Listen to the full episode of “BackBeat: The Making of Chelsea Manning – Collateral Murder Cover-Up” here:
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On this episode of BackBeat, the team elaborates on the Chelsea Manning leaks from seven years ago and discuss why her revelations remain relevant today.
You’ll hear from Michael Conforti, AKA Manny Faces, Christopher Twarowski and Rashed Mian as they provide additional insight into the making of the episode “Chelsea Manning: Collateral Murder Cover-Up.”
The News Beat Podcast episode featured:
- Kevin Gosztola, managing editor of Shadow Proof and co-host of the Unauthorized Disclosure Podcast.
- Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.
- John Kiriakou, former CIA analyst-turned-whistleblower who became the first person to publicly speak about the Bush-era torture program and its use of waterboarding on alleged enemy combatants.
Among the issues discussed in the episode was how the United States government and much of the media obscured what the leaks revealed by disproportionately debating whether Manning was a “traitor” or “hero.”
Here’s an except from a corresponding article published with the episode:
Uncle Sam’s fervent desire to control the message was on full display during Manning’s court martial at Ft. Meade, Maryland in the summer of 2013, where she was being tried on charges under the Espionage Act and for Aiding the Enemy, the most serious of the counts against her. Among the many challenges journalists faced to simply cover the trial: They were not provided access to transcripts of the proceedings and were prohibited from distributing information through social media, despite working out of a building away from the courtroom where the actual hearing was taking place. Since Ft. Meade is a U.S. Army base and also happens to be the home of the National Security Agency (NSA), their vehicles and persons were subjected to stringent inspection and the grounds, media center and courtroom constantly patrolled by armed guards and soldiers. Sometimes, there were added technical issues, such as the audio feed to the proceedings abruptly cutting out.
Seven years later, this obfuscation campaign continues. Hours before Donald Trump’s inauguration in January, then-Vice President-elect Mike Pence referred to Manning as a traitor who “compromised” national security. The president has echoed that sentiment in his signature tweets.
The government, it seems, is forever tethered to this notion that Manning’s actions were perilous to the point of actually contributing directly to the death of people abroad. At the same time, the government has yet to produce evidence to merit such concerns.
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Listen to the full episode here: