Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Elizabeth Manning (born Bradley Edward Manning, December 17, 1987) is an American activist, whistle blower, politician, and former United States Army soldier. She was convicted by court-martial in July 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act and other offenses, after disclosing to WikiLeaks nearly 750,000 classified, or unclassified but sensitive, military and diplomatic documents, and was imprisoned between 2010 and 2017.

Medic sent the Army an FOIA letter requesting all releasable documents from the official military personnel file of Chelsea Manning. The Army complied, sending  thirty pages of marginal interest.

Assigned in 2009 to an Army unit in Iraq as a low level intelligence analyst, Manning had access to classified databases. In early 2010, she leaked classified information to WikiLeaks and confided this to Adrian Lamo, an online acquaintance. Lamo indirectly informed the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, and Manning was arrested in May that same year.

The leaked material included videos of the July 12, 2007 Apache helicopter strike which killed civilians and journalists in Baghdad; the 2009 Granai airstrike in Afghanistan; 251,287 U.S. diplomatic cables; and 482,832 Army reports that came to be known as the Iraq War Logs and Afghan War Diary, which exposed the abuse of detainees by Iraqi officers under the watch of American forces, and showed that civilian deaths during the Iraq war were most likely significantly higher than official estimates.

The material was published by WikiLeaks and its media partners between April 2010 and April 2011.

PFC Manning was charged with 22 offenses, including aiding the enemy, which could have resulted in a death sentence. She was held in solitary confinement at the Marine Corps Brig, Quantico in Virginia, from July 2010 to April 2011.

A trans woman, Manning released a statement explaining she had a female gender identity since childhood and wanted to be known as Chelsea Manning. She also expressed a desire to begin hormone replacement therapy.

Following domestic and international concern for her well being, she was transferred to the Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where she could interact with other detainees.

Manning pleaded guilty in February 2013 to 10 of the charges, and on July 30 she was convicted of 17 of the original charges and amended versions of four others, but was acquitted of aiding the enemy. She was sentenced to¬† 35 years at Fort Leavenworth. On January 17, 2017, President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence to nearly seven years of confinement dating from her arrest on May 27, 2010.

Manning now earns a living through speaking engagements.

In January 2018, she announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate election in her home state of Maryland, challenging incumbent senator Ben Cardin. On June 26, 2018, Manning finished second among eight Democrats seeking their party’s Senate nomination in Maryland’s primary election. She received 5.7% of the votes; Cardin won renomination with 80.5% of the votes cast.

Below, video footage with audio of the 2007 US Apache helicopter strike in Baghdad which resulted in the deaths of 19 unarmed civilians including two journalists.

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source: wikipedia

top photo: Inez and Vinoodh for The New York Times. Stylist: Alex White