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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bradley Manning in Jail

There has been some talk about the conditions under which PFC Bradley Manning, he of the Wikileaks tsunami of leaked US secrets, is being held while awaiting trial.

Over at Salon we have Reporter Glenn Greewald talking about "The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning's detention".  That was back in December of 2010 and it hasn't gotten any better.  On the other hand, he is being held so he can be tried for various crimes.

I frankly think that his being kept away from the "General Population" is for his own good.  Nasty things happen in prison from time to time and Governments at all levels are notorious for not policing what goes on in prisons, with some exceptions, like here in Middlesex County.  And, there is the suicide watch.  Who would wish to be the Brig Commander if PFC Manning killed himself or even harmed himself.

Then the Department of State Spokesman, P J Crowley came out and said he was being tortured.  This, of course, set off a small fire storm.  And, he retired—early today, in fact.  Chalk up one more victim of PFC Manning's leaks.

Over at Think Progress we have this story on today's resignation.  They quote a 2008 paper from Mr Crowley which stated
[W]e have policies, including harsh interrogation techniques, detention without charge, government surveillance, and immigration that are inconsistent with our values and our long-term interest.
The man feels strongly about these issues.

Doctor Daniel Ellsberg gets to what many are thinking, which is that this is cohersion to develop information to use against Mr Julian Assange.  He writes this Friday in a piece in The Manchester Guardian.  But, then, Mr Ellsberg has his own ax to grind in this affair.  There are those who think that this is all about getting the bureaucratic situation right for a move from military detention to the Department of Justice, so they can work the Julian Assange issue.

As for Mr Crowley, who, like me, is a retired Air Force Officer, one person suggested it is a personal issue, since his own Father was a POW.  I would tend to think it is just Mr Crowley's understanding of the facts.  He thinks that Mr Manning is being badly treated and he thinks that this will not play out well on the world stage.  As the US Department of State Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs he is paid to make those kinds of calls.  To allow frustration with his advice being ignored to spill out in public was a momentary slip in his normal "grace under pressure".

Rumor Control has it that young Mr Manning has found a literary agent for his projected book.  With this goes plans for a planned protest in DC this month.

I was thinking of adding to my list of Blog Post Labels the word "Treason" but there are so few cases that it didn't seem worth it.  But, PFC Manning might well fit into that category.

I hope he will be convicted, since I believe he has done damage to these United States and to some of those who serve.  If convicted, I hope he gets a fairly decent time in jail.  If sent to Fort Leavenworth for his actions, I hope he is not put in the General Population, as I think it would not go well for him.

Regards  —  Cliff


Anonymous said...

Conversely, I hope Maggot Manning gets life without the possibility of parole....and instead of Leavenworth.....he gets a cell at the Federal supermax....23 hours a day in a bare cell without windows or human contact.

And to those who would claim that is inhumane and harsh beyond reason, I would ask if it is inhumane and harsh beyond reasons that there are men and women who will die because of Manning's self interest.

Moreover, included in his sentence should be a prohibition that he not be allowed to dictate a book about his misadventure. To allow him to record his dastardly deed for posterity is tantamount to establishing him as some sort of iconic figure, at least, among a relatively small, perverse percentage of our population.

Jack Mitchell said...

I say deal, if we put Dick Cheney in with him.