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With Saturday marking Bradley Manning’s 1000th day in prison and protests planned across the nation, a new account of his treatment includes a punitive secrecy regime that the Obama administration has imposed on him and the world, especially whistleblowers of government and corporate corruption.
February 23rd, 2013 marks Bradley Manning’s 1000th day of pretrial detention. For one year of his nearly three without trial, he was kept in solitary confinement, despite Quantico Brig and independent psychiatrist testimonies saying he posed no suicide risk.
Charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 with aiding the enemy, Private First Class Bradley Manning, 26, faces life imprisonment for allegedly leaking classified government documents, including the infamous Collateral Murder gunsight video — of American troops murdering journalists, children and other innocent people — to WikiLeaks.
Around the world, the act of one man and his treatment urges us to ask: Do we have the right to know what our government is doing to whistleblowers and other targeted individuals?
In The Passion of Bradley Manning: The Story Behind the Wikileaks Whistleblower (Verso Books, April 23, 2013), Chase Madar presents a shocking account of Manning’s imprisonment, including exclusive never-before-revealed material in a no-holds-barred analysis of the punitive secrecy regime the US government imposes on the world, especially whistleblowers.
Madar is a civil rights attorney, and a Contributing Editor at the American Conservative. He reports and reviews for the London Review of Books, Le Monde diplomatique, CounterPunch, Al Jazeera, and the TLS.
Whistleblowers and other Targeted Individuals mobbed and pathologized
In The Passion of Bradley Manning, Madar details numerous cases of whistleblowers targeted and “inappropriately pathologized” (regarding or treating someone as psychologically abnormal or unhealthy) and their government “refusing to consider noble political motives, regardless of how overt and obvious.”
In thousands of untold cases, people are targeted, rumors spread about them to discredit them in their respective communities and workplace, and then, officials formerly pathologize them.
Manning has been workplace mobbed to the extreme.
Dr. Heinz Leymann, a Swedish-German researcher who named this crime “mobbing,” brought it to the attention of the European community. From there, the term for a global criminal phenomenon of organized groups targeting innocent indivudals has spread worldwide.
In the case of workplace mobbed orthopedic specialist Dr. Lawrence D. Dorr, he warned fellow surgeons in an open letter in 2008 that a Zimmer Holdings hip implant was flawed. Dorr then “became the subject of a whisper campaign that questioned his skills as a surgeon,” reported the New York Times last week.
“The first thing that a company does is to put out a campaign that a surgeon does not know how to operate,” said Dr. Dorr, after he wrote the open letter. “It hurt my practice for a year.”
A year is better than what most workplace mobbed targeted individuals experience after the expertly deployed lies start. Most, including thousands in the U.S. alone, are secretly and professionally terrorized in their homes and communities. They are blacklisted in company data bases so that they can never work again, thus forced into a life of financial ruin.
Sounds too extreme or simply unbelievable? That’s what most targeted indivudals who contact Deborah Dupré say is the conclusion of their loved ones. However, in the first book on U.S. mobbing, Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, (1999) authors Davenport, Schwartz, and Elliott explain the criminal syndrome:
The mobbing syndrome is a malicious attempt to force a person out of the workplace through unjustified accusations, humiliation, general harassment, emotional abuse, and/or terror.
It is a ‘ganging up’ by the leader(s) – organization, superior, co-worker, or subordinate – who rallies others into systematic and frequent ‘mob-like’ behavior.
Because the organization ignores, condones, or even instigates the behavior, it can be said that the victim, seemingly helpless against the powerful and many, is indeed ‘mobbed.’ The result is always injury – physical or mental distress or illness and social misery and, most often, expulsion from the workplace.
According to Brian Martin, in Whistleblowing and Nonviolence (Peace and Change, Vol. 24, No. 3, January 1999), “Whistleblowing, in casual usage, means speaking out from within an organization to expose a social problem or, more generally, dissenting from dominant views or practices.
“The most common experience of whistleblowers is that they are attacked. Instead of their messages being evaluated, the full power of the organization is turned against the whistleblower.”
The means of suppression, according to Martin, includes “ostracism by colleagues, petty harassment (including snide remarks, assignment to trivial tasks and invoking of regulations not normally enforced), spreading of rumors, formal reprimands, transfer to positions with no work (or too much work), demotion, referral to psychiatrists, dismissal, and blacklisting.” (Author emphasis)
Martin explains, “Appeal bodies are part of the wider system of power and usually seek or reach accommodation with other powerful groups. Hence such bodies are highly unlikely to support a single individual against elites from a major organization, who usually have links with elites elsewhere.”
Those “links with elites” are possibly the source of targeting of many individuals, including not only high-profile cases, but the more common ones, such as Nancy Fondren, heir to the Walter Fondren III, Exxon, Humble Oil fortune.
Fondren was allegedly falsely arrested on April 19, 2012. On June 21, 2013, Judge Mike Mitchell ordered her to 46B, North Texas State Mental Hospital in Wichita Falls where she remains today.
Although Fondren has passed several competency tests, she has not been notified to attend any competency hearings, a due process violation.
On Feb 5, 2013, allegedly, a nurse allegedly aggressively clutched Fondren’s arms, crushing them into her side, and then screamed, “Stop hitting.” The nurse subsequently reported Fondren was violent, her advocates have told Deborah Dupré in emails this month.
Fondren’s family history have made her a targeted individual for years, her advocates say.
In Manning’s case, the focus has been on his sexuality as well as his emotional, psychiatric and pharmacological state, Madar shows.
In March 2011, State Department spokesperson P. J. Crowley condemned Manning’s treatment as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.” Two days later he resigned. After a 14-month investigation into Manning’s treatment, UN special rapporteur on torture Juan Mendez formally accused the US government of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, concluding that “imposing seriously punitive conditions of detention on someone who has not been found guilty of any crime is a violation of his right to physical and psychological integrity as well as of his presumption of innocence.”
Few doubt Manning’s treatment is designed to serve as a warning to other prospective whistleblowers. It has also been used to try to break him in the hopes of crushing his spirit enough to force him to implicate Julian Assange and WikiLeaks in espionage charges.
“If this were done to a US soldier held captive in North Korea or Iran, no one would hesitate to call it torture,” says Madar.
“The military’s ongoing, harsh and inhumane treatment of Bradley Manning at Quantico Brig joins Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo as emblems of Washington’s post-9/11 sadism and military dishonor.”
Solitary confinement: a day in the life of Bradley Manning
(as described by his attorney)
His cell is approximately six feet wide and twelve feet in length. The cell has a bed, a drinking fountain, and a toilet. The guards at the confinement facility are professional. At no time have they tried to bully, harass, or embarrass PFC Manning. Given the nature of their job, however, they do not engage in conversation with PFC Manning.
At 5:00 a.m. he is woken up. Under the rules for the confinement facility, he is not allowed to sleep at anytime between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. If he attempts to sleep during those hours, he will be made to sit up or stand by the guards.
He cannot see other inmates from his cell. He can occasionally hear other inmates talk. Currently, there are no other inmates near his cell.
He is allowed to receive letters from those on his approved list and from his legal counsel. If he receives a letter from someone not on his approved list, he must sign a rejection form. The letter is then either returned to the sender or destroyed.
Due to being held on Prevention of Injury (POI) watch: PFC Manning is held in his cell for approximately 23 hours a day.
The guards are required to check on PFC Manning every five minutes by asking him if he is okay. PFC Manning is required to respond in some affirmative manner. At night, if the guards cannot see PFC Manning clearly, because he has a blanket over his head or is curled up towards the wall, they will wake him in order to ensure he is okay.
He receives each of his meals in his cell.
He is not allowed to have a pillow or sheets.
He is not allowed to have any personal items in his cell.
He is only allowed to have one book or one magazine at any given time to read in his cell.
The book or magazine is taken away from him at the end of the day before he goes to sleep.
He is prevented from exercising in his cell. If he attempts to do push- ups, sit-ups, or any other form of exercise he will be forced to stop.
He does receive one hour of “exercise” outside of his cell daily. He is taken to an empty room and only allowed to walk. PFC Manning normally just walks figure eights in theroom for the entire hour. If he indicates that he no longer feels like walking, he is immediately returned to his cell.
When PFC Manning goes to sleep, he is required to strip down to his boxer shorts and surrender his clothing to the guards. His clothing is returned to him the next morning.
In March 2011, they began stripping Manning naked, depriving him of his glasses as well.
Obama Regime Hurting America’s Best
Manning’s defense attorney has suggested that Barack Obama’s position on protecting government whistleblowers, with his new law signed on Nov. 27 to stiffen protections, is hypocritical.
“As President Obama was signing this bill into law, Brad and I were in a courtroom,” Manning’s attorney David E. Coombs said. “How can you reconcile the two? I don’t know the answer to that question.”
What we do know is that most targeted individuals such as Manning, Dr. Dorr and Nancy Fondren are heroes.
Private investigator William J. Taylor recently told Dupré in an email that he receives too many requests for investigative help from targeted individuals to manage.
“I receive around ten to twenty calls and messages a week from victims,” he exclaimed. “There just aren’t enough hours in the day!”
Taylor previously stated that these corporate government targets are among America’s best people.
“These are the finest of Americans,” Taylor said. “Most of the greatest people are being hurt the most.”
Copyright Deborah Dupré 2013
Note: Copyright violation is not a victimless crime. Please share this link and title only, or contact the author for permssion to copy for emailing or reposting on another website.
Human Rights news reporter Deborah Dupré is author of “Vampire of Macondo, Life, crimes and curses in south Louisiana that Powerful Forces Don’t want you to know,” 450 pages packed with censored stories about the BP-wrecked Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico that continues causing hidden catastrophic human and environmental devastation. (Includes a meticulously referenced chapter on rampant U.S. non-consensual human experimentation of millions of Americans.)
Follow Dupré on Twitter @DeborahDupre. For interviews, email [email protected]
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