There was no sunlight in the cell. No way of knowing if it was day or night. Just a fluorescent light which illuminated him 24/7, and another in the corridor outside, which shone into his eyes as he tried to sleep.
He couldn't turn away. The personnel at the observation desk opposite needed to see Bradley's face at all times.
If he pressed his cheeks far enough against the bars, there was a spot just down the corridor, where a reflection of a reflection might provide a notion of daylight. He was in this cell for at least 23 and a half hours a day.
It was 6ft by 8ft with a metal rack bed fastened to the wall and floor. The mattress had a pillow stitched into it. It could not be moved. A toilet sat alongside where his head would rest, with a sink adjacent to that. He was given an abrasive blanket, which scratched his skin and caused a rash. This was Bradley Manning's world.
Because he was technically still on duty, Manning was not allowed to lie down upon the bed during the hours of 05:00 and 17:00 hours. He had to stand to attention, or sit in a certain position. Upright, formal. Occasionally, he perched cross-legged on the edge of the bed. It was unauthorized and it could get him into trouble.
Every five minutes, a Brig Officer would appear at the cell door. It was routine and regulatory. "Are you alright?" He or she would ask. It was required that he respond, "Yes, Sir" or 'Yes, Ma'am."
For twenty minutes every day, he was allocated exercise and shower time. On these occasions, he was escorted outside in chains.
But for the most part he sat on the edge of his bed, feet towards the observation desk, face on view. At first, they took his glasses away, but that rendered him nearly blind. The prisoner's manual given to him to learn the rules had to be held close to his eyes. It obscured his face, so they gave him back his glasses.
When his clothes were taken away, he was given a suicide smock to wear. It was heavy and cumbersome, once actually trapping his arms inside it. A corporal had to come and free him from its bondage.
At night, he slept naked, beneath the abrasive blanket.