Should We Abandon WikiLeaks Whistle-Blower Pvt. Manning?
November 7, 2013. By the Private Manning Support Network
If you answered “no,” then we need your help. We believe that the fight to win justice and freedom for US Army Private Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning–outrageously sentenced to 35 years for sharing information with the public–has just begun. Her actions have aided people worldwide, sparking crucial debate about democracy, transparency and US foreign policy. Now, this American Prisoner of Conscience has shared her specific personal and legal goals going forward with the Private Manning Support Network, and we need to raise $40,000 to fund these efforts that include her legal fees, family visits, transitioning, and education.
Chelsea has already spent longer than she deserves in prison, but we can brighten her world by reaching this goal for her 26th birthday, which is December 17th.
At the end of the trial in August, democracy and transparency advocates everywhere were outraged at Private Manning’s 35-year sentence. What kind of government, we wondered, sentences a young person to decades in prison for wanting to share information with the public and encourage important debates and reforms?
Her fate is far from sealed—if we continue to fight. She has already fulfilled many of her stated aims by raising awareness about the need for more government transparency, inspiring activists and whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden. Now Chelsea is asking for your help with the following:
We are pursuing every avenue for a reduction in sentence. These include the petition for a pardon now in front of President Obama, and a clemency request to be submitted to the Convening Authority later this month—which will include hundreds of letters from supporters like you. Next year the Army Court of Appeals will review the case, followed by the Armed Forces Court of Appeals. If those come up short, Chelsea’s annual Parole and Clemency Review will begin in 2019.
Since the majority of Chelsea’s family has limited financial resources, grassroots donations can help support the legal defense in arranging visits, especially from her mother and relatives living in Wales.
Years prior to the trial, Pvt. Manning began a private process of questioning her gender. Following the trial, she demonstrated how she values individual transparency in much the way she values government transparency. She came out publicly as transgender, and expressed a desire to identify as a female named Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. She now wishes to undergo hormone therapy at Fort Leavenworth, the goal of which is to allow an individual to appear physically more similar to how they feel on the inside. Although the US military has historically refused transgender individuals the right to express themselves openly, given the significant time Chelsea may spend in military prison, her legal defense will work for both a legal name change and hormone therapy without delay.
One of Chelsea’s dreams, and one of the primary reasons she joined the Army, was to obtain a college education. Chelsea wishes to enroll at a university on the East Coast and work toward a degree. The Private Manning Support Network plans to assist her financially in this endeavor.
When Chelsea blew the whistle, she affected millions of people worldwide, as well as mass movements for government transparency and against human rights violations of the War on Terror. The only way a movement can be successful, however, is if those individuals who step forward to make brave decisions feel supported. Please contribute today so that she can see her family more often, continue fighting her legal battle, receive appropriate medical treatment, and pursue an education.
Send checks to:
The Private Manning Support Network
c/o Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave # 41
Oakland, CA 94610
Write to Pvt. Manning:
PVT Bradley E Manning # 89289
1300 N Warehouse Rd
Ft Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304