Chelsea Manning: We Need to Stop This 'Death Machine of Power'

Chelsea Manning, on "Democracy Now!" (Democracy Now! / YouTube)

Chelsea Manning wants to change America. On Tuesday, the freed whistleblower appeared on “Democracy Now!” to discuss her plan with hosts Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez.

The appearance was Manning’s first live television interview since President Barack Obama pardoned her in 2017. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013 after leaking more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks in 2010 while serving as an Army intelligence analyst in Iraq. The leaked materials—the largest classified data dump in United States history—included documents related to the Iraq War, the U.S. war in Afghanistan and diplomatic cables.

During her conversation with Goodman and Gonzalez, Manning discussed Iraq, dismantling the prison system, transgender rights, her run for a Senate seat and other topics.

Manning is running as a Democrat in the November elections, challenging senior Democrat Ben Cardin for his seat in Maryland. She explained her decision to run for political office:

You know, it was—I thought I was done. I thought, “OK, like I can go home now.” But I don’t feel like it’s this—I mean, in this environment, in this place, this time that we’re in is what I feared when I—because I saw, you know, and I realized it’s expanded more and more, that it’s not just the military, it’s not just the intelligence community. It’s not—it’s police. It’s the justice system. It’s immigration. Like all these systems are overlapping, and they’re suffocating people, deliberately and methodically, over decades. And this has been a continuing—you know, like people have been building this whirling death machine of power for decades now.

And you can focus in on a particular war or a particular moment or a particular controversy, but it’s the overwhelming awe of the giganticness of this system that has driven me to try to fight back. And we need to start—you know, like we don’t need to fix these systems, we need to stop them. We need to push back on them, whether it’s immigration or whether it’s the military or whether it’s the intelligence apparatus, because they’re all a part of the same system. And people are suffering. And we can’t wait. We can’t wait anymore. We can’t wait for change.

Watch the full “Democracy Now!” interview with Manning in the videos below.

Eric Ortiz
Eric Ortiz is a journalist and innovator with two decades in digital media, Ortiz founded the mobile app startup Evrybit, a live storytelling and reporting tool, as a 2014 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at…
Eric Ortiz

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