Chelsea Manning back in jail for refusal to talk on WikiLeaks

Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning

Problems resurfaced for Manning in March after she refused to testify to a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks and was jailed.

Following Manning's release, her lawyers appeared to anticipate her being held in contempt a second time, as she planned to refuse to testify.

I am not going to comply with this grand jury.

In a statement Thursday, Manning's attorney Moira Meltzer-Cohen said she was "disappointed" in Trenga's decision to detain her client, but did not expect Manning to change course in her refusal to testify.

The grand jury, which was kept secret until a typo revealed its existence, is researching the 2010 WikiLeaks publication of US State Department cables and the Collateral Murder video showing two journalists being killed in Iraq by US forces, as well as other documents relating to the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unlike her first confinement, after 30 days, Manning will be subject to a daily fine of $500.

Manning will be returned to the Alexandria Detention Center in northern Virginia and has vowed to stay in jail "forever" if necessary.

During the contempt hearing in open court, federal prosecutors argued that further incarceration is the only way to get Manning to comply. "It is a point of pride for this administration to be publicly hostile to the press", she added.

"I've read the indictment and the affidavit that came with the indictment" against Assange, Manning said on Thursday, "and the case doesn't make sense, it seems kind of bananas". She has not faced the reality of being incarcerated for up to 18 months.

Before the hearing, Manning told reporters outside the courtroom that she will persist in defying the federal subpoena "forever, indefinitely".

He noted that the grand jury has given her immunity for her truthful testimony and that grand juries' role in the legal system is to serve as a check on prosecutors by requiring them to present evidence to a group of ordinary citizens before obtaining an indictment.

"All we want is for her to truthfully answer any questions", he said.

The Mueller report accused Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, of covering up for the Russians as the source of private documents from the Hillary Clinton campaign that they leaked before the 2016 election.

Former President Barack Obama later reduced Manning's sentence and she was released in May 2017.

Manning has argued that Assange's indictment is proof that her testimony is no longer needed and is merely meant to harass her.

When contacted by the World Socialist Web Site for a comment on the arrest of Manning, Senator Bernie Sanders' Washington DC press office continued the 2020 presidential candidate's complicit silence.