PFC Bradley Manning, held in solitary confinement at Quantico Brig in Virginia, was forced to strip naked in his cell Wednesday and Thursday nights, remaining in that condition until the following mornings when his clothing was returned by a Marine guard.
Regarding the Wednesday night incident, Manning’s lawyer, David E. Coombs, has reported that Manning was
inexplicably stripped of all clothing by the Quantico brig. He remained in his cell, naked, for the next seven hours. At 5:00 a.m., the Brig sounded the wake-up call for the detainees. At this point, PFC Manning was forced to stand naked at the front of his cell.
Coombs calls the treatment “inexcusable and without justification.” On Friday, Coombs again announced that Manning had been stripped of his clothing Thursday evening as well. The decision to subject Manning to the humiliation was made by Quantico Brig commander, Chief Warrant Officer-2 Denise Barnes.
A Marine spokesman, First Lt. Brian Villard said the decision was “not punitive,” the New York Times reports. Villard added: “It would be inappropriate for me to explain it. I can confirm that it did happen, but I can’t explain it to you without violating the detainee’s privacy.”
Villard previously showed his thoughts in January on Manning's solitary confinement, saying it's "not like jail movies where someone gets thrown into the hole," according to Salon.
Manning has been accused of leaking sensitive government documents to Wikileaks and as a result, has been held in solitary confinement for more than eight months, first in Iraq and currently at Quantico.
On Wednesday, the Army announced 22 new charges (pdf) against Manning, including “aiding the enemy.” The charge sheet does not identify the enemy Manning is accused of aiding.
Army spokesman Capt. John Haberland said: “The new charges more accurately reflect the broad scope of the crimes that Private First Class Manning is accused of committing,” according to the NYTimes.
Manning’s treatment at Quantico was first made public by Salon’s Glenn Greenwald in December and despite outrage over news of the treatment’s severity, the US government continues in its pursuit to break Manning.
Coombs’ website on Friday calls the military’s decision to strip Manning as “humiliating” and that decision came without consulting any mental health providers at the Brig.
David House, a friend of Manning, told reporters on Thursday he had visited with Manning the previous weekend and Manning’s mental state is in significant deterioration as a result of the extreme measures being applied to him while in confinement. House added that pressure is being applied to Manning to cooperate, the Times noted.