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Excerpt: "Since my initial request to visit Private First Class (Pfc.) Bradley Manning on February 4, 2011, the Department of Defense (DoD) has consistently sought to frustrate any attempts to communicate with Pfc. Manning regarding his well-being."

Rep. Dennis Kucinich. (image: Democracy Now!)
Rep. Dennis Kucinich. (image: Democracy Now!)



DoD Interfering With My Bradley Manning Investigation

By Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Reader Supported News

13 April 11

 

ince my initial request to visit Private First Class (Pfc.) Bradley Manning on February 4, 2011, the Department of Defense (DoD) has consistently sought to frustrate any attempts to communicate with Pfc. Manning regarding his well-being.

I or my staff have been shuffled between the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Office of Secretary Gates. I was initially told that I would need Pfc. Manning's approval in order to meet with him. When Pfc. Manning indicated his desire to meet with me, I was belatedly informed that the meeting could only take place if it was recorded because of a Monitoring Order imposed by the military's Special Courts-Martial Convening Authority on September 16, 2010, which was convened for the case. Confidentiality is required, however, to achieve the candor that is necessary to perform the oversight functions with which I am tasked as a Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. I was also told that I could be subpoenaed to testify about the contents of my conversation with Pfc. Manning.

This is a clear subversion of the constitutionally protected oversight process and it severely undermines the rights of any Member of Congress seeking to gather information on the conditions of a detainee in US custody.

Though he has been held in custody since July 29, 2010, Pfc. Manning has not been convicted of any crime. His lawyer reports that he continues to be held in isolation 23 hours a day. He was also forced to strip naked at night and to stand at attention during roll call in front of other prisoners. The conditions of his treatment may violate his right to be protected from 'cruel and unusual punishment,' and punishment without trial as enshrined in the 8th and 5th Amendments of the Constitution.

We now hear that the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan E. Mendez, was denied a private meeting with Pfc. Manning in order to determine whether the conditions of Manning's confinement amount to torture. The very existence of a UN Special Rapporteur on torture investigation speaks volumes about the conditions of his treatment.

The continued delays I have experienced amount to a subversion of Pfc. Manning's legal rights as well as my own rights and obligations as a Member of Congress to conduct oversight. The whole world is now watching.

What is going on with Secretary Gates and the Department of Defense with respect to Pfc. Manning's treatment is more consistent with Kafka than the US Constitution. I will not cease in my efforts to determine whether or not the conditions under which he has been held constitute torture.

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+72 # countrygirl 2011-04-13 21:53
Thank you, Mr.Kucinich, for taking on this important work.
 
 
+63 # AngryMan 2011-04-13 22:19
I am pleased that somebody is taking Mr. Manning's situation seriously. Thank you. It is disappointing to know that our constitutional scholar of a president does not seem very interested in the application of the principles depicted therein. It would seem that the appearance of propriety exceeds in value, actual propriety. That someone actually makes such an assessment and advises our leadership based on impact, is quite sad. This condition is but one of many "WTF" moments of our time.
 
 
+18 # Progressive_Patriot 2011-04-14 01:38
Mr. Obama is younger than I am and I'm beginning to think his brain is going, like Ronald Reagan's did during his reign ... er ... administration.
 
 
+25 # ER444 2011-04-14 01:55
Our constitutional scholar of a President has a gun at his head. The military is running the show. Just look at the "budget debate". It is all a joke even if it is not funny. It is time for a political revolution. Our country has been taken over by the dark side. Mr.Kucinich is one of the very few remaining Jeddis and desperately needs our suport.
 
 
+8 # Archie1954 2011-04-13 22:37
I suppose Representative Kuchnich has no ability to get a judicial mandamus or some other order to allow him to meet Cpl Manning, or in the alternative a Congressional demand for such meeting.
 
 
+15 # Michael Brackney 2011-04-13 22:38
Many many thanks Dennis Kucinich: please say thanks and courage and love to Bradley for me. Michael Brackney, San Diego, CA
 
 
+27 # countrygirl 2011-04-13 22:46
And now, I wonder, where is Obama? Ins't the president the head of the armed forces? Shouldn't he check on Manning, make sure everything is all right, legal, humane?
 
 
+31 # kerryh 2011-04-13 23:17
Yes Mr Kucinich,we are watching from here in Australia and wondering what has happened to the that Paragon of Democracy, there is no evidence of either 'Due process' or adherence to your constitution. Is it possible to get an order from your Supreme Court? Or does the Department of Defense counter that also. Interesting.... ...
 
 
+8 # in deo veritas 2011-04-14 21:36
Unfortunately, the Supremely Corrupt Court is too busy protecting the super-rich to worry about a member of the armed forces. Considering the embarrassing revelations about our corrupt and ignorant public officials exposed by Wiki Leaks, the military and civilian authorities are just interested in revenge. This whole issue shows the disregard for the Constitution which places civilian authority above the military. Last time this was an issue was when truman fired MacArthur in 1951.
 
 
+14 # Monty Gee 2011-04-14 00:48
The whole world may way, sneer, or even chop off a few heads over what's happening in America. Nothing that Manning is accused of leading is likely to cause any serious breach between America and its allies or its adversaries - there's only confirmation that DoS and DoD are only as kooky as suspected to be. He's clearly being given a Code Red by A Few Good Men, and even a Congressman with Committee responsibilitie s can do nothing about it. Meanwhile a smart operator from Chicago, where, as Stalin once pointed out to Churchill, is where 'the other crooks live', still plays at being bipartisan while, again, the whole world watches his invisible somersaulting.
 
 
+20 # janie1936 2011-04-14 01:37
I thought the President was elected to govern the US. Why does the Pentagon trump the President on any really serious issues? Strange way to run a democracy, huh?
 
 
+21 # RichyD 2011-04-14 01:49
Does Pvt. Manning bear evidence of physical torture?

Does Pvt. Manning bear evidence of psychological/p sychiatric torture?

Is Pvt. Manning alive?

So much for "freedom and justice for all" in this, the United States of America. I forgot, it's now The United Corporations of America, and the Supremes have subverted all of that justice botheration!
 
 
+7 # je proteste 2011-04-14 02:32
How about a long discussion with Obama - preferably on Air Force One?
 
 
+21 # Anagnorisis 2011-04-14 04:30
Mr. Kucinich is correct in alluding to the 5th and 8th Amendments, "rights in criminal cases" and "bails, fines and punishments", whereas the 6th Amendment is relevant too, the "rights to fair trial", namely the "right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury" and to have "compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor". It's obvious the "military industrial complex" has usurped the Constitution when a federal legislator is denied contact with the unformally accused who is indeed confined illegally. These rights were once held inviolable. The US military is renegade and out of control.
 
 
+22 # centralmn 2011-04-14 05:17
This needs to be shouted from the tv ROOF TOP..THIS COULD NOT GO ON WITHOUT THE PREZ AND VICE-PREZ ALLOWING IT!

Thank you Rep. Kucinich...get Rep. Ellison to shout with you!
 
 
+12 # rf 2011-04-14 05:28
Obama should be ashamed of himself for allowing this...him being a layer and all...he should know better. Since Bushes legal crap, we are through the looking glass. Imagine Obama being forced to stand there naked and what civil rights people would be saying then...shame on the NAACP, and the rest for kissing butt! And thank you Mr. Kucinich for actually doing the job you were elected to do and not being completely owned by big business and the rich.
 
 
+12 # minmouse 2011-04-14 05:59
Shame on Obama for not doing something about this, after all he is supposed to be a constitutional scholar isn't he? Then again he is supposed to be a president of the United States also. So much for those titles. What a farce and I am sure the whole world is watching what is going on as we the people are doing.
 
 
+9 # sark 2011-04-14 06:10
Urgent! VOTE BY THURSDAY (tomorrow)! (Now Today!)

Bradley Manning in top 10 for TIME’S “Person of the Year”!

VOTE & SPREAD THE WORD

Manning has moved into the top ten, #8, for TIME’s Person of the Year.

Last night he was #19. He is moving up fast.

Vote here by Thursday:

http://ti.me/eQXK3ahttp://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2058044_2060338_2060205,00.html

If you care, please take the time to vote.
Thank You & Peace
 
 
+2 # maddave 2011-04-14 08:19
Be advised, sark : I attempted to reach the Person of the Year page via cut & paste. No Joy. Will try other means.
 
 
+4 # AML 2011-04-14 12:47
I googled Time Magazine, and then searched Bradley Manning, person of the year, and voted.
 
 
+5 # in deo veritas 2011-04-14 21:41
Let's hope he wins. I am fed up with the ragazine and dropped my subscription after they had Bernacke as a man of the year-not even a man, just another crook.
 
 
0 # AML 2011-04-15 12:23
The number one person nominated this year? I didn't even know who or what it was.
 
 
+5 # in deo veritas 2011-04-14 21:49
Wonder what effect this travesty of "justice" will have when the time comes for current soldiers to re-enlist. Hopefully they will decide to bail out and no longer be cannon fodder for the Wall Street criminals and their accomplices in Congress and the D o D!
 
 
+12 # rm 2011-04-14 06:22
It is clear that the US military is out of control. It no longer serves the people of the US or defends the US -- if it ever did??. It now is run by a gang of sociopaths, torturers, corrupt business crooks, murderers, and so on. They are punishing Manning because they think he outed them. We need 1000s of more Mannings. He is the real hero in this story.
 
 
+15 # BradFromSalem 2011-04-14 06:24
Rep. Kucinich, this is why you were repeatedly ignored when you ran for President. Even though you managed to meet the requirements of getting on the Primary ballot; the "liberal media" treated your candidacy as a side show.

And that is exactly the treatment you are getting now. A loony lefty, that thinks he can talk to Bradly Manning.

While this is not a left/right issue, the fact that this is a clear cut violation of the constitution as you describe tells me as an American volumes about the future of the rights of all of us.

Keep trying, keep talking about it. And when you do get to talk to Mr. Manning, I am sure of one thing. The only place I will read about it is WikiLeaks
 
 
+12 # Rita Walpole Ague 2011-04-14 06:25
Dear Dennis: Excuse the Irish humor, but I am nominating you for sainthood: St. Dennis the Magnificent.

You deserve kudos and then some for so bravely and determinedly hanging in there and fighting like hell (actually, like heaven) to overcome the evil that has overcome us. God bless and keep you, dear prophet (truth teller).
 
 
+10 # Homer Peters 2011-04-14 06:41
....and what's the difference in Barry and G. Wanker? I regret working for and voting for the current president because he has continued so much work of the former. Good luck, Dennis, I'm afraid you'll need it.
 
 
+10 # Heartbeatt 2011-04-14 06:55
Kafka is right. Sounds just like the old repressive regimes of the Soviet block and particularly all that we now know about the imprisonment and isolation of regime critics in East Germany before the Wall came down.
It really is mind-boggling that anyone can justify or condone this and that Obama didn't throw all this Bush regime hysteria right out the window when he became President.
Let us be perfectly clear about this: it would not be permitted by the laws of any European state.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich appears to be one of the few really decent and courageous politicians left in Washington. Maybe he should run for President.
 
 
+12 # GeorgeNJ 2011-04-14 07:34
RIGHT ON Congressman Kucinich! Please keep up your fight. Our country needs you. If only you had been elected president in 2008. For one thing, we would have a real one option (PUBLIC) health care plan, not the lousy, watered down Obama two option plan. Please keep up the good fight. We the people need democracy, not this fascism.
 
 
+13 # newsmom 2011-04-14 07:37
some time ago my friend, political columnist molly ivins, chastised me severely for suggesting that this country was on a sippery slope to fascism. i wonder what she would say now, as we watch the hope we believed in dissipate into more of the same behavior we tried to get rid of. rock on, mr. kucinich.
 
 
+8 # Bonnie Parker-Duke 2011-04-14 10:34
Thank you for all you do, Rep. Kucinich! You were my ideal candidate in 2008. Please do not give up on us!
 
 
+8 # Buckles 2011-04-14 11:11
America went out all bat shit for the american who was held in Pakistan , they say he killed two people , gave away millions to get him home. Now an American soldier is being treated like a 911 suicide bomber. Shame on US, same as the gulags that were condemed woldwide, we've lost it regarding justice.
 
 
+8 # jon 2011-04-14 12:46
All of the poor souls that sacrificed their lives in wars to defend the Constitution of the United States, are probably spinning in their graves knowing that the battle was finally lost from within our own national capital.
 
 
+5 # sandra foster 2011-04-14 13:32
Isn't it possible that the treatment which he is receiving and which constitutes torture can be used to bolster his defense in some way?
 
 
+4 # AML 2011-04-14 14:22
He would never make it to court now, and in a military tribunal it won't count.
 
 
+8 # tamara Ralis 2011-04-14 15:52
We hope that Bradley Manning will be recognized for throwing light on the cruelty and inhuman behavior of the war industry and its "collateral damages" ... euphemisms of death.

And we deeply thank Mr. Kucinich for taking up the cause of this young man, who will probably go into history as a hero.
 
 
+7 # R. N. Roy 2011-04-14 16:25
Since the Supreme Court lost all credibility and put George W. Bush in office, our country has also lost its credibility. If Daniel Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers today, HE would be put in jail. Now that whistleblowers are jailed instead of culprits, we can kiss our democracy goodbye. At least we still have a few like Dennis Kucinich. He's my write-in vote for the next presidential election. Or maybe he will run again. Hope so.
 
 
+8 # Leonard R. Jaffee 2011-04-14 20:31
Mr. Kucinich observes correctly that Private First Class Bradley Manning’s 5th & 8th amendment rights are being violated – egregiously (especially because he is being punished by torture despite he has not been convicted or even tried). But Mr. Kucinich does not note that Pfc Manning has been denied, even more egregiously, his 6th amendment right of speedy trial.

Mr. Kucinich ought to arrange to have a lawyer or lawyers obtain for Pfc Manning either

(a) an injunction requiring that Pfc Manning be tried forthwith and be held in proper conditions until trial ends and judgment issues

or

(B) a writ of habeas corpus requiring the military prison's warden (or commandant or whatever that officer is called) to show cause why Pfc Manning ought not be released from confinement or tried immediately and held in proper conditions until trial ends and judgment issues.
 
 
+6 # Leonard R. Jaffee 2011-04-14 21:56
I ought to have added that if Pfc Manning does not assert his speedy trial right in the near future, a court might hold that he waived the right by consenting implicitly with silence.
 
 
+7 # Larry Rose 2011-04-14 22:11
Obama is complicit in this outrage and is violating the constitutional rights of Pfc Manning. Kucinich is an amazing advocate for all of our constitutionall y guaranteed civil rights. Please keep in mind what Obama is doing to our rights when he refuses to help Manning.
 
 
+1 # phrixus 2011-04-18 06:50
Obama is Bush speaking English. Otherwise nothing has changed.
 

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