wikileaks

Accused WikiLeaks Whistleblower Bradley Manning Testifies He Thought He Would "Die in Custody"

Friday, November 30, 2012   on  Democracy Now!

Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, has testified for the first time since he was arrested in May 2010. Speaking Thursday at a pretrial proceeding, Manning revealed the emotional tumult he experienced while imprisoned in Kuwait after his arrest in 2010, saying, "I remember thinking, ’I’m going to die.’ I thought I was going to die in a cage." As part of his testimony, Manning stepped inside a life-sized chalk outline representing the six-by-eight-foot cell he was later held in at the Quantico base in Virginia, and recounted how he would tilt his head to see the reflection of a skylight through a tiny space in his cell door. Manning could face life in prison if convicted of the most serious of 22 counts against him. His trial is expected to begin in February. He has offered to plead guilty to a subset of charges that could potentially carry a maximum prison term of 16 years. "What’s remarkable is that he still has this incredible dignity after going through this," says Michael Ratner, who was in the courtroom during Manning’s appearance. "But I think all these prison conditions were — sure, they were angry at Bradley Manning, but in the face of that psychiatric statement, that this guy shouldn’t be kept on suicide risk or POI, they’re still keeping him in inhuman conditions, you can only ask yourself — they’re trying to break him for some reason. The lawyer, David Coombs, has said it’s so that he can give evidence against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks." Ratner is president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a lawyer for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. [includes rush transcript]

Guest:

Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a lawyer to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. He recently returned from attending part the pretrial hearing for Bradley Manning.

Transcript

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, has testified in a courtroom for the first time since he was arrested in May 2010. Speaking Thursday at a pretrial proceeding, Manning revealed the emotional tumult that he experienced while imprisoned in Kuwait after his arrest in 2010, saying, quote, "I remember thinking, ’I’m going to die.’ I thought I was going to die in a cage."

As part of his testimony, Manning stepped inside a life-sized chalk outline representing the six-by-eight-foot cell he was later held in at the Quantico base in Virginia, and he recounted how he would tilt his head to see the reflection of a skylight through a tiny space in his cell door.

Tortured Until Proven Guilty: Bradley Manning and the Case Against Solitary Confinement

[MANY LINKS BELOW ARTICLE]

Lynn Parramore, Editor of New Deal 2.0, Co-founder of Recessionwire  Posted: Dec 31, 2010

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

In the earliest days of our Republic, a group of well-meaning Philadelphia Quakers set out to reform the prison system. The idea was to remove convicts from the mayhem and corruption of overcrowded jails to solitary cells where sinners would return to mental and spiritual health through reflection. In the Walnut Street Jail, no windows would distract the prisoners with street life; no conversation would disturb their penitence. Alone with God, they would be rehabilitated.

There was a small problem. Many of the prisoners went insane. The Walnut Street Jail was shut down in 1835.

Global BRADLEY MANNING Action Days, March 19-20

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Individuals and activists plan events around the world to show support for the accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower on March 19-20.

[March 19 event in Eureka CA: http://redwoodcurtaincopwatch.net/node/771 ]

On March 19-20, 2011, activist organizations and individuals will take to the streets to protest the U.S. government's treatment of accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower Army Private First Class Bradley Manning. Manning, 23, has been held in isolation for nearly 300 days, charged with releasing classified documents, including a video that shows American troops shooting and killing 11 people, including two Reuters employees, in 2007.

U.S. Soldier Imprisoned for Releasing Video Of U.S. Military Slaying of Iraqi Civilians: VIDEO & PETITION included

Bradley Manning is the U.S. soldier now in a US military prison in Kuwait who has been arrested and charged with two violations for releasing classified information (the Wikileaks "Collateral Murder" video) and facing 54 years in prison. He is being held in isolation from the outside world - with no contact with his civilian attorneys working to defend him.

If the allegations are true, Bradley Manning is a hero for bringing to light the realities of the crimes being committed in the U.S. occupation.

We call for his immediate release and that his attorneys be allowed to talk to him.

  Sign-On In Support of Bradley Manning & His Right to Counsel