As I recall, candidate Barack Obama made clear he regarded treatment of prisoners under the Bush administration to be a violation of human rights. He promised once in office to restore the reputation of America by ending mistreatment of those in military prisons. Bradley Manning is guilty of a heinous crime and is currently in solitary confinement in a military cell. Did he kill people? No. Did he cause harm to captured prisoners? No. Did he rape? No. Did he murder anyone? No. Was he guilty of racism and spreading hatred among fellow soldiers? No. Was he a spy for terrorist groups? NO. What then was his terrible crime? He provided emails to Julian Assange that created a furor among diplomats. For this unpardonable crime, Bradley Manning is confined to a cell. He is not allowed to speak to anyone. He eats alone. He is not allowed to exercise other than walk around the 12 foot long, six feet wide cell. He is not allowed to do push-ups. He is only allowed a single newspaper or book that meets military criteria as proper to read. He is limited in being allowed to have visits from family members.
The United Nations is conducting an investigation as to whether treatment of Bradley Manning fits the criteria of torture. Of course, if we had a president who was familiar with constitutional law, Bradley Manning might be treated with respect for his human dignity. The bottom line is no one died as a result of his “crime.” Embarrassed, yes, a few were.