US military’s “gratuitously harsh treatment” of Manning condemned by NYT, WaPo, LAT, ACLU

A growing number of news organizations and civil liberties groups are condemning the Department of Defense’s “gratuitously harsh treatment” of Bradley Manning, a young Army intelligence specialist charged with downloading thousands of US government documents and passing them on to Wikileaks.

For the past nine months, Manning has been imprisoned in a military detention facility at Quantico, Virginia. He has not yet had a trial, or been convicted of any crime. From the New York Times editorial:

Yet the military has been treating him abusively, in a way that conjures creepy memories of how the Bush administration used to treat terror suspects. Inexplicably, it appears to have President Obama’s support to do so.

His conditions in solitary confinement include being forced to strip naked and appear before military officers, presumably of either gender.

Manning’s supporters plan a series of demonstrations on March 19 and 20, to protest the government’s treatment of the accused whistleblower.

ACLU: “Letter To Defense Secretary Robert Gates Says Pentagon Confinement Standards Must Comply With U.S. Constitution

Los Angeles Times: “Punishing Pfc. Manning

Washington Post: “Pfc. Bradley Manning doesn’t deserve humiliating treatment

New York Times: “The Abuse of Private Manning