“It’s almost embarrassing how consistently you are wrong.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said Tuesday that transgender Army leaker Chelsea Manning had been “trapped in solitary confinement” and should be released on bail.
“Related: Chelsea Manning has been trapped in solitary confinement for refusing to answer questions before a Grand Jury,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet. “Solitary confinement is torture.”
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“Chelsea is being tortured for whistleblowing, she should be released on bail, and we should ban extended solitary in the US,” she added.
Related: Chelsea Manning has been trapped in solitary confinement for refusing to answer questions before a Grand Jury.
Solitary confinement is torture.
Chelsea is being tortured for whistleblowing, she should be released on bail, and we should ban extended solitary in the US. https://t.co/95ef4xYt3k
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 2, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez’s take won the support of many on the left, including Glenn Greenwald and Ed Krassenstein. But her detractors were out in full force as well. Conservative writer Allen Ginzburg delivered a particularly forceful rebuttal to the Bronx-born lawmaker. “It’s almost embarrassing how consistently you are wrong,” he tweeted, before linking to a thread that tackled each of Ocasio-Cortez’s points.
1) Manning is not a whistleblower. She is a traitor that was convicted under the Espionage Act & endangered countless lives by leaking classified information.
2) Solitary confinement is not torture.
— (((AG))) (@AG_Conservative) April 2, 2019
Ginzburg declared that “solitary is not torture.” He also linked to an article from The Hill that complicated Ocasio-Cortez’s assertion that Manning was “trapped in solitary confinement.”
The Hill article notes that the sheriff at the facility where Manning is being detained told CNN that Manning is, in fact, not in solitary confinement.
The freshman congresswoman’s tweet backing Manning came on the heels of comments she made defending whistleblowers during a House Oversight Committee hearing on Tuesday.
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“We have a unique responsibility to protect those that have the courage to come out and say when something is wrong, regardless of the administration,” she said. “It doesn’t matter the party. When something is going wrong in government—when there is overreach, when there’s an abuse, or a misconduct of process—we have an obligation to see and investigate it.”
During the same committee meeting, Ocasio-Cortez implored lawmakers to get to the bottom of President Donald Trump adviser Jared Kushner’s use of WhatsApp to conduct government business. She railed against the administration for not responding to the House Judiciary Committee’s requests for information, calling Kushner’s use of the app “ridiculous.”
“Every day that we go on without getting to the bottom of this matter is a day that we are putting hundreds if not potentially thousands of Americans at risk,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I mean, really, what is next, putting nuclear codes in Instagram DMs? This is ridiculous.”
In 2013, Manning was sentenced to prison after being convicted of charges related to her leaking classified documents to Wikileaks. She served seven years, had her sentence commuted by President Barack Obama and was released in early 2017.
This year, the Army intelligence analyst was found in contempt and ordered jailed March 8 after refusing to appear before a federal grand jury.
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