Time Magazine's Man of the Year for 2010 is Mark Zuckerberg, the brilliant 26-year-old entrepreneur who started Facebook as an undergraduate. But given Time's long partnership with the CIA, who can doubt that the regime put the kibosh on the original choice, Julian Assange?
Not satisfied with caging Assange, the US-controlled UK has him "in solitary confinement for 23 1/2 hours a day, where he is unable to talk to any other prisoners. He is subjected to infrared photography 24 hours per day and is not allowed to read any newspapers. Time Magazine sent him a copy of their recent issue. Censors ripped up the magazine and gave Assange an empty envelope," reports Robert Wenzel.
Bradley Manning is being held under even more vicious conditions in the Marine Gulag, reports Glenn Greenwald. (Thanks to Phil Hensley).
In church, where we are constantly exhorted to pray for politicians, soldiers, police, etc., I can't remember ever hearing prisoners mentioned. Yet, as Jack Miles wrote:
Prisoners have a special place in the Christian imagination. It matters that Jesus himself was a prisoner. To speak the language of American law enforcement, his death was a death in custody. His most influential followers, Peter and Paul, were also prisoners. They too died in custody. John the Baptist, who first acclaimed Jesus as Messiah, was beheaded in a Roman prison. Christianity is a religion founded by men in deep trouble with the law, men familiar with the inside of prisons, whose message was "the last shall be first, and the first last...."
Jesus taught his followers to imagine themselves hearing his voice saying, "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you came to me," and finally: "I was in prison and you visited me" (Matthew 25:35–36).
Allow me, if I may, at this dark and shameful moment in our history, to linger over the last entry on that list: "I was in prison and you visited me." Jesus gives every item on his list twice-once in a positive formulation, for praise, and once in a negative formulation, for blame. Thus, "I was in prison and you did not visit me." Can you imagine what it is like to be in prison waiting for a visit that does not come? But let me ask an easier question: Do you know where the nearest jail is?