- U.N.: Iran cuts stock closest to nuke-arms grade
- Oklahoma gay-marriage case before U.S. appeals court
- Times wins two awards from Society for Professional Journalists
- Marionville mayor ‘kind of agreed’ with Kansas City shooter’s views
- Rev. Al Sharpton’s Easter message: Politically ‘crucified’ Obama has risen again
- Supreme Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies
- UNICEF launches ‘Mr. Poo’ mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Teen taking selfie by train: ‘Wow, that guy just kicked me in the head’
- Goodbye, Afghanistan — hello, Africa: Air Force to shift as U.S. exits Middle East
- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
Army private in WikiLeaks case leaving Quantico brig
Transfer ‘imminent’ to Fort Leavenworth
The Army private accused of leaking a massive database of confidential U.S. diplomatic communications to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks is being moved from solitary confinement in a maximum-security cell at the Quantico, Va., Marine Corps Base to a new medium-security detention facility at the Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas.
“We have assessed that it is in Private [First Class Bradley] Manning’s best interests to move him at this juncture in the case,” said Jeh C. Johnson, the general counsel for the Defense Department, at a hastily arranged news conference late Tuesday.
He called the U.S. military’s new Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Leavenworth a “state-of-the-art complex with the best and widest range of support facilities available” for Pfc. Manning, who is undergoing assessment to see if he is mentally competent to stand trial — a procedure the military calls a 706 board, after the relevant section of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Now that the board’s examination of Pfc. Manning is complete, Mr. Johnson said, the military had decided to move him. He declined to give a precise timeline for the transfer, but said it was “imminent.”
“He is a soldier, he is our soldier, and we have to take care of [him],” Army Undersecretary Joseph Westphal told reporters, saying that the new facility at Fort Leavenworth was specifically designed to hold pretrial detainees for extended periods.
The facility at Quantico is “designed to hold someone in pretrial [detention] for a short period of time,” said Mr. Westphal, whereas Pfc. Manning has been in detention for 10 months and likely would not face trial for “several more months.”
Both officials poured cold water on the notion that their decision in anyway implied criticism of the conditions in which Pfc. Manning is being held at Quantico, which have become the subject of controversy. His supporters say Pfc. Manning, who is on suicide watch, has been in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and forced to sleep naked.
Last month, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley resigned after calling the conditions of Pfc. Manning’s incarceration “counterproductive and stupid.”
Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton, the commander of the new facility at Leavenworth, said Pfc. Manning will undergo a risk assessment when he arrives. Depending on the results, he could be housed with other pretrial detainees and get “open recreational time” as well as “three square meals” a day.
Last month, military prosecutors announced new charges for Pfc. Manning related to the alleged downloading of secret information from military computers in Iraq, where he worked as a low-level intelligence analyst. The most serious new charge was aiding the enemy, which is punishable by death, but prosecutors said they would not seek that penalty.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...
- Senator's memo shows Iran links in Homeland Security's troubled immigration program
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- Dems back bill to fix problems in investor visa program
- Democrats proceed with Mayorkas vote despite pending investigation
- Game players don't think peace has a chance in Syria
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- With pot and e-cigarettes, Big Tobacco is just waiting to inhale emerging markets
- FISHER: Shades of Berlin in the South China Sea
- IRS emails reveal discussion with Justice about suing nonprofits for election activities
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.