— Good Morning America (@GMA) June 9, 2017
With Reality Winner, the NSA contractor who leaked classified documents to The Intercept, facing charges and others wondering how much more there is to learn about the alleged Russian hacking those documents detailed, leaked military documents are back at the forefront of public discourse. It’s fitting then that Chelsea Manning has given one of her first interviews since being released from prison after having her sentence commuted. Speaking in a Nightline interview, Manning takes responsibility for handing over classified documents to Wikileaks.
“Anything I’ve done, it’s me. There’s no one else,” she said. “No one told me to do this. Nobody directed me to do this. This is me. It’s on me.”
Manning says that at one point she realized that the documents she was churning through everyday weren’t just statistics:
In referring to the military documents she was reviewing and what compelled her to risk her career and break the law by leaking them, Manning said, “We’re getting all this information from all these different sources and it’s just death, destruction, mayhem.”
“We’re filtering it all through facts, statistics, reports, dates, times, locations, and eventually, you just stop,” she continued. “I stopped seeing just statistics and information, and I started seeing people.”
When asked why she didn’t raise concerns with superior officers, Manning said, “the channels are there, but they don’t work.”
Manning served seven years in military prison, the longest prison tenure ever for a leaker. Since her release she’s sought normalcy, taking to Twitter, and reiterating her respect for the military.
“The military is diverse, and large, and it’s public, it serves a public function, it serves a public duty,” she said. “And the people who are in the military work very hard, often for not much money, to make their country better and to protect their country. I have nothing but respect for that. And that’s why I signed up.”
Manning’s interview will be shown on an upcoming episode of Nightline.
(via ABC News)