Chelsea Manning, the trans woman who served time in prison for leaking sensitive materials exposing US military corruption to WikiLeaks, is going back to jail after being held in contempt of court for refusing to speak to a secret grand jury believed to be targeting Julian Assange.
“I’ve found you in contempt,” Judge Claude M. Hilton said to Manning during the public ruling, according to reports from the Washington Post. The Judge claims Manning will remain incarcerated until “either until you purge yourself or the end of the life of the grand jury.”
Manning released the following statement last night before showing up in court today:
tomorrow i’m facing a sealed contempt hearing for refusing to testify at a secret grand jury over my 2010 disclosures
— Chelsea E. Manning (@xychelsea) March 7, 2019
Independent journalist Ford Fischer of News2Share caught Manning as she addressed reporters before she walked into court and was thrown back in jail.
WikiLeaks released the following tweet about the treatment of Manning:
Note that Manning is not jailed as a "punishment". She has formally been jailed to "coerce" her into testifying against our journalists (including Assange) for publishing the truth about the US government. She will remain in jail until she breaks and complies or wins on appeal.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 8, 2019
Whistle-blowers such as famed Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsburg are rallying in Manning’s defense, believing this case to be crucial for the future of press freedom in the US.
“An investigation into WikiLeaks for publishing is a grave threat to all journalists’ rights, and Chelsea is doing us all a service for fighting it. She has already been tortured, spent years in jail, and has suffered more than enough. She should be released immediately,” Ellsburg said in a public statement.
Regardless of what one may think of Manning’s lifestyle choices or far-left progressive politics, she must be commended for making this costly stand on behalf of press freedom in the digital age. Because of WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, the public understands like never before the levels of political and corporate corruption marring society as a whole. President Trump must shield them and other whistle-blowers from prosecution if he really wants to crush the deep state and fake news.
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