The lawyer for an Army private suspected of passing thousands of classified U.S. documents to WikiLeaks says he hopes a new brig commander will ease the soldier's confinement conditions.

Attorney David Coombs of Fall River, Mass., said in a blog posting late Wednesday that his hopes were raised by the change of command Monday at the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va. Pfc. Bradley Manning is being held there for a possible trial.

Manning, who worked as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, has been confined to his cell at least 23 hours a day as a maximum-security detainee since he arrived July 29.

Coombs says he hopes the new commander, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Denise Barnes, will reassign Manning to medium-security after reviewing his classification.