Torture, not just for Muslims anymore

Glenn Greenwald describes how Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking information to WikiLeaks, has been treated in U.S. custody:

From the beginning of his detention, Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement.  For 23 out of 24 hours every day — for seven straight months and counting – he sits completely alone in his cell.  Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he’s barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions.  For reasons that appear completely punitive, he’s being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch).

[…] In 2006, a bipartisan National Commission on America’s Prisons was created and it called for the elimination of prolonged solitary confinement.  Its Report documented that conditions whereby “prisoners end up locked in their cells 23 hours a day, every day… is so severe that people end up completely isolated, living in what can only be described as torturous conditions.”  The Report documented numerous psychiatric studies of individuals held in prolonged isolation which demonstrate “a constellation of symptoms that includes overwhelming anxiety, confusion and hallucination, and sudden violent and self-destructive outbursts.”  The above-referenced article from theJournal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Lawstates:  “Psychological effects can include anxiety, depression, anger, cognitive disturbances, perceptual distortions, obsessive thoughts, paranoia, and psychosis.”

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