Colonel Robert Oltman said that he didn't make the decisions, but he passed all information up the line of command.
He testified at the pre-trial that superior officers seemed pre-occupied with how the treatment of Bradley Manning would play out in the press. But they never recommended that his restrictions be lessened.
Col. Oltman did have the authority to alter Manning's status though. The private had been placed on suicide watch, within the remit of Prevention of Injury (POL) status.
It was this which allowed him to be kept in solitary confinement without his possessions.
Oltman had been advised, by psychiatrists, that Bradley Manning was not at risk of suicide. But he chose to dismiss the recommendation to take him off POL status. His rationale was that a prisoner named Captain Webb had committed suicide in Quantico earlier in the year. That individual had also been deemed unlikely to do so by the base's forensic psychiatrist Captain William Hoctor.
"I did not have the utmost confidence in Captain Hoctor," Oltman told the court.
But Hoctor wasn't the only person saying this. A second mental health professional, Captain Kevin Moore supported his colleague, but was ignored.
Furthermore, Corrections official Colonel Wright had sent word that it was inappropriate to remove the clothes of any detainee at risk of suicide. “This is not the way we do business," Wright had warned.
Oltman felt that even this directive could be dismissed, as it came from '30,000ft'. In short, as Wright wasn't there, with information from the ground, his views should not be considered.
However, he had taken the highlighted regulations seriously enough to hunt for a loophole. A series of emails passed back and forth between himself and Officer in Charge Barnes to secure a legal justification.
They found it. The rules of POL status allowed for detainees to be stripped, as long as it wasn't in response to fear of suicide. They just didn't use that reason when justifying the action in official reports.