Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"The Inhumane Conditions of Bradley Manning's Detention" Glenn Greenwald

The persecution of Bradley Manning, the entrapment of Black Muslims by the FBI, the grand jury subpoenas to solidarity activists/socialists in the Midwest, the imprisonment of Julian Assange: the Empire wants you to know it is ruthless and wants you to quit. Rentless intimidation.

Do not give in and keep on supporting the people who have are being pilloried!

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/index.html
EXCERPTS:
From the beginning of his detention, Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement. For 23 out of 24 hours every day -- for seven straight months and counting -- he sits completely alone in his cell. Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he's barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions. For reasons that appear completely punitive, he's being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch). For the one hour per day when he is freed from this isolation, he is barred from accessing any news or current events programs. Lt. Villiard protested that the conditions are not "like jail movies where someone gets thrown into the hole," but confirmed that he is in solitary confinement, entirely alone in his cell except for the one hour per day he is taken out.
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What all of this achieves is clear. Having it known that the U.S. could and would disappear people at will to "black sites," assassinate them with unseen drones, imprison them for years without a shred of due process even while knowing they were innocent, torture them mercilessly, and in general acts as a lawless and rogue imperial power created a climate of severe intimidation and fear. Who would want to challenge the U.S. Government in any way -- even in legitimate ways -- knowing that it could and would engage in such lawless, violent conduct without any restraints or repercussions?

That is plainly what is going on here. Anyone remotely affiliated with WikiLeaks, including American citizens (and plenty of other government critics), has their property seized and communications stored at the border without so much as a warrant. Julian Assange -- despite never having been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime -- has now spent more than a week in solitary confinement with severe restrictions under what his lawyer calls "Dickensian conditions." But Bradley Manning has suffered much worse, and not for a week, but for seven months, with no end in sight. If you became aware of secret information revealing serious wrongdoing, deceit and/or criminality on the part of the U.S. Government, would you -- knowing that you could and likely would be imprisoned under these kinds of repressive, torturous conditions for months on end without so much as a trial: just locked away by yourself 23 hours a day without recourse -- be willing to expose it? That's the climate of fear and intimidation which these inhumane detention conditions are intended to create.


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