US military officials have admitted that Quantico Marine Brig Commander James Averhart violated procedures regarding detainee treatment related to Pfc. Bradley Manning, saying Averhart summarily declared Manning a “suicide risk” without any standing to make that call.
Once declared a “suicide risk,” officials confiscated most of Manning’s clothing and his prescription eyeglasses, insisting they might be used to harm him. Officials insisted that nothing done to him rose to the level of torture, and was apparently retaliation for him failing to follow some orders from the guards.
The information from the US military appears to support the claims of abuse by Manning’s lawyer, David E. Coombs, who late last week said Manning was facing “unlawful pretrial punishment” in Quantico. Publicly, officials have denied that this is the case.
But Quantico’s claims to the public that Manning was being treated “the same as anybody else” appear to have been untrue, and efforts to harshen up the conditions of his detention before he has even been to trial clearly violate the military’s rules.