In 2010, US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning was given a 35-year prison sentence after she had leaked more than 700,000 confidential US State Department and Pentagon documents, videos and diplomatic cables about the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to WikiLeaks. Perhaps the most notorious of the releases was a US military video that WikiLeaks titled ‘Collateral Murder‘. It showed the indiscriminate slaying of up to eighteen people in Baghdad on 12 July, 2007. The footage, taken from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, showed the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters journalist and his rescuers. A second Reuters staff member, employed as a driver and camera assistant, was also killed. Two young children, whose father was among those killed, were seriously wounded.
The video, together with the transcript of army exchanges during the indiscriminate US killings, shocked many around the world:
Light ’em all up.
Come on, fire!
Keep shoot, keep shoot. [keep shooting]
Oh, yeah, look at those dead bastards.
While in prison, Manning twice attempted to commit suicide and also spent time in solitary confinement. She was released in 2017, after her sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama, two days before he left office.
On 8 March – International Women’s Day – Manning was once again jailed after she refused to testify against WikiLeaks, and its founder Julian Assange, before a grand jury in Virginia. A grand jury…