Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Courage today means you're thrown behind bars

Appeals court refuses Chelsea Manning appeal. She will stay in jail where they need her to help prosecute Julian Assange.

Chelsea Manning is a whistle-blower.

The world first got to know Chelsea when, Monday April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7, 2010, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported in August 2010 that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." In March, 2011, David S. Cloud (Los Angeles Times) reported that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges including one that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could result in the death penalty if convicted. The Article 32 hearing took place in December. At the start of this year, there was an Article 32 hearing and, February 3rd, it was announced that the government would be moving forward with a court-martial. Bradley has yet to enter a plea. The court-martial was supposed to begin before the November 2012 election but it was postponed until after the election so that Barack wouldn't have to run on a record of his actual actions.  Independent.ie adds, "A court martial is set to be held in June at Ford Meade in Maryland, with supporters treating him as a hero, but opponents describing him as a traitor."  February 28, 2013, Manning admitted he leaked to WikiLeaks.  And why.

Bradley Manning:   In attempting to conduct counter-terrorism or CT and counter-insurgency COIN operations we became obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists and not being suspicious of and avoiding cooperation with our Host Nation partners, and ignoring the second and third order effects of accomplishing short-term goals and missions. I believe that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A tables this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as [missed word] as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.
I also believed the detailed analysis of the data over a long period of time by different sectors of society might cause society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to even to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the effected environment everyday.

For truth telling, Manning was punished by the man who fears truth: Barack Obama. Tuesday, July 30, 2013, Manning was convicted of all but two counts by Colonel Denise Lind, the military judge in his court-martial.  August 21, 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years.  August 22, 2013, Manning issued a statement through NBC's Today show thanking supporters and declaring, " I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition. I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility). I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back."

Eventually, Barack commuted Chelsea's sentence.  She was finally free.

Until the Russian hysterics in the US began screaming lunatic theories and Chelsea was called before a grand jury.  If she'd lied about publisher Julian Assange, they would have loved her.  Instead, they've imprisoned her.  Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) pointed out, "Chelsea Manning sits in jail for a second time because she refused to testify before the grand jury which indicted Assange. There are people all over the world occupying Venezuelan embassies and consulates in order to protect them from the would be usurpers. That is resistance. Attacking the person who revealed war crimes is compliance in the service of the state. Perhaps this group needs a new name. They should be honest and call themselves the conformists. That would be truth in advertising."  And Niles Niemuth (WSWS) explains:
Manning’s continued imprisonment is nothing short of criminal. She is being subjected to what is, in effect, arbitrary detention in order to compel her to testify against Assange, a wrongfully imprisoned and persecuted journalist. This flagrant miscarriage of justice is a testament to the corruption of the US judicial system, which often operates in violation of both the US Constitution and international human rights agreements.
“While disappointing, we can still raise issues as the government continues to abuse the grand jury process. I don’t have anything to contribute to this, or any other grand jury,” Manning declared in a defiant statement released by her lawyers Monday. “While I miss home, they can continue to hold me in jail, with all the harmful consequences that brings. I will not give up.”
“The rejection of Chelsea Manning's appeal against her imprisonment for contempt is a sign of lawless America,” said journalist John Pilger in reply to the court ruling. “Manning had the constitutional right to remain silent and not collaborate with the notorious Virginia grand jury's corrupt indictment of Julian Assange. But the US Constitution, and its amendments—exalted by American historians as inviolable guardians of freedom and justice—are now openly flouted by US courts as America's lawlessness abroad is reflected in its institutions, notably the judiciary. The appeal rejection is a clear indication of the injustice awaiting Julian Assange should British courts allow his extradition.”

Manning, who already served seven years of a 35-year sentence in a military prison over charges related to leaking evidence of US war crimes to WikiLeaks in 2010, has been held in jail since March 8 after she made the courageous decision to withhold her testimony from the grand jury. The former Army specialist has been sentenced to remain in jail indefinitely, until either she purges her contempt of court by testifying or the grand jury’s term expires.

Chelsea's a hero.  Transphobia prevents some -- Mayor Pete, for example -- from recognizing her courage.

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