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Chelsea Manning sentenced to 35 years in jail for whistleblowing

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Issue 2368

The US army whistleblower who leaked over 250,000 documents to Wikileaks has been sentenced to 35 years in jail.

The soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning was convicted in July of 20 offences. A statement on behalf of Manning declared she now wishes to be known as Chelsea Manning.

The sentence was reduced by three years for time already spent in detention. A further 112 days was taken off for being held in solitary confinement and other harsh conditions.

The convictions included spying, theft and computer fraud.

Manning was motivated to blow the whistle after watching a cockpit video of a US helicopter gunship murdering Iraqi civilians. She was horrified by the “seemingly delightful bloodlust the Aerial Weapons Team seemed to have.”

Manning’s conviction and sentencing shows how unwilling our rulers are to prosecute the crimes whistleblowers expose. They would much prefer to punish and attempt to silence the whistleblowers (see page 17).

The British government has played its part by targeting the Guardian newspaper, one of its journalists and his partner for using or being associated with document leaks.

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