Finally! One of the world’s most celebrated political prisoners, Chelsea Manning, was freed on May 17 after having had the remainder of her sentence inexplicably commuted by US War Criminal and Assassin-In-Chief Barack Obama late last year. Her release is a victory for the millions of people worldwide who, considering her to be a hero and a political prisoner unjustly persecuted for her heroic acts, campaigned continuously for her release.
Manning, in 2009 a US Army Intelligence Analyst stationed in Iraq, became enraged at the evidence of massive war crimes being committed daily by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and decided to collaborate with WikiLeaks to release what became the largest cache of classified military documents ever published. The documentary material – including detailed daily logs of US military operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan as well as horrifying videos of US attacks on civilians – completely redefined the parameters of the global debate over the morality of the US war efforts in both countries. The leaks – named by WikiLeaks as “The Iraq and Afghan War Diaries” and “Collateral Murder” destroyed what was left of the legitimacy of the official Pentagon propaganda regarding the moral justification for what have become the longest-running wars in US history.
Manning suffered repeated psychological and physical torture at the hands of her US military captors during her long incarceration, first at the Marine Corps Brig at Quantico, Virginia and later at Ft. Leavenworth. She was forced to strip naked for daily searches by prison guards and spent years in what amounted to solitary confinement. Despite the fact that Manning had never attempted suicide, she was put on “suicide watch” which meant that she was not allowed to sleep during the day and was repeatedly wakened throughout the night by her guards. During her trial this brutal treatment was recognized as so unacceptable by the kangaroo court hearing her case that she was granted a reduction of her sentence.
In 2013, Manning announced that she had decided to undergo hormone therapy to transition from a man to a woman. The US military fought against this and it took legal actions brought on her behalf by her lawyers to get the US military to allow Manning to undergo hormone treatments. In 2016, Stressed out by the brutality of the conditions she was forced to endure while imprisoned and convinced that she would be forced to serve out the entirety of her 35-year sentence at the notorious Fort Leavenworth military prison, she twice attempted to commit suicide.
During the long and difficult time of her imprisonment, Chelsea wrote a series of penetrating essays on life in prison and on the legal frame-ups faced by not only herself but by other whistleblowers who had been caught up in Democrat Barack Obama’s continuous attempts to persecute those who dared to expose the crimes being carried out during his two terms of office. Her ability to compose such brilliant essays under the soul-crushing pressures of her confinement was inspiring to millions of people around the globe.
We salute Chelsea Manning, her legal team and the millions of workers around the world who fought for her release. There are two fundraising campaigns that have been set up to benefit Chelsea: A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for living expenses after Chelsea’s release from prison; and the Courage Foundation has set up a fundraiser for the legal expenses in Chelsea’s upcoming appeal of her case. We urge our readers to give generously to both of these worthy causes!
Friends of WikiLeaks – Chicago