One year ago this month, the military trial against Private Chelsea Manning began in Fort Meade, Maryland. After leaking classified documents related to US military abuses in Afghanistan, she was convicted in 2013 of crimes including violating the Espionage Act, and sentenced to thirty-five years in prison. Glenn Greenwald has called Manning the most important whistleblower since Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg.
In a new graphic novel, The United States vs. Private Chelsea Manning, available now from O/R Books, Clark Stoeckley documents the complex arguments that led to Manning’s conviction. In this excerpt, the defense argues that Chelsea Manning sent her leaks to WikiLeaks with the reasonable understanding that WikiLeaks was a journalistic outfit, and not a political force aligned with America’s enemies. With digital media expert Yochai Benkler on the stand, a fascinating debate ensues over the meaning of journalism and the pursuit of transparency in the digital age. Click the image below to open the excerpt.