Chelsea Manning Threatened with Indefinite Solitary Confinement

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Chelsea_Manning By TJ Acena, PQ Monthly According to The Guardian, transgender United States Army soldier Chelsea Manning now faces the possibility of indefinite solitary confinement for “disrespect,†“disorderly conduct,†having “prohibited property,†and “medicine misuse.†Here’s a breakdown of what those charges mean:
  • Disrespect – Requesting a lawyer after being accused of “disorderly conduct.â€
  • Disorderly Conduct – Sweeping food on the floor.
  • Prohibited Property – Having legally obtained books and magazines (including I Am Malala, the Caitlyn Jenner issue of Vanity Fair, and the U.S. Senate Report on Torture).
  • Medicine Misuse – Having a tube of expired toothpaste.
Manning is already serving a 35-year sentence for leaking official secrets to WikiLeaks. In case you have forgotten why that’s important, this Huffington Post piece has a good list of what she revealed:
  • A video of a U.S. helicopter opening fire on civilians in Baghdad, killing two Reuters journalists in the process.
  • More accurate numbers of civilian casualities in Iraq.
  • How grim the situation in Afghanistan was in contrast to how the American government portrayed it.
  • Prisoner detention, abuse, and torture in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.
  • S. complicity with oppressive regimes in the Middle East.
An ACLU attorney handling Manning’s lawsuit of the U.S. military for denying her medical treatment said in a statement, “Chelsea has a growing voice in the public discussion and it would not surprise me were these charges connected to who she is.†Since her imprisonment Manning has become a columnist for The Guardian and become a focus point around national discussion of foreign policy and national security. As a note, a United Nations expert on torture called for the end of solitary confinement. The ACLU considered solitary confinement torture, and Justice Kennedy of the Supreme Court has called for an end to solitary confinement. Manning’s supporters have created a petition calling for these charges to be dropped.