Bradley Manning’s ‘Cruel and Unusual’ Treatment
By Congressman Dennis Kucinich

Kucinich: Does treatment of Pfc. Bradley Manning constitute ‘cruel and unusual’ treatment?

Questions follow a report that the army ignored evidence of mental health problems.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) yesterday wrote to Defense Secretary Robert Gates asking for information about reports that the Army ignored evidence of the mental health problems of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks. Kucinich also asked for confirmation and explanation of reports that the Army is holding Pfc. Manning in conditions that would likely exacerbate his condition and could contribute a violation of the his Eighth Amendment right of protection from ‘cruel and unusual’ punishment.

The full text of the letter follows.

February 2, 2011
The Honorable Robert M. Gates
Secretary of Defense
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301

Dear Secretary Gates:

This morning, The Washington Post reported that Pfc. Bradley J. Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who is accused of being the source of the WikiLeaks documents, was known by the Army to have had mental health problems even before his deployment to Iraq. “At Fort Drum, Manning balled up his fists and screamed at higher-ranking soldiers in his unit….” A “mental health specialist” recommended that he not be deployed to Iraq, “but his immediate commanders sent him anyway….”

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