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November 27, 2012

GI’s treatment focus of hearing

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — An Army private charged in the biggest security breach in U.S. history is trying to avoid trial by claiming he has already been punished enough by being locked up alone in a small cell and having to sleep naked for several nights.

A United Nations investigator called the conditions cruel, inhuman and degrading, but stopped short of calling it torture.

Pfc. Bradley Manning is expected to testify about his treatment during a pretrial hearing today at Fort Meade. The young intelligence analyst has not spoken publicly about his nearly nine months at the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., but he has complained in writing about being confined alone in a 6-by-8-foot cell for at least 23 hours a day. For several days in January 2011, all his clothes were taken from him each night until he was issued a suicide-prevention smock.

The hearing is scheduled to run through Sunday.

Manning is accused of sending hundreds of thousands of classified Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and more than 250,000 diplomatic cables to the secret-spilling website WikiLeaks while he was working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad in 2009 and 2010.

The 24-year-old native of Crescent, allegedly told a confidant-turned-informant in an online chat in 2010 that he leaked the information, saying: “I want people to see the truth.”

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