Military judge rules Bradley Manning was illegally treated, awards 112 days credit

At Bradley Manning’s hearing in Fort Meade today, Judge Lind awarded 112 days credit off of any future prison sentence awarded due to the abuse Manning suffered in Quantico—little to keep the military from torturing next American soldier awaiting controversial trial. Earlier, the parties argued government motions to preclude evidence of core precepts of Bradley Manning’s defense.

By Nathan Fuller, Bradley Manning Support Network. January 8, 2013.

Judge Denise Lind. Sketch by Clark Stoeckley, BMSN.

Judge Denise Lind. Sketch by Clark Stoeckley, Bradley Manning Support Network.

After more than two weeks of intense litigation by Bradley Manning’s defense, and hearing how Quantico brig staff blatantly disregarded Navy Rules, military Judge Denise Lind has confirmed that Bradley was punished unlawfully before trial by awarding 112 days credit. Instead of awarding 10-for-1 credit (or dismissing the charges altogether), which would severely reprimand the military and significantly impact Bradley’s potential sentence, Judge Lind gave 1-to-1 credit for selected portions of his Quantico confinement.

Judge Lind has granted credit for the 7 days Bradley was kept on suicide risk watch against Navy Rules, 75 days from November 1 to January 18 when he was kept needlessly on Prevention of Injury watch, and 20 days from April 1-20 when he was forced to remove his underwear at night. Lind said Bradley’s confinement was “more rigorous than necessary,” and that it “became excessive in relation to legitimate government interests.”

With this ruling, Lind affirms that both Brig Commanding Officers James Averhart and Denise Barnes abused their discretion in different ways. She said Averhart kept Manning on Prevention of Injury (POI) watch for too long against psychiatrists’ recommendations, and said that after November 1 it was excessive. She said that the fact that Barnes removed Bradley’s underwear for suicidal reasons but didn’t put him on Suicide Risk was legally authorized, but she said it was egregious to do so for so long.

Earlier in the day, the government litigated its motions to preclude discussion of Bradley Manning’s motive and of overclassification. The government says that Bradley’s motive, even if pure and noble, is irrelevant to intent, which it says is whether he knew or had reason to believe that the information could be used to harm the United States if made public. But the defense differed on the distinction: Bradley’s counsel David Coombs argued that motive does factor into intent at the time of the release. Coombs argued that the defense’s evidence could show not that Bradley wanted information to be generally free, but that he selected documents to release knowing that they wouldn’t cause harm to the United States. Coombs also argued that this motion was untimely: Judge Lind hasn’t yet seen the evidence that the government wants to preclude, and this motion now compels the defense to make some of its basic arguments in court before trial begins.

The government has also moved to preclude evidence of overclassification, arguing similarly that whether too much information is classified has no bearing on whether the documents Bradley is said to have released were classified at the time. But Coombs contended that as an Army intelligence analyst, well versed in the Army’s massive secrecy, Bradley knew that just because documents were classified didn’t mean their publicity would bring harm to national security. Furthermore, he said he could bring witnesses such as Col. Morris Davis who could comment on overclassification and whether it would’ve been reasonable to conclude that the classified documents at issue could bring harm to the United States.

Judge Lind will rule on those motions next week, at the January 16-17 hearing currently scheduled for the conclusion of the speedy trial motion. This hearing continues through Friday. Stay tuned throughout the week for continuing coverage.

18 thoughts on “Military judge rules Bradley Manning was illegally treated, awards 112 days credit

  1. One day America will look back upon its sordid treatment of one of its greatest most loyal & courageous soldiers to date and say what the f— were we thinking?

    Life before profit. love always…

  2. I guess I’m a “glass half full” gal when I read this. While I want to see him free, not just having some reduced days…at least the judge acknowledges wrong doing by the government and it can be fuel for his supporters at a later date depending on how the trial goes. To me this trial is more about the system on trial and how much rope the government prosecution will take to hang themselves by disregarding the Constitution if it makes their task of disposing whistleblowers easier. Also, even in this short article, new details in favor of Bradley Manning are already emerging, so I expect things to go even better in the months ahead as a more clear picture emerges. What I hope is that there is a groundswell of Americans who will assert their right to know.

    • I can’t imagine that the government will be cowed into treating whistleblowers or anyone else any better than the horrendous treatment Bradley Manning received. No doubt it will embolden them & act as a disincentive to truth-tellers.

      Manning could potentially be sentenced to decades or life in prison. In what possible way does 120 days offer the slightest benefit for Bradley or act as a deterrent to future abuse by the military justice system?

      I feel crushed by this ruling. I can’t imagine how Bradley feels.

      Bradley, I’m sorry for the way you’ve been treated and I am ashamed of my country.

  3. The judge allows the US military, who she admits mistreats prisoners, who she is admitting has no status as a truthful, respectful, constitution abiding witness in Manning’s trial, to go ahead and present evidence against him. She ridicules the whole process.

  4. It is tragic that after 236 years since the Declaration of Independence, this country still has no clue what freedom, justice or democracy are. Bradley Manning is a good case in point.

  5. This case is a clear example of the US Gov’t steamrolling the Constitution and the rule of law to bury war crimes charges. Incredible.

    • And we trash other countries for human rights abuses? Crap or get off the pot America. Don’t throw rocks when you live in a glass house.

  6. This is such bs. A hundred days is nothing if Brad gets years in prison. To me this was just some token gesture to create the illusion that this isn’t some kangaroo court. 112 days does not help Manning, nor does it punish the military for their wrongdoing. Very disappointed.

  7. The prosecutors are ridiculous. Intention is the most important part in this case! Otherwise there will be no such a word called “whistle-blower”. The intention and the result are the two key points to differentiate between whistle-blowers and traitors.
    It’s astonishing that the government try to avoid considering or discussing these two aspects. Isn’t that absurd?

    Over-classify is also an important issue to this case. An system over-classified the information to cover its crimes can in no way reveal its own crimes by the “legal” method inside the system. It’s just simple that you cannot investigate yourself. If fact the US military consistently failed to investigate the crimes inside the troops, for example, the cases that female soldiers being raped were only being investigated for less than 5%. Another example is that those people who killed innocent people are living a much better lives than Bradley Manning who actually saved lives. How can we count on the system to correct or even just reveal the crimes committed by itself? This is why we need whistle-blowers.

    Not to mention that the intention is always a consideration in all lawsuits. According to the logic of government, killing is killing no matter it is self-defense or an accident so there or a planned murder, and all of them will lead to the same punishment. However, we now see those murderers committed war crimes still free to walking around freely which showed nothing but the government contradicts itself in every respect. If the judge has any ability of rational thinking, she should drop the case instantly since every word from the government makes no sense at all. By doing so, it will be the very first step to correct the corrupted system.

    • Is my reply too long or has some problems so that it is waiting for moderation? If that’s the case, please let me know or it just need some time? Thank you.

  8. “more rigorous than necessary” ??? Why not call it what it is, “judge” Lind ?

    CRUEL AND UNUSUAL
    IMMORAL
    IN VIOLATION OF OUR COUNTRY’S LAWS
    IN BREACH OF THE UN CHARTER WE’VE SIGNED
    A VIOLATION OF THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS

    This is clearly NOT an honest “judge” ! She shoves truth under the table and feeds us lies coated in buttery fudge !!!

  9. If the judge acknowledged Bradley was treated illegally while in detention than those responsible should be penalized, then the one for one reduction in his time served would not be enough. Where is the judge’s logic?

  10. The judge’s ruling implies that non-contact torture was delivered for months without Bradley knowing if or when it would end – the techniques were chosen to induce CTSD (Current Traumatic Stress Disorder)

  11. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/01/10/mann-j10.html

    This site provide some more information about the ruling and it clearly shows the judge stand on the military side. While she made her decision based solely on the “intention” for those who mistreat Manning, she doesn’t reject the argument form the government that intention is irrelevant for Manning’s case. How serious the charge is not the reason not to drop the charge. It is whether the charge itself is ridiculous or not that counts. No wander the prosecutors in US work effortlessly to put all sort of serious charges on suspects. I started to feel bad about the case…..

  12. I have to hope this 112 days will not be the the final amount, if he can’t get a mistrial, which he should have; because, everyone in the world was prejudiced by Obama, before any evidence was presented.

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