In “The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention,” Greenwald has assembled a remarkable piece you really must read.
as is true of many prisoners subjected to warped treatment of this sort, the brig’s medical personnel now administer regular doses of anti-depressants to Manning to prevent his brain from snapping from the effects of this isolation.
Isn’t forcibly drugging accused prisoners something that a totalitarian government does, like the Soviet Union, for example? And isn’t making excuses that torture is “necessary,” and the assumption of guilt instead of innocence characteristic of a dystopian society?
Not only does the US government not represent the free world, it increasingly represents the barbarian world of rule by force and fear. This is the ancient root and origin of political power, but the instincts of civilization have for thousands of years been campaigning to ameliorate it, through restraints such as individual rights and protections for the accused, through condemnation of torture and persecution, and through the promotion of empathic humanism, and freedom of expression.
Which brings me to Greenwald’s assessment of Manning’s motivation based on what little we have been allowed to read of Manning speaking for himself:
That’s a whistleblower in the purest and most noble form: discovering government secrets of criminal and corrupt acts and then publicizing them to the world not for profit, not to give other nations an edge, but to trigger “worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms.”
It is clear that Manning devoted himself to checking the erosion of civilization so evident in the recent tide of barbarism. He is a soldier fighting to restore human civilization, a hero who was not fooled by uniforms and nationalism, who recognized barbarism when he saw it and rebelled.
From my Time and Tide: Eroding Civilization:
We wish for a rock to hold back the tide, when it turns against us. Or we watch our little pool, and we pretend for a while to see nothing else of the ocean. But time passes, and change comes in. We cannot secede into a private life, for the protection of private lives is an accomplishment of civilized society, and that is precisely what is under threat.
Civilization is not a product of technological, material comforts—the other way around, rather. Nor is it orchestration by managing hierarchies, but an innovation of organic society understood to be based on connected individuals. Civilization is an ideal achieved in human society to the extent that its people align their concepts and organization to distinguish individuality, protect and foster personal expression, and retain the achievements of individuals within cultural forms.