Chelsea Manning released from jail

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/05/09/chelsea-manning-released-from.html

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Imagine Barr getting equivalent punishment.

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National Hero, plain and simple.

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So she was imprisoned for revealing the truth about war crimes and murder, something a newspaper reporter would have been given a Pulitzer prize for, but she broke a promise to keep state secrets secret, even if that unethically meant keeping crimes against humanity a secret, and now she’s getting thrown under another bus for not trusting the (in)justice system that punished her in the first place for holding morals above corruption. I only hope her previous experiences have hardened her against the torture of unjust punishment.

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I’ve expressed annoyance before about how Manning refused to testify when faced with a valid subpoena. Imagine how I feel when fuckmooks who purport to be goddamn officers of the court wipe their ass with the Constitution and smirk while telling everyone their shit smells like roses.

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And Assange is being prosecuted for helping.

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About time.

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I remain confused about that – is there some reason why it makes sense to refuse the subpoena rather than just going and then refusing to answer specific questions?

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Can you plead the 5th to Congress?

Not always, and not for everything they could ask.

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It’s insulting to compare her to Assange. He fled a rape charge.

She performed civil disobedience with the full understanding that this means taking responsibility for committing a crime- a Law she considered an unjust one and that her actions were necessary to prevent larger harms - but civil disobedience requires her kind of integrity to have meaning.

He fled rape charges. No integrity there - just an accused rapist fleeing justice.

Also - she never reneged on a promise to turn herself in if he was released.

She’s a hero - even if you disagree with her you respect her integrity.

He’s a weasel.

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I kind of half-heart your statement. I agree that it’s insulting to compare Chelsea to Julian.

That being said, Chelsea did more than just release evidence of… potential/possible war crimes. She disclosed thousands of embassy documents, I guess thinking she’d release a treasure trove of the US evilly plotting its worldwide schemes. And ultimately it proved that the US engaged in diplomacy and had opinions about other countries that we told them and private opinions we didn’t tell them. It also disclosed the names of thousands of people who like to talk to US diplomats hoping to influence US international policy.

I won’t say it made those people targets for investigations or reprisals, but I will say it had a chilling effect on people willing to talk to US diplomats, which limits our ability to learn what’s really happening in other countries.

Going back to the war crimes, unless you’ve got a super solid case, what it really revealed is that the fog of war is denser what you see in video games and movies. People think it’s super easy to tell who’s a civilian and who isn’t and that all video screens US soldiers see are high res with the ability to zoom and enhance and rotate and build composite images based on mirror reflections and angles that aren’t even seen by any cameras. The reality is that it’s grainy as fuck and a tube can be a weapon or not a weapon and surprise it’s hard.

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Also, wasn’t the whole point of Wikileaks to protect whistle-blowers’ identity?

I know it was Lamo that sold her out, but that doesn’t make the promises Assange gave her any more valuable. What she needed was actual source protection based on basic journalistic principles.

We didn’t know who Deep Throat was for decades. Deep Throat also didn’t get thrown in jail the year after Watergate.

The more I think about it, the more it feels like she was sold the promise of something like a new app, in a very Elon Musky way, that all wasn’t up to the same level as her own courage.

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I’m not saying I agree with her choices - but that I respect her attempting integrity in exercising her actions. I think Snowden came much closer to getting that right and trying to be thoughtful. He also wasn’t a kid without a degree or any real world experience.

And - the responsibility of what to print of what a whistleblower brings forward falls on the publisher. He had editorial control.

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Not for long, multiple courts are fighting over her. if I were Manning, I would pay a shitton to get smuggled on a boat to some Caribbean country that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the US.

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Same difference.

I think she ultimately would have been in more legal jeopardy on the stand, than she was refusing to take the stand.

Taking the stand probably ends up with the same contempt charge. But there are questions they could ask that aren’t protected by the Fifth that they could hold over her head in addition to the basic charge of contempt.

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Except Chelsea didn’t “release” i.e. publicize anything (IIRC). That was the role of the “conduits” (Wikileaks) and journalists. She had every reason to believe that they would use good judgement in deciding what was newsworthy. When you are grabbing a cache of data from a work machine, you don’t stop to preview and pick through the materials.

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The issue as I understand it has little if anything to do with the 5th Amendment or any specific questions. It’s the whole nature of a ‘grand jury’.

As I understand it the concern is that prosecutors have a habit of getting people subpoena’d in order to ask them stuff about other people or, more insidiously, as a way to allow them to give the impression/cause concern that the person subpoena’d has given damaging information about others - whether they have or not.

Thereby hoping to ruin any trust other activists have in the person subpoena’d.

Hmm, link in that article is dead

If you are fundamentally opposed to the principle of your ‘evidence’ being held secret, then going and refusing to answer specific questions is not an option.

If you’re not fundamentally opposed to the whole process and just want not to answer some questions, then unless you’re really (read suicidally) confident and have a top legal team and access to the questions in advance, then a big no is still the way to go.

You’ll still end up in jail but less chance that you’ll inadvertently answer questions you didn’t want to.

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When I read about people being jailed for contempt, the case below always comes to mind. I’m glad this had a better outcome (so far).

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