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Dec 30 2016
The Plight Of Chelsea Manning, Who Isn't Edward Snowden Comments (0)

Nobody seems to care much about Chelsea Manning, who was convicted of six counts of espionage in 2013 and sentenced to 35 0812chelseamanning01 years in prison for the largest leak of U.S. intel in history. Unlike Edward Snowden, who has a worldwide following, network of support and is the subject of a major motion picture, Manning's story gets far less play — in spite (or because?) of the fact that after her arrest, she came out as trans.

Now, she's speaking out in a rare interview with Broadly on the occasion of her last plea to President Obama to clemency, a plea that is expected to be ignored.

From Broadly:

Chelsea Manning is currently incarcerated in a maximum-security facility in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. She's been in United States custody for six years, and spent months in solitary confinement. For that entire time, she has been forced to dress like a man, with her hair cropped close to her head. Her connection with the outside world is limited: There are extremely strict rules about who can visit her, and media isn't allowed to speak with her directly, though she can correspond with journalists by mail. At times, her situation seems hopeless, but she has tried to persevere.

"Courage is not fearlessness," she wrote in a letter to Broadly this December. "Courage is the ability to keep going, even when you are unsure of yourself, even when you are nervous, and even when you are terrified. If you can still fight when the odds appear to be against you, and when it looks like you might be fighting it alone, then you are genuinely brave."

There is zero hope of future President Trump intervening:

Though some people celebrate Manning as a whistleblower—she was the 2013 recipient of the Sean MacBride Peace Prize—others see her actions as treasonous and damaging to the state. "Let's charge [her] and try [her] for treason," a FOX news national security expert, KT MacFarland, wrote of Manning in 2010. "If [she's] found guilty, [she] should be executed." President-elect Donald Trump has selected MacFarland to be his deputy national security adviser, according to CNN.

Yeah, let's execute Chelsea Manning, but when Russia hacks our election, that's cool and MacFarland gets a job out of it.

Whether or not you buy that Manning is a whistleblower, as opposed to a traitor, her sentence is remarkably long and her situation is unique. The interview is hard to blow off, especially when she says, from within highly restrictive captivity, “It's hard to show the world I exist.”