An image of Bradley Manning arriving for day two of his court martial at Fort Meade, Maryland on Tuesday prompted Reuters executive editor Jim Roberts to ask this question:
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) June 4, 2013
The answer: Yes, these days, but more than three years of confinement has clearly taken a toll.
The former intelligence analyst said he gave a trove of government and military files to the anti-secrecy Web site WikiLeaks to “spark a domestic debate on the role of our military and foreign policy in general.”
From July 2010 to April 2011 he was held as a maximum custody detainee in solitary confinement* at Quantico marine base in Virginia, where he sat in a cell for 23 hours per day — guards checked on him every five minutes — and was made to strip naked at night because the elastic on his underwear could be used to harm himself.
On April 20, 2011, Manning was transferred to the Joint Regional Corrections Facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and his conditions improved dramatically.
On Monday defence attorney David Coombs described Manning as a ”young, naive but good-intentioned” soldier whose struggle to fit in as a gay man in the military made him feel he ”needed to do something to make a difference in this world.”
Here’s another look at Manning, whose trial is expected to run all summer (with some parts being closed to the public):
*In response to Manning’s confinement, more than 250 of the most eminent U.S. legal scholars sent a letter President Obama in protest to Manning’s treatment; UN special rapporteur on torture Juan Ernesto Mendez called it “cruel, inhuman and degrading”; and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s chief spokesman P.J. Crowley resigned after he publicly denounced the treatment as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.”
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