Is Bradley Manning Being Held in Inhumane Conditions?

An undated photo of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning AP

An undated photo of Army Spc. Bradley Manning.
An undated photo of Army Spc. Bradley Manning.
AP

Earlier this week, allegations surfaced that Army private Bradley Manning, who is accused of leaking a massive trove of secret government documents to WikiLeaks, is being held in "inhumane" conditions while awaiting trial.

A report on Salon.com said Manning is being held in solitary confinement 23 hours a day, is under constant surveillance, is not allowed to exercise, and has not been allowed a pillow or bed sheets despite not having been convicted of a crime.

"Manning has been subjected for many months without pause to inhumane, personality-erasing, soul-destroying, insanity-inducing conditions of isolation similar to those perfected at America's Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado: all without so much as having been convicted of anything," wrote Salon's Glenn Greenwald.

In response, the Marines who run the brig at Quantico, Virginia, where Manning has been held for the past five months, released information detailing his detention, CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin reports.

They say the 22-year-old Manning is a maximum custody detainee, which means he is held by himself in a cell. He is allowed one hour of recreation (which can be outdoors, weather permitting) and one hour of television each day.

Marines say Manning is allowed reading material and visitors and is allowed to talk to other prisoners -- "as long as the conversation does not interfere with good order and discipline." They insist he is treated no differently than any other maximum custody detainee.

Military sources tell Martin that Manning is not now technically on a suicide watch - although he might as well be, since his cell is under 24-hour video surveillance. (He was on a suicide watch when he was first arrested.) Manning is now undergoing mental evaluation to determine his fitness to stand trial, a process hampered in part by the fact that the Army can't find enough doctors who have the necessary security clearances to conduct the evaluation.


Brian Montopoli is senior political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of his posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.

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