Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning Threatened with Solitary Confinement over Toothpaste, Magazines

Potential harsh discipline for absurd reasons.

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Not in a Netflix comedy.
Chelsea Manning

File under, "Gee, I can't imagine why Edward Snowden is living in Russia rather than braving the American justice system." Now that Chelsea Manning is in military prison for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified Iraq War documents to WikiLeaks, it appears as though the system is getting set to make her 35-year stay as miserable as possible. From Reuters:

Manning has been charged with a number of disciplinary infractions and will attend a hearing before a three-person discipline adjustment board on Aug. 18 at the prison, attorney Nancy Hollander said.

The alleged disciplinary infractions on July 2 and July 9 included attempted disrespect, the possession of prohibited books and magazines while under administrative segregation, medicine misuse pertaining to expired toothpaste and disorderly conduct for pushing food onto the floor, Hollander said.

The potential punishment for such behavior could include solitary confinement. Here's how the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Chase Strangio described to BuzzFeed what Manning had done to face such treatment:

"Here Chelsea is at risk of losing various support networks simply because she had an expired tube of toothpaste, the Vanity Fair magazine that featured Caitlyn Jenner and requested a lawyer when she felt she was being accused of misconduct," Strangio told BuzzFeed News of the charges.

Supporters of Manning, led by Fight for the Future's Evan Greer and promoted by DiPasquale, have started a petition to raise awareness of the new charges.

Among the materials that DiPasquale told BuzzFeed News were confiscated from Manning are The Advocate and Out magazines; an issue of Cosmopolitan with an interview of Manning; Transgender Studies Quarterly; and a novel about transgender issues, A Safe Girl to Love.

According to the petition, the alleged misconduct that led to Manning requesting to speak with her lawyer related to her "sweeping some food onto the floor." The petition states that a charge of "improper medicine use" resulted from Manning having the expired tube of toothpaste.

If the charging documentation listed by Fight for the Future is accurate, nothing is being exaggerated for maximum outrage. One of the charges listed is that when Manning's cell was inspected, they found a tube of toothpaste that was past its expiration date.

Manning has managed to find her voice while in prison. She has a Twitter account now and contributes to The Guardian. Presumably she would not be able to continue these things, at least temporarily, if she is put into solitary confinement.

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  1. That is a nightmarish sketch.

      1. I hope I die before she’s President.

        1. Clinton 2040: The Revengening

        2. When diabeetus is the easy way out…

        1. See, you say that…

          Althought I have a soft spot in my heart for Mel, so who am I to judge.

          1. One of those women is talented, and the other is not, and you are not allowed to compare them. I forbid you.

            1. Unfortunately, the actress is a raving moron. But yeah, would.

      2. There is a noticeable resemblance.

  2. “Attempted disrespect”? What the actual fuck?

    1. Not actual disrespect, per se. Not as such. But she was thinking it really loudly, and we can’t be having with that.

    2. When you try and take something from someone that they don’t have, it’s an attempt, right?

  3. I may be in the minority here, but perhaps some of you could give me a quick reason why Manning shouldn’t be in jail? I agree with most of you regarding Ed Snowden. I think he really was a true “whistleblower”, releasing information that the government was spying on allies, and obviously the NSA shit. I really am not trying to be difficult (and to my LBGTQFGPLDSGDRIS friends, it has nothing to do with his/her sex change).

    1. I have no answer as to why Manning shouldn’t be in jail, but the sentence she received is much more severe than the penalties that Petraeus recieved, even though Pretraeus gave someone access to the highest level of classified material.

      1. Maybe we can switch Manning out to run on the Democratic ticket and Clinton can keep Manning’s cot warm.

      2. I’m guessing that Manning’s biggest crime is embarrassing his superiors. He was a PFC(?) and was able to copy and release an incredible amount of material. Petraeus had more friends in high places.

      3. Big differences. Petraeus gave one person access to some material. Manning published vast amounts of material, and put lives at risk.

        1. Go ahead, swallow the propaganda.

          1. Even if you believe “lives at risk” is propaganda, there’s a big difference between showing a limited amount of secret material to one person, and copying vast amounts of it and publishing it for everyone to see. Manning is much, much worse than Petraeus.

            1. I don’t know that he’s much worse than Petraeus, given the knowledge he had ands his willingness to give it to get laid. Much more dangerous I think in the long run than an idiot swiping tons of data, almost ensuring quick capture.

              Manning should still be in jail – as he released swaths of information without regard to what was in them and for no end purpose.

              Contrast with Snowden who believed the American public deserved to know what only he and very few others knew the government was doing. And because prior whistle blowers had been destroyed and the government was lying to the public about what they were doing, he released specific documents to third party media organizations to alert the world of what he thought they should know.

              Manning OTOH committed what amounts to mass vandalism against his employer and country and he used state secrets to do so.

              One I commend. The other is where he belongs as he’s dangerous and deserves punishment for the crime he committed, even if all the secrets released did no damage to US interests.

              But I still think over the long run, Petraeus and Petraeus-type leaks are far more dangerous than Manning’s were, even though we seemingly care much less.

    2. I may be in the minority here, but perhaps some of you could give me a quick reason why Manning shouldn’t be in jail?

      I think you are in agreement with a pretty good swath of forumites, writers/editors… not so much.

      1. Forumites? Is that like a sodomite in a tuxedo?

        1. Monocle-wearing sodomites in tuxedos. I mean, we are libertarians, right?

          1. I approve.
            *sips vintage recovered from titanic*

        2. That’s really better in a Don Adams voice.

          1. I was channeling Richard Chamberlain in “Shogun”.

              1. Your cartoon is terrible and by extension you are terrible.

    3. Why should she be in jail?

      She is a hero.

      In a free society, those who want to rule and enforce and tax and jerkoff to soldier boys have no right to cage others because the others expose mass murder and torture of the rulers.

      What don’t you get about that?

      No slavish thoughts allowed.

      1. “Why should she be in jail?”

        There seems to be evidence he endangered people with his leaks.

        What don’t you get about that?

        1. What difference, at this point, does it make?

          There is no “morality high ground” here. The law is enforced for all, without fear or favor, or it’s just a way to keep people down and mess them around.

        2. There seems to be evidence he endangered people with his leaks.

          Violated oaths, disobeyed orders, impugned and vilified not just his supervisors, but his peers, did all of the above while on active duty in a warzone.

          I get and support conscientious dissent and general opposition to war. Wikileaks, as near as I can tell, should be free of most all guilt in the matter. I do, however, also acknowledge that there are people who need to die and people who have to do the killing. Volunteering/contracting to do the job and then violating your contract and impugning your peers and superiors while doing so is treason.

          1. Thank you. That is why I asked, because that was what I thought the fundamental differences were between someone like Snowden who exposed what many of us agree are unconstitutional practices by the government, including spying on friendly governments, and releasing reams of data during an active war that could fundamentally threated the lives of his fellow soldiers.

            1. Whistleblowing – legitimately the only time that I believe the ends justify the means.

              1. Whistleblowing – legitimately the only time that I believe the ends justify the means.

                There’s whistleblowing, exposing, telling, tattling, and gossiping. IMO, Manning and Snowden are distinctly at opposite ends of the spectrum.

                I’ll admit, there is a bit of a tautology to knowing what information sharing and when constitutes one or the other but, once done, it’s pretty obvious (especially twice, in comparison).

            2. There is no right to be free from exposure of one’s activities conducted in behalf of a nation state – such engaging in acts of war that the constitution does not authorize, including the murder of civilians, engaging in acts of espionage, engaging in acts of torture and the like.

              There is no provision in the constitution that specifically authorizes the federal government to initiate war against foreign entities.

              There is no provision in the constitution that specifically authorizes the federal government to engage in espionage.

              There is no provision in the constitution that specifically empowers the federal government to create state secrets.

              The proposition that Manning endangered the lives of others is just so much statist drivel. Who are the others. What specific, incontrovertible proof has been presented that he, indeed endangered the lives of others.

              However, assuming arguendo, that Manning’s info release did endanger the life of another government employee, so what? They freely chose to be Leviathan’s bitch.

              1. “There is no provision in the constitution that specifically authorizes the federal government to initiate war against foreign entities.”

                Huh?

                1. What don’t you understand?

                  1. Unlike you, B.P. is not wearing a tinfoil hat of proper design.

              2. There is no right to be free from exposure of one’s activities conducted in behalf of a nation state – such engaging in acts of war that the constitution does not authorize, including the murder of civilians, engaging in acts of espionage, engaging in acts of torture and the like.

                I don’t, for one second, believe I have a *right* to privacy, doubly so if I were a government employee. I loathe the right to privacy as it is often used as a cudgel against the spread of information, a right to keep people ignorant. However, I do recognize, daily, that I handle information that is not mine to do with as I please. I fully recognize that any mishandling is my responsibility and that conclusive evidence thereof is evidence of my guilt. If you went on trial for actions that you may or may not have been guilty of (in or out of the military) and it were my responsibility keep the details of said trial concealed from the public at large, I’m not some sort of freedom fighter by airing those details. Nor am I a government shill just for not actively slandering you.

                1. Why do you think you would have double the right to privacy because you are a government employee?

                  Is that a founding principle of the American revolution?

                  Why, in a free society, would a government employee have more of a right to privacy than those who pay his freight?

                  Why would any person’s conduct, ostensibly performed in behalf of those paying his freight, somehow warrant extra protection from examination?

                  1. You misread what I wrote.

                    I don’t think *I* have a right to privacy. However, the average person, in the current political climate believes they do and does have a right to privacy. I further (doubly) believe that government employees don’t have a right to privacy *especially* in their role as government employees.

                    That said, I do recognize that their information is *their* information. Not mine to do with as I please. And that if I’m going to violate said observance of property rights it’s going to be to some higher moral end than just maybe marginally embarrassing office-holders about morals they don’t need/want/have and certainly not for a whimsical personal moral superiority complex.

                    1. That which a government employee does is not “their” property.

                      If you choose to be part of Caesar’s crowd, your biographical information does not suddenly become “property” free from exposure.

                      Why should we cut any slack to those who are bankrupting and corrupting the country?

              3. More relevantly, the most heinous of his disclosures were already public knowledge and the war was already unpopular at the time he made the disclosures. Manning’s motivations are cloudy at best, one can, from multiple angles of examination, easily infer that Manning’s actions were at least partly, if not largely, egotistical and self-serving.

                It’s not as if Manning were some sort of naive virtuoso nobly informing us of facts, trends, and behaviors of which we were generally unaware, he was a rather low-performing asshole who saw and opportunity to take his trolling to another level. So, in an Army of leviathan drones that deserve the shaft for being on the statist dole, Manning stands out as an asshole among them.

                1. So, if the info was already public at the time of the disclosures, what is the problem?

                  Does it matter what his motivations were?

                  Do you have some kind of evidence, i.e., hard core, incontrovertible truth, that Manning’s actions were largely egotistical and self-serving?

                  1. So, if the info was already public at the time of the disclosures, what is the problem?

                    So, say I had access to credit card numbers and their use on a massive number of sites of questionable social value. I’m completely justified in disclosing that information based on my sense of morality? I mean, you use those credit card numbers everywhere and people generally know about them, right? The routing number on your checking account only identifies the bank you use so, because privacy exists in no form, *I’m* free to hand that out on *your* behalf, right? Or are those transactions and the information thereof someone else’s property and I, being contracted to be a guardian/conduit of said information, responsible for performing up to the expectations of said information proprietor(s)?

                    Think long and hard about this answer and where Manning fits in on this property chain relative to the government and the people covered by the information firsthand. Consider Snowden, someone like David Helkowski, and Bradley Manning along a spectrum of “whistleblowing hero/tattling deviant” spectrum and see who did the most good with the least amount of collateral damage and who was just spraying information they didn’t own according to their own whims or as a means to their own ends.

                    1. Listen, you make a good point about the “spectrum of ‘whistleblowing hero/tattling deviant” regarding “who did the most good with the least amount of collateral damage”. So, theoretically, I agree with your point that a genuine whistleblower who leaks information concerning criminal / human rights violations / murderous / torture activities of government operations differs from the tattling deviant.

                      My guess is that we agree that if A works for Visa or Bank of America or any other private sector company and A’s job furnishes him with access to the credit card users who are Visa account holders or BoA customers or the customers of any other private company and A leaks data or uses it for his own purposes, A should be held to account and pretty severely – whether he gained financially or not.

                      Turning to Manning, is there any doubt that a portion of that which he leaked was info regarding torture, US soldiers laughing as they killed civilians, diplomatic cables embarrassing to the US, and the US complicity with repressive Arab regimes regarding abductions, murder, and torture perpetrated by the Arab regimes?

                      So, given that which Manning exposed, how can we ignore that? Is he on the scoundrel end of the spectrum just because there was personal information of some military personnel included in the leaks?

    4. I may be in the minority here, but perhaps some of you could give me a quick reason why Manning shouldn’t be in jail?

      I don’t think anyone is asking that question. The concern, at least for me, is that she got a disproportionately long sentence and that the solitary confinement is doubly fucked up.

  4. If she is not supposed to have those reading materials, then why would she think it was okay that she had them?

    1. Indeed, why would anyone think it’s okay to engage in a harmless activity that the state disapproves of? Why should anyone ever defy the wishes of the state?

      1. Stuping non-sequitur. Prison isn’t summer camp.

        1. Stupid*

    2. If she was not support to have those reading materials, why did the prison let them in the first place?

      Reason has readers in prison and about 6 years ago at least one of those readers was refused an issue because that issue featured a picture of a statue ? the Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen, IIRC — and the prison refused to allow it into the prison because the statue had bare breasts.

  5. attempted disrespect

    How do you “attempt” disrespect? If such an action is noticed, then it seems self-evident that at least someone felt there was disrespect involved, so the disrespect wasn’t “attempted” it was actual.

    expired toothpaste

    I had to literally go check my toothpaste. Sure enough, it has an expiration. Who knew? Mine expires in Jan. 2016.

    Again, how would such an infraction be Manning’s fault. Presumably he doesn’t have lots of shopping options. He gets toothpaste provided by friends, relatives or the prison commissary, right? Then he uses it until it’s gone, one would assume. What choice did he have?

    I’m not even one of those who is opposed to Manning being in prison, but this petty tyranny is unbecoming in what should be a professionally-managed system. Of course, prison guards have always been a pretty unsavory demographic: it’s a dangerous, crappy job for people who like having brutal power over others. But it’s depressing to be reminded that the system apparently officially enables that pettiness and brutality.

    1. It’s probably the same line of logically airtight legal arguments which gave us Resisting Arrest as the sole charge.

      1. More like removing the mattress tag. Or like the pedestrian who was given a ticket for literally standing by the “NO STANDING” sign in Battery Park.

    2. And in the world of microaggressions even not attempting disrespect can be disrespectful.

      1. And refusing to have sex with someone is a type of rape.

    3. I had to literally go check my toothpaste. Sure enough, it has an expiration. Who knew? Mine expires in Jan. 2016.

      Lots of products can have expirations like car seats, some dental flosses (the flavoring and wax coating can degrade), and shampoo.

      1. Lots of products can have expirations like car seats, some dental flosses (the flavoring and wax coating can degrade), and shampoo.

        IMO, it’s a great example of everyday libertarianism as most are voluntary and serve more as a statute of limitations or declaration of intent wrt liability.

      2. What’s the graphic at the shampoo link supposed to be about?

        1. 12 months after opening.

      3. Are the shampoo police managed out of the same bureau as the mattress police?

  6. Prisons are evil.

    Justice is repayment to the victim (or victim’s representative in the case of murder). Justice is “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”. Once the aggression happens, the jury convenes, the sentence of “up to full repayment is made” and the victim or representative extracts that repayment. No third party may interfere with the repayment as it isn’t their business at all. It isn’t the third party’s business how the repayment happened.

    This precludes the use of long term prisons. Prison isn’t a punishment and “rehabilitation” is nonsense when speaking about Justice.

    This also allows for mercy on the part of the victim. If the aggressor begs and pleads with the victim, the victim may decide to not extract the full repayment or any repayment at all. Whether or not they do isn’t up to me as I’m not God nor the victim.

    Tell me, what is wrong with this method of Justice?

    The reason we don’t do it now is due to the government deciding 2 things, #1, that there is profit/power to be gained and #2, that they are actually the victim to all aggression. Of course, then the victim isn’t repaid and the government has every incentive to make non-aggression illegal, because more power/profit and whatnot.

    1. Tell me, what is wrong with this method of Justice?

      The assumption that all transgressions have a quid pro quo or that quid pro quo is inherently justice?

    2. It would imply death penalties for all offenses that result in fatalities, regardless of mens rea: negligent vehicular manslaughter through premeditated murder. I don’t think that’s gonna fly.

      It also leaves no way to get repeat offenders out of society. Having to repeatedly compensate victims isn’t much of a deterrent for a career burglar. He can just go steal more.

  7. Whatever else one thinks about Manning, Shackford is right about Snowden. Military or not, he would no doubt be treated to the same type of institutional smackdown as Manning.

    1. I would even suppose that military prison is better than the prison that Snowden would wind up in, if it’s location/practices even could be disclosed.

      1. I’m surprised to read that Manning has been tweeting. None of that for Snowden, I would wager.

  8. In military prisons, an indiscreet fart is all that is needed to make your misery even worse. That is, they really don’t need reasons to make every moment of your life a living hell.

    1. In military prisons, an indiscreet fart is all that is needed to make your misery even worse.

      Insulting our military prisons, that’s a disciplinary infraction.

      That is, they really don’t need reasons to make every moment of your life a living hell.

      That’s an other infraction. Do you want to keep earning infractions or do you want to go back to your cell?

  9. Looks like the petty little punishments fit the petty little crimes.

    That said, there are a ton of people who deserve my sympathy, and this guy ain’t one of them.

    1. Cool story, bro.

      1. Thanks, glad you liked it enough to comment.

      2. Fuck off troll.

        1. Tulpa has run out of imagination.

          1. I was talking to X.

            1. Are you new around here? I’m not a troll, i’m just one of the regular assholes.

              1. Fuck off troll.

  10. ” perhaps some of you could give me a quick reason why Manning shouldn’t be in jail?”

    Manning probably should be in jail, with a lighter sentence.

    This piece from Glenn Greenwald’s Intercept clarifies that the Obama administration has prosecuted people who mishandled or leaked classified information (knowingly or not) at an unprecedented rate… (*claim – “It has notoriously prosecuted more individuals under the Espionage Act of 1917 for improperly handling classified information than all previous administrations combined.

    … and with unprecedented severity as well…. with both Hillary and Obama themselves often chiming in on the special significance of these crimes and the moral necessity to crush misuse of Government information…

    Which naturally makes Hillary’s flippancy about her own blatant misconduct all the more galling.

    Manning’s particular crime seems to have been amplified by the sheer quantity of leaked documents, and the fact that it exposed US diplomatic corps private deliberations as well as the identities of people they had been attempting to covertly influence. IOW, “embarrassing powerful people” probably explains the severity of the sentence equally as much as the potential for endangering agents of US or foreign governments.

    1. You seem informed about this, did Manning get adequate representation? The case was high profile enough that I would think so.

      1. Given that there was no disputing the “crime” itself – Manning plead guilty to 10 of 22 charges, and more or less copped to many of the remainder – representation mostly involved pleading for leniency in sentencing on some notion of the “public interest”.

        Which unlike Snowden, Manning has zero real claim to.

        The materials released were indiscriminate, and ranged from the mundane private discussions of diplimats, to the disclosure of the identities of foreign agents. There was no coherent justification made for the gigantic document dump, and there wasn’t any single disclosed detail that seemed to provide compelling evidence of Govt misconduct which would compel a leak.

        1. Perhaps the disciplinary infractions are an attempt to make an end run around Manning’s leniency and make her serve the maximum sentence had she been convicted?

          1. I have no idea but wouldn’t suspect its motivated by anything other than the fact that prisons are not particularly treasonous-tranny-friendly places in general.

  11. If Manning had been charged under UCMJ Articles 106 and 106a, found guilty under 106a (c) 2, and executed in accordance with the UCMJ, he wouldn’t be having these issues.

    1. Who was Manning spying for (what foreign govt), and how were they compensated? (what quid-pro-quo proved they were an agent of a foreign power)

  12. Watch Lockup sometime. The solitary confinement punishments are routine for everyone.

  13. Why hasn’t Manning been executed for desertion in the face of the enemy?

    I have no sympathy for Manning at all. None.

  14. Actually, wrong puke. Why has Manning not been executed for espionage? Still no sympathy.

    1. lol

      speaking of espionage…. can you answer the above question?

      Who was Manning spying for (what foreign govt), and how were they compensated? (what quid-pro-quo proved they were an agent of a foreign power)”

      because that’s ‘espionage’.

      Instead, the military charged manning with something they just sort of made-up on the spot =

      “”wantonly [caused] to be published on the internet intelligence belonging to the US government, having knowledge that intelligence published on the internet is accessible to the enemy.”[101]”

      They knew they couldn’t actually prove espionage, so they wanted to change the definition to pretend there was a new crime on the books.

      or, as someone else points out =

      “The language of … is an unprecedented charge in military law, and not tied to an existing federal criminal violation or punitive article of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Manning’s defense calls it a “made up offense.”

  15. She should be in solitary confinement for her fashion sins and her hair-don’t.

    1. Her choice in literature is atrocious.

      The Advocate and Out while in prison gets props for bravery and irony, but all of that gets wiped clean by the shallow self-worship of having Cosmo with your interview in it.

      Might as well hang a picture of Bradley on the cell wall with ‘All my love, XOXO.’ on it.

  16. I just figured it out: They’re saying having expired toothpaste is evidence s/he hasn’t been brushing hir teeth as often as required!

  17. Jebus, that’s a creepy picture

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