Accused Wikileaks whistleblower PFC. Bradley Manning will be removed from solitary confinement and placed in medium security at Fort Leavenworth prison, according to reports from journalists who took a tour of the Kansas facility today.
The first report of Manning’s move came from National Catholic Review reporter Joshua J. McElwee, who said that after the tour of the Leavenworth facility, military officials announced that Manning would be moved to medium security tomorrow morning.
Suspected WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, whose treatment in custody has spurred protests from supporters and human rights groups, is now considered a “medium custody” prisoner and is allowed three hours of recreation a day, the U.S. Army announced this afternoon. [...]
The commandant of the facility, Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton, said the suspected Army private will be classified as a medium custody prisoner “starting tomorrow morning.”
The new classification allows Manning to receive Army inspected mail freely, make phone calls, and meet with preapproved visitors, Hilton said.
Kevin Zeese from the Bradley Manning Support Network seemed to confirm that report with a tweet saying that Manning would be removed from solitary confinement. The AP also reports that Manning will be housed with about 10 other pre-trial detainees at Leavenworth, and will have access to common areas during the day.
The ease with which the Army decided to put Manning in medium security, and out of almost a year of solitary confinement, makes the unending excuses out of the Pentagon pathetic. All we heard about from December onward was how Bradley Manning was a threat to himself. DOD Flack Geoff Morrell said Manning was being held in maximum security because other prisoners could possibly harm him – or, because everybody at Quantico was in danger of self-harm. He was stripped naked every night because of a sarcastic quip.
But now, Manning is in medium security. No prevention of injury order. No maximum custody. He’s like any other detainee (you can say that now without lying, Morrell).
Barack Obama said the Pentagon “reassured” him that Manning’s treatment at Quantico “met our basic standards.” Better get a second opinion on that. Either 7 days in Kansas did wonders for Manning, or the folks at the Pentagon and Quantico are a bunch of lying sadists who tortured Manning out of, what? Retaliation? Punishment? Sick enjoyment?
Dennis Kucinich sums up the high stakes that still surround Manning’s detention and the unquestionable abuse that Manning suffered:
Instead of responding to criticism from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, the Army will offer the media a scripted fantasy of Manning’s brand new facility. With this stunt, it is clear that the Department of Defense and the Army are more concerned with public relations than the rights and security of Pfc. Manning.
This fake transparency ignores the central question: How was Pfc. Manning treated during his long, solitary pretrial confinement at Quantico? What is his mental state after suffering the indignity of being left naked for an undetermined period of time, and after being continually disrupted in the manner of a continuous interrogation?
If it is determined that there has been a deliberate effort to break Pfc. Manning physically and/or mentally prior to his trial or subvert his rights in any way, then the news media, which is participating in the public relations exercise today at Ft Leavenworth, could become complicit in a cover up.
The Department of Defense must grant my legitimate request to meet with Pfc. Bradley Manning and fully answer serious questions about his treatment.
Make no mistake. This is not over. The Pentagon did today what it should have done, at a minimum, five months ago when allegations of Bradley Manning’s abuse first came to light. We don’t know what Manning has really endured under the abusive watch at Quantico. And Manning supporters won’t stop the campaign to ensure he’s still treated fairly, and that the truth about his abuse at Quantico is told. There’s also the little matter of the Commander in Chief exercising undue command influence in declaring Manning guilty.
There’s little doubt that Bradley Manning’s conditions wouldn’t be improving, starting tomorrow, if it weren’t for the tireless efforts of his supporters, including the more than 50,000 FDL activists who protested, donated, and wrote in support of his humane treatment. Thank you for all you’ve done. I’m looking forward to continuing our campaign to ensure Bradley Manning is treated fairly.