Stop the Secrecy
Government officials and Quantico Marine Base have just declared that Congressman Dennis Kucinich and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture - who have tried to visit Manning for months - would not be considered to be on "official government business." That means brig authorities could monitor their conversations and possibly use them against Manning in court.
Are they afraid of what Bradley Manning might say about his treatment when the brig cameras are turned off?
When confronted about Manning's harsh treatment, President Obama said the Pentagon had reassured him that Manning's confinement met "basic standards." If Manning's conditions meets our "basic standards," then why is the government going to such great lengths to keep him from meeting with official visitors?
Marine rules clearly state that people "conducting official government business, either on behalf of the prisoner or in the interest of justice," can be allowed "official visits" not subject to monitoring by the brig. That explicitly includes Members of Congress like Rep. Kucinich.
Rep. Kucinich, a member of the House Oversight Committee, has been trying to visit Manning in prison for more than two months. The Congressman repeatedly wrote to Secretary Gates and other military officials requesting a visit to investigate the allegations of torture-like conditions to which Manning has been subjected. And the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has opened an official investigation into PFC. Manning's conditions.
Just as there is no excuse for the punitive treatment that Manning has been forced to undergo these past 9 months, there is similarly no excuse for such an obstruction of justice by the Department of Defense and Quantico Marine Base.