PFC Manning was forced to strip naked in his cell again last night. As with the previous evening, Quantico Brig guards required him to surrender all of his clothing. PFC Manning then walked back to his bed, and spent the next seven hours in humiliation.
The decision to require him to be stripped of all clothing was made by the Brig commander, Chief Warrant Officer-2 Denise Barnes. According to First Lieutenant Brian Villard, a Marine spokesman, the decision was "not punitive" and done in accordance with Brig rules. There can be no conceivable justification for requiring a soldier to surrender all his clothing, remain naked in his cell for seven hours, and then stand at attention the subsequent morning. This treatment is even more degrading considering that PFC Manning is being monitored -- both by direct observation and by video -- at all times. The defense was informed by Brig officials that the decision to strip PFC Manning of all his clothing was made without consulting any of the Brig's mental health providers.
On Wednesday, the government filed its response to the defense's Article 138 complaint concerning PFC Manning's confinement conditions. The preliminary decision made by the government was to deny PFC Manning's request to be removed from Maximum custody and from Prevention of Injury (POI) watch. The defense now has ten days to file a rebuttal to this determination. After submitting the rebuttal, the matter will go back to the Quantico Base Commander, Colonel Daniel J. Choike, for his review. Once complete, he will forward the report to the Secretary of the Navy for final review.