21 June 2011

Navy's Response to PFC Manning's Article 138 Complaint

Six months after filing his initial Article 138 complaint against the former commander of the Quantico Brig, PFC Manning finally received an official response.  The Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Juan M. Garcia, apparently acting under a delegation of authority, determined that CWO4 James Averhart did not exceed his authority or abuse his discretion when he kept PFC Manning isolated for 23 hours a day in Maximum Custody and under Prevention of Injury Watch. 

Mr. Garcia's determination did not address PFC Manning's amended Article 138 complaint against the current commander of the Quantico Brig, Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes.  In the amended complaint, PFC Manning alleged that Chief Warrant Officer Barnes acted improperly when she ordered him to strip naked and surrender his clothing nightly. 

The facts surrounding PFC Manning’s move to Fort Leavenworth and his almost immediate downgrade to Medium Custody make it clear that his detention conditions at Quantico were unnecessary and improper.  Although PFC Manning was denied relief under Article 138, the defense intends to file an Article 13 motion with the military judge for the Quantico Brig's clear violations of PFC Manning's constitutional rights.

13 comments:

  1. Can you please indicate when was the last time you saw Bradley and what is his physical and mental state?
    Thank you.

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  2. Who has been visiting Bradley since he was moved to Leavenworth? How often does he get visits?

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  3. They have made it clear they do not intend to play by the rules.

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  4. Mr. Coombs, could you link to the original Article 138 complaint as well? I remember it being a long pdf document. I was trying to find it the other day on this site and couldn't...

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  5. Six months! Not what you'd call "a timely fashion".

    Good on you for doing this, Mr. Coombs, we need more people like you.

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  6. This is like beating on a whale with a lead filled drinking straw ....... Good luck .... and I mean that 99guspuppet

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  7. Whitewash responses from state departments are the same the world over regardless of the state and regardless of the department. This is a stock response and I will bet that most of it has been copied and pasted.

    I am sure that you know whether pursuing this further will benefit Bradleys case or not and that you will make the appropriate decision.

    While ultimately it would certainly be nice to get a no case to answer, what is most important to me is getting Bradley out of there as fast as possible regardless of whether anybody can make political capital out of it or not; I just hope that Bradley feels the same as I assume it is the same as here in the UK where you must take instruction from your client.

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  8. I think Bradley Manning needs regular in person visits. It'd be nice to know he is seeing family and or friends. I worry about his isolation - even in a medium security facility. Is there anyway this law firm can look at coordinating an advocacy/visitation group? Obviously Kucinich, the U.N. and Amnesty Intl are not options. But, maybe Coombs and Mannings family could 'vet' a few people that are local or something? Please tell Bradley "It Gets Better"!

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  9. In reply to Brett... the original article on the 138 complaint in January, and a March update, are at

    http://www.armycourtmartialdefense.info/2011/01/article-138-complaint.html
    http://www.armycourtmartialdefense.info/2011/03/article-138-complaint.html

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  10. It would be a service to let the patriot followers know the actual address to send Manning snail mail to the JRCF he is confined to. Yes, 6 mo. isn't exactly a speedy trial. I wasn't aware of any constitutional rights due a service man under contract and UCMJ.

    There is still a chance to hold Quantico personnel accountable later at a proper tribunal.

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  11. Daniel Ellsberg, in an online video interview, said that the charges against him were dismissed by the U.S. government because of "mistreatment" by the government. He said that the mistreatment in his case consisted of men breaking into the office of his psychiatrist in the Watergate Complex in WDC and searching his file for confidential information that could be used to harm him. No such information existed. The judge threw out the case along with all the charges against Ellsberg, and Nixon resigned.
    I am convinced that Mr. Coombs knows better than most lawyers where to spend his limited time, energy and resources in the defense of PFC Manning to do the most good -- in the optimum time, not the minimum time. Mr. Coombs pursues the weak links in the prosecution and undermines their case. I do not know Mr. Coombs and he does not know me. Based on his actions to date he is evidently very thorough, zestful, creative, persistent, intelligent, thoughtful, and a good listener.
    Almost every day I think of Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, David Coombs, David House and Daniel Ellsberg, and I have confidence in all of them. They deserve our support.

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  12. my heart bweaks for bwadwey - e. fudd

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  13. Good to see that Pvt. Bradley Manning has such an industrious attorney. Perhaps attorney Gerry Spence can help in some manner to punch holes through the military's arguments? (For readers who don't know who attorney Gerry Spence is, Spence is one of the most highly respected defense attorneys ever to practice law in the USA and the author of several books.)

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