Chelsea Manning on Wednesday insisted that the biggest intelligence leak in US history was not motivated by pacifism, but by her desire for transparency.
The former US Army intelligence analyst is currently serving a 35-year jail sentence for leaking hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables to the WikiLeaks website.
The ex-private, who was prosecuted as a man called Bradley but later asked to be recognised as a woman, said the memos could equally have been used to back certain military actions, according to a statement released to Britain’s Guardian newspaper.
“It’s not terribly clear to me that my actions were explicitly done for ‘peace’ … I feel that the public cannot decide what actions and policies are or are not justified if they don’t even know the most rudimentary details about them and their effects,” explained Manning.
“I don’t consider myself a ‘pacifist,’ ‘anti-war,’ or (especially) a ‘conscientious objector’.
“I believe it is also perfectly reasonable to subjectively interpret these documents and come to the opposite opinion and say ‘hey, look at these documents, they clearly justify this war’.”
Instead, Manning wants to be recognised as a “transparency advocate”.
The former solider is serving her sentence at the US military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]