A former counselor of Pfc. Bradley Manning explained, in a court hearing, why he thought solitary confinement was necessary for the gay soldier.
Manning is charged with sharing US secrets to the website WikiLeaks in 2009 and 2010. After the 24-year-old was arrested he was, as reported by the Associated Press, kept 'in maximum custody and on injury-prevention status — conditions that kept him confined to his cell 23 hours a day.'
Defense attorneys are using this pretrial hearing to prove the private's nine months of imprisonment, at a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., were so severe that the judge should dismiss the charges. Manning faces 22 offenses, including aiding the enemy, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Jordan was a counselor at Quantico. Under questioning from defense attorney David Coombs, the staff sergeant testified Manning, after his arrest, allegedly used a bed sheet to create a noose. When transferred to Quantico, in 2010 July, Manning wrote he was 'always planning and never acting' on suicidal thoughts.
Jordan admitted Manning's stay at the brig was close to trouble free, and the private was consistently polite and courteous.
The counselor added that Navy Capt. William Hocter, the brig psychiatrist, did not see Manning as a risk for suicide. Jordan maintained Hocter's evaluation was only considered because a fellow detainee killed himself 'after his custody status was reduced on Hocter's advice.'
'I would consider it, but I would always consider it with care, sir,' Jordan told Coombs, as reported by the Associated Press.
Earlier today, 2 Dec., the military judge announced Manning's trial would be pushed back to sometime in 2013 March due to lengthy pretrial proceedings.