Accused WikiLeaker Bradley Manning Speaks Publicly for First Time

Once at Quantico Manning was still on suicide watch for two weeks. After that ended, he remained on maximum custody and prevention of injury status, which required strict vigilant monitoring of his behavior. He remained in this status for the duration of his nine-month stay at Quantico. Testimony presented at this week's pre-trial hearing showed that psychiatrists treating Manning repeatedly assessed that he was no longer a suicide risk and should not remain on prevention of injury status.

Manning said he spent 21 to 23 hours a day in his cell. He was allowed 20 minutes in the yard to soak up some sunshine and said he was only allowed to sit on his bed with crossed legs if his guards allowed it. His feet were in restraints and he could not rest against the walls.

He was once again placed on suicide watches in January and March, 2011 following comments to his brig guards that indicated to them that he might be suicidal. During the March incident Manning's underwear was taken away from him and he slept naked for a few nights and and required to stand naked at attention one morning.

During Thursday's testimony Manning demonstrated the dimensions of his cell that Coombs had marked on the courtroom carpet with masking tape. He also demonstrated the suicide prevention blanket and smock issued to him during those incidents.

Manning drew laughter from spectators in the courtroom when he described some of the behavior he exhibited in his cramped quarters to fight the boredom. He described the mirror in his cell as "the most entertaining thing in there.. I spent a lot of time there." When Coombs asked why, Manning replied "boredom, sheer out of my mind boredom."

That episode as well as others were documented by brig officials and base commanders as erratic behavior.

The trial against Manning is set to begin in late January, should the defense fail to succeed in getting the charges dropped.

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