Ocasio-Cortez: Manafort is a victim of "gov torture" now

In a way, you have to hold some admiration for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for defending perhaps the third- or fourth-ranking bete noire among Democrats these days. Too bad she didn’t comprehend what she was protesting first. The New York Times profiled the penal environment into which Paul Manafort will be placed in the next few weeks, which includes being housed in isolation at the Rikers Island prison.

That set Ocasio-Cortez into protest mode about “gov torture and human-rights violations” (via Twitchy):

Release Manafort? He hasn’t even gotten there yet! Ocasio-Cortez later clarified that she meant released from solitary.

Put aside for the moment whether solitary is “gov torture.” Is that what Manafort will experience? Not exactly, as the Times article explains:

Paul J. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman who is serving a federal prison sentence, is expected to be transferred within the next few weeks to the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City, where he will most likely be held in isolation while facing state fraud charges, people with knowledge of the matter said. …

High-profile inmates are generally held in protective custody on Rikers Island, a network of nine jails with a total of 7,500 inmates, including pretrial detainees and convicts serving sentences of a year or less. Inmates in protective custody are isolated from the general population under heavy guard.

Rikers Island has been plagued by violence and mismanagement over the years, prompting efforts to close the jail complex.

A law-enforcement official familiar with the correction department’s practices, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss security measures, said Mr. Manafort would most likely be housed in a former prison hospital on the island. That is where most high-profile detainees are held, including police officers, those accused of killing police officers, politicians and celebrities.

Manafort’s not going into a punitive housing arrangement, in other words. Prison officials are trying to just keep him alive while he serves his sentences and gets tried on other charges. It’s a safe bet that his attorneys frantically applied for this form of “gov torture,” and that Manafort all too pleased to have his human rights violated in this fashion.

Had Ocasio-Cortez actually clicked the link and read the article — which the Times’ tweet mischaracterized — she could have saved herself some embarrassment. In fact, she might have asked a better question: did Manafort’s wealth and connections result in special treatment with this kind of protective-custody assignment? The answer is probably not, but one would have expected a social-justice warrior like AOC to at least raise the class-warfare question.

Ninety minutes or so later, Ocasio-Cortez issued a full Emily Litella with a half-twist:

Never mind! Ocasio-Cortez is hardly the first Twitter star to skip over the click-the-link-and-read-the-article-first process of public commentary. She may, however, be the first one to be sitting in Congress at the time while accusing the government of torture.