December 15, 2010

God Help Me, I Agree with Greenwald

My feelings about U.S. Army PFC Bradley Manning are well documented by The Google, which has my blog entries Let's Try Bradley Manning for Treason and Brad Manning, I Hope They Hang You High being the #1 and #2 search results for a search on "Bradley Manning traitor."

In my opinion, by turning over that massive amount of data to a foreign national—including the names of agents and informants that are risking their lives to help our efforts against terrorism—Manning's treason is on par with Benedict Arnold's treasonous attempt to hand West Point to the British. If I had my way, Manning would have a swift and just trial by a military court martial, be found justly guilty of treason by the overwhelming preponderance of evidence against him, and then executed.

I detest Bradley Manning... but the extended solitary confinement he has endured before even being tried sounds very much like prisoner abuse.

From the beginning of his detention, Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement. For 23 out of 24 hours every day -- for seven straight months and counting -- he sits completely alone in his cell. Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he's barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions. For reasons that appear completely punitive, he's being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch).

If Manning had been convicted of a capital offense, I would not have such misgivings about his treatment, but treating him to this kind of behavior before he is even tried seems extreme. Do we treat even treat violent murder and rape suspects in the military with pre-trial solitary confinement for months on end like Manning has experienced?

Give him his day in court, and if he is found guilty, put him back in a small isolated cell for the rest of his life or strap him to a gurney and let the drip-drip-drip of poison end him. If convicted, pin a target to his chest and let a firing squad deliver justice.

But Bradley Manning, traitorous little bastard that I suspect him to be, is still entitled to defend himself in court, and it seems to go beyond the pale to treat him in the manner Greenwald describes and that the military doesn't dispute.

He deserves better that this, and as a nation of free men, we must demand better for the sake of our own souls, if not for his.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at December 15, 2010 10:21 PM

Eric the Red Holder has to be in charge of this.

Posted by: Leonard at December 15, 2010 10:30 PM

"(he is not and never has been on suicide watch)"

There is no need to put him on watch as probably ~99% of any means are unavailable.

Solitary confinement? ...pick your position.

Posted by: Earlg at December 15, 2010 11:03 PM

'Pour encourager les autres'

Dennis the Peasant nailed it. It's not about him. It's about every other idiot Private in the Army with access to classified material.

If you sell your oath and your allegiance out, this will happen to you!

He's being made an example of. He took the Oath, and now he takes the consequences. Military law does differ from Civilian law that way, here and there.

Posted by: jefferson101 at December 15, 2010 11:33 PM

Meh. In this case, I have trouble getting worked up, especially considering the source material comes from Auntie "Socks" Greenwald.

From what I scanned from Greenwald's hissy fit, Manning has been held in solitary, doesn't have a pillow or sheets, and isn't allowed to see the news. That's it.

Skipping past several paragraphs of Greenie's moronic indignation over solitary confinement, I see he even equates such treatment with torture.

I am supposed to become exercised over this non-controversy?

When someone can substantiate genuine abuse, which would include but not be limited to: beatings, physical torture (e.g. burns, whippings, dislocations, amputations, electrocution, etc.), contamination of food or water (including feces or urine), non-access to clean food or water, continual exposure to below 32F or above 100F, threats to friends or kin... THEN I may begin to credit claims of torture or abuse.

Locked up in a room alone, with no sheets & no TV doesn't cut it, sorry.

Posted by: Casey at December 16, 2010 04:20 AM

Give PFC Manning a pillow, blanket and about 12 feet of rope.

Posted by: AllenS at December 16, 2010 08:49 AM

I don't know, that's hard to believe he'd be w/o blanket & pillow nor allowed to do some sit-ups or such in his cell. Also, I'm not there but I imagine he is being afforded the opportunity to talk to the chaplain one a week and one of the chaplain's responsibilities is to see that prisoners are treated according to regulation.

Being kept isolated and away from the general prison population? Okay, I can understand that as it might (and I'll stress the word, might) be for his own safety.

Now if it is some sort of punitive punishment while in pre-trial then that's wrong. Whether you like it or not he's innocent UNTIL the court martial proves otherwise.

We're not China or Cuba, yet.

Posted by: Dangerous Dan at December 16, 2010 08:51 AM

If he's found guilty, hang him with a SHORT drop

Posted by: Jerry at December 16, 2010 08:58 AM

I don't have much in the way of sympathy for Pfc Manning. However, when we are talking about
"turning over that massive amount of data to a foreign national—including the names of agents and informants that are risking their lives to help our efforts against terrorism"
I have to ask, How is this different from the NY Times? They do this fairly routinely. People die from their revelations. So why are Manning and the WikiLeaks people vilified and the Times not?

Posted by: Bill at December 16, 2010 09:04 AM

TO: All
RE: Manning's Solitaire Confinement.... likely due to the idea that he knows even more information that the government doesn't want him to get out. What that information could be is unknown. However isolating him from everyone else is a way of keeping him from passing that information to anyone else.

But, this does not preclude his getting his day in court. The question is, how long does it take for the government to do this sort of thing. In the military, they do it a LOT faster than in the civil sector.


[We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. -- C.S. Lewis]

Posted by: Chuck Pelto at December 16, 2010 09:06 AM

Soldiers and Marines who've been accused of serious crimes while on deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan got similar treatment. I didn't see Greenwald whining then.

Posted by: RandyB at December 16, 2010 09:08 AM

TO: Bill
RE: Yeah! But....

I have to ask, How is this different from the NY Times? They do this fairly routinely. -- Bill


However, there's case law in the English system....

They [corporations] cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed nor excommunicated, for they have no souls. -- Sir Edward Coke, Lord Chief Justice of England, 1628

So, when some silly person calls me up and asks me if I want to subscribe the NYT, I tell them, "The New York Times, that godless, souless institution can GO TO HELL!!!! And you'd be wise to distance yourself from them, too."


[Firstie at West Point: Why must I subscribe to the NYT?
Firstie's TAC Officer: Know your enemy.]

Posted by: Chuck Pelto at December 16, 2010 09:10 AM

I am not sure he is being treated much differently than if he were in a supermax or for that matter in any number of jails.

Personally I have about as much concern for him as he seems to have for our Nation.

Posted by: stonepony at December 16, 2010 09:27 AM

Military justice is normally a lot quicker than this. I wonder if the evidence against Manning has been tainted somehow and become unusable. Our current government seems incompetent on so many levels. It would not be the first time in the past couple of months when a high profile slam dunk case did not go the way the govt wished.

Posted by: Professor Hale at December 16, 2010 09:39 AM

Without even a pillow or sheets? Gee, that sounds almost as bad as the tens of thousands of soldiers who sleep in foxholes without even a blanket.

Posted by: FredP at December 16, 2010 09:40 AM

I hope his marine guards beat him every morning
before breakfast. Traitor.

Posted by: warlord at December 16, 2010 09:42 AM

If this pretrial treatment as described by Greenwald were true, there would be a motion filed by Manning's defense lawyer(s) to end it. Since there is no such motion mentioned in Greenwald's article, I call bullshit.

Posted by: Diggs at December 16, 2010 09:53 AM

Come to think of it, is Greenwald one of the "reporters" who consistently portrayed the treatment of the illegal combatants at Gitmo as torture, only to find out upon their release that most of the detainees at Gitmo had gained like 50 pounds or more, and that each was afforded a q'ran that could only be touched by guards wearing white gloves, among other amenities?

Posted by: Diggs at December 16, 2010 09:56 AM

The reason we have solitary for long periods of time is because liberals get squishy about speedy courts-martial followed speedy executions for those found guilty.

Go back to the above and I would agree with you. Until then, you (and the sock puppet Greenwald) are wrong.

Posted by: Bob at December 16, 2010 09:57 AM

As I recall the same process was used with the Haditha marines, and in their case there is no way you could use the national security excuse.

These guys were back in the USA and their families were not allowed to contact them.

Posted by: davod at December 16, 2010 10:13 AM

PFC Manning is accused of passing classified information to those not authorized to release it. It seems perfectly logical that the military would wish to keep him in solitary until his trial to prevent further release. Why no PT though? That doesn't make any sense.

Posted by: Doug at December 16, 2010 10:17 AM

At the AZ state SMU's, we do give them a sheet and underpants. If they behave, they get socks, then a shirt, then pants (over a period of months). Any infraction and they're back down to a sheet and skivvies. The solitary confinement and 23 hours cell time per day is standard.

Posted by: tweell at December 16, 2010 10:36 AM

I guess he pissed off the Obamas and Clintons at the same time.

Posted by: mbabbitt at December 16, 2010 10:39 AM

I have a hard time believing anything Greenwald says, so I wonder if PFC Manning's treatment is quite as extreme as he claims.

Posted by: RebeccaH at December 16, 2010 10:45 AM

"He deserves better that this, and as a nation of free men, we must demand better for the sake of our own souls, if not for his."

You think he's being treated ... unfairly?

Seriously, though. I wouldn't put it quite this way.

Since he has not yet been tried and convicted, the law must hold to the presumption of innocence. Measures aimed at preventing him from evading justice by escape or suicide, or aimed at preventing him from continuing his alleged criminal activities, are reasonable. Measures that are purely aimed at making life hell for him are premature, and are just not acceptable as a matter of law.

That's not because I really think there's any reasonable chance he's innocent. I'm concerned about the integrity of the law, not the wellbeing of Private Manning. Private Manning doesn't deserve better; but the integity and majesty of the law do deserve better.

Give him all the protections mandated by law. Find jurors, somehow, who have better than room temperature IQ and can be objective in evaluating the evidence. When they've duly found him guilty, then start heating up the boiling oil.

Posted by: Vader at December 16, 2010 11:08 AM

Ellers McEllerson is a trained lawyer, no? Perhaps the Gleens could spend some time familiarizing himself with the UCMJ. Then if he believed there were any ongoing violations he could provide the specifics. As it is he's given us an unsubstantiated mess of innuendo and hyperbole.

Has anyone confronted Manning's attorney with these allegations for comment?

The Greenwald(s) of many sockpuppets is not particularly credible.

Posted by: ThomasD at December 16, 2010 11:21 AM

This sounds like standard "supermax" procedure. There are several hundred people in Federal prisons that spend life sentences like this. This is not punishment but security. How does Greenwald think they handle prisoners who repeatedly attack other prisoners?

Since Manning is a self-confessed spy, they have to assume he will spill information given the chance so it would be reasonable to keep him secluded from the general population. He might also be at risk in the general population because of his celebrity or because of his treason.

Posted by: Shannon Love at December 16, 2010 11:33 AM

I think a lot of this has to do with the truly spinelessness of the administration. The right way to do this is to gather the evidence, charge him with the harshest possible crimes and proceed to a Courts Martial. However, given that Wikileaks is a cause celebre among many of the administration's support groups and, by extension, anyone helping that cause is considered a folk hero on a par with Ceasar Chavez or Rosa Parks. As such, the powers that be are dragging their feet, hoping to sneak a trial and prosecution in sometime when noone is looking to avoid the embarassing position of having to defend hammering this yutz.

Posted by: submandave at December 16, 2010 11:36 AM

Some of the "facts" that Greenwald spouts are directly contradicted by this news report:

That, and the fact that Greenwald has no credibility make me skeptical about hysterical claims of "torture."

Posted by: CJ Date at December 16, 2010 11:45 AM

Greenwald is an idiot.

Has Manning been scheduled for an Article 32 hearing?

Posted by: Jim Howard at December 16, 2010 11:50 AM

Folks, do we really want the Feds wielding this much power? How long until suspicion of, say, drug dealing, domestic terrorism, or hate crimes is dealt with this severely BEFORE A TRIAL? Keep in mind that the government now considers advocacy of gun rights, smaller government, and home schooling as red flags for potential domestic terrorism.

And now, the central government's outsourced Inquisition, the SPLC, has ruled that support of traditional marriage constitutes hate.

Think we conservatives are immune? Think again.

Posted by: Old Rebel at December 16, 2010 12:13 PM

Wait a minute. This guy obtained classified DOD and State Department information using SIPRNET. How come no knew what he was doing until he was exposed and the data was in the wrong hands? Yes, lock him up, but there was some serious breaches of security that seems to be overlooked.

Posted by: hiscross at December 16, 2010 12:31 PM

It seems fairly clear cut that Manning is indeed a traitor; but, you are right in insisting that he be given a trial, his due process, and a legal presumption of innocence.

I have warned others and they would not listen. Now I will warn you. THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU.

Truly innocent American citizens will be arrested and imprisoned by this regime without ANY Due Process. Without rights, without a lawyer, without Habeas Corpus, even without any CHARGES.

This is/was the purpose of trying terrorists (who were never provided due process rights) in civilian courts. It serves as a PRECEDENT to imprison INDEFINITELY American Citizens without providing them their Constitutional Rights.

All that will be necessary will be for the Regime to accuse you of "Domestic Terrorism" or even "Domestic Extremism". Two terms defined however the Regime chooses to define them.

The Rule of Law is NO MORE in the United States.

Posted by: Uriel at December 16, 2010 12:32 PM

This story begins and ends with Glenn Greenwald. He references no newspaper article or any other credible source for the proposition that Bradley Manning is being held in surveilled solitary confinement.

How do we know its true?

It's not like Greenwald's a proven liar or anything, right?

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

Posted by: Mick Stockinger at December 16, 2010 12:38 PM

Some of you folks may remember when, a few years ago, critics of Guantanamo were claiming to oppose torture. They said the U.S. should never mistreat prisoners because we wouldn't want Americans to be tortured when they're taken prisoner.

Of course, in reality, it turned out that the Guantanamo critics were never willing to speak out about when Americans are mistreated.

This is apparently the one exception.

Posted by: RandyB at December 16, 2010 01:27 PM

What is being described is what the USMC calls a Red Line Brig.

There are still a few for traitors. That is a good thing.

Posted by: Mike H. at December 16, 2010 02:04 PM

TO: All
RE: Speaking of 'Torture'....

....What Would Patton Do?


What Patton would have said...

This is how General George S. Patton would sum things up....and then catch holy hell from Ike.

He sure had a unique way of expressing his thoughts.


PATTON: To ALL those whining, panty-waisted, pathetic Citizens, it's time for a little refresher course on exactly why we Americans occasionally have to fight wars to keep this nation great.

See if you can tear yourself away from your"reality" TV and Starbucks for a minute, pull your head out of your ass -- and LISTEN UP!!

Abu Ghraib is not "torture" or an "atrocity."

Got that ?

THIS IS an atrocity!

[Series of pictures of al Qaeda beheading a captive with a dull knife.]

So Was This!!!

[Picture of the fall of the WTC.]


Islam Extemists are peaceful people?
My Ass!
Millions of these warped misled sons-of-bitches are plotting, as we speak, to destroy our country and our way of life any way they can.
Some of them are here among us now.

They don't want to convert you and don't want to rule you. They believe you are a vile infestation of Allah's paradise. They don't give a shit how "progressive" you are, how peace-loving you are, or how much you sympathize with their cause.

They want your ass dead, and they think it is God's will for them to do it.

Some think if we give them a hug or listen to them, then they'll like us, and if you agree -
Then you are a pathetic dumb ass!

If they manage to get their hands on a nuke,chemical agents, or even some anthrax -- you will wish to God we had hunted them down and killed THEM while we had the chance.

How many more Americans must be beheaded?
You've fallen asleep AGAIN - get your head out of your ass!

You may never get another chance!

NOW GET OFF YOUR SORRY ASS and pass this on to any and every person you give a damn about - if you ever gave a damn about anything!


Back to our irregularly scheduled programming....


[No sorry son of a bitch ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other sorry son of a bitch die for HIS country.]

P.S. Shortly after 9-11, I was asked by a former AF-puke—who had taken the Muslim 'pledge' while stationed in Iran (Shah-days)—how we could defeat an enemy willing to die for his country.

I replied, with one well-placed bullet for each of them willing to 'die for their country'.

He shut-up....

Posted by: Chuck Pelto at December 16, 2010 02:32 PM

CF: "God Help Me, I Agree with Greenwald"

Sorry CF, I don't buy your headline! I did not read any independent confirmation from creditable sources to confirm Greenwald's theory! In fact, you would think his lawyer would welcome the publicity, but even he is not cited! Greenwald is a known liar and lightweight wannabe journalista! CF - I'm surprised that you are so naive! Writing about liberalism all these years must've gotten you in touch with your emotions - are you becoming a liberal? Maybe you should take the 12 step program?

Posted by: HSTAD at December 16, 2010 02:44 PM

You are correct Mr. Yankee. (Sorry to use that word on you. It is no compliment nor term of endearment where I live)

Posted by: Odins Acolyte at December 16, 2010 03:55 PM

Someone please enlighten me as to how a lowly PFC could get his hands on that much sensitive information?

Posted by: tjbbpgobIII at December 16, 2010 06:44 PM

G.I.s suspected of espionage are always segregated. This is normal procedure. After his conviction he'll be given the opportunity to discuss his deeds with promises of better treatment if he cooperates fully if he isn’t doing it now. De-briefing an espionage suspect takes months and often is very repetitive.

Former counterintelligence guy

Posted by: RetiredE9 at December 16, 2010 07:00 PM

TO: tjbbpgobIII
RE: How Could It Happen?

Someone please enlighten me as to how a lowly PFC could get his hands on that much sensitive information? -- tjbbpgobIII

[1] Putting someone into a position of sensitive information because they had no one else to put in there.
[2] Not paying attention to behaviors that could be an indicator of malfeasance, because they were too busy with other thinks.
[3] Not being smarter than the 'spy', the kid is probably rather 'bright'. But obviously too smart for his own good.


[The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom. -- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, c. 1835]

P.S. I'll wager the kid is an atheist. Maybe, in sight of the hangman's knot, that will change.

Posted by: Chuck Pelto at December 17, 2010 11:03 AM

Nope. Firing squad....Still legal you know.

Posted by: ron at December 18, 2010 03:44 AM

He is in protective custody not to punish him but to protect him. Do you really think he would survive long in general population? The other inmates might be criminals or accused criminals but they are still servicemen. He wouldn't last a day.

Posted by: ParatrooperJJ at December 20, 2010 11:28 AM