Blueprint for Free Speech applauds the release of whistleblower and Blueprint Prize recipient Chelsea Manning on 17 May 2017. Chelsea won the Blueprint Enduring Impact Whistleblowing Prize in 2016. We applaud President Obama’s correct decision to commute Chelsea’s sentence.
Chelsea disclosed a video which revealed war crimes, including the shooting of innocent children and unarmed civilians, and the killing of Reuters journalism staff in Iraq. Her disclosures provided unvarnished evidence to the citizenry of the world about two failing wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan. What we learned from the data set of war logs that she revealed was in direct contrast to the narrative presented by elected officials. In providing transparency, her disclosures swayed public opinion in the US and internationally, and contributed to ending these wars. Her revelations about how secret policies were negotiated behind the closed doors of embassies, without public evaluation or input and often against public opinion, brought into the limelight a secret and often unaccountable sphere of power.
Blueprint wishes Chelsea well and continues to recognise her contribution to the broader public interest.