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Navy’s Response to PFC Manning’s Article 138 Complaint

Six months after filing his initial Article 138 complaint against the former commander of the Quantico Brig, PFC Manning finally received an official response.  The Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Juan M. Garcia, apparently acting under a delegation of authority, determined that CWO4 James Averhart did not exceed his authority or abuse his discretion when he kept PFC Manning isolated for 23 hours a day in Maximum Custody and under Prevention of Injury Watch.

Mr. Garcia’s determination did not address PFC Manning’s amended Article 138 complaint against the current commander of the Quantico Brig, Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes.  In the amended complaint, PFC Manning alleged that Chief Warrant Officer Barnes acted improperly when she ordered him to strip naked and surrender his clothing nightly.

The facts surrounding PFC Manning’s move to Fort Leavenworth and his almost immediate downgrade to Medium Custody make it clear that his detention conditions at Quantico were unnecessary and improper.  Although PFC Manning was denied relief under Article 138, the defense intends to file an Article 13 motion with the military judge for the Quantico Brig’s clear violations of PFC Manning’s constitutional rights.