Tag Archives: Chelsea Manning

Chelsea and Julian are in Jail. History Trembles, by Craig Murray

The government is getting its full measure of revenge against two people who told the truth about it. From Craig Murray at lewrockwell.com:

Tonight both Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange are in jail, both over offences related to the publication of materials specifying US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, and both charged with nothing else at all. No matter what bullshit political and MSM liars try to feed you, that is the simple truth. Manning and Assange are true heroes of our time, and are suffering for it.

If a Russian opposition politician were dragged out by armed police, and within three hours had been convicted on a political charge by a patently biased judge with no jury, with a lengthy jail sentence to follow, can you imagine the Western media reaction to that kind of kangaroo court? Yet that is exactly what just happened in London.

District Judge Michael Snow is a disgrace to the bench who deserves to be infamous well beyond his death. He displayed the most plain and open prejudice against Assange in the 15 minutes it took for him to hear the case and declare Assange guilty, in a fashion which makes the dictators’ courts I had witnessed, in Babangida’s Nigeria or Karimov’s Uzbekistan, look fair and reasonable, in comparison to the gross charade of justice conducted by Michael Snow.

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Defying Wikileaks Grand Jury, Chelsea Manning Carries on Tradition of Resistance and Goes To Jail, by Kevin Gosztola

Chelsea Manning has refused to testify before a grand jury about matters pertaining to Wikileaks. From Kevin Gosztola at shadowproof.com:

A federal judge sent Chelsea Manning to jail for refusing to testify before a grand jury that is investigating WikiLeaks.

“I will not comply with this, or any other grand jury,” Manning declared in a statement. “Imprisoning me for my refusal to answer questions only subjects me to additional punishment for my repeatedly-stated ethical objections to the grand jury system.”

“The grand jury’s questions pertained to disclosures from nine years ago and took place six years after an in-depth computer forensics case, in which I testified for almost a full day about these events. I stand by my previous public testimony.”

“I will not participate in a secret process that I morally object to, particularly one that has been historically used to entrap and persecute activists for protected political speech,” Manning added.

On March 6, Manning appeared before the grand jury after she was granted a minor form of immunity for her testimony.

“All of the substantive questions pertained to my disclosures of information to the public in 2010—answers I provided in extensive testimony during my court-martial in 2013,” Manning stated afterward. “I responded to each question with the following statement: ‘I object to the question and refuse to answer on the grounds that the question is in violation of my First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendment, and other statutory rights.’”

Judge Claude Hilton had Manning jailed on a civil charge of contempt. She will be jailed as long as she refuses to testify or as long as the grand jury is empaneled in Alexandria, Virginia.

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Rise of the Western Dissidents, by Allum Bokhari

The west is now persecuting people who disclose secrets not vital to national security but embarrassing to governments, and people who make politically incorrect arguments. From Allum Bokhari at breitbart.com:

We’re used to Russian dissidents, Chinese dissidents, Iranian dissidents, and Saudi Arabian dissidents. But those who rightly believe the west is superior to authoritarian regimes must now contend with a troubling trend — the rise of the western dissident.

Chief among them is Julian Assange, who for a half-decade has been forced to live in the tiny Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has claimed political asylum since 2011. Assange claimed that he would be extradited to the U.S. to face charges over his work at WikiLeaks if he left the embassy, and was routinely mocked as paranoid for doing so.

This week, we learned that Assange was right and his critics were wrong. Thanks to a clerical error by the U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria, Virginia, reporters were able to confirm the existence of sealed criminal charges against the WikiLeaks founder.

Because the charges are sealed and the evidence is unknown, it’s impossible to say if the case has merit. But it likely relates to WikiLeaks’ release of unredacted diplomatic cables in 2011, which forced the U.S. to relocate several of its foreign sources.

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Harvard’s Cowardice on Chelsea Manning, by Robert Parry

Chelsea Manning exposed war crimes but Harvard withdraws a fellowship at the insistence of a war criminal. From Robert Parry at consortiumnews.com:

Exclusive: In an abject display of intellectual cowardice, Harvard’s Kennedy School withdrew a fellowship from Chelsea Manning after hearing protests from accomplices in the war crimes she exposed, reports Robert Parry.

Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government has shown that it is no profile in courage by withdrawing a visiting fellowship that had been awarded to Chelsea Manning, who served seven years in prison for revealing U.S. war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Pvt. Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning.

The Kennedy School caved in to pressure from people who shared in responsibility for those and other crimes, including former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell, who resigned his own fellowship in protest and denounced Manning as “a convicted felon and leaker of classified information.”

Of course, it is also true that Martin Luther King Jr. was jailed for criminal violations pertaining to his protests against “legal” injustices — as was South Africa’s Nelson Mandela. Manning represented perhaps America’s quintessential prisoner of conscience of this decade, someone who was severely punished for exposing wrongdoing.

After serving in Iraq as an Army intelligence analyst and witnessing the often-cavalier attitude toward killing Afghans and Iraqis, Manning decided to release thousands of classified documents, including what WikiLeaks labeled the “Collateral Murder” video of a U.S. helicopter gunship mowing down Iraqis and two Reuters journalists on a Baghdad street. Manning’s decision was an act of moral courage at a time when American Officialdom was violating a host of international laws with impunity.

Indeed, what was almost as troubling as the war crimes themselves was that virtually no one from the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama was punished for their criminal actions, especially for committing what the Nuremberg Tribunals deemed the “supreme international crime,” the crime of “aggressive war.”

Bush was allowed to retire to a quiet life as an artist; many of his senior national officials have gone on to comfy jobs in the corporate and academic worlds; and Obama has already begun to hit the lucrative lecture circuit. But Manning served seven hard years in prison and has now been further humiliated by Harvard’s cowardice.

In the explanation of the hasty late-night decision to withdraw Manning’s fellowship, the school’s dean Douglas Elmendorf wrote, “I see more clearly now that many people view a visiting fellow title as an honorific, so we should weigh that consideration when offering invitations.”

To continue reading: Harvard’s Cowardice on Chelsea Manning

McCain’s Hypocrisy Has No Bounds, by Mike Mish Shedlock

The biggest disappointment of election night was the state of Arizona’s reelection of John McCain to the US Senate. The senator must really bring home the bacon for his state. However, he seems to issue an idiotic press release every other day. Here’s a scathing take on one of his latest, from Mike Mish Shedlock at mishtalk.com:

TechDirt writer Mike Masnick is so disgusted with fake-patriot politicians that he stopped writing about tech dirt and instead wrote about human dirt: Senator John McCain.

Masnick took McCain’s statement “President Obama’s commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence is a grave mistake that I fear will encourage further acts of espionage and undermine military discipline.” and ripped to shreds.

Almost Every Word Of John McCain’s Response To Chelsea Manning’s Sentence Commutation Is Flat Out Wrong says Mike Masnick.

What follows is Masnick’s entire article because every point he makes is an important one.

From the Hypocrites-in-Congress Dept

It’s hardly a surprise that a bunch of people who have been fed a load of bullshit about what Chelsea Manning did years ago are now quite angry over President Obama’s decision to commute Manning’s sentence. But I don’t think any are quite as painstakingly wrong as Senator John McCain. Someone should call up the Guinness World Record folks, because the wrong-per-sentence ratio of McCain’s angry statement might just set a new world record. Let’s dig in.

President Obama’s commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence is a grave mistake that I fear will encourage further acts of espionage and undermine military discipline.

Wait. Really? Manning has been in prison for seven years, with a significant portion of that being held in solitary confinement, sometimes being made to strip naked before being able to sleep. This was called “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of article 16 of the convention against torture” by the United Nations. You would think, of all people, Senator John McCain, who similarly was held in solitary confinement and tortured for extended periods while being held captive for 5 and a half years in Vietnam, would recognize that “only” 7 years of such treatment wouldn’t exactly encourage more of Manning’s behavior.

To continue reading: McCain’s Hypocrisy Has No Bounds

Assange, Manning, and Snowden, Standing With the Conscience of Truthtellers, by Nozomi Hayase

Someday the three in the title will be recognized as the heroes they are. From Nozomi Hayase at antiwar.com:

Last week, Oliver Stone’s biopic “Snowden” hit the theaters. The film illuminates the life of Edward Snowden between 2004 and 2013, aiming to humanize one of the most wanted men in the world. Just before its release, a public campaign was launched urging President Obama to pardon this renowned NSA whistleblower.

The massive US government persecution of truthtellers over the past years has exiled conscience from civil society, locking it behind bars and driving it into asylum. Yet, despite these attacks, it refuses to die.

From prison where she is serving 35 years, Chelsea Manning is standing up for her dignity. Recently, she protested her dehumanizing treatment by engaging in a hunger strike. All the while, WikiLeaks editor in chief Julian Assange keeps publishing, giving asylum to the most persecuted documents, while being arbitrarily detained in the Ecuadorian embassy for the last 4 years. As this struggle continues, the torch for transparency and courage that kindled hearts and has sparked public debate keeps shedding light on the state of the world we live in.

In a debate with executive director of Freedom Press, Trevor Timm, which addressed the question of pardoning Snowden, National security attorney Bradley Moss expressed his disdain over the former NSA contractor providing information to the Press. He criticized Snowden’s act, noting how journalists are unauthorized to possess government information:

“There’s approximately 4 million people who also hold clearances. It is a sacred trust and Snowden broke it by giving these documents to people who were not authorized to have it.”

Moss’s statement revealed the culture of the Intelligence community that permeates the life of not only U.S. citizens, but of people around the globe. What is this “sacred trust” that Moss referred to that would give exclusive privilege to a certain population? Implied in Moss’s comment is that honoring this trust would take precedence over the right to free speech, requiring journalists to ask for permission to engage in activities that are supposedly protected under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. This signals the existence of an invisible governance that claims superiority over the highest law of the land.

Government Secrecy

There are some who have come to see the internal working of a patronage network that is bound within this exclusive trust. In his 2006 seminal writing Conspiracy as Governance, Assange noted how secrecy was used by political elites “as the primary planning methodology behind maintaining or strengthening authoritarian power”. He then assessed how “collaborative secrecy, working to the detriment of a population is enough to define their behavior as conspiratorial”.

In his latest book, The WikiLeaks Files, Assange described how through seeing “a level of hysteria and non-corporeality” displayed by the intelligence community in reaction to WikiLeaks’ disclosures, he observed something “that is not easily captured by traditional theories of power”. He recognized how classified documents function as a tangible object that symbolizes a bond among those who are inside this secret network, in a similar way that “many religions and cults imbue their priestly class with additional scarcity value by keeping their religious texts secret from the public or the lower orders of the devoted”. He pointed out how US government employees who have been cleared to read classified documents are forbidden to read the same documents when published by journalistic organizations like WikiLeaks:

“If cleared employees ever come across them, they are expected to self-report their contact with the newly profaned object, and destroy all traces of it … The implication is that there is a non-physical property that inhabits documents once they receive their classification markings, and that this marginal property is extinguished, not by copying the document, but by making the copy public. The now public document has, to devotees of the national security state, not merely become devoid of this marginal property and reverted to a mundane object, it has been inhabited by another nonphysical property; an evil one.”

To continue reading: Assange, Manning, and Snowden, Standing With the Conscience of Truthtellers