U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning could face punishment of indefinite solitary confinement for having an expired tube of toothpaste, an issue of Vanity Fair in which transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner describes her new life living openly as a woman, the U.S. Senate report on torture and other “prohibited property” in her cell at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth. Manning is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking U.S. government cables to WikiLeaks. On Thursday, an Army spokesperson said it is committed to “a fair and equitable process” in Manning’s case, which is now pending before a disciplinary board.
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AMY GOODMAN: I also want to ask you about U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning. It was five years ago that she was arrested in Kuwait, charged with leaking classified information. Weeks later, WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of internal logs from the war in Afghanistan. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in jail.
Now lawyers for Manning say she could face punishment of indefinite solitary confinement for having an expired tube of toothpaste and an issue of Vanity Fair that features transgender celebrity athlete Caitlyn Jenner describing her new life as a woman, the U.S. Senate report on torture and other “prohibited property” in her cell at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth. When The Guardian newspaper inquired why these publications are considered violations of prison rules, it received no response. Manning is also accused of, quote, “showing disrespect” for asking to see her lawyer in a discussion with a prison officer. Manning is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking U.S. government cables to WikiLeaks. And on Thursday, an Army spokesperson said it’s committed to, quote, “a fair and equitable process” in Manning’s case, which is now pending before a disciplinary board.
Can you explain? An expired tube of toothpaste—she’s at Fort Leavenworth—and theVanity Fair issue of Caitlyn Jenner?
CAREY SHENKMAN: It’s really outrageous that Manning is being threatened with what’s been recognized as torture—there’s an international consensus that indefinite solitary confinement is torture—for books and toothpaste. I mean, come on. This is so outrageous. Our hearts go out to Manning. As you pointed out, there’s a review on August 18th, and Manning has an outstanding defense team that can hopefully deal with this, but the fact that this is even being considered is completely unacceptable—and, I think, also confirms the fears all along of Assange being extradited to the United States. I mean, we saw during the court-martial of Chelsea Manning that there were continuous attempts to link Manning to Assange under a conspiracy theory. In fact, Assange’s name was brought up over 20 times in some arguments alone. So, we see this over and over. And Juan Méndez, the U.N. expert on torture, found that Manning was subject to inhumane treatment while in U.S. custody, and Manning actually got a sentencing credit as a result of that.