later.

        Carrying a gun because of some peoples interpretation of an 18th century statement that a militia is a good thing is like holding onto your privates when making a legal contract because that is what it says in the Old Testament - for a different type of society. The imagined reasons are no longer relevant.

      3. LeighC

        Oh come on

        It was quite clearly sarcasm. Bloody Americans.

    2. Naughtyhorse

      words numbers etc etc

      The problem with the USA.... let me re-phrase that

      The MAIN problem with the USA is that they have 'god on their side'

      this excuses all,

      1 hand; words best health care,

      other hand 50 million denied access to it - god wants it that way.

      1 hand; give me your starving huddled masses etc etc etc

      other hand; green cards conditional on employment leading to green card slavery - god wants it that way

      1 hand; land of the free

      other hand: 1 million (mostly black and hispanics) in prison.- god wants it that way

      1 hand: democratic republic

      other hand; practically you have the choice between the far right and the loony right - got wants it that way.

      1 hand: the worlds policeman

      other hand: see themselves as above trhe law - god wants it that way

      Just as there can be no negotiating with fundamentalist islam, their belief, their god. logic, common sense, or negotiation have no place in their tiny world view. God wants Jihad

      The USA is EXACTLY the same,

      just a different invisible friend

      actually the same invisible friend, wearing a different patterned shirt.

      that would be the self same invisible friend as israel

      I rest my case

      a pox on the lot of em.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Just ...

        Ok, you've an issue with religion, we get it, but that's just gibberish.

        Give us a link to anyone ever saying "God wants" people not to have access to healthcare, or black people to be in prison, or doesn't want people to have green cards etc.

        You're just making shit up.

    3. Winkypop Silver badge
      Thumb Up


      That saved me a load of typing...

  3. variant


    This is clearly torture in a very flimsy disguise. I really pitty this man, and all americans who might one day be subjected to this treatment.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Absolutely Correct.

      Cruel and Unusual Nanny Statism. (Euphemistically speaking, of course; it's legalised torture.)

    2. Marvin the Martian

      It's par for the US course.

      You should look up the numbers in US "Supermax" prisons, and their practices. It is completely not fitting for social species like us primates (but creationists will dismiss that argument then probably).

      The central idea is sensory deprivation --- stuck in a small empty cell 23h or 23h30 per day, no natural (varying) light, solitary confinement, no contact with humans. Clearly a recipe for mental breakdowns, and arguably torture. To a large extent this is an extrajudicial punishment, because it is usually decided by prison authorities, not by an panel of judges, as a procedural matter to simplify the officers' lives. It is in often given to "difficult" prisoners, with "difficult" to an outsider usually translating to "obviously mentally extremely distressed" (e.g., covering themselves in faeces).

      The numbers are staggering, and what will happen after returning those to the streets after a decade of that hardly bears thinking (well, reoffending clearly, and that's then posthoc justification?).

      There should be stronger UK campaigns against this, as this government (and the last!) are too pro-SuperMax for comfort. Although I shouldn't personally care --- me & nobody I know will end up there so why care?

  4. Anonymous Coward

    I thought

    the USA legal system worked on the basis of innocent until proved guilty. What on earth will happen to the poor chap when they have sentenced him?

    Is it really Suicide Watch or Drive Prisoner To Suicide? I know that no country is always perfect in these matters; but the USA seems to be almost always imperfect. Ugh.

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      He's being held under military law.

      Apparently it's different to civilian law.

    2. Danny 14 Silver badge


      I thought it was a military court martial? If so, normal rights need not apply.

    3. Catroast

      In the military...

      You have no rights when you are in the military. And considering what Manning did, like it or not, it was akin to treason. That is why he is being treated this way. Civilian rules don't apply, just like they don't apply to prisoners of war. I'm just telling it like it is, 'cos some people seem confused here.

  5. Andrew Moore

    So how does this work then:

    " At night, if the guards cannot see him clearly, because he has a blanket over his head..."


    "He will not be allowed to have a pillow or sheets."

    1. A handle is required


      Blanket != Sheets

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: So how does this work then

      I'm guessing the author was merely repeating verbatim the set of orders that apply to suicide watch under US military rules, without stopping to actually ascertain which ones might be applied in Manning's case. You also have to consider that Quantico Brig is part of a US Marine Corp base and therefore Manning is actually under military juristiction, not civil. So what you'd normally expect in a civillian prison (lot's of professional handwringers, quiet sessions with the psychiatrist and probably time in a comfier prison hospital ward) just aren't going to happen, the USMC don't have a lot of respect for those that "break the code". For all those that seem to have forgotten, Manning was a member of the military, he signed up and accepted their rules of employment, which include both the security aspect he alledgedly deliberately broke, plus the rules and conditions under which he would be imprisoned awaiting trial should he be caught doing what he shouldn't. For his friends to cry foul now is simply silly, but then it's probably just a publicity ploy on their part.

      As to whether the USMC is trying to make him commit suicide, I wish the posters that came up with that would stop and think coherently for just a second. Firstly, the last thing the US administration will want is Manning committing suicide and all the conspiracy freaks then frothing about "assassinations". Secondly, they want Manning alive and capable of standing trial so they can link Assange and co to the act prior to the data theft, as then Assange is "guilty" under the Espionage Act and they can lock Assange away too. Without Manning, it will be much harder to put a watertight case against Assange and co. If anyone is likley to be willing Manning to top himself it's most likley to be Assange and his legal team.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: So how does this work then:

      Such inconsistencies in the speculation make it more suspect than before.

  6. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. hplasm Silver badge

      Your hood is slipping-

      and we can see your face.

    2. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

      @One hopes

      ...that the Tseka has not taken over the world. But who knows ?

    3. Anonymous Coward

      One wonders

      ... convicted of what, please tell us?

  7. JaitcH

    Pfc. Bradley Manning has NOT been convicted of anything

    so he can not be named as the source of Wikileaks material.

    The treatment he is suffering is unadorned governmental torture as he is very lightly, partially clothed, denied all reading material, prohibited from exercising in his cell where he remains for 23 hours each day.

    Every 5 minutes he is visually checked on and if he is sleeping face to the wall, he is awoken.

    By any measure he is being tortured but what else would you expect from a country that abducts people (rendition) and then tortures them in an isolated prison. Hypocritically the U.S, accuses other countries of torture.

    I might possess a U.S. passport but I refuse to use it as the government abuses it's very own citizens it is duty bound to protect.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Pfc. Bradley Manning has NOT been convicted of anything

      More sensationalist frothing from JaitcH, again without a shred of logical thought attached.

      " he can not be named as the source of Wikileaks material...." The fact that he has been charged can be cited in court. However, I expect the US administration will want a successful conviction against Manning first to ensure a simpler job against Assange.

      ".....The treatment he is suffering is unadorned governmental torture...." Nope, it's just standard US military procedures, under US military law. Torture is very carefully deifned under both international and US miltary law, and what Manning is undergoing is niether. You would know this if you bothered to do some research of your own rather than just letting people spoonfeed you what they want you to think.

      ".....Every 5 minutes he is visually checked on and if he is sleeping face to the wall, he is awoken...." To ensure he is not dying through a self-inflicted wound or action. Of course, if Manning did manage to kill himself you'd immediately start squealling that the US military should have taken more care to stop him topping himself, wouldn't you. As I posted earlier, the US administration wants Manning alive, not dead.

      "....I might possess a U.S. passport but I refuse to use it...." Good, one can only hope that means you won't be travelling and spewing your idiocy abroad. Of course, it does mean you have very little chance of actually getting out in the World and actually seeing and learning anything for youself. Probably less of a shock to your fragile mentality if you just stay in your Mom's basement and dream on.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Big Brother

        "Torture" is defined as:

        "... any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity." ... Taken from the UN website.

        Perhaps it's you who should do some research.

        Just because the US Government says: "This, that and the other doesn't constitute as torture" doesn't make it so. If you are intentionally inflicting suffering onto someone without "The State" decrying it ... It's torture!

        AC as I don't want BB coming to get me.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: "Torture" is defined as

          ".....severe pain or suffering...." Please explain the severe pain or suffering involved? Is Manning undergoing "severe suffering" because they won't let him read a magazine? What, Attitude or Playgirl? Is Readers Digest now an experience the human body cannot survive without? I think not. And real sleep deprivation is also tightly defined both in the US military manuals the USMC also comply to, in international military law, and also available for you to actually do some research on at said Library of Congress website. Please take the time to educate yourself a bit more on what is obviousy a very emotional subject for you.

          ".....Perhaps it's you who should do some research...." Perhaps it's you that should read the article - his lawyers are not accusing the US military or administration for committing a crime because what they are doing to Manning is completely legal. Got that? His lawyers are petitioning the court, because nothing illegal is happening to Manning. Please try really hard to comprehend this - just because you want it to be so, doesn't make it so in the real World. You'll probably find that applies to more in your life than just this forum.

          "....Taken from the UN website....." Always make's me laugh when someone quotes UN deliberations as though they were the Pronouncements of The Gods, without first taking a long and hard look at some of the UN members and their histories of torture and repression. But, more to the point, it simply doesn't apply here as Manning is under US military juristiction - the UN could pronounce him a saint and it would make SFA difference.

          "....Just because the US Government says: "This, that and the other doesn't constitute as torture" doesn't make it so...." Actually, seeing as the US is a sovereign state, it does! It is a state with checks and balances and a democratic process missing from many of the states that drafted the UN hogwash you so blithely repeat. That means the US can make it's own laws. If we were all bound to what the UN said regardless then the UN courts would be busy right now dealing with countries like Sudan, China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, etc, etc, but the fact is the UN is largely a toothless tiger even when members sign up to UN charters. The funniest bit is that it is usually the US that supplies the pressure - financial, commercial, political and military - that makes any of the UN actions practical in the first place. Ever wonder why the UN headquarters is in New York? Without the US the UN is just a talking shop for despots and dictators keen to blame all their ills on the West.

          ".....AC as I don't want BB coming to get me." More like the kindergarten teacher is going to come along and ask why you've been skipping class.

  8. Graham Marsden

    Suicide watch...?

    How many people, if treated in that way, would be seriously thinking about suicide after only a few days???

  9. Bryce Prewitt

    This is the result of the Bush era.

    When a country has no qualms about holding foreign citizens hostage, torturing them, kidnapping them and flying them to various secret prisons, putting political pressure on foreign nations to curtail their investigations and outright threatening its own citizens and government into submission over all of the previous, then it is absolutely, completely naive to expect that they will treat their own citizens any different.

    I'm not even going to get into whether or not Bradley Manning broke the law. That's not the point. What is being done to him is nothing more than psychological torture, making him ripe and tender for the beating he's about to be given in court. They want him weak. They want him broken. Despite the fact that, according to every news source available (and from the military themselves), he has done absolutely nothing wrong in prison nor shown himself to be violent or a threat, he is being put through conditions that not even maximum security inmates are forced to endure.

    The fact that his lawyer and all of his advocates are being rebuked at every step paints an extremely clear picture of what the military are doing and why. Military law is far more strict than civilian law and you can get away with a lot more in regards to how you treat alleged criminals. The fact that over the past ten years there existed a culture of lawless coyboyism regarding detainees most likely doesn't help the poor man's situation, either. You would expect Obama, his administration and this (well, the previous, now that the elections are over) congress to have done a partial about face on Bush era tactics, but it appears that they are all too happy to toss the book, throw the book, chew up the book and spit it and possibly even launch it out of a cannon at the guy.

    The way in which our government scorned is choosing to treat an American citizen says far more about us and our priorities than Manning's own actions ever could about him. When someone is put into prison, either as a suspect or a convicted criminal (guilty or not), we don't want rehabilitation, or a sentence to fit the crime, we want a penance in blood, drawn out from willfully, sadistically inflicted suffering, either through the psychological destruction of the man in question or through the physical destruction of the beast our very own rehabilitation system creates.

    Again, whether or not he is guilty isn't at issue here any more than whether or not a rapist is guilty is. What IS at issue here is the way in which we Americans and our government choose to treat suspects, prisoners and convicted criminals. Bradley Manning, like so many convicted criminals and even innocents, is the victim of a culture of retaliation, that is both petty and cruel, and reaches from the poorest in our nation to the most powerful.

    Even if the guy is guilty, even if he did act in severe malice, even if he committed high treason, he is still an American citizen and, far more importantly, a man. Gather the evidence, hold a trial, find him guilty, throw him in prison and put him to death, but don't toy with him as you would a mere insect, don't take away his dignity. The constitution was written to prevent exactly this sort of dehumanizing destruction of a man's sense of self, and it seems that the military-industrial-congressional complex, in combination with our rush to militarize what it means to be an American, has done everything it could make us forget that. That and, in the last 230 years, every legislator who ever wrote an exemption to those protections and every judge who ever validated any breach of protocol and conduct.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      A title

      In case you haven't noticed, this isn't the Bush era. Although it's convenient, you can't blame him forever. Why don't you put some pressure on the current administration?

    2. Paul 106

      Obama's worse

      This is happening under Obama's watch. Don't get me wron, I'd try Bush for perjury and possibly treason, but Obama has ordered the assassination of US citizens abroad on the suspition that they are terrorists.

      He's supposed to be the good guy!

    3. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: This is the result of the Bush era.

      The standard Dummicrat excuse in the title does give away both your political affilliations and hints at the laughable content to follow. In case you forgot (and I'm sure you celebrated the event), Obambi was elected Prez in November 2008. The Dummicrats had a majority in both houses long before then, so all this "blame it on Bush" nonsense is just burying your head in the sand. If anyone is doing "unspeakable things" to Manning it's under the direction of Obambi and co, and nothing to do with George W Bush.

      ".....holding foreign citizens hostage, torturing them, kidnapping them and flying them to various secret prisons, putting political pressure on foreign nations to curtail their investigations and outright threatening its own citizens and government into submission over all of the previous...." Please state how any of that - even if it was true in other cases - applies to Manning? He hasn't been kidnapped, he's been arrested by the US military for breach of US military law. He hasn't been flown to a secret prison, he's in Quantico Brig, an established US base, and his friends, family and lawyers have all been given access to him. He hasn't been tortured, he's been kept under US military prison rules, including their rules on how prisoners judged likley to self-harm should be kept. Seeing as I doubt you have any psychiatric training and have likley never even met Manning, I don't see how you are qualified to question the conclusions of trained doctors. There is no "pressure" on foreign governments, all Manning's wrong-doings have been committed in US bases under US militray juristiction, so no need to involve foreign powers at all. And please give a single example of how the US administration has threatened it's own over Manning? In short, you can't for any of the above, because all you sprouted was a load of mindless, unsubstantiated drivel.

      1. Bryce Prewitt


        @ Anonymous Coward, 03:32 GMT

        In case you haven't noticed, I laid my fair share of blame on Obama. Of course, you didn't actually read my post, did you, or you would have known that.

        @ Paul 106

        I don't exactly think Obama's worse. I think he's a hypocrite and a charlatan for running the campaign that he did and then trying to play Chicago politics on a national level. That's not the point, though, and I'd really rather not debate it. He's merely a technocrat posing as a liberal, as are so many supposed Democrats today. His jockeying for position, a very specific and powerful one in fact - President - belies his and nearly all politicians true nature. They want to uphold the status quo while scoring just enough political points to guarantee power and position for as long as constitutionally allowed. When done, they want to have networked well enough and made as many friends in business as possible to guarantee continued influence and employment. The end.

        Obama is a bad President because he reneged on nearly everything he ever said regarding Bush's policies. He continues many of them and, in true Presidential fashion regarding foreign policy and motherland security (wink wink), he seems to have only changed his mind the moment he stepped into office and was given "the talk" that only people of a certain security clearance are given. I don't doubt that the landslide of information - both true and fabricated - presented to a new President can change his mind. The jump from junior Senator to President is that of going from Duke of Gloucester to Prime Minister or King. (That is an imperfect analogy, my apologies, but I hope you gather what I am trying to say.)

        Still, that is no excuse for Obama not to try and uphold his campaign promises. As is, Obama is a completely different President than he was a candidate. Not so different from Obama the Senator. I lived in Chicago at the time Obama was elected and I did not vote for him, nor would I ever vote for any politician from Chicago or Illinois. I did not drink the kool-aid. Many did. I expected him to break many of his campaign promises, as anyone who thinks that anyone in power will discontinue programs that enlarge their power is largely naive.

        All that I have written above are the reasons why party politics, no matter how many parties and politicians involved, is bullshit. The difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is largely one of ideologies. Not all Democrats support abortion and gun control, but it is a large and valid power group within their base. Not all Republicans support limitless intrusion into our private lives under the guise of security, but it is a large and valid power group within their base. I am neither, and I vote neither, and when I withhold my vote - as I did in the last President and congressional elections - it is not out of spite or anger, but out of a lack of other reasonable options. I do not play their game, as voting for one candidate just to block another is just as dangerous as voting a straight ticket simply because that party skews more to your own bias.

      2. Bryce Prewitt

        I know the difference between chicken shit and chicken salad.

        @ Matt Bryant

        How is it that you've posted nearly 2100 times and I've yet to see your name but in this one thread alone I have seen it pop up numerous times, nearly every single one regurgitating the same tired partisan tripe? Yes, sorry, my apologies, I brought out the post count argument. I concede!

        Perhaps my previous response to Paul 106 will hint as to where my sensibilities and loyalties lie. I doubt it, as you just want to rail off your pedestrian opinion while masquerading it as high-brow intellectual analyzation. You didn't read my post, or you'd understand the correlation between a society that condones secretly shipping off POWs to secret military bases (ie doing everything it can to "protect" us from people we denote as "evil") and one that has no problem stripping everyday citizens and soldiers of their rights (ie doing everything we can to set an example for would-be "traitors" and constitutionally protected leakers alike). Our obsession with security has led us to accede to the continual and wanton stripmining of rights and protections from both the constitution and federal law. Moreover, our acquiescence to the turned blind eye of oversight has caused the moral and ethical erosion of government that seeks to domestically abuse the powers given to it to fight terrorism and foreign espionage. To wit, we treated foreign nations like shit for so long, simply because they're foreign, that we fail to recognize what's wrong when we treat our own citizenry the same. As I said in my post, which you failed to read, I pointed out that the military CAN and WILL treat him like this as military law is far more strict than its civilian counterpart. All the same, that certainly doesn't make it right.

        Now, because you're obviously here for no other reason than to spout off crap rhetoric, I'll give you a line by line response:

        "Please state how any of that - even if it was true in other cases - applies to Manning?"

        - No, thanks, you'll just take it out of context again in a crude and infantile attempt to discredit what I'm saying and repeat partisan talking points because you lack both the originality and cognition to form your own opinions about the matter.

        "He hasn't been kidnapped"

        - I never said he was, that was in regards to our treatment of should've-been-POWs-instead-of-detainees and the fact that they were flown to secret prisons and never charged. Don't even attempt to straw-man me.

        "he's been arrested by the US military for breach of US military law."

        - Yes, a fact which I stated and bears repeating. Thanks, Matty!

        "He hasn't been flown to a secret prison,"

        - Again, never said he was. Don't straw-man me.

        "he's in Quantico Brig, an established US base, and his friends, family and lawyers have all been given access to him."

        - This is not a flat out lie, but it's disingenuous, as you leave out the part where his friends, family, lawyers and journalists have all been harassed by the military. Their cars have been searched and towed, they have been given court summons for things such as not having up to date car insurance paperwork on them (and then refusing to take electronic insurance papers), they have been written ticket after ticket for infractions found without having probable cause, etc. There are more ways to skin a cat than one, and just as Bradley Manning's treatment amounts to torture, so too is constant harassment a tool used to keep his friends, family and lawyers from having easy access to him.

        "He hasn't been tortured,"

        - Legally he hasn't. Nor has he been subjected to what is torture under international law. Still, his treatment is torturous, and I wager that is the implied meaning of most people's posts on this subject. This is not a nit you should be picking, as you are neither a pedant nor clever, you are merely trying to score points by feigning to not have understood our posts and then hoping we don't come back to clarify.

        "he's been kept under US military prison rules, including their rules on how prisoners judged likley to self-harm should be kept."

        - Yes, just as prisoners as Camp X-Ray and Abu Ghraib were kept under military prison rules, including their rules on how prisoners judged likely to self-harm should be kept. These rules and their interpretation are ripe for abuse, however, and the fact that you don't even think that they could be is appalling. The military is doing everything they can to prevent oversight of his treatment, and therein lies the problem. You understand this, yet you, again, acted as obtusely as possible to make an asinine point.

        "Seeing as I doubt you have any psychiatric training and have likley never even met Manning,"

        - While I have no psychiatric training, many people do. People being kept from meeting and evaluating Manning. My lack of training and personal interaction with Manning does not preclude me from forming an opinion about his treatment, just as your own personal inadequacies don't preclude you from forming yours. Again, willfully obtuse. Again, don't straw-man me, buddy.

        "I don't see how you are qualified to question the conclusions of trained doctors."

        - Trained military doctors with an agenda who are operating under the cover of a military that is doing everything it can to prevent oversight of their treatment of Manning. Look, if you don't understand that the military looks out for its own, and has in the past gone to the exact same extremes it is now to threaten, demoralize and discredit people that have scorned it, then you are even more deluded than I thought.

        "There is no "pressure" on foreign governments, all Manning's wrong-doings have been committed in US bases under US militray juristiction,"

        - Again, this was part of my correlation/causation bit regarding how... fuck it, you know what, you don't care about this argument, you're just a partisan asshole that has made this thread into his own personal crusade against against anyone who is taking a moral stand against his treatment. His treatment is legal, yes, but it isn't right, and that is why you have gone to the fringes of misunderstanding and misrepresentation to make our arguments look weak because you lack the ability to bolster your own arguments through reason, logic, empathy and understanding. The four previous sentiments are not something only Democrats are prone to, and your incredible ability to incorrectly slander many people for holding those opinions (and ones that you simply made up and credited to them) is simply astounding.

        "so no need to involve foreign powers at all."

        - Oh, no? So the United States government leaning on Sweden to prosecute him for crimes in their country so that the United Kingdom can extradite him to a country that is then far more likely to extradite him to the United States isn't involving foreign powers at all? I realize that is, of course, not what you meant, as you were merely warping my easily understandable post to suit your own needs, but it is what the US is doing.

        "And please give a single example of how the US administration has threatened it's own over Manning?"

        - Straw man. Straw man. STRAW MAN. STTTRRAAAWWW MAAANNN!! My post contains three extremely separate points that tied in to make one overarching statement about the way in which this country is operating. (1) Obama is continuing Bush era policies, (2) many of which began to intrude domestically, (3) the treatment of Manning is morally, if not legally, wrong, which directly descends from (1) and (2). Again, I don't expect you to make that logical leap, seeing as how your entire purpose here is to score points and manipulate what we're all saying. I doubt you even read to the point of comprehension the majority of our posts in your hurry (as indicated by the legion of misspellings and typos) to post as many platitudes as humanly possible. It looks as if you just scanned for as many talking points as you could and then vomited up some pointlessly vitriolic reaction, all of which boil down to "it's A-OK legally" and "democrat crybaby wah wah wah".

        "In short, you can't for any of the above, because all you sprouted was a load of mindless, unsubstantiated drivel."

        - I apologize for my inability to properly germinate. I promise to consult with an arborist before next posting.

        As my favorite "liberal" once said, "Don't kick cow crap on my boots and call it bull shit."

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: I know the difference between chicken shit and chicken salad.

          Oh my aching sides! I haven't laughed that much since... well, the last post by an equally deluded Fosjay.

          "How is it that you've posted nearly 2100 times....." Good system design, good management software, and a good team to keep the lusers at bay. True, that number was accrued over several years, though.

          ".....and I've yet to see your name but in this one thread alone...." Well, I'm guessing that was because you know SFA technically. I tend to post in technical articles, though I have noticed we're seeing more of the handwringer crowd appearing on this site in recent years. Why should I pass up the fun of mocking their poorly argued whinings? A quick perusal of your posts shows both a trend in "human rights" interest and a trend of hating the Police, hating Republicans, hating big companies like Google, hating all phone companies, hating patents, hating China, hating old ladies that speak loudly in resteraunts..... seems to be a lot of hate in your life! But very little technical interest, and on a technical website. My two faves from your posts are below:

          Regarding John McCain: " usual he is careless with his words, lacks comprehension of the situation and is completely biased. Fuck him. It'll be the Cold War all over again if we elect that asshole....." So non-partisan, no tripe involved at all! No leaping to conclusions or hyperbole, just calm and logical reasoning - NOT!

          Regarding other Reg forums posters: ".....I swear some of you tits need to go back to the Daily Mail and LEAVE THE REGISTER ALONE....." Well, that was original thought there, I've never heard that one before! But let's get back to poking fun out of your last post.

          "....You didn't read my post...." Sorry (and I am, it was truly a waste of time) but I did read all of it.

          "....or you'd understand the correlation between a society that condones secretly shipping off POWs to secret military bases (ie doing everything it can to "protect" us from people we denote as "evil") and one that has no problem stripping everyday citizens and soldiers of their rights (ie doing everything we can to set an example for would-be "traitors" and constitutionally protected leakers alike)....." You haven't understood that other people may have different opionions than yourself, and just because you rabbit on it doesn't mean we're all going to magically convert to your point of view. Even if you can provide some reasoned argument rather than just copious amounts of chicken excreta, it still doesn't guarantee you'll convince anyone. As an example, implying that because there have been cases of the US using extraordinary rendition of foreign nationals to foreign countries for torture, there must be a dark and nasty reason for the US detaining a "traitor" in a military prison is simply a massive stretch. It's a bit like saying the Nazis did some bad stuff so we must always approach any German government ideas as evil (cue inevitable Godwin post). Sorry, the keeping of non-uniformed combatants (not "POWs") in Gitmo is completely unrelated, it's just a typical, unoriginal, kneejerk, handwringer response in an attempt to link a current event with a "bad Bush" event of the past. Please try harder, much harder.

          I'm particularly amused by the way you completely ignore all the evidence in order to trot out your pat conclusions. In some cases you even display the evidence and then sweep it under the carpet! ".....Legally he hasn't. Nor has he been subjected to what is torture under international law. Still, his treatment is torturous...." So, you consider yourself a more authoritative figure than the international or US courts, then? Are you some super-experienced, human-rights lawyer, maybe Alan Dershowitz? My, what an ego you have!

          ".....While I have no psychiatric training, many people do...." So you even admit you don't have the qualifications to analyse Manning's state of mind even if you had met with him, but somehow that's irrellevant because lots of other people do! Of course, you then assume all those people will follow your thoughts exactly, if only the Big, Bad USMC would grant all and sundry free access! Newsflash - Manning is being held for treason and espionage, it's not normal to give someone like that unlimited visitations. In fact, even in civil prisons, access is very controlled and restricted to family, close friends and associated lawyers. If the USMC were breaking the law in not letting anyone that liked visit Manning then his legal team would already be bringing charges against the USMC, whereas they are PERTITIONING for a change in his terms of incarceration. But what's the problem? You already told us you don't need a psychiatrist or doctor to make a reasoned judgement based on actually seeing Manning, you have already concluded he must be being driven suicidal by his "torture". And seeing as you're just such an authority on everything....

          "....My lack of training and personal interaction with Manning does not preclude me from forming an opinion about his treatment...." Well, seeing as you have limited access to the facts - you haven't met with and examined Manning or his environment - and you don't have the skills or training required to form a professional opinion, I'd say there is nothing to stop you forming an uninformed, personal opionion, based on heresay and your obvious emotional and political biases. But I'm also saying - due to you not having the training, information, access or impartiality to make a qualified judgement - don't expect the rest of us to just swoon in wonder at your pronouncements as your opinion is no more valid than one from anyone else here, in fact it seems to be of little value at all.

          "'re just a partisan asshole...." I shall refer you back to your McCain comment above. But your complete cop-out of an answer simply shows that you can't formulate a reasoned reply, hence the name-calling.

          "....So the United States government leaning on Sweden to prosecute him for crimes in their country...." Ah, I think you're confusing Assange and Manning at this point. Maybe you'd like to take this chance to go do a little background reading before your next Great Pronouncement of The Truth?

          Then after you get all excited about your straw men, you sweep off on a tangent wth the following: "....(1) Obama is continuing Bush era policies, (2) many of which began to intrude domestically, (3) the treatment of Manning is morally, if not legally, wrong, which directly descends from (1) and (2). ...."

          (1) What did you expect? I'm no fan of Obambi, but it's a bit unrealistic to expect him to reverse or remove all Bush's actions in just two years.

          (2) Obambi is the US Prez, of course his actions will "intrude domestically", and so will those actions set in motion by his predecessor, Bush. This is just more smoke and mirrors, where's the meat?

          (3) The treatment of Manning is morally and legally wrong IN YOUR EYES due to your own political and emotional preferences. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and for the people that count (that's the US military and courts, not you) they are simply following the laws that apply. I suggest you try that logical leap, though it seems one you are not willing or capable of accomplishing. As a case in point, the US military laws being used in Manning's case pre-date the Bush presidency, so your "blame it all on Bush" whining is just that - childish whining.

          You see, the big difference between how you and I post is that you set out opinions as though they were unchallengeable fact and assume that we're all going to fall in line, whereas I don't have the faintest belief that any of you Fosjays will suddenly "see the light", at most I hope you may stop and consider an alternative point of view. I don't expect you to change your opinions simply becasue I poke car-sized holes in them, but that's becasue I don't think the cow manure is on your boots, I think a fair chunk of it is lodged between you ears.

          1. Bryce Prewitt


            I offended you so much you went through my back history on the Register cherry-picking items in an attempt at forming your oh so coherent argument?

            I'm not even going to bother. This is simply the most unreal experience I've ever had on here and this one time I used Google to completely out a pro-Google Googler by finding out everything there was to know about him after he said "Google wasn't evil" and there was nothing to fear.

            Good day, sir. I look forward to another four years of failing to recognize you post here.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

              RE: Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

              "I offended you so much...." Sorry to bruise your ego, but you AMUSED me so much I thought it would be fun to take a peak at what other howlers you might have posted. Some of them are real corkers, indicative (in my unprofessional opinion) of some deep-seated issues! If you hadn't realised by now, it's very easy to look at another poster's comments, all you do is click on their name. It seems we have only posted in the same threads once before (the Israeli D9 "Killdozer" thread), one where I probably left no doubt as to my pity of the fashionably outraged such as yourself.

              "....I'm not even going to bother...." I'm not surprised, so far your efforts have been verbose but lacking in any real content. I'm actually hoping you put a little more effort into some real action regarding Manning, as the poor kid is probably going to need all the support he can get when he realises Assange and co have left him to carry the can.

              ".....This is simply the most unreal experience I've ever had...." What, someone that actually has an opinion counter to your own? I find it very strange that is "unreal" to you, have you never tried debating anything before, or is it that you just swallow whatever the "hip'n'trendy" line du jour is? Try widening your circle of aquaintances beyond the local student union bar.

              ".....I look forward to another four years of failing to recognize you post here." So you'll be steering clear of the technical threads then? I can't promise I won't wander into the "human interest" threads if the fosjays keep on ranting, so maybe best if you just go back to the Disney site where you can mingle with minds on an equal footing.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes torture

    They're torturing the geezer. Its not big and its not clever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      should go on to say:

      Its AMERICAN

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Yes torture

      Yeah, I'm just guessing what accusations you'll start throwing around if Manning were to manage to kill himself. Please, get a clue and go read the relevant US military laws, they apply because Manning was a member of the military. Manning wasn't some script kiddie hacking from his Mom's basement, he was an enlisted soldier that saw fit to break military laws and abuse the trust given to him by his security clearance. His legal team know this, you would know this if you had an ounce of common sense, so please stop squealling and - frankly - grow up. You could start at the Library of Congress website which has a search tool and complete articles on all the miltary laws that apply both to Manning's alledged crimes and the terms of his incarceration whilst awaiting trial.

      1. The Fuzzy Wotnot
        Thumb Up

        Here, here!

        I don't often agree with Matt Bryant, but this time he has a point.

        When you join the military, in any country, you are agree to certain things usually giving up some rights and gaining others. In this case, he took classified info and passed it to a mouthpiece that broadcast it to the world, the owners of the info are not going to be very pleased about it.

        Manning is in the military, please bear in mind that Manning most likely knew the penalties of his actions if he were caught. He knew exactly what military, solitary confinement procedures are like, they would most likely have had classes detailing what happens if you break the military's rules. He then made a conscious decision when he decided to download that info and pass it on.

        I don't give a monkey's one way or the other, simply drawing people's attention to the obvious facts before we all get carried away.

        If you want to discuss torture, take a look at Amnesty international books. Women subject to institutional sexual abuse for no reason other than being female in male centric societies. Members of groups of people, subject to physical abuse for simply believing in a different way of life or looking slightly different. Trade unionists in South America beaten and murdered for simply trying to ensure workers get a fair wage for hard days work. Children as young 8+ forced to fight in wars, the boys as cannon-fodder guerilla fighters, the girls as "comfort women" for the "troops".

        Knowing the rules, breaking the rules and finally having to be held in a secure environment to ensure you are safe from self-harm or harm from others, is not torture. It's common sense.

        I know all the sheeple who have been brainwashed by Assange and his cronies will vote me down, so go ahead. If you got this far in my diatribe, I know you at least read it!

  11. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Jihadi Junkie ....Hopeless War of Terror Addict

    Uncle Sam ... a Failed State and Global Terrorist. The Big Fat Bully in the Playground.

    Wake up America, you are be played for a rich fool and tool by a dumb sucker and slick admin tool for fools.

    Of course, whenever the information we are being fed, is false, then does it show you how one is groomed to react in a certain manner to reveal particular traits and peculiar views ...... which is the power that Media has, in shaping the future. And such a crying shame that they are so pathetically poor at wielding IT wisely to Present an altogether better Beta Bigger Picture Show. Thank goodness and GOD, Global Operating Devices, for the Internet, which is up for IT, and up to the Task which MainStreamMedia abdicates and so clearly is unable to deliver. Although a lack of necessary intelligence is a valid excuse which one cannot argue against.

    Now knowing that the necessary intelligence is available and hailing and inviting them into much smarter action and HyperRadioProActive IT, it will be interesting to see if their intelligence registers and reacts correctly to the challenge, or whether they have to be spoon fed the Information and Intelligence which Leads, just as a helpless and defenceless bairn is fed its formula.

  12. Queos lvl42 mage Silver badge


    Know of what you speak.

    1. PFC Manning gave up his constitutional rights when he signed up and placed himself under the Uniform Code of Military Justice - the UCMJ. He also knew what the consequences would be for his actions, by the time you leave basic, you're well aware of the UCMJ and how it can incredibly, permanently, fsck up your life. I'm talking during and after they have given you a Bad Conduct Discharge. Nothing to be taken lightly, I assure you.

    2. Not torture. Liability. If the kid does decide to kill himself and succeeds, big bucks for the family and at least 33.3% for the lawyers on both sides, people get fired/court martialed, and the civilian courts will back them up all the way. These suicide-watch procedures are legally determined by the courts - Judges/lawyers know best, right? Right? Look it up. You won't like it.

    I don't like it, I don't support it, but it;s legal in every way.

    On a side note: Did you know we're bombarded with television commercials advertising lawyer firms? They supply reasons that you should sue, if you know anyone with any of the problems they specialize in (asbestos, accidents, getting disability, promising to 'Get You The Money You Deserve'. WTF?

    Of course it IS legal.... depending on what the meaning of 'is', is.....

    It's no damn wonder we're fsking nuts...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nobody said it was illegal.

      The problem is that it IS legal to treat someone like this.

      Amusing that Obama speaks of the Chinese human right record. If I was the Chinese leader I'd be bringing up stuff like that, just for laughs.

  13. Anteaus

    Torture by any other name

    Has anyone approached Amnesty International about this, I wonder?

    1. Martijn Bakker
      Thumb Up

      Someone has

      See open letter to the secretary of defense (dated jan 19th) linked below:

    2. Steve Roper

      ...still smells as bad

      And if they did, what, exactly could Amnesty International do about it?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    USA & Torture

    This is why the USofA is not a signatory to the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

    The way they are treating him is torture. Plain & simple. They know this yet Obama does not do a thing about it. If this were happening somewhere outside of US control, every man and his dog in the US would be decrying it as inhumane.

    I can't help wondering if the sometime dumb ass citizens of the US have been brainwashed by the goings on at Gitmo and will accept pretty well anything their Government does in their name.

    Perhaps is it time for Revolution No 2? Wasn't this sort of treatment one of the reasons behind no 1?

    The US is most certainly at the very top of my 'no-fly' list now.

    now I'm going to walk the dog. Here boy. Walkies!

  15. Russ Williams

    Torture? Get a grip!

    When he's being waterboarded, beaten with hoses, having his fingernails pulled out, and being tasered in the balls, *then* you can claim he's being tortured.

    Checking that someone who was sent to the base chaplain for "odd behaviours" and was "due to be discharged for 'adjustment disorder'", and who described himself as a "wreck" and was "in an awkward place" "emotionally and psychologically" when he (allegedly) exfiltrated classified data he was sworn to protect, hasn't injured himself is not just right and proper. It's his captors' duty of care to do so.

    There are a lot of people who would want to harm Manning, probably including most of the other prisoners in the stockade (just because they've broken military law doesn't mean they like traitors) and likely plenty of the guards, too, so solitary and lock-down are necessary. And he didn't exactly sound mentally stable before incarceration, let alone now with people baying for his blood. If he's innocent, it's even more vital that he's not injured.

    I'm sure it's not pleasant for him, but being locked up in prison on remand - particularly for a crime that can carry the death penalty - is rarely noted for its relaxing properties. The best thing for everyone involved is to get this to court martial ASAP...

  16. moonface

    Chamber of Horrors

    This is quite medievel. No pillow or sheets, Constantly woken, No personal items, Only be allowed one book or one magazine at any given time to read. Prevented from exercising in his cell. If he attempts to do push-ups, sit-ups, or any other form of exercise he will be forced to stop.

    Bloody hell, even Edmond Dantès had better conditions than those!

    Just hope the commander at the Quantico base never does a tour at the Tower of London. If he ever see's the "Little Ease" it might give him some new ideas.

  17. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

    What YOU Can Do To Help Bradley Manning

    It is very clear that the United States Government maltreats Private First Class Bradley Manning. Depriving Bradley Manning of sleep and social contact to other prison inmates or other non-government personell is a clear case of Torture.

    This is very much like the Geheime Staatspolizei of Nazi Germany treated Admiral Canaris:

    And like General Erich Fellgiebel was treated:

    And of course very much like the Tshekists (NKWD, KGB, FSB etc) treat(ed) their opponents.

    If there is a tiny speck of "Freedom" left, we can go to the streets and protest this. Don't wait for anybody to "organize" this. Just paint a sign, which at least says "Bradley Manning" and simply display that on the high street.

    I will do this in Wiesbaden in front of the railway station today. Let's see what kind of reception the "Powers that be" will have at the ready.


    1. Anonymous Coward


      Good idea. Hold a sign saying "Bradley Manning" outside Wiesbaden railway station. That'll change things.

      Let us know how it goes.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: Yes

        Could be worse. Many years ago I was shown some pics from a "peace" demo outside an US base in Okinawa. Amongst the protestors were a group of quite pretty grils with a banner in both Japanese and English, only the translation into English hadn't quite gone right. Instead of "F*ck you Amercians", the banner boldly invited "I F*ck You Americans" - much to the Spetic's amusement.

      2. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

        @AC: Yes

        I did as I said on Saturday. The only offended person was my own missus. The sign read

        "Beendet die Folter von Bradley Manning"



        "Quantico, U.S.A."

        Apart from your negative comments, what did YOU do ? Ranting on the intertubes ? I also do this, but I felt it was impressive to stand for 40 minutes in the cold. Was it effective ? Should I have done more ? What exactly ?

        Maybe the spooks and civil coppers who certainly watched all for a few minutes have some minor idealism and conscience left. After all, Wiesbaden hosts both German and U.S. intel/security organizations.

        Doing nothing, that's exactly what the Tshekist International wants us to do. It does not matter whether they are based in Langley or Moscow.

        1. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

          @Matt Bryant

          I hope you will one day be "treated" by Chinese special police, when you travel to China in a quest for $$$.

          Think about Bradly Manning then.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

            RE: @Matt Bryant

            I don't currently travel to China, but it is somwhere I have always wanted to visit. But, I think you have to grasp the reality that the Chinese Police have zero reason to "treat me", whereas Manning has been arrested and charged with treason. Big difference! Besides, surely I'd be thinking of Liu Xiaobo, or is he not flavour-of-the-week in handwringer circles now that you have a new "repression-by-the-Elites" pin-up boy?

        2. mhenriday
          Thumb Up

          Good on you,

          Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule ! Another thing you might want to consider doing is signing the petition to stop the inhumane treatment of Mr Manning (


        3. Anonymous Coward

          Hi Ubuntu

          Impressed by your dedication I took the opportunity to write "Bradley Manning" on a piece of wicker and sail it down the Thames until it sunk yesterday afternoon.

          Let's hope that between us we can change this injustice.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

            RE: Hi Ubuntu

            I'm hoping that was sarcasm, in which case you owe me a new keyboard. If not, you may want to consider that throwing items into the Thames is illegal littering and can cause distress, injury and even death to the River wildlife. Oh, and you still owe me a new keyboard, just not for the reason of comic wit.

  18. doperative
    Big Brother

    prevention of suicide ?

    Held in solitary confinement, Sleep deprivation, Prevented from exercising, Kept naked .. Of course this has nothing to do with preventing suicide, is instead the implementation of a form of psychological torture, the symptoms that Bradly is no doubt now displaying being used as a pretext to continue the treatment. These techniques are also used in `enhanced interrogation' which has nothing to do with interrogation either.

  19. Bluenose
    Black Helicopters

    Not impressed with his lawyers

    Surely they should be asking for a dismissal of the charges on the basis that their client was not liable for the leak since others in America have claimed to show that that Wikileaks actually used Limewire to identify the huge volumes of confidential material loaded on to hard drives on machines using the P2P software as per the recent Reg article.

    At worst they should be pushing for the hearing of the case on the basis that the delay in moving to court is a breach of their client's human rights to a fair trial. Waiting to see whether they can also get Julian Assange indicted before they try Manning is probably not lawful even in the US.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Not impressed with his lawyers

      "Surely they should be asking for a dismissal of the charges on the basis that their client was not liable for the leak...." As I understand it, the issue that some of the doucments were already "in the wild" on Limewire, is neither here nor there as they were still classified when Manning alledgedly "stole" them. So, Manning's crime still stands and so does Assange's charge under the Espionage Act. If the US can provide proof (such as Twitter chats) that Manning and Assange/Wikileaks conspired to release even one doc that was subsequently in Wikileak's database, even if you can definatively prove that doc came from another source, the case stands against Manning and Assange/Wikileaks. I'm pretty sure conspiracy alone is enough under the Espionage Act, even if no actual docs were "stolen", and it seems likely from Manning's own statements to Adrian Lamo that something was removed from the secure network in question.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: prevention of suicide ?

      ".....Kept naked...." I'm guessing that's one from your private thoughts about Bradley, as nowhere in the article does it claim he is being "kept naked". It says he is in his underwear at night (IIRC, in US military terms that's GI T-shirt and boxers), during the day he's normally dressed (probably in uniform fatigues). Wildly inaccurate statements and hyperbole are doing nothing for your argument, they will just make logical people view your motives with suspicion.

      You also seem to have failed to grasp that Manning is long past the interrogation phase, it seems he has sung like the proverbial canary, so there is no need to "break him" for further interrogation. Indeed, given the press attention that is going to attend any trial, I'm sure the US administration will want Manning looking healthy and chipper, and not droolling like a zombie. What seems to be holding up the court martial is that the US is still gathering evidence to link Manning and Assange/Wikileaks more tightly. I guess this is being hampered to some extent by the WIkileakers running all types of amateur evidence destruction, and by the legal process involved in gaining warrants for information from entities like Twitter. Not much comfort to Manning, but if he really thought he was going to get a slap on the wrist and a fast sidestep onto Oprah's couch then he was being more than a little naive.

  20. Tigra 07 Silver badge

    Cruel and unusual punishment?

    Seems like those conditions would make anyone already suicidal, even more so.

    Being woke up constantly and not allowed to sleep is sleep deprivation and illegal under the same law that bans waterboarding right?

  21. Anonymous Coward


    The only reason the guy is on suicide watch is because the Military want to convict him so they can sentence him to death. They aren't interested in his welfare other than making sure he stands trial.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Be real

    If the guy is suicidal and he probably is, then they are doing what's in his best interest. There will always be people trying to twist the facts to serve their purpose. Some of the comments illustrate this.

  23. mhenriday

    As a retired senior consultant in forensic psychiatry,

    let me agree here with the many commentators above who have noted that the regime under which Mr Manning has been forced to live these last six month is rather designed to promote suicidal ideation than prevent it - although it is probably the case that if he did attempt to physically harm himself, he would be stopped, as it would seem that the US Government and the US military do wish to bring him to trial, but first after the treatment to which he is subject has accomplished the objective of thoroughly breaking him. This latter objective would also seem to explain why Mr Manning has not yet been brought to trial ; whatever evidence that can be gathered to support the charge against him is surely already in the prosecution's hands, but a trial,as in the case of José Padilla, will have to wait until the defendent's mental state has deteriorated sufficiently so that it can be scripted according to the needs of the prosecuters . This, in the country and under the regime that presumes to lecture other states concerning «human rights» !...


  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Messed up

    I find it hard to comprehend how you could do this to another human, let alone one who hasn't hurt anyone and hasn't even been found guilty of a crime.

  25. Tom Visser

    US Armed Forces

    In response to this article, and several comments, I would like to point out that the military legal system is completely different than the regular legal system in the U.S. There are also many special war-time provisions in military law that apply to the alleged conduct of pfc Manning.

    When pfc Manning joined the military he gave up many legal protections that regular U.S. citizens have.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Be real

      I'd say they're doing what's in their best interests, not his. It's not in their best interest for him to top himself as they would not be able to get any (further?) information from him. Plus it would look bad and as someone else mentioned, there's also the possibility of being sued by his family.

    2. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

      @mhenriday: I think they call it

      "Revenge-Based Justice" in Langleyspeak.

      The downfall of any military organization comes with this kind of uncivilized behavior. Moral rots and then the organization itself rots. U.S. military officers are merely "master-thugs", if they need "an order from the top" to stop this shit. Officers must first and foremost stop cold-blooded brutality, also called "revenge". If they can't, they are morally rotten and the whole thing will break down. Eventually, we will see these officers themselves being treated like Private Bradley Manning.

      Prost Mahlzeit !

    3. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

      @Tom Visser: So He Gave Up The Right To Sleep ?

      Time to quit NATO at the first opportunity. Mit diesen Verbrechern will ich nichts zu tun haben.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother


    We hold him under brutal inhumane conditions which cause him to become suicidal, therefore we hold him under brutal inhumane conditions which cause him to become suicidal, therefore we hold...

  27. John P

    At what cost freedom?

    I'd like to echo the sentiment of many of the comments above. This isn't suicide prevention, it seems more like they are trying to encourage him to want to commit suicide.

    They are torturing him and they know it, hence why they have ignored the most recent psychological assessment which recommends he be removed from "suicide watch".

    I'm not normally one to beat the drum of 'human rights' but surely, regardless of what he has done, he deserves to be treated in a far more human way than he is currently being treated. He may be treasonous in the eyes of the military, but he hasn't killed anyone and I think you'd struggle to find a murderer being treated in such a disgusting, dehumanising, and humiliating manner.

    At least give the poor man some clothes FFS.

  28. Cameron Colley

    Puts the US into Stalin's territory.

    I hope I never have to set foot in the land of the tortured again in my life.

    It's a shame because I know some Americans who are smart an intelligent people -- just seems their country is ruled by a bunch of murderous criminals that make Pol Pot look like humanitarian of the year.

    How they can even pretend to be better than the Taliban or China, which the USA makes look like a veritable paradise, I don't know.

    1. John Sturdy

      That's not all

      See also "Diesel Therapy".

  29. skellious

    good lord...

    I'd be suicidal after a day or two... as someone who wears glasses all the time and is effectively blind without them, and as a great lover of books, not being able to see and read would make me sick and ill all the time. (I know from experiance, I was 3 days without glasses due to them breaking while on holiday, and by the end of thosse 3 days I was at my lowest point for a long long time!)

    There MUST be a better way than this. (and as for the knocking every 5 mins... water torture much?

  30. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    My question

    Is the American system really any more evil than any other countries, or is it just that they are less competent at hiding it?

    Either way, this should not be happening to any person, anwhere. These actions are proving the state to be far more depraved than the very worst criminal - let alone someone who hasn't actually been convicted of anything.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: My question

      "......These actions are proving the state to be far more depraved than the very worst criminal...." Was that sarcasm? Unfortunately, I doubt it. Will, whilst I guess that your intentions are "noble" as you see it, if you really believe that the manner in which Manning is being confined is worse than that of any criminal act, then I would have to say you must have been living in a bubble up until five minutes before you posted. Since the bubble theory is a bit far fetched, I'm going to have to conclude that your emotional state and simple lack of reading stopped you from considering the acts of such murderous individuals as Alexander Pichushkin, Hu Wanlin, Dr Harold Shipman, or Thug Behram. Please note the international flavour of the psycopaths I mentioned seeing as you seem to have a fixation with blaming Americans for all evils. Please also take the time to do a little reading into the histories of such non-Amercian characters as Idi Amin, Jospeh Stalin, and Robert Mugabe, to give you just a sample of what really despotic criminal governments are capable of doing. When you have done so, you may then wish to reply with a more realistic post.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You've all got it wrong!

    All of you have got it wrong! Whatever we, in the civilised west, do is the right thing, for the best, for the good of people as a whole, and little birds too! It's only torture when it's someone ELSE who does it. Especially fitlhy bastards who do not abid to our opinions, views and financial interests. Those deserve to be taught a lesson by means of massive military/political/financial opression, for their own good.

  32. Tree & Tree = Dirty Tree

    How exactly...

    ... does this NOT amount to torture?

    Puzzled, but not surprised...

  33. Angry_Sup
    Big Brother

    Where's this poor guys XBox?

    Hey, he's only a uniformed Military soldier who committed treason in a time of war. Where's his Xbox, laptop, and wide-screen TV? God, the inhumane treatment of a poor soul like this demands justice.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What a ...

    ... sick, sick world we live in.

  35. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Even the grunts are complaining


    General James F. Amos

    Commandant of the Marine Corps

    3000 Marine Corps Pentagon

    Washington DC 20350-3000

    Dear General Amos:

    As a former regular Marine Corps captain, a Korean War combat veteran, now retired on Veterans Administration disability due to wounds suffered during that conflict, I write you to protest and express concern about the confinement in the Quantico Marine Corps Base brig of US Army Pfc. Bradley Manning.

    Manning, if the information I have is correct, is charged with having violated provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice by providing to unauthorized persons, among them specifically one Julian Assange and his organization Wikileaks, classified information relating to US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and State Department communications. This seems straightforward enough and sufficient to have Manning court-martialed and if found guilty sentenced in accordance with the UCMJ.

    What concerns me here, and I hasten to admit that I respect Manning’s motives, is the manner in which the legal action against him is being conducted. I wonder, in the first place, why an Army enlisted man is being held in a Marine Corps installation. Second, I question the length of confinement prior to conduct of court-martial. The sixth amendment to the US Constitution, guaranteeing to the accused in all criminal prosecutions the right to a speedy and public trial, extends to those being prosecuted in the military justice system. Third, I seriously doubt that the conditions of his confinement—solitary confinement, sleep interruption, denial of all but minimal physical exercise, etc.—are necessary, customary, or in accordance with law, US or international.

    Indeed, I have to wonder why the Marine Corps has put itself, or allowed itself to be put, in this invidious and ambiguous situation. I can appreciate that the decision to place Manning in a Marine Corps facility may not have been one over which you had control. However, the conditions of his confinement in the Quantico brig are very clearly under your purview, and, if I may say so, these bring little credit either to you or your subordinates at the Marine Corps Base who impose these conditions.

    It would be inappropriate, I think, to use this letter, in which I urge you to use your authority to make the conditions of Pfc. Manning’s confinement less extreme, to review my Marine Corps career except to note that my last duty prior to resigning my captain’s commission in 1959 was commanding the headquarters company at Quantico. More relevantly, during the 1980s, following a stint as a senior estimates officer in the CIA, I played a very public role as a “whistleblower “ in the Iran-contra affair. At that time, I wondered why Lt.Col. Oliver North, who very clearly violated the UCMJ—and, in my opinion, disgraced our service—was not court-martialed.

    When I asked the Navy’s Judge-Advocate General’s office why neither North nor Admiral Poindexter were charged under the UCMJ, the JAG informed me that when officers were assigned to duties in the White House, NSC, or similar offices they were somehow not legally in the armed forces. To my question why, if that were the case, they continued to draw their military pay and benefits, increase their seniority, be promoted while so serving, and, spectacularly in North’s case, appear in uniform while testifying regarding violations of US law before Congress, I could get no answer beyond, “That’s our policy.”

    This is not to equate North’s case with Manning. It is only to suggest that equal treatment under the law is one of those American principles that the Marine Corps exists to protect. This is something you might consider.


    David C. MacMichael

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Even the grunts are complaining

      Apart from the fact ex-Captain MacMichael is not a "grunt", one has to wonder if he's not blowing his own horn for a bit of publicity.......

      "....I played a very public role as a “whistleblower “ in the Iran-contra affair...." Got a book out soon, Mr MacMichael? What, no plugs for your mag Unclassified? Oops, no, that folded back in 1997 from lack of interest! Still, I hear your political career.... Oh, no, that got canned back with Dukakis. So, how are you passing your time nowadays, apart from reminiscing about the good ol' days in the Corp?

      Just like with every bit of breaking news, there are those that will try to ride the wave for a bit of the action, maybe an appearance on CNN as "a security expert". I'm not surprised the Followers of Saint Julian would be lapping it up and repeating it unquestioningly.

      1. mhenriday

        «... one has to wonder if he's not blowing his own horn for a bit of publicity....»

        To the degree, Mr Bryant, that the old adage «it takes one to know one» contains an element of truth, you, with your ten postings to this thread alone, should indeed be an expert on the practice of tooting one's own horn....

        Cheers !


        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: «... one has to wonder if he's not blowing his own horn for a bit of publicity....»

          You fail to consider that Mr MacMichael may have a financial incentive by pushing himself very publicly into the limelight, whereas all I have to gain is the humour value from poking fun at you deluded individuals. Put it down to grumpy old man syndrome, but I just find it harder and harder to cope with the blind pronouncements of the willfully-deluded, dressing their own political faith up as concern. Why shouldn't I post when you lot sprout so much emotional silliness without a thought for fact-checking? I can't help it if you guys can't mount a defence.

          I actually have a smattering of sympathy for Manning, he seems to be just a confused and easily-led individual, unsuited to military life, that has been led up the garden path by Assange and co. But that sympathy doesn't reduce my ability to look at the reality of the situation - "nice-guy-led-astray" or not, Manning is charged with a very serious militray offence that included a severe breach of trust. Whilst you may moan about his subsequent treatment, in less civilised countries he'd already have been put up against a wall and shot by now.

          1. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

            @Matt Bryant: Is Polonium Also OK With You ?

   case you have been a former Tshekist who is now bitching ? Tshekists "know the rules about traitors" so it is surely ok to treat them with Polonium or Mercury ?



            "Opfer des möglichen Giftanschlags sind die Journalisten Viktor und Marina Kalaschnikow. Bei diesen hatten Ärzte der Berliner Charité laut dem Magazin Focus Quecksilberwerte im Blut entdeckt, die den zulässigen Grenzwert um das 25-fache übersteigen."

            Your argument's logic boils down to saying "the US military is known to use torture, if you join them, you accept being potentially tortured". I am now accepting this is the truth, but then the US military is a band of thugs, nothing more. And it is sad you defend them.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

              RE: @Matt Bryant: Is Polonium Also OK With You ?

              Just when you thought the Fosjays couldn't get any sillier, they manage to produce a rant of truly epic delusion!

              " case you have been a former Tshekist...." I'm guessing you were far too busy jumping on the bandwagon to bother with geography classes at school? Manning is being held by the US, not the Russians. Please try and restrain your wild sensationalism to something even vaguely related to the topic in hand.

              "....Polonium or Mercury...." Yes, and when was Manning "treated" with either? Please don't be so silly. The US administration want Manning alive so they can try him and punish him to discourage any other leakers. Please explain why on Earth would they want to poison him, what it is they would gain from such an action?

              "....Viktor und Marina Kalaschnikow...." What have the Kalaschnikows got to do with Manning? Not a thing. Please don't let your Russian paranoias intrude into every discussion.

              "....Your argument's logic boils down to saying "the US military is known to use torture, if you join them, you accept being potentially tortured"....." Actually, my argument was that Manning signed up and would have been aware of the penalties for deliberately breaching security. In the meantime, whilst he awaits court martial, he is still subject to milirtary law which includes the way he is kept if judged a risk to himself. Moan, squeal and hyperventilate all you like, but please try and do so with just the tiniest shred of common sense. SImply saying "the US military are evil" is not going to win you much support from anyone with half a clue.

  36. Autonomous Cowherd

    Clear Torture

    "The guards will check on him every five minutes by asking him if he is okay. PFC Manning will be required to respond in some affirmative manner. At night, if the guards cannot see him clearly, because he has a blanket over his head or is curled up towards the wall, they will wake him in order to ensure that he is okay."

    Yes, this sounds like this is for his own good. I'm sure he will appreciate this very careful concern every 5 minutes, twenty four hours a day. When he everntually gets out, the guys gonna flip if anyone asks if he's ok. Then they'll see him flip out and someone will ask if he's ok. Then he'll flip out more...

    Poor guy, not one human being deserves that treatment. Not even the really really bad ones.

  37. John Tserkezis

    Again, this is the BEST they can do?

    After failing abysmally on legal grounds to stop him, they've resorted to "teaching him a lesson" by EVERY legal means possible...

    Yep, it's happend. I think of the US government as a lower form of life than that Australian Government.

    Now that's saying something!

  38. Aitor 1 Silver badge


    How can yu supporta a governmetn that supports torture?

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Poor chap...

    He must be scared to death. I can't help but think "Why is he cooperating?" They can't really do anything much worse, being tied down to a bed unable to move sounds better than being treated like a dog expected to obey as you're being punished and unable to move much anyway.

  40. paulc

    Nuremberg Defence?...

    <blockquote>Thus, under Nuremberg Principle IV, "defense of superior orders" is not a defense for war crimes, although it might influence a sentencing authority to lessen the penalty. Nuremberg Principle IV states:

    "The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."</blockquote>

    Private Manning is being denied his moral choice to defy superior orders... he was leaking evidence of possible war crimes...

  41. Yautja_Cetanu

    This is sad

    Know this just makes me sad, there is so much attention on Julian Assange whilst nothing for bradley manning.

    There doesn't seem anything anyone can really do :(

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Morally indefensible.

    We all "know" that countries sometimes carry out unpleasant actions on the grounds of national interest. These always used to be either completely invisible or well cloaked in "plausible deniability". This was to done avoid the very real risk of repercussions.

    I think I'm agreeing with the post from amanfromMars1 that the internet spreads information far and wide and that information is acted on throughout the world. Secrecy is now much harder and plausible deniability even more so.

    In the leaked US cables case everything is very, very public - and the US seems to be acting in the old (sweep it under the carpet) manner. This looks like political incompetence - and ugly political incompetence at that.

  43. Queos lvl42 mage Silver badge


    Why did Manning do it? Thus far nothing he had stolen has been earth-shattering, Wikileaks and Assauge are more concerned with dramatic effect and saving their own asses, and now he's been hung out to dry. No one seems to care about that, now do they? Reasons why? Oh hell no, poor lad is being abused - in the exact method he knew he would but didn't believe.

    Seriously. What did he expect from stealing docs and sending them off?

    Parades in his honor? Protesters on the street defending him?

    Manning seems to have believed the World is/was all sweetness and light, that being politically correct would nullify any (as he might have considered) unjust laws/actions would save him.

    Sucker. The sad/gravehumor laughs come when you realize if he was 1. an officer, 2. female, and or 3. a minority, it probably would have. Now ain't that a bitch?

    No matter how much we wish the world was different, people are people and they tend to look out for Number One, themselves. Go ahead, point out any one politico in your country of origin that say they have your interest in his/her heart. Then find out how much they are worth. Follow the damn money! No matter what they say or pontificate, nothing happens and they make bank off mouthing the words. (Mother Teresa types you can count of one hand this past century and they go out and actually live their words - few and far between)

    Tell me it's not so after you downgrade this post.

    1. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

      @Queos lvl42 mage: The Same Applies For The K.G.B.'s Actions

      Didn't you know they shoot their opponents without trial ? You opened your mouth and were shot in a dark prison corner. That's entirely your own fault. At least that's the logic of your arguments.

      1. Queos lvl42 mage Silver badge


        Please try to do better than that - How does that apply? Just when did Manning get shot? Didn't happen. Go fish.

        (actually surprised I wasn't called a nazi.... usually the last resort of somebody who has zero arguments to refute another opinion lol)

  44. Armus Squelprom

    Shame on the USA

    They are mistreating this guy in a manner bordering upon torture, with the obvious intention of breaking any remaining free will or dignity he may have .

    And then they'll produce a sleep-deprived, schizoid defendant, sedated to his eyeballs, and lead him through a rehearsed confession that Stalin would've been proud of.

    Utterly despicable.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Shame on the USA

      "....And then they'll produce a sleep-deprived, schizoid defendant, sedated to his eyeballs, and lead him through a rehearsed confession that Stalin would've been proud of....." Yes, and they'll manage to do this under the scrutiny of the World's press, let alone such professional bleeding hearts as the ACLU (Manning is gay so the ACLU has jumped on the bandwagon), Amnesty International, assorted human rights "experts", his family and lawyers, and Obambi's own party (who are not very military- or CIA-friendly). Please, unless you seriously believe The Man has managed to develop massed mind-control, I would suggest you reconsider that idea as it would have little chance of success. Stalin could rig such tricks becasue the Soviet had complete control of every aspect involved - doctors, press and politicians. Shame on you for not thinking that through.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Disproportionate force ...

    ... has been and is being applied?

    But there again, the US military seems to have a history of that

    1. Queos lvl42 mage Silver badge


      Be happy we're not Romans or the British Empire.


  46. Bernard M. Orwell

    @Matt Bryant

    I will avoid the conjecture and emotive arguments that others have put here against you in preference of asking the following:

    Is the treatment of Bradley Manning right? I'm not asking whether its legal under whatever laws, but whether you believe that it is right as opposed to wrong.

    I'm looking for a yes or no answer, if you'd care to give it.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: @Matt Bryant

      ".....Is the treatment of Bradley Manning right?...."


      That is if you meant "Is it right to follow the guidelines for preventing self-harm by those judged to be a risk to themselves, as set down in the military code?", then the answer is an obvious "Yes". If Manning did manage to kill himself then you would all be complaining that the USMC hadn't checked enough! What I suggest you should have asked is "Do you think Bradley Manning is really a suicide risk, or is the military just stretching things in order to give him a hard time?", in which case I'd say "probably no and probably no". Both those are "probably" as I don't have enough information to make a clear decision either way, but I suspect the officers involved won't be taking any chances as the fall-out from a Manning suicide would probably be carreer-ending. Marines are human too, they will err on the side of caution. I also can't confirm if Manning is actually suicidal, but it seems more than one doctor thought he was enough of a risk to require the suicide watch order. Maybe they were being cautious too, who knows, but it doesn't necessarily follow that they were being malicious or acting under orders and against their medical judgement.

      Now, your turn! Do you think it is right of many of the posters here to decry the treatment of Manning as torture when they have no real insight into his actual mental condition and cannot therefore have any way of calculating the risk he would harm or kill himself?

  47. Bernard M. Orwell

    @Matt Bryant

    You failed to answer my question as postulated. Instead you gave me a semantic argument bordering on precisely what I asked you not to; you gave me a *legal* argument:

    Quote: "That is if you meant "Is it right to follow the guidelines for preventing self-harm by those judged to be a risk to themselves, as set down in the military code?", then the answer is an obvious "Yes""

    Not what I asked you at all. So, let me clarify, are the conditions that Manning is being kept in RIGHT? Is it FAIR to treat any human this way for any reason?

    Ah, but perhaps you can't answer this at all? After all, you have repeatedly stated that no one here has any direct xperience or exact information regarding Mannings psychological state or physical condition, and by extension that must include you, so you, like everyone else, merely believe the USMC are doing their best to ensure his well being. But, you have no more information about that condition than the rest of us, do you? I think we have to call that particular debate moot on that basis.

    So, let us turn to what we DO know, as laid down in the statement from the USMC about how Manning is being treated, physically.

    Is that right? Reasonable? Moral? Fair? Just? I am NOT asking if it is legal.

    The reason I am driving past the point of merely legal relates to your question-in-reply, because the definition of torture is more than a little subjective. Allow me to illustrate:

    The Patriot Act (I & II) extensively redefine torture so that certain measures become legally operational in the US. Under those changes the treatment of Manning is perfectly legal in the US. Indeed, if they decide to waterboard him that'd be legal too, but we have no evidence of any intention to do anything of the sort. Furthermore, the USMC military regulations are clear, and legal, inside the US, and therefore are, by that definition, not wrong.

    (Citation :

    However, Amnesty International, perhaps the worlds foremost human rights organisation, undeniably experts in understanding and classifying psychological and physical torture have called Mannings conditions 'inhumane' quite clearly and called on the US to make alterations to their 'legal' situation. Amnesty have had access to Manning and have prepared reports condemning his conditions and expressing concern for his psychological and physical state. Their report is just as valid a source as any statement by Mannings jailors.


    So, morality is again shown to be highly subjective, and we each have to select where our personal viewpoint lies based upon our own morality, rather than simply accepting the demand of others that we accept what they say is right. After all, its fine to stone people to death in some nations, or to send eight year old children to work on trash heaps, or to burn to death those of another religion. At various times in human history mankind has had all sorts of legal, yet repulsive, laws and morality.

    Legal does not neccessarily mean right.

    So, what I was asking of you is about YOUR morality. Not the USMC, not the US, not anyone else. Just you. How do you feel about the treatment of Manning personally? Would you be his jailor if you were simply shown the law on a piece and paper and then given an order to do so? Would you waterboard him if asked to do so? Do you perhaps think that the 'powers that be' haven't gone far enough? Would you just shoot him and be done with.

    If you are still saying yes, then you are probably basing it on either Bentham-like utilitarianism (what is good for the whole is good for all, so lets put all the offensive poor people in workhouses), or a Kantian catagorical imperative (Obey, because it is right to obey. Do not disobey, that is wrong.)

    Either way, I think you may want to examine your own desire for justice and balance it against the clear desire for simple revenge.

    (Citation :

    (Citation :

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: @Matt Bryant

      "You failed to answer my question as postulated....." No, you simply were not clear enough in your question.

      "......are the conditions that Manning is being kept in RIGHT?...." Yes. YES.

      Y Y EEEE SSS

      Y Y E S

      Y EEE SSS

      Y E S

      Y EEEE SSS

      Is that a clear enough answer for you? How else did you expect the Marines to stop him from killing himself if he had attempted it? Let's get beyond the giant mental stumbling block of your automatic assumption that the USMC is just being malicious to Manning, shall we? The doctor(s) in question made the call that he was likely to self-harm, once that judgement had been made there was nothing the Marines could do but follow the procedures as laid out in the military codes they have to follow. Comprendez? You may question the conclusions of the doctor(s) or the subsequent manner in which they ensured he did not self-harm, and AI can wail (into any and every press TV camera within sight, as self-adulation seems to be their prime concern), but the Marines simply did what they had to do, and seem to have achieved the objective of him not committing suicide.

      "...Legal does not neccessarily mean right....." I suggest you consider that statement very carefully. Laws are set as we as individuals cannot be relied on to come to the same conclusions as to "right" and "wrong" and act accordingly. So laws - at least in democratic countries of the type you seem to enjoy criticising - are set by elected representatives for the greater good of the people they represent, and often as a direct result of election promises. For example, you may think paedophillia is just fine, but the consensus is it is not, therefore we have laws against it, with prison usually being part of the punishment. Modern civil prisons are not nice places, but they are there as a punishment for those that have breached the laws set to keep the civil population safe and happy. Are you now saying that because a prison isn't a gosh-darn-lovely experience we should just let paedophiles, murderers and rapists off with a telling off? No, because public opinion is that criminals should be punished. Manning is effectively being held on remand awaiting his trial, just like many civillian prisoners, because they are charged with crimes. All the military laws governing the treatment of Manning were drafted by lawyers and politicians, some in repsonse to international treaties drawn up by more lawyers and politicians, so they are the result of public will. You don't like it, then stand as a politician on the idea of removing all prisons becuase they are not "fair" or "right" and see how little support you get. Whatever you may think about how "heroic" Manning is, he is charged with breaking the law, so he will be locked up in a prison and be subject to their rules, including how they should treat him should he be judged a risk to himself. Manning seems to be rediculously naive but also must have some intelligence, so he also must have been aware of the consequences of his actions should he be caught. I'm sure you'll reply that my argument is extreme, but then it is nothing compared to your deliberate obtuseness over the fact that Manning put himself where he is now through his alledged criminal actions, everyone else is just following the relevant laws and guidleines.

      And thanks for your misplaced concern over my "morality", but I think the real problem is your emotional bias, probably helped along by a fashionable sense of political outrage, makes you unable to consider an issue involving the US authorities without automatically jumping to whichever pat conclusion helps your fatuous sense of moral superiority.

      "....Either way, I think you may want to examine your own desire for justice and balance it against the clear desire for simple revenge....." Revenge for what? In my own instance, how has Manning harmed me? Certainly not by the laughable material he leaked, so why do I need "revenge"? See, once again you have leapt to a pat conclusion - I am angry at Manning and therefore my posts are driven by a desire to see him punished. The reality is I feel pity for Manning, he is just Assange's patsy and he has thrown his life away (or at least fifty years of it) for very little. The only thing I find offensive is the continued and senseless outpourings of many of the Wikileaks supporters on these forums, who repeat the most rediculous innaccuracies ("Assange faces the death penalty", "Manning is kept naked", "the CIA are planning to kill them both", etc, etc), and then shriek at anyone that has enough sense to point out the stupidity in their posts. I think you are the one that needs to examine exactly why it is you are so het up about Manning, and whether it is really from your concern over a fellow human being or just the result of your personal political grievances.

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