The alleged Wikileaks leaker Bradley Manning is being tortured while in US custody. Home of the free, indeed:
The last time Bradley Manning saw the world outside of a jail, most Americans had never heard of WikiLeaks. On Friday, Manning, the man whose alleged unauthorized release of hundreds of thousands of classified documents put the website and its controversial leader, Julian Assange, on the map, turns 23 behind bars. Since his arrest in May, Manning has spent most of his 200-plus days in solitary confinement. Other than receiving a card and some books from his family, his birthday will be no different. In an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast, his attorney, David Coombs, revealed key details about Manning’s imprisonment and kind gestures from his family that provided a bit of comfort in the inmate’s otherwise extremely harsh incarceration.
“They’re thinking about him on his birthday, that they love and support him,” Coombs said of Manning’s family and the card his mother, father, sister and aunt passed along via the lawyer on Wednesday. “They wish they could be with him on his day, but they are not allowed because visitation is only on Saturday and Sunday, and a family member would be going down to see him on Saturday.” Coombs passed a message to Manning from his aunt on behalf of the family; Manning, the lawyer says, asked Coombs to tell his aunt he loved her and wishes he could be with her as well.
Manning asked for a list of books, which his family bought for him and will be delivered over the next few weeks to coincide with his birthday and Christmas. On the list?
Decision Points, by George W. Bush
Critique of Practical Reason, by Immanuel Kant Critique of Pure Reason, by Immanuel Kant Propaganda, by Edward Bernayse
The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins
A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn
The Art of War, by Sun Tzu
The Good Soldiers, by David Finkel
On War by Gen. Carl von Clausewitz
Manning is being held at Marine Corps Base Quantico, in Virginia. He spends 23 hours a day alone in a standard-sized cell, with a sink, a toilet, and a bed. He isn’t allowed sheets or a pillow, though First Lieutenant Brian Villiard, an officer at Quantico, said he is allowed bedding of “non-shreddable” material. “I’ve held it, I’ve felt it, it’s soft, I’d sleep under it,” he told The Daily Beast.