Glenn Greenwald on Bradley Manning’s Imprisonment

From Salon:

Let’s review Manning’s detention over the last nine straight months: 23-hour/day solitary confinement; barred even from exercising in his cell; one hour total outside his cell per day where he’s allowed to walk around in circles in a room alone while shackled, and is returned to his cell the minute he stops walking; forced to respond to guards’ inquiries literally every 5 minutes, all day, everyday; and awakened at night each time he is curled up in the corner of his bed or otherwise outside the guards’ full view. Is there anyone who doubts that these measures — and especially this prolonged forced nudity — are punitive and designed to further erode his mental health, physical health and will? As The Guardian reported last year, forced nudity is almost certainly a breach of the Geneva Conventions; the Conventions do not technically apply to Manning, as he is not a prisoner of war, but they certainly establish the minimal protections to which all detainees — let alone citizens convicted of nothing — are entitled.

The treatment of Manning is now so repulsive that it even lies beyond what at least some of the most devoted Obama admirers are willing to defend. For instance, UCLA Professor Mark Kleiman — who last year hailed Barack Obama as, and I quote, “the greatest moral leader of our lifetime” — wrote last night:

The United States Army is so concerned about Bradley Manning’s health that it is subjecting him to a regime designed to drive him insane. . . . This is a total disgrace. It shouldn’t be happening in this country. You can’t be unaware of this, Mr. President. Silence gives consent.

Amtrak Police Chief Bars TSA From Some Security Operations

Fucking TSA:

In late February, the Transportation Security Administration took over the Amtrak station in Savannah, Ga., and thoroughly searched every person who entered. None of the passengers got into trouble, but the TSA certainly did — big time.

Amtrak Police Chief John O’Connor said he first thought a blog posting about the incident was a joke. When he discovered that the TSA’s VIPR team did at least some of what the blog said, he was livid. He ordered the VIPR teams off Amtrak property, at least until a firm agreement can be drawn up to prevent the TSA from taking actions that the chief said were illegal and clearly contrary to Amtrak policy.

“When I saw it, I didn’t believe it was real,” O’Connor said. When it developed that the posting on an anti-TSA blog was not a joke, “I hit the ceiling.”

Transplant Patients a Target of Arizona Budget Cuts

From Reuters:

A pacemaker and defibrillator fitted to carpenter Douglas Gravagna’s failing heart makes even rising from the couch of his Phoenix-valley home a battle.

But it is not congestive heart failure that is killing him, he says. It is a decision by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to stop funding for some organ transplants as the state struggles to reduce a yawning budget deficit.

“She’s signing death warrants — that’s what she’s doing. This is death for me,” says Gravagna, 44, a heavy-set man who takes 14 medications to stay alive.

Gravagna is among 98 people denied state Medicaid funding for potentially life-saving transplants and at the forefront of a harrowing battle over the state’s public finances.

The measure enacted last October by Brewer trimmed spending on Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program, to help close a projected 2012 budget deficit of $1.15 billion.