Chelsea Manning, who confessed to disclosing archives of secret diplomatic and military documents to WikiLeaks in 2010 and has been incarcerated longer than any other convicted leaker in American history, has formally petitioned President Obama to reduce the remainder of her 35-year sentence to the more than six years she has already served. Read full NYT article here.
In most cases, when an employer pays a signing bonus to attract new workers, that payment is understood to be essentially unrecoverable. But the Pentagon has a different understanding — and it’s ordering the California National Guard to claw back thousands of dollars paid to soldiers who re-enlisted to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And in many cases, an employer would also have a tough time arguing that decade-old lapses in its own oversight should trigger wage garnishments and tax liens against its workers. But again, this is the U.S. military … That’s the gist of a report by the Los Angeles Times, which says nearly 10,000 soldiers are now scrambling to pay back signing bonuses [and student loan repayments] that helped the Pentagon cope with the task of using an all-volunteer service to fight two prolonged international conflicts. Read more at the LA Times
Please help support Ryan and Jennifer Johnson during this challenging time by making a tax-deductible donation to their support fund, hosted by Courage to Resist. Doing so will enable Jennifer to make trips to visit Ryan in prison, give Ryan access to phone cards, help Jennifer with medical expenses, and offset some of the couple’s lost income over the next ten months. https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=122025
US Army soldier Ryan Johnson was convicted of refusing to deploy to the Iraq War, and remaining away from the military for 4,175 days (nearly 11½ years). After surrendering himself to the US Army three months ago, Ryan pled guilty to AWOL and Missing Movement before a “Special Courts Martial” at Fort Irwin, California, on September 26, 2016. Continue reading →
By the Chelsea Manning Support Network and Fight for the Future. October 10, 2016
After years of inhumane treatment, and having been held in conditions that the UN considers to be torture, Chelsea Manning, the Guardian columnist and whistle-blower who has been in prison for years serving a 35-year sentence for exposing some of the US government’s worst abuses, attempted to take her own life July 5, 2016.
After a 5-day hunger strike last month, the US Army finally agreed to provide her with gender reassignment surgery and the health care that she needs.
Chelsea’s hunger strike is a historic victory for human rights. However, on September 3, a prison disciplinary board decided to punish Chelsea with 14 days of solitary confinement (with 7 days suspended) for charges related to her suicide attempt, and possession of an unmarked book in her cell.
A few days ago, all contact with Chelsea went silent, included previously scheduled calls with support network folks, as well as members of her legal team. We are left to assume that her solitary sentence began without warning. Continue reading →
Chelsea Manning Support Network and Courage to Resist. September 23, 2016
A prison disciplinary board has decided to punish imprisoned transparency advocate Chelsea Manning with 14 days of solitary confinement (with 7 days suspended) for charges directly related to her suicide attempt in July, and possession of an unmarked book in her cell. The decision is the latest example of the U.S. government’s campaign of harassment and mistreatment of Chelsea, who has been incarcerated in all male military facilities for 6 years.
Chelsea Manning shared the following with supporters this morning via phone:
“My three member disciplinary board took place today. I presented evidence and was allowed to question witnesses through the board president. The hearing lasted four hours. There was a break for lunch. I waited nervously for the board to vote. I received the decision after 30 minutes. I was acquitted of the “Resisting The Force Cell Move Team” charge. I was found guilty of the “Conduct Which Threatens” charge. This charge was for the suicide attempt. I was found guilty of the “Prohibited Property” charge, which was for an unmarked copy of Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy, by Gabriella Coleman. My punishment is 14 days in solitary confinement. 7 of those days are “suspended.” If I get in trouble in the next six months, those seven days will come back. The term for this status is “disciplinary segregation.” There is no set date set for this to start. After I receive the formal board results in writing, I have 15 days to appeal. I expect to get them in the next few days. I am feeling hurt. I am feeling lonely. I am embarrassed by the decision. I don’t know how to explain it. I am touched by your warm messages of love and support. This comforts me in my time of need.” Continue reading →
“If it failed, we were told that people on our side would potentially die. But I knew that if it stayed up, people on the Afghan side would die.”
By Bob Meola, Courage to Resist
September 21, 2016
Cian Westmoreland is a former drone program technician who has spoken out against the U.S. drone wars. He was one of a group of four drone whistleblowers who spoke out in 2015. Cian joined the Air Force on April 18, 2006. His reasons for joining were multidimensional. But a reason he joined was that his father was in the Air Force. He’d been a US Air Force Russian Linguist. Following is some of what Cian told me.
“I wanted to get out of my town My father came out as gay when I was 17. My parents separated. My mom went downhill and resolved to resign. She was relying on me a lot. So was my sister. My girlfriend tried to kill herself. Continue reading →
By Courage to Resist. June 7, 2016 Photo by Ilona Sturm
On May 16th, in honor of International Conscientious Objectors’ Day, San Francisco Bay Area supporters of Courage to Resist gathered to celebrate the 10th Annual Berkeley C.O. and War Resisters’ Day at the flag poles in front of City Hall. Continue reading →
Former Army Reserve Chaplain Captain Chris Antal resigned due to the US drone policy, and shares his moving resignation letter to President Obama on DemocracyNow.
“I resign because I refuse to support U.S. armed drone policy,” Antal wrote. “The Executive Branch continues to claim the right to kill anyone, anywhere on earth, at any time, for secret reasons, based on secret evidence, in a secret process, undertaken by unidentified officials. I refuse to support this policy of unaccountable killing.”
This Memorial Day it’s worth remembering that World War II persists. Over 100,000 U.S. and British bombs remain in German soil and continue to kill. During the last 71 years, the U.S. has never ended the war taxes, left war footing, or ceased empire building. Some 50,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Germany to this day.
In fact, the United States has made Germany central to its wars today in western Asia and the Middle East, shipping troops via Germany into numerous wars, and bringing the wounded to a U.S. hospital (Landstuhl) in Germany. The United States has also made Ramstein Air Base in Germany central to its drone wars.
As at U.S. bases in the United States and around the world, U.S. troops in Germany often need help with PTSD and moral injury. They need accurate information on their rights, including how to conscientiously object, and including how to legally speak out against atrocities they have witnessed or committed.
Fortunately, they have Meike Capps-Schubert. She is co-founder and current manager of the Clearing Barrel GI-Coffeehouse in Kaiserslautern next to Ramstein. It’s believed to be the only GI-coffeehouse outside the United States.