Accused Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning has been sitting in prison, much of that time spent in solitary confinement, for over sixteen months.
While Barack Obama declares a victory for 'democracy' in Libya, one man not enjoying any 'democracy' under the Obama administration is US army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, the accused Wikileaks whistleblower.
In the blaze of publicity that surrounded the capture (and what appears to be the lynching) of Gadaffi, it went largely unnoticed by the mainstream media that Juan Mendez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, confirmed that the Department of Defence has blocked his requests for an unmonitored meeting with Manning.
The Obama administration had claimed that such a meeting could take place but effectively undermined any such meeting by refusing not to record it. Mendez said the meeting would have only taken place under conditions where 'he could not confirm the confidentiality' of his conversation with Manning.
He said that this was not acceptable to the United Nations and that Manning himself " chose not to waive his right to have a private conversation with me."
Mendez is investigating evidence that Manning was subjected to severe conditions of confinement while being held at a Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia. Several hundred American legal scholars have signed an open letter arguing that these abuses may have amounted to torture.
We should remember that the 'crime' that the US army intelligence analyst is accused of is releasing a video that shows the killings of civilians, including two Reuters journalists , by a US helicopter in Baghdad.
He is also charged with leaking the Afghan War Diary, the Iraq war log and US diplomatic cables.
For bringing to light what the Obama administration wanted to keep concealed, Manning has been imprisoned for over sixteen months, awaiting trial.
Its worth noting that the Occupy movement has benefited from Bradley Manning's work.
The diplomatic cables, for example, have revealed that Chevron executives worked in tandem with American. officials to avoid paying $18.2 billion in court-ordered damages after the energy giant acquired Texaco and which had dumped billions of gallons of waste in indigenous areas.
Another series of cables illustrate how diplomatic officials successfully squashed a proposed increase in the Haitian minimum wage. Pressure from U.S. diplomats on Haitian officials enabled major American clothing companies like Levi's and Hanes to continue exploiting sweatshop labour in Haiti.