The Wright Perspective℠
Social Commentary from the C-Suite to Main Street℠
A Blog by Gary Wright II
Is Quantico another Guantanamo? Manning denied visits by UN, Amnesty Intl, and Congressman
Thursday, April 7th, 2011
Whether you think Private First Class Bradley Manning is guilty or not - we all can agree that his treatment is unacceptable. The key premise of our country is "Innocent until proven guilty" and citizens are guaranteed a fair and speedy trial by our Constitution. Manning has been denied all of these basic rights. He has not been convicted of any crime, he has not received due process, and chances are he won't get a fair trial. He has spent nearly a year in solitary confinement and tortured in an effort to break his will and extract a confession. Our government is determined to get him to implicate Julian Assange in retaliation for the US being embarrassed by WikiLeaks.org. He has been tortured through sleep deprivation, humiliation, and forced to be naked. It is worth repeating: HE HAS NOT BEEN CONVICTED OF ANY CRIME!
Give him a fair trial and let him be sentenced if found guilty, but imprisoning someone without a trial is not acceptable! Torture is not acceptable for ANY reason. The things they are doing to this kid are in violation of US law, military law, and international law. The United Nations, Amnesty International, and Congressman Kucinich have expressed their concerns about his treatment and requested to meet Manning in person. The brig just denied all of their requests which is a violation of their own rules.
This morning David E. Coombs, the civilian attorney for Bradley Manning, posted the following:
Brig Fails to Follow Its Own Rules
Over the past few weeks, the defense has been working to facilitate an official visit for Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Mr. Juan Mendez (the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture), and a representative from Amnesty International. Despite multiple inquires from the defense and the interested parties, the Quantico Brig and the Government have denied the requests for an "official visit."
The Quantico Brig Order P1640.1C, paragraph 3.17 allows two types of visitors for a detainee, "authorized" and "official." The difference between them is described here in the Brig rule [see below]. The defense maintains that the critical distinction between the two is that official visits are privileged and not subject to Brig monitoring.
The Government's position is that the above individuals are not entitled to an official visit because none of these individuals are conducting "official government business." Because the Government refuses to allow these visits to take place as an official visit, it indicates that it will generously interpret the provisions with respect to "authorized visits." In particular, it will permit an authorized visit with PFC Manning despite the fact that none of these individuals had "established a proper relationship with the prisoner prior to confinement" as required under the Brig rule. Such an authorized visit, of course, will be subject to Brig monitoring and can be used as evidence against PFC Manning in a court-martial proceeding.
Quantico Brig Order P1640.1C, paragraph 3.17 subsection b:
b. Official: These visits are for the purpose of conducting official government business, either on behalf of the prisoner or in the interest of justice. Visits from lawyers, military officials, civilian officials, or anyone listed as a privileged correspondence in paragraph 3.17f [see below] of this regulation, having official business to conduct are considered official visits and may be authorized by the Commanding Officer to visit at any time during normal working hours.
Quantico Brig Order P1640.1C, paragraph 3.17:
Privileged Correspondence: All incoming and outgoing correspondence (mail) between a prisoner and the following is privileged and not subject to inspection unless reasonable doubt exists as to the correspondence being bona fide:
a. The President or Vice President of the United States.
b. Members of Congress of the United States.
c. The Attorney General or the United States and Regional Offices of the Attorney General.
d. The Judge Advocate General of each military service or his/her representatives.
e. Prisoners Defense Counsel or any military/civilian attorney of record.
f. Any attorney listed in professional or other directories or an attorney's representative.
g. Prisoner's clergyman, when approved by the chaplain.
Justice Delayed is Justice Denied. When we allow our laws and founding principles to be so easily thrown out, it becomes a danger to us all. When the US makes demands for other countries to recognize basic human rights what credibility do we have if we deny those same rights to our own citizens?
-- Gary Wright II
I've written several blog entries on this topic. To read more, visit our page devoted to PFC Bradley Manning .