Cruel and Unusual

Lawyer: Manning Punished for 'Sarcastic Quip'

It seems a Navy brig is no place for sarcasm. Bradley Manning's lawyer says his client is being forced to sleep naked nightly after the WikiLeaks suspect called the suicide-watch restrictions placed on him “absurd” and joked that “if he wanted to harm himself, he could conceivably do so with the elastic waistband of his underwear or with his flip-flops.” His jailers apparently took the statement seriously, though, and ordered Manning to spend nights without his underwear or any other garments. Manning's lawyer called the treatment “clearly punitive in nature,” saying that “if Brig officials were genuinely concerned about PFC Manning using either his underwear or flip-flops to harm himself (despite the recommendation of the Brig's psychiatrist) they could undoubtedly provide him with clothing that would not, in their view, present a risk of self-harm."