Chelsea Manning is in jail. Our silence is shameful

The DoJ’s persecution of Manning is simply judicial cruelty. It deserves our full attention.

By James Ball

March 10, 2019 "Information Clearing House" -   As I write these words, Chelsea Manning is in a jail cell.

This is not her first time in US prison: she spent nearly seven years in US jail, first awaiting trial and then post-conviction – after a guilty plea – on 22 counts relating to leaking material to WikiLeaks.

Too often, we brush past that fact as a mere sentence of biography, or of background. Let’s dwell on it for a moment: from the release of the first material leaked by Manning in 2010, we as the world’s public got an unprecedented view of US military and foreign affairs.

In the video titled “collateral murder” we could watch first-hand both the shocking callousness and the casualness of the crew of a US Apache as it gunned down a group of suspected militants, which included two Reuters journalists who were killed in the attack. Minutes later we see the same crew launch a Hellfire missile against a home – without even bothering to wait for a pedestrian simply walking near the house to pass.

Material in nearly 90,000 leaked documents from the Afghan conflict revealed similar abuses on a far larger scale – including even the existence of Task Force 373, a death squad revealed to have killed civilians and even Afghan police officers on its missions.

A similar cache of documents from Iraq, this time nearly 400,000 of them, revealed the huge civilian death toll of US operations in the country, shedding new light on so-called “escalation of force” incidents – a military euphemism for checkpoint shootings – and more.

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