Assange says Manning’s Quantico conditions designed to coerce testimony

Julian Assange told Sir David Frost that he believes the torturous conditions of Bradley Manning’s imprisonment at U.S. Marine Base Quantico are designed to coerce Manning into testifying against him.

Assange was interviewed by Sir David Frost for Frost Over the World, Frost’s news program for the English AlJazeera network. In the interview, Assange related to Frost why he believed he was a target for prosecution by the United States. Assange stated that organizations who have been publicly “embarrassed” by WikiLeaks are trying to “save face” by pressuring potential WikiLeaks sources:

There is pressure that’s been applied to one of our alleged sources, Bradley Manning in his prison cell. He is a young intelligence analyst being held in Quantico, Virginia, for some six months now, prior to trial, and there is pressure on him through his physical cell conditions, according to his lawyer David Coombs, to coerce him into testifying against me, or against the organization, to try and suggest that there is some kind of a conspiracy to commit espionage. Which there is not.

This statement was likely alluding to his previous statements, in which Assange said he is unaware who may be the leaker behind the U.S. military footage, published by WikiLeaks as “Collateral Murder,” among other documents the organization has published to date. To Assange, however, the motives for Manning’s treatment, and for targeting WikiLeaks and himself, are clear.

The State Department and U.S. military have been tremendously embarrassed by the abuses that have been revealed. Well, what do you do when you are embarrassed? You want to save face. How do you save face? You have to slap the face of the person who is perceived to have embarrassed you.

Lieutenant Colonel David Coombs, counsel for Bradley Manning, continues to fight for better pre-trial confinement conditions for his client, conditions that appear to be in gross violation of Article 13 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Coombs works through military channels, which include the supervisory staff of the Quantico confinement facility and the local Army Staff Judge Advocate’s (SJA) Office, to press for better treatment for Manning, who currently is under 24-hour surveillance. Coombs has stated that he will file a defense motion for Article 13, but cannot do so until Manning’s case is referred to a court-martial.

Yesterday Coombs explained that the best chance a soldier in pre-trial confinement has to address harsh conditions is to appeal to the confinement facility, the base chain of command, and the SJA office.

You can make a difference. We urge you to take action now to improve the brutal conditions of Bradley Manning’s treatment by insisting his human rights be respected while he remains in custody.

Additionally, the Network encourages supporters to phone COL Choike at +1-703-784-2707 or write to him at 3250 Catlin Avenue, Quantico, VA 22134, to demand that Bradley Manning’s human rights be respected while he remains in custody. Visit the Take Action page for more details.

Watch the Frost Over the World interview:

12 thoughts on “Assange says Manning’s Quantico conditions designed to coerce testimony

  1. Clearly the purpose of the solitary confinement and sensory deprivation is to destroy Bradley Manning’s mental faculties in order to present any case the US wish. Confinement in the conditions Manning is held will lead to him being irrevocably psychologically damaged and unable to mount any sort of sentient defence.
    It makes it easier for the lawyers acting on behalf of the US to have a zombie defendant.
    There can be no doubt that all of those in the chain of command are perfectly aware of the irrepairable harm they are causing Manning, someone who has not been charged, or found guilty of any offence. Obviously anyone would eventually succumb and confess to anything.

  2. Thank god for Al-Jazeera!!!!

    We in the United States are living in an age of compulsory, universal deceit. And here, telling the truth is not just a revolutionary act, it is treason!!!!!

  3. Dean Procter,

    Actually, he does have charges against him: a Rap Sheet filled out on May 29th, 2010 containing 4 violations of UCMJ Article 92 and 8 violations of UCMJ Article 134. But so far, NO Article 32 Indictment, let alone a Court-Martial!!!

    The Government needs to restore Manning’s mental and physical health, and expedite the trial based on his Rap Sheet. But they won’t because, when you look at the facts of the case, the Government has no case! But that has to be borne out in court.

  4. Dear Brad-

    I cannot even imagine the hardships you are going through, nor could you understand mine. Being the same age as you, we are locked behind different fates. You are stuck behind a gated wall, yet I am able to walk out my front door.

    Seeing our country the way it is, I couldnt be happier someone from my generation had the “balls” to “blow the whistle” on such acts. But you see Brad, it will only come from this generation, the now. I will stand beside you until the day this is over, and if I wasnt a student I would donate a lot more to your defense fund, only because I KNOW how important that aspect is in something like this.

    for the sake of our country, to your generation, the same as mine and futures to come; hang in there!!! Life is what happens when people are to busy making grand plans for it!

    Well its happened,life, and justice will soon follow. Please keep your head up and know hundreds of THOUSANDS stand behind you, Brad.

    Yours Always!

    Forever Thankful!!!! ; )

  5. This whole Wikileaks/Mannings saga has really got me so angry and I now understand some of the hatred that the Middle East has towards America. Whereas I once considered myself strongly pro-America, these days I would consider myself anti-American. The stupid idiots should have been more careful with their “secrets” and have no one else to blame other than themselves. Clearly, they are punishing Manning before trial with the reason to elicit damaging testimony against Assange.

  6. @Another American — I totally agree with everything you are saying, this is a new generation and we are about to spark something unprecedented to the World as it is presently known.

    I like the quote “Life is what happens when you are out trying to make grand plans”

    I’ve actually read that in a book once before my Dr. Phil called “Life”

    Anyway your response basically took the words right out of my mouth. You seem like one of the few, at least at our age, who care to recognize things in this world not taught in the textbook. Sometimes there’s no one to talk to about these things so you just keep it all in.

    I pray that this case recieve much publicity, for it really slaps the US in the face. They should have just acted proud to recieve such information… and then assasinated the person before they testify (as usual lol)

    But on a serious note, I wish no harm on anyone and my justice shine down

  7. Another American, I can only hope that there are more with your wisdom. My generation (Boomers) has screwed your clueless generation over so incredibility bad. My generation enjoyed the immense freedom of the 60s/70s, the longest bouts of no war, the successful means of education, the most profitable investment periods and the greatest potential for success. Our generation’s legacy to you? Here you go: a (carefully maintained) fascist public mindset, a collusive media network, a corrupt justice system, 1 out of 14 people in prison or judicial constraints (fed,state & muni levels), a war mongering hierarchy, a plague of public debt, a loan-shark type student loan program, a plutocratic government, questionable monetary management, a diminishing middle class, an array paranoid/spying/over-funded government agencies, intrusive data-basis(s), a deflationary economy and an unsustainable standard of living. You can thank me later.

  8. It is absolutely amazing to watch the surveillance regime going mad over the simple fact that just one person has seen the light and began returning to the people a first taste of the data they have stolen from us for so long. For sheer ideological reasons they cannot believe that it is as it is and there is no such thing as any sort of conspiracy between Manning and Assange or anyone else. When one Persian exile complained about psychological abuse by the CIA, some American commentator said the agency was behaving like a clingy ex, but even though it fits like a tinfoil hat on a botox face that would be an undeserved compliment here. It is worse. They are turning him into another Georg Elser, of whom the Gestapo could not believe that he had made his own plans, his own decisions, and even his own mistakes, but kept fantasising about an alleged international conspiracy as long as they could, even when it all came down to the fact that someone just had to get it done. They are clutching at every straw which allows them to imagine what he did was something else than the most reasonable choice in the situation, because that idea is critical for their ability to rationalise their continued crimes. By demonising the man they have entrapped themselves into a self-inflicted demand for conspiracy theories to compromise his motives. Maybe UFO lizards seduced him into putting principles above peer pressure?

  9. Keep it public.

    Enemies are a lot easier to fight than friends with a guilty secret.

    A brave young soldier exposing cowards from his own unit, shows rare courage beyond what the country asks of its military, and is locked up for it. I hope Bradley Manning’s strength of character helps him to keep his spirits up while incarcerated PRIOR to a verdict.

    The American culture on show, movies TV entertainment, is a long way from that which is hidden by the driving force of embarrassment.

    Bradley Manning needs to win, not only for American people, but its allies of which I’m one.

    Nick Healy
    Melbourne, Australia

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