back to article Bradley Manning 'is British' – campaigners urge to act

Campaigners in the UK are urging the British government to act on behalf of Bradley Manning, the American soldier now in US military custody charged with leaking classified files, on the grounds that his mother is from Wales. It's alleged that most of the significant material revealed in recent months by Julian Assange's famous …


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  1. PT

    Where's the editor when you need one?

    "...WikiLeaks, helmed by eccentric and – according to mainstream journalists with whom he has since worked – unkempt, smelly activist Julian Assange..."

    That's a bit uncalled for, Lewis. True or not, it's irrelevant to a story about Bradley Manning, and it makes you look like a dick. Don't you have an editor?

    1. hplasm

      I think you'll find

      That it's a journalistic reference to this :-

      1. PT


        So what? It's still irrelevant to the story Lewis is reporting.

        1. Scorchio!!


          It may be irrelevant to you, but the matter of the whole person is important. Also, and FWIW, someone with poor hygiene standards is certainly not welcome to have unprotected sex in Scandinavian countries, where washing before hand is frequently seen as de rigeur. His lack of self care also highlights the frequently made point that this convict is self appointed and not subject to any electoral supervision by the people whom he claims to represent. Finally, since his father (from whom the mother ran for years) apparently has a similar personality to him and his son also there appears to be a strongly genetic causal link WRT behaviour. Add to that a number of things, including the present pending charges and the complete avoidance of him by the woman who bore his son and a reasonable sized personality profile appears to be adding up, subject to scrutiny. We scrutinise authority figures such as politicians, and they are elected. Assange is self appointed and is bound to be examined carefully. The issue of self care is vital in someone who claims to care for *us*.

  2. Steven Knox

    Specifics, please

    "Bradley Manning's Welsh parentage means that the UK government should be demanding that the conditions of his detention are in line with international standards and that his 'maximum custody' status does not impair his ability to defend himself".

    This implies that they believe that the conditions of his detention are not in line with international standards. Can someone please provide specific details of Mr. Manning's imprisonment and how it diverges from international standards?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Steven Knox

      The facts are well known and have been reported here many times.

      Google is your friend - it would probably have been quicker than typing your post.

    2. Raumkraut

      International standards for torture

      From what I've garnered from previous articles on El Reg, aspects of Manning's treatment are regularly classified as torture in other circumstances.

      Sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, permitted to "exercise" (walk in small circles) for only 30 minutes per day, forcefully derobed, and otherwise isolated from all outside contact.

      And if you're about to compare this to solitary confinement in a regular (American) Prison, remember that Manning has not been convicted of any crime. Only accused, or at most charged.

      1. Scorchio!!

        Re: International standards for torture

        Your extensive list of torture is interesting, if only because he still has visits. You might want to argue that this inconsistency was deliberately sown by the military, but it is certainly not solitary confinement if he has visitors.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Apart from the irrelevant and unpleasant ad hominem attack against Assange.

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: Interesting

      If it's relevant it's not ad hominem. Sexual hygiene is important in Scandinavian countries. His poor hygiene reflects not just on the man, but also on his supposes failure to use contraception during sex, never mind that the concept of self care and self organisation are consistent with a number of other things, including caring for others and the careful assessment of information before release, in respect of harm limitation.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They gave Mckinnon to the Yanks for pootling around in very nearly unprotected systems, there's not a chance on earth that they'll help Manning

  5. Anonymous Coward


    No! he's a yank so tough

  6. rpjs

    Good luck with that

    It's a basic rule of dual citizenship (and that's assuming that Bradley Manning is a dual citizen - he may well be entitled to British citizenship but he may not have taken any action required to claim it), that no country can protect its citizen from any legal action taken by another country that he/she is also a citizen of when that person is in that other country's jurisdiction.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I rather think that being born in the USA, joining the military and swearing allegiance to the USA makes him a citizen of the USA.

    I sympathise with the guys predicament but this "UK Citizen by descent" is bollox.

  8. Cam S

    Not possible, even if they wanted to

    Bradley Manning is a US citizen, and, as the article pointed out, in active military service in the US military. He is also being held within the US military justice system.

    Even if he held British citizenship through his mother, it wouldn't make a difference. Diplomatically, the UK's hands are tied because this is a US internal matter involving one of their own citizens. It's the same thing as if a dual UK/"Wherever" citizen were arrested in "Whereverland" for whatever reason. The UK can offer to provide assistance, but "Whereverland" can refuse on the basis that it's an internal matter involving one of their citizens. Complicating matters, "Whereverland" might not recognize dual citizenship, or it might even be illegal.

    Nice try, but ultimately a big fail for suggesting it and getting people's hopes up.

    1. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

      Don't Interfere In Internal Matters Of Other Countries

      ..the Chinese talking line. Excellent.

  9. Martin Usher

    Oh Yeah?

    Given the UK government's track record with dealing with the US government I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for something to happen.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Interesting standard

    As I understand it, a lot of the enemy in Afghanistan appear to be from Britain with British passports too. Does this mean we have to get the SAS to rescue 'Mohammed This-That n The Other' as well? Gosh they're going to be busy.

  11. Anonymous John

    14th amendment

    If he was born in the US, he's an US citizen.

  12. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule
    Big Brother

    Hey Bradley

    ...somebody has to be the very real "bond of blood", don't cha know ?

    Britain's getting invaluable intelligence from UKUSA, and the gawrnment won't risk this great "special relationship" for you insignificant lowling. Somebody has to pay the ultimate price, and we decided IT'S YOU !

    forever yours,

    Civilized Prime Minister

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Poor Lewis...

    "If the US military prosecutors can make their charges stick in front of a court-martial, Manning still faces a long sentence – British help or no. Probably the best he can hope for from the gradual, belated shift of attention away from Assange and onto him is, perhaps, an improvement of the conditions under which he is held."

    No disrespect Lewis, but Manning is getting the same treatment anyone, and I do mean anyone, would in his situation. He stands accused of treason and espionage. He's being held in a military brig. Were he in a civilian jail, his conditions would probably be worse.

    Whistle blowing?

    Where? What criminal act did the US military commit? (And to the commentards, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan are in fact legal acts of war.) Abu Ghraib? Sorry but that wasn't Manning blowing that story open. And that's the point. Manning cannot raise an affirmative defense.

    Sorry, there is no excuse nor sympathy for Manning.

    As to Manning being a 'brit, would you consider it ironic that after his trial, assuming he is found guilty, serves his time, do you think he could get UK citizenship as a convicted felon?

    1. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

      Legal Acts Of War (According To Your Definiton)

      Germany attacking Poland

      Germany attacking Belgium

      Germany attacking Russia

      Germany attacking France

      Germany attacking Czecheslovakia

      Germany attacking Norway

      Germany attacking <some more countries>

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good summary, actually!

    I think that Manning didn't realize that the military does a lot of bad things and that world governments engaging in dirty dealings. We already know this. I think he was just a little naive. But hey, the commercials for the military could be pretty effective on someone who wants to do some good in the world. I could see how he could think he was blowing the whistle. Seeing that leaked helicopter video was a sickening reminder to me of how we in the western world now so often engage in warfare. I had forgotten, and I'm actually thankful to Manning for reminding me.

    Leaking classified information is a serious crime, but in the end it's only the truth. It sounds like Manning's suffering a lot more than he deserves to be. My advice to the US is that if it wants to avoid leaks, do a better job guarding your information. And maybe if your information wasn't so dirty, no one would be so happy to leak it.

    1. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule


      You put it very well. Assassinating Hitler was technically also High Treason, yet I do think the people who tried deserve respect.

      The officers of the United States Air Force Failed in their duties when they obeyed Nixon's orders to perform "dummy" attacks with fully armed B52 fleets on Russia. They should have comitted at least a limited form of treason by applying physical violence and/or medication on Nixon.

      I would love to hear what Langley and AFSS/Inscom have to say about this. All I can hear from them is deafening silence.

      Which means America is a grave threat, then and now.

  15. Bounty

    according to visiting friends

    If you have visiting friends, is it really that severe? It is a prision ya know.

  16. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    We need to test his nationality

    Get some bread and put melted cheese on top. If he says "Wadda crummy pizza! Where's da toppin's?" - he's a Yank. If he says "Look you! Rarebit! Lovely!" - he's one of ours.

  17. Winkypop Silver badge

    Didn't work for David Hicks (Gitmo)

    He did get British citizenship, but it was then immediately revoked by the UK Government.

    You can't beat asshats.

  18. Scorchio!!

    Excuse me Barack

    You are treating your sojers badly and we the former colonial power are going to give you a good telling off! Now stop it! Leave poor Bwadley alone and send him to us!

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Bradley Manning's Welsh parentage

    Is irrelevant. That's part of why we Americans kicked the British out 200+ years ago - he's an American citizen by birth. Under US Law, the UK has zero standing in the US Court system in regards to Manning. Live with it.

    1. JaitcH

      His Mother is British and your court system is sort of, too

      Since his Mother was born in Wales, and Manning was even conceived in Wales - important if you subscribe to the belief a person exists at the time of conception.

      Still, even if Manning isn't British (which he could easily claim) ordinary, decent morals require that prisoners be treated in a humane way. Even the guys down in Guantanamo have it better than Manning because the thick sculled Marine regime in Virginia have pre-judged him OR want to reduce his mental capacity to such an extent that he will be unfit for trial.

      The U.S. screams loud enough when one of it's personnel get banged up in Korea or VietNam but Manning, remember, is one of your own. The U.S. is sticking it to their own people which makes the Marines Corps as despicable as the captors of Americans, if not more so. Of course Manning's abuse is a great moral booster, too, knowing that your government is capable of permitting this to happen.

      This will enable the aforementioned thick sculled Marine regime to disown him and say he was accepted by mistake, etc.

      Hell, some bent characters might even say that's what happens when you let gays at the secrets - seeing how the Marines are so enamoured with people of alternate life styles.

      The fact is the U.S. government is dumb. It gave over 3-million people clearance to view these 'secret' messages that were little more than what people write when visiting another country. There have been no 'secrets' revealed unless you call the murderous bastards flying the helicopters that were used to serially murder two Reuters reporters and a bunch of unarmed civilians featured in the leaked video.

      No other country has suffered such embarrassment because (a) None is dumb enough to give so many people, in so many places, access to material that is superfluous to their job; (b) over use of the term 'secret'. It would appear that only toilet paper escapes being given a secrecy rating.

      Whilst not many in the U.S. can see it at this time, Manning has done everyone a favour (if he did in fact leak anything) as (z) the U.S. has reviewed it's security procedures; (y) has implemented some form of security on computers having access to restricted material; (x) has demonstrated to the diplomats that they are little better than gossips.

      The other beneficiaries are other countries who now realise, if they didn't before, is that the U.S. doesn't honour agreements, it is two-faced and even stoops to collecting DNA from other diplomats with whom they come in contact and plays dirty.

      Two consecutive U.S. governments, of both political stripes, have now voted to deliberately break the terms of The Constitution which goes to show just how amoral the politicians and government is - and they deem to tell other governments how to run their operations!

      If you went to school in the U.S. or even joined the military you might recall just how many times you vowed to uphold/observe The Constitution - almost daily. Sort of diminishes the worth of all those pledges to being little better than hot air.

      P.S. I carry a U.S. passport.but am too embarrassed to use it.

    2. Scorchio!!
      Thumb Up

      Re: Bradley Manning's Welsh parentage

      I think that you may like to know that a good number of the people in the Assange-Manning threads appear to be juveniles, whose concepts of statehood, citizenship and similar are eccentric, uninformed and tailored to suit their preferences; information of any sort appears now to be of the 'freetard' order, that is anything goes. Confronting them with all of the data in one go causes either silence, silliness or downvoting. Downvoting the truth is a hobby in this context, and pretty soon there will be a focus group to investigate whether it should be fitted nasally or not, and in which colour.

    3. Tempest

      "That's part of why we Americans kicked the British out 200+ years ago ..."

      Both Canada and the States were part of the same political creation and the States got impatient and broke away whilst Canada patiently waited whilst it matured as a country.

      The differences, now, are stark.

      On one side of the border you have mayhem, torture, imprisonment without trial, guns everywhere, mass tapping of telephones, etc. and on the other ... comparative peace..

      That's what colonialism gave some of the world.

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