FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Torturing Chelsea Manning in Prison

US authorities ruthlessly and consistently violate 8th Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

America has by far the world’s largest gulag system operating globally – filled with thousands of political prisoners, many others warranting only a reprimand (never incarceration), and countless numbers of victims of wrongful imprisonment, including innocent inmates on death row.

Chelsea Manning is one of America’s best – a real American hero. She took great personal risks to reveal vital truths everyone has a right to know.

In February 2012, Movement of the Icelandic Parliament (MIP) members nominated her for the Nobel Peace Prize. They felt compelled to recognize her important contribution to world peace.

Paul Craig Roberts earlier called her “a window into the American soul” – revealing “total evil.” Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark explains “(o)ur jails are filled with saints.” Some of America’s best are ruthlessly persecuted and abused.

Center for Constitutional Rights President Emeritus Michael Ratner called Manning’s court martial a “show trial of state secrecy.”

Kangaroo proceedings rubber-stamped her guilty on 20 counts (six under the long ago outdated 1917 Espionage Act). She disclosed important military documents – classified to conceal US war crimes.

She was sentenced to 35 years in prison, reduced in rank to private E1, denied pay and allowances, and dishonorably discharged – instead of receiving full deserved  honors as a national hero.

In detention for over 1,000 days prior to sentencing and imprisonment, she was horrifically treated – tortured in solitary confinement, kept nude in her cell at night and outside for morning inspections, denied virtually every right free people take for granted.

At the time, Professor Mark Kleiman said “(t)he United States Army…subjected (her) to a regime designed to drive (her) insane.” He called her treatment “a total disgrace.”

It continues in prison – a living death like in Plato’s Cave. People chained to a wall – remaining there all their lives. Shadows replaced reality.

Wrongful charges and proceedings against Manning were rigged to convict. Doing the right thing was no defense – nor heroism above and beyond the call of duty.

Free Chelsea.com headlined “Whistleblower Chelsea Manning is being unfairly punished in prison and faces possible indefinite solitary confinement…for a tube of expired toothpaste? We can’t let this happen.”

She’s been imprisoned for five years (including time served in detention before conviction). She’s isolated indefinitely in solitary confinement for these alleged “offenses:”

* sweeping food onto the floor;

* asking to speak to her lawyer when confronted;

* having books and magazines in her cell containing political and LGBTQ issues content; and

* “improper medicine use” for possessing a tube of toothpaste past its expiration date.

Prison authorities stated the above charges as follows:

“Charge 1: Disrespect

Specification: On 2 July 2015, during dinner chow, you were approached by (a correctional specialist) in regards to your actions inside the dining facility. You conducted yourself in a contemptuous manner by being disrespectful to the cadre present.

Charge 2: Disorderly conduct

Specification: On 2 July 2015, during dinner chow, you were observed by (a correctional specialist) sweeping food onto the floor.

Charge 3: Prohibited property

Specification: On 9 July 2015, while under administrative segregation pending investigation, your cell was inspected and prohibited property was found in your possession (Note: Books and magazines).

Charge 4: Medicine misuse

Specification: On 9 July 2015, while under administrative segregation pending investigation, your cell was inspected and a tube of anti-cavity toothpaste may-keep-in-cell, was found in your possession past its expiration date of 9 April 2015.

The maximum charge for these offenses is indefinite solitary confinement.

Details of charges: On 2 July 2015, during dinner chow, inmate Manning was approached by (a correctional specialist) to inform inmate Manning to be aware of her surroundings because (the correctional specialist) was almost hit with some food inmate Manning swept off the table.

(The correctional specialist) informed inmate Manning to stand by at ‘Commons 1’ once chow was completed so (the correctional specialist) could talk to inmate Manning and explain what she had done wrong while at ‘Commons 1.’

(The correctional specialist) attempted to talk to inmate Manning, but she continued to cut (the correctional specialist) off by stating words to the effect of ‘you are accusing me.’ ’(T)his interview is over’ and ‘I want my lawyer.’

(The correctional specialist) ended the conversation and inmate Manning left to go get medication.”

The absurdity and offensiveness of these charges are solely to inflict cruel and unusual punishment – in blatant violation of Manning’s 8th Amendment rights.

Books and magazines in her cell included: a Vanity Fair issue with Caitlyn Jenner on the cover, Advocate, OUT Magazine, Cosmopolitan featuring a Chelsea Manning interview, Transgender Studies Quarterly, a novel about transgender issues titled A Safe Girl to Love, another book titled Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous, a third book titled “I Am Malala: the Girl Who Stood Up to the Taliban, a fourth one titled “Compelling People: Hidden Qualities that Make Us Influential,” five books by Robert Dorkin, and legal documents including the Senate Torture Report.

None of these publications are  contraband. Nor does possessing them violate any law or threaten anyone. Free Chelsea.com says “(i)t’s terrifying that the US government would target a prisoner so unfairly with so little justification.”

It’s to continue cruel and unusual punishment as long as she’s incarcerated. Longterm solitary confinement is torture by any standard.

Free Chelsea.com explains she’s “been very active while in prison” – through Twitter on transparency and transgender rights, as well as America’s prison system.

She writes a regular London Guardian column. She wrote a Guardian article published “bill to protect journalism and curb Espionage Act” abuses – titled the National Integrity and Free Speech Protection Act.

It followed a Guardian article she wrote about “more (US government) national security and criminal investigations into journalists and prosecutions of their sources than at any other time in the nation’s” history.

Chelsea Manning is one of thousands of US political prisoners. Other notable ones include:

Mumia Abu Jamal – wrongfully convicted of murder to silence his powerful voice for justice.

Leonard Peltier – framed for two FBI agent murders he didn’t commit because of his notable American Indian Movement activism.

The Cuban 5 – wrongfully convicted for activism in America to expose anti-Cuban terror plots.

Thousands lawlessly held and tortured in Guantanamo and other US global black sites. Numerous other notable prisoners of conscience languishing unjustly in US gulag prison hell.

Longstanding US policy bears testimony to a ruthless, lawless nation terrorizing defenseless people worldwide. “America the beautiful” exists for its privileged few alone.

More articles by:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Weekend Edition
March 22, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Henry Giroux
The Ghost of Fascism in the Post-Truth Era
Gabriel Rockhill
Spectacular Violence as a Weapon of War Against the Yellow Vests
H. Bruce Franklin
Trump vs. McCain: an American Horror Story
Paul Street
A Pox on the Houses of Trump and McCain, Huxleyan Media, and the Myth of “The Vietnam War”
Andrew Levine
Why Not Impeach?
Bruce E. Levine
Right-Wing Psychiatry, Love-Me Liberals and the Anti-Authoritarian Left
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Darn That (American) Dream
Charles Pierson
Rick Perry, the Saudis and a Dangerous Nuclear Deal
Moshe Adler
American Workers Should Want to Transfer Technology to China
David Rosen
Trafficking or Commercial Sex? What Recent Exposés Reveal
Nick Pemberton
The Real Parallels Between Donald Trump and George Orwell
Binoy Kampmark
Reading Manifestos: Restricting Brenton Tarrant’s The Great Replacement
stclair
NATO’s Expensive Anniversaries
Joseph Grosso
New York’s Hudson Yards: The Revanchist City Lives On
REZA FIYOUZAT
Is It Really So Shocking?
Bob Lord
There’s Plenty of Wealth to Go Around, But It Doesn’t
Christy Rodgers
Achieving Escape Velocity
Monika Zgustova
Jessicah Pierre
The Real College Admissions Scandal
Peter Mayo
US Higher Education Influence Takes a Different Turn
Martha Rosenberg
New Study Confirms That Eggs are a Stroke in a Shell
Ted Rall
The Greatest Projects I Never Mad
George Wuerthner
Saving the Big Wild: Why Aren’t More Conservationists Supporting NREPA?
Norman Solomon
Reinventing Beto: How a GOP Accessory Became a Top Democratic Contender for President
Ralph Nader
Greedy Boeing’s Avoidable Design and Software Time Bombs
Tracey L. Rogers
White Supremacy is a Global Threat
Nyla Ali Khan
Intersectionalities of Gender and Politics in Indian-Administered Kashmir
Karen J. Greenberg
Citizenship in the Age of Trump: Death by a Thousand Cuts
Jill Richardson
Getting It Right on What Stuff Costs
stclair
Pacific Odyssey: Puddle Jumping in New Britain
Matt Johnson
The Rich Are No Smarter Than You
Julian Vigo
College Scams and the Ills of Capitalist-Driven Education
Brian Wakamo
It’s March Madness, Unionize the NCAA!
Beth Porter
Paper Receipts Could be the Next Plastic Straws
Christopher Brauchli
Eric the Heartbroken
Louis Proyect
Rebuilding a Revolutionary Left in the USA
Sarah Piepenburg
Small Businesses Like Mine Need Paid Family and Medical Leave
Robert Koehler
Putting Our Better Angels to Work
Peter A. Coclanis
The Gray Lady is Increasingly Tone-Deaf
David Yearsley
Bach-A-Doodle-Doo
March 21, 2019
Daniel Warner
And Now Algeria
Renee Parsons
The Supreme Court and Dual Citizenship
Eric Draitser
On Ilhan Omar, Assad Fetishism, and the Danger of Red-Brown “Anti-Imperialism”
Elizabeth Keyes
Broadway’s “Hamilton” and the Willing Suspension of Reality-Based Moral Consciousness
David Underhill
Optional Fatherhood Liberates Christians From Abortion Jihad
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail