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Joining with over 250 leading legal scholars, the "foremost liberal authority on constitutional law" has condemned the starkly inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning's captivity in military prison.

Bruce Ackerman and Yochai Benkler in the New York Review of Books:

Bradley Manning is the soldier charged with leaking US government documents to Wikileaks. He is currently detained under degrading and inhumane conditions that are illegal and immoral.

In case you just came out of a coma, Bradley Manning is an alleged wikileaks source and has been held at a military prison in Quantico, Virginia after a May 2010 arrest in Iraq. He is held in isolation for 23 hours a day. Once stripped naked at night, now he is stripped and given a 'smock.'

Laurence Tribe, legal scholar and former professor to President Obama, served as a legal advisor to the Dept. of Justice until three months ago. The urgent "intervention of Tribe and hundreds of other legal scholars is a huge embarrassment to Obama" according to Ed Pilkington in the Guardian. Tribe decries Manning's treatment:

"[for] the way it violates his person and his liberty without due process of law and in the way it administers cruel and unusual punishment of a sort that cannot be constitutionally inflicted even upon someone convicted of terrible offences, not to mention someone merely accused of such offences."

Tribe signed Ackerman and Yochai's letter, which claims there is "a violation of the US constitution, specifically the eighth amendment forbidding cruel and unusual punishment and the fifth amendment that prevents punishment without trial."

Rebuke of the president in the group letter:

...he was once a professor of constitutional law, and entered the national stage as an eloquent moral leader. The question now, however, is whether his conduct as commander in chief meets fundamental standards of decency

On Ackerman's blog, the scholar claims the Administration has provided "no evidence" meriting this level of punishment. There you can see the complete list of signatories.

Firedoglake filmed an April 7th NYC protest of Manning's treatment:

Last month, Manning's father Brian spoke about his son's captivity, saying, "[t]hey worry about people down in a base in Cuba, but here we have someone on our own soil under our own control, and they are treating him in this way."

Originally posted to Nulwee on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by Wikileaks Informationthread.

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