Imprisoned WikiLeaks whistleblower Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning sent a letter to the Freedom of the Press Foundation, thanking us for our successful campaign to transcribe and bring transparency to her lengthy trial. “Without your efforts, my court-martial would not have been nearly as visible to the public, and many of these serious issues may have gone unnoticed,” Manning wrote. Read Manning's entire letter below.
Last year, we asked the world at large to help us crowd-fund court reporters to create daily transcripts of Manning’s trial. This was only possible thanks to 1,600+ individuals who made donations to our transcription campaign, most giving under $100. Together, we raised over $100,000 in just a few weeks, and then fought to get our court reporters into the media room with other journalists covering the trial. This provided the press and public with timely, accurate, comprehensive transcripts of Manning’s historic trial.
We were honored to receive a letter of thanks from Manning, especially because we feel gratitude to her for the sacrifices she made to bring the American public and people worldwide more information about our own government.
Manning also praised the work of the Freedom of the Press Foundation:
“Personally, I support the work your organization does in supporting and defending public-interest journalism in a time when governments and corporations throughout America and globally are working hard to prevent the exposure of mismanagement and corruption in government. I also appreciate your support for journalism organizations that push for transparency and accountability, and your efforts to maintain and broaden the protections guaranteed by the First Amendment.”
In August of last year, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison, the longest sentence ever handed down to a whistleblower convicted of disclosing US government secrets. The Chelsea Manning Support Network is raising funds for Manning, and they need an immediate $25,000 to cover the legal retainer for her new lawyer Nancy Hollander's appeal, as well as around $25,000 more to ensure that she can fight to get hormone therapy and for ongoing support and organization on her behalf.
Recently, Hollander harshly criticized the Obama administration's crackdown on whistlblowers: "The Espionage Act was meant to punish spies and saboteurs...It was never meant for whistleblowers. This is a draconian act...It must be stopped if we’re to have any freedom of speech — if the First Amendment is to exist at all." We couldn't agree more.
Please donate to her defense fund, and ask your friends to do the same.