“I wrote “Readme.txt” for the future me” – Liberation


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The 34-year-old whistleblower, a former military analyst who has become a security consultant for NGOs, traces her story and her struggles in her autobiography, published by Fayard.

For posterity, Chelsea Manning’s destiny changed one day in February 2010 when, connected to the sluggish wi-fi of a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Rockville, Maryland, she transmitted to WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of US military reports about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Manning, at the time identified as a boy, is 22 years old, she is an intelligence analyst in the army, she is on leave after four months spent in the Iraqi desert. She knows she takes risks; she still doesn’t know how much. Not for a moment does she imagine that, three months later, she will be locked up in a steel cage under a tent, in Kuwait, in stifling heat.

For Chelsea Manning herself, sending that mass of classified documents to Julian Assange’s organization that day was, she says, “one decision among many others”, within a “narrow window” of time: the time of his experience of war, the time during which he forged his conviction that his fellow citizens had the right to know – should know – what the reality of these wars waged under their flag was. Between his incorporation in September 2007 and his arrest, less than three years elapsed. She summarizes: “It was a really frantic early 20s.”

His story, his version, his voice

Chelsea Manning, one of the lan

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