[I consult and consider many sources in search of appropriate subject matter for this blog. Often I find material that is best left (mostly) untouched by me, e.g., today’s piece.]
Demand Progress has somehow discovered my left-wing tendencies and sent yet another e-mail … requesting money. Since I posed the question last week about whistle blowing versus traitorous actions, I thought it appropriate to pass along this message concerning Chelsea Manning.
Iraq War whistle-blower Chelsea Manning, a transgender woman who has been subjected to ongoing abuse during her six years in all-male military prisons, just got sentenced to solitary confinement because of her July suicide attempt. We can’t mince words. Solitary confinement for someone already struggling with unmet mental health needs could literally put Chelsea’s life in danger. Her sentence must be reversed.
Health experts warn that even short periods in a solitary confinement cell can dramatically increase a person’s risk of suicide.1 Chelsea is already vulnerable as a transgender woman. Due to discrimination and violence, close to 50 percent of transgender individuals attempt suicide at some point in their lives.2 And the frightening reality is that 73 percent of all prison suicides happen in isolation cells, and prisoners in solitary confinement are seven times more likely to try to harm themselves than those housed with others.3 That’s why medical professionals are reacting to this punishment with shock and outrage.
Chelsea has already faced horrific treatment during her court martial and while serving her 35-year prison sentence for exposing war crimes committed by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. She’s been denied medical care.4 She’s been denied access to her own lawyers.5 She’s been severely punished for petty infractions.6 But this is an appalling new low….
… and then the request for a donation.