Thursday, August 13, 2015



Chelsea (Bradley) Manning Newsletter #7, August 13, 2015

Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace and Justice. 

 (#1  Dec. 6, 2011; #2  June 29, 2012; #3 Feb. 24, 2013; #4 June 16, 2013; #5 Sept. 20, 2013; #6, March 28, 2014) 



What’s at Stake:   These newsletters provide facts and opinions regarding the many subjects of world peace, social and economic justice, human rights, and democracy for the benefit of all who know a well-informed citizenry is essential to a democracy.   Chase Madar alerts us to the great danger of the Manning trial and imprisonment to our democracy.   “. . . the government now has even greater incentive to prosecute as a spy any confidential source who passes classified information to the press, criminalizing what has long been a vital. . .conduit of essential public information.   Such collateral damage to the Fourth Estate will not be mourned by a government that has become aggressively intolerant of leaks, whistleblowers and, it often seems, a well-informed citizenry.”  The Nation (Aug. 19/26, 2013).  –Dick

For more on Manning see my Newsletters and Blogs on WikiLeaks (Assange, Manning).   My Blog:   It's the War Department

And see my newsletters/blogs on Edward Snowden.  We should remember these heroes of democracy, of open government, every day.


Contents of Nos. 1-6 at end

Contents Chelsea Manning Newsletter #7

Petition vs Solitary Confinement

Manning Google Search August 13, 2015, More on Solitary Confinement Threat

President Obama:  Pardon Manning 2015

2014-2015 News Reports

Manning Tells Her Story in Cosmopolitan

Manning Sues Pentagon for Medical Treatment

Manning’s Op-Ed to NYT June 2014

ACLU on Free Speech

Glennon on the Egregious Power of the US Security State

GRAPHIC: Sign here button
8-13-15   Whistleblower Chelsea Manning is now facing the threat of “indefinite solitary confinement” in prison at Fort Leavenworth, where she is serving a 35-year sentence for providing WikiLeaks with documentation of a vast array of war crimes and deception by the U.S. government.

Click here to sign an emergency petition that will be delivered to prison authorities before a scheduled hearing early next week.

After you’ve signed the petition, please share this urgent appeal with your friends.

RootsAction is promoting this petition in solidarity with Chelsea Manning and in cooperation with other groups supporting her. Together, we can and must gather a huge number of signers on this petition -- quickly.

Please become a signer now -- but don’t stop there. It’s urgent that you forward this message to your friends right away.

As the petition says, “Putting any human being in indefinite solitary confinement is inexcusable, and for offenses as trivial as these (an expired tube of toothpaste, and possession of magazines?) it is a discredit to America's military and its system of justice.”

The petition concludes: “We demand that these charges against Chelsea Manning be dropped, and request that Chelsea's hearing on August 18th be made open to the public, to ensure she is treated fairly."

By clicking here, you can add your voice to that demand.

An ACLU attorney just told BuzzFeed News, “Here Chelsea is at risk of losing various support networks simply because she had an expired tube of toothpaste, the Vanity Fairmagazine that featured Caitlyn Jenner, and requested a lawyer when she felt she was being accused of misconduct.”

The charges against Chelsea are petty, absurd and vindictive. As Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation writes, she “is now being threatened with ‘indefinite solitary confinement’ for alleged infractions that are so minor it's actually hard to believe.”

If justice had prevailed, Chelsea Manning would never have spent a day in prison -- let alone enduring official abuse that began with prolonged solitary confinement before trial that amounted to torture.

Chelsea Manning deserves our undying gratitude and support for bravely informing all of us about terrible realities, with evidence like the infamous “Collateral Murder” video that showed the flippant and callous killing of unarmed civilians in Baghdad from U.S. military aircraft.

Help the petition take off today.

Chelsea has already paid a huge personal price for her moral courage. Now the government is ramping up persecution with charges that range from ridiculous to repressive to preposterous.

Time is short. The hearing that could lead to “indefinite solitary confinement” for Chelsea Manning is fast approaching. Please take a minute to follow up on signing the petition by sharing it with everyone you know who appreciates what Chelsea has done to help make this a better world.

The petition
 needs your name and your help.

Thank you!

After signing the petition, please forward this message to your friends. You can also share it from the webpage after taking the action yourself.

This work is only possible with your financial support. Please chip in $3 now.

-- The Team

P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.

>  Newsweek: Chelsea Manning Faces Solitary Confinement for Having Caitlyn Jenner Magazine, Other Infractions
>  Trevor Timm, Freedom of the Press Foundation: Chelsea Manning Threatened with ‘Indefinite Solitary Confinement’ for Expired Toothpaste and Asking for a Lawyer
>  BuzzFeed News: Chelsea Manning Faces Solitary Confinement Under New Charges, Lawyer Says


1.   Chelsea Manning
2.    Chelsea Elizabeth Manning is a United States Army soldier who was convicted in July 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act and other offenses, after disclosing to WikiLeaks nearly three-quarters of a ...Wikipedia
3.    BornDecember 17, 1987 (age 27), Crescent, OK
4.    Height5' 2"
5.    NationalityAmerican
8.   Profiles
Chelsea Elizabeth Manning (born Bradley Edward Manning, December 17, 1987) is a United States Army soldier who was convicted in July 2013 of violations of ...
In the news
USA TODAY - 1 hour ago
Chelsea Manning, the transgender Army private convicted of leaking national security ...
People Magazine - 2 hours ago
The Guardian - 20 hours ago
The latest Tweets from Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea). Former Intelligence Analyst. Trans Woman. Prisoner. Tweets are my own opinions. Fort Leavenworth ...
Chelsea Manning is being threatened with indefinite solitary confinement over absurd prison infractions, including having "political" magazines and toothpaste ...
The Guardian
The latest news and comment on Chelsea Manning. Guardian
20 hours ago - chelsea manning Chelsea Manning's lawyer says charges against her are 'utterly ridiculous' since US army soldier was allowed to have books ...
7 hours ago - Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst convicted of giving a trove of secrets to WikiLeaks, is serving a 35-year sentence inside ...  Gawker
15 hours ago - Chelsea Manning, who is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence for leaking government documents to WikiLeaks, has been threatened ...
Chelsea Manning Could Face Solitary For Expired
The Huffington Post
3 hours ago - Chelsea Manning could face indefinite solitary confinement for sweeping food onto the ground, having a tube of expired toothpaste and ...
Daily News
15 hours ago - Caitlyn Jenner's Vanity Fair cover could land Chelsea Manning in solitary after military prison officials deemed the mag contraband.
Searches related to Chelsea Manning
Learn More   Pardon Photos   Supporters   We are PVT Manning
1912 DAYS OF UNJUST CONFINEMENT IS ENOUGH!  [August 13, 2015  --Dick]
On Sep. 3, 2013, Pvt. Manning filed a formal application for presidential pardon. View the application:
Part I: Pardon Cover Letter
Part II: Pardon Request
Part III: Amnesty International Supporting Statement
Now join Amnesty International and the Chelsea Manning Support Network and sign a petition supporting Pvt. Manning's request for pardon. Whistleblowing is not a crime!
After a prosecution which starkly showcased US government officials' misplaced priorities when it comes to human rights, whistleblower and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Army Private Chelsea [formerly Bradley] Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
The information that Manning gave to the public exposed the unjust detainment of innocent people at Guantanamo Bay, shown us the true human cost of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and changed journalism forever. There is no evidence that anyone died as a result of the leaked information.
Like Manning, we believe a healthy democracy requires public information. What price will future whistleblowers pay? It’s time for President Obama to pardon Private Manning, and focus on preventing human rights violations instead of punishing whistleblowers.

10 Reports on Manning April 2014 to August 2015
The Advocate
The latest news about Chelsea Manning, the transgender woman at the center of the WikiLeaks case. Born as Bradley Manning, Chelsea Manning came out ...


Apr 8, 2015 - For the first time, Chelsea Manning shares the details of her story as an army private who leaked classified documents, went to military prison, ...




Support our coverage of Chelsea Manning  2014


Kevin Gosztola reports that Chelsea Manning is suing the Pentagon for denying her access to therapy for gender dysphoria.1

Manning has struggled for over a year to get treatment in prison. According to the lawsuit, she is "experiencing escalating distress and is at serious risk of severe and imminent harm, including resorting to self-surgery (auto-castration) or suicide, because this medically necessary treatment is being withheld.”

Kevin and the Firedoglake team are still reporting and organizing in support of Chelsea's human right to medical care, but as an independent, reader-supported organization, we need your help.

Can you please donate $25+ to Kevin Gostzola's coverage of Chelsea Manning's case and other struggles for justice?

As a new group of wars begin in the Middle East, the woman who exposed the harsh truths of our last military interventions is in a jail cell suffering needlessly for her efforts.

Chelsea Manning pursued almost all administrative 'remedies' available for treatment, and as Kevin chronicles in his report, was systematically obstructed from receiving care every time.

Yet despite these cruel obstacles, Chelsea still manages to be a prescient voice on US military action, and continues to shape the way we think and what we know about our endless War on Terror.

The government would rather you not know about the inhumane conditions of Manning's confinement. They want her to be silenced, so you don't hear what she thinks about US foreign policy and transparency in government.

That's why it's so important to keep Kevin on this beat. With so few members of the media paying attention, Kevin's work helps draw attention and amplify the outcry against her situation.

Please donate $25+ to Kevin Gostzola's coverage of Chelsea Manning's case and other struggles for justice?

Thank you so much for your continued generosity.

In Solidarity,   Brian Sonenstein
Campaign Director,

Source:   1. Chelsea Manning Sues Pentagon for Denying Her ‘Urgently-Needed’ Medical Care for Gender Dysphoria, Kevin Gosztola, The Dissenter, 9/24/2014


SundayReview | OPINION

The Fog Machine of War, NYT (June 15, 2014)

Chelsea Manning on the U.S. Military and Media Freedom

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — WHEN I chose to disclose classified information in 2010, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others. I’m now serving a sentence of 35 years in prison for these unauthorized disclosures. I understand that my actions violated the law.
However, the concerns that motivated me have not been resolved. 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.
If you were following the news during the March 2010 elections in Iraq, you might remember that the American press was flooded with stories declaring the elections a success, complete with upbeat anecdotes and photographs of Iraqi women proudly displaying their ink-stained fingers. The subtext was that United States military operations had succeeded in creating a stable and democratic Iraq.
Those of us stationed there were acutely aware of a more complicated reality.
Military and diplomatic reports coming across my desk detailed a brutal crackdown against political dissidents by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior and federal police, on behalf of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. Detainees were often tortured, or even killed.
Early that year, I received orders to investigate 15 individuals whom the federal police had arrested on suspicion of printing “anti-Iraqi literature.” I learned that these individuals had absolutely no ties to terrorism; they were publishing a scholarly critique of Mr. Maliki’s administration. I forwarded this finding to the officer in command in eastern Baghdad. He responded that he didn’t need this information; instead, I should assist the federal police in locating more “anti-Iraqi” print shops.
I was shocked by our military’s complicity in the corruption of that election. Yet these deeply troubling details flew under the American media’s radar.
It was not the first (or the last) time I felt compelled to question the way we conducted our mission in Iraq. We intelligence analysts, and the officers to whom we reported, had access to a comprehensive overview of the war that few others had. How could top-level decision makers say that the American public, or even Congress, supported the conflict when they didn’t have half the story?
Among the many daily reports I received via email while working in Iraq in 2009 and 2010 was an internal public affairs briefing that listed recently published news articles about the American mission in Iraq. One of my regular tasks was to provide, for the public affairs summary read by the command in eastern Baghdad, a single-sentence description of each issue covered, complementing our analysis with local intelligence.
The more I made these daily comparisons between the news back in the States and the military and diplomatic reports available to me as an analyst, the more aware I became of the disparity. In contrast to the solid, nuanced briefings we created on the ground, the news available to the public was flooded with foggy speculation and simplifications.
One clue to this disjunction lay in the public affairs reports. Near the top of each briefing was the number of embedded journalists attached to American military units in a combat zone. Throughout my deployment, I never saw that tally go above 12. In other words, in all of Iraq, which contained 31 million people and 117,000 United States troops, no more than a dozen American journalists were covering military operations.
The process of limiting press access to a conflict begins when a reporter applies for embed status. All reporters are carefully vetted by military public affairs officials. This system is far from unbiased. Unsurprisingly, reporters who have established relationships with the military are more likely to be granted access.
Less well known is that journalists whom military contractors rate as likely to produce “favorable” coverage, based on their past reporting, also get preference. This outsourced “favorability” rating assigned to each applicant is used to screen out those judged likely to produce critical coverage.
Reporters who succeeded in obtaining embed status in Iraq were then required to sign a media “ground rules” agreement. Army public affairs officials said this was to protect operational security, but it also allowed them to terminate a reporter’s embed without appeal.
There have been numerous cases of reporters’ having their access terminated following controversial reporting. In 2010, the late Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings had his access pulled after reporting criticism of the Obama administration by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and his staff in Afghanistan. A Pentagon spokesman said, “Embeds are a privilege, not a right.”
If a reporter’s embed status is terminated, typically she or he is blacklisted. This program of limiting press access was challenged in court in 2013 by a freelance reporter, Wayne Anderson, who claimed to have followed his agreement but to have been terminated after publishing adverse reports about the conflict in Afghanistan. The ruling on his case upheld the military’s position that there was no constitutionally protected right to be an embedded journalist.
The embedded reporter program, which continues in Afghanistan and wherever the United States sends troops, is deeply informed by the military’s experience of how media coverage shifted public opinion during the Vietnam War. The gatekeepers in public affairs have too much power: Reporters naturally fear having their access terminated, so they tend to avoid controversial reporting that could raise red flags.
The existing program forces journalists to compete against one another for “special access” to vital matters of foreign and domestic policy. Too often, this creates reporting that flatters senior decision makers. A result is that the American public’s access to the facts is gutted, which leaves them with no way to evaluate the conduct of American officials.
Journalists have an important role to play in calling for reforms to the embedding system. The favorability of a journalist’s previous reporting should not be a factor. Transparency, guaranteed by a body not under the control of public affairs officials, should govern the credentialing process. An independent board made up of military staff members, veterans, Pentagon civilians and journalists could balance the public’s need for information with the military’s need for operational security.
Reporters should have timely access to information. The military could do far more to enable the rapid declassification of information that does not jeopardize military missions. The military’s Significant Activity Reports, for example, provide quick overviews of events like attacks and casualties. Often classified by default, these could help journalists report the facts accurately.
Opinion polls indicate that Americans’ confidence in their elected representatives is at a record low. Improving media access to this crucial aspect of our national life — where America has committed the men and women of its armed services — would be a powerful step toward re-establishing trust between voters and officials.
Chelsea Manning is a former United States Army intelligence analyst.
A version of this op-ed appears in print on June 15, 2014, on page SR4 of the New York edition with the headline: The Fog Machine of War. ||

National Security and Double Government: Professor Glennon Speaks at the Cato Institute   Date: November 21, 2014
At a book talk hosted by the Cato Institute on Friday, November 21, 2014, Michael Glennon, Professor of International Law at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, spoke about his new book, National Security and Double Government. Other participants in the panel discussion were Gene Healy, Vice President of the Cato Institute, and Jeremy Shapiro, Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Justin Logan, Director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, introduced the panel and served as moderator.
In National Security and Double Government, Glennon examines the continuity in U.S. national security policy from the Bush administration to the Obama administration.
Glennon explains the lack of change by pointing to the enervation of America’s “Madisonian institutions,” namely, the Congress, the presidency and the courts. In Glennon’s view, these institutions have been supplanted by a “Trumanite network” of bureaucrats who make up the permanent national security state. This is his adaptation of Walter Bagehot’s theory of Double Government, which explained the operation of 19th Century in terms of “Dignified Institutions,” which the public believes governs, when most of the actual governance is carried out by “Efficient Institutions” – mainly the House of Commons.
Whereas Bagehot argued that this structure of Double Government functioned through the existence of “exceptions,” where the Dignified Institutions are seen as engaging in governance, Glennon argues that the United States has moved in the opposite direction, replacing a top-down Presidency with a middle-up Executive Branch from which policies “percolate up” to land on the President’s desk. This is not to say that exceptions do not exist, or that the President no longer makes key decisions, but he has become "more presider than decider." The first time the Justice Department asserted the State Secrets privilege during Barack Obama's Presidency, for instance, President Obama himself only learned about it in The New York Times.
Since the passage of the National Security Act by President Truman, national security policymaking has progressively come to be removed from public view and largely insulated from law and politics. This is no conspiracy, and the persons involved in this decision-making process are not villains; the process is, however, subject to a number of legal and political incentives which distort its results. Glennon warns that leaving security policy in the hands of the Trumanite network threatens Americans’ liberties and the republican form of government.
Watch the full lecture   Michael Glennon   © 2015 The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
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Newsletters 4-6

 Contents #4 June 16, 2013

RSN:  Reporting his Trial
Support Journalist Access to Trial
The Nation v. Obama, Call for Protest
Protest Charge of Aiding the Enemy, Call Gen. Linnington, the Pentagon
Thank Manning
TomDispatch: Madar, Passion of Bradley Manning
Chris Hedges, We Are Bradley Manning
Hedges, Legal Lynching
Drinnan, Human Rights Contexts

Contents #5  Sept. 20, 2013
Wright, Manning Receives International Peace Bureau Award
Manning Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Sgt. Bales and Pfc. Manning
Madar, Article in The Nation Aug. 19
Madar’s Book,  Who is Bradley Manning?
Stoeckley’s Graphic Account of the Trial:  Sketches and Transcript
Truthout, Obama:  Surveillance of the People, Secrecy for the Government


Contents Chelsea Manning Newsletter #6
Action:  Firedoglake Letter to New York Times Editorial Board
Sam Adams  and Oxford Union Awards
Manning Wins Sam Adams Award, Google Search, March 18
Manning and Snowden, Google Search, March 18
Manning and Ray McGovern

Contact President Obama
Nos. 1-6




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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)