Thursday, January 10, 2013

Not good enough

So now we agree that Bradley Manning was subjected to torture and inhumane conditions while being held at Quantico. Judge Denise Lind found that the allegations raised by Mr. Manning were true and that he was entitled to additional credit for the time he's already served.

Mr. Manning asked for 10 days credit for each day he spent under inhumane conditions. Judge Lind decided he was only entitled to two-for-one credit for the days in question.

While being held at Quantico, Mr. Manning was housed in a six-by-eight foot cell for 23 hours a day. He wasn't allowed to lie down or lean against the wall unless he was asleep. He was stripped of his clothes for days at a time.

The treatment of Mr. Manning was inexcusable. It's even worse when you stop to consider that Mr. Manning is an American citizen who is presumed innocent unless proven otherwise.

What does it say about us as a people that we allow this to happen?

Bradley Manning was subjected to torture because he was a whistleblower. He exposed violations of international law committed by the U.S. military in its treatment of so-called enemy combatants. His crime was embarrassing the powers that be.

What our leaders seem to have forgotten over the years is that they work for us. We are the ones in charge - at least we should be the ones in charge. What our government does, it should be doing for us - not for some little cabal's special interests. We have a right to know what's being done in our name around the world. And if those in charge are too embarrassed to admit to what they've done - then it probably shouldn't have been done.

That also applies to the treatment Bradley Manning was subjected to. There is no excuse for a government to mistreat its own citizens to the degree our government mistreated Mr. Manning. The solution is not to give him an extra hundred days or so in credit should be be convicted. The solution is to dismiss the charges and to free Bradley Manning.

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