After over three years of solitary confinement, the US judicial system has proven its bias against the right to freedom of speech and information granted to the people of the US in the First Amendment. Manning, who in February of this year said ‘he had “a clear conscience”… “I wanted the American public to know that not everyone in Iraq and Afghanistan was a target that needed to be engaged and neutralised but people struggling to live in the pressure cooker of asymmetric warfare”
The prosecution rested its case, on 21th August, in the court martial of Bradley Manning, the Army private who had admitted to leaking 700,000 documents exposing US military atrocities and other crimes to the WikiLeaks website in April of 2010.
The prosecutor, Major Ashden Fein, dropped one of the 22 charges against Manning. That charge alleged Manning had leaked intelligence to an “enemy” whose name is classified.
In charging Manning with “aiding the enemy” under Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the US government is equating the publication of classified information about its secret and illegal activities with espionage, treason and aiding terrorists. It is doing so on the spurious grounds that such information can end up in the hands of forces considered by the government to be hostile.
In fact, as the Obama administration and the military well know, Manning released the information to inform the American people of war crimes being carried out by the US government in Iraq and Afghanistan and diplomatic intrigues targeting many other countries.
The Baghdad helicopter attack video especially made impact on the American conscience. ‘Manning initially faced up to 90 years in prison for leaking more than 700,000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and State Department diplomatic cables in 2010 while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. He also leaked video of an U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad in which at least nine people were killed, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver.’
‘He didn’t kill anyone as far as I know,’ former Fort Meade medic Ken Howland says of U.S. soldier Bradley Manning.
But the Pentagon has come up with perhaps a more excruciating punishment for him. After 3 years of trial Manning has suddenly come up with a confession of being Chelsea instead of Bradley; its a wonder what solitary confinements and torture can bring out of a person!
Inside a tiny cell in the base’s prison block languishes the object of their mission — a slightly-built, fresh-faced young man called Bradley Manning, held in conditions that have been compared to those at the notorious detention camps Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. His cell does not have a window and on the rare occasions he is allowed out, the clanking of the chains that shackle his hands and feet tend to drown out other sounds.
The US military has a history of getting out of torture allegations on technicalities. Its spokespeople would doubtless claim that keeping Manning in solitary confinement under strip lighting for 23 hours a day, forcing him to sleep naked and depriving him of all rights, strained at the definition of torture but did not snap it. Yet it was within the US military’s power to treat Manning as a human being. It chose instead to torment him in a tiny cell and seemed remarkably relaxed about who knew it. The message to everybody else is clear.
And they are tracing his mentally disturbed life right from his mother’s fetus.
‘Pte First Class Bradley Manning, 25, showed signs of foetal alcohol syndrome’, said Capt David Moulton, a clinical psychiatrist, who testified in court that day. Moulton described Manning’s facial features that characterised the syndrome, such as his smooth, thin upper lip, and looked over at him in the courtroom.
Recently Manning’s gender-identity struggle — a sense of being a woman in a man’s body — was brought up by the defense at the court-martial.
George Wright, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon, said the Army does not provide such treatment or sex-reassignment surgery. He said soldiers behind bars are given access to psychiatrists and other mental health professionals.
Manning’s case appeared to be the first time the therapy had come up for a military prisoner, It can be also argued that Manning might be gaining sympathy in front of court after such brutal torture.
Bradley Manning is no doubt being made an example for aspiring whistleblowers to think before they come up with the idea of saving the humanity again..