By Marjorie Cohn For Consortium News – After overseeing the aggressive prosecution and near-seven-year incarceration of Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, President Obama – in one of his last acts in office – commuted all but four months of her remaining sentence but ignored the fact that he had taken no action on the war crimes that Manning revealed. At his final news conference, Obama explained his reasons for commuting Manning’s record-setting 35-year sentence for leaking classified information to the public. Manning is scheduled to be released on May 17.“Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence,” Obama said…
By Chelsea Manning for The Guardian. To those who have kept me alive for the past six years: minutes after President Obama announced the commutation of my sentence, the prison quickly moved me out of general population and into the restrictive housing unit where I am now held. I know that we are now physically separated, but we will never be apart and we are not alone. Recently, one of you asked me “Will you remember me?” I will remember you. How could I possibly forget? You taught me lessons I would have never learned otherwise. When I was afraid, you taught me how to keep going. When I was lost, you showed me the way. When I was numb, you taught me how to feel. When I was angry, you taught me how to chill out. When I was hateful, you taught me how to be compassionate. When I was distant, you taught me how to be close. When I was selfish, you taught me how to share.
By Mark Hand for DC Media Group – Friends and family of Chelsea Manning are raising money for the military whistleblower to cover her basic living expenses after she is released in May. As of Feb. 10, the fundraising campaign had raised about $60,000. Former President Barack Obama in January commuted the sentence of Manning, the Army private sentenced to 35 years in prison for providing hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. Following her scheduled May 17 release from prison, Manning is expected to head home to Maryland. “Chelsea has done so much for all of us, and inspired so many people, supporting her as she transitions back into the free world is the least that we can do,” Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future and a friend of Manning’s, said in a statement.
By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. Chelsea Manning’s sentence has been commuted. She had been jailed for nearly seven years, and her 35-year sentence was by far the longest punishment ever imposed in the United States for a leak conviction. She served longer than any other whistleblower. Now, under the terms of Obama’s commutation announced today, Manning will be freed in five months, on May 17 of this year. If she had served the full term of her sentence she would not have been released until 2045. I was a member of the Chelsea Manning Support Network from soon after her arrest and tens of thousands of people donated to legal defense and the campaign to release her as well as protested on her behalf. Tens of thousands urged President Obama to pardon her or commute her sentence. When we learned last week that Manning had made the short list to receive clemency from the president, it still felt like an unlikely outcome. But today, President Obama gave us the best news he could in his final days with the release of Manning. Manning is not only a historically important whistleblower, she has also become a leader of the trans movement as she went public on her sexual identification and fought for her medical and personal rights while incarcerated by the military. She has inspired many with her courage, bravery and actions.
By Staff for Agency France Press. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will agree to be extradited to the United States if President Barack Obama grants clemency to the former US soldier Chelsea Manning, jailed for leaking documents, the company said on Thursday. “If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ (US Department of Justice) case,” WikiLeaks wrote on Twitter. Assange has been living in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations.
By Staff of Free Chelsea – Chelsea Manning’s attorney at the ACLU, Chase Strangio, said: “The Obama administration has done many commendable things to protect the rights of LGBTQ people, but in the case of Chelsea Manning they have systematically mistreated her and denied her access to medically recommended gender-related health care. Chelsea won’t survive another 5 years in prison, much less another 30. President Obama has 9 days to do the right thing and commute her sentence. The world is watching, and we hope that he stands on the side of justice, and that his legacy will be one of standing up for trans people’s rights, not having extinguished one of our community’s brightest lights.”
By Chase Strangio for Medium. Our greatest wish for Chelsea Manning on her birthday and every day is that she is pardoned and released from prison. Join us in wishing her a happy birthday by urging President Obama to pardon her. Chelsea has shown herself to be an amazing person who sees injustice and works to change it. In her time since her arrest she has evolved and grown. Now she has become a leading voice for the trans movement. There is so much progress in that area and some of the credit for ameliorating discrimination against trans people goes to Chelsea who has stood up for her rights, and by doing so, the rights of others, under very difficult circumstances. We are confident that Chelsea will continue to evolve and grow; and continue to show leadership in her coming years. Happy birthday to Chelsea.
By Ed Pilkington for The Guardian – Former US soldier serving 35 years in prison for leaking state secrets asks Barack Obama to commute her sentence to time served. Chelsea Manning has made a last-ditch appeal to Barack Obama to commute her sentence for leaking state secrets to time served, calling on him to release her from military prison so that she can have her “first chance to live a real, meaningful life”.
By Chelsea E Manning for The Guardian – Last week I was given the “good news” that the Department of Defense will grant my request to see a surgeon for treatment related to my gender dysphoria. Although I don’t have anything in writing, I was shown a memorandum with my name on it that confirmed the military is moving forward with my request. Everything that they have presented to me leads me to believe that they are going to provide the care that has been recommended by my doctor. I have requested this for nearly a year. That same week, I was also given “bad news”: I may be punished for a suicide attempt in July.
By Christina DiPasquale for Free Chelsea Manning – LEAVENWORTH, KS––Chelsea Manning has ended a hunger strike that she began five days ago, after the U.S. military has agreed to move forward with the recommended treatment for her gender dysphoria. However, the Army is continuing to threaten Chelsea with solitary confinement for charges directly related to her attempt to take her own life, even though it was the government’s own mistreatment of Chelsea that drove her to it.
By Editor of Counter Current News – U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning announced she began a hunger strike in protest of her prison conditions as she serves a 35-year sentence for leaking classified documents. Advocacy group Fight for the Future shared a statement from the 28-year-old transgender woman as she demanded written assurances from the Army she will receive all of the medically prescribed recommendations for her gender dysphoria and that the “high tech bullying” will stop.
By Mollie Reilly for The Huffington Post – Imprisoned Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning has begun a hunger strike to protest what she describes as “high tech bullying” at the hands of military and prison officials. Manning is serving a 35-year sentence for providing a trove of classified documents to WikiLeaks in 2010. The soldier, who came out as a transgender woman shortly after she was sentenced in 2013, sued the government for access to hormone therapy drugs while in prison so she could transition to living as a woman.
By Staff of Chelsea Manning Support Network – We won an important victory by keeping Chelsea out of “indefinite solitary confinement;” however, this ruling of guilty on all four absurd charges is not without significant ramifications. “Now these convictions will follow me through to any parole and clemency hearings, forever. I was expecting to be in minimum custody in February, but now years added,” Chelsea explained (via phone) after her hearing last night.
By Christina DiPasquale for Fight For The Future – WASHINGTON, DC––This morning Chelsea Manning supporters delivered more than 115,000 petition signatures to the Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning, calling for him to drop serious new charges faced by Ms. Manning as a direct result of her attempt to take her own life on July 5th. The petitions call for the military to provide Chelsea with adequate and humane treatment for both her gender dysphoria and her suicide attempt.