Chelsea Manning, born Bradley Edward Manning, the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst who was convicted last year of violations to the Espionage Act, is speaking out to the world about the gross lies that Manning says were perpetrated on the American people regarding the media coverage of the Iraqi conflicts and 2010 elections.
Reports the AFP via Yahoo! News on June 15: “The detained US soldier convicted of leaking a trove of secret documents to WikiLeaks made a rare foray into public life Saturday to warn Americans they were being lied to about Iraq once more.”
Manning wrote an op-ed piece that was carried by the New York Times, entitled “The Fog Machine of War.” Chelsea Manning is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence for leaking over 700,000 pages of classified documents to WikiLeaks – the largest set of secret docs ever made public.
“As Iraq erupts in civil war and America again contemplates intervention, that unfinished business should give new urgency to the question of how the United States military controlled the media coverage of its long involvement there and in Afghanistan,” Manning wrote.
“I believe that the current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance,” adding that the U.S. military only showed the media what they wanted them to see, and controlled what they reported on if they did in fact see more.
“You might remember that the American press was flooded with stories declaring the elections a success, complete with upbeat anecdotes and photographs of Iraqi women proudly displaying their ink-stained fingers,” Manning wrote. “The subtext was that United States military operations had succeeded in creating a stable and democratic Iraq. Those of us stationed there were acutely aware of a more complicated reality.”
I was shocked by our military's complicity in the corruption of that election. Yet these deeply troubling details flew under the American media's radar. – Chelsea Manning
According to NPR, Manning said she disclosed the information out of “a love for my country and a sense of duty to others.”
Manning wrote the following as to what she saw in the 2010 Iraqi elections:
Military and diplomatic reports coming across my desk detailed a brutal crackdown against political dissidents by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior and federal police, on behalf of Prime Minister Nuri Kamai al-Maliki. Detainees were often tortured, or even killed.
Early that year, I received orders to investigate 15 individuals whom the federal police had arrested on suspicion of printing “anti-Iraqi literature.” I learned that these individuals had absolutely no ties to terrorism; they were publishing a scholarly critique of Mr. Maliki's administration. I forwarded this finding to the officer in command in eastern Baghdad. He responded that he didn't need this information; instead, I should assist the federal police in locating more “anti-Iraqi” print shops.
Manning was charged with 22 offenses against the United States and is serving her sentence at the maximum-security U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth. She will be eligible for parole in eight years.