Bradley Manning: Get Him a Nightshirt
Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes, the commander at the Military brig at Quantico says Bradley Manning will continue to be stripped of his underwear at bedtime because he is on a prevention of injury watch (which is different than a suicide watch.)
He is given two blankets. What can he do with a pair of underpants that he can't do with a blanket? And what prompted this? According to Manning's lawyer, David E. Coombs, on his blog today, events went like this. Manning was told his petition to be moved out of maximum custody had been denied due to the prevention of injury watch. Manning, who has been a model detainee, asked what he could do to change it. He was told there was nothing he could do, because of the perception he was a risk of self-harm:
PFC Manning then remarked that the POI restrictions were "absurd" and sarcastically stated that if he wanted to harm himself, he could conceivably do so with the elastic waistband of his underwear or with his flip-flops.
“There can be no conceivable justification for requiring a soldier to surrender all his clothing, remain naked in his cell for seven hours, and then stand at attention the subsequent morning,” he wrote. “This treatment is even more degrading considering that Pfc. Manning is being monitored — both by direct observation and by video — at all times.”
Also making little sense: According to Lt. Villiard at the brig:
Detainees are awakened each morning and immediately come out of their cells. Private Manning cannot be given his underwear back before then, he said, because that would require waking him up ahead of time.
Manning's lawyer makes a good point when he says:
“If a person is at risk of self-harm, then you get them treatment, you get them to a mental health professional and address the issue — you don’t strip them..."
(Nightshirt available from the Vermont Country Store.)
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