Today I joined with Michael Stipe, Viggo Mortensen, Daniel Ellsberg, Rosanne Cash, Tom Morello, Jesselyn Radack, Shepard Fairey and others to demand that President Obama and Secretary of Defense Gates investigate the degrading treatment that Bradley Manning is being subjected to at the Quantico brig:

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
March 18, 2011

Dear President Obama:

We are writing today to ask for immediate action to address the inhumane and unjustified treatment of PFC Bradley Manning at Quantico Marine Base. Despite the recommendations of three forensic military psychiatrists, the Brig Commander at Quantico refuses to lift the POI (Prevention of Injury) status and change his confinement classification from MAX to Medium Custody In (MDI). As a result, PFC Manning has been kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day for the past eight months.

On the evening of March 2, 2011 PFC Manning was stripped of all his clothing by the Quantico Brig and left naked in his cell for the next seven hours. His clothes were returned to him the following morning only after he stood to attention in front of the rest of the clothed inmates, still naked. The same thing occurred the following night and morning.

There can be no conceivable justification for this type of degrading treatment. It brings back memories of the abuses committed in Abu-Ghraib, which blackened the reputation of America’s armed forces.

Pfc. Manning is already being monitored at all times, both by direct observation and by video. No other detainee at the Brig is forced to endure this type of isolation and humiliation.

We, the undersigned, demand an immediate investigation into the conditions of Pfc. Manning’s detention and urge you to order a stop to the cruel treatment of an American soldier entitled to the same human rights and constitutional protections afforded to all citizens. Every human being deserves to be treated with respect. Every human being deserves due process. Pfc. Manning is receiving neither.

Sincerely,

Rosanne Cash
Daniel Ellsberg
Shepard Fairey
Danny Glover
Jane Hamsher
Tom Morello
Viggo Mortensen
Michael Rattner, Center for Constitutional Rights
Michael Stipe
Vince Warren, Center for Constitutional Rights
Angela Wright, Amnesty International
cc: The Honorable Robert M. Gates
Secretary of Defense
U.S. Department of Defense

For more information, contact the Bradley Manning Advocacy Fund.