One of the reasons I voted for Barack Obama is that he had been a constitutional law instructor. Guess I should have asked whether he actually understands our constitution.
There is no excuse for the treatment Pfc Bradley Manning is receiving at Quantico Prison and I urge POTUS to move quickly to correct this situation. In fact I have Tweeted him and emailed the White House urging him to do just that. Others have urged him to do something. Instead, P.J. Crowley has been pushed out as spokesman for the Secretary of State because he told the truth about it.
Mr.President, it isn't sufficient to simply ask whether the conditions of his confinement are "appropriate." You must learn what the conditions are and ensure that competent medical professionals and constitutional lawyers agree they do not violate the 8th amendment of our constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual treatment.
Now, Terry A. Kupers, author of "Prison Madness: The Mental Health Crisis Behind Bars and What We Must Do About It" has spoken out. Dr. Kupers, is not your average psychiatrist; he has been awarded the exemplary psychiatrist award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness in 2005, and the William Rossiter Award from the Forensic Mental Health Association of California in 2009. He testifies as a psychiatric expert in court about prison conditions and the quality of correctional mental health care.
And now he is speaking out about the way Bradley Manning is being treated at Quantico Prison. Dr. Kupers tells us that the conditions in which Manning is being held will likely lead to suicide, although our government insists the conditions protect him from himself. Common sense says that prolonged solitary confinement will warp a person's mind, but add to that the requirement that he sleep without any clothing and you have a recipe for suicide, in my opinion.
I urge you to read the article Dr. Kupers wrote for CNN.com (link to it above) and then take action. Contact the White House (whitehouse.gov) and urge the president to correct this horrible miscarriage of justice. Then contact your Congressmember and Senators and urge them to pressure the White House to do something about this now. As a nation we should be demanding Congressional hearings on this situation.
Act now before Pfc Manning is damaged beyond repair or worse.