Tag Archive: Chelsea Manning

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For December 2015 Is Now Available

December Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for December.(11″x17″ PDF, 275KB) Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night.Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, 322KB) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Albert Woodfox, Chelsea Manning, Leonard Peltier, Jalil Muntaqim, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Prison Books Collective

Chelsea found guilty of prison infractions, but no solitary confinement

chelsea-manning-081815

From Chelsea Manning Support Network

We just heard from Chelsea following her hearing today before the Fort Leavenworth disciplinary board:

“I was found guilty of all 4 charges @ today’s board; I am receiving 21 days of restrictions on recreation–no gym, library or outdoors.”

So while she was convicted of all four charges (yes, even the expired toothpaste!), she did not receive any time in solitary confinement. We believe that had everything to do with the outpouring of support, and the attention focused on Fort Leavenworth… including the 100,000 folks who signed the petition organized by Fight for the Future.

Chelsea added, “Now these convictions will follow me thru to any parole/clemency hearing forever. Was expecting to be in min custody in Feb, now years added.”

So, this is good news, but not without significant ramifications.

Chelsea threatened with indefinite solitary confinement

chelsea-manning

From Free Chelsea Manning

August 12, 2015

Aside from her 35-year prison sentence, Chelsea Manning is now facing indefinite solitary confinement to be determined in a hearing next Tuesday, August 18.

Worse yet, Chelsea faces this incomprehensibly severe punishment as a result of ridiculously innocuous institutional offenses, including the possession of books and magazines related to politics and LBGTQ issues (which she received openly via the prison mail system), and having a tube of toothpaste that was past its expiration date (apparently deemed “medical mis-use”). The catalyst for this attack on Chelsea seems to have been an incident in the mess hall where she may have pushed, brushed, or accidentally knocked, a small amount of food off of her table. She then asked to speak to her lawyer when confronted by a guard. The absurd charges were tacked on later.

These charges obviously could never justify indefinite solitary confinement- one of worst forms of psychological torture. Chelsea is now regularly publishing op-eds in the Guardian newspaper, and recently won the ability to begin hormone therapy by threatening to sue the military. It’s clear this is an attempt to silence Chelsea’s voice.

Our friends at Fight for the Future (FFTF) have created a petition where you can sign on to a letter condemning the US Army’s treatment of Chelsea. (more…)

Beyond Whistleblowing

edFrom Crimethinc.

Citizenfour is just the latest expression of public fascination with the figure of the whistleblower. Jesselyn Radack, Thomas Drake, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden—the whistleblower defects from within the halls of power to inform us about how power is being misused, delivering forbidden information to the people like the holy fire of Prometheus.

But can the whistleblower save us? Is whistleblowing enough? What limitations are coded into a strategy of social change based around whistleblowing, and what would it take to go beyond them?

Certainly, whistleblowers look good compared to the institutions they expose. Faith in authorities of all stripes is at an all-time low, and for good reason. In a news clip in Citizenfour, we see Obama claim to have ordered an inquiry into the NSA before Snowden’s revelations surfaced, petulantly implying that he was Snowden before Snowden. The President calls cynically for a “fact-based” discussion—when the only useful source of facts has been the illegal leaks of the man he is decrying. It is difficult to imagine a starker contrast between courage and cynicism.

Yet it’s one thing to unmask tyrants—it’s another thing to depose them. (more…)

Dear Chelsea Manning: birthday messages from Edward Snowden, Terry Gilliam and more

chelsea(Blog Editor’s Note: Have you written Chelsea a birthday card yet? It’s not to late. Check out our Political Prisoner Birthday Poster for December here to get her address and more.)

From The Guardian

Yesterday, December 18th, Chelsea Manning – heroine, whistleblower and inmate – turned 27. She has been behind bars for four years and eight months, ever since her arrest for leaking ­classified US documents. There isn’t much prospect that she will be released any time soon. Manning is serving a 35-year sentence, with the earliest possibility of parole being in 2021. She has appealed to Barack Obama for a pardon. It seems unlikely he will grant it.

It is against this gloomy and unpropitious backdrop that leading writers, artists and public figures from around the world are today sending Chelsea birthday greetings. Their contributions include letters, poems, drawings and original paintings. Some are philosophical – yes, that’s you, Slavoj Žižek – others brief messages of goodwill. A few are ­movingly confessional.

All send a powerful reminder: that for millions in the US and beyond, Chelsea Manning is an inspiring moral figure who deserves our continued support. Her leaks, published in 2010, at a time when Manning was unhappily stationed with the US military in Baghdad, revealed the true nature of America’s twin wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also ­illuminated the gulf between Washington’s private thinking and its public diplomacy.

Edward Snowden sums up the mood of collective ­gratitude: “I thank you now and forever for your extraordinary act of service and I am sorry that it has come with such an unbelievable personal cost. As a result of your courageous act, the American people are more informed about the ­workings of our government as it positions itself for endless war … For this we all thank you. Happy birthday, Chelsea.” (more…)

Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison, Jeremy Hammond Uses Allocution to Give Consequential Statement Highlighting Global Criminal Exploits by FBI Handlers

Jeremy Hammond, by Molly Crabapple

Jeremy Hammond, by Molly Crabapple

From the Sparrow Project

[NEW YORK, NY]  Jeremy Hammond, a 28-year-old political activist, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to participating in the Anonymous hack into the computers of the private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor).  The Ceremonial Courtroom at the Federal Court for the Southern District of New York was filled today with an outpouring of support by journalists, activists and other whistleblowers who see Jeremy Hammond’s actions as a form of civil disobedience, motivated by a desire to protest and expose the secret activities of private intelligence corporations.

The hearing opened with arguments as to what sections of the court record will remain redacted after sentencing. While Jeremy’s attorneys initially erred on the side of caution in previous memorandums and kept large pieces of the record redacted, both the defense and prosecution agreed this morning that many of the sections should now be made available for public view. The prosecution, however took stiff exception to portions of the court record being made public that indicate victims, specifically foreign governments, that Jeremy allegedly hacked under the direction of Hector “Sabu” Monsegur, the FBI informant at the helm of Jeremy’s alleged actions. Judge Preska ordered that the names of these foreign governments remain sealed.

Jeremy’s lead counsel, Sarah Kunstler, who is 9 months pregnant and due to give birth today, delivered a passionate testimonial as to the person that Jeremy is, and the need for people like Jeremy during our changing socio-political landscape.  She was followed by co-counsel, Susan Keller, who wept as she recalled her experiences reading the hundreds of letters from supporters to the court detailing the Jeremy Hammond’s selflessness and enthusiastic volunteerism.  She pointed out that it was this same selflessness that motivated Jeremy’s actions in this case.  She closed her testimony by underscoring that, “The centerpiece of our argument is a young man with high hopes and unbelievably laudable expectations in this world.”

Susan was followed by Jeremy Hammond himself, who gave a detailed, touching and consequential allocution to the court.  The following is Jeremy’s statement to the court.  We have redacted a portion [marked in red] upon the orders of Judge Preska.  While we believe the public has a right to know the redacted information therein, we refuse to publish information that could adversely effect Jeremy or his counsel.

JEREMY’ HAMMOND SENTENCING STATEMENT | 11/15/2013 (more…)

‘I am Chelsea Manning,’ says jailed soldier formerly known as Bradley

 

From The GuardianBradley Manning

The US soldier who was sentenced as Bradley Manning on Wednesday plans to undergo hormone therapy and has asked to be recognised as a woman.

In a statement on Thursday Manning said she would like to be known as Chelsea E Manning and be referred to by female pronouns.

“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me,” she wrote.

“I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition.” (more…)

Manning’s torturous confinement controlled by top military Lt. General at the Pentagon

From Bradley Manning Support Network

By Kevin Zeese. September 4, 2012.

Then-Lt. Gen. George Flynn, who reportedly directed PFC Bradley Manning’s illegal pretrial confinement conditions.Every time I attend a Bradley Manning hearing the prosecutors show their outrageous disrespect for the law, demonstrate they cannot be trusted and that this prosecution should not proceed.

Beginning on November 27, the defense will argue a long-delayed motion to dismiss for unlawful pretrial punishment.  In a moment of high drama, Bradley is likely to testify about his nine months in solitary confinement during the argument of this motion.

Prosecutors Are Caught Hiding More than One Thousand Emails about Manning’s Confinement

The most recent reason for the delay in the hearing was the government was caught hiding 1,374 emails relevant to the confinement of Bradley Manning. (more…)

Hundreds rally at Obama campaign offices for Bradley, veterans arrested

By the Bradley Manning Support Network

In a coordinated set of actions, Bradley Manning supporters–led by veterans including Scott Olsen–rallied at and occupied Obama campaign offices on the West Coast yesterday, twelve arrested

Six veterans and activists in Oakland, and six more in Portland, OR, were arrested Thursday night at Obama campaign offices for occupying the spaces in solidarity with accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower PFC Bradley Manning. Dozens of veterans and anti-war demonstrators coordinated a West Coast set of actions that also included protests in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Seattle. (more…)

Defense Motion Describes Bradley Manning’s “Unlawful Pretrial Punishment” in Solitary Confinement

From Solitary Watch

David E. Coombs, attorney for accused Wikileaker Bradley Manning, has made public a motion“to dismiss all charges owing to the unlawful pretrial punishment to which PFC Manning was subjected while at Marine Corps Base, Quantico.” Manning spent close to nine months in solitary confinement in the Brig at Quantico, from July 2010 to April 2011, before being transferred into less restrictive conditions at Fort Leavenworth.

Manning was held in conditions that were denounced as “cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment” by UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez. His lawyer is now arguing that they were also in “flagrant violation” of military code. Keep in mind that Manning had not–and still has not–been convicted of any crime, nor had he been accused of any disciplinary violations while in custody.

According to the motion, as summarzied on Coombs’s website, “a decision had been made early on at Quantico to keep PFC Manning in MAX Custody and in Prevention of Injury (POI) status — in effect, the functional equivalent of solitary confinement.” The motion further argues that “Multiple psychiatrists at the Quantico Brig recommended for almost nine months that PFC Manning be downgraded from POI status.  The psychiatrists informed Quantico Brig officials that PFC Manning’s POI status was not warranted because he did not present a risk to himself and that the POI status was actually causing PFC Manning psychological harm.  The psychiatrists’ recommendations were outright ignored by Quantico officials.”

The defense claims it has documents that “reveal that the senior Brig officer who ordered PFC Manning to be held in MAX and in POI was receiving his marching orders from a three-star general. They also reveal that everyone at Quantico was complicit in the unlawful pretrial punishment, from senior officers to enlisted marines.”

Many aspects of Bradley Manning’s conditions of confinement at Quantico will sound familiar to the tens of thousands of American prisoners who have spent time in solitary confinement in supermax prisons and Special Housing Units. Additional restrictions were put in place supposedly because he was at risk of harming himself, though they in fact seem only to have added to his torture. (more…)