NATION

Chelsea Manning dismisses 'pacifist' label

Decrease Increase Text size

Chelsea Manning is not a pacifist.

Manning, the U.S. soldier convicted of the biggest breach of classified information in U.S. history by providing files to WikiLeaks, was sentenced to 35 years in military custody in August. Photo: The Associated Press

That's what the WikiLeaks source formerly known as Bradley Manning insists.

Manning, the U.S. soldier convicted of the biggest breach of classified information in U.S. history by providing files to WikiLeaks, was sentenced to 35 years in military custody in August. Now, in her first public comments since sentencing, Manning is expressing an intense unhappiness that the outside world may think she is an anti-war pacifist.

In a statement to the Guardian, Manning says she did not leak the classified documents to WikiLeaks because she was motivated by pacifism. Rather, she states that she sees herself as a "transparency advocate" who is convinced that Americans need to be better informed.

Manning writes of her concern about what she calls a "substantial disconnect" between her experiences in military prison and the messages that the public receives without her knowledge or approval.

Manning's concerns relate to the 2013 Sean MacBride peace award which was granted to her by the International Peace Bureau in recognition of her "outstanding work for peace."

The former Army private says she had no idea she had been given the award, let alone accepted it. Manning insists that she had never perceived her actions in transmitting thousands of classified U.S. documents to WikiLeaks as an act for peace.

Shortly after sentencing, Manning immediately shifted public conversation away from her conviction on espionage charges to gender identity, stating she wanted to be addressed as a woman.

READ MORE: theguardian.com

Recommended For You