Manning-gate (Beyond Firebaggerdome)

The Very Serious People at the NTimes and the Washington Post haven’t mentioned Bradley Manning since reporting last week that his lawyer was protesting the increasingly punitive conditions of his incarceration. So I have to agree with Glenn “Too Many Words” Greenwald:

The real purpose of this Quantico episode seems clearly to be to deny Manning his only real visitor, thus making his already hellish solitary confinement that much more unbearable, in turn increasing the likelihood that it will crack him and thus induce the anti-WikiLeaks testimony from him that they need. But it’s also critical to note that the last time House went to visit Manning was in December, and afterward, he went on MSNBC to describe the deterioration of Manning’s physical and mental condition; now he’s been banned, at least for today, from seeing Manning again:
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Greenwald further linked to Juan Cole’s “Bradley Manning and Mohamed Bouazizi” (do click over, it’s worth reading in full):

… Manning’s treatment as though he were a terrorist contrasts to the lionization of other kinds of dissident. If it is true that Manning turned State Department documents over to Wikileaks, then he played a small role in the Tunisian Jasmine Revolution, which overthrew the brutal and grasping dictator, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, whom the US government had been coddling and the French government actively supporting. Ben Ali’s cruelty to political prisoners is now emerging, as they are being released and telling their story.
__
Desperation at the policies of the Tunisian government had driven college graduate turned vegetable peddler Mohammad Bouazizi to set himself on fire in protest. The government had supplied him no job, then had confiscated his vegetable cart, then slapped and humiliated him when he protested. Bouazizi was driven to desperation, knowing that the Tunisian system was closed so tight that it offered him no recourse, no hope for reform. His only means of protest was to start a fire and sacrifice his own life. His protest set off public disturbances throughout the country. In the midst of this “Jasmine Revolution,” a leaked US embassy cable about the corruption of President Ben Ali came to the attention of the Tunisian public, lending legitimacy and urgency to their efforts to unseat him. It may have been leaked by Manning.

And as probably the oldest front-pager here, may I add that I find the cheap cynicism of “what do you expect from someone like Hamsher” and “yes, but the authorities were totally within their rights technically” a disgrace to (at the very least) the civics training of the rising generations.

“America — arguably no worse than the average soviet kleptocracy or banana republic!” is not the kind of patriotic rallying cry I have been taught to respect for the last fifty years.

218 replies
  1. 1
    sherifffruitfly says:

    I simply don’t care about anything blackface joke-maker and teabagger-aligned Hamsher does or says.

  2. 2
    MikeJ says:

    The real purpose of this Quantico episode seems clearly to be to deny Manning his only real visitor,

    I keep reading stuff like this and John Cole saying it’s obvious that word came down from above to be extra special mean to Jane.

    Has there been any statement from anybody other than Jane? Could Oliver Stone manage to make a halfway credible film out of this conspiracy story?

  3. 3
    The Dangerman says:

    If it is true that Manning turned State Department documents over to Wikileaks, then he played a small role in the Tunisian Jasmine Revolution…

    Not sure what that has to do with anything; illegal acts with positive consequences are still illegal acts.

    As for House and his description of Manning’s condition, we know this is…

    a) The truth

    b) The result of solitary as opposed to the realization he is likely spending the rest of his life in jail

    …how?

    Edit: I should modify my position mildly; assuming he released 250,000 documents and 1 of them had a positive outcome, I’d charge him with only 249,999 counts (nice guy that I am)

  4. 4
    Ding Ding says:

    And as probably the oldest front-pager here, may I add that I find the cheap cynicism of “what do you expect from someone like Hamsher” and “yes, but the authorities were totally within their rights technically” a disgrace to (at the very least) the civics training of the rising generations.

    Thank you for this! It was pretty discouraging to see ABL’s post about this, not to mention the focus in the comments on the various personalities and their sins rather than the underlying principles at stake here. I don’t personally give a shit about Bradley Manning or Jane Hamsher or Glenn Greenwald, but I do care about the steady drip, drip of all of our civil rights running down the drain. I should note that there were some commenters who share my concerns, but unfortunately they seemed to be in the minority.

  5. 5
    blahblahblah says:

    Anne Laurie Wrote:

    “America—arguably no worse than the average soviet kleptocracy or banana republic!” is not the kind of patriotic rallying cry I have been taught to respect for the last fifty years.

    Yet imagine just how powerful we could become if only lilylivered opinion setters like yourself simply shut your mouths! Why, with the stifling of negativism comes positivism by definition! And then the world will see a true reawakening, like fresh wild flowers growing on a field in a spring morning! Fresh.

    See, with right thought pervading throughout the media climate and happy feelfeels everywhere, it’s just not possible to even envision a bad outcome. Thus, they can’t happen!

    You are pushing the wrong narrative, Anne. Also, you could make more money by pushing the other one….

    SLAAAAAAM DUNK!

  6. 6
    srv says:

    Anne Laurie, I demand an apology to the Banana Republics of this world for this outrageous comparison to the US!

    If Nicolas Kristof of the NYT can do it, so can you.

  7. 7
    Kilks says:

    The description of solitary confinement and the impact it is having on Bradley Manning matches what this article by Atul Gawande.

    Whether or not Jane Hamsher is reliable about the treatment by the military police, solitary confinement is torture and should not be used, especially on someone who has not been convicted of anything

  8. 8
    Ding Ding says:

    @The Dangerman:

    As for House and his description of Manning’s condition, we know this is…

    a) The truth

    b) The result of solitary as opposed to the realization he is likely spending the rest of his life in jail

    …how?

    It seems like it would be pretty easy to clear that up if he were allowed more visitors. At this point we can only weigh the statements that have been made against the contextual evidence and House’s credibility and reputation. I don’t have any prior knowledge of House, but have the military spokespeople denied the conditions of Manning’s detention as related by him?

  9. 9
    Jason In the Peg says:

    whom the US government had been coddling and the French government actively supporting.

    So you admit that he may have actively engaged in undermining US foreign policy. Don’t you see? He is clearly a very very bad man.

  10. 10
    Alesis says:

    I think “cheap cynicism” gets it exactly right for the majority of the American left, which is in some ways not quite as disheartening as the true authoritarianism GG and others are pointing to in this controversy.

    Unlike the right the people on the left (and center left) who keep shifting attention away from the disgusting behavior of the US government with regard to Wikileaks don’t actually believe this behavior is justified. Most of them know full well that even if Wikileaks had caused the much anticipated (and completely imaginary) damage to US interests the conditions of Manning’s detention (now under fire from well know firebaggers Anmesty International, the United Nations, and former Quantico commander David C. MacMichael) is simply unjustifiable.

    …but to admit that a great wrong is being committed here and no one in power seems to care it a little too vulnerable a position, too heartfelt. Better to be savvy and explain that we all should have expected this and it’s really no big deal.

  11. 11
    Violet says:

    I find this whole thing so discouraging. I know what Manning was accused of doing was wrong, but that doesn’t make the treatment he’s receiving right. We should be a better country than that.

    It’s so discouraging to know this is going on and I feel utterly powerless to do anything about it.

  12. 12
    The Dangerman says:

    @Ding Ding:

    It seems like it would be pretty easy to clear that up if he were allowed more visitors.

    Perhaps yes, perhaps no; this could be the Manning equivalent of Obama’s Birth Certificate. Doesn’t matter what anyone says or sees, there’s always someone claiming something that may or may not be so (ok, we know it’s not so wrt the birth certificate, but work with me here).

    At the end of the day, Manning is either being treated legally or illegally; isn’t for me to say, that’s up to his legal team.

  13. 13
    lawguy says:

    It is interesting that the Firedoglake haters are more than willing to take the word of the torturers.

  14. 14
    The Dangerman says:

    I read someplace that the Tuscon Shooter is being held in solitary and I’ve heard not a single complaint yet. Why the double standard?

  15. 15
    Anton Sirius says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Not sure what that has to do with anything; illegal acts with positive consequences are still illegal acts.

    Manning was convicted of something? I must have been napping.

  16. 16
    Calouste says:

    “America—arguably no worse than the average soviet kleptocracy or banana republic!”

    Phhhht. Some banana republics have actually learned lessons from being exploited by companies like Chiquita and Delmonte and their bought politicians. The US doesn’t show any signs like that. Maybe they just need another lesson.

  17. 17
    The Dangerman says:

    @Anton Sirius:

    Manning was convicted of something? I must have been napping.

    Loughner was convicted of something?

  18. 18

    @sherifffruitfly: Well, do you care about Manning? Or do you care about the criminal behavior of the government? Did you routinely hate on Senator Byrd because he was a member of the Klan at one time? After all, that’s a lot closer than someone posting something in a diary at a website.

    I find the weird Hamsher Hatefest here bizarre. It’s clear that the hate has to do with something long before ABL’s rage last week. And when someone starts dragging around Oliver Stone and “conspiracy theory” as defense against consideration of the facts, then all logical thinking has stopped here.

  19. 19
    lawguy says:

    @The Dangerman: I’m sorry I didn’t realize that I had to report to you to get my assignments concerning whose civil liberties I try to protect first.

  20. 20
    The Dangerman says:

    @lawguy:

    I’m sorry I didn’t realize that I had to report to you to get my assignments concerning whose civil liberties I try to protect first.

    Not at all; I’m looking at the macro/universal level and looking for a single post from anyone complaining about Loughner’s treatment; for some reason, I’ve heard no complaints at all.

    What you do or don’t do on the micro level is unimportant to me.

  21. 21
    blahblahblah says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I read someplace that the Tuscon Shooter is being held in solitary and I’ve heard not a single complaint yet. Why the double standard?

    Because one is accused of multiple homicides with a firearm, while the other is not accused of even a violent crime. Not speaking as an attorney, but that does seem like an important distinction.

  22. 22
    Andre says:

    “America, Fuck MAYBE?!”

  23. 23
    Turbulence says:

    @The Dangerman: for some reason, I’ve hear no complaints at all.

    Maybe that’s because it is not widely known? I’ve read a fair bit of news about the Tuscon shootings and this is the first I’ve heard about Loughner getting solitary.

    What exactly do you think you can infer based on the fact that you see more people complaining about one case versus the other?

  24. 24
    Tom65 says:

    And as probably the oldest front-pager here, may I add that I find the cheap cynicism of “what do you expect from someone like Hamsher” and “yes, but the authorities were totally within their rights technically” a disgrace to (at the very least) the civics training of the rising generations.

    Nope, sorry. Jane has managed to insert herself in the story again. She deserves every last bit of derision she gets.

  25. 25
    Calouste says:

    The Dangerman:

    You’d come off as less off a troll if you actually provided a link that details Loughner’s treatment.

  26. 26
    Tim says:

    @sherifffruitfly:

    I simply don’t care about anything blackface joke-maker and teabagger-aligned Hamsher does or says.

    Ah, but in the classic manner of the dead-giveaway, you care juuuuuuuuuust enough to read this post and comment on it.

    wanker.

  27. 27
    The Dangerman says:

    @blahblahblah:

    Not speaking as an attorney, but that does seem like an important distinction.

    Fair enough, but this “solitary is torture” stuff should apply to violent criminals too, no?

    Also, I googled to confirm and Loughner, is indeed in solitary. Why? For his own safety. How might that apply to Manning?

    I’ve read someplace that Loughner’s case might not be fully litigated for years. How long will he need to be held in solitary? No idea.

  28. 28
    The Dangerman says:

    @Calouste:

    You’d come off as less off a troll if you actually provided a link that details Loughner’s treatment.

    Fair enough again.

    http://www.aolnews.com/2011/01.....san-diego/

    Last paragraph.

    Not the best source, but I’ve heard it in the traditional media; curiously, the conditions Loughner is in hasn’t created so much as a ripple.

  29. 29
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    @Bob In Pacifica: First heard of Jane Hamsher here on Balloon Juice. There was recently some freak-out about an unholy alliance with Grover Norquist. Hadn’t paid much attention to her before then and haven’t paid much attention to her since then but that’s when I remember people really turning on her here.

    The Manning situation is truly sad. Breaking an uncharged detainee’s mind through solitary confinement is cruel and unusual.

  30. 30
    blahblahblah says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Fair enough, but this “solitary is torture” stuff should apply to violent criminals too, no?

    Perhaps it should. But there’s also a duty to protect the general public, whether that be inside or outside a prison. Thus, I’d argue that the dangerously violent might need solitary confinement, not as punishment for misbehavior, but to protect others from their potential wrath. Those with no history of violence should be treated differently.

  31. 31

    I’m not worried about Jane. It looks like she can take care of herself for the time being.

    I’m not worried about the Marines, either. They’ll probably be okay.

    I don’t know if Manning will be okay. I’m not sure he’s being pressured to talk. It looks to me like someone is getting even. Without a charge. Without a trial.

    I wonder what they are turning him into. Will he break entirely and be a quivering bowl of jello the rest of his life? Or will he break and become a mean son of a bitch, as sometimes happens when people are brutalized.

    At any rate, it looks like he is being punished without a trial. From here, it looks morally wrong and it looks to be unconstitutional.

  32. 32
    Tim says:

    So many BJ commenters seem to use the terms “wrong” and “illegal” interchangeably when referring to Manning’s case.

    I think what he is alleged to have done is technically illegal but absolutely RIGHT. Have you authoritarian morons ever heard of “civil disobedience?” MLK? Ghandi?

    And the manner in which he is being abused in prison, whether convicted of anything or not (which of course he hasn’t been) should appall any decent person.

    It creeps me out that any BJ regular would be on the side of the government in any of this, just because Glenn Greenwald uses lots of words and Jane was mean to Hillary. Those of you who fall under that description must have a secret hardon for Dick Robo-heart Cheney and the halcyon days of the Bush regime.

  33. 33
    AxelFoley says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I read someplace that the Tuscon Shooter is being held in solitary and I’ve heard not a single complaint yet. Why the double standard?

    Lol, I know, right?

  34. 34
    gwangung says:

    And as probably the oldest front-pager here, may I add that I find the cheap cynicism of “what do you expect from someone like Hamsher” and “yes, but the authorities were totally within their rights technically” a disgrace to (at the very least) the civics training of the rising generations.

    If Hamsher and Manning are distinctly different issues, then one can quite easily critique Hamsher’s behavior while condemning Manning’s treatment.

    If they are NOT different issues, then why aren’t they? And shouldn’t Hamsher’s sloppiness be criticized for being unfocussed and detrimental to Manning’s case?

  35. 35
    The Dangerman says:

    @blahblahblah:

    …but to protect others from their potential wrath.

    Reasonable; can that be applied to the potential wrath against Manning as well? I suspect he’s not well liked by other Marines right now.

  36. 36
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Lessee…

    Manning broke federal law and is being held in protective custody, possibly because some ‘patriotic’ inmate might do something nasty to him. As GG says, it “seems” that this is to “break” him. Calamity Jane takes someone who is cleared for visitation to visit Manning and attempts to enter a military base with a vehicle that has no valid tabs and no documented proof of insurance.

    But since Manning may have initiated a revolution in another country via his leaks of diplomatic documents then that makes what him a hero and absolves him of his alleged crime(s). And since Jane was trying to bring attention to his incarceration then that excuses her driving a vehicle that is not properly licensed and insured and attempting to enter a military base with it.

    So what you are saying is that two (or more) wrongs equal a right?

    Wrong.

    Sorry but I’m not feeling particularly sympathetic to this argument. If were to have done the same things I would expect to be treated the same way. I’m not saying that what the government is doing regarding Manning is right but when laws are broken then there are consequences for doing so.

    On another point I have not seen raised, a person has the right to a speedy trial. Has Manning been denied this or does the military not have this same standard? If they do, did his attorney waive his right to a speedy trial?

    I would like to hear more about this issue than about the hyperventilating and speculation we are getting so far.

  37. 37
    Tom65 says:

    @Tim:

    It creeps me out that any BJ regular would be on the side of the government in any of this, just because Glenn Greenwald uses lots of words and Jane was mean to Hillary.

    I can hate Jane AND hate what’s being done to Manning simultaneously. It’s called multi-tasking.

  38. 38
    gwangung says:

    @Tim:

    It creeps me out that any BJ regular would be on the side of the government in any of this, just because Glenn Greenwald uses lots of words and Jane was mean to Hillary.

    Seems to me that one can criticize Hamsher without being on the side of the government. (i.e., criticize Hamsher as an activist and the government as a government).

  39. 39
    askew says:

    This argument is such bull. It is perfectly possible to think that Manning is being treated appallingly and that Hamsher is an attention freak who made a bad situation worse by not doing something as basic as putting new tabs on her car and having an up-to-date insurance card. If the base rules say your have to have these items to go on the base, she should have had them. It doesn’t matter that some guards previously let her skate on the rules. It is still her responsibility to follow the rules. Had she followed the rules and delivered the petition, the story would be about Manning and his treatment. Instead its about Hamsher, her boneheadness and lack of credibility. And I have a hard time believing that isn’t exactly what she wanted.

  40. 40
    blahblahblah says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Reasonable; can that be applied to the potential wrath against Manning as well? I suspect he’s not well liked by other Marines right now.

    No. You confuse protecting the general public from a singular violent offender with protecting an individual from a violent public. It’s their job to protect him regardless. But the authorities should not be able to torture him in the name of ‘protecting him’. Which appears to be your position.

  41. 41
    hilts says:

    “America—arguably no worse than the average soviet kleptocracy or banana republic!” is not the kind of patriotic rallying cry I have been taught to respect for the last fifty years.

    Anne,

    Just accept the fact that America’s political system is a kakistocracy and the MSM is a horse’s ass.

  42. 42
    General Stuck says:

    I think the left wing needs to put up their own candidates to change things, or just declare general mayhem and take to the streets. This blogging revolution and steeling stuff is getting lame. President Hamsher and AG Greenwald could work. In the international ethers, but it could spread.

  43. 43

    I haven’t been keeping up with all the twists and turns of Manning’s case, but wasn’t he charged under the UCMJ as opposed to the civilian court system? Aren’t there different rules in play for him–harsher rules, for instance?

  44. 44
    The Dangerman says:

    @AxelFoley:

    Lol, I know, right?

    I’ve heard this on the TV, more than once as I recall; I googled Lougher and solitary confinement and found very little. It could be that I am wrong and the link is wrong, but I don’t think that I am. Still, even on ONE bad report, you would think the torture people would be up in arms, yet crickets. Very odd…

  45. 45
    Scamp Dog says:

    Jane can be annoying at times, but this stunt was meant to annoy the people holding Manning in unjust circumstances.* It’s also good that it brings Manning’s plight to wider attention, although it’s a shame how much people focus on how annoying Jane might be (at other times) as an excuse to ignore this case.

    * No, I’m not going to add weasel words like “I think” it’s unjust. It is, by the standards I learned earlier in life when we tried to explain why we were better than the Soviet Union and other dictatorships. Jane’s annoying at times, but she’s in the right this time around.

    Edited: OK, FYWP turned the asterisk in front of the second paragraph into a bullet. The bulleted paragraph is what the asterisk is supposed to send you to. And just for good measure, FYWP again.

  46. 46
    The Dangerman says:

    @blahblahblah:

    It’s their job to protect him regardless.

    Exactly. I’m saying he’s in solitary for his safety; you’re saying he’s in solitary to torture him. I find my position more defensible, but YMMV.

  47. 47
    General Stuck says:

    @Brian S (formerly Incertus):

    Aren’t there different rules in play for him—harsher rules, for instance?

    Well yea. They’ve got GI’s slogging around in the shit getting blown up and living like animals in the field. And along comes one of their own, a pogue (to them) that releases to the world basically a blueprint on how they operate. That doesn’t go over all that well with the rank and file.

    They could put him up at the Hilton, which would be okay with me, but anywhere else around other gi’s and he wouldn’t likely last a week.

  48. 48
    blahblahblah says:

    @Tom65:

    I can hate Jane AND hate what’s being done to Manning simultaneously. It’s called multi-tasking.

    Watch out for asynchronous event handlers that don’t properly lock your state changes, or you might wind up in both states simultaneously. Remember, threads inherit the memory map of their parent process!

  49. 49
    lawguy says:

    @askew: Look do you not understand that Hampsher never intended to visit Manning. Her passenger, who did not own the car and was not driving was also detained. He was not permitted to walk to the brig to see Manning.

  50. 50
    Sly says:

    I find the cheap cynicism of “what do you expect from someone like Hamsher” and “yes, but the authorities were totally within their rights technically” a disgrace to (at the very least) the civics training of the rising generations.

    Maybe Code Pink can dance outside MCB Quantico in their frilly tutus and toss blood on the private stationed at the guard post. I suppose that would be just as emblematic of proper civics training as this, right? Because the only standard we seem to be operating under for effective civic engagement at the moment is “Do something! Anything!”

    The justness of a cause does not make any action undertaken to advance it effective. Right does not make might.

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tim: A couple of points in response:

    One, I would not go so far as to agree with your “illegal but right” argument. I would say the acts were illegal, but he has some strong moral arguments that he can present as justification or in mitigation.

    Second, saying that those who are arguing or presenting the government’s side in this are doing so out of a dislike for Greenwald or Hamsher is not really based in fact. Is there dislike of those two on the part of the anti-WikiLeaks faction on BJ? Yes, there almost certainly is. I would submit, however, that it is correlation rather than causation.

    FWIW, I think Manning committed a large number of criminal acts. I also think that the treatment he is receiving is barbaric. In addition, I think that the treatment he is receiving is not materially different than that which many of military prisoners in pre-trial detention receive. I think the Marines were dicking with Hamsher and House because they could and that it is wrong that they did so. Finally, I think that Hamsher was foolish for not thinking that someone might dick with her and not making sure that her “i”s were dotted and her “t”s crossed before venturing into what , for her purposes, should have been considered hostile territory.

  52. 52
    blahblahblah says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I’m saying he’s in solitary for his safety; you’re saying he’s in solitary to torture him. I find my position more defensible, but YMMV.

    Who cares what you call it, if, in the process, it does permanent damage to him? In your position, does that effect on his health matter, or does the outcome of ‘protecting him’ warrant any and all extreme measures?

  53. 53
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    @The Dangerman: After the finding that Jose Padilla’s mental illness was caused in part by leaving him in solitary confinement, I find your argument harder to swallow. I understand what you’re saying but looks like the consequences of prolonged solitary confinement could be the same, whether it is supposed to be “protective” or “punitive.”

  54. 54
    Arclite says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Also, I googled to confirm and Loughner, is indeed in solitary. Why? For his own safety. How might that apply to Manning?

    I’ve read someplace that Loughner’s case might not be fully litigated for years. How long will he need to be held in solitary? No idea.

    Torture or not, solitary is something we do to 1. punishing convicted prisoners that exhibit bad behavior or 2. protect the prisoner from the inmates and vice versa. Loughner is possibly clinically insane and a strong multiple homicide suspect, fitting reason number 2. Manning fits none of the traditional reasons for holding a suspect/convict in solitary.

    Are you really equating Loughner and Manning?

  55. 55
    The Dangerman says:

    @General Stuck:

    They could put him up at the Hilton, which would be okay with me, but anywhere else around other gi’s and he wouldn’t likely last a week.

    Over/Under would be measured in days (and we shouldn’t spring for anything more than a Motel 6 with the budget deficit and all; honestly, this guy should be thanking his lucky stars he’s in Quantico as opposed to some shithole brig in Afghanistan/Iraq).

  56. 56
    askew says:

    I get it perfectly and the rules of base say that visitors have to valid tabs. Since the passenger arrived in Hamsher’s vehicle, he was denied entrance. It’s part of the security rules for the base. If Hamsher had not been a massive moron and had up-to-date tabs and valid proof of insurance which is required by the base, then the visitor and Hamsher could have gotten through the gate. But, her fuck-up is why they didn’t. Had she followed all the rules, I would be infuriated as well, but she didn’t. In addition, she failed to mention the reason she was “detained” was due to her boneheadness.

    As for Manning, I think how he is being held is barbaric. I do wonder how safe he’d be outside of solitary confinement though. Years ago, I interned for a PD’s office and on a prison tour we saw where Dahmer was knifed in prison. The guard said that the inmates were just waiting for a chance to go after him. I wonder if there is a similar risk for Manning, not because he is a monster but because many of the prisoners there may view him as a traitor. I wonder if he’d be better off in a non-military prison.

  57. 57
    Scamp Dog says:

    Reading through this thread again, I’d like to ask people what they think determines the morality or appropriateness of an action.

    It looks like a lot of people think it’s based on the person who does the action. Thus “Jane is annoying” means that anything Jane does is annoying and should be rejected.

    I think it’s the action itself that ought to be judged. Protesting Manning’s confinement? Good. More of us should be doing that, and it’s still good even if it’s Jane Hamsher doing it.

    Not having valid plates, etc? Imprudent. Jane (or whoever owns the car) ought to have that stuff up to date because that’s what car owners should do. It’s not in the same class as abusing prisoners with solitary confinement, though.

    Abusing prisoners with solitary confinement? Evil. It’s bad when dictators do it, and it’s still bad if it’s done in America. It’s still bad if it’s done to Loughner, with the caveat that it _might_ make sense if he’s actually at risk from other inmates. Given the judgment that the people running our justice system have shown in recent years, I no longer give them the benefit of the doubt, so, yeah, I think they’re abusing Loughner. Of course, it sounds like his psychological situation wasn’t too good to start with, so he’s in a tough spot regardless.

  58. 58
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @lawguy:

    Go get pulled over by cop while you are riding with a lawbreaker and try to leave while they are investigating it.

    Go ahead, try it. Get back to me with the results.

  59. 59
    MattR says:

    This seems topical

    U.S. military officials tell NBC News that investigators have been unable to make any direct connection between a jailed army private suspected with leaking secret documents and Julian Assange, founder of the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

    and

  60. 60
    The Dangerman says:

    @Arclite:

    Are you really equating Loughner and Manning?

    Certainly not; I’m just saying that if solitary is torture and Loughner is in solitary then Loughner is being tortured. This gets even more serious if Loughner has a mental disease (which, I suspect, could be reasonably agreed upon) and placing him in a situation where his disease is made worse, that is inhumane…

    …yet Loughner’s situation has raised either no concerns or only concerns for the population he might harm.

    Edit: House is coming on (PST); play nice.

  61. 61

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Bull. The military had two hours to investigate a lack of insurance and expired tags. They couldn’t leave, they couldn’t go in, and ten minutes before visiting hours are over, they are finally released.

    Ever had a traffic stop last two hours when the only thing wrong is lack of verifiable insurance and expired tags?

  62. 62
    Allan says:

    If you care about Manning, you picked the absolute worst way in the world to focus the conversation back on his case, Annie Laurie.

  63. 63
    lawguy says:

    @The Dangerman: Well I suppose you are right he is an enemy of the state after all. I do guess it is our torture policies coming home to roost. It looks like this may be the first time we get to do this to a white guy in American.

    Although your point: He should be happy that we aren’t torturing him the way we do other people is an interesting one. I’m not sure if you are in favor of not torturing him like we do brown foreigners of would like to see him tortured like we do brown foreigners though.

  64. 64
    hilts says:

    OT

    Justice Clarence Thomas Amends 20 Years of Disclosure Forms With Wife’s Employers Virginia Thomas’ Place of Employment Had Been Omitted From Justice’s Reports
    h/t http://abcnews.go.com/Politics.....d=12750650

  65. 65
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @General Stuck:

    anywhere else around other gi’s and he wouldn’t likely last a week.

    Ah, such a patriotic defense of our (incarcerated) military men. Nice to see you think they couldn’t go a week without murdering one of their fellow prisoners. For freedom. Though I guess that’s probably why they got court-martialed, huh?

  66. 66
    John Cole says:

    @The Dangerman: One is violent and a threat to the public, the other is not.

    Are you really this fucking stupid? DougJ is right, Slate-induced contrarianism is going to be the death of this country.

  67. 67
    Sapient says:

    @blahblahblah: “I’d argue that the dangerously violent might need solitary confinement, not as punishment for misbehavior, but to protect others from their potential wrath. ”

    What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Loughner hasn’t been convicted of anything. And if solitary confinement is torture, it’s torture, right? Manning had a history of assaulting fellow soldiers, so arguably he never has gotten along well with others. Without a gun, who’s to say that Loughner is any more dangerous than Manning?

    I too find the double standard at the level of concern between Manning’s treatment and the tens of thousands of others, including children, who are in solitary rather disconcerting.

    And, sad to say, if Manning doesn’t enter into some kind of a plea agreement, he will probably be convicted, and sentenced to prison in conditions similar to what he’s currently experiencing for a very long time. Maybe it’s best that he knows what that future is so that he can make an informed decision if he’s given any options. (And, if it’s found that he’s been “punished” before trial, the time will be credited against his eventual sentence.)

  68. 68
    Allan says:

    @lawguy: How the military police SHOULD handle situations involving visitors arriving in vehicles that fail to meet entrance requirements could be an interesting philosophical conversation. How the military police DO handle situations involving visitors arriving in such vehicles is now known to you because Hamsher and House just demonstrated it for you. How you THINK they should have behaved is not material.

  69. 69
    General Stuck says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    They may be criminals for one thing or another, but if you think they would greet warmly an accused traitor (and that is how most of them would see it) then you either haven’t been in the military, or are just a fool, or maybe both.

  70. 70
    Nerull says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    I’m not saying it’s right for rape victims to be stoned to death but when laws are broken there are consequences.

  71. 71
    blahblahblah says:

    @Sapient:

    And, sad to say, if Manning doesn’t enter into some kind of a plea agreement, he will probably be convicted, and sentenced to prison in conditions similar to what he’s currently experiencing for a very long time. Maybe it’s best that he knows what that future is so that he can make an informed decision if he’s given any options. (And, if it’s found that he’s been “punished” before trial, the time will be credited against his eventual sentence.)

    So, in order for Manning to have an informed opinion about just how bad is the torture regime, the state must torture him like he would be tortured for the rest of his life if he doesn’t confess. Is that right?

  72. 72
    BobS says:

    @Tim: I’m as surprised as you that there’s so many holdovers from the 2003 version of Ballon Juice.

  73. 73
    Tom65 says:

    @lawguy: it doesn’t matter, as far as the guards are concerned. He was in the car with someone who could not provide the necessary documentation – you don’t think this sends up some sort of red flag to someone charged with guarding a major military base? Do you really think he can just say “oh, she just gave me a ride”?

  74. 74
    gwangung says:

    Bull. The military had two hours to investigate a lack of insurance and expired tags.

    Hm. And you think that’s a long time for the military?

  75. 75
    David Fud says:

    @The Dangerman: It isn’t torture until he is in there for months on end. And, Loughner has had two instances to my knowledge before a judge already. How many, exactly, has Manning had? When, exactly, have any of his judicial processes (military or otherwise) been scheduled or held?

    That, Dangerman, is the difference. Loughner is having his day in court. He has already pled not guilty. Manning is being held in the brig interminably with no hope of ever leaving or having his day in court. He hasn’t been charged with a crime.

    The fact that I have to point that out at all is simply disturbing. I don’t understand why you think it is ok to treat someone, even if they ever do get charged with espionage or whatever, like they are treating him. You are playing with words when the situation is completely immoral and illegal. It degrades all of our rights and makes our system less accountable.

    If the legal geniuses of our founders ever saw what America devolved into and what we have done to ourselves for the last decade, I doubt they would have bothered with their revolution.

  76. 76
    The Dangerman says:

    @John Cole:

    Are you really this fucking stupid?

    House commercial break.

    That isn’t an argument; try again.

    Oh, also, two Masters Degrees and a GMAT that would have had me approved into Stanford; it must be my ability to be consistent and logical (and not fucking stupid).

    Oops, House back on.

  77. 77
    Keith G says:

    @The Dangerman: The flaw in your trolling is the fact that the news article you provide says nothing about the visitation procedures and medical interaction provided to Laughner. It is likely that he is seeing more people right now than is Manning.

    To be crass, if the gov wants to kill Laughner, they best keep him as sane as possible.

  78. 78
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    I have been pulled over enough to know that a cop can take all the time they want to do their job. I also know that I will not argue with them about it because I’m not stupid. We have no real truth about what happened because Jane has already shown that she conveniently leaves facts out to build her story, thus her word can not be trusted. If she would have dotted her i’s and crossed her t’s this whole thing may have turned out differently. All I know is that if I am stupid enough to drive and attempt to enter a military base illegally (as she did), I would expect shit to rain down on my head for doing so.

    Argue all you want on the internet, it’s a waste of time and accomplishes absolutely nothing. Go ahead, flail away at it if it makes you feel like you are actually accomplishing something. Better yet, how about I say that you are absolutely right and I’m wrong. Feel better now?

    Jane has her head up her ass and this event is just one more stupid thing in a long string of stupid things she has done. You ‘two wrongs make a right’ people are really funny. Going around with your head up your ass seems to be something people really like to rally behind.

  79. 79
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I have an idea that might help this debate. Why doesn’t everyone take the arguments made by the other side, twist them virtually out of recognition, and then use them to accuse their opponent of whatever vileness first comes to mind. That would be more helpful than this crap.

  80. 80
    Tom65 says:

    @gwangung:

    And shouldn’t Hamsher’s sloppiness be criticized for being unfocussed and detrimental to Manning’s case?

    No one seems to want to answer this. It’s not like people hate Jane because she has a funny haircut, people hate Jane because she’s a reckless grievance farmer with only one real interest – herself.

    And I’ll say it again: it’s perfectly within the capability of people with a functioning brain to hate Jane AND hate what is being done to Manning simultaneously.

  81. 81
    Sapient says:

    “the state must torture him like he will be tortured for the rest of his life if he doesn’t confess.”

    I’m pretty sure that he already has confessed. At least, from what I’ve read, they don’t need to be torturing a confession out of him. They’re allegedly holding him because they have to go through various proceedings to determine the state of his mental health (partly because of a defense motion), and to get security clearances for various witnesses.

    Unfortunately, this is what his time in jail will probably look like once he’s sentenced. If people believe that’s torture, I’m not sure why they’re not changing the entire system – thereby saving tens of thousands from similar treatment.

  82. 82
    Arclite says:

    @The Dangerman:
    All valid points, but in Loughner’s case, there’s at least a few compelling reason to hold him in solitary:

    1. He killed a child and might be at danger from other inmates.

    2. He is quite possibly mentally unstable and a could be a danger to other inmates.

    As for Manning, if there is a danger that he might be attacked by other inmates (debatable), then by all means hold him in solitary. But the other rules seem designed to punish a mere suspect: almost no exercise, no sleeping off schedule, no lying down, visitors only for an hour on Sunday, etc.

  83. 83
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Nerull:

    Dum. Dum dum dum… DUMB!

  84. 84
    askew says:

    This link pretty much captures how I feel about this situation perfectly:

    Don’t misunderstand me – I don’t know as I believe the military either. But I certainly have to view Hamsher’s statements with a jaundiced eye, too. And that leaves me not knowing who to believe, but knowing that ultimately, what could have been a big black eye for those mistreating Manning will end up being a muddled soup of questions and recriminations that won’t get resolved, and will ultimately detract from what is in fact the important story.

    This is what frustrates me about Hamsher generally. Her writing and pronouncements are long on her, and short on facts. She ignores things that are inconvenient for her. And she does real damage by proceeding thus. And even on an issue where I generally support her aims, even during an incident that should highlight the negative being done to Manning, Hamsher has managed to make the situation about her, and what she claims to be the truth. And I find that very sad indeed.

  85. 85
    Allan says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Oh, also, two Masters Degrees and a GMAT that would have had me approved into Stanford

    This is not an argument, also too. And the “would have had me approved into Stanford” is really one of the saddest boasts I think I’ve ever read on the internet.

  86. 86
    blahblahblah says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    You must truly hate humanity. What with your ‘twisting’ and ‘them’ and ‘recognitions’. Everywhere, ‘recognitions’ and ‘accusations’!

    People like you destroy the very heart of society. You’re like a cancer on the bone of humanity! In the brain. The brain-bone! Of humanity. Do you get it?!?!?!

  87. 87
    The Dangerman says:

    @David Fud:

    Loughner is having his day in court.

    So, having your day in court means you CAN be tortured. Interesting.

    Solitary either IS or ISN’T torture. My position is consistent, others, not so much.

    Edit: Now to find out who poisoned the Dude on House!

  88. 88
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @David Fud: For what its worth, Manning has actually been charged.

  89. 89
    The Dangerman says:

    @Allan:

    And the “would have had me approved into Stanford” is really one of the saddest boasts I think I’ve ever read on the internet.

    So, what is the approved reply to being called “fucking stupid”? I’m rubber, you’re glue, etc.? May be a boast, but it’s a provable fact.

  90. 90
    Jenny says:

    I missing something, here.

    What does Hamsher or FDL have to do with Manning?

  91. 91
    Tom65 says:

    @The Dangerman:

    So, what is the approved reply to being called “fucking stupid”?

    You went full MENSA. No one goes full MENSA.

  92. 92
    Jenny says:

    I missing something here.

    What does Hamsher or FDL have to do with Manning?

  93. 93
    Nerull says:

    @The Dangerman:

    You could start by making posts that aren’t fucking stupid.

  94. 94
    Allan says:

    @The Dangerman: Please keep responding. We’re collecting more evidence.

  95. 95
    General Stuck says:

    I can certainly agree with those who are claiming that long term captivity under solitary confinement is a form of torture, but for those convicted of espionage, or related charges, it will likely not get any better. And I don’t care what you’ve done, so long as you’re not a danger to others or yourself, serving a long sentence in isolation is inhumane imo, and is a general problem of our legal system. But there still is a question of someone convicted of a crime that is looked at as someone maybe needing more punishment by fellow inmates in a general population. I don’t know the answer to that one.

  96. 96
  97. 97
    Sapient says:

    @David Fud: “It isn’t torture until he is in there for months on end. And, Loughner has had two instances to my knowledge before a judge already. How many, exactly, has Manning had? When, exactly, have any of his judicial processes (military or otherwise) been scheduled or held?”

    Manning has been treated in accordance with the pretrial confinement review process described on his lawyer’s web page. His lawyer has a wonderful site which explains some of the proceedings, but you have to look at postings from November 2010 to the present to get a good understanding of what’s transpired.

  98. 98
    The Tragically Flip says:

    2 points:

    1) The idea that House was not allowed to visit Manning on account of Hamsher’s missing tags/insurance is such egregious bullshit and authoritarian apoligetics I don’t know where to fucking start. Manning is no ordinary prisoner and these visitors were known to the Marines or their superiors. Someone with authority and human decency should have allowed House to proceed on foot/cab to visit Manning. Fuck, rather than have a bunch of MPs hold Hamsher/House, have them escort House to the brig for the visit if he’s such a threat. There were any number of ways that could have been handled that resulted in Hamsher getting the fine/tow she deserved and Manning getting his one and only visitor if anyone gave the least shit about Manning’s health.

    It’s so depressing that people accept that it’s Hamsher’s “fault” the Marines decided to be complete fucking douchebags and abuse their discretion on specious base security grounds to deny 2 completely non-theat people from a mission of mercy.

    2) The red herring about Loughner needs to stop. How long has loughner been in solitary? Is he denied blankets and a pillow? If he does pushups does a guard yell at him? Is he required to answer “yes” to a question from a guard every 5 minutes all day every day? Does his hour of exercise consist solely of walking in a small room? Is he denied news and reading material? Etc. Manning’s abusive conditions go well beyond whatever might be needed to keep him safe from other prisoners. I know the apologists will say these are the normal rules for Marine brig solitary prisoners (they’re not but anyway) but Manning isn’t a normal prisoner and anyone there that long should have those rules relaxed in order to prevent mental injury.

  99. 99
    burnspbesq says:

    @Turbulence:

    “What exactly do you think you can infer based on the fact that you see more people complaining about one case versus the other?”

    Umm, the existence of a double standard? Principles that are adhered to opportunistically? I’m trying to stay away from the use of a certain word that begins with “h,” because that word is so inflammatory, but I think you are probably getting the drift.

  100. 100

    Shorter Odie Hugh Manatee: “No, I’ve never seen or heard of a traffic stop that lasted two hours over lack of verifiable insurance and expired tags and here’s a wall of text to obscure that point.”

  101. 101
    Tom65 says:

    @The Tragically Flip:

    1. Whatever. Do me a favor and go to any military base in this country and try to get on with expired tags and questionable proof of insurance. Let me know how it goes. Jane doesn’t get a “pass” because she’s a blogger.

    2. Agreed. It’s a stupid argument.

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    @askew:

    Had she followed the rules and delivered the petition, the story would be about Manning and his treatment. Instead its about Hamsher, her boneheadness and lack of credibility. And I have a hard time believing that isn’t exactly what she wanted.

    The story has been turned into “Jane Hamsher was treated badly” instead of “Bradley Manning is being tortured.” She managed to give the government plausible deniability through her own stupidity.

  103. 103
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    now he’s been banned, at least for today, from seeing Manning again

    Totally awesome. So Hanoi Jane rolls up without insurance or plates and totally fucks things up to the point where Manning can’t even get his best friend in now. Hanoi Jane gets more TV time and she can now get Saint Glenn and her legion of loyal minions to harp even more about how Obama Is Worse Than Bush.

    Meanwhile, Manning’s even more fucked. But since when did the Firebaggers ever really care for him?

    I think what he is alleged to have done is technically illegal but absolutely RIGHT.

    FREE JONATHAN POLLARD!

  104. 104
    Jenny says:

    @Tom65: I’m only asking because Anne Laurie mentions her and her blog in the post and the title, but without any context.

    I have no idea what Hamsher or FDL has to do with this issue. At the very least, Anne could provide context or a recap for those of us who don’t watch soap operas.

  105. 105
    askew says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yep, that is it in a nutshell. Jane manages to fuck just about everything up she touches as a “progressive activist”. She did the same thing during the health care bill as well.

    It’s too bad someone with better political skills isn’t taking up Manning’s cause.

  106. 106
    Keith G says:

    @The Dangerman:

    May be a boast, but it’s a provable fact.

    Ted Kaczynski holds multiple advanced degrees. Just saying.

    So, what is the approved reply to being called “fucking stupid”?

    Mignt I suggest:

    “At least I do not have a enormous Stillers flag hanging off my porch.”

    Eta

  107. 107
    Jenny says:

    @askew:

    for those of us who are late to the story, what did she fuck up?

  108. 108
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Joseph Nobles: Try driving onto a military base with expired tags and without proof of insurance and get back to us on how long it takes. The United States Marines are not the Ohio Highway Patrol.

  109. 109
  110. 110

    If the concern is Manning why the hell is anyone talking about Hamsher? That’s what I’m still scratching my head over. I think the way he’s being treated is a disgrace. I thought it before yesterday, I continue to think it today.

    I also continue to give less than .6 of a fuck about Hamsher.

  111. 111
    John Cole says:

    @Arclite: They aren’t even keeping him solitary because he is a danger to other inmates.

  112. 112
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @General Stuck:

    You’re acting like the prison is some wild west chain gang. There are only three dozen prisoners in the whole facility. Clayton Lonetree managed to serve his sentence in Leavenworth without getting his head stomped in. I’d like to think Marines are capable of not turning to extrajudicial assassination in the pursuit of “protecting us against treachery,” even those that have been incarcerated.

    @The Dangerman:

    May be a boast, but it’s a provable fact.

    No, it isn’t a provable anything. Because you’re posting under a fucking online pseudonym. “Stanford” was very wise to let you get away…

  113. 113
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jenny: You almost need to go through the last two days of posts to get it. I would try to summarize, but would probably miss some detail that someone found important and BLAMMO! again.

  114. 114
    Keith G says:

    @General Stuck:

    I can certainly agree with those who are claiming that long term captivity under solitary confinement is a form of torture, but for those convicted of espionage….

    For those convicted of espionage.

    Exactly

  115. 115
    askew says:

    @Jenny:

    She showed up on base with a car that expired plates and no proof of insurance which are violations of the base’s rules.

  116. 116
    Mike M says:

    It well may be that Hamsher and House were being unfairly detained simply because they were there to visit Pfc. Manning, but I am skeptical. In her early reports, Hamsher omitted the fact that her car had expired plates in addition to the fact that she did not have physical proof of insurance. It is illegal everywhere in the US to drive a car without a valid registration, not just on military bases, and in many if not most places, police are within their rights to impound your car. Everyone makes mistakes, but I consider Hamsher’s behavior unprofessional at the least and I wouldn’t want her working for my company.

    Pfc. Manning’s attorney has filed an Article 138 complaint, requesting that his client’s confinement be changed from “Maximum Custody” to “Medium Custody” and that he be taken off Prevention of Injury (POI) watch. The US military has already acknowledged that the base commander exceeded his authority by improperly placing Manning on suicide watch for two days last week. Given the importance of this case, I expect that the review will be taken very seriously by both the court martial officer and the secretary of the Navy. Everyone deserves to be treated humanely and in accordance with the law. Officials should not try to mask excessively harsh treatments as protective measures.

    That said, I am no fan of Pfc. Manning. If the allegations are true, he recklessly released over 200K classified state deaprtment documents without any regard to their content or the damage that it might due to this country or other people around the world. I do not believe that the arbitrary release of government communications essential for diplomancy is a heroic or moral act in and of itself. So far, so serious crimes or duplicity has been exposed. I am anxious to hear Manning’s justification for his actions.

  117. 117
    PS says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    Try driving onto a military base with expired tags and without proof of insurance and get back to us on how long it takes.

    Er, they did. Several times. It worked. She drove, and waited in Macdonalds while he visited. This time, they authorities chose to enforce the rules. Selective enforcement is really mean.

    I agree that Hamsher should have followed the letter of the rule, but I have visited prisoners of conscience myself. The first time it’s really scary. Then you figure you know how to do it, and you jump through the same hoops again. If they had then pulled the hoops away so you fall on your face, well, I’d have been annoyed.

  118. 118
    General Stuck says:

    @Keith G:

    It was the same for them pre trial as well. Same as Manning.
    I think it is the POI status that adds to mix of stress for Manning being in solitary. But even his lawyer states the guards behave professionally, but follow their ordered protocols. I have no idea if he is a true danger to himself. I expect a doctor thought so though. It would be better if they could drop that POI status.

  119. 119
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    Er, they did. Several times. It worked. She drove, and waited in Macdonalds while he visited. This time, they authorities chose to enforce the rules. Selective enforcement is really mean.

    Or they didn’t recognize the expired tags until now? If she dots her i’s and crosses her t’s and basically does what the rest of us do around our birthdays the hoop can’t get pulled.

  120. 120
    PS says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: “the hoop can’t get pulled”?? Just how naive are you?

  121. 121
    Sapient says:

    t@The Tragically Flip: “The red herring about Loughner needs to stop.”

    Perhaps Loughner deserves to be treated as guilty without trial, and no, I don’t know what his typical day looks like because nobody seems to care; therefore, it’s not described anywhere (that I know of) in the media and he’s left to languish with whatever circumstances he’s faced with. However, you might want to read about this, which describes the horrific treatment dished out to thousands of people in prisons, many of whom are mentally ill, or children, and many of whom have not yet been tried. The sad fact is that, despite what Glenn Greenwald and Jane Hamsher say in their attempt to create a political case against Obama, Bradley Manning is just going through the system. He’s fortunate to have a competent lawyer, and a lot of concerned people who are banding together to pay for that lawyer, so that eventually he may get a hearing and some redress. Tough luck for the people in Harris County, Texas or St Tammany Parish, Louisiana.

  122. 122
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @PS: If her plates are good and her insurance is in order, then what happens?

  123. 123
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    @hilts:
    .
    .

    Justice Clarence Thomas Amends 20 Years of Disclosure Forms With Wife’s Employers Virginia Thomas’ Place of Employment Had Been Omitted From Justice’s Reports

    Hey now, let’s keep the focus on the dishonest and irrational fear/hatred of Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald and the suffocating balloonbagger love/obeisance to democracy-killing military fascism and Precious Leader. Harrumph!
    .
    .

  124. 124
    Arclite says:

    @The Tragically Flip: Thanks. You put what I was trying to say much better.

  125. 125
    Turbulence says:

    @burnspbesq: Umm, the existence of a double standard?

    But you can’t infer that unless you know that for the people complaining, information about their treatment has been equally well distributed. And that’s obviously not the case here: Loughner’s solitary confinement hasn’t even been well reported in the media.

  126. 126
  127. 127
    gwangung says:

    Er, they did. Several times. It worked. She drove, and waited in Macdonalds while he visited. This time, they authorities chose to enforce the rules. Selective enforcement is really mean.

    And if you get upset over that, you’re a pretty piss poor activist. Honestly, you have to expect this sort of petty exact letter of the law, and not get rattled by it.

    Moreover, getting caught on this means that you’re not choosing the grounds of confrontation–you’ve a) lost the initiative and b) muddied the waters, allowing the opposition various grounds of plausible deniability on just WHO authorized any delay (the higher ups can point to the lower level guards, the lower level guards can point to the regulations).

    If you’re going to make a big, public hew and cry on something, you really should control the events and reactions.

  128. 128
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Perry Como: So much for the Espionage Act, one would think?

  129. 129
    Nathanael says:

    “America—arguably no worse than the average soviet kleptocracy or banana republic!”

    So, so accurate, for so many reasons. Except I would argue that in some ways it *is* worse, because the dictators of such countries often build great infrastructure and think decades or centuries into the future. *They* would be actually doing something about global warming.

  130. 130
    PS says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: If everything is in order then either (1) the visit proceeds, as had happened several times previously, or (2) the authorities find some other procedural excuse to prevent the visit occurring; that’s not hard. I couldn’t tell you what excuse would be used, but I can tell you that there is always an excuse that can be used, whether it is an outdated form, a lack of fingerprints, a failure to have something notarized … whatever. Oh, it would cause embarrassment of a sort, when complaints were made, but if the goal was (which i don’t know for sure) to sabotage this particular visit, then for one week, in any prison system, there would be no problem achieving it.

  131. 131
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sapient:

    However, you might want to read about this, which describes the horrific treatment dished out to thousands of people in prisons, many of whom are mentally ill, or children, and many of whom have not yet been tried. The sad fact is that, despite what Glenn Greenwald and Jane Hamsher say in their attempt to create a political case against Obama, Bradley Manning is just going through the system.

    Yep. This is SOP for the modern prison system. Joe Arpaio only got attention because he put his prisoners in pink underwear. Otherwise his system of hard labor and feeding spoiled food to the people in his care wouldn’t even get one line in the NY Times.

    And guess what? Not everyone in the Maricopa County jail has been put on trial, either, but they still have to put up with the same treatment. There isn’t one jail for people who are awaiting trial and a separate one for people who’ve been convicted.

  132. 132
    General Stuck says:

    And I don’t think Jane went down to Quantico to make a fuss, or as some strategy to be in the spot light on this one. I believe her saying she was just trying to help out and drive House to the base. She fucked up though, royally, and doesn’t need to start harping on some wider plan by the Marines to harass them because they can. If the guards before didn’t check her registration and insurance before, then they weren’t doing their duty. This time the guards did do their duty, and we got what we got.

  133. 133
    The Dangerman says:

    @Keith G:

    Ted Kaczynski holds multiple advanced degrees. Just saying.

    So, Ted isn’t stupid, but I might be a fucking pyschopath. It’s entirely possible.

    As for Stanford turning me down, I could have afforded Stanford about as much as I’m dating a Victoria’s Secret Super Model (and, if I was, would I be around this joint?). Besides, I’ve made multiple claims to being a UCLA graduate (provable, although I certainly won’t do so); I had no interest in going to Stanford (although the campus IS lovely).

    As for the argument, I’ve seen scores of posts here claiming that solitary is torture; now, solitary isn’t torture unless you either haven’t been to court or do have visitor privileges limited or don’t get a pillow or haven’t been charged with a violent felony.

    When ya’ll find a consistent position beyond me being a boastful asshole, do let me know.

    Edit: Gotta give the crowd here some props; I stopped coming back in House commercial breaks as I figured some asshole would spoil the surprise ending for me.

  134. 134
    PS says:

    @gwangung:

    And if you get upset over that, you’re a pretty piss poor activist. Honestly, you have to expect this sort of petty exact letter of the law, and not get rattled by it.

    I agree with that. I said above that I thought they were foolish.

    However, I think you are rather optimistic in thinking that activists can necessarily “control the events and reactions” — I agree that’s a sensible goal, but hard to achieve.

  135. 135
    elle says:

    @MikeJ:

    It is ridiculous to say that Obama sent word to please thwart Jane Hamsher at every turn. What is more likely is that there may be a policy to prevent Manning from getting any visitors. Jane and the other dude simply made that easier by driving without proper documentation to a military base.

    I hope no one thinks that Manning’s situation is similar to the Tunisian protester. What exactly was Manning’s beef with the government? Was he forced to join military service? He had not spent that much time in the military, so what horrors of war that did not deter him from joining up motivated him to take such a decision?
    Why leak the documents to Assange, someone whose mission is to cripple governments? Why not the NY Times and Wall Street Journal?

    What happens if the public discover that Manning leaked all those documents simply for the fame, or even worse, for money?

  136. 136
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    IOW, you got nothing. Gotcha.

    BTW, next time you get stopped by the cops when riding as a passenger in a car that is operating in violation of the law, try to walk away from the scene without their permission.

    Get back to me then and let me know how it went.

  137. 137
    Turbulence says:

    @elle: What exactly was Manning’s beef with the government?

    That it keeps lying to the citizens that elected it?

    I mean, the US government did start a war for no reason that ended up exterminating a million people in Iraq…but no biggie, right?

    If you can’t think of any reason why a PFC might become angry at the government after getting a front row seat watching how the sausage was made, you’re not trying very hard.

  138. 138
    handy says:

    Damn that ending of House did anybody see that coming? Wow.

  139. 139
    elle says:

    @Turbulence:

    Yes indeed. Let’s all go leak classified documents then, that will surely show them!

    ETA You don’t know his motivations. Why are you so invested in assuming they were honorable, however misguided?

  140. 140
    Perry Como says:

    @handy: Lupus?

  141. 141

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: What the hell are you talking about? How does that have anything to do with what I said? Why don’t you leave that poor straw man alone and tell me about a traffic stop involved documentation violations solely that lasted two hours, huh? Could the military have held them three hours and you’d be cool with it? How about four or five? How about a day or two? Why not? They tried to drive a car with expired tags and no verifiable insurance onto a military base. Hell, ship them to Guantanamo, why not? Never mind they had been on the base before and they were well known to the guards.

    You know, it was legal for the Montgomery bus driver to have Rosa Parks arrested for not moving back, just like it’s legal for the military to have Manning in POI solitary. Legal as can be. The firehoses, the police dogs on protestors, all legal. It’s just as legal for Muslim leaders to bury a woman accused of adultery up to her chin and stone her until she’s dead. Legal, legal, legal. So sit comfortably on your authoritarian couch and enjoy how legal it all is for the military to drive a man insane before his trial — hell, before his competency hearing! — because the fucking idiot Jane Hamsher gives you a rage hard-on and she deserves every bit of scorn you can hock up.

    I mean, damn.

  142. 142
    Turbulence says:

    @elle: Yes indeed. Let’s all go leak classified documents then, that will surely show them!

    Well, if the government is lying to the public, leaking documents that prove that the government is lying does seem like the way for one low ranking person to deal with the problem.

    You don’t know his motivations. Why are you so invested in assuming they were honorable, however misguided?

    You’re right, I don’t know. Your comment implied that there could not exist any legitimate reason for leaking. I provided one. I don’t know whether it is correct, but I do know that your implication that there was no possible reason for him to leak the documents is not just wrong, but absurd.

  143. 143
    Andy K says:

    @Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people):

    Breaking an uncharged detainee’s mind through solitary confinement is cruel and unusual.

    But he’s not in solitary confinement. He’s in maximum custody:

    As a maximum-custody detainee, he is restricted to his cell for 23 hours, takes meals in his cell and is barred from exercising there. During the one hour of recreation time allowed in maximum custody, detainees have access to weight equipment, treadmills and elliptical machines, Villiard said.

    Sorry that I can’t find the article I read last evening, but he’s allowed to talk to other prisoners in the maximum-custody block around him, as well as the guards.

    Don’t forget that Manning was close to getting the boot from the Army before the investigation into his WikiLeaks ties:

    Manning had mental health problems predating his May 29 arrest, Coombs wrote. He said Manning’s unit documented a steady decline in his mental stability from December to May.

    “Due to this behavior and a concern about his personal safety, the command made the decision to remove the bolt from Pfc. Manning’s weapon,” Coombs wrote. He said Manning apparently walked around his base in Iraq with a disabled weapon while still assigned to his analyst job.

    What led to his unit removing the bolt from his weapon? From the same HuffPo article:

    Manning was reduced in rank from specialist to private first class in early May for assaulting another soldier, the Army says.

    I’ve got another link, so I’ll start a new comment…

  144. 144
    El Cid says:

    You can have whatever degrees and titles you want, but every single argument you make stands on its own, and doesn’t ride on your title. If you make a stupid argument, particularly if that stupid argument is made repeatedly, how does this differentiate the arguer from someone who’s stupid in general?

  145. 145
    The Dangerman says:

    @handy:

    Damn that ending of House did anybody see that coming?

    True, it wasn’t the best episode of House that I’ve ever seen and, no, the surprise ending wasn’t much of a surprise; nonetheless, I would prefer watching the show to having it spoiled here (it’s the only program I watch outside of sports and news; most everything else on TV is crap).

  146. 146
    The Dangerman says:

    @El Cid:

    If you make a stupid argument, particularly if that stupid argument is made repeatedly, how does this differentiate the arguer from someone who’s stupid in general?

    Since I assume this is directed towards me, all I can say is that I don’t believe solitary to be torture. This has been my position since the very beginning.

    Now, maybe you can show me the wisdom of a position that says the solitary IS torture unless (fill in the blank; we’ve had quite the list in just this thread, so pick a qualifying argument and justify it or just STFU).

  147. 147
    Mnemosyne says:

    @PS:

    I don’t think you guys really disagree — Hamsher’s fecklessness gave the guards the excuse they needed to detain her, so they did. I mean, Jesus, at least make them work to find an excuse to keep you out instead of making it a no-brainer for them.

  148. 148
    PS says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I don’t believe solitary to be torture. This has been my position since the very beginning.

    Well, one of your positions. We can agree to disagree on this. However, what was getting up people’s noses (at least mine) was that you would not restrict yourself to that but instead flailed around demanding that other people make condemnations that you were not willing to make, on the grounds of your demand that they be consistent according to your standards in the application of an opinion that you did not share. This is moderately annoying.

  149. 149
    handy says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Sorry man I was kidding. You kind of threw that one out there and I couldn’t resist.

  150. 150
  151. 151
    Ija says:

    @Tom65:

    And I’ll say it again: it’s perfectly within the capability of people with a functioning brain to hate Jane AND hate what is being done to Manning simultaneously.

    This. I think it is a big mistake to make Hamsher the martyr in all this.

  152. 152
    Andy K says:

    (Okay, this is a continuation of a comment that’s awaiting moderation that has to do with Manning’s custody status and mental health previous to his arrest, so please be patient)

    So we’ve got a suspect who’s assaulted a fellow soldier and been demoted, and his unit documented his mental state for the preceding 6 months BEFORE he’s being investigated for leaking documents to WikiLeaks. What does his lawyer do? He files a hearing for a 706 board. What questions does a 706 board answer?

    1) At the time of the alleged offenses, did the accused have a severe mental disease or defect?
    2) If so, what was that disease or defect (clinical psychiatric diagnosis)?
    3) Was the accused, at the time of the alleged criminal conduct and as a result of such severe mental disease or defect, unable to appreciate the nature and quality or wrongfulness of his or her conduct? (I.e., did he know right from wrong at time offenses committed?)
    4) Is the accused presently suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him unable to understand the nature of the proceedings against him or to conduct or cooperate intelligently in that defense? (I.e., is he sane at time of trial and trial prep?)

    So, to recap: Manning assaulted a fellow soldier in early May of ’10, was having his mental state documented by the the time of his arrest on 5/29/10, in the interim having had the bolt removed from his weapon, and he’d also been demoted…Then his lawyer files for a 706 board in, iirc, 07/2010…And anyone wonders why he’s not in general population? Are you kidding me?

  153. 153
    El Cid says:

    @The Dangerman: I was addressing only the mention of degrees or admission to educational institutional programs and how it isn’t relevant to whether or not an argument is stupid.

    Or, conversely, whether or not an argument is strong.

    I haven’t actually paid much attention to your posts on solitary as torture or not. I just happened to see your comment on getting into or not Stanford or something.

  154. 154
    Ija says:

    @elle:

    What happens if the public discover that Manning leaked all those documents simply for the fame, or even worse, for money?

    If there are actual crimes and misconduct by the government or anyone else revealed by those documents, does it matter what Manning’s motives were? Who knows what the real motive of Deep Throat was? Some people claimed he was just pissed off because he didn’t get the FBI top job. Does that make his revelations less valuable?

  155. 155
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    You know, it was legal for the Montgomery bus driver to have Rosa Parks arrested for not moving back, just like it’s legal for the military to have Manning in POI solitary. Legal as can be. The firehoses, the police dogs on protestors, all legal.

    And that’s why Parks was willing to go to jail. It’s why King and his group voluntarily turned themselves into police at the end of the Montgomery bus boycott. Because they knew they were breaking the law and they were willing to accept punishment for it because it gave them a chance to challenge the law itself.

    If you read up on the civil rights movement, you’ll see that the courts in the South that King went up against bent over backwards to make sure that they couldn’t appeal anything to a higher court because those Southern courts knew they would be slapped down by the Supreme Court.

    I really don’t know where this weird idea came from that activists who knowingly break the law shouldn’t suffer any penalty for it, but it sure didn’t come from the activists. The producers of The West Wing used to plan their shooting schedule around Martin Sheen’s anti-nuke protests because Sheen planned to be jailed to make his point. He’s still getting jailed and cited all the time.

    That’s not saying that the courts are right, or that we should bow down to them. It’s saying the opposite — sometimes you have to fight the law on its own ground, in the courts. But I’m sure you’ll accuse me of being an authoritarian boot-licker anyway.

    ETA: Father Carl Kabat has spent a total of 18 years in jail, on and off, for his anti-nuclear protest activities.

  156. 156

    @Mnemosyne: But the submission to the unjust law was meant to provoke outrage at their treatment. I’m outraged, and telling me, oh, Manning has to submit, he has to take their punishment — no. He does not. Not if we can get outraged enough to change the unjust law.

  157. 157
    elle says:

    @Ija:

    His motivations matter because everyone is protesting his detention based on the idea that he did it out of frustration with the system. We do not know that. If you found out he simply wanted to leak the info for money, would you be so concerned about how many hours of sleep he gets a night?

  158. 158
    PS says:

    This question of demanding to be arrested vs. being willing to walk away has been discussed in depth for years — generations, really — among activists. The guy I visited in prison (the process that gives me some empathy with Hamsher, dumb though she seems to have been) would technically have been willing to walk away, after causing damage to some military equipment (I won’t give details, though it’s ancient history now). On the other hand, he didn’t try very hard to escape.

    He and, er, the person or persons arrested with him got lumped in with the general population, largely drug dealers, until convicted and lumped in with the fraudulent accountants in a low-security place. You shoulda seen some of the visitors the white-collar guys got, who were presumably investing in a comfortable future. Not what’s happening to Manning.

  159. 159
    Andy K says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    But the submission to the unjust law was meant to provoke outrage at their treatment.

    It wasn’t about their treatment in jail, however, but that their treatment on buses, at lunch counters, in public lavatories, while technically legal, was immoral. Manning isn’t in the brig for protesting conditions in the brig, but for (allegedly) protesting the classification of secrets by the US government- which is a minefield of morality not at all akin to the obvious immorality of “separate but equal”.

  160. 160
    The Dangerman says:

    @PS:

    Well, one of your positions.

    Huh? What other position have I taken? I know I have a minor cold (sniffle; damn, gotta love the decongestants), but I don’t recall arguing anything different.

    However, what was getting up people’s noses (at least mine) was that you would not restrict yourself to that but instead flailed around demanding that other people make condemnations…

    I didn’t demand shit other than asking people to be consistent in their argument; sadly for the reputation for this board, which typically can at least hold the reasonable appearance of an intelligent argument, what I got was (in rough order, recall the decons):

    1) You’re a troll if you don’t provide a link

    Link given.

    2) It’s about safety

    What about the safety of Private Manning?

    3) It’s not solitary if he has lots of visitors

    WTF?

    4) It’s not torture if he’s seen a Judge

    WTFF?

    5) After a fraction of a post not even mine, the owner of this here joint asked if I was a stupid fucker, whereupon in my haste to enjoy a show after a day of sneezing and shit I didn’t come up with a particularly witty reply, I gave a suboptimal response. Oh, well, it happens.

    So, if people want to get their noses out of shape (join the crowd; I should buy stock in Kleenex) because they made a stupid argument…

    …and one way to destroy a stupid position is to show inconsistencies, which is what I did…

    …sorry, I’m not all that into thinking I’m in the wrong here.

  161. 161

    I don’t know if Hamsher was pulling a stunt for publicity (my ESP is down for repairs) but having spent a couple years in the army during the Vietnam Era I do know that the Army will fuck with you if it is deemed appropriate or good fun. The thing is you don’t know if you’re being fucked by the sentry or a watch commander or someone in the Pentagon.

    I was working in the personnel company at Fort Devens in 1972-73 when the army launched a race relations program. Why? Because besides losing in Vietnam there were routine battles going on at home on the bases between racists and people of color. The army needed instructors and to show you how desperate they were they asked me, a PFC, to join the staff because I was white and I hung out with blacks and Hispanics. This infuriated the racist warrant officer at my duty station, he refused to let me join the staff and then had me transferred across the tracks to the engineer battalion (39th, with a motto “Fight Build and Destroy”). Once they sent me away the Captain running race relations on base got the base commander to I forget the term but I got moved to some slot where the warrant officer couldn’t fuck with me. Got to remember, the warrant officer was fucking with me and the base had to run this course for all the troops. The warrant officer thought his racism could trump Washington, DC. I moved my shit into the building where the classroom was (an old empty barracks) and no one knew where the hell I was living or who I belonged to for the rest of my time in the army. Sweet, relatively.

    When I was in Personnel across the way in my office was the desk where they cut orders. I know that two MPs on base got sent to Vietnam because they used to ticket cars in the 382nd’s parking lot. That stopped the MPs from ticketing our cars. One pain-in-the-ass captain wrote up a guy in the pay office for having a mustache a little long. That captain’s pay records mysteriously disappeared only to turn up a year later in Iceland. The captain was without money for months.

    The point is that the army will fuck with you. They fuck with their own, and their own will fuck back, and they will fuck with outside agitators. I have no doubt that there were instructions to fuck with anyone who tried to see Manning. If the tags weren’t expired they would have run a smog test. Something.

  162. 162
    elle says:

    @Turbulence:

    You misunderstand. I am saying that his motivations for leaking classified documents are unknown, and that these motivations matter. I am also saying that if his motivations were known, they would surely influence how people feel about the nature of his current detention. No matter how important you may consider the documents themselves, I hardly believe that anyone would happily protest his detention if he said he did it for money.

  163. 163
    Ija says:

    @elle:

    …. would you be so concerned about how many hours of sleep he gets a night?

    I thought we liberals believe that torture is torture, even if we are talking about people who want to blow us up. But if he is doing it for money and/or fame, suddenly torture is not torture anymore? So now that Bush is not in power we suddenly believe that motives matter when it comes to torture? So what other motives would make you stop believing that torture is torture? Money, fame, what else?

  164. 164
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    Which unjust law? The one that says you’re not supposed to give classified documents to unauthorized people, particularly foreigners? We’d better release Robert Hanssen right away, then.

  165. 165
    Ija says:

    And what is the origin of this meme that Manning was doing it for the money? Did I miss an allegation that Wikileaks or its cronies paid him? Has he signed a blockbuster deal worth millions to write a book about his life story?

  166. 166
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    I know it’s a waste of my time but…

    … tell me about a traffic stop involved documentation violations solely that lasted two hours, huh?

    I take it you haven’t been pulled over too often, have you? Especially while driving while hippy, black, brown or any other ‘reason’ that ‘justifies’ the law giving you a good long look-over. I have. I never said it was right or that it was ok with me. Go ahead and reread what I said before here, I never said that, did I?

    The point is that it’s stupid to go break the law and then get pissed about being treated like you broke the law. Jane is no Rosa Parks and neither is Manning. How would have it gone for Rosa if she had performed her act of civil disobedience as an undocumented immigrant? We probably wouldn’t have even heard of her if that was the case. If you give the law a reason to pounce on you then you don’t get to whine about it afterward like you never did anything wrong.

    Jane is whining about this, loudly. Same with her idiotic worshipers. She broke the law and they are butthurt about her being held for a short time and then being released. Right now this whole mess is almost all about Jane and Manning is the sideshow.

    Great job there Calamity Jane!

    Fucking idiots.

  167. 167
    Andy K says:

    @Ija:

    What’s the origin of the meme that he wasn’t? AFAIK, he hasn’t admitted anything to anyone other than an oddball whom Greenwald is doing his best to discredit.

  168. 168
    Ija says:

    @elle:

    …. so what horrors of war that did not deter him from joining up motivated him to take such a decision?

    The horrors of war that he saw once he’s been in an actual, umm, war? I mean, you can talk all you want about the horrors of war, but I’m sure it’s different until you actually see it for yourself. It’s possible he might have missed some stuff about the horrors of war when he decided to join, because he hasn’t been to war yet.

  169. 169
    Ija says:

    @Andy K:

    IMHO, the burden of proof is on those who claim that he is doing it for the money. They say follow the money. Well, show us the trail. I’m sure there are bank records, the government must have combed into Manning’s financial records with extra scrutiny by now.

  170. 170
    Andy K says:

    @Ija:

    Actually, the burden of proof is on anyone to show that he’s done anything at all, something, which, again, he seems to have admitted only to Adrian Lamo, whom Greenwald is trying to discredit. You can’t discredit Lamo without discrediting Manning’s admission to Lamo that he done the deed, and without that admission of guilt, anyone stating any reason- financial, altruistic or any other- for Manning’s alleged actions is pure speculation.

    You can’t have it both ways.

  171. 171
    Mart says:

    @General Stuck: They could put him up at the Hilton, which would be okay with me, but anywhere else around other gi’s and he wouldn’t likely last a week. What the hell – you expect/it is OK for GI’s to murder? That is some sick shit.

  172. 172

    @Mnemosyne: Actually here I’m suggesting that Manning’s current punishment is unjust.

    But the larger principle of too much secrecy surrounding government affairs is also in play here. The US government has already admitted that not much bad has come from the Wikileaks cables released thus far, and I’d be willing to bet the worst of that release is already over (despite the vast majority yet to come out). And there’s the arguable good of the Tunisian rebellion. I’m not saying the idea of secrecy around governmental dealings isn’t necessary at times, but where the line currently is drawn appears to be unnecessary and frankly unproductive. That’s the conversation that Wikileaks wants us to have, and that’s what Manning is in jail for.

  173. 173
    Ija says:

    @Andy K:

    Sorry, I guess I’m just stupid, but I don’t understand your point. How am I trying to have it both ways? Have you seen me say anything about Greenwald or whoever it is he is doing his best to discredit?

    Plus, I never claimed that I believe Manning is doing it because of altruistic reason or he’s a darn good patriot who’s just trying to show the evil of the system or whatever. I said torture is torture, his motives are irrelevant. I never claimed to know what his motives were. I’m just saying that if you are claiming that he is doing it for the money, the burden of proof is on you to show us that.

  174. 174
    Ija says:

    Also, I’m sorry, I might be wrong, but didn’t we have an extended conversation on the left about how torture is torture is torture no matter how despicable the person being tortured is? Or is doing it for the money too despicable for that rule to apply? (If we are taking it as a fact that Manning is doing it for the money, which, yeah, show me the money first).

  175. 175
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    Also, too, comparing Manning to civil rights workers is frankly hyperbolic and more than a little silly. Manning is a classic whistleblower. Unfortunately, the way he’s being treated is pretty common for whistleblowers, like the guy from UBS who revealed illegal Swiss accounts held by Americans and was sent to jail for it.

  176. 176
    Andy K says:

    @Ija:

    You can’t say that Manning did it for altruistic reasons (or financial reasons) unless you are ready to admit that Manning actually did it.

    The only source that we have that’s anything like an admission of guilt is the chat logs between Manning and Lamo. Greenwald is attempting to discredit those chat logs.

    To pin any motive to Manning’s actions you must first admit that he did what he’s accused of doing. Are you willing to believe that Manning did that of which he’s accused (and I’m not asking about your opinion of the validity of the law, but a violation of the law as written)?

    If your answer is yes, then you can try to apply motive (and, according to the chat logs, the motives seem altruistic, if not a bit stupid, imo).

    If your answer is no, that you don’t believe that Manning is guilty, then you don’t get to speculate about a motive, because there was no crime to motivate.

    So yes or no: Do you think Manning did it?

  177. 177
    PS says:

    @The Dangerman: I notice that when quoting you truncate, thereby changing the meaning. Meanwhile, enjoy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TivWXoFa0bY

  178. 178
    Mart says:

    Assume Manning gave 250K docs to Assange. From there we know Assange gave them to four newspapers – and one of the papers gave to the NYT’s. Nearly all of the released to the public documents were vetted and released by those five newspapers, not Manning or Assange. So why aren’t we jailing NYT editors in solitary confinement and calling for the CIA to take out the foriegn papers editors? Blame some more messengers dammmit!

  179. 179
    Ija says:

    @Andy K:

    Yes, I think he did leak the documents. And no, I don’t know what his motives are, and I don’t really care to speculate until we see the evidence against him and his defense. My point was, it does not matter what his motives are, if he is being tortured, it is still wrong. Even if he is found guilty, it is still wrong to torture him. It doesn’t make it right because he is doing it for the money rather than altruistic reasons. We don’t get to say that, oh, it’s ok is they are depriving him of sleep if he is doing it for the money. (This part isn’t related to your argument, it’s a separate argument I was having with commenter elle, not attributing this to you at all).

    And I don’t understand this constant harping on Greenwald. Have I said anything to suggest that I worship the ground he walks on or something? I think you are confusing my arguments with other people. That’s easy to do in a long thread like this. Are you just assuming that anyone who says anything that can remotely be read as supportive of Manning is a GG acolyte? BTW, I don’t think that saying Manning shouldn’t be tortured is in any way indicative of support for what he allegedly did anyway.

  180. 180
    Andy K says:

    @Ija:

    …but didn’t we have an extended conversation on the left about how torture is torture is torture no matter how despicable the person being tortured is?

    Yeah, but I don’t know that he’s being tortured. I outlined it above how he was demoted after assaulting another soldier and had his mental state- over the 6 months or so leading up to that assault, and, seemingly, just after that assault- documented. We’re looking at a guy who was, in my unprofessional opinion, very depressed and violent at least once in the past year. His own defense attorney has enough serious questions about the guy’s mental health to have requested a 706 board, basically a sanity hearing.

    So here’s a guy who’s been violent, has had his sanity questioned by his own attorney, and is being held in a manner where he can’t harm himself or anyone else (and this might be the reason behind the fact that during his exercise period he’s manacled , especially if he’d attempted an assault on anyone in the brig- but what good would it do him to have that made public?)…I can’t call that torture.

    There are at least two sides to this story, and when the only story we get comes from someone who uses it to raise money for campaigns out of which s/he could very likely be taking “administrative” costs, someone who doesn’t tell the full story behind her detention…Well, I’m willing to let this one shake out all by itself.

  181. 181
    Andy K says:

    @Ija:

    And I don’t understand this constant harping on Greenwald.

    Because PAC partners Greenwald and Hamsher are the two people driving the story from the…well, I’d say left, but I’m not as convinced of their lefty credentials as others around the prog-o-sphere tend to be. But they’re the two most responsible for fanning the flames of the prog-o-sphere.

  182. 182
    FlipYrWhig says:

    What a shock, Glenn Greenwald argues in the following fashion:

    The real purpose of this Quantico episode seems clearly to be

    Then acts as though his conclusion is the only possible conclusion and draws further conclusions from that.

    Wasn’t hard to see that coming.

    Also, I don’t understand when it became an article of faith on the would-be so-called left that not-quite “solitary confinement,” involving some number of visitors under some sets of conditions over some amount of time, was about the harshest and cruelest possible thing you could do to a human being.

    Did you think so before you read Greenwald’s caterwauling about it? I doubt it. Fuck all of them.

  183. 183
    Jebediah says:

    I don’t know for a fact what Manning did or didn’t do, nor his motivations for anything. But the conditions of his detention as I have read about them absolutely amount to torture. Doesn’t have to be “the harshest and cruelest thing you could do” to a human; it’s still torture.
    Torture is wrong. Period. No matter who it is done to, or by, or why.
    Torture is wrong. Period.
    The shucking and jiving around that point in this thread is making me sick to my stomach.
    Anyone who can’t get behind the simple statement that torture is wrong, and we shouldn’t do it TO ANYONE – please go fuck yourself; you’re no one I want to talk to.

  184. 184

    @Ding Ding: Before I wade into this comment section (I “borrowed” a half bottle of wine from my neighbor for the occasion), I’m going to say this (and I likely won’t say anymore because I’ll get distracted and end up watching reruns of the Golden Girls):

    Here’s my question —

    What about this:

    Given that Hamsher has a credibility problem and given that Quantico has obvious reasons to downplay the incident, I’d be interested to know how and why Hamsher and House were held or detained. Was it the expired license plates and registration? Is the Army trying to further isolate Manning? Did they have to wait for the tow truck to deal with the car? Was it the petition?

    has got everyone panties in a wad?

    I noted two facts: 1) Jane has a credibility problem (if you can’t even agree that is the case, then stop reading); 2) Quantico has an obvious reason to downplay the incident.

    I then flagged several issues in the form of questions.

    Two of those issues were critical of Jane: (1) whether the expired tags and plates were the issue, and (2) whether her detention was a result of having to wait for the car (and therefore, i implied, not really a detention in the sense that I imagine when I think of military detentions.)

    Two of those questions were critical of the military: (1) whether the Marines are trying to further isolate Manning, and (2) whether they were chafed by the petition. (Perhaps I could have phrased this last bit better, but when I asked “was it the petition?” I didn’t mean “why would she bring a petition to the Base,” I meant “were the Marines irritated by the activist nature of her visit.”)

    And then, I added a clip that is clearly critical of a “Semper Fi” attitude. C’mon, y’all. Get a grip.

    Now, admittedly the arc of my snark bent towards Jane, but I frankly do not understand what is with all the pitchforkiness. (I haven’t read this thread yet, but i’m sure it’s there.)

    But since I’m sure nothing I say will really make a difference in the minds of those of you who think that “I just hate Jane” so, whatever.

    But, may I draw your attention to my reaction upon reading the news about her detention? As I said yesterday, I do not celebrate Jane’s entire catalog, but I also did not “cackle with glee” upon hearing the news. My real gut reaction was “that’s fucked up.”

    But, I probably just wrote that in the hopes that, later in the day, the New York Times would publish an article questioning Jane’s version of the facts, thus enabling me to write a “mendacious” blog post the next morning, and then later that night (in a half-drunken stupor) write this very comment.

    What to do now? I guess I’ll go work on my thesis on Who Isn’t Racist (as suggested by Idontrememberwhothefuck) and then I’ll turn to whatever other homework assignments and Important Issues some of you think I should be focusing my time on.

    Sweet Bieber, some of y’all are so fucking fussy.

    ABL

    +6

    OUT.

  185. 185
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Well, as I’ve been mulling over all available evidence, including the Washington Times article mentioned above, another possibility seems plausible enough to mention.

    Perhaps this is a scheme to demonize the military’s case against Manning as much as possible. The key on this is knowing that the 706 board was requested by the defense. It seems logical to me that it’s in the military’s best interest to get Manning tried and convicted ASAP, and the defense’s interest is to stop that from happening, of course. Being declared mentally unable to stand trial would not be in the military’s interest and in the defense’s.

    If it’s true, of course, it’s true. But if it’s not – if Manning has always been in his right mind – then the 706 board as a delaying tactic is going to fail. This would be something the defense already knows.

    So how to play that hand is the question. And the answer is to make it look like the military is railroading Manning. Play up the admitted distress caused by POI status, solitary, etc. Have his last remaining outside visitor declare on national TV that Manning is beginning to crack (the interview seen in the OP from the Greenwald article).

    Then show up at the gate with 42,000 petitions to end Manning’s suffering, but get caught with easily corrected problems. After the TV interview, the military attorneys would see the mounting PR case against them and know these people are threatening to publicly taint the approaching 706 board verdict. So they’re already looking for a reason to keep them out, and Jane and company are happy to give it to them because they want the hue and cry. Now the evil military is keeping them out just as Manning is cracking, you see!

    Perhaps it is too 11 dimensional to be true, and I’m not saying I’m backing it. It’s just a possibility, but it does explain the actions of all involved.

  186. 186
    JGabriel says:

    Anne Laurie:

    … I find the cheap cynicism of “what do you expect from someone like Hamsher” and “yes, but the authorities were totally within their rights technically” a disgrace to (at the very least) the civics training of the rising generations.

    THIS. Thank you. I’ve been thinking much the same thing.

    .

  187. 187
    Space Case says:

    @Angry Black Lady: I doesn’t haz panties, I iz a man! You sure have lots of questions! Next month, when House wants to visit his buddy Manning, he should ditch Jane and the petition and take a taxi instead. It’s pretty funny that Ms Jane would call up the Marine Corps and tell them to get ready cuz she’s coming with a petition to harass the Marine Corps and for Jane to think for some odd reason that the Marine Corps would let her come onto their perfectly good base. And it is funny that House would confuse paling around with Ms Jane with visiting his friend accused of espionage incarcerated in a brig owned and operated by the USMC. Here’s to pitchforks, Cheers.

  188. 188
    morzer says:

    I find the cheap cynicism of “what do you expect from someone like Hamsher” and “yes, but the authorities were totally within their rights technically” a disgrace to (at the very least) the civics training of the rising generations.

    This is extremely well said, and long over-due. I didn’t sign up as a liberal just to pretend to be a Republican or repeat Karl Rove’s justifications for prisoner abuse or denial of due process.

  189. 189
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Angry Black Lady: Sorry, I did not intend to get into a front-pager handbagging over the issue of whether Hamsher/House did the right thing, or whether the Marines reacted correctly to whatever Hamsher/House may or may not have done. It is, frankly, of no interest whatsoever to me whether Bradley Manning stole those documents out of patriotism, for profit, or because he wanted to get kicked out of a position he seems to have been unhappy in — assuming Bradley Manning actually stole those documents, which we’ll never know for sure now, because torturing someone fatally taints their further testimony. What matters to me here is:

    CIVILIZED NATIONS DO NOT TORTURE.

    They do not torture good people, they do not torture bad people, they do not torture any people. As a patriotic American, I am outraged that some of my fellow Americans (many of them otherwise decent, intelligent human beings) have so lost the thread that they’ve started arguing about the “nuances” of how much torture might be okay to inflict on the proper person for the appropriate reasons.

    If we are a civilized nation, we do not torture. That is all. It’s like the GBShaw crack about prostitution; once we agree that it’s acceptable for a large enough payoff, we’re just haggling about how cheaply we’ll sell our national soul.

  190. 190
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Jebediah:

    Too bad it takes a Manning to make people think even a little bit about the hundreds, if not thousands, of people who are locked up in solitary confinement in prisons throughout America. I’ll take the concern here as sincere when you very same people rise up and object that these prisoners are being tortured too. Oh, and not just on the internet either, that’s just meaningless and accomplishes absolutely nothing (but it sure makes some people think they are ‘doing’ something about it).

    Until then, life goes on as usual in Amerika. The conditions in our prisons are deplorable yet the public largely ignores them because they figure the prisoners had it coming. Give a shit about that and I’ll start to take you seriously. There are many issues behind the Manning case that we know little to nothing about and I won’t put it past some ‘self-promoters’ out there to make hay out of the issue for this very reason in an attempt to achieve their own ends, whatever they might be.

    GG would be hating on the government and CJ would be looking to make a buck out of it, IMO. Manning is just a means to an end for people like these.

  191. 191
    Ija says:

    It’s really weird when you have a subject that the people you usually agree with on other subjects disagree with you vehemently. And you’re left thinking, wait, what? I thought we would agree on this. This is so weird to be disagreeing with you, and not in a polite “well I respect your opinion, let’s just agree to disagree” way. Usually this happens to me when abortion is the topic when I discover that many liberals actually don’t really care about choice and think of the issue as a distraction.

  192. 192
    Jebediah says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:
    As I understand the effects of solitary confinement, especially for extended periods, it is torture. Therefor it is wrong for any prisoner to be subjected to it. Even prisoners who are in fact guilty of nasty crimes. I don’t condone or accept torturing anybody – innocent, guilty, whatever. And those prisoners you refer to are being tortured.
    Didn’t someone somewhere say something to the effect that how we treat the powerless is the measure of our character? So far, we are coming up short in that department.

  193. 193
    Jebediah says:

    @Ija:

    I discover that many liberals actually don’t really care about choice

    I too always thought that support for choice was a given among liberals.

  194. 194
    David Fud says:

    @The Dangerman: That is disingenuous. You spend 10 months in solitary, come back and let me know if it is torture. I think we would be more likely to agree then.

  195. 195
    Ija says:

    @Jebediah:

    I honestly don’t mind the liberals, who, for whatever reason, religious or otherwise, are genuinely pro-life. What I can’t stand are the people who give lip service to choice, but then says things like:

    Roe v Wade being overturned would be a good thing for Democrats since it would energize the base and Democrats would win elections for years (never mind that abortion would probably become illegal in the red states, hey, it will always be legal in California, New York etc etc, if those women in Kansas or Georgia want an abortion, they can always go there).

    Abortion is a special-interest issue (defn: any issue affecting women and minorities, if the issue benefits working class white men, for example, it is definitely not a special interest issue). Therefore we should never prioritize special interest issues over other more important issues that affect everybody (this is a variation of the “there are people dying in wars and children starving on the streets, so why are you talking about this trivial issue” argument).

  196. 196
    Cacti says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Too bad it takes a Manning to make people think even a little bit about the hundreds, if not thousands, of people who are locked up in solitary confinement in prisons throughout America. I’ll take the concern here as sincere when you very same people rise up and object that these prisoners are being tortured too. Oh, and not just on the internet either, that’s just meaningless and accomplishes absolutely nothing (but it sure makes some people think they are ‘doing’ something about it).

    Indeed.

    One wonders where this outrage was during the 20+ years that the Security Housing Unit at Pelican Bay State Prison has been operating.

  197. 197

    I might find it quite moral to off somebody and a whole bunch of you might agree with me that it was after I did it. (extreme case, yes…) None of that makes a bit of difference to the State which does not condone murder and will seek to punish me. Now it really makes no difference if we’re talking about a DUII or murder or espionage, the State will seek to detain and punish because it is what a State does. That doesn’t mean that cruelty or torture is part of the bargain, it does mean that when I decided to break a law for my own reasons the State is under no compulsion to give a rat’s ass and is required to seek to protect its interests.

    I don’t think the public’s interests are served by the excessive secrecy and out right lying our government engages in. I’m pretty damn pleased by every thumb that goes into their eyes on those issues but one then starts to have to deal with what secrecy isn’t excessive and that is the crunch. Nobody outside a handful knows exactly what Wikileaks has and judgements on what doesn’t involve excessive secrecy and lying is premature. Just because the State says it should be secret doesn’t mean any more than that it meets their desires to keep it so.

    I’ve watched this since the early 60s and I’m not encouraged and I’m particularly unimpressed by the general public’s regard for the degree of the State’s power. In fact, the 2010 midterms demonstrated to me that the American electorate is an ass and had to choose from a collection of asses.

  198. 198
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Cacti:

    I live just north of that hole and several of my customers work there. One loves to regale me with his having to “put the hurt on” any inmate he deems is not being respectful of his authority.

    Of course, he’s just doing his job as a patriotic American, right?

    Our prisons are full of guards who enjoy their job a bit more than they should. The hyperventilating about Manning being tortured completely ignores that this has been going on for years and most Americans are just fine with it. Treat these guys like monsters and when they are released that is what you get coming back into society. We’re a short-sighted nation that tends to navel-gaze at shit that we think matters while missing the big picture on it.

  199. 199

    The real purpose of this Quantico episode seems clearly to be to deny Manning his only real visitor….

    This is the type of bullshit that makes Greenwald unreadable. Is there a reasonable suspicion that this is being done? Sure, one could speculate. Are the other, more plausible explanations, such as, these MPs were going strictly by the book, as MPs are wont to do? Absolutely.

    But we can count on Greenwald to believe exactly that story he wants to believe, and to dismiss any contrary story, no matter how plausible, as merely evidence of the moral inferiority of those who don’t unquestionably accept his interpretation.

    Just as we can count on a couple of the frontpagers to parrot his unwarranted certainty if they write a post too soon after reading one of his pieces.

  200. 200

    @John Cole:

    @The Dangerman: One is violent and a threat to the public, the other is not.

    If solitary is torture, then John just endorsed torture in some cases.

    And then asked somebody if he was this fucking stupid.

    Well done!

  201. 201
    Tom65 says:

    The great thing about this for Jane is that when House returns to Quantico next week in a car with proper tags and insurance, Jane will get to claim that she somehow took on the White House and won.

  202. 202
    soonergrunt says:

    @joe from Lowell: The speculation and missatements of easily check-able information is the part that should give members of the so-called reality-based community pause.
    The fact that it doesn’t–well, I guess that craziness and stupidity aren’t the exclusive purview of birthers.
    Cole ought to make matoko_chan a front pager instead of channeling her like he’s been doing. The intellectual quality of the site won’t be any lower, anyway.

  203. 203
    lol says:

    I still don’t buy the argument that solitary confinement is “torture”, especially since you could use the exact same arguments to say that any sort of imprisonment is “torture”.

    Manning broke the law. He broke the law regarding classified material. He broke the law while in the military.

    Sorry, I have no more sympathy for him than I do for Scooter Libby and Richard Armitage who were, according to *their* defenders, heroic whistleblowers exposing liberal cronyism in the CIA.

    Meanwhile, Manning’s defenders around here are running around falsely claiming he hasn’t even been charged yet.

  204. 204
    lol says:

    @David Fud:

    No acknowledgment that you lied when you said he hadn’t been charged I see.

  205. 205
    General Stuck says:

    @Mart:

    There are some dim bulbs commenting here, these days especially. You are one of the dimmest. geesh

  206. 206
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @lol: I also have a hard time seeing “solitary confinement” as torture, and, furthermore, I have a hard time seeing Manning as being held under “solitary confinement” when the entire fucking story is about someone who has visited him before, ergo, he has visitors. It seems to me like the reasoning is all backwards: that Manning is a dissident, hence he must be a political prisoner, hence he must be being treated harshly and punitively, so what’s being done to him is probably torture, but it’s not really torture by the usual definition, so it must be psychological torture, based on a loaded description by Glenn Greenwald and that article by Atul Gawande.

  207. 207
    David Fud says:

    @lol: I did not know. So, there is your acknowledgement. If you choose, you could acknowledge that solitary confinement is torture.

    Or whatever.

  208. 208
    David Fud says:

    @Cacti: Probably because it is not coupled with forcing confessions to further state power.

    Clearly some of the commenters here seems to think that as long as it isn’t their ass in solitary confinement then it isn’t torture, nor is it any big deal.

    I never thought I would see that. How bizarre.

  209. 209

    @lol: Manning broke the law? Conviction? No. Charges? No.

    I guess in the post-Bush world that many Juicers seem to have embraced, as long as the government says so it’s cool.

    +++

    As for who’s left and who’s right, the real debate has always been top v. bottom. Left and right was the seating arrangement in the French legislature after their revolution. The best way to muddy an argument is to demand credentials to avoid the issue at hand. The true question is what side the person is working for. When teabaggers fight for tax cuts for the rich they’re working for their overseers. When winesippers dismiss Manning’s situation with a wave of their hands they are accepting the emerging new paradigm of justice in America.

  210. 210
    Mart says:

    @General Stuck: It appears you believe that I have interpreted your post incorrectly. Would you please explain what you meant by, “anywhere else around other gi’s and he wouldn’t likely last a week.”

    Shine a little light on my dim bulb.

  211. 211
    General Stuck says:

    @Mart:

    What the hell – you expect/it is OK for GI’s to murder?

    It sounds like you interpreted my comment to mean I thought, or was suggesting I thought it was OK! for GI’s to murder. I was stating a simple fact of life that most GI’s would not look kindly on his alleged crimes, and his life would be in danger. “you expect” was putting words in my mouth, sounded like to me. IOW’s, I don’t think he would be safe in general pop, and anyone who had been in the military would know this, which was why i said he could be put up somewhere other than the grim solitary confinement brig, as far as I was concerned. I don’t want him harmed in any way, but he has to be somewhere in custody, because those accused of espionage never get bail.

  212. 212
    General Stuck says:

    Some days, and a lot recently, I just know there will be lasting brain damage from engaging in blog comment sections, and now this one too. And It will be my own damn fault for lack of willpower.

  213. 213
    Mart says:

    Well that clears it up. You don’t approve of GI murder, just based on your military experience expect his life to be in danger around most GI’s. “GI’s would not look kindly on his alleged crimes, and his life would be in danger.”

    I was way out of line, I now know you do not condone murderous GI’s, just expect that kind of behavior from them. Is it safe for me to say your expectations of our military personnel are some sick shit?

  214. 214
    Mrs. Polly says:

    @Mart: Oh for Christ’s sake. We are talking about GIs who are already in the brig, some of them possibly having actually committed some kind of crime involving bodily harm, being presented with a young man of slight demeanor (who nevertheless assaulted another soldier) and international notoriety.

    There should be some form of protective custody that isn’t used for purposes of torturing the prisoner, and it’s beyond sad that there’s a strong possibility that Manning is being tortured in this way.

    To answer Anne Laurie, though, I don’t think it cheap cynicism in the least to ask that someone characterizing herself as supporting Manning report the treatment she receives at the gates of his prison honestly, which Hamsher did not. She tweeted the incident in real time, but omitted the fact that she was driving an unlicensed car, which is self-serving behavior at the very least. She proved herself an unreliable witness, and once again allowed herself to be used as a tool by the very people she is supposed to be opposing.

    At least this time, it was inadvertent.

  215. 215
    General Stuck says:

    @Mrs. Polly:

    Thanks :)

  216. 216
    Jebediah says:

    @lol:

    I still don’t buy the argument that solitary confinement is “torture”, especially since you could use the exact same arguments to say that any sort of imprisonment is “torture”.

    No, you cannot use the exact same arguments. Solitary confinement drastically reduces or eliminates human contact, interaction, and mental and physical stimuli. Imprisonment and solitary are not the fucking same. Maybe there are some psychologists or psychiatrists in the house who could explain it more completely.
    It is torture, whether you “buy” it or not. It breaks people’s minds. It doesn’t need to break bones to be torture.

  217. 217
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    Manning broke the law? Conviction? No. Charges? No.

    The Big Lie isn’t just for Republicans anymore. (Or is it?)

    Manning has been charged since last July.

  218. 218
    Avedon says:

    @Ija: Our leaders currently believe that there is no better excuse for committing massive acts of treason (e.g., destroying our nation’s economy) than to do it for the money.

    Maybe if Manning only did it for the money, they’d let him off the hook.

    What’s scary is the possibility that he did it because he actually believes in democracy, an informed public, and the values of the Constitution he was sworn to uphold.

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