p2pnet view P2P | Freedom | Politics:- The following was contained in an e-mail sent to Jon by FireDogLake.com, “an online news site featuring original reporting and commentary”, and forwarded to me. In it, FireDogLake describes an interesting petition they have started, intended to draw some pretty constructive attention to the treatment of Bradley Manning, who, as we know, is the young US soldier who was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed restricted material to the website WikiLeaks.
I’m simply going to post the e-mail contents it in its entirety, as its meaning and purpose are quite clear, and I’m sure FireDogLake wants to spread this around as much as possible. Its links are there for those wanting to know more and/or get involved.
- Devil’s Advocate
The isolation of Bradley Manning just took a turn for the worse. Now Quantico Marine Base and the government are breaking their own rules to deny visits to Bradley Manning.
Government officials and Quantico Marine Base have just declared that Congressman Dennis Kucinich and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture – who have tried to visit Manning for months – would not be considered to be on “official government business.” That means brig authorities could monitor their conversations and possibly use them against Manning in court.
We need to appeal this decision to the leadership at Quantico and the Pentagon, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Quantico Base Commander Colonel Daniel J. Choike, and Brig Commander CWO Denise Barnes. If enough of us call out this wrongheaded decision, we can generate pressure in the media to allow official visits with Bradley Manning.
What do Quantico and the Pentagon have to hide? Are they afraid of what Bradley Manning might say about his treatment when the brig cameras are turned off?
For 9 months and counting, Bradley Manning has faced almost complete solitary confinement. He is still forced to strip nude nightly. He is still in maximum custody with an unnecessary “Prevention of Injury” order – far beyond that of any other detainee. He is still cut off from appropriate exercise and other rights afforded prisoners at the brig.
When confronted about Manning’s harsh treatment, President Obama said the Pentagon had reassured him that Manning’s confinement met “basic standards.” If Manning’s conditions meets our “basic standards,” then why is the government going to such great lengths to keep him from meeting with official visitors?
The decision to block official visits to Bradley Manning isn’t just ludicrous. It’s against the rules. Marine rules clearly state that people “conducting official government business, either on behalf of the prisoner or in the interest of justice,” can be allowed “official visits” not subject to monitoring by the brig. That explicitly includes Members of Congress like Rep. Kucinich.
Rep. Kucinich, a member of the House Oversight Committee, has been trying to visit Manning in prison for more than two months. The Congressman repeatedly wrote to Secretary Gates and other military officials requesting a visit to investigate the allegations of torture-like conditions to which Manning has been subjected. And the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has opened an official investigation into PFC. Manning’s conditions.
If it seems like a stretch to say that a member of the US Congressional Oversight Committee and the United Nations visiting a military prisoner alleging abuse does not constitute ‘official government business,’ that’s because it is. This is one big game of semantics, with the ultimate goal being to keep the public from hearing the truth about Manning’s confinement.
With your help, we will make sure there is nothing secret about the way the US Government is treating Bradley Manning.
Thanks for all you do.
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Devil’s Advocate – p2pnet
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
World War III will be a global information war with no division between civilian & military participation ~ Marshall McLuhan
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