Officer denies general directed GI's treatment

DAVID DISHNEAU Associated Press Published:

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) -- A retired Marine Corps colonel is denying that a three-star general directed the pretrial confinement of the Army private accused of giving classified documents to WikiLeaks.

Daniel Choike (CHOY'-kee) was installation commander of the Quantico, Va., Marine Corps base during Pfc. Bradley Manning's nine months of confinement there. He testified Tuesday at a pretrial hearing for Manning.

Manning is seeking dismissal of the case, alleging he was illegally punished before trial by harsh confinement conditions at Quantico. His lawyers contend the conditions were directed by Lt. Gen. George Flynn, then-commander of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command.

Choke testified that he kept Flynn informed about the situation. But he says Flynn never influenced the decision to keep Manning on maximum security and prevention-of-injury status.