Hearing that detailed Bradley’s torture closes

The defense and prosecution made closing arguments yesterday in the motion hearing addressing the unlawful pretrial punishment of Bradley Manning. The defense contended that the influence of a three-star general broke down the chain of command, allowing those responsible for Bradley Manning to treat him ‘like a zoo animal’ while the prosecution argued that while Bradley was not treated normally, the actions of Quantico officers were simply ‘cautious.’

Closing arguments. Live blog

By the Bradley Manning Support Network. December 12, 2012.

Defense attorney David Coombs made his closing arguments yesterday in the motion hearing addressing the unlawful pretrial punishment of Bradley Manning at the Quantico Marine brig. The defense’s motion, which was published last July on Coombs’s blog, seeks to dismiss all the charges against Bradley, or alternatively, to give a 10-1 sentencing credit. Bradley Manning was held in “Prevention of Injury” maximum custody for 9 months, which was effectively solitary confinement. Mental health professionals working with Bradley testified that his treatment was akin to that used by interrogators and worse than that given to prisoners on death row. They also testified that they frequently recommended the restrictive status be removed and that he be allowed to socialize with other inmates, else his condition could worsen. The recommendations of mental health professionals were ignored – and the testimony revealed that this was due to command influence from above. As both mental health provider Cpt. Hocter and attorney David Coombs pointed out, it was a testament to Bradley Manning’s strong character that he did not break down completely during his nine-month incarceration at Quantico.

At the start of the defense’s closing arguments, Judge Lind asked Coombs to detail how Bradley Manning’s treatment amounted to unlawful pretrial punishment. Coombs carefully laid out evidence that had emerged in nearly two weeks of testimony. First, nine months in POI status, he said, was unheard of. Testimony revealed that at any other facility, detainees would not be held in such a status for more than four days, after which if there was still a concern that they might harm themselves, they would be transferred to a mental health facility where appropriate treatment would be administered. Second, three mental health professionals testified that nine months in solitary confinement could be severely harmful to Bradley Manning. During his detention these experts frequently advised the brig to remove Bradley Manning from POI status, and these recommendations were intentionally ignored. That brig officers ignored their own mental health experts also ran contrary to the Head of Marine Corrections’ testimony on correct brig protocol. As Coombs argued, “logic somehow did not ever get into the world of Quantico when it came to the case of PFC Manning.”

Read complete notes from the closing arguments. Also see Ed Pilkington’s article in the Guardian. And in case you missed them here are our daily reports:

7 thoughts on “Hearing that detailed Bradley’s torture closes

  1. American justice system should put their heads down in shame. How could man be so cruel to its people & mankind as whole . We have not learnt lesson from tha past . well Obama should be more worried than anyone else . Is he not a witness to cruelty 7 torture to his past generation . He says christianity teaches Love & kindness . where is his kindness Or is he not incharge of the present events . Best Wishes N.A.S

  2. Bradley Manning deserves to have a Fair Trial, not a Kangaroo Court. I cannot believe that the Whistle Blower is being punished like this. He has been kept virtually incommunicado for many months, without benefit of visits from his family for most of that time, and precious few from his legal team. He was made to stand naked for hours in his cell.

  3. Y’all are just plain stupid. He is a traitor and nothing more. He deserves to be treated like the peace of trash he is. Betraying the country that you vowed to protect is the worst thing you can do. He cost soldiers their lives and millions in resources. Your version of “torture” is ridicules as well. So what if they poured water on terrorists to get info. That info saved American lives. So what if we kill people if it means out boys live. Stupid liberals. You will be the end of this free country and everything it stands for.

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