David House is a 23-year-old computer researcher from Boston, Massachusetts. Since September 2010, he has been one of the few to regularly visit Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking thousands of classified military documents to WikiLeaks. He has witnessed a disturbing degradation in Manning’s health.

For over seven months, Manning has been detained in solitary confinement at a maximum security military brig in Virginia. He has been forced to endure widely condemned conditions and could face the death sentence as a result of charges recently leveled against him. He has yet to receive so much as a preliminary hearing.

House, who was born in Alabama, was brought up in a conservative household and was an Eagle Scout as a boy. He admits that growing up he “never really had any big doubts about the US govt or about the fact that people’s due process may be infringed upon.”

Consequently, the detainment and subsequent treatment of his friend, Manning, came as something of a shock and an awakening. He helped start the Bradley Manning Advocacy Fund and has appeared on television and radio talking about the treatment of the soldier. It has been a “very jarring” experience, he says.

Last week, as part of a media conference call with Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg and former Judge Advocate General Jon Shelburne, House spoke at length about his experiences visiting Manning. What he described was deeply troubling.

He spoke about how the severe emotional and physical deprivation forced upon Manning is taking its toll, and suggested US authorities are – by treating him harshly – trying to extract a confession that implicates WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief, Julian Assange.

It is important that the full story, as told by House, is in the public domain. In this case, a single quote as chosen by a journalist is simply not enough.

Below is a transcript of House’s story, taken from a phonecall on Thursday 3 March 2011. A recording of the call can be heard here.