05 March 2011

The Truth Behind Quantico Brig's Decision to Strip PFC Manning

The Brig has stripped PFC Manning of all of his clothing for the past three nights, and they intend to continue this practice indefinitely.  Each night, Brig guards force PFC Manning to relinquish all of his clothing.  He then lies in a cold jail cell naked until the following morning, when he is required to endure the humiliation of standing naked at attention for the morning roll call.  According to Marine spokesperson, First Lieutenant Brian Villiard, the decision to strip him naked every night is for PFC Manning's own protection.  Villiard stated that it would be "inappropriate" to explain what prompted these actions "because to discuss the details would be a violation of PFC Manning's privacy."

The defense communicated with both PFC Manning and the Brig forensic psychiatrist and learned more about the decision to strip PFC Manning of his clothing every night.  On Wednesday March 2, 2011, PFC Manning was told that his Article 138 complaint requesting that he be removed from Maximum custody and Prevention of Injury (POI) Watch had been denied by the Quantico commander, Colonel Daniel J. Choike.  Understandably frustrated by this decision after enduring over seven months of unduly harsh confinement conditions, PFC Manning inquired of the Brig operations officer what he needed to do in order to be downgraded from Maximum custody and POI.  As even Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell has stated, PFC Manning has been nothing short of "exemplary" as a detainee.  Additionally, Brig forensic psychiatrists have consistently maintained that there is no mental health justification for the POI Watch imposed on PFC Manning.  In response to PFC Manning's question, he was told that there was nothing he could do to downgrade his detainee status and that the Brig simply considered him a risk of self-harm.  PFC Manning then remarked that the POI restrictions were "absurd" and sarcastically stated that if he wanted to harm himself, he could conceivably do so with the elastic waistband of his underwear or with his flip-flops. 

Without consulting any Brig mental health provider, Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes used PFC's Manning's sarcastic quip as justification to increase the restrictions imposed upon him under the guise of being concerned that PFC Manning was a suicide risk.  PFC Manning was not, however, placed under the designation of Suicide Risk Watch.  This is because Suicide Risk Watch would have required a Brig mental health provider's recommendation, which the Brig commander did not have.  In response to this specific incident, the Brig psychiatrist assessed PFC Manning as "low risk and requiring only routine outpatient followup [with] no need for ... closer clinical observation."  In particular, he indicated that PFC Manning's statement about the waist band of his underwear was in no way prompted by "a psychiatric condition." 

While the commander needed the Brig psychiatrist's recommendation to place PFC Manning on Suicide Risk Watch, no such recommendation was needed in order to increase his restrictions under POI Watch.  The conditions of POI Watch require only psychiatric input, but ultimately remain the decision of the commander. 

Given these circumstances, the decision to strip PFC Manning of his clothing every night for an indefinite period of time is clearly punitive in nature.  There is no mental health justification for the decision.  There is no basis in logic for this decision.  PFC Manning is under 24 hour surveillance, with guards never being more than a few feet away from his cell.  PFC Manning is permitted to have his underwear and clothing during the day, with no apparent concern that he will harm himself during this time period.  Moreover, if Brig officials were genuinely concerned about PFC Manning using either his underwear or flip-flops to harm himself (despite the recommendation of the Brig's psychiatrist) they could undoubtedly provide him with clothing that would not, in their view, present a risk of self-harm.  Indeed, Brig officials have provided him other items such as tear-resistant blankets and a mattress with a built-in pillow due to their purported concerns. 

The Brig's treatment of PFC Manning is shameful.  It is made even more so by the Brig hiding behind concerns for "[PFC] Manning's privacy."  There is no justification, and there can be no justification, for treating a detainee in this degrading and humiliating manner.


  1. i thought we were now living in the 21st century & that the USA was a civilised country - obviouslly there are still lower depths that the US can sink to - shame on you!

  2. this just keeps getting worse. i can't believe this is going on in this country. have we become so used to the bush-era torture that we as a nation think this is ok? what happened to innocent until proven guilty? the brig is diabolical, stopping short of mental health accusations to keep that investigation out; if manning is so suicidal, perhaps he shouldn't be in prision but in a hospital setting.

  3. I thought people accused of crimes were innocent until proven guilty. Is the UCMJ so different from civilian law? I cannot wrap my mind around the abuse & inhumane treatment that PFC Manning is enduring. How can anyone in the military justify this. This is an abuse of power & torture. The military personnel who have ordered this treatment should be brought up on whatever charges the UCMJ allows.

  4. It is very sad to me that our elected officials appear to not feel responsible or inclined to be involved in this. Public image and responsibility to the public should be closer connected. It's one thing if the elected officials don't support his actions (this is the USA and that is their right to have their own personal beliefs), and a completely different thing that the elected officials stand by in a 'safe' silent mode as Manning is denied his basic human rights.

  5. Isn't this a common and standard torture tactic?

  6. Until this continuing abuse receives wider main stream media sympathy and exposure, nothing will be done. Obviously, the command cares nothing for Pfc Manning and considers him a sub-human. Unfortunately, much of the general public thoughtlessly feels that it is "good enough for a traitor", which he isn't, and remains "innocent until proven guilty".

  7. Isn't this a common and standard torture tactic?

    Yes, it's in the Guantanamo Bay operating manual, which incidentally was published by Wikileaks. Quote: "In addition to degradation of the detainee, stripping can be used to demonstrate the omnipotence of the captor or to debilitate the detainee."

  8. sending love and assistance to poor bradley...i hope he's ok.

  9. These events make it perfectly clear that Manning's detention conditions are punitive.

    If there's absolutely nothing he can do to have his detainee status downgraded, it's obvious that his prevention-of-injury status is not dependent upon his behavior. What else could it depend on?

    What could be the reason for the forced nudity after a sarcastic remark, other than punishment?

  10. I tought that with Obama as president thinks would
    change ?!

  11. hello people....everybody in the America's has lost your freedoms and rights and there is nothing we can do about it except pray. Love you God.

  12. My support falls in favor of PFC Bradley Manning and also my appreciation for the risk he took that put him in this obviously illegal and immoral circumstance. He is a courageous young man that is having his mental and physical well being put to the ultimate test and without reason other than a transparent attempt to destroy him. I am personally ashamed of the "system" in place that allows for this prosecution and process. CWO Denise Barnes may be following orders but she is part of and participant in an effort to extinguish the light of this innocent, intrepid young man.

  13. There is no doubt in my mind that the purpose is to further psychologically weaken Bradley Manning so as to get him to say whatever government prosecutors want for usage against WikiLeaks and/or Julian Assange. While it is highly unlikely that anything recorded will be found that confirms this, there can not be any other reason under the actual circumstances.

    I would like to see photos and names online of all those carrying out these orders since without humans willing to initiate physical force, no government order would be anything more than sounds or (typed/written) characters. Having photos and names would enable those who disagree with what is being done to Bradley Manning to withdraw voluntary association from these individuals - shun them. This nonviolent method of protesting behavior of others is potentially very powerful method for social change; shunning and ostracism have been used down through the ages and are among the methods listed in Gene Sharp's 2nd volume (of 3), "The Politics of Nonviolent Action", Chapter 4, "The Methods of Social Noncooperation". Anonymity and tolerance of harm-doing had not become a staple of early societies. In those days, strong negative Social Preferencing - the term I and husband Paul Wakfer use for withdrawal or refusal of voluntary association with the reasons made public - towards government enforcers who continued in that role after attempts to logically persuade them of their errors (offers of assistance in obtaining new productive jobs being a good idea for those known personally) was utilized by many in previous societies.

    For many years now in the US, the mantra of government in its various departments/agencies aimed toward the general public has been "tolerance" - interact with everyone since to do so is being "biased" against them and often even against some law - and submission - we know what is best, "trust us". So it is not surprising that a large number of USers currently believe that the government via its many agencies/departments, including the military, is really working "to protect", and that individual agents/enforcers are simply "doing their job".

    These actions towards Bradley Manning would not continue if those actually doing it were not tolerated by the vast majority of those with whom they have daily contact. The followers of orders "from above" are not robots, but rather human beings too, who can be influenced to change their behavior if sufficiently large numbers of others reject them for their current actions.

  14. Bastards! With all due respect.

  15. Mr. Obama could do something about this but chooses not to. This
    is what will happen to whistle blowers. Mr. Coombs please let PFC
    Manning know that he has our support, and thank YOU.

  16. Please, everybody, send this tweet to Barack Obama. He needs to know that the people in this world hold him accountable for what is happening to Bradley. Please send this tweet: http://act.ly/2w7

  17. I am saddened by the fact these punitive measures are being taken out on an innocent man, Bradley. The courts have not spoken, he is innocent. The USA, my birth country has truly lost its way. Our government has stolen our virtues and 'we the people' have literally sold out. Our government and system have become tyranny. I don't know what we as a nation stand for anymore. Like many I am very disillusioned with state of the union. Good Luck to you Mr. Coombs and best regard to Bradley

  18. This behavior by the Brig commanders is malicious and sadistic. I believe they would hang Bradley by his thumbs if they could get away with it. It is pure revenge at its lowest.

  19. What would it take to send him a chaplain?

  20. Democracy, I fear, is dead. Our descent into lawlessness appears complete. Fascism has swallowed the nation's once good soul.

  21. Those people who believe the U.S. is still a free country should read this carefully. These are police state tactics, and they are being used against our own people.

  22. This treatment of PFC Manning is disgusting - his only crime was to reveal information that the American public deserved to know anyway. What about the people who committed the atrocities that Manning brought to light? Are they being punished like this? Not a chance. What about people who are really considered 'sub-human' such child rapists, serial killers etc? Are they punished in this way, as many might say they deserve? No, they are protected in jail and allowed to live cosy, safe lives - they live in luxury compared to Manning. How can this be allowed to happen? This is just the government trying to cover up yet more of its failings by killing off those who really advocate free speech; something which I used to think only happened in communist countries such as China and North Korea. I read a news article yesterday which stated that Interpol had placed an ORANGE alert on Col. Gadaffi, and a RED alert on Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks. Since when did leaking state secrets become more urgent than mass genocide? We might as well go and live in North Korea and be ruled by Kim Jong Il for all the freedom and transparency of government there is in the Western world. This kind of treatment is absolutely disgraceful.

  23. I believe what the US is doing against PFC Manning constitutes a crime and should be acted on appropriately

  24. Apparently, Bradley's sarcastic quip proved he wasn't broken in a million pieces yet by the solitary confinement. They must be furious and desperate to crush him to sink so low and abandon all decency and humanity before our eyes. Their window to nab Assange when extradited to Sweden is imminent. And they will stop at nothing to achieve their ends. The perfect predator.

  25. Connie Godin, VermontMarch 5, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    So saddened by how our country acts, more often then I would have ever thought possible.

  26. Thank you, Lt. Col. Coombs.

    Thank you, Pfc. Manning. You're a real hero!

    Stay strong, brother Brad!

  27. As the mother of a disabled Marine Iraq combat veteran I am appalled and embarrassed my government and its military is behaving this way.

  28. I'm an Australian who was just as horrified by the treatment of David Hicks in Guantanamo by George dubbya who was supported by our own then PM John Howard. What on earth is going on? The rights of citizens no longer exist and we are supposed to be living in developed nations with human rights protecting us. It's about time the people of the USA did what the Egyptions did...demand change to stop these human rights atrocities occurring in your own backyard...and a reminder that the backyard of the USA is one that thinks it is the "world police" who is able to criticize and demand action from other nations accused of human rights violations. America..clean up your act, the rest of the world dislikes you for what you have turned out to be!

  29. This disgusts me. I grew up believing that you tell the truth no matter what, and you stand up for what's right. Apparantly, our government is turning honesty into treason. That's very unfortunate. This type of behavior towards Bradley Manning makes me *embarassed* to live in America. If anyone wants to sign the petition I began on change.org for Bradley Manning: http://www.change.org/petitions/fixed-tell-the-us-government-we-dont-support-prosecution-or-death-penalty-for-bradley-manning

  30. Courage, Pvt. Manning. You are an extraordinary hero. Your tormentors have already lost by showing their true colors.

  31. America,Land of the Brave and Free..?? I have witnessed over the decades an America that has lied to, cheated on, denied and assassinated its own heroes, its own true freedom fighters and its own truly brave.. When did this evil creep into the White House, why is this fascism able and allowed to flourish in the hearts and minds of its legislators and how could this travesty that is the "Patriots Act" happen to your precious constitution, seemingly without a whimper..?? These "criminals" are allowing these crimes against humanity which rival those of China, yet your media question the leader of China about their human rights issues while blatantly ignoring their own, suggesting they actually support the fascism and deceptions that are "America".. Problem is, its NOT the America I know and love.. This recently discovered yet relatively old "America", revealed thanks to the efforts of brave souls like Bradley Manning and Iraq Veterans Against War et al are the saving grace of the America I remember and love.. Maybe we should call this newly discovered beast "Anti-America" as opposed to the America that was defended and defined by your Founding Fathers.. Internationally, we collectively cringe on behalf of All honest and true Americans.. God bless America..!!

  32. Disgusting, hateful, pathetic excuses for humanity.......just following orders eh? How does it feel? Do you really feel anything ? ARE you human at all? Bradley Manning A HERO FOR OUR TIME
    God bless you and give you the strength to get through this ordeal. Thankyou Mr. Coombes

  33. I think PFC Manning should have the book thrown at him.

    But the book, and by the book. This isn't that, and if I was in a jury, this treatment would taint any evidence in favour of the prosecution, as they've shown themselves to be untrustworthy.

    Certainly those involved are guilty of conduct unbecoming, conduct likely to bring the USMC into disrepute etc and should face criminal charges for that.

  34. Chief Warrant Officer Barnes and Colonel Choike are a disgrace to the uniform. They deserve to be where Pvt. Manning is. America is descending into fascism, and those two are no better than the SS. They are sadists and an embarrassment to Americans everywhere.
    Thank you, Colonel Coombs, for your distinguished service in defense of our Constitution and this exploited and betrayed young soldier.
    Pvt. Manning, I salute you and support you whole heartedly.

  35. Why no Writ to ACCA. Maybe a loser, but potential for a hearing force them to deal with a potential Article 13 now?

  36. America-the world watches you. What is happening though to the servicemen from the 'Collateral Murder' footage? Are they being tried for war crimes? What condtions are they being held in?

  37. As a vietnam era veteran I see Bradley Mannings exposure of our national excesses as a rough equivelent of the release of the pentagon papers.The only thing that has changed is the public response.Exposure to a drumbeat of right wing lunacy has shifted the national dialogue to a point that borders on fascism.Wont anyone in the mainstream media stand up for an American Hero?What mainstream media!!! Ill say a prayer for Bradley Manning

  38. David,

    Keep up the good fight. There are many who want PFC Manning to be convicted and executed, and I don't know whether he is a hero whistleblower or a traitor. What I do know is that the Government's actions in this case are absolutely reprehensible. I can't believe the trial counsel will do nothing knowing that Article 13 is being violated. If I were the trial counsel in this case, I would have his commander get him out of confinement immediately.

    If I were the military judge in this case, and you brought a motion to dismiss in front of me under Article 10 accompanied with a motion for credit under Article 13, I would dismiss the case with prejudice on the Article 10 grounds. If I got overturned on appeal, then I would reserve my ruling on the Article 13 motion until after the sentence and grant enough credit to zero out his sentence. The Government always preaches that we have to send a message with the sentence imposed. In this case, the Government sorely needs to be sent a message.

  39. I, too, am encouraged (comment at 4.05) by hearing news of Brad's apparent spirit. It is so good to hear from him; to hear this from him!

    And they still don't have what they want!

    This sounds like a man who definitely knows what's what to me, and who fully understands the evil and puerile behaviour of those trying to break him.

    I am amazed by his apparent fortitude, but, you know, there does come a time when the evil of the enemy is so blatant and pathetic that it gives you strength, confirming you in your innocence and the righteousness of your cause.

    And all this makes it a piece of cake organising
    support for him, especially here in the UK and Ireland! Anyone reading this blog is gonna be appalled, disgusted. It sure makes our job easier, thanks Denise!

    Bradley, your story IS getting heard here in the UK - honey, babe!!!!!!!!!

    And you are the LIVING PROOF of the abuses you (may have!!) sought to highlight. IT IS NOT FOR NOTHING; you are part of the shaking; you in your very person are a catalyst for change - THIS IS HAPPENING!!

    In the last few days in the UK I have never seen so much stuff on you; TV, mainstream papers in print and on-line. I have just read two pretty reasonable, fairly lengthy and informative on-line articles by one of our more right wing papers; there was a large article in the New Statesman today and a para in the Guardian and it goes on.....

    Can you sing? I don't necessarily mean out loud.
    I'll pray you get words. Blessings; we stand with you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  40. Always in peace time (and it's even questionable in war time), no soldier can say I broke the law under orders of my commanding officer - this argument just doesn't hold water.

    In the same way, no commanding officer can order a soldier to say nothing if the soldier has witnessed illegal activity. Even in the military, people can't agree to break the law.

    Again in the same way, no military officer or government official can use "security regulations" to hide illegal activity. (Hiding the death of civilians behind a veil of "national security" is illegal even in the USA.)

    What we've seen in all of this exposé from wikileaks is cover-up, after cover-up, after cover-up of criminal activity, murder and total military incompetency.

    If Bradly Manning did in fact give this information to wikileaks, whilst it maybe illegal in the USA, it was nevertheless morally right and correct to expose criminal activity.

    At the end of the day, if the USA lays a hand on Julian Assange, the repercussions will be enormous.

    The damage alone to international trust will be mind-boggling.

  41. Bradley, I admire you for being the man you are. You don't deserve this treatment. I hope you keep your spirit and feel for you. Wish there were more people like you than you wouldn't have to put up with this. Stay well.

  42. History will judge this shameful period in America not so much as a war on terror, as supporting the war profiteers-what price profit for Halliburton/KBG et al?

  43. This inhuman scene is straight out of "From Here To Eternity." Sergeant "Fatso" Judson is alive and oversees Bradley Manning. What's next, rubber hose treatment? Waterboarding. Targeted Beating so that the bruises won't be seen? Something Khaddafi would do to his subjects? UnGodly mess America is in heading for third world status.

  44. Just reading what is happening to this young man makes me sick to my stomach. What is this country coming to.

  45. Shameful. This will not stand history's test or the long reach of justice. Systemic torture now an accepted American value among many. His crime was to expose the war crimes of his imprisoners. The whole world is watching the uber conservativism of the American Corporate Military Complex. No justice, no peace as the bumper stick says.

  46. I think it is despicable that anyone should be treated this way. I thought he was innocent until proven guilty. Many criminals can post bail until their trial. Have we descended this LOW?


  47. Can we write to Bradley?

  48. The comments of Lt. Brian Villiard are somewhat understandable, because an low paygrade officer he isn't smart enough to go to the restroom by himself.

    However CWO Denise Barnes is a specialist and Colonel Daniel J. Choike has enough time in service to know when they violate the UCMJ and put the troops under their charge at risk. Thus they are guilty of violating the UCMJ specifically articles;

    Article 13. Punishment prohibited before trial.

    Article 81. Conspiracy.

    Article 93. Cruelty and maltreatment

    Article 128. Assault.

    and the biggest charge of all against them..

    Article 133. Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.

    posted by
    Vietnam Veteran

  49. THIS IS F@&KIN' BULLSHIT, THESE ACTIONS BY Quantico commander, Colonel Daniel J. Choike AND Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes.


  50. Without doubt, the masters who control the politicians are without empathy or integrity. Nuremburg mentality rules in US it seems... the victors have the power and derive great pleasure using it on helpless people.
    To hear that they haven't broken him, as evidenced by his reply, makes my heart sing. Love to see some of the goons that taunt him daily try to endure what he has and still maintain his level of inner strength.
    Please tell him, David, that he will never truly know how many people globally are aware of his plight and keep him in their prayers. Despite knowing there would be consequences, he followed his conscience. He is a true patriot who has my respect and admiration, as well as literally 10's of 1,000's worldwide.
    There is a purpose to this, one which I doubt we will fully comprehend right now, but will soon. It is obvious he is being used as an example, just like any other totalitarian regime uses for intimidation of its own people. I don't think that the outcome from Brad's treatment and upcoming trial will be quite what they expect.
    Stay strong , Brad!!

  51. That is a crime and the only way to stop it is for us to stand up and act. When nobody stands up nothing will happen. When i was young i heard a story about American troops rounding up people that lived near the liberated concentration camps in Europe and they brought them to the camps and they ask them. You did not know that this was going on? The answer was. No, we did not know. What is obviously wrong as they just lived next to the camps. They just ignored it, they just tolerated it and they just did nothing to stop it. I know! I will not tolerate and we will not ignore what happen to PFC Manning. If nobody stands up nothing will happen. So let us all stand up and rally the streets let us all get get up and get out there and demonstrate in front of the brig in front of the White house and wherever it is needed. I am going out now and i do not care how many will follow. I do not care if i will stand alone there to demonstrate i do not care because i know.

  52. Mister Coombs,

    Please express my sympathy and support for Mr. Manning at this difficult time. It is my belief that irrespective of the legality or criminality of the actions he has been accused of, the way which he is being treated should and does bring shame upon his captors and imparts dignity to his struggles.

    Richard Hughes

  53. The nightly stripping of Bradley Manning has nothing to do with his state of mind, and everything to do with the U.S. military's. I've never been a fan of the warrior clan, but this soldier's maltreatment WITH MY TAX DOLLARS just gets more insufferable every day. My experience of petty tyrants is that they come from deep personal insecurity, and when they get a little bit of power, say a Chief Warrant Officer's duty, it goes to their heads and they lash out at any target that presents itself, especially one that's been scapegoated for having courage and integrity--qualities so obviously lacking in the Chief Warrant Officer. Oh, the arrogance of inferiority!

  54. it simply beggars belief!! How this is happening in the USA is completely beyond me. A sign of things to come?

  55. Whats going to happen when he puts his hand on the bible and swears to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? I guess they will just have to machine gun him into the ground. Because "YOU can't handle the truth"

  56. As Chris Floyd states plainly in his blog post about this latest assault on Pfc. Manning's humanity and dignity, America is now, openly, a fascist state. Words have no meaning, and image is all. We have the so-called paragon of "audacity" and "hope," a Nobel Peace Price winner, pretending with ever more shaky credibility, to be a voice of probity and rationality, while his Justice Department--at this point, the name is strictly an Orwellian oxymoron--behaves more brazenly tyrannical than did Bush's.

    Will no journalists in the White House press room confront Obama or his press stooge with frank and insistent questions about this disgraceful matter?

  57. It's torture. The next time the USA accuses another nation of human rights abuses, throw this back in their face.

  58. If he is innocent then I shall weep for him. If he is guity I will cheer for him! But no matter how it goes, we must all fight for him.

  59. How long before they start waterboarding Mr. Manning? They are forcing him to strip daily in front of a live camera so the weirdos in the office and those standing guard on his cell can revel in his exposure and humiliation.
    Yet according to "Lieutenant Brian Villiard, the decision to strip him naked every night is for PFC Manning's own protection. Villiard stated that it would be "inappropriate" to explain what prompted these actions "because to discuss the details would be a violation of PFC Manning's privacy." Does Villiard completely not recognize the lunacy of his statement?
    CWO Denise Barnes should face the same punishment she imprudently meted out while carefully avoiding talking to Marine Corps psychiatrist.
    Clearly our government has the wrong person under arrest and the inmates are running the asylum.

  60. I am an Australian citizen. As far as I am aware such treatment of a man, even after being proved guilty in a court of law, let alone before, would be impossible in this country. If I were an American citizen I would be ashamed to have to admit it and would avoid travelling abroad.

  61. History has shown that any country that tortures others eventually turns to torture of their own people. This seems to remain true. Torture for any reason is WRONG. How can so many Americans claim to be Christians and allow torture of anyone. There are so many more humane and Effective ways to obtain information, if that is the purpose. If the purpose is only to punish, then all the worse as he has not yet been convicted. As a nation we must decide are we a nation of laws or not? We must stop pointing out the splinter in our neighbor's eye while ignoring the log in our own...... We are so much better than this. Let's start acting like the country we profess to be instead of the lesser country whose lower level we keep stooping to.

  62. Unfortunately, this is NOT something new for our government or military. If allowed total autonomy from any oversight, there would be not only "torture light" used on citizens as in this instance, but full out beatings and murder as has been carried out in Guantonomo and other black sites against foreigners to this day.Even the UN is investigating the conduct of the United States in this instance.
    PFC Bradley Manning is a hero and true patriot, defying and exposing a treasonous group of criminals now controlling our nation and foreign policy. I would like to send him a message to stay strong, and always remember that there is NOTHING that they can do, including killing you, that can change the truth you have revealed to us all. You are surrounded by supporters who care and will not stop our efforts until you are released.

  63. but i thought we{the USA} were supposed to be The Good Guys of the world....? so disappointing.....

  64. Lesson = do not talk, period.

  65. America, thy name is hypocrisy. Watch Hillary Clinton ignore storm troopers taking out a peacefully demonstrating man while she mouths platitudes about free speech. Watch Obama as he decimates crops in America by supporting anything Monsanto wants. Watch while the military tortures one of its own who is a hero. Proud to be an American? Never!

  66. Phil, before I can file a Writ to ACCA, I must first exhaust all administrative remedies.

  67. My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty
    of thee I sing
    Land where my father's died, land of thy pilgrim's pride, from every mountain side,
    let freedom ring.

    I weep for you my country for what you have become.

  68. I strongly suspect the government's case is weak or nonexistent, so it is acting to torture Pfc. Manning into confessing. In a lawful environment, which does not exist here, such a confession would have no merit. Not only do I sympathize with the defendant, I also do with his defense team, because the rules don't really exist, and the defense must act in anticipation of the irrational. This is very tough. I am an expatriate American who left several years ago because the rule of law had eroded to the point that allows this sort of thing to occur. I take no pride in this, but I do mourn the damage done to the United States by ignorant zealots acting in the name of "security". Good luck to you all.

  69. The USA as defenders of human rights? What a chutzpah! I feel so outraged, so utterly disgusted at the vicious and despicable maltreatment of Bradley Manning by those torturers who are as evil as the SS of Nazi Germany, Stalin's thugs, Iran's Revolutionary Guards and the scumbags who relish in serving totalitarian dictatorships by torturing. I am appalled, sick to my stomach every time I am confronted with this story. But remember: once the people wake up, once they say enough is enough is enough, structures that seemed to be indestructible do crumble down, this happened in East Germany, where the thugs of the State Secret Police could treat their prisoners as they pleased in the same way the thugs of the Gestapo did during the Hitler regime. Both totalitarian states seemed omnipotent, almighty, like the US government today, yet they no longer exist, Hitler's reign of terror was destroyed at the cost of millions of lives, but it was the PEOPLE that put an end to East Germany's regime. Alas, I don't see this happening in the US in the near future, too many US citizens have been brainwashed by FOX TV and by despicable fascist radio and TV hosts, but a country that lectures China, Belarus, Iran, Libya, Russia, etc. on human rights and treats PFC Manning in this disgraceful manner, has lost ALL moral authority. Where is Hollywood in this? Are they are afraid to show the people what these powers that be are doing to a human being?
    In the end, like in the case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, they continue to live in our memories, McCarthy and the infamous judges who sent them to the electric chair are still remembered in infamy, like the fanatic Nazi judge Freisler in Hitler's Germany and so will today's leaders be remembered, while Bradley Manning will achieve the status of those who stood up to totalitarianism, inhumanity and evil.
    Sheldon T.

  70. Disgraceful. Without oversight, this government would revive cruel, perverted, obscene and otherwise unusual punishments that have not been used for hundreds of years and broadcast them on FOX to thunderous applause!!! Because by and large, the people of this country have become indifferent or in favor of this kind of treatment of persons who haven't even been tried yet!

    What's it going to take to get most people to notice how far we've sunk other than defeat and occupation by foreign powers (which is impossible)?

  71. As an Australian I am so angry at the treatment of the hero PFC Bradley Manning.
    I never want to hear or read again the USA claim "we are a Christian nation", so many of the claimants are not fit to kiss the sandals of Mahatma Gandhi.

  72. How can you ever trust a government that continues this horrendous treatment of Bradley Manning for what? And a democrat is prez? It seems like they (Dems)are just as barbaric and ugly as the Rethugs...time to begin a new well spring- the Citizens Party ? for wethepeople...with of course publicly-funded only campaigns... Transparency is here and it will not go back, for it is sorely needed for corrective action in this 'so-called' democracy I mean Corporatocracy.

  73. Guilty until proven innocent. Isn't that standard procedure with enemies of the state in Totalitarian Regimes? What happened to the great nation of the U.S.of A.?

  74. I am a veteran and a retired judge from New Hampshire. I will be participating in the March 20th rally for Bradley Manning. The cruel and unnecessary pretrial confinement of this young man is outrageous. The Commander in Chief and the US Marine Corps, every single Marine, should be ashamed of themselves.

  75. Further proof that all militarism is a perversion.

  76. "i thought we were now living in the 21st century & that the USA was a civilised country" REALLY? A militarized power like this a CIVILIZED COUNTRY? "obviouslly there are still lower depths that the US can sink to" REALLY? ARE THERE ANY "LOWER DEPTHS" FOR THIS STATE TO SINK TO? HAS IT NOT PLUMMED ALL DEPTHS OF ANTI DEMOCRATIC STATE POWER YET? GOD HELP US ALL. "shame on you!" SHAME ON US! WE CANT BE SHAMED. WE CAN ONLY LIVE BY MYTH AND UNTRUTHS. Lets face the truth about this STATE. BRADLEY MANNING IS IN JAIL AND BEING TORTURED-- YES, TORTURED -- because he had the grace to INFORM HIS FELLOW OF THE MYTH, STRIP THE VEILS OFF THIS STATE. Now it is for US, we the people, THOSE WITH ANY HUMANITY LEFT, to undo the wrongs, build democracy, and come to the defense of our courageous, tortured brother BRADLEY MANNING and all like him imprisoned for informing us.

  77. Words fail me when I try to express my sense of outrage at what the American government is doing to Bradley Manning. David Coombs is a hero and a saint for dealing with what might laughingly be called the U.S. "justice" system in order to help Bradley Manning.

    And Barack Obama? Oh yes, one more example of "disappointment you can count on."

  78. Europeans are watching Manning's treatment with disbelief and disgust. People like myself watch Egyptians, who want to hold all those involved accountable for wrong detainment and torture, storming the buildings of State Security. One cannot help but compare this with the USA and hope that more people within the system will protest: high-ranking and low-ranking persons within the army, politicians and legal authorities.
    The outrages that Bush's government permitted are still continuing and Manning's treatemnt is not only a matter of legal injustice but an afront to all decent human values, which deeply distresses millions of people throughout the world.
    We are all caught up in the everyday goings-on of families and work, but we are watchingand the media is commenting. America is in the process of losing all credability, so thank you to everyone who stands up for human rights.

  79. It's outrageous to me that these crimes against Bradley Manning are being blatantly committed by the military in my own country. It's now clear that George Orwell was a prophet when he wrote the book, "1984."

    Looking back on many crimes of the Bush-Cheney era, I had hoped that under President Obama we would move to correct these abuse. Wrong again, apparently.

    Whatever Mr. Manning may or may not have done, he has far more courage and personal integrity than the combined total of all those seeking to destroy him, all of whom are cowards to their core. Stay strong, PFC Manning.

    Anthony T. Straka

  80. Amnesty International often achieves better treatment of prisoners by wide-spread and persistent writing to prisoners and to the authorities who abuse prisoners. Everyone inside and outside the USA who opposes torture, who wants war criminals held accountable, who favors freedom, democracy and accountable government, everyone should routinely, frequently, relentlessly, send postcards of support to Bradley Manning (since sealed mail will be opened). And express yourself routinely, frequently, relentlessly to President Obama and VP Biden.

    Post: White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20500
    Email form: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
    Phone message: 202-456-1111
    FAX: 202-456-2461

    Bradley Manning
    c/o Courage to Resist
    484 Lake Park Ave., #41
    Oakland, CA 94610

    OR (likely to be returned to sender, but Brig knows he has support)

    Bradley Manning
    c/o Marine Corps Brig
    3250 Catlin Avenue
    Quantico, VA 22134

  81. Cathy from Los AngelesMarch 6, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    There needs to be widespread outrage about this continued abusive, humiliating, and - yes - torture. I suggest some street theater action - for example, folks in underwear and shackles with signs "we are all Bradley Manning" maybe chaining themselves to appropriate locations.

  82. Having read what happened at Abu Ghraib was shocking. The whole world was shocked. This is NO different. And what amazes me is that we have Obama in power - looks like Obama is just another politician like George Bush/Rumsfeld/Cheney. How can this happen? If Bradley Manning is responsible for the world being able to see the Apache helicopter video - he should be given the protection for all whistle-blowers and not be treated like he is being. He has blown the cover of the worst crimes perpetrated by the US armed forces for which the whole system is now persecuting him. Shame on the US for letting this inhuman treatment happen.

  83. It is not appropriate for military personnel to be policemen. Their conditioning excludes a sense of justice.

  84. And the truth shall set you free...

    As we look at real Freedom and Democracy spreading like wildfire through the Middle East, we know that this massive extension of core American values, Truth, Justice and an Open Society has been driven by Social Media on the Internet.

    What we're learning with Egypt and it's nieghbors is that keeping secrets actually hampers the spread of Justice and Democracy. If PFC Bradly Manning has exposed even one instance of American injustice sealed under the lid of "National Security" then he is a Whistle Blower and must be protected from any form of retribution. Failure to respect his, or any other prisoners basic human dignity is an affront to the core vales that we hold as Americans and as a civilized people.

  85. These vindictive, infantile army people should be stripped of their ranks and put in prison themselves. What is the Obama administration doing about this uncivilized behaviour.

  86. Pvt.B.Manning's detention at Quantico becoming outrageous-now forced to strip naked at night!Still not convicted,this degrading treatment is inexcusable.The silence of Congress on this upending of our legal traditions is most surprising,while we promote human rights in other countries!Is this justice,or abuse of his rights?

  87. I did my hitch in the US Army 1958-1961 (mostly in Germany). Their leadership skills were atrocious back then and it seems they haven't improved at all.

    If Manning wanted to commit suicide he could do it naked just by running his head into a wall. Of course the military wouldn't think of that because they can't adapt, innovate & overcome. Which is why we can't finish all those "wars" we start.

  88. This is precisely why the military needs to be brought under control, cleaned up and be kept under the political AND public scrutiny. Not everyone has the character to handle a role of authority, and we see an very troubling lack of leadership in the grotesque, retaliatory abuse of this one man. This case has a powerful influence on international perceptions of the US, as the US increasingly makes the old Soviet Union look like a champion of human rights in comparison. In recent years, it has grown increasingly clear to me that the US actually IS all those horrendous things that our opponents claim.

  89. I am grateful that the comments give overwhelming support to PFC Bradley Manning; and hope that David Coombs law office can somehow get these thoughtful comments to PFC Manning so that both his role as a whitleblower and the vindictive revenge the military is accused of can be heard and accepted ; this may help him turn within to find the strength and clarity of mind to take care of himself in this horrendous situation.
    I listened to David Coombs on Cable TV speaking about his friend and military buddy, love is a great force.

  90. It is a shame that a country like Germany is still being "punished" for something Hitler did more than 60 years ago. We Germans are still not able to just be proud of our country without having everybody think we are Nazis. But the United States are (even today!) treating people like that, that just had the guts to speak up, to show the world what's really going on. Sure that wasn't exactly the right way and in all objectivity he probably deserves punishment (even though in most countries he is more likely thought of as a hero) but this treatment is just beneath contempt! And then the USA wants to be seen as the greatest country in the world?! I really do love the US, I lived there for a long time, but sorry, that's just not acceptable.

  91. First we collectively agreed Torture was acceptable. Yelling down the cry for reconsiderations. Then we tortured enemy combatants, off shore, and nobody even cared. Now, we torture our own soldiers, before we even hold a “Court Marshal”, that we call Military Justice! American Citizens, are renditioned to faraway places, some aren’t even Muslim anymore. And, all we can do is moan, a little. This is the malady that permeates our society. We see horror before us and we talk about it politely, in the abstract, what happened to acting on that horror?
    If the Quantico commander, Colonel Daniel J. Choike thinks he's "In Command", the Finial Word, what about the guy above him, seems it Ok for him too. How about the guy above him? And the next one, ooops! There is our President. Too bad, for all of us. Even his peers are in on this one. Let's make this right, stop the very thought of torture of even being imagined as acceptable, where's that ticking bomb again? Maybe then we will take up arms against this outrageous evil that flourishes in our psyche.

  92. We are not privy to every word that has been spoken. From what is written in this article, he is deserving of what he has been awarded.

  93. Well, to me this is a perfect example of abuse of power which is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE and disgusting! It's also obvious that the gov./DoD/military brig at Quantico are determined to make an example of Bradley and use him as a deterrent for possible copycats, at least that's what it looks like. I understand that there are certainly things – very sensitive stuff - that should never be made public, granted, but this does certainly not apply to this Iraq video 'cos the public has the right to know what's going on. I also HIGHLY doubt, that just ONE person downloaded all these leaks as the US government wants to make us believe. Shame on ALL who are part of that actively or by "just" letting this happen (needless to say, but that includes everyone at the brig who knows what's going on but doesn't have the balls to say anything and try to change it.)

    I also hope that Bradley will be able to pull himself together as difficult as it is and not start to rebell in order to vent which I would definitely understand after such a long time of unduly harsh confinement conditions and knowing that there's absolutey NOTHING he can do to downgrade his detainee status (was just my first thought when I read his sarcastic response 'cos I would've done/said exacly the same, probably just waaaay earlier and so I couldn't help but chuckle when I read it.) So, I just hope he can prevent himself from doing or saying something that will probably make things waaaay worse since this incident shows that they're just waiting for such an "opportunity" to make life even harder for him. Once again, abuse of power "as its best"!

    The way I see it, if the Gov/DoD has cogently evidence that he commited a crime then charge him but never should a prisoner be treated the way Bradley's being treated. NEVER! That is just totally unacceptable, an abuse of power and just looks like revenge and is a muscle-flexing demonstration and there's NO place for this kind of things in a country that calls itself a constitutional state and democracy and officially stands up for human rights.

    I, for one, will continue follow this case and do whatever I can to help and if that should bring me on the US's "no-fly-list" for whatever reason LOL, so be it. It's worth it!
    Mark Schmidt, Germany

    PS: one question, though, if you don't mind me asking David. Since this goes before a military court and not a civil court, has the government to define what exactly they mean by "enemy"? Also, does the government have the duty to present COGENTLY (important word here!) evidences that show that Bradley actually aided the enemy or is it enough to just claim that he did or might have possibly done without presenting COGENTLY evidences in this case (which were then just assumptions)? If it's the former it looks good for Bradley 'cos it's probably impossible to do so, if it's the latter it's really bad for him and for you as well 'cos that makes a defense impossible which would also mean the military justice system sucks. Sorry, but what happens here raises my hackles!

    "Government whistleblowers are part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal." Barack Obama in 2008.

  94. Where is the United States press and media? Why is this matter not receiving attention from those who benefit from and supposedly protect freedom of speech? And doesn't our government understand that even if our press isn't covering it, the rest of the world is?
    The US government is once again proving its complicency in torture, and this time it's against a man whose worst crime was to embarrass the country by telling the truth.
    I would like to have believed that this would not happen under the Obama administration. I was wrong, and I am ashamed of my government's actions.
    PS: I used to be a staff member in a state prison. We would have been fired immediately for treating a prisoner in this way, and those were prisoners who had actually physically harmed someone.

  95. Forgot to add 2 links:


    and the english version: http://daserste.ndr.de/panorama/media/panor165.html

    was broadcasted by one of our biggest tv-broadcaster, just in case you're interested. (videos sometimes need time to start and at times do not perfectly run)

    Greetings from Germany, Mark

  96. Where is Obama the great liar , who ran on truth
    and transparency . Where is this mighty Coward
    who hides behind Corporate greed , Saved the big
    Corporations , but ignores a American being
    tortured here in this wasteland of govt. trash .

  97. I know you guys are all experts on military law and you all speak from experience when you come against the officers in charge of manning. the fact is he did what he did and will be held accountable, these facts clearly present to me a concern for his mental health, thus the capacity for him to hurt himself. i know you guys wont want to hear that but i feel your skewed posts need a little banter

  98. Dear Sir, this lasts way too long. That poor child is suffering and it is painful to watch. I know you would have already done something if it had been possible. It's just that your whole country somehow looks bad in the eyes of the world now. Please, people, try and help the boy.

  99. these facts clearly present to me a concern for his mental health

    That is not only one of the most absurd things anyone has ever said, but it's also at odds -- according to Mr. Coombs -- with the expert opinion of the Brig mental health provider.

  100. This is how the US government deals with heroes. Their intent is to deter future dissenters from resisting unjust policies by making examples of those with the courage of their convictions. The right wing chicken hawks have sacrificed a generation of enlisted men and women while disingenuously screaming "support out troops", and "traitor" to anyone who objects; as they cut soldier's benefits. The soldiers have been forced to attack an innocent people, endured debilitating exposure to DU weapons, been sent into battle without adequate armor, and denied medical attention for real health problems the chicken hawks want to pretend don't exist. Dissenters in the service are treated as prisoners of war, except without the legal restraints every civilized country is bound to. Shame on the men who have corrupted and militarized our nation. Be strong Bradley-your captors are infinitely inferior to you, and on the outside, many of us hold you in our hearts. No matter how badly they treat you, we know you're a true American hero.

  101. Just disgusting. My heart goes out to Bradley Manning. I am an Australian and am immensely proud of Julian Assange and Wikileaks. I think all Americans shoud be equally proud of Bradley and the role he played in exposing the lies all of our governments peddle. I wouldn't hold my breath while that toad Rupert Murdoch controls so much public opinion with Fox Spews.

  102. What is so hard to understand?March 6, 2011 at 9:54 PM

    They are doing this to Manning to make an example out of him to the rest of the military. When people sign up to work for the military or government, you sign all kinds of documents and rights away. You agree to abide by their rules. If you break the rules, there are repercussions.

    This isn't about whether what Bradley did was morally right or wrong. He broke the rules plain and simple.

    I believe Manning morally did the right thing by exposing a lot of the stuff he did. Still though, I don't think it's that hard to understand why they are doing this to him either.

    When he chose to expose those files he also took the risk he was going to get caught.

  103. This whole situation is ridiculous. I applaud your efforts, Counselor. Keep up the good work!

  104. It could be helpful if we knew the time for 'lights out' and 'roll call' so that those of us who want to can pray for him, send positive thoughts, or send positive 'energy' at those times. This is a way we can help him. Lets do it.

    Until told differently I can only presume lights out is 11pm and roll call is 6am.

    Please let us know Mr. Coombs?

  105. Dear David:

    I know anything I say here perhaps mean little. Having read that I cannot write to Mr. Manning personally, I will post it here. I am regretful for what he's going through. It enrages me--this treatment of him--stripping him naked like little more than an animal. Better treatment, better behavior would cost the government nothing except their sadistic, bullying laughable parody of superiority. They are the criminals. Eventually, I can only hope they will realize it. I am writing the President, although the thought he'll actually do anything is quite laughable to me.

  106. i am fro another country, a tried and trusted allied nation; a nation that has always looked to America to set the benchmark, regarding aspirational democratic values and practices. Doesn't the treatment of Privately P.E. Bradley
    totally undermine all of that? I would venture to say that this alone would cause further and worse embarrassment than most of the wikileaks cables. this is perpetrated by the complete chain of command from the lowest to the white house.
    shame, america, shame.

  107. It is very encouraging to read so many comments of people in the USA and in other countries who are utterly outraged and disgusted by the vicious and evil manner in which Bradley manning is being tortured by despicable thugs who, like Eichmann and other Nazi war criminals were just "obeying orders." The Nürnberg trials and sentences were very clear about this "obeying orders:" I can't tell right now how many were condemned to be hanged, but "obeying orders" was NOT an excuse and those concentration camp guards, commanders, members of the Gestapo and the SS etc."obeying orders" were considered fully accountable for their crimes against humanity.
    The US government does not recognize the authority of the International tribunal in The Hague,they think that acting in this manner their thugs will escape prosecution and conviction, but I am sure that sooner or later many of these criminals will appear in another kind of courts: ISLAMIC ONES for the crimes committed against the detainees in Guantanamo and in these tribunals the maximum punishment is the death penalty, a penalty that is not applied by the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
    But in the case of Bradley Manning it is up to us to do our utmost .
    It gives me hope to see so many reactions of support for Bradley, but I am afraid that too many Americans have been poisoned and brainwashed by the likes of Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and so on and so on. Right now it seems that all of us have been "preaching to the converted." It is appalling that so many millions of Americans consider the archenemy of the working class, the despicable Ronald Reagan as the greatest president ever...
    Voting for the Democrats didn't change anything, I wouldn't be surprised if Sarah Pallin or another candidate of the Repugnant, sorry, Republican Party is elected as next president, nothing will change within the frames of the ruling political system, the people have to wake up and go back to the old values the Founding Fathers fought for against the colonial power.
    But there is another case that seems totally forgotten now, it is the case of another American young man who converted to the Islam (absolutely NOT a religion I would convert to!) and who was captured in a religious school in Afghanistan and accused to "conspire to kill Americans." because of the horrendous monstrosity of the so called "plea bargaining" he had the choice between pleading "guilty" and getting away with 18 years in prison or the death penalty, which former secretary of "Justice" the infamous Ashcroft of the Bush regime wanted for this formerly roman catholic young man. I assume he's still doing time. i guess 9/11 was a gift from heaven to those who want to convert the US into a military, Orwellian dictatorship. What's happening to Bradley manning can happen to anyone of us!

  108. "I am grateful that the comments give overwhelming support to PFC Bradley Manning..."

    That would be hilarious if it were not for what seems to be the obvious policy of Mr. Coombs NOT to allow comments which disagree with him.

    Hey, it's your blog, Dave. Just be honest about why we dont see comments here from people (or other military vets, like me) who feel that Manning deserves everything he gets, and should probably be facing a firing squad.

    Manning is NOT "a hero". Rather, he appears to have been a 'soldier' (using the term loosely) who enlisted in the US Army, knowing full well that he was gay, then violating the 'Dont Ask, Dont Tell' regulation and becoming disgruntled about it.

    Manning seems to have been contemplating 'leaking' sensitive U.S. information, in time of war, for some time. In fact apparently having been rebuked for the thought by his "ex-boyfriend". Manning was then disciplined for assaulting a fellow soldier, and for posting sensitive information on YouTube. In fact, by the time he was arrested Manning was pending discharge from the Army for an "adjustment disorder"

    Manning had bragged to others about his 'relationship' with Wikileaks, and its founder Julian Assange. And how Assange had "coached" him, prior to his big leaks of sensitive U.S. information.

    Sleeping naked? Ha! Manning should be made as uncomfortable as possible, IMHO, within the limits of the law. And the discretion of the jail commander, of course, who it seems recognizes Manning for what he is.


  109. Is there a way for us to give him support? So many of us are grateful for his courage in our behalf.
    Thanks. We are behind you.
    This the behavior of a country run by corporations with the rights of a person.

  110. I sent a request for Manning's humane treatment to President Obama through the White House web site. Thank you for your fight and bringing this to light.


  111. SHIRLEY ROSENHOHNMarch 7, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    I have just read what this "Michael" has written. Unfortunately it is not only the venom that goes into the ether every day that causes this false sens of "patriotism," I suspect this "Michael" has been brainwashed during his time with the US Army of which he is so proud. I have witnessed how US Army "instructors" trained Latin American soldiers back in the 1960s and 1980s. This military training was designed to make automatons out of those recruits who had to shout "ARRIBA el gobierno! ABAJO el pueblo" (ON TOP: THE GOVERNMENT! DOWN: THE PEOPLE!!!") The training officer would then yell : "I didn't hear you! ON TOP WHO???? and the recruits had to yell even much louder: THE GOVERNMENT!!!"
    You see this kind of training in some Hollywood films, they show how the recruits become mindless brutes, stupid robots, but the makers of those films don't say it! I am sure this "Michael" is one of those thus indoctrinated specimens of brainless nodding donkeys who act and "think" "My country right or wrong,"
    Please Mr. "Michael," is killing people from an helicopter "sensitive information?" Is shooting children from above said helicopter a heroic deed?
    You are most certainly a Reagan worshiper, but I am sure you approved of his drug dealing stooge during the Iran-Contra Scandal who obtained a royal, sorry, presidential pardon after the so well staged "trial" in which he acted like a martyr who "just obeyed the orders" of his Commander in Chief. That lunatic president gave the Latin American military dictators and their henchmen carte blanche, i.e. free hand to deal with drugs, drugs that are causing so much damage to the youth of YOUR country!
    Well let me tell you: I opened a bottle of champagne back in 1975 when the people of Vietnam defeated "the greatest military power on earth" and I will do that again when the people of the United States wake up like the Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans, etc. and make the US a democracy again!
    Your homophobic remarks are extremely disgusting, your justification of the torture of somebody who hasn't been properly judged is despicable. What happened to the principle "innocent until proven guilty?" Fascism, Nazism, the KKK,McCarthyism, FOX NEWS, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, Monsanto, Haliburton, etc. etc. make me sick. Those are the values the US Army establishments is fighting for, voting for the Democrats won't change anything, that party and the Republicans are like twin sisters!
    Thank goodness I don't live in the US, but if I was an American, I would renounce that citizenship in disgust, as I loathe totalitarianism and militarism. Mr. Michael, you, the thugs who "obey orders" at the Virginia prison, by torturing a fellow human being, your fascist twaddling, you disgust me, you make me vomit, you are a miserable mamzer, a nobody, but those who expose the crimes of the military are heroes in my eyes, Bradley is one of them!
    Shirley Rosenhohn, age 93 and still going strong!

  112. Manning should be counseled not to joke with his jailers, they are very serious individuals and everything which can be used against him, will be.

  113. Dear LTC Coombs:

    Thank you SO MUCH for representing PFC Bradley Manning.

    It breaks my heart that this young man, who had the courage to do the right thing, is being treated in such a fashion.

    Please, please, PLEASE let PFC Manning know that I consider him a REAL patriot and an American hero, and that I am sending prayers, love, and light to him every day, to help him stay strong and healthy.

    PFC Manning, a million thanks to you, for standing up for what is right. Big hugs and loads of love to you Sweetie!

  114. Shame on CWO Denise Barnes, shame on the Marines and shame on our government for allowing this to happen in the United States of America. When our country treats our own military prisoners like this, it lowers the bar on how our enemies are allowed to treat our soldiers when they are captured. I hope that all who are behind these decisions are held accountable someday and disciplined.

  115. To everyone that believes the treatment of PFC Manning is wrong...send your complaints against CWO Denise Barnes and Col. Daniel J. Choike (senior officials)to this address in writing;

    Department of the Army
    The Inspector General
    1700 Army Pentagon
    Washington, DC 20310-1700

    note to Mr. Coombs,

    After watching several videos on youtube of speeches by Mr. Obama pre and post election I believe that it could be favorably argued (with the videos) that PFC Manning was simply following orders of his Commander in Chief in releasing the information since Mr. Obama clearly stated several times that he wanted transparency in government and advocated the same. Mr. Obama testimony would enhance such an argument, but would not be necessary.

  116. i expected this type of thing when bush was in office, i had such high hopes when obama was elected. tsk tsk. it is just shameful. disgusting. this is how our country treats a patriot!!
    i am sickened...

  117. http://www.heise.de/tp/blogs/8/149387

  118. I laugh every time I hear about the plight of PFC Manning. It is a laugh directed not at his suffering but the sheer absurdity of it.

    It's like a modern SNL style running gag. Not funny but it just keeps going on and on and on.

    American Freedom is the joke. Our government tortures whomever it feels like, whenever it feels like it, for whatever reasons and makes up neat rationalizations after the fact.

  119. The tortures the Army henchmen are inflicting on Bradley Manning affect all of us who love and cherish liberty, democracy and transparency. As far as I know, only one friend and his lawyer have been able to see Bradley, I don't know if his parents or other relatives have been able to visit him, but I fear that Bradley's mom must be suffering in a heart wrenching manner because of the inhumane and savage way her son is being maltreated.
    I know that Amnesty International and other concerned organizations and citizens have written to President Obama and to the powers-that-be urging them to stop this savagery but their silence is deafening.
    It is a disgrace that the US Army authorities are such a bunch of scumbags of the worst kind known to humanity. Their accusation of "aiding the enemy" is both ludicrous and vile. Those who armed the Taliban and Saddam Hussein in the 1980s DID aid the enemy, the so adored and revered Ronald Reagan, depicted the Taliban as "freedom fighters," his "reasoning" was that they (the Taliban) were fighting against the atheist Soviet Union and that because they believed in G'd, they were "America's friends!" The administration of that lunatic did thus aid the enemy. The CIA obviously didn't know what I have known since my early childhood about Muslim fundamentalists! And guess who armed Saddam Hussein in the early 1980s? Have Bradley Manning's accusers forgotten the photos of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam after signing the arms deal?
    Me too I had high hopes of a fresh wind when Obama was elected, alas no fresh wind came, just the same stench of falsehood and corruption that characterized the former republican administration that lied to the American people and to the world in order to justify the invasion of Iraq.
    They have not only aided the enemy (the weapon manufacturers) the big corporations, the oil cartels, etc) they have caused the deaths of so many young American soldiers who have come back home in body bags.
    How many young soldiers were killed in Vietnam? How many Vietnamese who by the way were not invading the territory of the USA lost their lives and were exposed to napalm and other chemical weapons? And what was achieved there? NOTHING! A shameful defeat, the same will be obtained in Afghanistan. Those in power are the real traitors, not Bradley Manning!
    I hope one day he will know that we love him, that we pray for him, that we suffer for what those psychopaths of the US Army are doing to him.
    I hope that these successors of the abominable Gestapo of Nazi Germany will be brought to justice one day, if not to the International Tribunal in The Hague, where they can expend the rest of their miserable lives with good food, color TV, books, central heating, sport facilities, etc.
    Bradley, we love you, I love you, you are the symbol of the USA I loved when they liberated Europe from the Nazi hell.
    May G'd bless you.
    Menachem S.

  120. At the President's website, Change.gov, there is a page that lays out the Ethics Agenda of the incoming Obama Administration. It includes a lot of great-sounding things: exposing special interest tax breaks to public scrutiny, ending the abuse of no-bid contracts, requirements for independent monitoring of lobbying laws and ethics rules, and the timely release of presidential records. It also includes the following paragraph:
    Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process."
    Bradley Manning is (1) a federal employee, and (if the allegations against him are correct) (2) a watchdog of wrongdoing who (3) exposed the abuse of authority in government. So how are those who supported the Obama/Biden ticket after reading these lofty promises supposed to feel now?

  121. David Coombs,

    Not too long ago I was held in a prison cell for a non violent crime. It was only for 24 hours, yet I was already beginning to fell the effects of confinement and non-human interaction. After about 24 hours in a cell, I was visited by a court appointed attorney. It was the sweetest moment, and I relished every second that we communicated.

    I hope that when you see Manning you tell him of the movement on the outside. That we care about him. That we want to help him. I also hope you inform that whether or not he was involved, the information contained within Cablegate has help to overthrow at least 2 oppressive dictators, with possibly more, and that millions of people now have a chance at a better life.

    Please help Manning David Coombs, you are his only connection to the outside World.

  122. I am ashamed that the US military and our government are doing this to one of it's citizens without charging him and violating his rights under the law. The military torturers' should be tried for the crimes because it stinks of the disgrace of Abu Ghraib and disgraces the American People by such actions, because in my opinion the torturers symbolize the real terrorism of and by the state---The Terrorism of a militarist United States who does not recognize the rights of it's citizens. Crimes against humanity is what should be leveled at those responsible for the torture and those who have condoned it. If there are no moral judgments and values by which the US government abides, it's time to replace it because they have denigrated what kind of Democracy by which we were created. Please do whatever you can to release Bradley Manning.
    The DOD @ Quantico is really sending a message to the People of the US when the Military and it administration has to fear its own people. It signals the end of a democratic republic. Bradley Manning symbolizes a martyr for the truth and speaking truth to the power of the corporate government and military that protects the corporate.
    Long live Bradley Manning, he suffers for their sins against humanity and Democracy for which they falsely subscribe; he suffers for all those who have ignored his plight and what their apathy means to our civilization.
    God bless you Bradley may your release be swift.

  123. USA need to free Manning David Coombs he was only teling the truth , and teling truth is not crime .crime is who conceal the truth

  124. Is it possible to write to Bradley? Please tell him that he's not alone, we're pulling for him. Thank you for making your blog public.

  125. Isn't Manning still in the military? I'm against the downgrading of the term "torture". The military assigns duties to soldiers all the time that are far worse than reporting each morning in his skivies or even au natural. Manning has placed a lot of people in danger--people who are not Americans and were only acting as friends. This isn't torture and I'm not inclined shed a tear over moderately rough handling. You don't say what his "sarcastic comment" was, but the context implies that Pfc Manning's arrogance has not been harmed by his treatment.

  126. Quote: "In addition to degradation of the detainee, stripping can be used to demonstrate the omnipotence of the captor or to debilitate the detainee."

    TORTURE - Why do you allow it to occur Americans ?

  127. I'm curious: Isn't there any public pressure against the government concerning this case?

    In Germany, nearly everybody who consumes newspapers knows the name of Bradley Manning and his treatment. There're lots of reports about him here.

    If something like this happened here, we'd take down all federal officals and offices (so our last SecDef). Because there're enough people that want to enforce integrity of what the gov is saying and what it is doing.

    In the US, is Bradley Manning's treatment accepted? Isn't there any institution that ensures fair justice? I'm deeply confused...

  128. Wonders why some people just blindly parrot what they are told by their governmant without ever seen evidences and thus have already convicted Bradley Manning... What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

  129. Mission accomplished: show to the world what a barbaric and uncivilized country the US chooses to be.

  130. I am not an American; but my spirit soared when Obama campaigned for honesty, integrity, morality and transparency and was elected as President. This is because America is followed around the world for leadership. What the American President does sets the standard. But with the handling of PFC Bradley Manning's detention, Obama has proved he is just another two faced nigger bastard.

  131. Back in 1943,1944 when I was a young child in hiding from the Nazis, may parents, my sisters and I would relish listening to the American Forces Radio, every victory of the Allies over the hated occupiers gave us hope to survive, we loved the Americans, the Canadians, the British...Glenn Miller, Dame Vera Lynn..Coca Cola...freedom!
    Later in life my disappointment over the US grew steadily because of the McCarthy hysteria, the murder of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the US interventions in Iran and Latin America in the early 50s in order to defend the interests of private American exploiters of commodities ranging from bananas, coffee to oil and to put/keep in power corrupt dictators, then came the atrocities the US Army committed in the Vietnam War in the 60s and the early 70s, the hypocrisy of the Carter administration, the cult of money and greed by Reagan, the Iran-Contra Affair, the lowest standards were yet to come with the Bushes and Obama. No country, in the world is more hated nowadays than the USA, not even Iran's, China's, Afghanistan's, North Korea's, Libya's and other rogue states' embassies and consulates have to be so heavily protected as those of the USA.
    The way the detainees at the Guantanamo Base are being held are beyond contempt of course and, as another commentator wrote a few days ago, the henchmen there might be judged one day in an Islamic court of justice, as the USA still doesn't recognize the authority of the International Tribunal of The Hague.
    If "illegal combatants" succeed to abduct those responsible for the inhumane treatment of the detainees, I am sure they will show much less leniency with these rednecks than the UN Tribunal. The despicable torturers of Bradley Manning may believe that they will get away more easily, but as I have just read, these henchmen are being targeted by anonymous avengers who are rightly outraged at the sadistic and barbaric ways in which they are dealing with Bradley.
    As far as I am concerned, I won't shed any tears if that horrible, despicable bitch, is dealt with in an appropriate manner, this Denise Barnes is no more than a contemptible man hater, a gorgon, even a whore who has to do that kind of work is a better kind of woman who deserves much more respect than this virago, the other rednecks at Quentico should be brought to justice, but with that hypocritical liar in the Oval Office and the next (Republican) successor there is no probability that this will happen, therefore someone else will have to deal with those criminal thugs. I hope someone does.
    May G'd bless and inspire you in the extremely difficult battle ahead in order to defend Bradley. You are already making a difference, as well as 99,9999% of the people who have posted a comment about this barbaric disgrace.
    I would love to die seeing the US being ruled by a new and decent party, a party that begins from scratch to build a humane, truly democratic and free society, but I am afraid I won't. There are simply too many bastards and even more morons who continue trusting the two corrupt political parties that have led the USA to a moral and economic catastrophe, these morons who swallow the fascist propaganda of the extreme right and who believe the lies told to them by the government and the army would get a tax refund if brains were taxed...
    If fools could fly, they would cover the sun and the whole earth would remain in complete darkness forever...
    Pinkas L.

  132. The ignominious maltreatment of Bradley Manning is known all over the world and the condemnation of this revolting infamy is overwhelming, yet the thugs seem to continue defying public opinion all over the world in an arrogant attitude similar to that of the Nazi Gestapo and SS who acted believing to be the "Master Race." Those arrogant bastards when in power behaved accordingly, after their defeat they behaved like cowards who "didn't know anything" or who west just "obeying what they were told to do..."
    I am sure that the bastards torturing Bradley Manning and the detainees in Guantanamo will either behave in the same way the Gestapo and SS henchmen did or play the "martyr" like "military hero" Oliver North, Reagan's drug dealer using the money thus "earned' to re-install the Somoza clan back to power in Nicaragua. (Did you know that Reagan was incensed when dictator Somoza was killed? He said then that this man had been a "great friend of the US and a champion of democracy?" And did you know that "liberal" President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "I know Somoza, (Sr. is a son of a bitch but he is OUR son of a bitch?) But coming back to now:
    Can those responsible for this vile and vicious treatment of a fellow human being be indicted and brought to justice? What can be done to purge the army of these despicable, fascist criminals? Has the jurisprudence of the Nuremberg trials at the end of World War II lost validity? Or do they enjoy the "immunity" generously given them by the powers-that-be? I do hope that these henchmen and the counterpart of those female concentration camps of the Nazi regime get the punishment they deserve. I understand that these putrid henchmen and the repugnant female do know by that they have been targeted by activists and that they therefore cannot walk freely on the streets any more and that they have reasons to be afraid. This is a tiny piece of good news.
    Being hated doesn't mean to be respected and the hate many people feel toward those degenerates is more than justified. I won't shed a single tear either if something happens to that despicable bitch and the psychopathic henchmen torturing Bradley Manning, or if something happens to the capos responsible for these outrages, (you can't be indicted and brought to justice for not crying, can you?)
    Spokesman Crowley had to resign because of the abominable and stupid way Bradley Manning has been maltreated. At least one decent person who refuses serving a corrupt, lying government. This is alas a very tine thing to happen, but at least the step of this man may be the beginning of a movement for decency and honor, but the worldwide reputation of the US is too tarnished, there are simply too may corrupt bastards in control.
    Those of us who have been posting comments have nothing but our voices in clamor for justice and humanity, all we can do so far has been to utter of our rage, disgust, disbelieve and hatred towards this despicable disgrace. Where are the voices of celebrities?
    Barbra Streisand, Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon, Ed Asner and countless other celebrities have raised their voices against bigotry, hypocrisy and infamy in the past. The fact that they are hated by the likes of the Bushes, Reagan, John Wayne and conservative, ignorant rednecks is their greatest decoration and honor!
    I know that la Streisand campaigned for Obama, I wonder how she feels about him now, this man promised so much, he is now behaving like the worst Republicans by allowing these outrage to continue!
    Please Ms. Streisand et al, SPEAK UP AGAINST THIS OUTRAGE!

  133. Bradley Manning committed a very serious crime with far ranging implications. Having his clothes confiscated and being placed in solitary confinement, whether for his safety or even as suggested here, for degradation, is far from torture. The word torture is being used to make people cringe. The same way calling someone a racist for not supporting your views makes them cringe.

  134. Is exposing the shooting of civilians, including children, by laughing American soldiers from an helicopter a "serious crime?" Is calling Barak Obama "The black version of George W. Bush" racism? There are differences between the White Trash Rednecks who are torturing and humiliating Bradley Manning and the decent Americans, Europeans, Australians, etc. who are outraged because of the TERROR of which Bradley is a victim. Not even child killers and/or child rapists are treated in this manner in the prisons of your country! The writer of the comment posted on March the 14th, 2011 at 4.06 A.M. seems to believe that the constant humiliation and that being forced to sleep naked in a cold cell without sheets or covers, having his sleep interrupted every five minutes, the lights being on the whole night, having to stand naked in front of the female equivalent of a Nazi concentration camp guard and the redneck henchmen who relish in "obeying orders" like Stalin's and Hitler's thugs in the gulags and concentration camps is "far from torture!" I am amazed at the lack of the most elementary particle of decency this individual is displaying!
    The Catholic Church made "laws" that were enforced by the "Holy" Inquisition Stalin, Hitler, the Ayatollahs in Iran, the North Korean dynasty, the tyrants in the Middle East, the former satellite countries of the now defunct Warsaw Pact, they also made depraved and immoral "laws." Covering up war crimes, exposing lies and corruption of the government, the Army, etc. may be "against US laws..." made by those who are making a mockery of democracy and justice. If Bradley Manning broke those laws, he followed the jurisprudence of the Nuremberg trials of after World War II. The Nazi war criminals were also "obeying laws," Nazi laws, but these laws constituted the worst travesty of the notion of what law and justice is about, Nelson Mandela also broke the Apartheid laws as many other white and black South Africans who followed their conscience and suffered because of that. Everyone now agrees that the laws of the Nazis, of the Stalinist Soviet Union, those of the Apartheid in South Africa, and so on and so on were despicable and immoral.
    Many US laws are very far from being sacred!
    And if Obama says that the treatment of Bradley Manning meets "basic standards," then these standards are despicably low and most contemptible.
    Marc O.

  135. I am glad that Manning is kept under such tight control. Reason being, everyone would Scream "Conspiracy" and raise Holy Hel* if Manning did manage to hurt himself.

  136. To All posting comments requesting others to contact the Army about the Traitors treatment....You do realize that the traitor is being held in a Navy brig and being guarded by Marines....The only Army connection to the Traitor is that the Traitor is in the Army....The Army does not control how the Navy treats it's inmates.

  137. God help us all. I hope that other Americans wake up. My vision of the USA being "the good guys" has been turned into a nightmarish vision of destruction. The deliberate dumbing down of the young people, the indoctrination fed to us from a very young age makes me sick. I am frightened as well... what will happen when the Master Planners get their way? I fear for my children and my grandchildren... Dear God, please keep us safe from harm and give us the strength to survive the coming holocaust.

  138. Mr. Obama has been nothing but a great disappointment to those of us that believed all the hype and rhetoric of his run for office.His refusal to end this torture of an as yet untried man sickens those of us that believed in American values.It also points out that the President of the United States is nothing more than a figurehead the REAL head of our government is a shadowy CIA/military complex,the people that brought us black box prisons of torture in foreign countries to avoid American Democracy.Of course they're mad that someone exposed the black heart of our leaders. What is most disheartening is the number of American sheep who are saying I like the illusion of honesty and freedom please don't disturb my fantasy with the truth.Please just go back to your idiot box and catch up on Charlie's latest antics or Lindsy's rehab problems and don't trouble yourself with why the rest of the world thinks Americans are stupid.

  139. Few remember the part fragging played in ending the Vietnam war. It's already begun: Ft. Hood was fragging but the Pentagon is desperate lest the American people figure it out. The person who should be court martialed is the Brig Commander who stripped Bradley against the recommendation of her betters.

  140. the us regime torture and murder. how dare they say who is terrorist and who is not. they call martyrs for humanity terrorists and torture them for revealing the truth to the public. nobody is safe from those regimes, they don't care bout human rights. manning is a hero and all of them staying by his side against the forces of evil.

  141. I think it's hilarious that not a single one of you know not only a thing about the UCMJ, ner confinement policies and regulations, yet you assume that you do, but that you don't even know which branch of service is in control of what. Manning is in the US Army, Quantico is a joint service Marine Corps brig, the guards watching over him are MARINES, not the "stress-card-carrying" Army, however, there are liasons of each branch on staff at Quantico for the many, many, MANY inmates held there in ALL branches of service, including the US Coast Guard. Manning is fine. He is not being "tortured". He is being DETAINED until his trial. He MUST go into Special Confinement due to the nature of his charges. If he were in General Population, he would be in danger of being harmed by the other inmates. You cannot have someone charged with "Aiding The Enemy" in Medium Custody. It's like putting a rapist on a GP block...he will get hurt there. Yes, it sucks, but it is necessary. Please learn the regs before you rant about his "unfair" treatment. Quantico is not Sing Sing in the slighest.

  142. if the world would be ruled by ppl like mannings, it would make the planet a better place. but yeahh...instead dey get tortured by this criminals in charge:(

  143. when will mannings be released from jail?

  144. re: Villiard stated that it would be "inappropriate" to explain what prompted these actions "because to discuss the details would be a violation of PFC Manning's privacy."

    I think that before the trial hearing in August, 2012, that you should get Bradley's permission for Mr. Brian Villiard to 'reveal' his intentions/explanation for the actions taken in Brad's treatment just to show the bogus nature of Mr. Villiard's concern for his privacy!

    Doesn't hypocricy just make you sick sometimes?



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