With so much attention focused on Julian Assange, it’s easy to forget about the plight of accused leaker Bradley Manning—who has now been imprisoned for seven months without being convicted of any crime. In an extensive Salon piece, Glenn Greenwald lays out the case for why he believes that Manning’s solitary confinement constitutes “cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture.” Greenwald talks to people familiar with the conditions, including an official at the brig where Manning is being held, and cites numerous studies and expert opinions to come to his conclusions about torture.
Manning—despite never showing any signs of being a physical threat—has been declared a “Maximum Custody Detainee,” the highest level; he spends 23 out of every 24 hours completely alone. He is denied exercise—and is under constant supervision to enforce that—or even a pillow and sheets for his bed. Doctors have been dosing him with antidepressants to combat the adverse psychological effects of such an incarceration, but studies show it will likely prove to be damaging. Shameful treatment, Greenwald writes, especially considering Manning is “a whistleblower in the purest and most noble form: discovering government secrets of criminal and corrupt acts and then publicizing them to the world not for profit, not to give other nations an edge, but to trigger ‘worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms.’” Click for more of his in-depth piece.