Our Evolution is Futile
Bradley Manning has gotten back into the news. Apparently, he is now being forced to sleep naked. The reasons are unspecified.
So, first you arrest the guy. Then you send him to solitary confinement for months on end, with only a single hour per day outside of his cell. Now you are requiring him to sleep naked, to deal with. And he does not get a trial. He MIGHT get a trial in May or afterwards, but that is a big MIGHT. All of this, because he sent classified information.
Now, I am not sure if it right to leak private information from the government. However, I can see how one can easily leek information with a good intention in his heart. I doubt Manning was intending to harm people by revealing these documents.
But, first of all, solitary confinement is ALWAYS harsh punishment. I don’t care how much of a risk you are. Being alone for that long of period, with nothing else to do, is DANGEROUS for your mental health. Especially if it lasts for several months. I am not a social person, but I myself would go insane if I had to deal with 15 hours of zero outside contact or things to do. It doesn’t help when you strip the victim of their clothes. I don’t care if there is a suicide or another risk. If that is the case, then watch over him 24-7. Just don’t strip him. It is completely humiliating. This entire confinement system will only make things worse.
Not only that, but think about it: there have been thousands of cold-blooded murderers who kill people to see them suffer, rapists, and men who have swindled millions of dollars from unsuspecting buyers. Each of those men have gotten a trial and usually have access to other people. These people intentionally wanted to harm others. Yet, when a man releases documents on the semi-logical thought that the American people should know what their government is doing, then you LOSE the right to a fair trial. And if you are deemed “mentally unstable”, then you will be “helped out” by being locked away from the rest of the world. Because that is the best thing for mental health. Just ask your therapist: “I am suicidal, what should I do?” “Why, Billy, you should lock yourself in a room, only coming out for an hour each day!”
And of course, SOME reactions have been utterly ridiculous. Just look at these comments from AOL News:
“Poor thing, the Traitor who put Americans at risk in war a little cold? Is him not doing well? Is him thinking him is sooooo cool now?? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahah, smoke em.” (+2)
“As a Veteran with 27 years in the US Army, and having seen combat several times over, in which many of my friends died, some in my arms, I believe the traitor should be put to death forthwith. With regards to him having been stripped of his cloth while on suicide watch, I can commend on this with authority, having worked as a Correctional officer for 17 years,after retirement from the Army. It is standard procedure to strip an inmate of all his clothing, and belongings, so that he may not harm himself. He is then given a Suicide Smock,which is basically a heavy mated skirt held together over the shoulders,and covers his whole body, and keeps him warm. This fact was conveniently omitted by his lawyers. Under no circumstanced will the inmate be left naked or in any other degrating condition in his cell. The liberal lawyers from the ACLU, would like nothing better than PFC Manning to be either mistreated, or to kill himself, so that they can point the finger at the US.” (+7) (Mixed messages there!)
“He should be chained up and left naked in the cold. What a disgrace he is to America and our military!” (+3)
“The lawyer is right! He should not be on suicide watch, he should be waterboarded every day of his miserable life for being the traitor he is,. And when he is found guilty, he should be executed by a firing squad with exceptionally poor aim!” (+8)
“He’s a traitor to our country-he’s not much of a MAN gay or straight-he should have been put to death already for being a traitor, so whats to cry about now, we don’t care about him- put him in the chair already! “(+7)
“We are at war….He is a traitor….Kill him….Immediately….Firing squad……Lets not waste any time…Make him a lesson to anyone else who may think of back stabbing America…..The fag bastard should be castrated first then his balls shoved down his throat and then shot…..”(+8)
“That Piece of CRAP is a DISGRACE to that UNIFORM.Hope he rots in hell” (+10)
Keep in mind that some of the information allegedly leaked by him were on civilian deaths (such as the Granai and Baghdad airstrikes). Also consider that he could have sold the information to other countries, but decided not to.
But what happens when the same crowd looks at civilian abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan? I mean, betraying America is bad, but the deaths of innocent men are worse, right?
“war is hell. thats why its called war. grow up.” (+12)
“We need to do these rag heads the same thing we did to the crouts and the japs. Kill them until they surrender unconditionaly. Bomb their towns, citys, caves, anywhere they are until they get the message (+2) (This was a response to a claim that NATO killed 64 civilians)
“And how was American Prisoners of War treated, thats right they didn’t have any. The other prisoners they took they CUT OFF THERE HEAD. So i could care less HOW THE UNITED SATES MILITARY AND NATO FORCES do their job,just do the job the safest way possible for troops on our side with the least amount of collateral damage. Yes I said least and not none because war is hell and the other side is not playing by rules of the Geneva Convention. If the US was responsible for the virus that got the computers at Iran’s nuclear site and throughout Iran this should be the next site hit and every company that had anything to do with leaking secret information and let the CIA go back to their old tricks and see who gets the editor. We don’t care how it gets done just DO IT.” (+31) (Two wrongs make a right?)
So, Leaking information = death penalty. Death of civilians = AWWWWW RIGHHHTTTTT!!!!
Maybe what Manning did was wrong. But considering his actions, it does not appear like he should experience so much hatred. He may deserve jail time, but he does not deserve a hell or the death penalty when other people do crimes with far less good in their mind.