REBEL YELL: Chelsea Manning is the Real War Hero of the 9/11 Generation – By Buff Coat

Source – npr.org

“…There is a tradition of resistance to grand juries in the United States, particularly when the goals of a grand jury were clearly unjust. The tradition goes all the way back to abolitionists who were fighting slavery in the 1800s. It includes activists targeted by COINTELPRO, who were hauled before grand juries when Richard Nixon was president. Chelsea Manning is carrying on this tradition through her bold defiance”

Chelsea Manning is the real war hero of the 9/11 generation – By Buff Coat

It is instructive of our times that the greatest military hero of a generation became a prisoner not in the dungeons of some far-off enemy but in those of her own side.
Meaningful military heroism, Chelsea Manning has proven, is the heroism of rebellion. It tells us much that her baptism of fire came not on a distant field of battle but in a court martial for exposing the empire she once served.
For the woken soldiers of the post 9/11 generation — the ones who have recovered from the fantasy that we fought in just wars or that our only obligation was to our conniving leaders — Chelsea Manning represents the best of us.
She revealed the war, certainly, but also the conflict within the war. The one which all wars continue and yet obscure, between the wretched people caught up in the battles and the powerful who arrange them.
Far from lacking courage or integrity, her only failure, her foremost biographer wrote, was one of cynicism: cynicism because she believed that the US military was in the business of liberation and freedom when in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere it has always been in the routine of empire.
Many of our number put up a justified resistance to the illegitimate wars of our time, and many paid and continue to pay a price for doing so, but none fought back so signally and at so high a personal cost.
As WW2 veteran and historian Howard Zinn wrote with typical clarity: “The soldiers began to rebel, which is always the most heroic thing soldiers can do, for which they should be given medals”
Zinn was speaking about French army mutinies in WW1 but his words, like his consistent critiques of war, are timeless.
Only a week ago a senior British general lamented how resistant millennials were to recruitment, he did so without a single reference to political impact on that cohort of the twin wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — wars which Manning helped expose as a sham.
I personally know (see inset below) military personnel who resisted and were even jailed on the basis of Manning’s leaks and many more, including myself, who took great succour from her deeds because they proved to a broader audience that what we had learned in the crucible of war was true.

Among her achievements, then, was to prove to other military personnel that, although it is a hard road to take, they were correct to question the wars and entitled to refuse, resist and disobey.
I cannot know how many young people wrote off the idea of a military career based on the mosaic picture of the wars which Manning’s leaks offered us but I believe, and hope, it was many.
There are no official military medals or awards for dissent, only for obedience. But Manning, whose real story we can now look forward to hearing in her own words, remains the foremost military rebel of her generation

Related…

Defying WikiLeaks Grand Jury, Chelsea Manning Carries On Tradition Of Resistance And Goes To Jail

Chelsea Manning, the former Army private, is back in U.S. federal custody, jailed over her refusal to testify before a grand jury in a case involving WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.
Judge Claude Hilton of the U.S. District Court in Eastern Virginia ordered Manning to jail Friday “after a brief hearing in which Manning confirmed she has no intention of testifying,” the Associated Press reports.
Hilton said Manning must stay in custody until she either changes her mind about testifying or the grand jury finishes its work.
The order sending Manning to jail is under seal, but the judge issued the sanction against her in open court, the clerk’s office told NPR. After Manning refused to testify, Hilton remanded the former intelligence analyst to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
Manning first reported to the Albert V. Bryan U.S. District Courthouse on Tuesday, hoping to cancel a subpoena to testify in what has widely been reported as an investigation into Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Details of the case remain under seal, the clerk’s office said.
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“Manning has said she objects to the secrecy of the grand jury process,” the AP reports, “and that she already revealed everything she knows at her court martial.”
Manning has previously acknowledged leaking hundreds of thousands of military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks in 2010, from battlefield reports to U.S. embassy cables.
The judge’s order came at what Manning on Thursday described as a contempt hearing. In a statement, Manning said that on Wednesday she had “appeared before a secret grand jury after being granted immunity for my testimony.”

“All of the substantive questions pertained to my disclosures of information to the public in 2010 — answers I provided in extensive testimony, during my court-martial in 2013,” Manning said. “I responded to each question with the following statement: ‘I object to the question and refuse to answer on the grounds that the question is in violation of my First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendment, and other statutory rights.’ ”
Manning is now returning to jail nearly two years after being freed from a military prison in Kansas, where she had been serving a 35-year prison term. Former President Barack Obama shortened her sentence to about seven years shortly before he left office.

The Two-Way
Chelsea Manning, Once Sentenced To 35 Years, Walks Free After 7 Years
Manning, a transgender woman formerly known as Bradley, had requested clemency from Obama in part because she said her life was at risk in an all-male prison. Her attorneys also said she had suffered in solitary confinement and was denied proper medical and health care.
Speaking outside the federal courthouse in Alexandria on Friday, Manning’s lawyer, Moira Meltzer-Cohen, told reporters that the Marshals Service has a responsibility to make sure Manning remains healthy.
“As everybody knows, Chelsea has tremendous courage,” Meltzer-Cohen said. “Our primary concern at this point is her health while she is confined. And we will be paying close attention.”
Meltzer-Cohen, a New York-based defense attorney, specializes in First Amendment cases. She has also represented other clients in dealings with federal grand juries — including refusals to testify.

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/08/701514443/chelsea-manning-is-jailed-after-refusing-to-testify-about-wikileaks

View story at Medium.com

 

 

 

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