Chelsea Manning Is Going Back To Jail, Again

Cheryl Sanders
May 18, 2019

She was subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury hearing evidence collected by prosecutors who have for years been investigating WikiLeaks, and who recently unsealed a criminal indictment against its founder, Julian Assange.

USA former intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning has been ordered back to prison after again refusing to testify before an inquiry into Wikileaks. "This means she is expected to appear before a different grand jury, on Thursday, May 16, 2019, just one week from her release today", Manning's lawyers said in a statement May 9.

Manning-who was infamously convicted of violating the Espionage Act by disclosing thousands of "classified (and unclassified but "sensitive") documents" to WikiLeaks-was previously held in contempt for 62 days after she refused to comply with another subpoena from the Eastern District of Virginia.

"I would rather starve to death than change my opinions in that regard", Manning told Trenga, reiterating her opposition to the secretive grand jury process.

Manning's attorneys attempted to challenge the subpoena during a sealed hearing at the U.S. District Court in Alexandria today, but Trenga said he was not persuaded by their arguments.

The journalist is now being held in the maximum security Belmarsh Prison, known as Britain's Guantanamo, after being sentenced to 50 weeks in prison on a bail-jumping charge related to long-discredited rape allegations in Sweden. Under federal law, a recalcitrant witness can be jailed for civil contempt only if there's a reasonable possibility that the incarceration will coerce the witness into testifying.

Manning, 31, was called early this year to testify to a grand jury - a panel investigating major crimes that operates in secrecy - about her work with Assange and WikiLeaks nine years ago. She was charged with leaking only portions of a couple of hundred documents and was sentenced by a military judge to 35 years in prison in 2013.

But her freedom was short-lived.

The questions asked by the previous panel were very "broad and generic", the same things asked at the court-martial, Manning told reporters, speculating that the government is trying to "re-litigate" that trial because it did not like the outcome.

"In 2010, Chelsea made a principled decision to let the world see the true nature of modern asymmetric warfare", Meltzer-Cohen said. "It is telling that the USA has always been concerned with the disclosure of those documents than their damning substance".

"The American government relies on the informed consent of the governed, and the free press is the vigorous mechanism to keep us informed".

"This administration is also obsessed with undercutting the legacy of President Barack Obama, from reversing health care policy to Chelsea Manning's commutation".

"This is unprecedented", read a tweet from Manning's official Twitter account.

Other reports by iNewsToday