Steve Ragan – Given his treatment while in confinement, as well as the list of new charges against him, Bradley Manning has gained another set of champions to his dilemma. Anonymous has promised to avenge Manning, and wage a media war with the U.S. military.
The Tech Herald has spoken to one of those involved for a rundown of current events.
„Manning is an absolute hero. If this means me going to fucking prison, then that’s fine,“ said Barrett Brown earlier today in an interview.
Brown, best described as a self-styled spokesperson for Anonymous, who enjoys some support from the loosely associative group, but some detraction as well, is well-known to us in the media.
He comes from a military family, and has a deep respect for the fighting troops he said. Yet, Mannings treatment while in custody at the Quantico Brig has Brown and others working with him outraged.
Earlier today, Brown said that Manning must be given clothes, sheets, blankets, and access to books within the week, adding that Anonymous plans for those responsible for his conditions will play out in the public soon.
On the evenings of March 2 and March 3, Bradley Manning was forced to strip naked, remaining under observation in this condition within his cell for seven hours each night. The following mornings, still without any clothing, Manning was forced to stand at attention outside his cell as the Duty Brig Supervisor (DBS) arrived. Manning was later given his clothes.
This type of degrading treatment is inexcusable and without justification. It is an embarrassment to our military justice system and should not be tolerated No other detainee at the Brig is forced to endure this type of isolation and humiliation, commented David Coombs, the lawyer representing Manning, who was once a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army.
The type of treatment given Manning is something that is a bit of an open secret. Its used to break the will of the detainee and make them dependent on the interrogator, or the persons holding them. While an effective means of non-lethal coercion, it is frowned upon due to the damaging impact on a detainees mental health.
Such acts of isolation and embarrassment, or personal humiliation, have led to suicide attempts and extreme depression. Examples of this type of treatment were well established, as events at Guantanamo Bay prison were made public.
Anonymous outrage started after it was learned that Manning was to be charged with 22 additional counts, one of which could carry the death penalty. However, the military has said that the death penalty is off the table.
Manning was initially charged with 12 counts of illegally downloading and sharing a military operations video, as well as diplomatic documents and cables.
The new charges against him, added this week, include aiding the enemy, theft of public property or records, computer fraud, transmitting defense information in violation of the Espionage Act, and wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the internet knowing it would be accessible to the enemy.
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