Solitary Confinement Is Still Torture Even If It's Happening to Paul Manafort

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Lawyers for former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said in court filings on Thursday that, now that his bail has been revoked over allegations of tampering with witnesses, he’s currently being held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, excluding visits from his attorneys.

This development brought out the absolute worst in some of the kinds of people who’ve positioned themselves as progressives or, worse, members of the anti-Trump #Resistance. They seemed to feel no shame about cheering on the American prison system for keeping yet another human locked in a windowless cement box all day.

Among them were both Brian and Ed Krassenstein, brothers with substantial social media followings and well-documented grifters, who each mocked Manafort’s situation:


Dena Grayson, wife to Alan Grayson, the disgraced ex-congressman, also joined in on the fun:

Indeed, solitary confinement is very *sunglasses emoji.* So allow me to say what should feel obvious: it’s considered torture by human rights organizations, and it’s still torture even if it’s happening to a man who used to work for the so-called “Torturer’s Lobby.”

Am I going to devote a boatload of emotional energy to Manafort? No. I’ll save it for the families of people like Kalief Browder, the black teen from the Bronx who was imprisoned for three years at Rikers. He spent hundreds of days in solitary confinement while awaiting trial, and eventually took his own life after his release. As is the case throughout the prison system, black and brown inmates are disproportionately targeted for placement in solitary. So in that way, Manafort’s confinement is statistically rare. He’s wealthy and white, but now finds himself held under conditions where the likelihood of inmates experiencing depression, hallucinations, panic attacks, and even worse send the chances of them self-harming through the roof.


But there is truly a special place in hell for those who cheer such torturous, inhumane treatment of anyone, no matter their politics or alleged crimes.