Chelsea Manning Sent Back to Jail for Refusing to Testify

Former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning is seen speaking to reporters outside the U.S. federal courthouse in this frame grab from video taken shortly before she entered the coourthouse to appear before a federal judge regarding a federal gra

U.S. District Justice Anthony Trenga ordered her to remain incarcerated at the Alexandria, Va., jail either until she agrees to testify or until the grand jury's term expires in 18 months.

Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning was sent back to jail Thursday after refusing for a second time to comply with a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange.

When Chelsea Manning was released from jail last week after the grand jury she was stonewalling was dismissed, I suggested that she really enjoy some hot food and sleeping in a comfortable bed because she probably wouldn't be out for long.

"I would rather starve to death than change my opinions in that regard", Manning told Trenga, reiterating her opposition to the secretive grand jury process. New this time, though, Manning will be fined $500 per day for every day she refuses to testify, a figure that will increase to $1,000 after 60 days. The U.S. government has requested he be extradited by the U.K. He's now serving a 50-week sentence in jail there for jumping bail in 2012.

During the contempt hearing in open court, federal prosecutors argued that further incarceration is the only way to get Manning to comply.

Following her deployment to Iraq in 2009 as a U.S. Army intelligence analyst, Manning leaked more than 725,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks, including military battlefield reports and U.S. State Department cables.

Prior to her release, Manning's lawyers received a second subpoena calling for her to testify again in the Eastern District of Virginia. She was convicted of espionage and sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013, though she had her sentenced commuted by former-President Barack Obama and released in 2017 after serving seven years. Manning was given just one week of freedom to spend with her friends and family before being cruelly thrown back into federal detention. They didn't like the outcome.

The goal here is to re-litigate the court martial ... "It is telling that the United States has always been more concerned with the disclosure of those documents than with the damning substance of the disclosures". It is a point of pride for this administration to be publicly hostile to the press.

"The American government relies on the informed consent of the governed, and the free press is the vigorous mechanism to keep us informed".

Here's part of the statement from Manning's attorney. Grand juries and prosecutions like this one broadcast an expanding threat to the press and function to undermine the integrity of the system according to the government's own laws.

"In 2010, Chelsea took a principled decision to let the world see the true nature of modern asymmetric warfare", Moira Meltzer-Cohen, an attorney for Manning, said Thursday.

"This is unprecedented", read a tweet from Manning's official Twitter account.

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