Bradley Manning?s post-sentence statement, issued by his lawyer, was the kind of statement you would expect to be given by a Nobel Peace Prize recipient in their acceptance speech. It is both unequivocal and profound. Below, we reproduce it with one difference: we have added hyperlinks, where relevant, to provide greater perspective.
Manning?s statement is redolent with a knowledge of America?s history and of its darkest days when liberty was cast aside. It references the hurt suffered by native Americans and the terrible injustices to black Americans. It also touches upon the dark decades when American special ops were conducted secretly in many parts of the world without many Americans? knowledge. And, finally, the statement lists the terrible deeds carried out by American forces or on their behalf in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade and more.
U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, sentenced for leaking classified U.S. documents, said he is female
Was the “draconian sentence” delivered in Pfc. Manning’s case simply a matter of deterrence, asks John Cassidy at the New Yorker? “From the beginning, the Pentagon has treated Manning extremely harshly, holding him in solitary confinement for almost a year and then accusing him of aiding the enemy?a charge that carries the death penalty…It certainly looked like an instance of powerful institutions and powerful people punishing a lowly private for revealing things that they would rather have kept hidden.”
A deterrent, writes Amy Davidson. “A frightening, crippling sentence was the only way to make sure that no one leaked again, ever. What it seems likely to do is chill necessary whistle-blowing and push leakers to extremes. The lesson that Edward Snowden, the N.S.A. leaker, seems to have drawn from the prosecutions of Manning and others is that, if you have something you think people should know, take as many files as you can and leave the country.” [The New Yorker]
Chelsea Manning’s statement on sentencingAfter Army judge Colonel Denise Lind announced the 35-year sentence for Bradley Manning on Wednesday, defense attorney David Coombs read a statement from the soldier that will be part of a pardon request to be submitted to President Barack Obama. That statement follows, below.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) issued a statement after Army Private First Class Bradley Manning’s sentence was handed down on August 21, saying that the harsh treatment Manning endured since he was accused of violating the Espionage Act sent a disturbing message to anyone thinking about becoming a whistleblower. Manning was sentenced to 35 years of prison for leaking information that revealed that the U.S. military violated the Geneva Convention and that there was a much higher civilian death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan than previously disclosed to the press. Says Joel Simon, executive director of the CPJ:
At HuffPo, Matt Sledge writes, “Chelsea Manning’s lack of access to hormone therapy in military prison could spark a lawsuit and potentially set a military-wide precedent for transgender servicemembers.” The military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy ended in 2011, but the Army continues to ban transgender soldiers as “administratively unfit.” As Sledge writes, “The official Army regulation uses medically outdated terminology referring to “transvestism, voyeurism, other paraphilias, or factitious disorders, psychosexual conditions, transsexual, (or) gender identity disorder.”
“An article on The Times?s Web site on Thursday morning on the gender issue continued to use the masculine pronoun and courtesy title. That, said the associate managing editor Philip B. Corbett, will evolve over time.” How much time does a New York Times editor needto write the word “she” or “her”?