Wednesday, January 19, 2011
A Bradley Manning Action I Can Support
While I tend to share Solitary Watch's ambivalence toward the "left" blogosphere's sudden devotion to Human Rights -- when it comes to Bradley Manning and his conditions of custody at Quantico -- while essentially ignoring the plight of the tens of thousands of prisoners held in similar or worse conditions, even children held awaiting trial, some for more than a year, there was an action at Quantico the other day, a demonstration initially focused on Freedom for Bradley Manning, but one that eventually took up the cause of all the unjustly held and those held under the same sort of conditions (or worse conditions) Manning is being held under, and I can really get behind that.
It brings the spotlight to America's punishment obsessed "rule of law," that is for many, many of those it holds nothing but a human rights crime. Bradley Manning hasn't yet become a symbol of the many thousands who are held under similar conditions domestically and in our gulags overseas, but he could become that. And as the demonstration at Quantico showed, more and more people -- but not yet the "left" blogosphere -- are recognizing that.
It's a good thing.
Over at dKos, there is an eyewitness report of some of that was going on, and the lesson here is that -- sometimes -- Authority will back down.
It's a lesson that Americans have to learn again, though. They have forgotten so much.