hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Saturday, March 05, 2011
The Law Office of David E. Coombs - The Truth Behind Quantico Brig's Decision to Strip PFC Manning

PFC Manning inquired of the Brig operations officer what he needed to do in order to be downgraded from Maximum custody and POI. As even Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell has stated, PFC Manning has been nothing short of "exemplary" as a detainee. Additionally, Brig forensic psychiatrists have consistently maintained that there is no mental health justification for the POI Watch imposed on PFC Manning. In response to PFC Manning's question, he was told that there was nothing he could do to downgrade his detainee status and that the Brig simply considered him a risk of self-harm. PFC Manning then remarked that the POI restrictions were "absurd" and sarcastically stated that if he wanted to harm himself, he could conceivably do so with the elastic waistband of his underwear or with his flip-flops.

Without consulting any Brig mental health provider, Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes used PFC's Manning's sarcastic quip as justification to increase the restrictions imposed upon him under the guise of being concerned that PFC Manning was a suicide risk. PFC Manning was not, however, placed under the designation of Suicide Risk Watch. This is because Suicide Risk Watch would have required a Brig mental health provider's recommendation, which the Brig commander did not have.


this just keeps getting worse. i can't believe this is going on in this country. . .the brig is diabolical, stopping short of mental health accusations to keep that investigation out; if manning is so suicidal, perhaps he shouldn't be in prision but in a hospital setting.

Arthur Silber - Kingdom of Evil

A human being can be destroyed in a seemingly infinite number of ways, as history repeatedly demonstrates. Our capacity for cruelty is limitless. It would appear to defy gratification. . .

Glenn Greenwald - Bradley Manning's forced nudity to occur daily

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. . .

Ex-CIA station chief gets 5 years for sex abuse

We're supposed to believe that what Bradley Manning did is worse than this? A prosecutor who lacks judgement is not a protector of the rule of law. He's an unaccountable and arbitrary sadist.

Vincent Bugliosi is a throwback to the days when prosecutors a) had common sense b) prosecuted real crimes, rather than pseudo-crimes like "wire-fraud", "mail fraud" & "obstruction of justice".

Vincent Bugliosi - Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O. J. Simpson Got Away with Murder (1996)

p. 275

"Since nothing in the canons of ethics of the American Bar Association says a lawyer has to represent everyone who comes to his door, I choose not to defend anyone charged with a violent crime unless I believe he or she is innocent or unless there are substantially mitigating circumstances. . .In a nutshell, although I have never been a law-and-order fanatic - in fact, I'm suspicious of those who are - I do believe that those who have committed serious crimes should be severely punished. . ."

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