Brig fails its own rules, denies “official visits”
April 7, 2011. In his latest blog post, Bradley’s attorney David Coomb’s reports that
“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.”
Allowing such visits would not only provide the opportunity for an expert investigation into Bradley’s conditions of incarceration, but would also help raise the profile of Bradley’s case in the national media. The above officials have finally been granted the right to visit Bradley, but with a twist.
“The Quantico Brig Order P1640.1C, paragraph 3.17 allows two types of visitors for a detainee, ‘authorized’ and ‘official,'” explains Coombs. “The difference between them is described here in the Brig rule.”
Unexpectedly, the officials are only being granted “authorized” visits with Bradley. A key difference between the two types of visits is that an authorized visit, which is normally granted to family members and friends, is subject to careful monitoring, including video and tape recording. Evidence from these visits can be used against Bradley in court.
“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.'” Yet, none of these individuals have “established a proper relationship with the prisoner prior to confinement,” as required under the Brig rule for “authorized” visits.
Somehow an investigation by the United National Special Rapporteur on Torture doesn’t qualify as official government business.
Check out our toolkit for the addresses of the Quantico officials, if you’d like to let them know how you feel about their decision.