A military judge ruled Tuesday that the charges against Bradley Manning will not be dropped due to his mistreatment. Instead, if he is found guilty, his sentence is to be reduced by 112 days to make up for the torture he experienced in American military custody. Army Col. Denise Lind, the military judge presiding over the hearing at Fort Meade said his incarceration was, “more rigorous than necessary,” but that his treatment, “became excessive in relation to legitimate government interests.”
The government admitted in the pretrial hearing that Manning was improperly held, but claims that he is only owed seven days off any potential sentence. Manning’s defense was at least able to prove that the mistreatment was more than the government is willing to admit. Everyone is aware by now that torture has different definitions depending on whether the United States is committing the acts or one America’s enemies.
Manning was held captive in a 6 by 8 cell without windows for 23 hours a day. Due to “suicide watch” he was kept stripped, sometimes naked and sometimes supplied with a suicide smock, which the army issues to those they deem a risk to themselves. The conditions Manning was forced to endure were so dubious that the United Nations special rapporteur on torture sought to interview Manning directly, without monitoring, but his request was refused.
Manning, 25, was only 22 when he was arrested. He has spent 959 days in pretrial detention, a clear violation to his right to a speedy trial. By the time Bradley’s case finally gets to trial, currently scheduled for March 6, 2013*, he’ll have been in prison awaiting court-martial for more than 1,000 days. Don’t blow the whistle on America, they will prove they never do wrong by torturing you for doing the right thing.
*New information suggests that the trial is being pushed back to June to allow extra time to deal with clasified information. Odd, since everyone already knew this trial involved classified data.