The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Nathan Fuller, 516-578-2628

Breaking: Military Judge Rules Bradley Manning Illegally Treated

112 days credit off any future prison sentence awarded—little to keep military from torturing next American soldier awaiting controversial trial


After more than two weeks of intense litigation by Bradley Manning's defense, and hearing how Quantico brig staff blatantly disregarded Navy Rules in their mistreatment of Bradley, military Judge Denise Lind has confirmed that Bradley was punished unlawfully before trial by awarding Bradley 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 gives 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 has granted credit for the 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, and 20 days from April 1-20 when Bradley was forced to remove his underwear at night. Lind said Manning's confinement was "more rigorous than necessary," and that it "became excessive in relation to legitimate government interests."

These 112 days are still vastly overshadowed by the outrageous 150 years in prison Bradley still faces. Despite Bradley Manning's honorable intentions to blow the whistle on unpunished war crimes, torture and government corruption and the military's failure to show any harm done to the US as a result of his releases, Bradley is facing harsher prosecution (and persecution) than US soldiers who are guilty of murdering civilians in the Middle East.

This hearing continues through Friday, January 11. Bradley Manning's court-martial trial is scheduled to start March 6, 2013.

The Chelsea Manning Support Network was a coalition of groups and individuals engaged in supporting the U.S. Army whistleblower.