Tag: solitary confinement

Where Is The Great Writ For Brad Manning?

Julian Assange is the big media story, but the unsung hero is probably Brad Manning.  Unfortunately, while Manning suffers in solitary confinement, as he has for the past 7 months, and we scour the leaked material for which he might be responsible, the subject of Manning’s torturous, stringent, long term confinement are noted with horror and contempt, but is anything being done to challenge them?  Put another way, where is the Great Writ, the writ of habeas corpus, for Brad Manning?

Pvt. Brad Manning: Seven Months of Solitary So Far

Private Manning has never been tried for a crime.  He has never been convicted of a crime.  Yet he has spent the past five months in solitary confinement at the Marine brig in Quantico, VA, and the preceding two months in prison in Kuwait.

There are no sheets or a  pillow on his bed.  He is not permitted to exercise in his cell, and closed circuit television monitors him to make sure he doesn’t sneak in a prohibited push-up or sit-up.  

For one hour a day he is allowed out of his cell, perhaps to exercise or watch television, though whether or not he is allowed to watch the news is in dispute.

He is being given anti-depressants to offset the effects of solitary confinement.  It must be that the folks manning the brig at Quantico are aware that the facts are in concerning the cruel torment that solitary confinement is, and the long-term mental health problems it induces: it drives people mad.

Torture In Your Own Backyard


Cell Block D, Alcatraz

If Dostoevsky was right, that “the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons,” the United States has ceased to be civilized.  When a country imprisons more than 2 million people, and when it manages to be torturing more than 20,000 of those prisoners through long term solitary confinement, something is wrong.  Very, very wrong.  And remarkably, the torture is thoroughly overlooked.

Torturing?  Yes.  Not waterboarding. Not stress positions.  No. I’m talking about long term, unrelenting solitary confinement.  Solitary confinement not for days, but for years, even for decades.  Solitary confinement that literally drives prisoners crazy.  Solitary confinement that is torture plain and simple.

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