The news broke on Twitter. I know you are all simply breathless with antici….. pation.
Delighted to announce: Chelsea Manning joins @GuardianUS as a contributing opinion writer, writing on war, gender, freedom of information
— Katharine Viner (@KathViner) February 10, 2015
It was soon confirmed at Politico. Yes, friends… from inside the confines of Fort Leavenworth, convicted traitor Chelsea Manning (which we must say since he has legally filed the paper work to change his name) will be a contributing writer at the Guardian.
Chelsea Manning is joining The Guardian U.S. as a contributing opinion writer, the site’s editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, announced on Tuesday.
Manning, previously known as Bradley Manning, was an Army private who was convicted in 2013 and is serving a 35-year term for leaking national security materials to WikiLeaks. She [sic] will write “occasionally from Fort Leavenworth prison on the subjects of war, gender, and freedom of information” for the British newspaper’s American site, Viner wrote in a staff memo. Manning will not be paid.
This raises a host of questions. The “will not be paid” part seems fairly obvious, as you can’t earn a lot of cash as a prisoner. But what will the Manning use to write these priceless pearls of wisdom and how will that content be transferred out? Looking at the rules of visitation and property at Leavenworth, there isn’t a lot of flexibility in terms of the writer’s life here. Manning isn’t going to have a laptop in his cell and the person visiting him (I assume somebody would have to come pick up the submissions) can’t even bring in a cell phone, say nothing of any memory sticks or what have you to bring files out. Can Manning write things out by hand on yellow legal pads and then pass them off through a guard during visitation to a Guardian editor or courier?
A stay at Leavenworth isn’t like going to a country club or a rehab. And last I’d heard, Manning was pretty much restricted to solitary, if only to preserve his life. (I still can’t imagine that a convicted traitor will be terribly popular with the rest of the population there, even with a name change.) Remind me to get hold of somebody at the Guardian once they get this set up to find out the mechanics behind it. It’s simply fascinating.
But on the plus side, hey… op-eds from Chelsea Manning! Try to contain yourselves. You know we’ll be covering them for you.