Appeals Court Rubber Stamps Chelsea Manning’s Unlawful Imprisonment
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
On Monday, the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals three-judge panel rubber-stamped Manning’s unlawful imprisonment.
It wrongfully permitted her cruel and unusual solitary confinement punishment to continue, a flagrant 8th Amendment breach. More on this below.
Manning is one of America’s best, a genuine heroic figure. Maliciously oppressed for doing the right, she acted above and beyond the call of duty despite great personal risks to her safety and welfare.
Wrongfully imprisoned for exposing US high crimes of war and against humanity, the Trump regime imprisoned her again for invoking her First, Fourth and Sixth Amendment rights, along with the constitutional right to remain silent, refusing to answer questions from law enforcement or court officials, an internationally recognized right.
Her fundamental rights aren’t good enough in police state America, the rule of law long ago abandoned, anything goes replacing it.
The scourge of fascism is headquartered in Washington. Endless wars on humanity and police state injustice define it – Republicans and undemocratic Dems on the same page along with right-wing federal courts.
Subservient Western and other countries support what demands denunciation. Fundamental freedoms in America eroded sharply since the neoliberal 90s, especially post-9/11 – the road to hell following the mother of all false flags.
Police state laws, presidential executive orders, national security and homeland security presidential directives, congressional authorization for endless wars, global war OF terror, not on it, US inner cities turned into virtual battlegrounds, along with governance serving privileged interests exclusively at the expense of the general welfare made America unsafe and unfit to live in.
Tyranny replaced the rule of law, on a fast track toward becoming full-blown, the Bill of Rights rendered null and void, what police state rule is all about.
A post-9/11 window of hysteria made anything goes possible, including elimination of fundamental constitutional rights at the whim of ruling authorities – rubber-stamped by Congress and the courts, especially the highest one stacked with majority right-wing extremists, discarding the rule of law, opposing what just societies cherish.
Trump is a front man for Wall Street, America’s military, industrial, security complex, corporate empowerment, and the imperial state – co-opted straightaway in office to serve their interests, his own at the same time.
Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning are martyred behind bars for the “crime” of truth-telling.
When governments fail their people, the way things are today in the West and elsewhere globally, they forfeit their right to rule.
Civil disobedience becomes an essential tool for change, popular revolution the only solution. Nothing else can work. Freedom loving people have a choice – resist or lose everything. There’s no in between.
In early April, Manning’s legal team filed a motion with the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, seeking her immediate release on bail while her unlawful arrest order is appealed.
Under US law, she’s entitled to bail while appealing charges against her. She poses no flight risk, nor a danger to anyone. According to her legal team, denying her bail violated appellate rules, requiring the court to explain in writing why bail was refused.
District Court Judge Claude Hilton failed to follow proper procedure. He ordered Manning remanded into federal custody with no further explanation – no written denial or justification.
Manning and her legal team responded to Monday’s judicial ruling, saying the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals three-judge panel affirmed the lower court’s wrongful contempt charge, denying her motion for release on bail – without citing a legal reason or other explanation for its ruling.
Her legal team may appeal to the Fourth Circuit’s en banc panel – all its judges or to the Supreme Court, despite long odds against hardline judges ruling in her favor, Manning saying:
“While disappointing, we can still raise issues as the government continues to abuse the grand jury process. I don’t have anything to contribute to this, or any other grand jury,” adding:
“While I miss home, they can continue to hold me in jail, with all the harmful consequences that brings. I will not give up. Thank you all so very much for your love and solidarity through letters and contributions.”
Member of her legal team attorney Moira Meltzer-Cohen called her subpoena to give grand jury testimony and imprisonment for invoking her constitutional right an abuse of power, saying:
“We are of course disappointed that the Circuit declined to follow clearly established law, or consider the ample evidence of grand jury abuse.”
“It is improper for a prosecutor to use the grand jury to prepare for trial. As pointed out in Ms. Manning’s motions and appeals, since her testimony is not necessary to the grand jury’s investigation, the likely purpose for her subpoena is to help the prosecutor preview and undermine her potential testimony as a defense witness for a pending trial.”
“We believed that the Appeals court would consider this, as it is strong evidence of an abuse of grand jury power that should excuse her testimony.”
Since March 8, Manning has been held in punishing solitary confinement, a form of torture when prolonged this long.
The Trump regime’s aim is three-fold – punishing her again for revealing US high crimes of war, why she was unlawfully imprisoned for seven years until Obama commuted her unjust sentence, along with forcing her to unwittingly self-incriminate herself and provide testimony to be used against Julian Assange.
Manning is redoubtable. Ahead of her re-incarceration on March 8, she said the following:
“Yesterday, I appeared before a secret grand jury after being given immunity for my testimony. All of the substantive questions pertained to my disclosures of information to the public in 2010—answers I provided in extensive testimony, during my court-martial in 2013.”
“I responded to each question with the following statement: ‘I object to the question and refuse to answer on the grounds that the question is in violation of my First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendment, and other statutory rights.’ ”
“In solidarity with many activists facing the odds, I will stand by my principles. I will exhaust every legal remedy available.”
“My legal team continues to challenge the secrecy of these proceedings, and I am prepared to face the consequences of my refusal.”
Today in America, the fundamental rights, safety, and welfare of everyone are greatly endangered – what persecuting truth-tellers for peace, equity and justice is all about.
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