It’s just kinda weird how there’s one person who somehow has the ability to sign off on Chelsea Manning being continuously imprisoned in, or released from, a monitored, regimented, surveilled life in a cage. I don’t know what it feels like to have another adult human’s very existence as a free individual in the palm of my hands and I don’t really want to. Feels sort of unnatural to me.
All the appreciation towards the person who held the key to her cage, to her life and happiness, for seven years, but didn’t do anything, is even stranger. I have no idea what magic can give someone the right to hold not only Chelsea’s key, but the key to millions of others locked away, rotting in cages, the domestic collateral damage to Democracy and Progress.
I don’t have much anger or disappointment directed at the man who happened to hold her key the past seven years, though. He is ultimately a cog in the machine, twisted into the evil scum that he is because of his role as the Leader of the Free World. This dastardly role will soon be handed over to someone else. Someone much scarier.
But it’s vital that we not confuse an institutional problem for a personality problem. Neither of these men would hold those keys if not for their role. It is not the existence of either of them that is evil, but the fact they are handed the keys to others’ freedom.
The prison guard and prisoner have the potential to be cooperative, joyful people, interacting for mutual benefit. But we will never see if that world is possible as long as we take for granted the absolutely bizarre notion of one person deciding who remains caged and who goes free. There’s no time to wait for the prison guards to decide. Let’s burn the prisons down instead.