Today, the whistleblower Chelsea Manning stepped out of the Military Corrections Complex at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, having served the longest sentence in US history for whistleblowing; for the duration of her ongoing appeal, she is on "excess leave in an active-duty status" which entitles her to access to military health-care insurance and other benefits.
Manning's selfless actions changed the global debate on surveillance and secrecy, sparked the Arab Spring, and inspired future whistleblowers like Edward Snowden.
Manning was subjected to years of torture — in the form of extended solitary confinement — before she was convicted of any crime. She attempted suicide twice in the past year.
Manning has not said what she will do next. I wish her the most sincere and heartfelt best for her future, and hope that she takes as much time as she needs to recover from the grotesque and shameful ordeal to which she was subjected.
Glenn Greenwald's appreciation for Manning and her perseverance, bravery and deep ethical center is a must-read today.
But what is ultimately most striking about Chelsea Manning is her unyielding persistence. In the most humble yet determined tones, she insists on following what she knows is the right path regardless of the risks and costs to her. And in doing so, far beyond the initial acts of whistleblowing, she became a hero to LGBTs around the world, and so many other people, by demanding the right to be who she is, and to live freely, even under the most oppressive conditions.
Chelsea Manning is a Free Woman: Her Heroism Has Expanded Beyond Her Initial Whistle-Blowing
[Glenn Greenwald/The Intercept]