According to Bradley Manning’s attorney David Coombs, Manning’s confinement conditions have improved dramatically. This week he wrote about “A Typical Day For PFC Bradley Manning at Fort Leavenworth”:
PFC Manning is now being held in Medium Custody. He is no longer under Prevention of Injury watch and is no longer subjected to harsh pretrial confinement conditions.
Unlike at Quantico, PFC Manning cell has a large window that provides adequate natural light. His cell also has a desk, a bed, and a toilet. The cell is approximately 80 square feet. He is provided with a normal mattress, sheets and a pillow. None of his clothing is taken away from him at night. PFC Manning is able to have all of his personal items in his cell, which include his clothing, his legal materials, books and letters from family and friends. He is also able to have a pen and paper at all times in his cell, and is able to write whenever he chooses.
So there you have it. Everyone who said that Manning was being stripped naked, held in solitary confinement and shackled in chains “for his own good” was evidently lying. It should be obvious to everyone now that Manning’s mental health status was being mis-classified as a way to abuse and punish him, in complete violation of both the Constitution and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
It’s a pretty miraculous reversal — both the President and the Department of Defense dug their heels in and doubled-down after it was revealed that the Quantico brass were using Abu Graib tactics and stripping him naked every night.
We’ll have more to say about all those who helped make this campaign a success, as well as dissect exactly what made it successful. For now, we want to thank all of you who signed the petitions, wrote letters, called your representatives, donated, showed up at the demonstrations around the country and made noise in a way that the media could not ignore.
The effort to help Bradley Manning has been, and continues to be a very successful campaign, and provides a model that is deserving of a lot more analysis as we try to figure out a path forward. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll join the FDL membership program and work together with us as we try to draw a map for the future to allow us to take on more of this kind of campaign in the future.