Chelsea Manning back in jail, refused to testify to a grand jury investigating Wikileaks

from BBC
Chelsea Manning: Wikileaks source jailed for refusing to testify
Former US intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning has been jailed for refusing to testify before an investigation into Wikileaks.

A Virginia judge ordered her taken into custody until the grand jury’s work is finished or she decides to testify.

Manning said she shared everything she knows during her court-martial.

Manning was found guilty in 2013 of charges including espionage for leaking secret military files to Wikileaks, but her sentence was commuted.

Manning, 31, told US District Judge Claude Hilton that she would “accept whatever you bring upon me”, but would not testify, the Associated Press reported.

Her lawyers had reportedly asked that she be confined at home due to medical issues, but the judge said US Marshals would address her care needs.

US prosecutors have been investigating Wikileaks for years, and in November prosecutors inadvertently revealed possible charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, in court documents from a separate case.

On Thursday, Manning said in a statement: “I will stand by my principles. I will exhaust every legal remedy available.

“My legal team will challenge the secrecy of these proceedings and I am prepared to face the consequences of my refusal.”

Prosecutor Tracy McCormick said Manning could be freed if she changes her mind and decides to follow the law and testify, according to the Associated Press.

Chelsea Resists!, a group supporting Manning and seeking to raise money for her legal fees, said grand juries were “mired in secrecy, and have historically been used to silence and retaliate against political activists”.

“Chelsea gave voluminous testimony during her court martial. She has stood by the truth of her prior statements, and there is no legitimate purpose to having her rehash them before a hostile grand jury.”

Manning was arrested in Iraq in 2010 for disclosing more than 700,000 confidential documents, videos and diplomatic cables to the anti-secrecy website.

While Manning said she only did so to spark debates about foreign policy, US officials said the leak put lives at risk.

She was sentenced to 35 years after being found guilty of 20 charges related to the leak, but only served seven before former President Barack Obama commuted her sentence in 2017.

Her sentence was the longest given for a leak in US history. Mr Obama said it was “disproportionate” to her crimes.

Republicans criticised the Democratic president’s decision at the time.

Then-Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan said Mr Obama had set “a dangerous precedent that those who compromise our national security won’t be held accountable”, the New York Times reported.

President Donald Trump has called Manning an “ungrateful traitor” who “should never have been released from prison”.


from CBS News

Chelsea Manning Jailed for Refusing to Testify on Wikileaks

Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning has been jailed for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton ordered Manning to jail for contempt of court on Friday after a brief hearing in which Manning confirmed she has no intention of testifying.

Manning has said she objects to the secrecy of the grand jury process, and that she already revealed everything she knows at her court martial. She told the judge she “will accept whatever you bring upon me.” 

Manning’s lawyers had asked that she be sent to home confinement instead of the jail, because of medical complications she faces. 

The judge said she will remain jailed until she testifies or until the grand jury concludes its work, and that U.S. marshals can handle her medical care. Prosecutor Tracy McCormick said the jail and the marshals have assured the government that her medical needs can be met.

Manning anticipated being jailed. In a statement before Friday’s hearing, she said she invoked her First, Fourth and Sixth amendment protections when she appeared before the grand jury in Alexandria on Wednesday. She said she already answered every substantive question during her 2013 court-martial, and is prepared to face the consequences of refusing to answer again.

“In solidarity with many activists facing the odds, I will stand by my principles. I will exhaust every legal remedy available,” she said. 

Manning, who is transgender, gained attention after being convicted in 2013 for leaking classified government and military documents to WikiLeaks. She had worked as an intelligence analyst in Iraq and was arrested in 2010. At the time of her arrest, her name was Bradley.  

She served seven years of a 35-year military sentence for leaking the trove of documents to the anti-secrecy website before then-President Barack Obama commuted her sentence in 2017 — one of his final acts as president. In May that year, she was released from a Kansas military prison.

McCormick said Manning can easily end this latest incarceration on the civil charge simply by following the law and testifying. “We hope she changes her mind now,” McCormick said. 

Manning’s lawyer, Moira Meltzer-Cohen, said she believes jailing Manning is an act of cruelty given her medical issues, and said Manning’s one-bedroom apartment would be a sufficient manner of confinement. 

Outside the courthouse, about 10 protesters rallied in her support. 

“Obviously prison is a terrible place,” Meltzer-Cohen said. “I don’t see the purpose to incarcerate people.” 

The WikiLeaks investigation has been ongoing for a long time. Last year, prosecutors in Alexandria inadvertently disclosed that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is facing unspecified, sealed criminal charges in the district. 

WikiLeaks also has emerged as an important part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election, as investigators focus on whether President Donald Trump’s campaign knew Russian hackers were going to provide emails to WikiLeaks stolen from Democratic organizations, including presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Judging U.S. War Crimes
by Kathy Kelly

March 10, 2019

Chelsea Manning, who bravely exposed atrocities committed by the U.S. military, is again imprisoned in a U.S. jail. On International Women’s Day, March 8, 2019, she was incarcerated in the Alexandria, VA federal detention center for refusing to testify in front of a secretive Grand Jury. Her imprisonment can extend through the term of the Grand Jury, possibly 18 months, and the U.S. courts could allow formation of future Grand Juries, potentially jailing her again.

Chelsea Manning has already paid an extraordinarily high price for educating the U.S. public about atrocities committed in the wars of choice the U.S. waged in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chelsea Manning was a U.S. Army soldier and former U.S. intelligence analyst. She already testified, in court, how she downloaded and disseminated government documents revealing classified information she believed represented possible war crimes. In 2013, she was convicted by court martial and sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking government documents to Wikileaks. On January 17, 2017, President Obama commuted her sentence. In May of 2017, she was released from military prison having served seven years.
“Where you stand determines what you see.” Chelsea Manning, by virtue of her past work as an analyst with the U.S. military, carefully studied footage of what could only be described as atrocities against human beings. She saw civilians killed, on her screen, and conscience didn’t allow her to ignore what she witnessed, to more or less change the channel. One scene of carnage occurred on July 12, 2007, in Iraq. Chelsea Manning made available to the world the black and white grainy footage and audio content which depicted a U.S. helicopter gunship indiscriminately firing on Iraqi civilians. Twelve people were killed, including two Reuters journalists.
What follows is part of the dialogue from the classified US military video footage from July 12th:
US SOLDIER 1: Alright, firing.
US SOLDIER 4: Let me know when you’ve got them.
US SOLDIER 2: Let’s shoot. Light ’em all up.
US SOLDIER 1: Come on, fire!
US SOLDIER 2: Keep shootin’. Keep shootin’. Keep shootin’. Keep shootin’.
US SOLDIER 2: Alright, we just engaged all eight individuals.
Amy Goodman described the next portion of the video:
AMY GOODMAN: Minutes later, the video shows US forces watching as a van pulls up to evacuate the wounded. They again open fire, killing several more people, wounding two children inside the van. 
US SOLDIER 2: Bushmaster, Crazy Horse. We have individuals going to the scene, looks like possibly picking up bodies and weapons.
US SOLDIER 1: Let me engage. Can I shoot?
US SOLDIER 2: Roger. Break. Crazy Horse one-eight, request permission to engage.
US SOLDIER 3: Picking up the wounded?
US SOLDIER 1: Yeah, we’re trying to get permission to engage. Come on, let us shoot!
US SOLDIER 2: Bushmaster, Crazy Horse one-eight.
US SOLDIER 1: They’re taking him.
US SOLDIER 2: Bushmaster, Crazy Horse one-eight.
US SOLDIER 4: This is Bushmaster seven, go ahead.
US SOLDIER 2: Roger. We have a black SUV —- or Bongo truck picking up the bodies. Request permission to engage.
US SOLDIER 4: Bushmaster seven, roger. This is Bushmaster seven, roger. Engage.
US SOLDIER 2: One-eight, engage. Clear.
US SOLDIER 1: Come on!
US SOLDIER 2: Clear. Clear.
US SOLDIER 1: We’re engaging.
US SOLDIER 3: I got ’em.
US SOLDIER 2: Should have a van in the middle of the road with about twelve to fifteen bodies.
US SOLDIER 1: Oh yeah, look at that. Right through the windshield! Ha!
Democracy Now, in the same segment, asked former U.S. whistleblower Dan Ellsberg for comments about releasing the video. “What were the criteria,” Ellsberg asked, “that led to denying this to the public? And how do they stand up when we actually see the results? Is anybody going to be held accountable for wrongly withholding evidence of war crimes in this case…?”
Chelsea Manning’s disclosures also led to public awareness of the Granai massacre in Afghanistan. On May 4, 2009, Taliban forces attacked U.S. and Afghan forces in Afghanistan’s Farah province. The U.S. military called for U.S. airstrikes on buildings in the village of Granai. A U.S. Air Force B-1 bomber was used to drop 2,000 lb. and 500 lb. bombs, killing an estimated 86 to 147 women and children. The U.S. Air Force has videotape of the Granai massacre. Ellsberg called for President Obama to post the videotape rather than wait to see if Wikileaks would release it. To this day, the video hasn’t been released. Apparently, a disgruntled Wikileaks employee destroyed the footage.
Were it not for Chelsea Manning’s courageous disclosures, certain U.S. military atrocities might have been kept secret. Her revelations were also key to exposing U.S. approval of the 2009 coup against the elected government in Honduras and U.S. dealings with dictators and oligarchs across the Middle East, which helped spark the Arab Spring rebellions.
Prior to her arrest in 2010, Chelsea Manning wrote: “I want people to see the truth, regardless of who they are. Because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”
Chelsea Manning’s principled and courageous actions provide guidance for us to control our fears. We must seek an end to war crimes in Afghanistan, Iraq and other areas where the U.S. terrifies and kills civilians.
Kathy Kelly ( co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence (


Statement from Chelsea Manning Regarding Grand Jury and Consequences Associated With Her Refusal


Alexandria, VA — On Wednesday March 6, 2019 Chelsea Manning appeared before a Federal Grand Jury in the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) and refused to answer questions from prosecutors regarding the release of information she disclosed to the public in 2010. Chelsea invoked her 1st, 4th, and 6th Amendment protections to provide just cause for her refusal. On Friday March 8, 2019 Chelsea will return to the court for a hearing wherein Judge Hilton will consider the legal grounds for her refusal. The following is a statement from Chelsea Manning regarding the Grand Jury and the possible consequences associated with her refusal:

“On Friday, I will return to federal court in Alexandria, Virginia for a closed contempt hearing. A judge will consider the legal grounds for my refusal to answer questions in front of a grand jury. The court may find me in contempt, and order me to jail.

“Yesterday, I appeared before a secret grand jury after being given immunity for my testimony. All of the substantive questions pertained to my disclosures of information to the public in 2010—answers I provided in extensive testimony, during my court-martial in 2013. I responded to each question with the following statement: ‘I object to the question and refuse to answer on the grounds that the question is in violation of my First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendment, and other statutory rights.’

“In solidarity with many activists facing the odds, I will stand by my principles. I will exhaust every legal remedy available. My legal team continues to challenge the secrecy of these proceedings, and I am prepared to face the consequences of my refusal.”

Chelsea Manning is represented by Moira Meltzer-Cohen, appellate attorney Vincent Ward, and local counsel Chris Leibig and Sandra Freeman.

All are encouraged to support Chelsea any way they can. To learn more about Chelsea Resists or to donate to Chelsea’s legal defense visit:…/chelsea-manning-needs-legal-fun…

Questions regarding Chelsea Manning’s support committee should be directed to


March 23, 2019 UPDATE

The following is a statement from Chelsea Resists!, Chelsea Manning’s Support Committee:

“We condemn the solitary confinement that Chelsea Manning has been subjected to during her incarceration at William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center.

“Since her arrival at Truesdale on March 8th, Chelsea has been placed in administrative segregation, or ‘adseg,’ a term designed to sound less cruel than “solitary confinement.” However, Chelsea has been kept in her cell for 22 hours a day. This treatment qualifies as Solitary Confinement.

“Chelsea can’t be out of her cell while any other prisoners are out, so she cannot talk to other people, or visit the law library, and has no access to books or reading material. She has not been outside for 16 days. She is permitted to make phone calls and move about outside her cell between 1 and 3 a.m..

“As today is Day 16, Chelsea is now in “Prolonged Solitary,” as defined by Juan Mendez, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture:

“I have defined prolonged solitary confinement as any period in excess of 15 days. This definition reflects the fact that most of the scientific literature shows that, after 15 days, certain changes in brain functions occur and the harmful psychological effects of isolation can become irreversible. Prolonged solitary confinement must be absolutely prohibited, because it always amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and may even constitute torture…”

“The jail says keeping ‘high-profile’ prisoners in adseg is policy for the protection of all prisoners, but there is no reason to believe jail officials view Chelsea as either a target or a risk. If Truesdale wants to prioritize Chelsea’s health and welfare, as they consistently claim, then they should make sure she is able to have contact with other people in the jail.

“We have worked to monitor Chelsea’s well-being since her arrival at Truesdale. In her first week she contracted a bacterial infection which has since been resolved by antibiotics. More recently, she experienced the shift between the prolonged under stimulation of 22-hour lock-down and a 45-minute social visit as so jarring that she threw up.

“Although the facility has accommodated Chelsea’s medical needs, including hormone medications and daily post-surgery treatment, keeping her under these conditions for over 15 days amounts to torture, possibly in an attempt to coerce her into compliance with the Grand Jury. The Mendez Report notes this tactic: ‘I have observed that solitary confinement … is often used as a deliberate method to obtain information or confessions. In such conditions, confinement amounts to a coercive tool and constitutes a cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and possibly torture.’ 

“Chelsea is a principled person, and she has made clear that while this kind of treatment will harm her, and will almost certainly leave lasting scars, it will never make her change her mind about cooperating with the grand jury.

“It bears repeating that while solitary confinement should not be used for anyone, it is especially immoral to place Chelsea in solitary, when she has not been accused of, charged with, nor convicted of any new crime.

“We call upon the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center to remove Chelsea from “Administrative Segregation” and these conditions which effectively constitute solitary confinement immediately.”



Jailed Chelsea Manning says she’ll never testify to grand jury in WikiLeaks case

Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning said in a new legal motion that she will never testify to a grand jury in Virginia investigating the website WikiLeaks, and it therefore makes no sense to continue to keep her in jail for refusing to do so.

Manning has been jailed in Alexandria for two months for refusing to testify to the sitting grand jury. She appealed her incarceration to the federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., but a three-judge panel unanimously rejected her appeal last month.

Now, in a motion filed Monday in Alexandria, Manning argues she has proven she’ll stick to her principles and should therefore be released.

“At this point, given the sacrifices she has already made, her strong principles, her strong and growing support community, and the disgrace attendant to her capitulation, it is inconceivable that Chelsea Manning will ever change her mind about her refusal to cooperate with the grand jury,” her lawyers wrote.

Federal law only allows a recalcitrant witness to be jailed on civil contempt if there’s a chance that the incarceration will coerce the witness into testifying. If a judge were to determine that incarcerating Manning were punitive rather than coercive, Manning would be set free.

Manning filed an eight-page statement with the legal motion, outlining her intransigence.

“I can — without any hesitation — state that nothing that will convince me to testify before this or any other grand jury for that matter. This experience so far only proves my long held belief that grand juries are simply outdated tools used by the federal government to harass and disrupt political opponents and activists in fishing expeditions,” Manning wrote.

She also said she is suffering physical problems related to inadequate follow-up care for gender-reassignment surgery.

Manning served seven years in a military prison for leaking a trove of documents to WikiLeaks before her 35-year sentence was commuted by then-President Obama. Since Manning was jailed for contempt, prosecutors in Alexandria have unsealed criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and requested his extradition.

Prosecutors have not yet responded to Manning’s most recent motion. They have previously stated that Manning’s claims that she is being persecuted by the Trump administration are speculative and that she has the same duty as any other citizen to provide truthful testimony when subpoenaed.