Chelsea Manning

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Person.png Chelsea Manning   Website WikiquoteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Chelsea Manning.jpg
US Army Intelligence Analyst
BornBradley Edward Manning
Crescent, Oklahoma, U.S.
Criminal charge
Violating the Espionage Act, stealing government property, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, multiple counts of disobeying orders
Parents • Brian Manning
• Susan Fox
Exposed • Collateral Murder
• Granai massacre
Interest ofAlexa O'Brien

Trans woman Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley Manning, is a former US Army intelligence analyst who was imprisoned in May 2010 after telling Adrian Lamo she had leaked to Wikileaks 251,287 US diplomatic cables, a video of the "Collateral Murder" in Baghdad, along with a video of the "Granai Massacre" in Afghanistan and 482,832 Army reports that came to be known as the "Iraq War Logs" and the "Afghan War Diary".[1]

Chelsea Manning was convicted by court-martial in July 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act and other offences, and was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment at the maximum-security US Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth.[2] Manning was released in May 2017 after outgoing President Obama commuted her sentence to 7 years.[3]

In March 2019, Chelsea Manning was jailed at the Alexandria Detention Center in Virginia for contempt for refusing a subpoena to testify in a secret US Grand Jury investigating WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.[4] On 12 March 2020, US District Judge Anthony Trenga released Chelsea Manning from detainment after concluding that the Grand Jury that she had been subpoenaed to testify before no longer needed her, since it was being disbanded.[5]

The release of Manning came after the US government tried to break her to the point of suicide.[6] Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, had written a letter to the US government late in 2019 indicating that Manning’s imprisonment amounted to torture.[7][8]

Online chats

Adrian Lamo: ex-Hacker who reported Bradley Manning to the FBI

In May 2010, Wired magazine reported that Manning initiated a series of online chats with former hacker Adrian Lamo after a story on Lamo was published at In the chat logs, Manning explained his growing disillusionment with the US Army and foreign policy. Manning reportedly said that the diplomatic documents expose "almost criminal political back dealings" and that they explain "how the first world exploits the third, in detail". He said that he hoped the release of the videos and documents would lead to "worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms". Manning reportedly wrote:

"Everywhere there’s a U.S. post, there’s a diplomatic scandal that will be revealed."[9]

He gave one example of being assigned the task of evaluating the arrest of Iraqis for allegedly publishing "anti Iraq" literature, only to discover that the writings were in fact scholarly critique of corruption in the cabinet of Iraq Prime Minister Al-Maliki titled "Where Did the Money Go?".[10] He reportedly said to Lamo:

"I immediately took that information and ran to the officer to explain what was going on. He didn’t want to hear any of it. He told me to shut up and explain how we could assist the FPs in finding MORE detainees."

The chats continued over several days, during which Manning claimed that he was responsible for leaking classified material to the whistleblower site Wikileaks. Adrian Lamo tipped off the FBI and the Army about Manning's claims, and on 26 May 2010, Manning was seized by Army authorities and put into pre-trial detention in Kuwait. He remained in Kuwait while the Army Criminal Investigation Division and other agencies investigate whether he leaked classified information and determine if he should be charged with any crime. [11]

Response from Wikileaks

Wikileaks said "allegations in Wired that we have been sent 260,000 classified US embassy cables are, as far as we can tell, incorrect".[12] Wikileaks said that they are unable as yet to confirm whether or not Manning was actually the source of the video, stating "we never collect personal information on our sources", but saying also that "if Brad Manning is the whistleblower then, without doubt, he's a national hero" [13] and "we have taken steps to arrange for his protection and legal defence".[14]

Praise from Ellsberg

Manning poster.jpg

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg stated in an interview that "If Bradley Manning has done what he is alleged to have done, I congratulate him. He has used his opportunities very well. He has upheld his oath of office to support the Constitution. It so happens that enlisted men also take an oath to obey the orders of superiors. Officers don’t make that oath, only to the Constitution. But sometimes the oath to the Constitution and oath to superiors are in conflict" while Wikileaks "is serving our democracy and serving our rule of law precisely by challenging the secrecy regulations, which are not laws in most cases, in this country." On the issue of national security considerations for the U.S., Ellsberg added that

"..any serious risk to that national security is extremely low. There may be 260,000 diplomatic cables. It’s very hard to think of any of that which could be plausibly described as a national security risk. Will it embarrass diplomatic relationships? Sure, very likely—all to the good of our democratic functioning..[Wikileaks] has not yet put out anything that hurt anybody’s national security.

"..having read a hell of a lot of diplomatic cables, I would confidently make the judgment that very little, less than one percent, one percent perhaps, can honestly be said to endanger national security. That’s distinct [from the percentage that could cause] embarrassment—very serious embarrassment, [if people] realize that we are aware of highly murderous and corrupt operations by people and that we are supporting them. It is very seriously embarrassing..If the choice is between putting none of them out, as the State Department would like, and putting all of them out, I definitely feel our national security would be improved if they were put out. Between those two choices, I would rather see them all of them out. It would help understand our own foreign policy and give us the chance to improve it democratically. I hope they are out, I hope we get to see them.[15]

Salon article

The Salon article by Glenn Greenwald and referenced below is a compelling account of the whole affair to date (18 June 2010). Adrian Lamo is exposed as a despicable, publicity-seeking, hypocrite. Kevin Poulsen, Wired Magazine's 'Threat level' blog editor who published selected portions of the Lamo-Manning chat logs, does not come out of events to date smelling of roses either.[16]

Manning transferred to the US

US Military press release (29 July 2010):

BAGHDAD, Iraq – U.S. Army officials transferred PFC Bradley Manning from the Theater Field Confinement Facility in Kuwait to the Marine Corps Base Quantico Brig in Quantico, Virginia, on July 29. Manning remains in pretrial confinement pending an Article 32 investigation into the charges preferred against him on July 5. Manning was transferred because of the potential for lengthy continued pretrial confinement given the complexity of the charges and ongoing investigation. The field confinement facility in Kuwait is designed for short-term confinement. [17]

The location of the Quantico brig: Map

Fined $258,000

In March 2020, Chelsea Manning's $258,000 fine (levied at $1,000/day) was crowdfunded by supporters in 2 days.[18]


Documents by Chelsea Manning

TitleDocument typePublication dateSubject(s)Description
Document:Bradley Manning post-sentencing statementstatement21 August 2013Chelsea Manning
File:WikiLeaks - Manning.docchat log10 June 2010Chelsea ManningThe document is connected to the arrest of 22 year old Bradley Manning for allegedly leaking 1/4 million classified US Diplomatic cables + video footage of US killings in Iraq to WikiLeaks. It contains what Wired estimate to be about 25% of the on-line chat logs between Manning and Adrian Lamo (The guy who shopped him to the FBI).


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Assange Statement on the start of Bradley Manning trialstatement4 June 2013Julian Assange
Document:Bradley Manning post-sentencing statementstatement21 August 2013Chelsea Manning
Document:Chelsea Manning released, faces new imprisonment for refusing to testify against AssangeArticle10 May 2019Niles Niemuth“The idea I hold the keys to my own cell is an absurd one, as I face the prospect of suffering either way due to this unnecessary and punitive subpoena: I can either go to jail or betray my principles,” Manning explained. “The latter exists as a much worse prison than the government can construct.”
Document:Chelsea and Julian are in Jail. History post12 April 2019Craig MurrayJulian Assange said nothing during the whole brief proceedings, other than to say “Not guilty” twice, and to ask a one sentence question about why the charges were changed midway through this sham “trial”. Yet Judge Michael Snow condemned Assange as “narcissistic”.
Document:Diane Abbott – 2019 Speech on Julian AssangeSpeech11 April 2019Diane AbbottWe only have to look at the treatment of Chelsea Manning to see what awaits Julian Assange if he is extradited to the US
Document:Julian Assange denied access to lawyers, visitors in Britain’s Belmarsh prisonArticle24 April 2019Oscar GrenfellChelsea Manning’s punitive detention is a warning of the treatment that will be meted out to Julian Assange if he is extradited to the US
Document:Julian Assange exposed the crimes of powerful actors, including Israelblog post19 April 2019Alison WeirJulian Assange has recently been honoured with the 2019 Award for Journalists, Whistleblowers & Defenders of the Right to Information and Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire has nominated him for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
Document:Julian Assange is a suspected Russian intelligence assetArticle24 February 2020Susie Boniface"If Assange was interested in avoiding extradition to the US, he'd have gone to Sweden to answer the charges that were unlikely to see a conviction, and where he had far less chance of being extradited. But if he really WERE a Russian intelligence asset... well, then it all makes sense." - except that what it really makes is nonsense.
Document:Letter to Bradley Manningopen letterRevolution Truth
Document:Media silent on dismissal of DNC suit against Julian AssangeArticle2 August 2019Oscar GrenfellJudge Koeltl further undermined the claims of the Trump administration, the Democrats and the media that Julian Assange is a “hacker,” undeserving of First Amendment protections. In other words, the attempt to extradite Assange to the US and prosecute him is a frontal assault on the US Constitution and press freedom.
Document:On the Pavement with Wikileaksblog post7 April 2019Craig MurrayPretty well all of the Western media is going to want to focus on these false anti-Assange narratives, and they will be determined to give as little attention as possible to the fact he is a publisher facing trial for publishing leaked state documents which revealed state wrongdoing. It is a classic and fundamental issue of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
Document:Sex, Lies and Julian AssangeTranscript23 July 2012Andrew FowlerHe humiliated the most powerful country in the world. But his relationship with two Swedish women, and their claims of sexual assault, may yet destroy Julian Assange.
Document:The Assange Arrest is a Warning From HistoryArticle12 April 2019John PilgerLeni Riefenstahl, close friend of Adolf Hitler, whose films helped cast the Nazi spell over Germany told me that the message in her films, the propaganda, was dependent not on “orders from above” but on what she called the “submissive void” of the public: "When people no longer ask serious questions, they are submissive and malleable. Anything can happen.”
Document:Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day 2blog post26 February 2020Craig MurrayThen, to wrap up proceedings, Baraitser dropped a massive bombshell. She stated that although Article 4.1 of the US/UK Extradition Treaty forbade political extraditions, this was only in the Treaty. That exemption does not appear in the UK Extradition Act.
File:WikiLeaks - Manning.docchat log10 June 2010Chelsea Manning
Adrian Lamo
The document is connected to the arrest of 22 year old Bradley Manning for allegedly leaking 1/4 million classified US Diplomatic cables + video footage of US killings in Iraq to WikiLeaks. It contains what Wired estimate to be about 25% of the on-line chat logs between Manning and Adrian Lamo (The guy who shopped him to the FBI).


External links