Thursday 27 January 2011

Command Changes At Brig Where Manning Is Held

A new commander has taken over the brig at the Quantico Marine Corps base in Virginia, where Pfc. Bradley Manning is being held on charges that he leaked classified information.
Commander James Averhart was replaced by Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes on Monday, a Quantico spokesman told CNN. The spokesman said the change was ordered back in October.
It has nothing to do, the spokesman said, with allegations by Manning's lawyer that the 23-year-old is being mistreated. His lawyer, David Coombs, says that the conditions of his imprisonment -- 23 hours a day alone in his cell since he was charged in July -- are unnecessary and inhumane. That's prompted the UN's special rapporteur on torture to open an official inquiry into Manning's treatment and Amnesty International to call for changes in his treatment.
"We are hopeful that she will do a complete review" of Manning's treatment, Coombs said of the new commandeer.
Manning is suspected of leaking huge amounts of classified information to Wikileaks, including Afghanistan and Iraq war dispatches, 250,000 diplomatic cables and a video showing a U.S. helicopter opening fire on civilians in Iraq, killing two journalists.
Over the weekend, two supporters of Manning say they were improperly detained on the base and not allowed to see Manning. A spokesman for the base told TPM they weren't detained, but simply pulled over for having expired license plates.

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