The former US Army intelligence analyst who was found guilty of releasing the largest set of classified documents in US history will be honored in absentia for her role in exposing the dark nature of civilian casualties in Iraq.
Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning), currently incarcerated at Leavenworth Prison, will be recognized at a ceremony in absentia at Oxford University’s prestigious Oxford Union Society “for casting much-needed daylight on the true toll and cause of civilian casualties in Iraq; human rights abuses by U.S. and “coalition” forces, mercenaries, and contractors; and the roles that spying and bribery play in international diplomacy,” according to the press release, published by activist and author David Swanson.
The award ceremony will be held on February 19, 2014, according to the statement.
The Sam Adams Award acknowledged Chelsea Manning, 26, for revealing to the world some of the atrocities of the Iraq War, including the “Collateral Murder” video – footage taken in July 2007 from inside the cockpit of a US Apache helicopter as US troops onboard cut down 12 unarmed civilians, including two Reuters reporters.
The video footage, together with some 500,000 Army documents that are now known as the Iraq War logs and Afghan War logs, was turned over to Wikileaks in early 2010.
Manning was sentenced in August 2013 to 35 years imprisonment.
Former senior NSA executive and SAAII Awardee Emeritus Thomas Drake commented that Manning “exposed the dark side shadows of our national security regime and foreign policy follies.”
Drake writes that Manning’s “acts of civil disobedience … strike at the very core of the critical issues surrounding our national security, public and foreign policy, openness and transparency, as well as the unprecedented and relentless campaign by this Administration to snuff out and silence truth tellers and whistleblowers in a deliberate and premeditated assault on the 1st Amendment.”
The Sam Adams Award is given annually by the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, comprised of retired CIA officers, to an intelligence professional who has taken a stand for integrity and ethics. It is named after Samuel A. Adams, a CIA whistleblower during the Vietnam War.
Last year, the Sam Adams award was presented to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who recieved the award at an undisclosed location in Moscow. Other renowned recipients of the award in recent years were Thomas Drake, Julian Assange and Samuel Provance.
Jesselyn Radack, of the Government Accountability Project, told RT in October during a roundtable discussion “it’s a dangerous time for whistleblowers in the US.”
At the same time, however, Snowden’s revelations have had a big effect as “courage is contagious,” Radack noted.
“We have more and more whistleblowers coming to the Government Accountability Project than we have had before,” she said. “I really think [Snowden] has had a wonderful effect [on] the US and the world.”