Chelsea Manning back in jail for refusing to cooperate with grand jury

ALEXANDRIA VIRGINIA- MAY 16 Former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning addresses reporters before entering the Albert Bryan U.S federal courthouse

A federal judge remanded Chelsea Manning into federal custody Thursday for again refusing to testify before a grand jury in the WikiLeaks investigation.

The objective of imprisoning Manning for contempt of a grand jury is explicitly to compel her to testify.

Once in court she told the judge she would "rather starve to death than to change my opinions in this regard", the Washington Post reported. Manning previously served 63 days in the cooler for refusing to talk, 28 of which were in solitary confinement.

Following her deployment to Iraq in 2009 as a U.S. Army intelligence analyst, Manning leaked more than 725,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks, including military battlefield reports and U.S. State Department cables. She was released May 9 when the grand jury's term expired, but was issued a second subpoena before the current grand jury. On top of imprisonment, he vindictively imposed fines of $500 per day if she does not testify after a month of confinement and $1,000 a day after two months.

"Simply put, Ms. Manning has not spent enough time in jail to arrive at the time" where she could argue that she can't be coerced into testifying, prosecutor Thomas Traxler said.

Federal grand juries are impaneled for a maximum of 18 months, but it is unclear how long this particular grand jury has been on duty.

"Ultimately the goal here is to re-litigate the court martial, from my perspective". She was released in May 2017.

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She said in a press conference that she and the government had stipulated that she would not testify, and that the process could move directly to her motion to quash the government's subpoena, which Trenga then denied. "It is telling that the USA has always been concerned with the disclosure of those documents than their damning substance".

The judge, the Post said, responded by telling Manning "There's nothing dishonorable in discharging your responsibility as a United States citizen".

"The case doesn't make sense, it's very bananas", she said. She was sentenced to 35 years in prison in August 2013, although 112 days were thoughtfully removed after the judge ruled that she had been tortured while being held in military prison.

"The questions are the same questions I was asked before the court-martial", Manning said.

In a statement Thursday, Manning's attorney Moira Meltzer-Cohen said she was "disappointed" in Trenga's decision to detain her client, but did not expect Manning to change course in her refusal to testify.

U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger declined to say why the government continued to seek Manning's testimony.

We "never once made this about anything other than obtaining immunized testimony in furtherance of an investigation", he said, adding that "all we want is her to truthfully answer questions as our constitutional republic requires of our citizens".

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