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Government Admits Brig Commander Improperly Put Bradley Manning on Suicide Watch


By Emptywheel at FireDogLake

The government has admitted to MSNBC that the Brig Commander at Quantico improperly put Bradley Manning on suicide watch last week.

The officials told NBC News, however, that a U.S. Marine commander did violate procedure when he placed Manning on “suicide watch” last week.

Military officials said Brig Commander James Averhart did not have the authority to place Manning on suicide watch for two days last week, and that only medical personnel are allowed to make that call.

The official said that after Manning had allegedly failed to follow orders from his Marine guards. Averhart declared Manning a “suicide risk.” Manning was then placed on suicide watch, which meant he was confined to his cell, stripped of most of his clothing and deprived of his reading glasses — anything that Manning could use to harm himself. At the urging of U.S. Army lawyers, Averhart lifted the suicide watch.

So Manning allegedly fails to follow an order and the Brig Commander decides he loses his glasses and is stripped of his clothing?

Remember, Manning has not been convicted of anything yet.

The rest of the article describes that the government has been unable to link Manning to Julian Assange. Maybe that’s why they took his glasses away.

Update: This certainly puts the events from Quantico yesterday in a different light. According to MSNBC, government lawyers realized last week Manning had been improperly treated. By preventing David House from visiting Manning yesterday, they made sure that he wouldn’t have confirmation of that from Manning directly. But since Jane and David’s comments said they’d be back next week, DOD realized they’d need to ‘fess up themselves.

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