Daily Archives: December 17, 2010

Calling in sick has never been a worse idea. And the disgusting treatment of Bradley Manning

It’s bad enough that millions of people in America can barely afford to take vacations anymore.
Now, even sick days are too dangerous to attempt. At least, if you work for companies that are particularly paranoid.
Meet Rick Raymond. He’s a private detective, and he now gets hired by companies to spy on workers who have called in sick. He follows them to the beach, or to the ballgame, or whereever else they might go.
Then he reports back to the boss about where Mr. Jones really went on Thursday.
I don’t know, is this really necessary? Apparently so. A study cited in this story said 57 percent of salaried employees take sick days when they’re not sick.
That seems awfully high to me. Are we really that dishonest of a country?
This whole story makes me ill. Maybe I’ll have to take a day off today…

**You know, I try not to think bad thoughts about my country. I try to believe that things can’t possibly be as bad as some say it is.
And then I read this about the current treatment of PFC Bradley Manning, the former U.S. Army private who has been accused (key word there: accused) of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks.
Check out how Mr. Manning is being treated: He is a Maximum Custody Detainee, which means he is completely alone in his cell in Virginia for 23 of 24 hours each day.  He is not allowed to exercise in his cell.
He is not allowed to have sheets or pillows (and not because he’s a suicide risk). He is not allowed to have any contact with other humans except for that one hour a day he’s outside. He can’t access any news programs or have any idea what’s going on in the outside world.
This is a 22-year-old kid ACCUSED of a crime, an American citizen, and this is how he’s being treated! This is a goddamn outrage, and no one seems to give a hoot. Before a trial, before any evidence is presented in a court of law, Bradley Manning is being treated like a Gitmo terror suspect.
As Glenn Greenwald points out, this used to be classified as torture in the United States. We used to care about the long-term psychological effects this would have on people.
Now, it’s standard operating procedure on a kid like Bradley Manning.
Absolutely disgraceful.