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WASHINGTON – Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, the accused source of the WikiLeaks document scandal, will be moved from the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia to a state-of-the-art facility in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the Pentagon announced late Tuesday.
Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon's general counsel, told reporters the decision to move Manning was not a response to international criticism surrounding his treatment at Quantico, rather because the Kansas-based facility will better "meet Private Manning's health and welfare needs given the possibility he will remain in pretrial confinement."
Manning has been held at the maximum-security detention facility at Quantico since July. Combined with time he spent in Iraq he has been in military custody for 10 months.
During that time Manning's lawyer has filed numerous complaints, arguing his client was unfairly classified as a maximum-security detainee who posed a risk to his own health. At times Manning was made to stand at attention in the nude at the front of his cell in the morning. He is kept in his cell 23 hours a day, where he was prohibited from exercising. He gets one hour outside a day and eats alone, unlike most other detainees. Officials have said all those measures were for his own protection.
Army LTC Dawn Hilton, who oversees detention Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Ft. Leavenworth, said the new facility is better designed for long-term incarceration. After his initial risk assessment Manning will have regular access to a psychiatrist, a psychologist, and a licensed social worker. It's also likely he'll have three hours a day of "recreation time" as well as interaction with other detainees.
For security purposes the Pentagon wouldn’t say when Manning will be transferred, but Johnson said it's "imminent."