An important ruling today by a military judge in the case of Bradley Manning, the 24-year-old Army intelligence analyst, accused of releasing the Collateral Murder video, that shows the killing of unarmed civilians and two Reuters journalists, by a US Apache helicopter crew in Iraq, as well as other documents.
After more than two weeks of litigation by Bradley Manning's defense, military Judge Denise Lind confirmed that Bradley was punished unlawfully before trial by awarding him 112 days credit. Instead of awarding 10-for-1 credit, which would severely reprimand the military for its handling of Bradley and which would significantly impact Bradley’s potential sentence, Judge Lind instead gave 1-to-1 credit for selected portions of Manning’s confinement.
“She confirmed that Bradley was mistreated, and vindicated the massive protest effect that was required to stop the Marines at Quantico from torturing Bradley,” the Bradley Manning Support Network’s Jeff Paterson said. “Yet, 112 days is not nearly enough to hold the military accountable for their actions."
For nine months in Quantico, VA, Bradley was held isolated in a 6x8 ft cell, and denied access to sunlight and meaningful exercise, conditions called "cruel, inhuman and degrading" by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. It was only after considerable public outcry and coordinated action that Bradley's conditions improved.
Judge Lind granted credit for the following:
- 7 days Bradley was kept on suicide risk watch against Navy Rules
- 75 days from November 1 to January 18 when Bradley was kept needlessly on Prevention of Injury watch
- 20 days from April 1-20 when Bradley was forced to remove his underwear at night.
Judge Lind said Manning’s confinement was "more rigorous than necessary,” and that it “became excessive in relation to legitimate government interests.”
Bradley still faces 150 years in prison. This hearing continues through Friday, January 11. Bradley Manning’s court-martial trial is scheduled to start March 6, 2013.
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