With all the attention focused on Bradley Manning’s treatment yesterday because of PJ Crowley’s ouster, the Department of Defense has done a lot of pushback on the notion that taking away Manning’s underwear is “ridiculous, counterproductive, and stupid.”
The pushback has been so effective that a number of journalists have reported that Quantico no longer takes Manning’s underwear away.
So, let’s be clear: Quantico is still taking Manning’s underwear away. But they have now given him a gown to wear.
[Ferguson Safety Products founder Lana] Speer said her company’s smocks are made out of a “backpack-type material that was the strongest stuff we could find that could be washed.” She was also blunt about the items being far from fashionable.
“It’s stupid looking,” Speer said.
No offense to Speer (whose concerns deal with genuinely suicidal people), but the picture Ferguson uses to advertise the smocks–with the caveman looking models–doesn’t help make them look any less stupid.
While it’s unclear whether Quantico is using this particular gown or not, one thing is clear: what Manning is forced to wear is not comfortable. Here’s how he described it.
After apparent outside pressure on the Brig due to my mistreatment, I was given a suicide prevention article of clothing called a “smock” by the guards. Although I am still required to strip naked in my cell at night, I am now given the “smock” to wear. At first, I did not want to wear this item of clothing due to how coarse it was and how uncomfortable it felt. However, the Brig now orders me to wear the “smock” at night.
So, for those who have gotten confused by DOD’s pushback: they are still taking away Manning’s very dangerous boxers at night (though they allow him to wear such dangerous items during the day). And then, in a bid to pretend they’re not trying to drive Manning crazy, they basically make him sleep in an uncomfortable duffel bag-like garment.