Bradley Manning is the twenty-three-year old private, accused of passing various bits of sensitive information to wikileaks. He’s been held in solitary confinement since July 2010, banned from exercising, apart from one hour a day when he is let out to walk in circles around an empty room. Those conditions have been proven to destroy a person’s mind, and the two people allowed to visit Manning – his lawyer and David House, a researcher at MIT – have said that certainly seems to be happening with Manning, who is now almost incapable of talking coherently, extremely overweight, and at times appears almost catatonic. Psychological studies suggest that the psychic and physical impairments that result from prolonged solitary confinement are in some cases irreversible. The practice has been condemned as a form of torture. Manning has yet to be convicted of any crime.
Now, in a new development, Manning may face the death penalty – further charges have been brought against him, including that of ‘aiding the enemy’, which carries the death penalty.
You can read more about the conditions in which Manning is held and their effects on him on David House’s blog.
The New Statesman has an article on the new charges, which carry the death penalty.