WikiLeaks’ Manning has ‘gender struggle’
FORT MEADE / Maryland - Agence France-Presse
Supporters of Manning protest during his hearing in Maryland. REUTERS photoThe U.S. military-held WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning was placed under strict “suicide watch” partly because his gender identity struggle showed he was mentally “not stable,” a witness said Dec. 2.
Manning’s purported gender struggle came up at a pre-trial hearing as his defense urged a military judge to dismiss the case, citing alleged “unlawful punishment” endured by the soldier during nine months of solitary confinement.
Master Sergeant Craig Blenis, who served as a counselor at the Quantico military base where the WikiLeaks suspect was detained, said the gender issue “on top of other things” was a factor that determined his detention status. It “shows he’s not stable,” Blenis told the court, explaining why Manning was put under stringent “prevention of injury” status at the Virginia base.
The subject of Manning’s alter ego, Breanna, first arose in hearings last year. In court documents, the defense argues that prison authorities displayed “intolerance and homophobia” in their treatment of Manning. Blenis said Manning had admitted to “always planning and never acting” on suicidal thoughts.