The US military is trying to "break" Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking secrets to WikiLeaks, but it is Defense Secretary Robert Gates that could end up with a blemish on his record, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) said Monday.
Manning attorney David Coombs revealed last week that for at least two nights in row, the Army private had been "stripped naked" for as long as seven hours at a time.
In the mornings, he was left without clothes and forced to stand at attention.
"Is this Quantico or Abu Ghraib?" Kucinich wrote recently. "Officials have confirmed the 'non-punitive' stripping of an American soldier who has not been found guilty of any crime. This 'non-punitive' action would be considered a violation of the Army Field Manual if used in an interrogation overseas."
"It appears they're trying to break him," Kucinich told MSNBC's Contessa Brewer during a Monday interview. "This is not defensible. There is no way, stretch of the imagination that this could be allowed, or that this should be happening in America."
The Ohio Democrat suggested that there could even be legal consequences for Secretary Gates if he allowed the harsh treatment of Manning to continue.
"I just want to say one thing if I had a chance to talk directly to Secretary Gates. He's at the end of his career, Secretary Gates. It would be a shame to have a blot on his record which suggests he suborned human rights violations," he said.
"There will be consequences under the law for Secretary Gates for continuing to be complicit in the way this soldier is being treated."
"I don't have any position on Mr. Manning's guilt or innocence, but the way he's being treated raises questions about the Pentagon and about Secretary Gates," Kucinich concluded.