Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sign Bradley Manning petition


U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin
509 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

February 2011
Dear Sen. Cardin:

We are writing to you as citizens of your state concerned with justice and the prolonged isolated detention of a young soldier who served in Iraq. We are certain you believe in our nation's promise of "equal justice for all" and "innocent until proven guilty."

Pfc. Bradley Manning has been held in pre-trial punitive conditions for more than seven months at the brig in Quantico. As you may not know, Mr. Manning is a registered voter in Maryland with an address listed in Potomac, Maryland.

Mr. Manning has never been convicted of any crime. He is being charged with passing classified information onto unauthorized persons, as well as a few violations of U.S. army regulations. Again, he has no criminal record, and yet remains in solitary confinement, also referred to by the Marines as maximum custody, in a small cell for 23 hours every day. For one hour a day he is allowed to walk in chains around a room in circles.

A recent visit to Mr. Manning by his friend David House reveals that his physical and mental condition is declining. He is appearing increasingly despondent. Surgeons and psychologists have documented that being deprived of social interaction can have a devastating impact, similar to a traumatic injury, upon an individual’s brain.

U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio has written Defense Secretary Gates requesting a meeting with Manning to assess his physical and mental condition. You are a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as your constituents we are asking that you immediately take the same steps initiated by Mr. Kucinich. As Manning is also a constituent of yours, it is incumbent upon you to make sure that Mr. Manning’s Constitutional Rights are not being violated, and that he is not being unduly punished for a crime he is only being accused of at this point.

We would like to draw your attention to an action taken by David Coombs, Mr. Manning’s attorney. Mr. Coombs has filed a motion under Article 13 of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. According to Article 13:

"No person, while being held for trial, may be subjected to punishment or penalty other than arrest or confinement upon the charges pending against him, nor shall the arrest or confinement imposed upon him be any more rigorous than the circumstances required to insure his presence, but he may be subjected to minor punishment during that period for infractions of discipline."

Furthermore we would be pleased to meet with you, or a senior staff member to discuss this issue further. Please let us know as soon as possible, as this issue has gained the attention of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and even the U.N. Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez. We believe it is vital to act now to insure no lasting harm is done to Mr. Manning.

Pete Perry, MLIS


Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


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