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by General Joe
Sunday, Mar. 13, 2011 at 6:45 PM
"At night, if the guards cannot see me clearly because I have a blanket over my head or I am curled up towards the wall, they will will wake me in order to ensure that I am OK."
Accused WikiLeaker Bradley Manning claims rough justice
THE US army private at the centre of the WikiLeaks affair said yesterday he was being improperly subjected to unusually harsh conditions at a US military prison.
In an 11-page memorandum, Private First Class Bradley Manning said officials at the Quantico brig had abused their discretion in classifying him as at risk of injuring himself and requiring "maximum custody".
He said the prison's own records showed he had been a model prisoner and that prison psychiatrists had repeatedly recommended he be removed from "prevention of injury" status.
"Under my current restrictions, in addition to being stripped at night, I am essentially held in solitary confinement," Private Manning wrote.
"For 23 hours a day, I sit alone in my cell. The guards check on me every five minutes during the day by asking me if I am OK.
"I am required to respond in an affirmative manner.
"At night, if the guards cannot see me clearly because I have a blanket over my head or I am curled up towards the wall, they will will wake me in order to ensure that I am OK," he said.
Private Manning said he was barred from keeping any personal items in his cell, could have only one book or magazine at a time and give it back at the end of the day, and was not allowed to exercise in his cell.
"If I attempt to do push-ups, sit-ups or any other form of exercise, I am forced to stop by the guards. Finally, I receive only one hour of exercise outside of my cell daily. My exercise is usually limited to me walking figure eights in an empty room."
The former intelligence analyst in Iraq, who is suspected of passing hundreds of thousands of sensitive diplomatic cables and military reports to the WikiLeaks website, was hit on March 2 with 22 charges, including the capital offence of "aiding the enemy".
He is also accused of knowingly giving "intelligence to the enemy, through indirect means".
The US military had previously announced 12 charges against him in July, accusing him of violating federal criminal and military law.
But the Pentagon has yet to explicitly link him to WikiLeaks, although the charge sheets accuse him of illegally downloading government documents and causing them to be "wantonly" published on the internet. Private Manning knew that "intelligence published on the internet is accessible to the enemy".
WikiLeaks has infuriated US officials and shaken up the diplomatic world by publishing a stream of sensitive US military files and diplomatic cables.
All this in the “land of the free and the home of the brave” for exercising “free speech.” And remember he has yet to be charged with any crime.
Talk about a real “hero.” Please spread widely. General Joe
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