When Chelsea Manning was released from jail last week after the grand jury she was stonewalling was dismissed, I suggested that she really enjoy some hot food and sleeping in a comfortable bed because she probably wouldn’t be out for long. Well, I hope she took that advice because she’s back behind bars again. And this grand jury is just coming out of the gate and could be in business for most of the year, which means Manning could be in jail for that long as well. But the judge added a twist to the confinement this time. (ABC News)
Fresh off a 62-day incarceration for defying a grand jury subpoena, Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst and anti-secrecy activist, was remanded again Thursday afternoon after a federal judge held her in contempt of court.
United States Marshals took Manning back into custody at the U.S. District Courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, Thursday afternoon after she refused to cooperate, yet again, with a subpoena to testify before another secret federal grand jury…
At a short press conference prior to a Thursday hearing, Manning said she was prepared to return to jail “indefinitely” rather than testify.
Here’s the twist in the sentence. In addition to being in jail, the judge ordered Manning to start paying 500 dollars per day in fines after 30 days in jail and one thousand dollars per day after 69 days. So if she winds up staying in there for three months she’s looking at a bill of $45K.
Here’s part of the statement from Manning’s attorney. (Sparrow Media)
We are of course disappointed with the outcome of today’s hearing, but I anticipate it will be exactly as coercive as the previous sanction — which is to say not at all…
The American government relies on the informed consent of the governed, and the free press is the vigorous mechanism to keep us informed. It is a point of pride for this administration to be publicly hostile to the press. Grand Juries and prosecutions like this one broadcast an expanding threat to the press and function to undermine the integrity of the system according to the government’s own laws.
This administration is also obsessed with undercutting the legacy of President Barack Obama, from reversing healthcare policy to Chelsea Manning’s commutation.
So she’s blaming… Donald Trump? Has the President even commented on this case? Well, I suppose it makes for a good headline.
If those fines add up quickly, Manning will likely have a way to pay off at least some of them. She inked a book deal with Farrar, Straus and Giroux this month. The as yet untitled memoir is scheduled to be released in the early part of 2020. Of course, I’m not sure if the jail has the facilities for working on a book, so that schedule may wind up slipping a bit.
Once again, all of this is supposedly being done as a protest of the grand jury system. Really? Manning should probably get some better attorneys because the ones she has now don’t seem to be serving her interests very well.