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CNN Retracts Story on WikiLeaks Suspect Suicide Watch Investigation

Story retracted after Pentagon rep says there is no investigation of decision to put Pfc. Bradley Manning on suicide watch

CNN has retracted a story that said the U.S. military was investigating why Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of leaking documents to WikiLeaks, was placed on suicide watch last week.

"CNN has retracted a story dealing with questions surrounding the treatment of Pfc. Bradley Manning at the Marine Corp Base Quantico in Virginia," the retraction said. "Pentagon spokesman Col. David Lapan said Tuesday that there is no investigation into the decision last week to put Manning, who has been charged with leaking classified government documents to Wikileaks, on suicide watch."

The original story (above; screegrab by emptywheel), by reporter Chris Lawrence, was replaced at 8 p.m. with the retraction. Most news media were focused at the time on the 9 p.m. State of the Union speech.

The retraction came an hour and seventeen minutes after another story by Lawrence in which a Quantico official said a U.S. Marine commander did not violate procedure when he placed Manning (right) on suicide watch.

"The brig commander has the ultimate responsibility to determine what status a detainee is given," the story quoted Lt. Brian Villiard as saying. "He based the decision on information from psychological professionals, the medical staff and the Marine guards who are interacting with him around the clock. The commander was absolutely within his right. Not just his right, his responsibility."

CNN declined further comment.

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