War on Whistleblowers: Manning Appeals Unprecedented 35-Year Prison Sentence

Whistle-War1By Michaela Whitton

One of the world’s most well-known whistleblowers, Chelsea Manning, has launched a formal appeal against her 35-year sentence. Arguing her punishment is “grossly unfair and unprecedented,” the appeal on behalf of Manning suggests her sentence should be reduced to 10 years and claims no whistleblower in American history has been treated as harshly as Manning.

Manning’s decision to initiate one of the largest leaks of U.S. government state secrets ultimately sacrificed decades of her future. In 2009, the 22-year-old army private, then known as Bradley, was serving as a military analyst during the U.S.-led coalition war in Iraq. When transcripts and images included in the top-secret information she was handling uncovered disturbing human rights abuses committed by U.S. forces and their allies, she believed the public had the right to know. Hoping to spark public debate on the war, she transferred around 750,000 files to WikiLeaks. Among the trove was evidence of a dramatically higher civilian death toll in Iraq than was publicly reported.

The leak also included the once classified, now infamous Collateral Murder video, which showed the deadly moment a U.S. Apache helicopter gunned down two Reuters journalists in Baghdad. After the initial shooting, a group of children and adults arriving on the scene to help the wounded were fired upon by the U.S. military, as well. The official statement on the incident labelled all the adults as insurgents and claimed the U.S. military did not know how the deaths occurred.

A war against whistleblowers

As a hero to many and a villain to others, Manning is unquestionably a traitor in the eyes of the U.S government, which insisted she endangered public security by blowing the whistle. She was charged under the Espionage Act in 2013. The whistleblower’s 35-year sentence is one of the harshest in recent U.S. history and prompted lawyers and human rights advocates to take up the case, claiming she was harshly punished as a warning to others. According to The Intercept, Edward Snowden has cited Manning’s treatment and trial as a key reason for not returning to the United States.

Attorneys for Manning filed the appeal documents on Wednesday to the U.S Army Court of Criminal Appeals in Virginia. Her appeal claims her sentence did not take into account the time she served in “deplorable and inhumane conditions” of confinement before her trial, which it describes as unconstitutional and sufficient grounds for dismissing the charges altogether.

One of Manning’s attorneys, Nancy Hollander, said a war against whistleblowers is being waged in the U.S. — and that Manning’s case represents how the country treats anyone who reveals even a single page of classified information. She added:

We need brave individuals to hold the government accountable for its actions at home and abroad and we call upon this court to overturn the dangerous precedent of Chelsea Manning’s excessive sentencing.

Image Credit: Anthony Freda Art

This article (War on Whistleblowers: Manning Appeals Unprecedented 35-Year Prison Sentence) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Michaela Whitton and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email [email protected].


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18 Comments on "War on Whistleblowers: Manning Appeals Unprecedented 35-Year Prison Sentence"

  1. the very best thing to do is to, is to name and shame all those that are involved in the crime, like those in the helicopter all photo’s to be shown across the internet, and the photo’s and family of those giving the orders, what was more horrific than band of serial killers, with a sergeant green in charge that raped a 13 year old IRAQI girl and then set her alight, the photo’s of these creatures need to desperately be given out over the internet, their is a lot of people in the USA both military and civilian that are in denial, but once the citizens of the US admit and own up the fact that their men are no longer soldiers but serial killers in uniform, progress will then be made, and will any woman with any respect that has children want her husband to be one of these creature’s, who are just what their country wants, and now the world now begins wonder if they ever had any respect for the people of other countries at all.

  2. So, can ANYONE please explain to me, because I guess that I’m just too frigging stupid to understand it all on my own, WHY we have to allow ourselves to be railroaded by a 100% corrupt legal system?!?! Over the last 20 years now, I have been writing paper after paper after paper, exposing the FACT that the legal system is nothing more than enforced gambling in a huge casino except every “game” is no longer any kind of a game, because they are all so thoroughly rigged up! Why don’t these casinos which we call court rooms, just cut out all of the malarkey and strip us of everything as soon as we walk through the doors? It most certainly would save on a lot of time, but then the lieyers who run the system would be robbed of their ego trips and grandstanding. It seems that their self image would suffer too much if that were to be taken away from them. They’d rather pontificate and bloviate than have a life of leisure, and just collect a cut of the robberies for keeping their big mouth shut!!
    Just look at what O.J. Simpson said to Shapiro after he was acquitted on double homicide charges! He was astounded that he got off Scot free, especially when there was more than ample evidence to convict him! Shapiro was in on the fix, and it was just a dog and pony show with lots of fan fare, a bumbling traffic court judge with an over inflated ego, and enough back room dealing to make Machiavelli proud!! O.J. didn’t think that he had a snow ball’s chance in Hades of walking out a free man, but Shapiro knew he would, because he was in on it from the get-go. Shapiro didn’t tell the idiot WHY he would get off, because he wanted O.J. to be able to give some THEATER during the show. If he had known for certain all of the whys and wherefores before the “trial” had started, he might have done something or said something stupid that would have given the charade away! So we had the ILLUSION that a real trial was taking place, when in fact it was nothing but a wag the dog moment in history.
    All that ANYONE needs to do to circumvent a rigged up “trial”, is expose the fact that the legal system runs on fraud and commits crimes in the course of its business! WHO can say that you have an actual obligation to be defrauded by the legal system?? How much of that fraud do you have to endure? How do you measure it, to make sure you get just the right amount?

    • Rudy Campilii | May 21, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Reply

      I’ll explain it to you with a question. Have you tried talking to “an average American citizen” lately? They give a box of rocks a run for the money. I try not to blame them but, wow, have they been dumbed down.

      • Yes, the average American today is so self-involved, so dependent upon opinion leaders to do their thinking for them, so dumbed down, all kinds of atrocities are committed, and these barely human animals are allowed to get away with them!
        So why not start getting people educated in, or at least TALKING about The Three Magic Questions? In case you’ve never heard of them before, they go like this. What is the EXACT AMOUNT of fraud that ANY man or woman has the right to commit? What is the EXACT AMOUNT of fraud that ANY man or woman has an actual obligation to endure? What is the BASIC PREMISE that is being operated off of, in the instant case?
        Those three, simple little questions tear the lid off of the legal system like nothing else you’ve ever seen before, exposing every crime it commits! That’s because the legal system no matter where you may go in the world, operates on fraud, fear, lies and intimidation to work its foul deeds. The legal system is supposed to protect us against people who like to commit crimes to earn a living instead of being honest and straight, but the operators of the legal system are the biggest criminals in the whole wide world! If I am wrong on that point, just show me how, where and why!
        If you ever really come to a full understanding of TTMQ, you will also be in full agreement with what I have put down here.

        • Rudy Campilii | May 22, 2016 at 9:58 pm | Reply

          I agree Randy. Another question I ask people who say “I’ll vote for the lesser of two evils” I say evil is evil, whether small amount or large. So how much evil is acceptable? Voting is useless today. You’re trying to vote between two criminal organization called Democrats and Republicans. The difference between the two is thinner than a piece of standard copy paper. Like trying to vote for the Gambino or Lucchese crime families.

          • After I read the book Votescam in 1994, I knew that it would be complete folly to ever vote again, and I haven’t. In fact, I wrote letters to the Registrars of Voters where I had lived, demanding that they take my name off of the voters rolls due to fraud on the part of the government. Since then, I’ve not had one jury summons! You see, once you demonstrate that you are onto their scams, they know you’re not an easy mark anymore and leave you alone. This is why I do my best to get people to spread the good word that they have no obligation whatsoever to be defrauded by anybody at any place or time.
            Are you going to spread TTMQ along with me now?

  3. Scott Lindsay | May 21, 2016 at 2:22 pm | Reply

    First of all I take my hat off for the men and women who have risked so much to expose the criminal acts taken place day in and day out for the benefit of those for financial gain or political gain or both. I am a Canadian and love my American neighbors but not the Politicians except Ron Paul,Dr.Paul Craig Roberts,Gerald Celente, and many more that I think you got the picture of. But the rest should be put on trail in Brussels in front of the whole world before it is to late. It takes only a few seconds to start a nuclear war and then it is too late.I was watching the elections in one of the ridings where the runoff was between Hillary and Sanders and I could not believe the cheating that was going on, it made me sick to my stomach and to think she if elected as President of one of the most powerful countries in the world the world is doomed.
    She should be put on trial for the murder of Stevens, the Ambassador of Libyia for blowing the whistle on Hillary for smuggling arms,men and equippment to Syria, at the cost of his life.

  4. “If you see something say something” isn’t this what the president has been bleating for the past seven years? Isn’t it time the president pardon this hero who has already sacrificed her time and reputation as good soldier so that we the people could understand the criminal activity of the Bush/Cheney Era? We have the wrong person in custody. BO is a straw dog president who is happy with is implant, fake tears, phony sip of water and faux leadership abilities; his only claim to fame is his career as a world class serial killer.

    • That’s only meant for snitching on your fellow peons, serfs, slaves and vassals. No one is supposed to use that policy/slogan where it will REALLY do some good!!

  5. Chelsea Manning is but one of many political prisoners that America has stashed away while the war criminals roam free, many right in the White House.

  6. I suspect that these high profile cases- Manning and Snowden- are limited hangout operations whereby the tip of the iceberg is presented for elimination, we are all led to believe that we are fully informed, while the majority of horrors remain, persistent and unseen.

  7. Hmmm

    One has only to consider that Pollard only got 30 years for what turned out to be the greatest theft of vital above top secret military secrets in US History. And he did in fact commit this treason strictly out of loyalty and serve a foreign power. That man should have been executed. What Pollard did on a scale of 1-10 was a sold 11. Manning on the other hand, and with the best of intentions is perhaps .25 out of 10 in comparison. There was no treasonous intent. The exact opposite of Pollard.

  8. “Amnesty whistleblowers”

    They are the lone voice that citizens can transform

    a giant eco to silence the lie

  9. Bradley James | May 22, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Reply

    Thank god we have a new powerful billionaire whistle blower . And Truther Trump cannot be bought.

  10. Rude awakening | May 22, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Reply

    It sure will be nice when the media stops pandering to these transexuals. He is not a she, and she will always be a he, irrespective of cutting off the penis. The brains and bodies of men and women differ and no amount of surgery will change this. He will live in misery the rest of his life, and, be that as it may…he should be be in prison for whistleblowing (no pun intended).

  11. Gillian Grannum | May 22, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Reply

    Is this sentence meant to be a joke?

    “One of Manning’s attorneys, Nancy Hollander, said … that
    Manning’s case represents how the country treats anyone who reveals even
    a single page of classified information.”

    So, how is the country treating fmr Sec of State Hillary Clinton’s more than 2,000 emails containing classified information? Last I checked Clinton’s at large running for POTUS. That’s a tad different than Manning, wouldn’t you agree?

    • sotiredoflies13 | May 23, 2016 at 7:23 am | Reply

      very good point! I’d like to give you at least 100 votes up for pointing this out, or at least reminding many of us again how so many of TPTB are so far ” way above any laws”.

  12. Really? WTF!

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