Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Edward Manning) is a United States Army soldier who was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed classified material to the website WikiLeaks. He was ultimately charged with 22 offenses, including communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source and aiding the enemy. Read more here.

Leavenworth and London: supporting Chelsea Manning’s family visit

Early in February 2014, Chelsea Manning’s aunt and uncle Sharon and Joe from Pembrokeshire, Wales set out via London on a visit to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. … The visitors, who spent an afternoon and the following morning at the prison … found Chelsea in good spirits and focusing on legal matters including her upcoming appeal against conviction.

More about the family’s visit here:

Dublin shows us how it’s done: Solidarity in action for Chelsea Manning and family

Pvt. Manning Family Fund – By Genny Bove – December 8, 2013

A woolly hat sent with love from California leads me to Chelsea Manning’s Welsh Mum, we catch and run with a rugby ball, Ciaron’s faith carries us to Ireland and the Irish respond with gifts of truth for Wales.

stars-and-stripes-hatFor the past three years I’ve been doing what I can to keep the cause of persecuted and imprisoned military whistleblower Private Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning in the public eye, or at least in the activist eye in Wales and England. Most of my efforts and those of the loose network of groups and individuals I work alongside have been documented on the website we set up for the purpose, reported on, and occasionally in the mainstream press. During this time we’ve had some random encounters and support from unexpected places and one of the more bizarre of these was a consignment of hand-knitted hats and scarves sent to me in Wales for Manning supporters all the way from sunny California courtesy of Occupy Berkeley’s Knit In at the Sit In.

I was touched by the spirit of solidarity that had inspired Occupy knitters thousands of miles away to make and send things to keep activists, babies and others warm in places such as Fukushima, Egypt and Newfoundland as well as cold, wet Wales. I enthusiastically accepted the offer, but instead of a box of hats and scarves, I received first a bill of around £35 in import taxes that had to be paid before the authorities would release the goods. It wasn’t a good start but I knew people had put time and love into their knitting so I grumbled a bit and coughed up the cash, a small act of faith that set off a chain of events leading to contact with Chelsea’s Welsh family and a trip to Ireland with them for one of the best solidarity efforts of the past three years plus plans for more. Never underestimate the possibilities in any situation. Never doubt that random acts of human kindness will lead good places.

Read on:

Photo report: Manning’s Welsh family in Dublin

Note: Private Manning is now called Chelsea Manning.

Click hear to see the Manning Family’s Photo Report

Quote from the American Civil Liberties Union after the draconian 35 years sentenced given to Bradley Manning on 21 August 2013.

ACLU: “When a soldier who shared information with the press and public is punished far more harshly than others who tortured prisoners and killed civilians, something is seriously wrong with our justice system. A legal system that doesn’t distinguish between leaks to the press in the public interest and treason against the nation will not only produce unjust results, but will deprive the public of critical information that is necessary for democratic accountability. This is a sad day for Bradley Manning, but it’s also a sad day for all Americans who depend on brave whistleblowers and a free press for a fully informed public debate.”

CAAB endorses this.

Click the image to go to the Bradley Manning Support Network.

Bradley Manning Trial: No Secrets in WikiLeaks’ Guantánamo Files, Just Evidence of Colossal Incompetence – July 15, 2013

Last week, just before the defense rested its case in the trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, I was delighted that my book The Guantánamo Files was cited as a significant source of reliable information about the prisoners in Guantánamo — more reliable, in fact, than the information contained in the previously classified military files (the Detainee Assessment Briefs) leaked by Manning and released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, on which I worked as a media partner.

The trial began at the start of June, but on February 28, Manning accepted responsibility for the largest leak of classified documents in US history — including the “Collateral Murder” video, featuring US personnel indiscriminately killing civilians and two Reuters reporters in Iraq, 500,000 army reports (the Afghan War logs and the Iraq War logs), 250,000 US diplomatic cables, and the Guantánamo files.

When Manning accepted responsibility for the leaks, the Guardian described it as follows: “In a highly unusual move for a defendant in such a serious criminal prosecution, Manning pleaded guilty to 10 lesser charges out of his own volition – not as part of a plea bargain with the prosecution.” The Guardian added that the charges to which Manning pleaded guilty “carry a two-year maximum sentence each, committing Manning to a possible upper limit of 20 years in military prison,” but pointed out that he “pleaded not guilty to 12 counts which relate to the major offences of which he is accused by the US government. Specifically, he denied he had been involved in ‘aiding the enemy’ — the idea that he knowingly gave help to al-Qaida and caused secret intelligence to be published on the internet, aware that by doing so it would become available to the enemy.”

This was central to the case put forward by the prosecution, which spent two weeks, and called 80 witnesses, in an attempt to portray Manning as, essentially, a traitor — an argument that, I hope, they failed to make adequately, as it is ridiculous.

If the prosecution succeeds, Manning faces a maximum sentence of 149 years in military custody, but as he said in February, his intention all along was to “spark a debate” about the behavior of the US government and the military — something that many millions of people (myself included) have regarded as hugely important, revealing the horrors of war, what Manning regarded as the dangerous opacity of US diplomacy, and, of course, the revelations about Guantánamo contained in the Detainee Assessment Briefs. …

Read more:

Live from the Bradley Manning Trial with Alexa O’Brien

From REASON MAGAZINE – – July 8, 2013

“This was the largest criminal investigation ever into a publisher and its source,” says independent journalist Alexa O’Brien of the U.S. investigation of Private Bradley Manning, who is accused of leaking classified document to Wikileaks. “And it seemed like there was no in-depth coverage.”

Reason’s Matthew Feeney attended the Bradley Manning trial in Fort Meade, Maryland to discuss the case with O’Brien, whose website is the most complete public record of the military proceedings against Manning. Since the case’s pre-trial hearing, no one has worked more successfully than O’Brien to shine a light on military process that’s taking place far beyond civilian courtrooms.

To date, no official transcripts of the proceedings have been made available to the public

Bradley Manning speaks out & protests in 19 countries

Bradley Manning

The growing movement in support of Bradley Manning which organised an unprecedented International Day of Action on 23 February, has received a major boost when Bradley spelled out why he became a whistleblower passing information to WikiLeaks. International media, from the magazine Afrique-Asie, to the Huffington Post, English Pravda, Middle-East on line, French Alter Info, and countless periodicals, blogs and websites of many languages, have celebrated his “exceptional courage”. Join the movement to Free Bradley Manning and defend whistleblowers like Julian Assange, conscientious objectors and other refuseniks, women and men, gay and straight, who refuse to kill, rape and torture for the governments of the world.

A man of exceptional courage and principle

In a statement he read in court on 28 February 2013, Bradley Manning forthrightly admitted having leaked information to Wikileaks in order to inform the public of US war crimes and government skulduggery that was being kept from us. He pleaded guilty to the charge of “misusing classified material” and 10 lesser charges, together possibly carrying a sentence of 20 years, but not to the ”aiding the enemy” and related charges that risks him getting life in prison if the prosecution continues to press them as it says it will. Bradley also revealed that before he went to Wikileaks with the material, he approached the Washington Post and the New York Times, but these media showed no interest.

Read Bradley’s statement; hear him in this unofficial recording; watch comment by The Young Turks. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the third time in a row.

23 February 2013: International Day of Action -1000 days in jail

On this day, actions were taken in 70 communities in 19 countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Greece, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Slovakia, South Korea, Uganda, USA, Wales.


More info:

Bradley Manning Speaks: In Leaked Court Recording, Army Whistleblower Tells His Story for First Time

Democracy Now – March 12, 2103


Galvanized by a Secret Trial

Is the Tide Turning in Favor of Bradley Manning?

CounterPunch – by Michael McKee – March 8, 2103

Read more

After Revealing Atrocities of Asymmetrical Warfare, Manning Will Face Asymmetrical Trial

Truthout – By Chris Hedges, Truthdig – March 4, 2013

I was in a military courtroom at Fort Meade in Maryland on Thursday as Pfc. Bradley Manning admitted giving classified government documents to WikiLeaks. The hundreds of thousands of leaked documents exposed U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as government misconduct. A statement that Manning made to the court was a powerful and moving treatise on the importance of placing conscience above personal safety, the necessity of sacrificing careers and liberty for the public good, and the moral imperative of carrying out acts of defiance. Manning will surely pay with many years—perhaps his entire life—in prison. But we too will pay. The war against Bradley Manning is a war against us all.

This trial is not simply the prosecution of a 25-year-old soldier who had the temerity to report to the outside world the indiscriminate slaughter, war crimes, torture and abuse that are carried out by our government and our occupation forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a concerted effort by the security and surveillance state to extinguish what is left of a free press, one that has the constitutional right to expose crimes by those in power. The lonely individuals who take personal risks so that the public can know the truth—the Daniel Ellsbergs, the Ron Ridenhours, the Deep Throats and the Bradley Mannings—are from now on to be charged with “aiding the enemy.” All those within the system who publicly reveal facts that challenge the official narrative will be imprisoned, as was John Kiriakou, the former CIA analyst who for exposing the U.S. government’s use of torture began serving a 30-month prison term the day Manning read his statement. There is a word for states that create these kinds of information vacuums: totalitarian. …

Read on:

US Army Judge Refuses Request To Dismiss Charges Against Bradley Manning

Eurasia Review – February 26, 2013

Bradley Manning will remain in military prison awaiting his eventual trial after an Army judge refused again a request to dismiss charges against the alleged whistleblower. The military judge presiding over the case of Army Private first class Bradley Manning denied a motion entered by attorneys for the accused WikiLeaks source which would have dismissed charges against him due to the absence of a speedy trial.

Manning, 25, recently celebrated his one-thousandth day in military custody. From Ft. Meade, Maryland on Tuesday morning, however, Col. Denise Lind said that nearly three years of delays didn’t constitute a violation of the speedy trial statute provided under the United States Rules for Military Commissions.

Under RMC 707, the court had 120 days to get the case against Pfc Manning off the ground. But although the accused has yet to be formally tried, the judge said that Army prosecutors were able to start pre-trial matters well before the deadline, with the arraignment occurring after only three months — taking into consideration, of course, delays that Lind considered excusable by the court.