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They're 'Slow Torturing' Bradley Manning Right Under Our Noses

By dlindorff - Posted on 25 December 2010

By John Grant

On December 18, David House, an MIT researcher, visited Bradley Manning at the Quantico, Virginia, military prison where he is being held in solitary confinement. Other than Manning’s attorney, House is the rare person allowed to visit him.

House’s report is quite thorough in pointing out instances where the military authorities are lying -- or to use philosopher Harry Frankfurt’s formulation, “bullshitting” -- about how the 23-year-old Army intelligence worker is being treated.

Here’s some of psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Kaye’s comment on House’s report:

"The human nervous system needs a certain amount of sensory and social stimulation to retain normal brain functioning. ... From what can be ascertained, the effects of solitary confinement are having some effects already on Bradley Manning. His concentration and thinking processes appear somewhat slowed. He avoids certain topics. He has little access to humor. His color is pale, and his musculature is starting to look soft and flabby.”

There is, unfortunately, a long and sordid history behind this kind of “slow torture,” and the use of it should be a battleground for all Americans still interested in compassion, fairness and justice.

In his book A Question Of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War On Terror, Alfred McCoy connects decades and billions of dollars of “black” US torture research with the current sophisticated techniques Global War On Terror jailers are using to torture human beings without laying a finger on them.

The key is absolute control -- and time. These are clearly the methods now being employed against Manning, who is accused of leaking the WikiLeaks material. The question is, given Manning's high-profile status, do his jailers at the Quantico, Virginia, military facility have the necessary control and time to really scramble young Manning's mind? And what are they after: his mental breakdown and/or his giving up of larger prey like Julian Assange?

House’s account from his visit with Manning suggests Manning's jailers, within the limitations they have, are doing their best to break Manning psychologically, Their primary limitation is the publicity surrounding the Manning case and the fact he has a strong, and hopefully growing, support network.

Some of the restrictions House reports would be quite absurd if they didn't make such sense as slow torture tactics.

Guards apparently enter Manning's cell and physically prevent him from doing exercises, which he is permitted to do only for one hour a day -- and that amounts to walking around in a circle in leg irons. He is not permitted any personal items in his cell...

For the rest of this article by JOHN GRANT in ThisCantBeHappening!, please go to: ThisCantBeHappening!

"Bradley Manning Suffering Extreme Isolation Prison Torture -- Courageous Whistleblower 'Physically Deteriorating'"

by Joshua Holland,, Dec. 26, 2010


The circumstances of Manning's detention gained prominence last week after Salon's Glenn Greenwald wrote a scathing exposé of what he called “conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture.” As AlterNet's Sarah Seltzer noted, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture has started a probe to determine whether Manning's solitary confinement constitutes torture under international law.

The Pentagon reacted to the story by claiming that Manning is “a maximum custody detainee” who can “receive the same privileges that a detainee classified as general population may receive … [including] daily television, hygiene call, reading and outside physical activity without restraint.” ...


Bradley Manning is a detainee who can "receive the same privileges that a detainee classified as general population may receive ...".

Juxtapose that wording to the following examples:

Bradley Manning is a detainee who does "receive the same privileges that a detainee classified as general population will/would receive ...".


Bradley Manning is a detainee who is "receiving the same privileges that a detainee classified as general population will/would receive ...".

Iow, the Pentagon's wording is only according to what "just a piece of paper" says; it's wording that does [not] tell us what he [does] receive. Can and may are not definitive terms, which is and does (f.e.) are. While he can receive the same treatment that the general population may receive, when and if jailed, what is the treatment that he does and does not receive? The Pentagon doesn't want to be specific, so it uses wording that is not definitive and which can fool even many people into believing that Bradley Manning is being treated according to the way that the Pentagon says he [hypothetically] or [theoretically] could be treated. The Pentagon is trying to appear to be adhering to laws about humane treatment and there's an old adage about appearances; they can be and often are deceiving or deceptive.

So ask the Pentagon, f.e., "Tell us how Bradley Manning [is] being treated. We don't want to know how he could be treated. We want to know, from you, in your words, how he [is] being treated. Could and is are not the same thing, you see. We want facts and not supposition or theory. And then we'll of course want proof, which will also of course be easy to obtain, unless, of course, you are trying to hide the truth".

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