Thu May 18, 2017 08:53AM
Former US Army soldier Chelsea Manning
Former US Army soldier Chelsea Manning
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Former US Army soldier Chelsea Manning helped expose America's abuses in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, an American anti-war activist and political analyst says.

Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of the American peace movement CODEPINK, which opposes US military actions, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Wednesday while commenting on the release of Manning, the American whistleblower who served seven years in prison for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks.

The 29-year-old has been imprisoned since 2010 and was sentenced in 2013 to 35 years in prison for espionage, by far the longest punishment ever imposed in the United States for a leak conviction.

But former US President Barack Obama just days before leaving office commuted her prison sentence, reducing it from 35 years to seven years.

“The information that was revealed by Chelsea Manning has taught us a lot of things about US policy, for example the Iraq War Logs that revealed thousands of reports of prisoner abuse and torture that has been going on in Iraq,” Benjamin said.

“We also learn that through the Guantanamo files about hundreds and hundreds of prisoners who have been brought to Guantanamo that were mostly either blow-level operatives or actually innocent people,” she said.  

“We learnt that the US said it wasn’t keeping a tally of civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan but actually they were between the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs, it shows that the US government has counted over a hundred thousand  deaths in Iraq,” the activist stated.  

“And, we also learnt a lot about the collateral murder videos. This is perhaps the most well-known of what Chelsea Manning revealed. And in that video it showed the indiscriminate killing of over a dozen people in Iraq suburb that had included two journalists working for Reuters,” she noted.

US military guards move a detainee to an undefined facility inside Camp Delta in the Detention Center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, March 29, 2010. (Photo by AFP)

“These are just some of the examples of the information that was revealed by Chelsea Manning and made the world more aware of the abuses committed by the United States in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo,” Benjamin said.

“I think that Chelsea Manning did a great service to the American people who deserve to know what the government is doing in our name, and did a great service to the world to show the American government was not this great example of a democratic regime, trying to bring democracy to the world, but really showed us as we are -- an invading force that was trying to take over a nation in the case of Iraq that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack,” the analyst concluded.