Counselor says he punishes Manning

This is an interesting statement:

Blenis, who spent more time with Manning, said Manning chose not to speak most of the time except for short, yes-or-no answers. He said Manning spurned his offers to play chess or work brain teasers by arrogantly responding, “They’re a little below my level.”

“I’ve got a person not communicating with me that’s sitting in his cell, not doing anything,” Blenis said.

He said he supported the brig commander’s decision in March 2011 to strip Manning of all clothing at night and place him on suicide watch after Manning told another staffer that if he really wanted to kill himself, he could use the elastic waistband on his underwear.

“If someone tells me they’re going to shoot themselves in the face, I’m not going to give them a gun,” Blenis said.

Let’s see the situation Manning was in:

Manning, speaking publicly for the first time since his May 2010 arrest, said he got so used to leg irons and being locked up 23 hours a day that when he was finally transferred to medium-security confinement at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in April 2011, he felt uneasy moving freely around the cell block.

“There was the sense of, ‘OK, I know they’re going to put the hammer down on me soon,'” Manning said near the end of his five hours on the witness stand.

Besides being classified “maximum custody,” Manning was subjected to additional restraints during his nine months at Quantico because he was either on suicide watch or considered at risk of hurting himself or others. Commanders maintained the extra restrictions despite repeated recommendations by brig psychiatrists that they be eased. They included scratchy, suicide-prevention bedding and sometimes having all his clothing, eyeglasses and reading material removed from his cell.

Manning said he got frustrated spending up to 23 hours a day in a windowless, 6-by-8-foot cell.

“It was pretty draining,” Manning said under questioning by defense attorney David Coombs.

At one point during his testimony, Manning donned a dark-green, suicide-prevention smock resembling an oversized tank top made of stiff, thick fabric. He said it was similar to one he was issued in March 2011, several days after Quantico jailers started requiring him to surrender all his clothing and eyeglasses each night as a suicide-prevention measure. This occurred after he told them — out of frustration, he said — that if he really wanted to hurt himself, he could have done so with his underwear waistband or flip-flops.

Blenis says he supported having Manning put in a small cell for 23 hours a day, having him stripped, and other restrictions. He also seems to have punished him when he replied sarcastically about killing himself. Gee, I wonder why Manning didn’t talk to him and this was supposed to be a counselor? I’m also confused how solitary confinement and punishments are supposed to help someone who they claim is suicidal–the measures might make him suicidal though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: