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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The First Word

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  1. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Aug 2015 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: I think you're missing the point that saying "indefinite" to the prisoner is abusive.

    Firstly, Indefinite disciplinary squad is not the same as indefinite solitary. At least I hope not. I don't know disciplinary squad, and it could be subjectively worse. Maybe they waterboard you to sleep until you pass out or something.

    Secondly, just because his treatment is ordinary doesn't mean it's not abusive, and whether or not the military regards him as a political prisoner, some of us on the outside do. Just because that others who allegedly did no wrong are being treated similarly doesn't justify the treatment.

    And I agree, the system is the system and does not care. But some do care. And I for one don't trust Manning's handlers to be fair with her. You may argue that brutality is just a part of the system, but I would then counter that then it's systemically wrong.

    As has been noted in civilian corrections across the nation, prisoner neglect, gang agitation, poor nutrition, instigated sexual assault and guard brutality are established norms and in fact justified as tools in order to keep the prison population destabilized. That doesn't make these methods morally right because some warden agrees with their use.

    So it is within the unified military.

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