For now, home for the Army private at the center of the WikiLeaks scandal is a one-man cell at a new prison in Fort Leavenworth.
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning — charged with leaking classified military information to the website — moved Wednesday from solitary confinement in a Marine jail in Quantico, Va., to a cell that opens into common areas he shares with other inmates.
The cross-country move came a mere day after Department of Defense General Counsel Jeh Johnson announced a plan to relocate Manning.
“At this juncture of the case we have decided that the new Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is the most appropriate facility for Private Manning for continued pretrial detention,” Johnson said in a briefing.
Manning was an intelligence specialist in Baghdad during 2009 and early 2010 when the military alleges that he downloaded classified documents. The information, which includes classified details of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, landed on the WikiLeaks website. Since then the information has been regarded both as politically embarrassing and a grave breach of military security.
The news of Manning’s transfer to Kansas comes after several international groups, including Amnesty International, stepped up criticism of Manning’s treatment at the Marine jail. The detention conditions caused State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley to describe the treatment as “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid.” Crowley was forced to resign days later but has stood by his statement.