Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) warned Monday that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates would have a "blot" on his record over the detention of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking classified documents later published by WikiLeaks.
"And I just want to say one thing, if I had a chance to talk directly to Secretary Gates," Kucinich said on MSNBC. "He's at the end of his career, Secretary Gates. It would be a shame to have a blot on his record which suggested that he's supported human rights violations. There will be consequences under the law for Secretary Gates for continuing to be complicit in the way this soldier is being treated."
Kucinich said Manning has been kept in solitary confinement “23 out of 24 hours a day” and has had to “wait at least nine months” before learning the charges brought against him. Manning also reportedly has been forced to sleep naked after officials say he suggested he could harm himself using his underwear.
Manning is being detained on suspicion of leaking sensitive government documents, including State Department cables and other documents relating to the war in Afghanistan. Last week the U.S. Army added 22 charges against him, including one accusing him of “aiding the enemy,” a capital offense. He is being held on a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va.
Kucinich has been an outspoken critic of Manning's detention. Last month he sent a letter to Gates asking that Manning be given access to a mental health specialist. Other liberal activists have echoed Kucinich's calls, saying medical personnel should be allowed access to Manning while he is in custody.