I absolutely loved this post by Matt Osborne at Osborne Ink about Bradley Manning’s detention for his admitted leaking of military documents. My favorite parts of Matt’s post follow…
Manning has not been convicted — yet — but there is nothing especially harsh or unusual about his conditions. The Rosenbergs were isolated. Aldrich Ames was isolated. There is no “plan” to drive Bradley Manning insane. He’s a prisoner accused of giving away his country’s secrets. Such prisoners are held in solitary confinement as standard counterintelligence protocol. Who wants a caught spy to tell the other side what you have sweated out of him in the interrogation room? Who wants him to be free to do more damage?
Giving away American secrets is against the law; the penalties are stiff. Manning knew that, but chose to give secrets away — and then got caught by bragging about it to strangers on the internet. That there are no other prisoners in Quantico accused of espionage is a happy accident: most American service members take their oaths as seriously as I did, and do. Manning didn’t. A justice system will adjudicate what that means, not Glenn Greenwald.
I’ve also been reading a lot about the backlash against Arianna Huffington and The Huffington Post since she sold out to the right wing CEO of AOL, they share visions, you know. I’m just going to throw out all the links I’ve collected about this deal and Huffpost in general, feel free to read at your leisure…and discuss in the comments if you feel so inclined. Here they are. Internships for rich people, AOL is a mess, The AOL Way, it’s all about the money, citizen journalism (Mayhill Fowler), tainted AOL money, science schmience, stealing content, Arianna’s flip-flop-flip, her wageless employees, Hamsher likes this corporatist (why is that?) and last but certainly not least, we have Al Giordano at The Field telling us why he scrubbed The Huffington Post of all the posts he ever did there.
And finally, if you haven’t read Lawrence Wright’s piece in the New Yorker about Scientology (The Apostate), I highly recommend it. It is a long piece, so set aside some time or plan to read it in multiple sessions. I’ve personally been fascinated by the cult of scientology and in particular, it’s appeal to celebrities. This piece sheds a lot of light on the situation. I’ve thought for years about doing a documentary on the Church of Scientology and may still do it, but I have reservations because of their ways. Read the piece and you will know what I mean.
I’ve been fascinated by the influence of the Church of Scientology for a while. The have a “Celebrity Centre” for Christ’s sake…oh wait, not Christ, I think it’s Xenu, right? I’ve seen the scary Tom Cruise videos that were leaked, if you want to see Tom Cruise in his scariest role ever, take a look.
This article by Laurie Goodstein in the New York Times is excellent and sheds some new light on the inner workings of that strange religion that to me seems like a cult. When there are punishments for leaving the church, contracts, giving up life savings, and all the other odd ways they keep their flock together it makes me think cult. Here is a snippet from the article.
CLEARWATER, Fla. — Raised as Scientologists, Christie King Collbran and her husband, Chris, were recruited as teenagers to work for the elite corps of staff members who keep the Church of Scientology running, known as the Sea Organization, or Sea Org.
They signed a contract for a billion years — in keeping with the church’s belief that Scientologists are immortal. They worked seven days a week, often on little sleep, for sporadic paychecks of $50 a week, at most.
But after 13 years and growing disillusionment, the Collbrans decided to leave the Sea Org, setting off on a Kafkaesque journey that they said required them to sign false confessions about their personal lives and their work, pay the church thousands of dollars it said they owed for courses and counseling, and accept the consequences as their parents, siblings and friends who are church members cut off all communication with them.
Now that’s an enlightened thing to do, isn’t it?