“From the beginning of his detention, [Private Bradley] Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement. For 23 out of 24 hours every day — for seven straight months and counting — he sits completely alone in his cell. Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he’s barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions. For reasons that appear completely punitive, he’s being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch). For the one hour per day when he is freed from this isolation, he is barred from accessing any news or current events programs. Lt. Villiard protested that the conditions are not “like jail movies where someone gets thrown into the hole,” but confirmed that he is in solitary confinement, entirely alone in his cell except for the one hour per day he is taken out. In sum, Manning has been subjected for many months without pause to inhumane, personality-erasing, soul-destroying, insanity-inducing conditions of isolation similar to those perfected at America’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado: all without so much as having been convicted of anything.”
“The careerists scattered about the world in America’s intelligence agencies, military, and consular offices largely operate behind a veil of secrecy executing policy which is itself largely secret. American citizens mostly have no idea what they are doing, or whether what they are doing is working out well. The actually-existing structure and strategy of the American empire remains a near-total mystery to those who foot the bill and whose children fight its wars. And that is the way the elite of America’s unelected permanent state, perhaps the most powerful class of people on Earth, like it.”—The Economist (via azspot)
[INT. - OVAL OFFICE - DAY. The PRESIDENT is meeting with staff. A TV is tuned to C-SPAN.]
AXELROD:...and you're meeting with Clinton in five hours.
OBAMA:He's a former president, Dave. I don't need a reminder.
AXELROD:I just read what's on the schedule, sir.
OBAMA [holds up schedule]:I have a copy. I can read.
AXELROD [smiles]:Yes, sir.
GIBBS:After the meeting, you're going to do a joint briefing in the press room. Opening remarks, then Clinton, back to you.
AXELROD:Does he take questions?
AXELROD:Does he do a Q and A?
GIBBS:No questions. It's your podium.
OBAMA:He's a former president.
AXELROD [holds up schedule]:I know, sir. I can read.
OBAMA:I want him to take a couple of questions. I'm a big boy.
GIBBS:Fine. He'll talk up the tax compromise.
AXELROD:That should bring some of our guys back into the fold.
OBAMA [stressed]:Where they should be in the first place.
GIBBS:It's hard for many people to swallow, sir. We just gave the richest Americans a tax break for the next two years.
OBAMA:There's more in that deal. And the GOP left me no choice.
AXELROD:The American people know that, sir. Well, half of them.
AXELROD [annoyed, then]:We need to make an impact statement, sir. Something that tells them we--and our party--won't take this lying down. We look weak otherwise, sir. And even more Democrats will jump ship.
[GIBBS notices the TV.]
[OBAMA and AXELROD look. AXELROD turns up the volume.]
[SANDERS O/C]:You can call what I'm doing whatever you want. You can call it a long speech, you can call it a filibuster...
“Leonardo DiCaprio has spent some serious time wishing he were Mark Wahlberg. I can only imagine how much time Wahlberg has spent wishing he were DiCaprio. When will somebody make a Black Swan about dudes? A Fight Club where they actually end up fucking each other? I guess it’ll have to be me.”—Molly Lambert on Boardwalk Empire’s finale | This Recording
“The central goal of WikiLeaks is to prevent the world’s most powerful factions — including the sprawling, imperial U.S. Government — from continuing to operate in the dark and without restraints. Most of the institutions which are supposed to perform that function — beginning with the U.S. Congress and the American media — not only fail to do so, but are active participants in maintaining the veil of secrecy. WikiLeaks, whatever its flaws, is one of the very few entities shining a vitally needed light on all of this. It’s hardly surprising, then, that those factions — and their hordes of spokespeople, followers and enablers — see WikiLeaks as a force for evil. That’s evidence of how much good they are doing.”—Glenn Greenwald (via azspot)