PFC Manning’s “Shameful” Treatment?
posted at 1:00 pm on December 19, 2010 by Jazz Shaw
My goal of trying to focus on more positive, happy thoughts and keep my blood pressure down during the holidays this year officially collapsed this weekend. Why, you ask? Because I’ve finally read one – too – many – imbecilic articles on the “horrible” conditions under which PFC Bradley Manning – of Wikileaks fame – is being held at Quantico.
I should point out up front that while I do not claim credentials as any sort of expert on this subject, I’m not approaching the story from complete ignorance. During six years in the United States Navy I not only experienced a wide variety of conditions seen by those in service, but did a T.A.D. stint with the Military Police where I supervised prisoners and became familiar with confinement facilities both on shore and at sea. And I’m here to tell you that some of these self-styled human rights experts and legal analysts have probably been smoking something which the authorities would also frown upon.
Leaving aside for the moment the fact that PFC Manning may very well have done something which could amount to treason during a time of war, let’s look at some of the “shameful” conditions the young man is enduring.
His cell is approximately six feet wide and twelve feet in length.
I’m sorry… did you say twelve feet long? Not only is that bigger than the cells in the brig on every ship I was on, but the task force admiral’s stateroom on the flag bridge of our carrier wasn’t twelve feet long. This guy is staying in the military equivalent of the Ritz-Carlton, if only terms of floor space. Oh… and he’s in jail, remember?
I would also remind Private Manning that if his release of classified information results in even a single soldier, marine, sailor, airman or civilian dying because of his actions they will be staying in a considerably smaller space. It’s called a coffin.
He is allowed to watch television during the day. The television stations are limited to the basic local stations. His access to the television ranges from 1 to 3 hours on weekdays to 3 to 6 hours on weekends.
He’s watching TV for up to six hours per day on the weekends? Well, you’ve certainly got me there, particularly if you are limiting him to basic cable. I mean, sure, the guy may have betrayed the nation he took an oath to protect, but that’s no reason to make him miss the next season of Nurse Jackie, you cruel animals.
At 5:00 a.m. he is woken up (on weekends, he is allowed to sleep until 7:00 a.m.). Under the rules for the confinement facility, he is not allowed to sleep at anytime between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. If he attempts to sleep during those hours, he will be made to sit up or stand by the guards.
You’re only letting the poor bastard sleep for nine hours a night? I’m trying to remember the last time my family actually let me sleep for nine straight hours.
Must. Not. Smash. Keyboard. Or. Face.
From 7:00 p.m. to 9:20 p.m., he is given correspondence time. He is given access to a pen and paper. He is allowed to write letters to family, friends, and his attorneys. Each night, during his correspondence time, he is allowed to take a 15 to 20 minute shower.
On weekends and holidays, he is allowed to have approved visitors see him from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.
He is only allowed to have one book or one magazine at any given time to read in his cell. The book or magazine is taken away from him at the end of the day before he goes to sleep.
I’m sorry… is this solitary confinement or Club Med?
He is prevented from exercising in his cell. He does receive one hour of “exercise” outside of his cell daily. He is taken to an empty room and only allowed to walk.
Yes, that’s very sad. But guess what? You’re in jail for what effectively amounts to treason. This is not a spa. We’re very sorry if the tennis courts aren’t located conveniently close to your cell.
There are plenty of jails right here in the United States where conditions are tougher than this, and those are for civilians with their full slate of rights. (For those not familiar, when you enlist in the U.S. military you actually surrender a number of your constitutional rights and fall under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. If you’re not used to it you might not like it. But that’s the way it is.)
And while we’re on the subject, forget American jails. Try spending some time in a jail in Mexico. Or Turkey. Or China.
For all you out there spending your nights wringing your hands over the confinement conditions of Private Manning, here’s a holiday suggestion. Why don’t you contact the U.S.O. and see if you can do something to brighten the days of service members who didn’t sell out their nation? Trust me, you’ll feel better about yourself after you do.
Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go catch up with all the episodes of Nurse Jackie I Tivo’d. Merry Christmas.
Now you can yell at Jazz for being a stupid, wrong-headed RINO even faster than by just leaving a comment. Follow him on Twitter! @JazzShaw
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