The commander of the pretrial confinement facility where Bradley Manning is being held in Quantico, Virginia ignored at least 18 recommendations from the brig psychiatrist to remove Manning from prevention of injury (POI) status.
Prisoners on POI status are required to be asked by guards every 5 minutes if they are okay. Prisoners must always answer affirmatively. At night, if guards are unable to see the prisoner clearly because her or she is facing away from them or the view is obstructed by a blanket, guards are required to wake the prisoner and make sure he or she is okay.
In an 11-page letter (Rebuttal Article 138 Complaint – Quantico [PDF]) from Bradley Manning, he cites a number of reports filed between the beginning of his confinement on July 29th, 2010 and January 28, 2010, quoting at least 18 recommendations that he be removed from POI.
The first and only time it was recommended that Manning remain on POI status was December 10, 2010, when he “was not doing well.”
Despite these recommendations, Manning has been on POI for the vast majority of his confinement.
Touching more on recent developments, Manning also goes into detail about why he has been forced to give up his clothing at night, leaving him “no choice but to lay in [his] cold jail cell until the following morning. He has also been forced – as part of being a “suicide risk,” despite contrary input from the brig psychiatrist – to give up his eyeglasses day and night, leaving him “in essential blindness.”
While there has been a lot of speculation about mistreatment, but this letter offers insight into whether or not this treatment was justifiable because of Manning’s psychological state. Clearly, the commander of the brig is acting contrary to the advice of qualified mental health professionals in keeping Manning under POI.