Federal Judge Orders Chelsea Manning’s Release
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
On Thursday at an Alexandria, VA federal district court hearing, Judge Anthony Trenga ordered Manning’s release after around a year in prison for invoking her constitutional right of silence in refusing to be part of grand jury proceedings, aiming to crucify Julian Assange.
Trenga said the following:
“The court finds Ms. Manning’s appearance before the grand jury is no longer needed, in light of which her detention no longer serves any coercive purpose.”
“Accordingly, (it’s) hereby ordered that Chelsea Manning be, and she hereby is, immediately released from the custody of the attorney general.”
The grand jury investigating WikiLeaks is no longer active, Trenga added.
The ruling came a day after Manning’s attempted suicide. Reportedly she was found hanging by a bedsheet in her cell, resuscitated by prison guards and hospitalized where she’s expected to fully recover.
A punitive $256,000 fine remains outstanding, Trenga saying “(i)t is further ordered that Chelsea Manning’s motion be, and the same hereby is, denied with respect to Ms. Manning’s request to vacate the conditional fines accrued against her to date.”
A statement by her legal team said “(i)n spite of…over a year of so-called ‘coercive’ incarceration and (over a quarter of a) million dollars in threatened fines, she remains unwavering in her refusal to participate in a secret grand jury process that she sees as highly susceptible to abuse,” adding:
“Needless to say we are relieved and ask that you respect her privacy while she gets on her feet.”
Separately, a statement by attorney Moira Meltzer-Cohen representing Manning said “(i)t is my devout hope that she is released to us shortly, and that she is finally given a meaningful opportunity to rest and heal that she so richly deserves.”
Spokesman for the US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Joshua Stueve declined to comment on Manning’s release.
Faced with an unacceptable punitive fine and no personal resources able to pay what never should have been imposed, she’s at risk of possible re-incarceration in debtor’s prison.
She also risks further imprisonment if subpoenaed before a new grand jury if one is convened to continue the witch-hunt investigation of Assange, what’s very possible.
Imprisoned hactivist Jeremy Hammond was also released from civil contempt charges for refusing to give grand jury testimony.
He’s still serving a 10-year prison sentence for alleged cyberattacks on public and private entities. Earlier he said the following:
“I have always made it clear that I am an anarchist-communist. I believe we need to abolish capitalism and the state in its entirety to realize a free, egalitarian society.”
“I am not into watering down or selling out the message or making it more marketable for the masses.”
He believed betrayal was a click away so worked quickly to pursue his aims and have “people remember him,” according to a fellow hactivist.
Called the other Chelsea Manning, he was charged with giving WikiLeaks millions of emails, convicted and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in November 2013.
He’s still behind bars. Manning’s release doesn’t end her ordeal that’s been ongoing since 2010.
Considered an enemy of the state by hardliners in Washington because of her committed activism and prominence, her security and well-being are threatened by a state that tolerates no challenges to its imperial agenda.
VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at email@example.com.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”