Chelsea Manning facing solitary confinement for old toothpaste, Caitlyn Jenner magazine

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  Aug. 13, 2015 at 9:05 AM
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FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. Army private serving 35 years for leaking government documents, is facing "indefinite solitary confinement" for charges including having contraband such as expired toothpaste and a magazine featuring Caitlyn Jenner.

Manning has been charged with disrespect, disorderly conduct, prohibited property and medicine misuse by officials of the United States Disciplinary Barracks, the maximum-security military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where Manning is serving time for charges including violating the Espionage Act.

Books and magazines were found in Manning's cell, prompting the charge of prohibited property.

Books recovered include I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman. Magazines confiscated include the Vanity Fair "Call me Caitlyn" issue with Caitlyn Jenner on the cover and a Cosmopolitan with an interview of Manning.

The medicine misuse charge was imposed for a "tube of anti-cavity toothpaste... found in your possession past its expiration date," according to the charges.

"Putting any human being in indefinite solitary confinement is inexcusable, and for offenses as trivial as these (an expired tube of toothpaste, and possession magazines?) it is a discredit to America's military and its system of justice," advocacy group Fight for the Future said in a petition hoping to "stop the government from torturing Chelsea Manning with indefinite solitary confinement."

The official account for the charges of disrespect and disorderly:

"During dinner chow, inmate Manning was approached by a correctional specialist to inform inmate Manning to be aware of her surroundings because the correctional specialist was almost hit with some food inmate Manning swept off the table. The correctional specialist attempted to talk to inmate Manning but she continued to cut the correctional specialist off by stating words to the effect of 'you are accusing me,' 'this interview is over' and 'I want my lawyer.'"

The hearing for the charges in scheduled for Tuesday.

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