Chelsea Manning says she will not testify before new grand jury

Posted May 12, 2019 by Ken Hanly
Chelsea Manning the former US military intelligence analyst said today that she will again refuse to testify to a grand jury about her leak of classified information to Wikileaks, even if this means she will be put back in jail.
Whistleblower Chelsea Manning is warning of rampant mass surveillance
Whistleblower Chelsea Manning is warning of rampant mass surveillance
Lars Hagberg, AFP/File
Manning has already served seven years
Manning had already served seven years in prison for transferring secret diplomatic and military documents to Wikileaks. Recently she spent another two months in prison after she refused to answer questions before a grand jury. Federal prosecutors have for years been investigating Julian Assange founder of Wikileaks. They are anxious to have Manning testify about her dealings with Assange.
Manning's release was the result of the fact that the grand jury's term was expiring. However, a new grand jury has been convened and she has been called to appear this week.
Manning said to CNN: "They've already stipulated they want to ask the same questions. I am going to refuse. I have nothing new to provide." She added: "We're certainly going to raise every single legal challenge that we have."
Manning a hero to anti-war and anti-secrecy activists
Many of the documents related to US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The documents helped make WIkileaks a significant force in the global anti-secrecy movement. An example of some of the documents released is included in the appended video which shows a helicopter attack in Iraq that killed a number of civilians including two Reuters journalists. Authorities naturally do not want videos such as the one shown to see the light of day.
Assange arrested in the UK
Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London about seven years ago to avoid being sent to Sweden to answer questions about rape charges but he worried that this would be just an excuse to have him extradited to the US to face charges there. The new government was hostile to Assange and allowed UK authorities to arrest him in April.
Assange is now in jail in the UK sentenced to serve 50 weeks for jumping bail. He is also contesting a request for his extradition to the US. Manning thinks that US attempts to prosecute Assange are part of a broader US campaign to "go after journalists:
Manning said she believes that the efforts to prosecute Assange are part of a wider campaign to "go after journalists".
Manning's lawyers challenge legality of her first detention
US law allows detention for contempt only if there is a chance it could coerce the person into testifying. However, it has not done so so far. The courts may not want to set a precedent and they ended the detention on a technicality. The court may decide not to retain Manning this time around or they will face the same legal challenge.