Tag Archives: Chelsea Manning

The Government’s War on Wikileaks, Assange, Manning and Hammond

In episode 7 of Truth In Media with Ben Swann, we explain the secret grand jury targeting Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Jeremy Hammond, and discuss the government’s lasting damage on the lives of whistleblowers in an interview with John Kiriakou.

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Relatives Say Manning Tortured

Relatives of Chelsea Manning say that she has been tortured using the CIA tactics described in the recent Senate investigation.

Manning’s aunt Sharon Staples, who lives in Wales, spoke to WalesOnline about her treatment.

“What really hurt me was the treatment Chelsea received in Quantico two years before the trial: stripped naked, kept in solitary confinement, made to stand in a corner, everything taken away,” said Staples.

Reports say that Manning was locked up for up to 23 hours a day over a period of 11 months in solitary confinement.

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for releasing secret military cables to the website, WikiLeaks. Including in that material was a video, which WikiLeaks released as “Collateral Murder.” The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, according to WikiLeaks, depicts “the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff. (see video below)

Staples added: “Chelsea has been punished for releasing information [to WikiLeaks], but whatever happened to the people responsible, the people in that helicopter gunship for instance – were they punished? That always plays heavily on my mind.”

Chelsea’s mother, Susan Manning, echoed Staples’ support for Manning.

“Chelsea will be 27 years old on 17 December and this will be the fifth birthday she’s spent in prison. It breaks my heart to think of her missing out on her freedom, all because she told the truth instead of covering it up,” she said. “Chelsea was brought up to be truthful. When she was small her grandmother lived with us and she always said to the children: ‘If you can’t tell the truth, don’t bother speaking’.”


Chelsea Manning Criticizes U.S./Iraq Situation and Media Coverage

Chelsea Manning, the soldier previously known as Bradley Manning, spoke out for the first time since being sentenced to 35 years in prison on espionage charges. After delivering 700,000 secret documents to the website WikiLeaks, the former military intelligence analyst’s actions are referred to as the “largest-scale leak in US history.

Manning addressed the current affairs in Iraq, by saying, “As Iraq erupts in civil war and America again contemplates intervention, that unfinished business should give new urgency to the question of how the United States military controlled the media coverage of its long involvement there and in Afghanistan.”

While President Obama claimed to be “looking at all the options,” regarding US interference in Iraq, he has also been under scrutiny for the failure of Iraq’s security forces. After spending billions of US dollars on training and equipping Iraq’s security forces in 2010, the United States tried to paint a positive picture of the status of affairs.

However, Manning wrote, “Those of us stationed there were acutely aware of a more complicated reality. Military and diplomatic reports coming across my desk detailed a brutal crackdown against political dissidents by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior and federal police, on behalf of Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki. Detainees were often tortured, or even killed.”

I understand that my actions violated the law,” Manning wrote, in regards to speaking out for the first time since his sentence. “However, the concerns that motivated me have not been resolved.

Manning also went on to criticize the media coverage in Iraq, writing that he was shocked by the amount of troubling details that “flew under the American media’s radar.”

The current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance,” said Manning.