Pentagon Deputy Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Media Operations Col. David Lapan wrote into The Cable Monday to take issue with our post on the resignation of P.J. Crowley and tell us that alleged WikiLeaks source Private Bradley Manning is not being held in isolation, is not subject to humiliation, and no longer has to sleep without his underwear.
"There has been quite a bit of hyperbole on this case and I want to ensure you have the correct information," Lapan told The Cable over email.
Lapan said our assertion that "Manning, who is being held in a maximum security prison and under isolation 23 hours a day at the Marine Corps' base in Quantico, VA, has reportedly been subject to daily disrobing and various other humiliations, which have been widely criticized by human rights groups, including Amnesty International," is not quite accurate.
Here's what Lapan had to say about Manning's conditions:
Quantico is a military brig, not a prison, and it is not a maximum security facility. http://www.quantico.usmc.mil/activities/display.aspx?PID=588&Section=SECBN
Manning, however, is considered a maximum custody detainee. He is not "under isolation 23 hours a day." Here are the facts of his pre-trial confinement:
PFC Manning is not in solitary confinement. He has a single-occupancy cell, like all of the other detainees.
PFC Manning is not in isolation.
PFC Manning is a maximum custody detainee in a prevention of injury status.
PFC Manning is not currently on suicide watch.
PFC Manning is being held in the same quarters section with other pre-trial detainees.
PFC Manning is allowed to watch television and read newspapers.
PFC Manning is allowed one-hour per day to exercise.
PFC Manning is provided well-balanced, nutritious meals three times a day.
PFC Manning receives visitors and mail and can write letters.
PFC Manning routinely meets with doctors and his attorney.
PFC Manning is allowed telephone calls.
PFC Manning is being treated just like every other detainee in the brig.
Also, there is no 'daily disrobing and various other humiliations.' In recent days, as the result of concerns for PFC Manning's personal safety, his undergarments were taken from him during sleeping hours. PFC Manning at all times had a bed and a blanket to cover himself. He was not made to stand naked for morning count but, but on one day, he chose to do so. There were no female personnel present at the time. PFC Manning has since been issued a garment to sleep in at night. He is clothed in a standard jumpsuit during the day.
John Hudson reports on national security and foreign policy from the Pentagon to Foggy Bottom, the White House to Embassy Row, for The Cable.