5 September 2014

Free Chelsea Manning!

One year ago, Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking military documents and diplomatic cables that exposed the U.S. government’s global war crimes and sinister machinations. With Obama ramping up aerial bombardments in Iraq while presiding over a wave of racist cop terror at home, the international workers movement must mark this anniversary of Manning’s sentencing with renewed resolve to fight for her freedom. (For more information about her case, see WV Nos. 1026 and 1028, 14 June and 9 August 2013.)

Prosecuted under the Espionage Act, Manning was nobody’s spy. She revealed information she had access to as a military analyst in Iraq so that the whole world could see the horror covered up by the capitalist media’s embedded reporters. Her motive was to force a public debate on U.S. policy based on the facts. She continues this fight today from her prison cell. In an op-ed piece published in the New York Times (14 June), Manning wrote: “As Iraq erupts in civil war and America again contemplates intervention, that unfinished business should give new urgency to the question of how the United States military controlled the media coverage of its long involvement there and in Afghanistan. I believe that the current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance.”

We hail Manning’s courageous acts. Her disclosures document the truth: beneath the cloak of “democracy,” the U.S. government is the biggest terrorist force on the planet.

Financial contributions are urgently needed to sustain a legal appeal of Manning’s conviction and also challenge the inhumane conditions of her imprisonment. Jailed in the all-male Army prison at Fort Leavenworth, Manning is being denied the hormone treatments she has requested, which even the military’s own doctors deem medically necessary. While a new legal team prepares the appeal of Manning’s conviction, her original trial attorney and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed official notice of their intent to sue the military for cruel and unusual punishment if Manning is not given proper medical treatment.

The Partisan Defense Committee has donated to Manning’s legal defense and urges readers of Workers Vanguard to do likewise. To donate by check or money order, please make payable to: Courage to Resist, 484 Lake Park Ave. #41, Oakland, CA 94610. Note “Manning Defense” on the memo line. Write to Manning at: Chelsea E. Manning 89289, 1300 North Warehouse Road, Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304.

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(reprinted from Workers Vanguard No. 1051, 5 September 2014)

Workers Vanguard is the newspaper of the Spartacist League with which the Partisan Defense Committee is affiliated.