FORT MEADE, Md. — An Army private charged with sending reams of classified information to the secret-busting website WikiLeaks testified Thursday that his jailers at a Marine Corps brig answered his complaints about “absurd" restrictions by tightening the screws.
Pfc. Bradley Manning testified on the third day of a hearing at Fort Meade, near Baltimore, to determine whether his treatment at the Quantico, Va., facility was so punishing that it warrants dismissal of his case. The hearing continues Friday with prosecutors likely to cross-examine the 24-year-old intelligence analyst.
Manning, speaking publicly for the first time since his May 2010 arrest, said he got so used to leg irons and being locked up 23 hours a day that when he was finally transferred to medium-security confinement at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in April 2011, he felt uneasy moving freely around the cell block.
Besides being classified “maximum custody," Manning was subjected to additional restraints during his nine months at Quantico.