To its credit, the MSM covered the final day in Bradley Manning's "unlawful pretrial punishment" (read: torture) hearing. Unfortunately, it still misses some main highlights. For example, the Washington Post doesn't mention that 1) the government conceded at least some abusive pre-trial treatment of Manning or 2) that the government suggested that his ultimate sentence be shortened. The New York Times has more detail, but still understates the harshness of Manning's conditions.
And MSM articles certainly don't convey the diabolical texture of the 10 previous days' testimony, exhibits and videos.
Here's just one example of how the Washington Post and New York Times understate the harshness of Manning's treatment on the most basic fact of the entire torture hearing. The Washington Post says:
At Quantico, Manning was kept on either suicide watch or injury-prevention status for months.The New York Times states:
[T]hey kept him in maximum security and "prevention of injury" conditions throughout that fall and early winter.Both are wrong. The simple fact is that Manning was kept in restrictive custody for
9 months--his entire time at Quantico. A couple of months in solitary confinement, while pushing the limits of prison confinement standards, is different than 9 consecutive months in solitary confinement 23 hours/day. (The maximum all government witnesses had seen someone on solitary was days or a couple weeks.)
Another basic fact the New York Times screws up: It mentions that Manning's story was pieced together from testimony and "1,200 e-mails." This is wrong. Manning's attorney, David Coombs, stated very clearly that it was 1,300 e-mails, and more significantly, they were not turned over to the defense until the "12th hour." Withhoding exculpatory evidence is huge, something Judge Lind picked up on when she drilled down on the government for why they did not call a single witness from the day Manning was made to stand at parade rest naked. (The governent said one witness--Terry--"couldn't remember" one of the most significant episodes in the hearing, so they didn't call him and the government doesn't know the identities of the other guards on duty that day. "Have you checked the log books?" Judge Lind asked. Again, government sheepishly prevaricated that sometimes the log books were sloppy. Still, Manning's attorney could test none of this at the hearing.)
Of course, missing from all the MSM articles are some of the most diabolical, but significant, details: Manning was not allowed toilet paper in his cell. He had to ask for it each time. For months on end, he was allowed only 20 minutes of recreation per day--something that greatly troubled the judge. Manning's psychiatrists' consistent, regular assessments that he was NOT a risk of harm to himself or others were repeatedly and deliberately hidden from military outsiders tasked with checking up on Manning. The supposedly independent Board reviewing his custody status was rigged in both its composition and function. And one of the most glaring omissions: Brig Commander Barnes (who became completely unhinged on the stand) flouted a SECNAV instruction that she could not remove Manning's underwear unless he was on suicide watch (which he wasn't)--even after a proponent of the regulation at a much higher rank corrected her--because Barnes in her "personal opinion" thought she could do this.
If you want the real picture of the Manning torture--the prolonged solitary confinement, stress positions, sensory deprivation, forced nudity--you should start with Kevin Gosztola, Alexa O'Brien and Nathan Fuller's painstaking, thorough, analytical coverage.