On August 21, 2013, Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison and a dishonorable discharge. Her “crime” was revealing to the world the brutality of an imperialist military that has made the whole of the earth its victim. Despite every argument against the notion that this was a punitive measure to prevent a new era of Mai Lai massacres and Abu Ghraibs, this verdict cements the truth: the U.S. Military, and U.S. imperialism more broadly, is stating boldly that it can and will carry out its grim and bloody work whatever the cost – either in moral decency or in the lives of the innocent they destroy.
Chelsea Manning will likely spend the remainder of her youth in prison, not necessarily for her “crimes” but for uttering and spreading truth while in an institution under a regime built on protecting a lie – the lie that U.S. imperialism is looking out for any interest other than its own. Manning must go down so that an army of future killers, swindlers and exploiters can carry out their black work without exposure.
We condemn this verdict as a simple exercise in scapegoating while the real crimes are perpetrated by imperialism’s lackeys, be they in military uniforms or in business suits. Chelsea Manning has entered into a place in history occupied by every person who has been punished for speaking truth to power, and we in the APL and the revolutionary workers of this country, and the world, will not forget her sacrifice.