Father of WikiLeaks suspect says son is innocent
The Associated Press
Thursday, March 10, 2011; 8
PBS NewsHour aired clips Thursday from an interview Brian E. Manning, 55, gave for an upcoming episode of the network's Frontline program.
Manning didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press to his home in
His son Bradley Manning, 23, is in pretrial confinement at the Marine Corps base in
The charges involve the suspected distribution of thousands of confidential State Department cables and
Brian Manning, speaking publicly for the first time about the case, said he doesn't believe the charges.
"I don't think that the amount and the volume of things and the environment he worked in, no, I don't think so," he told Frontline interviewer Martin Smith.
Brian Manning also says he is shocked by the restrictive conditions of his son's confinement. That includes being locked up alone 23 hours a day and having his clothing taken away at night. Pfc. Manning is given a suicide-proof smock to wear to bed.
"It's shocking enough that I would come out of our silence as a family and say, 'Now, then, you crossed the line. This is wrong,'" Brian Manning said.
The military maintains that Pfc. Manning's treatment complies with
Brian Manning also said his son isn't particularly patriotic - "I don't think he follows any regime of any kind" - and that Pfc. Manning enlisted in 2007 at his father's urging.
"He needed structure in his life. He was aimless. And I was going on my own experience. When I was growing up, that was the only thing that put structure in my life was joining the Navy, and everything's been fine since then."
© 2011 The Associated Press
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