News Release

Chelsea Manning Facing Indefinite Solitary Confinement; Legal Team Cites “Harassment and Abuse”

chelea in color w toothbrush

Chelsea Manning is facing solitary confinement for, among other alleged infractions, possessing expired toothpaste and a copy of the Senate Torture Report. Drawing by Deb Van Poolen.

EVAN GREER, press at, @fightfortheftr
Greer is Campaign Director of Fight for the Future. The group states in a news release today that advocacy groups supporting imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning plan to deliver a petition signed by close to 100,000 people to the Army Liaison office tomorrow morning, Tuesday, August 18th, at 11:00 am at Rayburn House Office Building, Room B325. Supporters are available to speak to media before and after the delivery.

“The petition at was initiated by digital rights group Fight for the Future and supported by, Demand Progress, and CodePink. It calls for the U.S. military to drop the new charges against Chelsea, and demands that her disciplinary hearing on Tuesday be open to the press and the public.

“Chelsea faces possible indefinite solitary confinement, which is widely recognized as a form of torture, for four ‘charges,’ which include possession of LGBTQ reading material like the Caitlyn Jenner issue of Vanity Fair, and having a tube of expired toothpaste in her cell.”

Greer said: “The U.S. government has a terrifying track record of using imprisonment and torture to silence free speech and dissenting voices. They’ve tortured Chelsea Manning before and now they’re threatening to do it again, without any semblance of due process. Perhaps the military thought that now that Chelsea is behind bars she’s been forgotten, but the tens of thousands who signed this petition are proving them wrong. Chelsea Manning is a hero and the whole world is watching the U.S. government’s deplorable treatment of whistleblowers, transgender people, and prison inmates in general.”

Two of Manning’s attorneys can be contacted via Christina DiPasquale, christina at — also, see @xychelsea

CHASE STRANGIO, Chelsea’s attorney at the ACLU, said: “During the five years she has been incarcerated Chelsea has had to endure horrific and, at times, plainly unconstitutional conditions of confinement. She now faces the threat of further dehumanization because she allegedly disrespected an officer when requesting an attorney and had in her possession various books and magazines that she used to educate herself and inform her public and political voice. I am heartened to see the outpouring of support for her in the face of these new threats to her safety and security. This support can break down the isolation of her incarceration and sends the message to the government that the public is watching and standing by her as she fights for her freedom and her voice.”

NANCY HOLLANDER, one of Chelsea’s criminal defense attorneys, said: “Chelsea is facing serious repercussions and punishment if these charges are upheld, yet the prison has denied her the right to legal counsel, even legal counsel at her own expense. Now we have learned the prison authorities have denied her the use of the prison library to prepare for her hearing. The whole system is rigged against her. She cannot have a lawyer to assist her; she cannot prepare her own defense; and the hearing will be secret. This harassment and abuse must end and we are grateful for the support from the public to demand justice for Chelsea Manning.”

MARCY WHEELER, emptywheel at, @emptywheel
Wheeler writes widely about the legal aspects of the “war on terror” and its effects on civil liberties. She is the “Right to Know” investigative journalist for ExposeFacts and blogs at

She just wrote the piece: “Declaring Chelsea Manning’s Voice against Torture Contraband,” which states: “As a number of outlets have reported, Chelsea Manning faces a disciplinary board on Tuesday for four alleged violations, including brushing crumbs on the floor, disrespecting an officer, keeping toothpaste past its expiry date, and keeping items deemed contraband, including the Vanity Fair issue on Caitlyn Jenner.

“Manning will not have a lawyer at the hearing, and over the weekend authorities refused her access to the prison law library. She may receive indefinite solitary confinement as punishment for these absurd alleged offenses.

“Along with that list of seemingly trivial items, Leavenworth officials also confiscated an item that goes to the  core of the whistleblowing that landed Manning in prison in the first place: the Senate Torture Report.

“Chelsea Manning faces the threat of solitary confinement, which most countries and many psychologists consider torture, because she was reading the Senate Torture Report.

“Recall that among the events that led Manning to provide information to WikiLeaks was when she was ordered to ‘assist the Baghdad Federal Police in identifying the political opponents of Prime Minister al-Maliki’ — people who Manning discovered were actually criticizing Maliki’s corruption. Manning realized that by helping the Baghdad Police, U.S. forces would be helping put them ‘in the custody of the Special Unit of the Baghdad Federal Police [where they would be] very likely tortured.’ In an effort to thwart U.S. complicity in torture, Manning leaked classified materials to WikiLeaks, including information on Iraq’s Wolf Brigade, a unit that conducted torture the official US policy on which was to ignore.”

Manning has been writing a column for the Guardian.