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In brig, WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning ordered to sleep without clothing
Morrell said he had visited Quantico to observe the conditions of Manning's detention. "I came away enormously impressed by the professionalism of the brig staff and reassured that the manner in which they are housing and treating him is appropriate," he said.
Morrell said that he did not actually speak to Manning but "was just able to see him." He said he was accompanied by Pentagon general counsel Jeh Johnson.
"There's this misperception out there that he is in somehow in solitary confinement, out on his own somewhere in a dark and dreary cell," Morrell said. "That could not be further from the truth."
Coombs said that although Manning is technically not held in solitary confinement, "the cumulative effect of his confinement conditions are tantamount to solitary confinement." He said that there are no other detainees on either side of his cell and that the cell lacks a window or natural light. If Manning tries to speak to others several cells away, "the guards will likely view it as disruptive and require him to stop speaking," he wrote in his blog.
On Friday afternoon, Manning was the only detainee in maximum custody; two other maximum-custody detainees had left that morning, Villiard said.
The jail has 30 cells arranged in a U formation. Though the detainees may talk to one another, the cells are designed so that no detainee has a direct line of sight to another, Villiard said.
On Wednesday, the government denied Manning's request to be removed from maximum custody and prevention of injury watch, said Coombs, who will appeal.
Villiard said the prevention of injury watch status is reviewed every week with input from mental health providers.
Coombs has asserted that the facility's forensic psychiatrist recommended that the watch be lifted. A separate psychiatrist hired by the defense concurred, he said.