201104.07 0

Brig Fails to Follow Its Own Rules

Over the past few weeks, the defense has been working to facilitate an official visit for Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Mr. Juan Mendez (the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture), and a representative from Amnesty International.  Despite multiple inquires from the defense and the interested parties, the Quantico Brig and the Government have denied the requests for an “official visit.”

The Quantico Brig Order P1640.1C, paragraph 3.17 allows two types of visitors for a detainee, “authorized” and “official.”  The difference between them is described here in the Brig rule.  The defense maintains that the critical distinction between the two is that official visits are privileged and not subject to Brig monitoring.

The Government’s position is that the above individuals are not entitled to an official visit because none of these individuals are conducting “official government business.”  Because the Government refuses to allow these visits to take place as an official visit, it indicates that it will generously interpret the provisions with respect to “authorized visits.”  In particular, it will permit an authorized visit with PFC Manning despite the fact that none of these individuals had “established a proper relationship with the prisoner prior to confinement” as required under the Brig rule.  Such an authorized visit, of course, will be subject to Brig monitoring and can be used as evidence against PFC Manning in a court-martial proceeding.