Whistleblower and former Army Intelligence officer Chelsea Manning was found guilty on Tuesday for allegedly violating prison rules and will in turn receive three weeks of restrictions on recreation where she is serving her massive 35-year sentence, Manning’s attorney said.
Manning, the former Army officer was accused of having a copy of the Caitlyn Jenner issue of Vanity Fair alongside an expired bottle of toothpaste. Her attorney, Chase Strangio of the American Civil Liberties Union, said that Manning was convicted of all four charges after a closed disciplinary board hearing occurred for the longer part of four hours where Chelsea was given zero authority and had her rights to a lawyer denied.
Due to Chelsea’s harmless items, she will in turn receive 21 days with resisted access, limiting access to the gym, library and outdoors. If Manning’s charges weren’t absurd enough, when she was initially served the charges she faced indefinite solitary confinement.
I was found guilty of all 4 charges @ today's board; I am receiving 21 days of restrictions on recreation–no gym, library or outdoors.
— Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) August 18, 2015
As almost routine now, the U.S. Army has declined to comment of any information or results during the hearing, citing a near 40 year old law, the Privacy Act of 1976.
Chelsea’s prison infractions include possession of prohibited property in the form of harmless books and magazines, medicine misuse for her empty tube of toothpaste, disorderly conduct for allegedly “sweeping food onto the floor” and disrespect. All of the senseless charges occurred on July 2 and 9. Chelsea tweeted a picture of her charges, writing:
Here are the first four official charging documents from the US Disciplinary Barracks (USDB). More coming soon pic.twitter.com/6Zetual5f2
— Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) August 13, 2015
“When I spoke to Chelsea earlier today she wanted to convey the message to supporters that she is so thankful for the thousands of people from around the world who let the government know that we are watching and scrutinizing what happens to her behind prison walls,” Strangio from the ACLU said. “It was no doubt this support that kept her out of solitary confinement.”
Strangio cited public support for helping keep Chelsea out of indefinite solitary confinement, as a petition asking leniency for Chelsea gained over 100k signatures in just a few days.
If not harsh enough, the charges could affect future parole hearings or clemency. Sadly, Manning believes the recent charges could affect her chances at landing in a minimum to low security prison by years.
The intelligence analyst, formerly known as Bradley Manning, was convicted on hundreds of offenses for sending more than 700,000 classified documents to Wikileaks while stationed in Iraq back in 2010. Since that day, Manning has sat in a steel cell serving a 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth for her bravery in exposing the truth.