Congressman Kucinich renews demand to visit PFC Manning

Letterhead of the office of Congressman Dennish J. Kucinich (D-OH)

For Immediate Release:

Is this Quantico or Abu Ghraib? Kucinich Renews Demand to Visit with Pfc. Manning

Releases Reponses from Secretaries of Defense and Army

Washington D.C. (March 4, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is today releasing letters from the Secretaries of the Defense and the Army that respond to repeated requests to visit with Private First Class (Pfc.) Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking confidential materials to Wikileaks. Kucinich is releasing the letters after new allegations emerged of Manning being stripped naked and left in his cell for seven hours.

“After initial allegations of mistreatment, I requested a visit with Private Manning to see for myself the conditions of his treatment. Despite the fact that Manning has not been found guilty of any crime, his lawyer reports that he is in isolation 23 out 24 hours every day, conditions which may violate his 8th Amendment protection from ‘cruel and unusual’ punishment. This treatment is in stark contrast to a presumption of innocence and raises questions of whether Pfc. Manning can be fit for trial.” said Kucinich.

“My request to visit with Pfc. Manning must not be delayed further. Today we have new reports that Manning was stripped naked and left in his cell for seven hours. While refusing to explain the justification for the treatment, a marine spokesman confirmed the actions but claimed they were ‘not punitive.’

“Is this Quantico or Abu Ghraib? Officials have confirmed the ‘non-punitive’ stripping of an American soldier who has not been found guilty of any crime. This ‘non-punitive’ action would be considered a violation of the Army Field Manual if used in an interrogation overseas. The justification for and purpose of this action certainly raises questions of ‘cruel and unusual punishment,’ and could constitute a potential violation of international law,” said Kucinich.

The Army Field Manual,  2-22.3 (FM 34-52): Human Intelligence Collector Operations, Page 5-21, section 5-75 clearly states that: ‘If used in conjunction with intelligence interrogations, prohibited actions include, but are not limited to- Forcing the detainee to be naked, perform sexual acts or pose in a sexual manner.’

“Who ordered him stripped?” asked Kucinich.

In addition to requesting to visit with Private Manning, Kucinich has also asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to explain reports that the Army ignored evidence of mental health problems suffered by Manning before he was sent oversees to Iraq.

Response from Secretary Gates.

Response from Secretary McHugh.

39 thoughts on “Congressman Kucinich renews demand to visit PFC Manning

  1. It is outrageous that a request by an elected official is being ignored by the DoD regarding something very serious, keeping a person in solitary confinement for months, leaving him naked twice without being charged or convicted of any crime.

  2. Thank you Congressman Kucinich! May all members of congress be as concerned of the stripping of all honor and dignity in the military.It is punitive what they are doing to Bradley.

  3. Congressman Kucinich, Thanks for being one of the few that refuses to be bought. This country is no longer democratic. It is a crime for the treatment of Bradley Manning, not for allowing us a look into what really goes on behind closed doors. The media sure doesn’t tell us.

  4. All Wales is with you, you’re a hero for fighting the powerful. For the ones who do not know, Brad is a son of a Welsh, and spent his teenager years there.

  5. Who do they thing they are treating a human being in this manner. They may not give him the death sentence but this treatment is just as bad, a slow torturous death of mind, body and spirit. It’s disgusting and an embarrassment to be linked as part of a country whose military representatives behave this way, locking a person up and who knows what else we don’t know about what goes on there.

  6. Blessings on Congressman Kucinich!!!

    I am going to call his office and ask that he team up with Ron Paul on this.
    This would bring in a powerful coalition of defenders of our Constitution.
    I urge you to call the office of Ron Paul at (202) 225-2831 and urge him
    to join with Congressman Kucinich and demand to see Pfc Bradley Manning
    at Quantico AFB.

    Please enlighten Paul’s staff about the egregious treatment that this young man is enduring!
    The young man that answered there appears to be totally ignorant about this.
    If we cannot procure safety for one of our own in one of our own jails, then there is no
    hope for us!!!

    There but for the grace of God, is our future.
    Indefinite detention without trials.
    Punishment and abuse with no trials.
    Gulags for defenders of truth and accountability.

  7. Thank you Congressman Kucinich we need more Congressmen and Senators to do what you are doing.
    Of course Obama will do nothing to help this hero.
    We go after a military man who had the guts to tell and show the truth to the world but we spend no time going after the wall street and military crooks.

  8. Thanks, Congressman Kucinich. As I become more and more disillusioned by the political process in the US, you remain an exception to the usual obfuscation and positioning that plagues our system. Please continue to stand up for truth and justice.

  9. I did not want to read the report from MSN on Bradely.This young man is a martyr.How can you gave a Nobel Prize to Army Chief and he is acting to be so Animal.World is turning nightmare.
    Where are the protector for this soldier????
    Where are the lawyers and why a congressman cannot see him by it’s own eyes???
    A human is not even convince of ANYTHING wrong now and he have ill treatment who will let him finish if not dead.
    I am affraid for USA citizens.
    If the Army treat one soldier like that I cannot imagine how they treat ennemy.
    God bless Manning.

  10. Congressman Kucinich, you make me proud to say I grew up in Ohio.

    I can’t describe the despair I feel that you are the only one demanding to see Manning and making efforts to confront this situation.

    When they say freedom isn’t free, it doesn’t mean a bunch of guys have to go to another country and kill people for it. It means people have to invest their TIME and ATTENTION to making sure their government represents them. And unless people stand up and do it—-as you are doing, Congressman— we’re not in a government by, of and for the people.

    What happened with Obama is clear enough. I was fooled too. Never in a million years would I have dreamed that as commander in Chief that he would allow, condone, and be silent about this sort of thing. I voted for him because he was one of the very few who had the courage to speak out against the warmongering. That is how he became known so fast. He said something people knew was the truth and that they needed to hear.

    That helicopter video desperately needed to be released. Those are MY tax dollars supporting those actions and by God, if I don’t have a right to hear about it, then we’re not a democratic country, period. And if it wasn’t Manning who leaked it, someone, eventually, would have found a way to get the truth out. It’s not Manning, it’s not Wikileaks—it’s that the TRUTH GETS OUT one way or another. It’s a fundamental law of nature—truth gets out. What people then do with it makes the difference between a democracy or a totalitarian system. I fear for all of us because of what’s happening to PFC Manning. And I fear more that only one Congressman is making this kind of noise about it.

    If our elected representatives do not stand up for us, who will?

    Thank you for your leadership. There really aren’t enough words to thank both Brad Manning and Congressman Kucinich.

  11. I support your request to visit Bradley Manning and share you concern about his condition. Thank you for you attention to this issue.

  12. Thank you Congressmen Kucinich.

    (If you go to , you can find contact information there for the President and Senators and Congress.)

    (This letter was sent to Officials and the President yesterday, and more sent today. Had posted this elsewhere, and would like to share it here too.)

    Dear Sir,

    My duty as an American citizen, who cares deeply about our country and people, is to speak up for the sake of our country and its principles, which are for truth and justness and human decency.

    My conscience is speaking on behalf of Private 1st Class Bradley E. Manning, a soldier being held in inhumane conditions in the United States Marine Corps Quantico Brig in Virgina. The reports of the conditions of his confinement are un-American. They resemble the conditions found in repressed countries using inhumane treatment, those same conditions that United States leaders are quick to call horrible and deplorable.

    Our country needs the truth for its own betterment. Intelligence agencies which also consist of Wall Street lawyers and corporate heads, and whose influences steer towards manipulating the playing field to where their own best interests come first, have already wreaked havoc upon the state of our country.

    We suffer the loss of our soldiers’ lives and health in wars where their enemies are the same fighters that our intelligence agency encouraged and funded years ago, being formed overseas to fight another country in an earlier era.

    Just as Church and State do not mix well, neither does the Military and Wall Street Corporatism. And no matter how hard a higher echelon of ties, tries to hide those enmeshments, it still shows. We don’t have to look far to see the effects it has had.

    Our country’s lifetime has gotten to the point where its health now needs the truth for its future well-being. Nothing else will be able to continue to replace that. See the facts for yourself. There are those of high level status who remain in denial, believing that they can ultimately manipulate situations into some sort of silver lining, while failing to realize that their own denial does our country no good.

    Our country needs its people’s conscientiousness. It needs its people exposing the truth. Our country does not deserve to become known as the quick cover-up capital of the world. Nor does it deserve to be influenced into being another inhumane treatment facilitator either. For those ways and means to become a policy of our country’s officials, just shows the weakness of conscience, which falls by following the methods of repressed lesser countries, rather than leading the way through the strength of truth and fairness.

    No human deserves inhumane treatment. And no one in our country who exposes the truth deserves inhumane treatment. And our military does not deserve inhumane treatment amongst one another.

    Truth is not our country’s enemy. Falsehoods may consider the truth to be an enemy, but our country and its principles don’t. Our country’s principles need the truth. For without the truth, our country’s principles will cease to be.

    All around the world there are humans being persecuted for exposing the truth. When there is a human in the Quantico Brig in Virginia being persecuted for exposing the truth, it just shows how well lies have taken hold. And our country and military and citizens don’t deserve that.

    You Sir, are in a position to intervene and stop the unfair and inhumane treatment of Pvt. Manning, and righten that unconstitutional dire situation. You Sir, are in a position to show our country, and the rest of world, that the United States Military is not like the military of repressed lesser countries.

    You Sir, are in a position to let our country and the world see, that you are on the side of truth and decency.

    Please intervene to stop the unfair and inhumane treatment of Private 1st Class Bradley E. Manning.


    Sally Kline

  13. Dear PFC Bradley Manning is a political prisoner, held under inhumane conditions in a fascist state which is no longer the United States of America and which has denigrated the U.S. Constitution to an antiquated curiosity in the national archives. I know the POTUS is supposedly a professor ‘Constitutional law’. A little research blows that claim out of the water. There are other political prisoners in America today. As in the former Soviet Union, they are convicted by hoodwinked juries of crimes they never committed after being deliberately framed by law enforcement and the F.B.I. Two names immediately come to mind, which are cases every American should study. The first recent victim, of many over the years, is the author Fritz Springmeier, an expert on illegal mind control practised by covert U.S. Intelligence, still in custody 8 years after ridiculous charges. The second is Mr. Edgar Steele in Idaho, whose speech in 2009 on Constitional issues and the direction in which the country is going undoubtedly helped to make him a ‘person of interest.’ A lawyer for ‘the politically incorrect,’ Mr. Steele is accused of trying to murder his wife a few weeks after he underwent major heart surgery. The link to that address on vimeo is here:


    The latest outrage – it’s to continue. They strip Brad becuz he stripped them naked and showed their corporatocracy agenda, their tolerance of WAR CRIMES. Their arrogance.

    Now they want him dead because THEY are spiritually dead.

    It is NOT a crime to rock the boat when genocide is being committed. It is not a crime to speak out against injustice. It is not a crime to feel outrage at WAR CRIMES and intolerable conditions for unconvicted persons. It is not a crime to distrust a government with no transparency. We must demand Brad’s human rights and our own.


    Dennis, please speak to the progressive caucus for all our sakes. Thank you. I have been crying today about this latest from Glenn.

  15. Thank you Congressman Kucinich. It is astounding that your efforts to investigate this crucial situation stand out as such an isolated event by a government official. I would like to see Bradley Manning put in a witness protection program until this evolution in Free Press is stabilized.

  16. hi,
    i’m in australia and it pains me to see you guys in so much anguish.
    we have our own lot of political figures who ‘just LOVE’ the way your military do things.
    i was born in germany with many relatives stuck in the former east germany so i know what life can be like in a tyranny.

    i had a thought. why don’t some of your states secede from the union? if enough states do this ….. perhaps a more benign union can be created from all the states that so secede.

    there might possibly end up being another civil war i guess, but isn’t that what you guys have got already? albeit the weapons are the banks and the media more than the military.

  17. Why can’t Kucinich (or any well-known person)assemble the media and show up at the gates of the prison? Force the issue and up the ante a bit. The military knows they are wrong to treat Manning this way. They also know that they can get away with it, as long as the masses stay mesmerized by their bread and circus. Sure would be nice to see 100,000 people show up for a 3 week protest at the prison — might be the best way to get noticed.
    If this were a moral and just land, Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld etc would be behind bars, and Manning would receive accommodations.

  18. I feel that we, the U.S. public who are aware about what is happening to Private Bradley Manning are powerless against those that hold Bradley Manning. I feel Congressman Dennis Kucinich is just as powerless against the strong forces being used to “punish” Manning for “embarrassing some in our own as well as other world governments.
    It would be useful if another member of Congress could team up with Kucinich in attempting to secure a release of Private Manning.

  19. In response to “What Can I Do?” I’m just an ordinary person. I wrote my congressmen, the U.S. State Department, the president and vice president, added my voice of support for Manning on appropriate blogs, and gave to his legal fund, twice. Others have assisted getting the word out by adding the websites that support Manning to their blog rolls, others have been more creative such as this You Tube Julian Assange video has a request to support Manning in it’s credits:

  20. Dennis Kucinich is right to demand to know who was responsible for sending Bradley to Iraq when it was suspected he had PTSD. The military is giving mentally ill soldiers Psychotropic drugs and before they are cured sending them back to battle. Many so called patriots who scream “support the troops” don’t give a damn about this travesty of justice. Maybe if the military was not doing such a dastardly thing to the troops then WikiLeaks never would have happened.Find out who sent Manning to Iraq before he was fully evaluated for PTSD and punish him/her for the treason of betrayal of the troops. Of course George W. Bush should of been charged with that war crime. The treatment of Bradley Manning is beyond cruel and unusual punishment a violation of Amendment VIII. To deny him a right to a speedy trial is against Amendment VI. Are all the rest of the members of congress asleep? Democracy is waiting for the other members of congress to wake up. Go Dennis Kucinich.

  21. Dear President Obama you are head of the U.S. Military and I am asking you to give fair treatment to private Manning it your responsibility to give this to an American. Please do not torture him and if you have stop
    don’t be like George Bush and Dick Chaney but you forgave them mabe the next president won’t forgive you.

  22. Pingback: Medea Benjamin: Under Obama, Better to Commit a War Crime Than Expose One | News Feeds Blog

  23. T. Jefferson said “only an informed people can maintain a democracy.” A person or an institution who holds secrets from another may or may not be ones enemy but certainly cannot be ones friend. Holding secrets from an enemy requires keeping “secrets” from me. The people are the enemy of a de facto government. James Otis said in about 1765 “We owe allegiance to no de facto government” Official American citizen, W.L. Christensen AMERICANS WAKE UP. RISE UP.

  24. Everyone has a constitutional right to a speedy trial in this country. Manning is guilty of nothing until he is fairly tried and convicted. Even then, this information was made secret not to protect the USA, but to hide the malfeasance of of the government. Putting a SECRET stamp on a document should be done only when the objective is to protect the country, not government officials that are committing and or allowing illegal acts. I don’t think that the government has a case. They need to back off and begin treating Mr. Manning in an humane way.

    The US government is not occupying the moral high ground here. These people are more like Nazis than moral Americans. We’ve gone so far away from the ideals that this nation once embraced. But what can you expect from a nation that is teaching the world to torture?

  25. What a joke. Kucinich needs to take his worthless self back to Ohio. He has demonstrated time and time again his goal is self advancement and not the advancement of the AMERICAN people or our cause. Manning (The Spy) will have his day in court. He has one of the best civilian lawyers in the business. If he goes to jail (or worse) after found guilty, it will be giving him what he deserves. If found not-guitly and if its found he is being set up…the courts should make him a rich young man.

  26. It’s fascinating how people who are ‘limited’ are able to move the focus away from the issues and on to themselves. I wonder if that is intentional? Sometimes it’s hard to know if someone is stupid or just mean.

  27. Congressman Kucinich,

    Thank you for speaking out about this issue. I am glad that there are still some politicians out there that are willing to stand up for what is right. Regardless of how one feels about Private Manning’s actions, we should still be appalled at the inhumane way he has been treated, it is a travesty.

  28. Dear mr. Kucinich,
    I hope you will be able to free Bradly Manning.
    It is unacceptable that a country and its representatives behave this way. How can the U.S. claim to be a democratic country if they behave like this?

    Mona Kool

  29. Um,
    If Bradley Manning is a Private in the United States Army, then WHY is he being held in a MARINE facility?

    The Marine Corps is under the DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY

    And the Department of the Army, and the Department of the Air Force have NOTHING to do with the DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY

    There has been a SERIOUS DEVIATION from proper protocol based on THIS FACT ALONE!

  30. We need to have a vigil for Brad. A candlelight vigil or a lights-out vigil.I am in Los Angeles and cannot come to Quantico for the march. But I am with ya’ll every step of the way.

    Dennis Kucinich has been a real force for good through all this. I would vote for him in a heartbeat were he to run for national office. But he wouldn’t win. The voting machines can be hacked in under a minute (See Dan Rather’s expose of this on HDNet). We don’t know that our elections have integrity at ALL, and studies of the last decade’s national elections are very discouraging. This past November, one in six votes in New York City went uncounted. When they finally counted them, they said the results were unchanged…do I believe them? Who do I believe anymore?

    I know I believe that Manning did this for the good of his country, his fellow soldiers, and the world– a world in which Americans SHOULD be the good guys. Thank god Brad Manning came along. That collateral damage video desperately needed exposure and it would not have gotten US exposure just being released by AJ.

    Manning took seriously his oath to defend his country from “all enemies foreign and domestic.” And the enemy of this country is secrecy, paired with lies. The enemy is a military-industrial complex that owns the media, the politicians, and the President, apparently. An economic machine that wants to take us to war for the sake of it, because war is, as Smedley Butler said, “a racket.” There’s a great book by Susan Lindauer just published that everyone curious about the pre-war intelligence on Iraq should read. Apparently Baghdad was begging the US through back channels NOT to attack and agreeing to all US demands up to, and including, agreeing to buy 1 million US-manufactured automobiles every year for ten years. I believe her.

    I saw someone posting somewhere that he “wouldn’t want to be in a foxhole with Manning.” Well, guess what? I would. In fact, we are in a foxhole with Manning, all of us. And he is upholding his oath. He is a soldier to the core, one of the best kind, using not just his brute strength, but his mind.

  31. I supported Kucinich for President in 2004, and was a Kucinich delegate, representing my precinct, to the Democratic Convention, of Black Hawk County, Iowa.

    Obama may be the “lesser evil,” but that doesn’t say much for him. He could arrange for Private Manning to be held in a humane way, but he’s apparently afraid to do that, because of what some malicious Republicans might say.

    The only person who can be trusted with power is one that doesn’t seek it.

  32. At the very,very least, why can’t Bradley be publicly interviewed so that we can hear his own account of his confinement?? Do we now have a situation where American citizens can be secretly tortured in the name of national security? What will happen to other whistle blowers? To paraphrase Niemoller: “First they came for the whistle blowers and I wasn’t a whistle blower so I said nothing, then they came for me.”

  33. Kucinich should know that it is not the Eighth Amendment that is being violated – the Eighth Amendment applies to punishment tactics AFTER criminal conviction. The Fifth Amendment Violation of Due Process against ANY form of Government inflicted Punishment being meted out BEFORE Criminal Conviction applies here AND ALSO The Sixth Amendment Interference with the Right of Council and the Right of being able to access one’s own resources to put on the best defense, including using your own earning power, computer power etc. to defend yourself!

    However, conceivably the Military, being a government entity can punish Soldiers for disciplinary violations, as in a disciplinary hearing of some kind, i.e. Soldier ordered to mop the floors after not making his bed to standards – in that sense this could be a non-judicial Eighth Amendment issue- although I have not heard of such.

    But, speaking as someone who was falsely imprisoned w/o bail pretrial for several years – I know this is a Fifth Amendment issue not an Eighth Amendment issue.

  34. In 1955, “Profiles In Courage,” a book by the future president John F. Kennedy was published. Its main topic was the rare courage that had been shown by a few US Senators, in times of crisis. However, Kennedy neglected to mention Richard F. Pettigrew, the most courageous Senator of all, who risked imprisonment by speaking out, just as Bradley Manning may also have done.

    When Congress, in 1917, declared its entry into World War I, it passed a “Sedition Law,” that provided for penitentiary imprisonment of anyone who leaked an embarassing fact or opinion about that war. Richard F. Pettigrew, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, however, had the courage to break that law. He immediately published his dissent as a letter in the “Sioux Falls Argus-Leader.”

    When he was subsequently indicted under the Sedition Act, he framed the indictment, and hung it on the wall of his law office. The Wilson Administration was afraid to prosecute him.

    Pettigrew had served two terms as a US Senator, so he met Kennedy’s criterion for inclusion in the book. However, Kennedy certainly must have known that, if he favorably mentioned anyone who had severely criticized Wall Street, as Pettigrew had done, he’d have had no chance of being chosen as President.

    Pettigrew’s book “Triumphant Plutocracy” is available at university and big-city libraries, and also online. For a link to an online version, Google “Jerry Baker Triumphant Plutocracy.”

    Gerald Baker

  35. It is a sad reflection on the state of your country’s human rights record, that Kucinich appears to be the only politician who is showing concern about the conditions Bradley Manning is being held under.

    I have become so cynical that I am even doubting Kuncinich’s sincerity. Is it possible he is trying to score political points with his concern? I hope not, but it shows how little respect an ordinary member of the (non-American) public holds for your government now.

    Here’s hoping your rational citizens can use this issue to restore some credibility in the eyes of the rest of the world.

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