A Dylan Ratigan panel talks about the Pentagon’s decision to push back on claims of mistreatment of alleged leaker, Pfc. Bradley Manning.
>> let’s talk about something else fairly controversial. the pentagon pushing back on claims of mistreatment towards alleged leaker private manning. manning’s lawyer saying he is in solitary confinement. the pentagon saying it is not solitary confinement merely a single occupancy cell. he’s being held by himself in a cell for 23 hours a day, which strikes me as something representing being solitary, but i’m not an expert. mannings’s lawyers says he’s forced to strip naked each night. the pentagon says there’s no daily. they simply removed his undergarments for safety concerns. there’s concerns that brigs psychiatrists have abandoned their duty of protecting their patient. regardless of your feelings, what strikes me as the apparent willingness to deviate from the military code ofius and civil code of justice to this third class of treatment, which is the arbitrary treatment of any prisoner based on the discretion of the government. how can that — how can the creation of a third class of prisoner like this not be somewhat alarming?
>> well, i’m not going to defend treatment of a third class of prisoner or defend anything that relates to deviating. it’s not something that i personally would defend. however, i would point out that if we’re going to have this discussion, we have to add to it on the side note, which has nothing to do with the way this man is being treated now, who ? this man is, and in terms of the fact this person put a ton of people in serious danger —
>> you have no idea if that’s true or not.
>> hold on, jane. let — let’s go one at a time here. otherwise we need to go off of television and —
>> he’s not telling the truth.
>> i understand. jane, i understand that, but your rebuttal desk basically although here at home is a bunch of screaming and yelling and they’ll turn the channel and it won’t matter. let’s let brent finish, though we’ve consumed another 60 seconds trying to establish a little order in the court, let’s use what time we have left, brent if you could finish up.
>> he released documents from our government —
>> no, you don’t know that he did that. you do not know that he did that.
>> if we look at the past in our country —
>> you have no idea.
>> hey, jane, i promise you, i give you my word, i swear to you, i’m going to give you time to rebut him, but i really want to have it as a conversation, and i would like brent to allow him to assert his thoughts.
>> he’s asserting —
>> i understand you believe what he’s saying is untrue and you may be completely correct. i’m not disagrees with you, jane. i’m simply asking procedurally to have this conversation in such a manner that there’s a legitimate exchange of information between people that is respectful of the medium such that everybody is not speaking at the same time and as a result no information moving from one location to another. brent, quickly, please.
>> i understand people may disagree that the accusations may not be true. my point is if they are true, then these are serious accusations of the that doesn’t defend if someone is deviating from normal policies and procedures, but they are serious accusations. if you want to disagree that the accusations are wrong, feel free to go ahead and ? do that. my point is these are serious things. if they are true, this man put a tremendous number of people’s lives in danger.
>> that’s a distraction from the fact that we have created a third class of prisoners that the government can arbitrarily do what they want to. jane, your floor is yours.
>> we are invited to discussion the pretrial conditions. to come in here and say he has actually guilty of what he hasn’t been tried of shows complete contempt for the constitution and the american system of law. it’s absolutely stun conscionable that you would say such a thing in order to paint him as deserving of some sort of punishment before trial. the fact is he is being stripped naked and, yes, if you take away his underwear at night and that’s all he is wearing, he is in fact stripped naked. as jack balkin, and other law protestors got together and wrote a letter to the pentagon saying it is their obligation to justify why they are doing this to bradley manning, and the president’s excuses that he is up there saying, well, they tell me it’s for his own good. maybe it was for the people at abu ghraib that he took those photographs, but nobody has ever yet established. if we can stick to the facts of what is known and not try him on division before he actually gets a trial, that is the respect for the american justice system we need to show.
>> i agree. i think what would be cool as a host, because the subject i was bringing up was a third class of prisoner arbitrarily by our government, irrespective of the individuals, i respect that both of you are anxious to talk about the treatment of bradley planning, but i know that brent thinks having a third class of prisoner who can be randomly tortured or whatever they want to do is offensive to brent. i assume that’s similarly offensive to you, jane?
>> absolutely, i think it is. i think everybody who cares about the legal system, that we all take pride when it operates at its best, should be concerned this is happening. he won’t get a fair trial if people keep asserting he’s guilty already.
>> my point is if ? we’re going to have that conversation, we should have the same care and concern of the people whose lives we put in danger, which may or may not —
>> he hasn’t even been tried for what you’re accusing him of and there’s not been evidence of anybody suffering harm, though we do get the transparency that president obama promised us despite the many’s words that basically our government is in bed with a lot of bad people and when nuclear warnings come into japan 2 years ago xw the fact that the plant can’t withstand we find out because of wikileaks, but apparently we don’t — forget us, our president and the pentagon don’t care about that as they don’t bother to try the man, they simply hold him in solitary naked because there’s a third class of american prisoner, who that can be treated however the president apparently wants to treat you. that is an interesting development that was created by george bush and now propagated and perpetuated by barack obama. that to me is a very sad thing. i thank both of you for the conversation.