Lawyer For WikiLeaks Suspect Says Client Was Treated As 'Zoo Animal' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Lawyer For WikiLeaks Suspect Says Client Was Treated As 'Zoo Animal'

The pretrial hearing for WikiLeaks suspect Pfc. Bradley Manning ended Tuesday, but as The Associated Press reports, the massive amount of documents he is accused of leaking were hardly mentioned.

Instead, the hearing focused more on "a bedsheet noose, confiscated clothes and whether Manning seriously contemplated killing himself with flip-flops or the elastic waistband of his underwear."

Manning and his defense attorney, David E. Coombs, are trying to get the charges against the 24-year-old intelligence analyst thrown out, arguing that he was held by the military under harsh conditions for nine months after his 2010 arrest on suspicion of leaking classified documents to the website WikiLeaks.

As Coombs put it in closing arguments, Manning was "being treated as a zoo animal."

The Washington Post has more details:

"At Quantico, Manning was kept on either suicide watch or injury-prevention status for months. Every night for two months, he was stripped of his clothing and forced to sleep in a gown known as a "suicide smock."

He was monitored 24 hours a day. Guards testified during the hearing that he danced in his cell and played peekaboo with them, behavior they interpreted as unbalanced.

...

Coombs contends that the conditions of Manning's confinement at Quantico were so harsh that the charges against him should be dropped or that he should be given extra credit at his sentencing."

The most dramatic part of the 10-day hearing came when Manning himself took the witness stand. On his first day of testimony, he said he'd "contemplated suicide," and that he thought he was going to die in his "cage." On the second day, he talked about the noose he'd made.

Manning faces life in prison if he is convicted of the more serious of the 22 charges against him. Earlier last month, he offered to plead guilty to lesser charges, but a military judge has yet to rule on the offer.

The pretrial hearing is now over, but a military judge gave no indication of when she might rule, the AP reports.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

How To Sell Diverse Books: A Bookstore Owner's Advice

It's not news that the publishing world isn't very diverse. But over on the other side of the industry, how do owners of neighborhood bookstores try to sell books for or about people of color?
NPR

Can Quinoa Take Root On The 'Roof Of The World'?

Quinoa, once a homebody crop, crossed the Atlantic for the first time this century. Now the Food and Agriculture Organization has a hunch it can thrive in Central and Southwest Asia.
NPR

Senate Control May Swing On North Carolina's Unpopularity Contest

Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan wants voters to punish her GOP challenger Thom Tillis, the speaker of the state House, for unpopular laws. Tillis wants to aim anger toward the president at Hagan.
NPR

Islamic State Uses Online Strategies To Get Its Message Out

Experts say the videotaped killing of journalist James Foley is part of a broader propaganda strategy by Islamist militants. The group, the Islamic State, has become a master of the video medium.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.