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Brig chief denies punishing GI in WikiLeaks case

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — A former Marine Corp brig commander says she never intended it as punishment when she ordered underwear removed from an Army private charged with giving classified material to WikiLeaks.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Denise Barnes testified Friday on the ninth day of Pfc. Bradley Manning’s pretrial hearing at Fort Meade. He claims the nine months he spent in maximum custody at the base in Quantico, Va., were illegal punishment, and his case should be dismissed.

The government says the restrictions were to keep Manning from hurting or killing himself.

Barnes testified that Manning said in early March that if he really wanted to kill himself, he could use the elastic waistband of his underwear.

Barnes ordered his underwear removed at night for the remaining seven weeks of Manning’s confinement.

Associated Press

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