FIVE YEARS INTO her 35-year military prison sentence, Chelsea Manning was threatened with indefinite solitary confinement — a form of torture as identified by international human rights organizations. However the August 18th closed disciplinary hearing, after convicting her on four counts, did not result in any solidarity cofinement but rather 21 days of restrictions and a conviction record.
“Charges” included “disorderly conduct” and “disrespect” to a corrections offer in a dining hall, possession of literature (Vanity Fair with Caitlin Jenner on the cover, the Senate Torture Report, etc., and — quoting directly from the charge sheet — “a tube of anti-cavity toothpaste may-keep-in-cell, was found in your possession past its expiration date of 9 April 2015.”
Manning’s real “crime” of course was the exposure of U.S. war crime in Iraq that she revealed to Wikileaks, including the deliberate drone bombing of civilians.
Media attention and 100,000 supporters petitioning the military proved helpful. For updates, visit www.freechelsea.com.
September-October 2015, ATC 178