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Chelsea Manning Is Going Back to Jail Again

18 May 2019

After seven days of freedom, US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning is back behind bars for refusing to testify before a secret federal grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.

In addition to being held in custody for the duration of the grand jury's investigation or until Manning testifies, the judge ordered her to be fined $500 every day that she is in custody after 30 days and $1,000 every day in custody after 60 days, according to a statement by Manning's lawyers. I would rather starve to death than to change my opinions in this regard.

If there is already an indictment against Assange, what's the goal of another grand jury, Manning asked reporters.

This isn't the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst's first time in jail for refusing a grand jury subpoena in this particular case. However, Manning hoped to avoid re-imprisonment by proving to the grand jury that she could never be compelled to cooperate under any circumstances, because she objects to the existence of grand juries on principle and because she says she already testified about the material in question during her 2013 court-martial.

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When Chelsea Manning was released from jail last week after the grand jury she was stonewalling was dismissed, I suggested that she really enjoy some hot food and sleeping in a comfortable bed because she probably wouldn't be out for long.

Prosecutors have not publicly disclosed the specific nature of the investigation in which they seek to have Manning testify.

Manning was not required to actually appear before the grand jury and refuse to answer questions Thursday.

The indictment against Assange alleges that he conspired with Manning to try to crack a password stored on U.S. Defense Department computers connected to a classified government data network.

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Manning's latest confinement will persist until she complies with the subpoena or until the grand jury expires, U.S. Judge Anthony Trenga said in court on Thursday. She said any more jail time would do nothing to get her to comply with the subpoena. "It is telling that the United States has always been more concerned with the disclosure of those [leaked] documents than with their damning substance", she told reporters. Her sentence was commuted by former President Barack Obama in one of his final acts in office.

The judge, the Post said, responded by telling Manning "There's nothing dishonorable in discharging your responsibility as a United States citizen".

She went on to say that the Trump administration was "obsessed with unwinding Obama's legacy, from health care to Chelsea's commutation".

After almost seven years behind bars, Manning had her sentence commuted by President Obama, and was a free woman, for a while.

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The new grand jury subpoena appears to be related to the USA prosecution of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who was arrested last month and is now awaiting his extradition hearing in the UK.

Chelsea Manning Is Going Back to Jail Again