WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning is going back to prison - here's why

Saturday, 18 May, 2019

"Facing jail again, potentially today doesn't change my stance", Manning said before entering her hearing.

During the hearing, US District Judge Anthony Trenga said it was "unfortunate we're at this point", but that, despite Manning's pleadings otherwise, he believed further jail time might still prove coercive.

Once in court she told the judge she would "rather starve to death than to change my opinions in this regard", the Washington Post reported.

Manning was released from a military prison in Kansas in 2017, serving about seven years of what was once a 35-year prison term.

Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning is headed back to jail for refusing to testify before a grand jury in the WikiLeaks probe.

Manning said in her affidavit that she was placed in administrative segregation, or solitary confinement, for her first four weeks in the Alexandria jail, where most federal prisoners in Virginia are held. "This means she is expected to appear before a different grand jury, on Thursday, May 16, 2019, just one week from her release today", Manning's lawyers said in a statement May 9.

Manning argues that she should not be sent to jail because she has already demonstrated that incarceration won't coerce her into testifying. The judge also ruled that she will be fined $500 per day after 30 days and $1,000 per day after 60 days.

It's back to jail for Chelsea Manning.

The questions asked by the previous panel were very "broad and generic", the same things asked at the court-martial, Manning told reporters, speculating that the government is trying to "re-litigate" that trial because it did not like the outcome.

Asked what the interest was in Manning given that Assange has already been indicted, Terwilliger said he was "not at liberty to discuss any investigations or matters before the grand jury".

The heavy-handed punishment betrays the growing frustration of federal prosecutors, for who this is a second attempt at making Manning testify. Former President Barack Obama shortened her sentence before leaving office.

Manning said prosecutors had put her in an impossible position despite the Justice Department granting her immunity from self-incrimination. She said the isolation caused her "extraordinary pain" and that she was sometimes in a "dissociative stupor".

Concerns about resources for Manning's medical treatments and mental health at Alexandra were raised, though G. Zach Terwilliger, the USA attorney, said they have "bent over backwards to accommodate her needs".

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. Later, she added "when I arrive at the court house this coming Thursday, what happened last time will occur again".