Chelsea Manning Threatened With Indefinite Solitary Confinement For Expired Toothpaste & Having A Copy Of Vanity Fair

from the really-now? dept

The way the US treats prisoners is often barbaric. The UN has repeatedly highlighted how solitary confinement is a form of torture that should be stopped, but the US regularly uses it on its massive prison population (largest prison population in the world! Go USA!). And even if you don't think it's torture, you should at least recognize that people are thrown in solitary confinement for ridiculous reasons -- such as looking at Facebook. Or, apparently, having expired toothpaste in your cell.

It appears that Chelsea Manning is now facing indefinite solitary confinment for a short list of "infractions" which include having expired toothpaste ("medicine misuse") and having a copy of the Caitlyn Jenner issue of Vanity Fair, along with some other magazines ("prohibited property"). The other two charges may seem slightly less crazy, but not when you look at the details. They are for "disrespect" and "disorderly conduct," but the "disorderly conduct" was for apparently sweeping some food on the floor during a dinner, and the "disorderly conduct" was for asking for a lawyer when Manning was being yelled at over the food incident.
There's a hearing about this on August 18th, and Fight for the Future has set up a petition about this to call more attention to the way Manning has been treated. As the petition says, it's clear that Manning is being "singled out and punished for speaking out." Even if you don't think Manning's actions in leaking State Department cables was just, hopefully you can recognize that indefinite solitary confinement over such minor charges is ridiculous.

Filed Under: chelsea manning, prisons, solitary confinement, toothpaste, torture, vanity fair


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  1. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 14 Aug 2015 @ 3:59am

    Mutually Assured Destruction

    I'd like to believe that during the cold war, the people of the US were driven to an interest in leaders who would conduct themselves thoughtfully and with deliberateness, given theirs was the hand that activated the nuclear football, and no-one wanted that hand to be prone to rash or radical decisions.

    I remember that we were disinclined to torture Soviet soldiers, even when they were brutal to captured US pilots. Part of the policy, then, was to shower our captives with the luxuries that a capitalist society could allegedly afford as a means of indoctrination. It wasn't that difficult to impress them. (we did torture, or at least rapidly execute Soviet moles as they did to NATO moles. The feeling was mutual regarding enemies amid the ranks of our own spies.)

    The exposure of Valerie Plame as a political reprisal by the Bush Administration was to me a shot across the bow that the rules had changed. Spies were burned only for the purpose of sparing or advancing other spies. The exposure of Plame was petty and wasteful.

    Things only got worse from there.

    I wonder if there's wisdom to the notion that we stay polite when people are armed well enough to kill each other. The tension brought about by nuclear escalation demanded a high degree of responsibility and maturity in foreign relations that seems to have been lost, now that the threat of nuclear holocaust has subsided.

    Is there honor among kings and statesmen only when brought about by a clear threat of judgement and Hellfire?

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