Pentagon insists WikiLeaks suspect is being treated fairly
The U.S. Army has kicked off a propaganda campaign to convince Bradley Manning supporters that the WikiLeaks suspect is being treated fairly in his new "quarters" at Fort Leavenworth.
Pfc. Manning - who stands accused of transferring thousands of classified documents to the whistle-blowing WikiLeaks website - was recently moved from a Marine base in Quantico (Virginia) to Leavenworth in Kansas.
As part of the above-mentioned charm offensive, Army officials are inviting reporters to Leavenworth to visit the medium-security prison where Manning is being held.
The military is currently deciding if Manning is mentally competent to stand trial on two dozen charges, including aiding the enemy, which could result in a life sentence or even the death penalty.
"Clearly, Pfc. Manning is an unusual circumstance," Army spokesman Col. Tom Collins told the Associated Press.
However, supporters say forcing Manning to sleep in a suicide-proof smock and subjecting him to 23 hours of solitary confinement as well as strip searches is inhumane treatment.
Unsurprisingly, the Obama administration insists Manning is being treated fairly in line with current military regulations.
"I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. They assure me that they are," President Obama said in March.
"I can't go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Private Manning's safety as well."
But Kevin Zeese, an organizer of the Bradley Manning Support Network, remains unimpressed with the Pentagon's latest initiative.
"It's [clearly] an effort to relieve the pressure," said Zeese. "We will [absolutely] not let up until Manning is treated properly."