Today former Army intelligence analyst and whistleblower Chelsea Manning was jailed for contempt of court. She is resisting testifying in front of a grand jury convened in the Eastern District of Virginia to deal with sealed charges against Wikileaks’ Julian Assange. Manning said the matter was related to her 2010 disclosures. She has already spent 7 years in prison, before and after being convicted by a military tribunal on her leaking of material related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her sentence was commuted by President Obama before leaving office in 2017. Journalist and filmmaker Ford Fischer was at the courthouse today and is here to tell us about it.
Ford Fischer is an independent videographer and editor, a computer scientist and web designer. He’s the editor-in-chief and co-founder of News2share.com where citizen journalists and independent videographers contribute content to the evolving news cycle. His work has been featured on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, ABC and more. He also does freelance work as a videographer/journalist.
In protestation, Wikileaks made statements and published other people’s statements on Twitter. They said: “This is America, 2019: A secret trial against a source for refusing to testify against a journalist.” Their lawyer, Jen Robinson said: “No journalist or their source should ever be subjected to this.”
Wikileaks cited Glenn Greenwald’s response: “This is disgusting, and all due to the efforts of the DOJ to criminalize the publication of classified information in order to prosecute WikiLeaks and Assange: something all press freedom groups, major newspapers & even the Obama DOJ said would be a major threat to press freedom."
Pentagon Papers whistleblower Dan Ellsberg issued a statement calling for Chelsea Manning to be released. He called it a travesty and said that “an investigation into Wikileaks for publishing is a grave threat to all journalists’ rights.” He said that she has suffered enough and should be released immediately.
Chelsea Manning’s legal defense fund can be found at the website xychelsea.is.
Recorded on March 8, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
Audio clips from outside the courthouse included with Ford Fischer’s permission.