August 8, 2014. Fort Leavenworth. (ONN) Amnesty International, the ACLU and the Chelsea Manning Support Network are putting out the call for help. They’ve been tirelessly fighting on behalf of the US Army whistleblower, not just for her release, but to insure President Obama and future US Presidents stop putting patriotic whistleblowers in prison. Bradley ‘Chelsea’ Manning showed the American people their government is perpetrating all the crimes they thought the US was fighting against. For that, she was convicted of espionage.
Add Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert to the team. Image courtesy of the Times Union blog.
In July 2013, Bradley ‘Chelsea’ Manning was convicted of violating the Espionage Act, along with other charges, and sentenced to 35 years in a military prison. In 2010, Manning leaked countless documents to Wikileaks, along with videos and audio files. They contained all the evidence needed to prove that US soldiers and Wall Street mercenary militias hired by the US military to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan were carrying out massacres of innocent civilians, journalists, torturing random civilians, and war profiteering, something that used to be an act of treason itself. And it was all being kept secret from the American people.
That’s probably why the rallying cry for Bradley ‘Chelsea’ Manning’s freedom has always been, “Exposing treason is not treason!” For that crime, Manning joins an endless list of other American whistleblowers that’ve been imprisoned or exiled by the Obama administration. Some of the more notable names that we at Whiteout Press have been carrying the torch for include Edward Snowden, Jeremy Hammond and Barrett Brown. Critics of the Obama administration’s oppressive tactics repeatedly remind Americans that President Obama has imprisoned more American whistleblowers than all other US Presidents combined.
$100,000 to fund an appeal
Two weeks ago, our friends from Manning’s support group, ChelseaManning.org, put out an appeal on behalf of Bradley ‘Chelsea’ Manning’s volunteer attorneys. Amnesty International followed that with their own appeal last week, demanding the release of the US Army whistleblower.
Manning’s lawyers want to appeal the convictions and have the charges thrown out, hopefully with a ruling that an American whistleblower leaking evidence of treason to the American people is not guilty of violating the Espionage Act, the crime the Obama administration has been using against US citizens at an unprecedented rate.
“I have been waiting forty years for a legal process to at long last prove the un-Constitutionality of the Espionage Act as applied to whistleblowers - the Supreme Court has never yet addressed this issue,” Manning’s lawyer Daniel Ellsberg tells supporters, “This appeals process can accomplish that, and it can reduce Chelsea’s sentence by decades.”
Fighting for all the whistleblowers
Manning’s attorneys insist their legal strategy isn’t just for their client, it’s for all the brave, patriotic whistleblowers today and in the future. They explain that the US military made the Manning treason trial the longest in American military history. And they fully expect the Pentagon to drag out the appeals process as well, draining their extremely limited resources. Manning’s legal team says they will need $100,000 by September 1, 2014 to wage their appeal.
“Unless Manning’s conviction is overturned in appeals, Snowden and many other whistleblowers, today and in the future, will face a similar fate,” Ellsberg explains, “And with them will perish one of the most critical lifelines for our democracy. But you can join me in fighting back. I’m asking you to do it for Chelsea, to do it for Snowden, and to do it because it’s the right thing to do to preserve our democracy. We can only win this great struggle with your help.”
We at Whiteout Press strongly believe that Bradley ‘Chelsea’ Manning’s legal appeal is the most important fight the American people have right now. Our nation has been enlightened and transformed by the horrifying information leaked by whistleblowers like Manning, Snowden, Hammond and others. We’re not the only ones that believe this is the fight of our lives. Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have also joined the Manning team.
Amnesty International demands Manning’s release
‘Exactly one year after Chelsea Manning was convicted of leaking classified government material, Amnesty International is renewing its call on the US authorities to grant her clemency, release her immediately, and to urgently investigate the potential human rights violations exposed by the leaks,’ the international human rights organization began its public appeal last week.
Regional Director for the Americas at Amnesty International, Erika Guevara Rosas, put her voice to the group’s demand, “It is an absolute outrage that Chelsea Manning is currently languishing behind bars whilst those she helped to expose, who are potentially guilty of human rights violations, enjoy impunity. The US government must grant Chelsea Manning clemency, order her immediate release, and implement a thorough and impartial investigation into the crimes she uncovered.”
Manning’s supporters insist she didn’t aid America’s enemies in any way, and her only crime is embarrassing and implicating powerful individuals on Wall Street, in the US military and at the White House. The leaked information is also considered to show evidence of war crimes and violations of international law being perpetrated by US soldiers and Pentagon-contracted corporate militias like Blackwater and KBR.
Amnesty International’s Erika Guevara Rosas says she fears the Manning verdict and its precedent is a double-loss for the American people. “The US government appears to have its priorities warped,” she says, “It is sending a worrying message through its harsh punishment of Chelsea Manning that whistleblowers will not be tolerated. On the other hand, its failure to investigate allegations that arose from Chelsea Manning’s disclosures means that those potentially responsible for crimes under international law, including torture and enforced disappearances, may get away scot-free.”
For more information or to make a donation to Bradley ‘Chelsea’ Manning’s legal appeal, visit ChelseaManning.org.