Chelsea Manning walked out of prison this week, finally free. But, should we celebrate her as a hero? Thank you for joining me on the thirty-ninth episode of The LAVA Spurt, Is Chelsea Manning a Hero? This episode is brought to you by Praxis, where you can get a full-time job in nine months making $50,000 a year with no college degree.
Chelsea Manning walked out of federal prison on Wednesday, May 17th, and her first actions were to take a picture of her feet as she made some of her first steps of freedom in seven years, then she went to eat pizza. Chelsea was granted clemency by Obama, cutting her 35-year sentence for leaking an enormous trove of military intelligence records short by a few decades.
Then known as Bradley Manning, she leaked nearly 750,000 military files and cables to WikiLeaks aged 22. The materials included battlefield video.
Manning said she wanted to expose what she considered to be the U.S. military’s disregard for the effects of war on civilians and that she released information that she didn’t believe would harm the U.S. No document was classified higher than secret and her defenders say no one was endangered by the leaks.
Critics said the leaks laid bare some of the nation’s most sensitive secrets and endangered information sources, prompting the State Department to help some of those people move to protect their safety. Several ambassadors were recalled, expelled or reassigned because of embarrassing disclosures. Frankly, if the ambassadors were embarrassed by their actions, maybe they should have thought about the implications of those actions prior to taking them, just sayin’.
But what exactly did Chelsea reveal? It is important to remember the crimes her leaks revealed.