- Written by Peter Burnett Peter Burnett
Psychiatrists (among many others) have always maintained that there is no mental health justification for the Prevention Of Injury Watch imposed on Bradley Manning. This is from a report from lawyer David Coombs on treatment of PFC Bradley Manning, March 3, 2011. When he asked when he could be moved to a medium security prison, Manning was told that there was nothing he could do to downgrade his detainee status as they considered him a risk of self-harm. PFC Manning then remarked that the POI restrictions were ‘absurd’ and sarcastically stated that if he wanted to harm himself, he could do so with the elastic of his underwear or his flip-flops. Without consulting any Brig mental health official, Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes used Bradley Manning’s sarcastic quip as justification to increase the restrictions imposed upon him. Manning was not, however, placed under the designation of Suicide Risk Watch. This is because Suicide Risk Watch would have required a Brig mental health provider’s recommendation, which the Brig commander did not have. In response to this specific incident, the Brig psychiatrist assessed PFC Manning as “low risk and requiring only routine outpatient follow-up [with] no need for … closer clinical observation.” In particular, he indicated that PFC Manning’s statement about the waist band of his underwear was in no way prompted by a psychiatric condition. Given these circumstances, the decision to strip Manning of his clothing every night for an indefinite period of time is surely punitive in nature. There is no mental health justification for the decision. There is no basis in logic for this decision. It is how the marines torture people, in order to extract confessions. Manning was under 24 hour surveillance, with guards never being more than a few feet away from his cell. Manning was permitted to have his underwear and clothing during the day, with no fear that he would harm himself. And, if officials were really concerned about Manning using his clothes to hurt himself, they could have provided him items such as tear-resistant blankets and a mattress with a built-in pillow, and safe clothes too. From the Quantico website: ‘Barnes, originally from Plainfield, N.J., previously served as the commanding officer of the brig in Okinawa, Japan. In Okinawa, the brig is a level one facility for pre-trial and post-trial confinement for up to one year. Here, the brig is set up to detain personnel awaiting or undergoing legal proceedings but can hold service members in post-trial for up to 30 days. Barnes said she plans to take things to another level within her new unit.’ Yeh, well she did. I’ve read that Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes had some sort of sexually sadistic desire behind this. I agree at least that she wanted to be Manning’s ‘god’.