Mar. 4th, 2011

tim: "System Status: Degraded" (degraded)
It's hard for me to bring myself to post this, but I can't help wondering whether the news that Bradley Manning is now being forced to remain naked while imprisoned has anything to do with this story from last year that quotes an IRC log suggesting that Manning may have been on the way to coming out as a trans woman.

Some might say that the latter story ought not to be publicized -- that if Manning is trans, that's a private matter until Manning has the freedom to come out (or not). Well, since Manning is being threatened with the death penalty, that might never happen. Besides that, while the punishment Manning is being subjected to is unsuitable for a human being, it's especially heinous to force somebody to be naked in public all the time if they are indeed trans. It's hard to think of too many worse forms of psychological torture than that. And so, I think that needs to be out in the open. Finally, being trans (if the quotes involving "transitioning" are really what they seem to be) makes Manning's heroic actions even more astounding, given that it's surely obvious that a political prisoner known to be trans would be tortured in a way that exploits that fact.

You can donate to Courage to Resist or specifically to the Bradley Manning trust account -- I did, and will be doing so again soon.

“It would be inappropriate for me to explain it,” Lieutenant Villiard said. “I can confirm that it did happen, but I can’t explain it to you without violating the detainee’s privacy.” (from the NY Times article)

Yeah, apparently it's a worse crime to violate someone's privacy than to violate their human rights.

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Tim Chevalier

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