As WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, says during an interview from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Bradley Manning’s trial is not about Bradley Manning (although it is) – it’s about what has happened to Bradley Manning since his arrest in Baghdad in 2010.
Manning’s lawyers are putting the military on trial for torture.
The seventeen minute segment above is a vivid description of Manning’s conditions during his 2 year imprisonment, mostly in solitary confinement in an 8 foot cell. Military psychiatry experts who evaluated Manning testified that they were frustrated that the military was not taking their advice in his treatment. Namely, that he was not a suicide risk, and that what they were doing to him was torture.
In a brilliant move, Manning’s lawyer drew in chalk the actual dimensions of his cell and had Manning get inside.
During Manning’s testimony, it was clear that the Army Private was not the mentally unstable loose cannon that the military was trying to portray him to be before the trial started.
Each authority in some way connected with Manning’s imprisonment is denying that he or she was in charge of orchestrating and enforcing the torture-like conditions. In other words, everyone was “just following orders,” but the orders were given by the tooth fairy.
Will they get away with it?
(Interestingly, the best sources for news about this trial are the Guardian Newspaper in Britain, and Democracy Now! an alternative news program that started in the US on public radio.)