Famed Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning had his last pre-trial hearing today before his case goes to trial in early June.
The hearing revolved around classified information and the fact that much of the court martial will be conducted in closed door sessions, a fact many believe will be used to hide abuse Manning has suffered since his arrest.
A post on BradleyManning.org covered the pretrial which has been largely ignored by the corporate and alternative media alike.
Judge Denise Lind made two rulings based on the previous closed session, on May 8, when Ambassador Don Yamamoto testified in a ‘dry run.’
In that session, she found that the defense’s proposed alternatives to closing trial during testimony that will elicit classified information – such as using code words, redactions, or substitutions – were inadequate, and therefore the court will be closed for the classified portions of 24 more government witnesses. The government is ordered to speedily provide a (likely heavily redacted) transcript of those closed sessions.
Judge Lind also ruled to narrow what the government will be allowed to present when it attempts to prove that Bradley had reason to believe certain classified information could be used to harm the United States if made public.
The government can show more than that the documents in question were merely classified, and it can provide some context for the documents’ content and hypothetical damage it could cause.
But it can’t delve too deeply into that context, because the defense will be allowed to challenge that context in court, and Judge Lind doesn’t want the court martial to “devolve into many trials regarding international politics in many regions of world.”
One of the topics that seems highly unlikely to be covered in the trial is the abuse and possible torture Manning has endured since his arrest for apparently releasing classified documents to Wikileaks.
An article published by the Daily Kos in December 2012 outlined the facts that lead many to believe that Manning has indeed been tortured.
List of Torture Techniques Applied to Pfc. Bradley Manning:
1. Solitary Confinement/Isolation
Solitary confinement is strictly prohibited under international law. It is a cruel practice which causes permanent psychological damage. The impacts can range from hallucinations, emotional damage, delusions and impaired cognitive functioning to anxiety and depression. Solitary confinement is outlawed under the Convention Against Torture, ICCPR and the Geneva Conventions.
Manning was in solitary confinement in Kuwait and Quantico for nine months. He was in a cage (Kuwait) or a small, windowless cell for 23 hours a day. He was given 20 minutes of “sunshine call” each day, during which he could “walk” figure eights in restraints with guards holding him up. Eventually, he received 1 hour of recreation per day–still woefully below legal standards. His treating military psychologist, Col. Rick Malone, much to his credit, testified that
The ways he was being held was detrimental to his physical and mental health. His custody status was a stressor . . . He was taken of medications after several weeks because he was symptom-free. . .in complete remission . . .and posed no harm to himself or others.2. Humiliation Techniques
Bradley Manning, being held alternatively in “suicide risk” and “prevention of injury” status (despite military psychologists testifying that he posed no risk of injury to himself or others) pointed out that
If I really wanted to kill myself, I could use my underwear.Even though he was under 24/7 observation, the military took his underpants. At the routine count the next morning, he covered himself with the prevention-of-injury sandpaper blanket. An officer asked,
Detainee Manning, Is that how you stand at parade rest?Manning requested clarification. He was soon standing completely naked for morning count. Forced nudity is used to induce feelings of humiliation and fear. Manning also had to request toilet paper any time he needed to relieve himself. This was supposedly an anti-suicide measure, which is belied by the fact that he was under constant surveillance.
3. Sleep Deprivation
Upon his initial confinement in Kuwait, Manning’s days and nights were reversed, being awoken in the evening and kept up all night. Sleep deprivation is a very effective torture technique used by torturers because it makes a person more suggestible, reduces psychological resistance and it reduces the body’s capacity to resist pain. It had this very effect on Manning, causing him to have what has been described as an “anxiety attack” and “nervous breakdown.” Once he was moved to Quantico, guards awakened Manning multiple times on multiple nights each week, and a flourescent light was always visible from his cell. The Committee against Torture (CAT) has noted that sleep deprivation used for prolonged periods constitutes a breach of the CAT, and is primarily used to break down the will of the detainee. Sleep deprivation can cause impaired memory and cognitive functioning, decreased short term memory, speech impairment, hallucinations, psychosis, lowered immunity, headaches, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stress, anxiety and depression…even though Manning was supposedly in restricted custodial status due to anxiety and depression.
4. Sensory Deprivation
Sensory deprivation is used to instil a sense of fear, disorientation and cause dependency on their captor. Sensory deprivation has also been attributed to increased pain sensitivity and increased psychological stress. The military confiscated Manning’s glasses, without which he cannot see. So all of the isolation he endured, he did so while essentially blind.
5. Stress Positions
Manning was kept shackled in his cell. He was told he had to stand because he was still “on duty.” If he sat, he was not allowed to lean against the wall or lie down. The strangest thing was the “tear-proof smock,” which was really a nearly floor-length, rigid, abrasive rubber-and-foam straight jacket. Manning donned this restraint, which he often had to wear with nothing on beneath. Manning got stuck in this device, which was supposedly for his protection, and had to be extracted by guards.
These physically and psychologically abusive techniques were used to disorient Manning and induce regression, psychic disintegration, and feelings of helplessness that lowered his defenses. He would routinely go through perfunctory “wellness checklists,” and didn’t start advocating for himself until his amazing attorney, David Coombs, told him to start filing formal grievances contesting his conditions of confinement so he could exhaust his administrative remedies. (These formal grievances led to 3 sham “Classified & Assignment Board” hearing, which Manning testified had already decided to keep him on restricted status.)
These techniques were used not by rogue CIA thugs, but by the military–on someone in pre-trial detention, not found guilty to have done anything.
In June we will be covering whatever information on the trial is actually released as this case is not only about justice for one man but about the future treatment of whistleblowers throughout the country.
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Contributed by Daniel Jackson of The Daily Sheeple.
Daniel Jackson is a seasoned journalist with a passion for exposing corruption and the lies of the global elite. DJ has a passion for truth and liberty that is shown through his extensive reporting on numerous globally significant topics not normally covered by the corporate controlled media. He is is a writer, researcher and editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!