07 April 2011

Brig Fails to Follow Its Own Rules

Over the past few weeks, the defense has been working to facilitate an official visit for Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Mr. Juan Mendez (the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture), and a representative from Amnesty International.  Despite multiple inquires from the defense and the interested parties, the Quantico Brig and the Government have denied the requests for an "official visit." 

The Quantico Brig Order P1640.1C, paragraph 3.17 allows two types of visitors for a detainee, "authorized" and "official."  The difference between them is described here in the Brig rule.  The defense maintains that the critical distinction between the two is that official visits are privileged and not subject to Brig monitoring. 

The Government's position is that the above individuals are not entitled to an official visit because none of these individuals are conducting "official government business."  Because the Government refuses to allow these visits to take place as an official visit, it indicates that it will generously interpret the provisions with respect to "authorized visits."  In particular, it will permit an authorized visit with PFC Manning despite the fact that none of these individuals had "established a proper relationship with the prisoner prior to confinement" as required under the Brig rule.  Such an authorized visit, of course, will be subject to Brig monitoring and can be used as evidence against PFC Manning in a court-martial proceeding. 

34 comments:

  1. Every day that the regime at Quantico treats Manning and Manning's rights with contempt, it draws a larger spotlight on itself. People around the United States are mobilizing, around the world too.

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  2. This is so wrong. This is why our government needs to be shut down and Bradly Manning must be released. HE IS A US CITIZEN. Our government doesnt have the BALLS to honor and respect the rule of law. to the US Government, RELEASE PFC BRADLY MANNING OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES.

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  3. TORTURE is current realpolitics strategy.
    I remember 1970s Coups dÉtat all over Latinamerica.
    Only in Argentina we had 30.000 DESAPARECIDOS, or Missing as usa calls them.
    First there WAS/IS torture, then Disappearing of people.
    School of Americas trained our militaries to FIGHT Communism!!!
    And now???
    BUSH = OBAMA------------ PROFITS!!!

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  4. It spells dumb...and it's showing the ignorance of those in power. Let's get the military building things instead of destroying.

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  5. among the many options of obvious corruption, collusion and conspiracy occurring in our nation,
    this particular situation, among all others, is consistently proving to me that my country has been bought and sold for corporate puppetry and that there is NO justice, NO peace, NO liberty, NO honor possible until we tear down the existing paradigm and re-establish a nation FOR the people, OF the people and BY the people!

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  6. Thank you for your work on behalf of a courageous American whistleblower. Our government didn't engage in torture back when we were a Constitutional democracy...

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  7. Well, nothing surprises me anymore. But more importantly, what are you going to do now?

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  8. I am sorry for him. As said in hollywood westerns: "After having a fair trial he will be hanged on the sunrise".

    Your president promised to close down Guantanamo and one year later says: uups, changed my mind.

    Ask your government not to play more theater. US is not anymore a democratic free country but one ruled by WIIJs (Weapon Industry Inside Jobers).

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  9. I am just shocked that the Army has the power to deny an elected representative. Congressman Kucinich, like Amnesty International and the UN just want a clearer picture of whats going on and by denying them access, Quantico seems to have a lot to hide. This is how Guantanamo handled business too but this lack of access is unacceptable to the American people.

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  10. I read the linked document and saw that members of congress are allowed Privileged Correspondence, so is Rep. Kucinich been able to write any uncensored letters to Manning? I will contact his office and encourage him to try to do so if he hasn't already.

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  11. It becomes increasingly clear each passing day that the law is for the protection of the ruling class of this nation. I taught American History and Political Science for 31 years and at this point I could not do so with the objective of having students develop an honest, reasoned faith in the system. Before one can do that one must have that faith themselves. It is gone!

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  12. USA has damaged their image,of defender of freedom,truth and justice beyond repair.Never will we global citizens,look at their actions without suspicions again.They have proven that behind their spoken word,when embarrassed show the same charateristics as a country like China.

    We would have been understanding if they had kept to acceptable human rights standards.USA did not apply that,and all they do ,is now under suspicion.We used to believe that in war,they where honourable,but the facts as they are,makes us aware that the superpower of the West,has feet of clay.We all feel the shame,that they brought on us.We do not trust them,to have our backs.Their honour is in question.

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  13. Bradley Manning should get a medal. An old saying is "they will do anything we can't stop them from doing." The government is a behemoth runaway truck and only a huge number of us together will be able to turn them into the brake ramp at the side of the road...

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  14. Thanks for the post and linking the document.

    "Official: [...] anyone listed as a privileged
    correspondence in paragraph 3.17f of this regulation "

    Could you post the next page or section 3.17f of the Quantico Brig order P1640.1C too, please?

    Or does 3.17f refer to "f. Any attorney listed in professional or other directories or an attorey's representative." in "Privileged Correspondence:" para?

    Thanks.

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  15. Is the entire text of the document that "Brig Order Excerpt.pdf" a matter of public record? I've been unable to find it via a search of either the text in it or the (poorly) OCRed rendering of it in the pdf.

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  16. To me the most interesting bit of this other than the part you analyzed was ‎"Authorized visitors [may] include [...] anyone who has established a proper relationship with the prisoner prior to him being confined." - perhaps this would be useful to append to the "Visitor and Correspondence List for Bradley Manning" post? It seems like it could significantly cut down the amount of correspondence that Brad's family receives from people asking to be added to Brad's visitor list.

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  17. I can't help but wonder why the US government would be so happy to shoot itself in the foot. This is so bad I wonder if it intentional, even staged, as a means to and ends for some reason. It has certainly distracted the wikileaks supporting world from the leaks and Assange.

    In 10 years time EVERYBODY will be hailing Manning a hero, and what of Obama? He will be remembered as the man who let it all this bad treatment happen.

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  18. Everything a congressman interested in should be an official government business. I just don't understand why the system allows such an abuse of administrative power without any balance to it.

    Is there any possibility to sue the brig administrators? They are the people who need to be put in to prison.

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  19. I'd like to know if any pretrial motions have been filed on Manning's behalf contesting his conditions of confinement. The military has no medical or psychological basis for placing Manning in "Prevention of Injury" status .. it flies in the face of the military psychologist's own recommendations. So why would any judge tolerate this?

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  20. Can you clarify what you mean by "the Government"? Is this someone in DOD, or elsewhere, denying the visits?

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  21. Intersting you complain about these procedures when your very own post below you encourage folks without preexising relationship with PFC Manning to submit a request to be placed on his authorized visitor request via his family. Also, how can a representative from Amnesty International, a nongovernmental organization, be on "official government business?"

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  22. Dear Atty Coombs,
    Please give us some hope about Bradley's condition, and tell us how often you can see him. I am so desperate for him.
    Thank you,
    Pat

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  23. I just finished reading the book "My Nuclear Family" which included the author's experiences in Iraq. He met a military lawyer who tried to report the abuses of Iraqi detainees and how our government would not follow our own legal procedures. "It's not due process, but it's the process we do." I think this story has relevance to Manning's case because it shows that a military lawyer directly involved saw how the US was breaking the law but was unable to stop it by going through the chain of command and was reprimanded for trying. Here is a link the the NY Times review of this book: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/22/books/22book.html

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  24. What is to be done?

    National Security is now a total non-sequitur. Police forces now cooperate with the military, as evidenced with the kettling of the protestors on Route 1 in front of the Quantico main entrance. So-called National Security now means only the security of corporations, the MIC, the central government and their authoritarian lackeys in high places, and the people be damned!

    So when will the lunatic FEMA Camp conspiracy theory becomes a fulfilled prophecy? Because that's where we're headed!

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  25. The declining state of the USA scares me. Its spirit has fallen already, now the body is starting to crumble. It is drawing the world into new Middle Ages with its weapons and lack of morality.

    You are a scary, scary country.

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  26. It seems it doesn't matter anymore whether it is the Democrats or Republicans that are in power. It was ineveitable when the annual US Military spending has been for long at the level of what all the other aprox. 200 countries of the wolrd spend together all in all. The Natioanl Security aparatus is the one that has the real power now and one who challneges this is deemed Anti-American. The tradgedy of the United States is that the joke "A two party system is at least twice as democratic as a one party state" seems more true now than ever. The disrespect of lawfulness is astounding. Redefinding what the present laws actually mean (Miranda) and creating an entirely separate military tribunal system outside the legal system are signs that the US has become a miltant-apartheid state. If the National Security Aparatus so wishes you can be deemed as "a kaffer" who have no rights. Well done Barack Obama - the President of Gunatanamo Bay.

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  27. To Anonymous on April 8 at 2.15:
    No, Lt-Col Coombs did not recommend people without a prior knowledge of PFC Manning to apply for correspondence or visitation rights. Read it again. He says 'IF YOU KNOW Pfc Manning, and would like...'
    No, Amnesty International is not a government, but it works WITH governments and reports both to and about them. Are you really suggesting AI just want to see PFC Manning for a personal chat?
    The UN isn't strictly a government either, but it has a mandate to report on them. If you'd like to know what they think about the Brig's decision you can read it here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/11/bradley-manning-juan-mendez-torture
    Mr Mendez has given the US the kind of rebuke normally reserved for 'authoritarian' countries, such as China.
    Can anyone blame him?

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  28. Well, well, bleepin' well. The Guardian UK has reported another incident of the US Military not following its own UCMJ.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/13/bradley-manning-mother-william-hague

    His own mum, as well as his aunt and uncle from Potomac MD went to visit him back in February. Tha aunt and uncle were disallowed to see him. I suspect the mother was, as well. And I am absolutely certain they were authorized visitors, according to the UCMJ in plain American English. According to the UCMJ in Gitmoese, the new language of the US Central Government? HAHAHAHAHA! Nyet!!!

    We all live in oppositeland these days. Time to go back through the looking glass!

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  29. It's all just a matter of definition, as we all should've learned in the meantime. At least I was right when I said nothing will change except the tone.

    Hope you all won't cease in your efforts to make official visits possible! Finally.

    Mark

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  30. Hope you all won't cease in your efforts to make official visits possible. Finally. And not just quickly agreeing to these authorized visits.

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  31. skyler wind NOT AFRAID TO USE MY NAMEApril 16, 2011 at 2:25 AM

    According to the brig rules, official gov business includes being for the benefit of the prisoner or in the interests of justice. Thus, Congressman Kucinich ought to simply arrive, knock on the door (so to speak) and announce his intention to see Bradley Manning with those two items on his agenda. It's the LAW; he cannot be refused. Is Kucinich afraid of being arrested or what?! C'mon people! Step up to the plate and swing already! STOP FEARING OUR GOVERNMENT & ARMY. They work for us, damn it!

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  32. Yeah skyler wind, considering the office Kucinich holds he should just go there AND be able to talk to Bradley Manning IN PRIVATE. On the other hand, the US military is a dictatorship within a .... uh ... "democracy". So, brig will NEVER let him in as long as they don't get the order from the DoD (just my guess, though).

    Hope D.K. does not resign since he gets hindered to actually do his job and thus finally thinks, let them search for another idiota who's willing to get fooled. His successor might possibly not really be interested for whatever reasons which were bad for Bradley Manning ... good for the "other side", though. D.K. needs a "now more than ever" attitude. *pray

    Not anonymous from the other side of the lake

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  33. The commandant who ordered a "Code Red" is not exonerated by the business as usual defence that the pentagon JAG and others have offered (including the president). The treatment is obvious willful and harsh in the extreme. Is Quantico so secure, and the nation comprised of noddies? Will there be a public accounting? Contrary to their press release, the military must have had a shock meeting that made the decision overruling the local colonel. There will have been some record of the meeting.

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  34. I wonder if the move to Fort Leavenworth will change this? Since Pentagon spokesman Col Lapan specifically blamed the Quantico regulations for refusing unmonitored visits, surely there's no further reason to deny the UN's request now he's somewhere else.
    Unless, of course Col Lapan admits he was being just a little bit economical with the truth in the first place...

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