Friday, March 11, 2011

Torture In America Today

Forced nudity is torture. For a jailor to order a prisoner to strip and then to deprive them of their clothes for hours, to embarrass them by forcing them to stand naked outside their cell at parade rest, is torture.

This is especially heinous when it is done to a prisoner awaiting trial, unconvicted and unsentenced. Pre-trial punishment is not an American tradition.

This torture is being done daily to Bradley Manning, a prisoner awaiting trial at Quantico. This treatment is supposedly part of his suicide prevention program.

Manning is being forced to sleep naked every night, in view of a video monitor and of a guard directly outside his cell. Guys get erections in their sleep. It is only a matter of time before pictures will surface, and America will discover its own Abu Ghraib scandal.

Manning has been awakened every five minutes during the night for months to ensure that he isn't harming himself. This is also a part of his "suicide watch". Military psychiatrists keep ruling, though, that he is nowhere near suicide. But his jailors keep trying...

So he is forced to strip before bedtime. His clothes are returned after morning review. He sleeps naked under a camera.

What if he goes to trial? His best defense may soon be that he simply doesn't remember anything. Given the hard time that he is now serving pre-trial before he has even been proven guilty, any testimony he gives at trial will be tainted and suspect.

In the meantime, his jailors are practically ensuring a debacle when the inevitable photos of a nude, aroused, Manning surface in the press.

- - - a further note - - -

The New York Times of 3/12/11, the day after this posting, reports on
"...Philip J. Crowley, the top State Department spokesman, about Private Manning’s treatment. In a talk at M.I.T., Mr. Crowley called the treatment “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid,” and he said he did not understand Defense Department officials’ reasons for imposing it, according to people present. Mr. Crowley later said he was expressing his personal views."
Asked about Crowley's remarks at a press conference President Obama then said,

" “With respect to Private Manning, I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards,” Mr. Obama said at a news conference. “They assure me that they are.”

“I can’t go into details about some of their concerns,” he added, “but some of this has to do with Private Manning’s safety as well.” He appeared to be referring to fears that Private Manning might harm himself, though the private, his friends and his lawyer have all denied that he is suicidal. "

The full story is at

The fact that Obama let himself be told pablum is irrelevent. He knows he's got a problem there, and he's apparently preparing to have been terribly deceived. Bradley Manning's enforced nakedness is happening because Bradley gently teased his guards about the silliness of his protocols. According to a letter from Bradley just now released by Bradley's lawyer.

His enforced nakedness is also happening because at night Bradley sleeps under a light and a camera. A camera that records to tape.

The question remains open of who decided that it was a bright idea to film Bradley Manning's weiner. And how soon we will see the closeups - jewels blocked out, of course - at the supermarket on the cover of the National Enquirer?


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