Former US soldier and one of the most prominent whistleblowers of modern times posts letter to Twitter saying she is ‘not authorized to enter Canada’
Chelsea Manning in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on 17 September 2017.
Chelsea Manning, the former US soldier who served seven years in military prison after instigating one of the biggest breaches of classified data in US history, has said she has been barred from entering Canada.
On Monday, Manning posted on Twitter a report from the Canadian government that identified her as a foreign national “who has not been authorized to enter Canada” due to prior convictions.
“So, I guess Canada has permanently banned me?” wrote Manning – one of the most prominent whistleblowers of modern times.
The letter, addressed to the country’s minister of immigration, said Manning had attempted to enter Canada at the official border crossing near Champlain, New York, late last week.
Manning had told Canadian border officials that she had been convicted in 2013 of charges associated with the United States Espionage Act and had been released from prison in May.
The letter added that if the same offence had been carried out in Canada, it “would equate to an indictable offence, namely treason”, and could result in up to 14 years in prison. For this reason, Manning was deemed inadmissible to Canada.
On Twitter, Manning rejected the comparison officials had attempted to make between the US and Canadian law, and said she planned to formally challenge the decision.
In 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for sending more than 700,000 documents, videos and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks. The classified and sensitive documents leaked by Manning – who had been assigned to an army unit in Iraq as an intelligence analyst – shone a light on the nature of warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan and included a video showing the US military launching an airstrike that killed a dozen people, including two Reuters news staffers.
The 29-year-old was released earlier this year after her sentence was commuted by Barack Obama during the final days of his presidency.
Manning’s brush with the Canadian border authorities came as she was embarking on a bi-coastal tour to celebrate her newfound freedom.
She had planned to drive up the east coast from New York to Montreal, then fly across Canada to Vancouver and drive down the west coast, stopping off to join protests against the far-right activist Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley.
But she never made it across the border. Canadian guards detained her overnight before turning her back to the US.
Manning’s support team have responded with astonishment to the suggestion by Canadian authorities that her prosecution under the US Espionage Act was equivalent to treason under Canadian law.
They stressed that the Espionage Act was unprecedented around the world as it allows no margin for whistleblowers to argue that the disclosures they made were in the public interest.
Manning’s team said their concern now focused on whether Manning’s experience with Canadian immigration officials would be replicated in other countries that might be susceptible to US government pressure.
Manning has a number of international speaking engagements in development, and her team will now have to work out whether entry into those countries will be permitted.
On Monday, Canada’s Ministry of Immigration refused to comment on Manning’s case, citing privacy laws. Each case is evaluated based on its merits, a spokesperson told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “All applicants can expect impartial, professional treatment and clear, accountable decision-making.”
Speaking to media on Monday, Justin Trudeau also fielded questions about Manning’s case. The prime minister declined to comment but said he was looking forward to hearing more details about the situation.
The report at the CBC (i.e. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) is here.
OP: wtf Canada...????
"See...I once was set up on a date, and things went rather well. Three dates later, and she invited me to her apartment. We start making out and things are getting hot and heavy....and then she asks if I'll roleplay with her. Naturally, I'm down with it...roleplay can be pretty awesome. Schoolgirl/Teacher, Doctor/Patient, House Tyrell/ House Stark...that sort of thing.
But...the roleplay she had in mind was that she had a (fictional) baby who died suddenly, and that I was comforting her at the funeral...and by "comforting", I mean full out sex in front of a roll-top desk that she had dressed up with pink and blue blankets and bows to look like a casket. She even had a framed black and white picture of a smiling infant on top of it.
Needless to say, sex was completely out of the question. She might have had a fake dead baby, but I had a very real dead libido.
I guess the moral of the story is...if you have some kind of fetish and you want someone to share it with....don't just spring it on them out of nowhere."
As was widely expected, Angela Merkel was re-elected to a fourth term as German chancellor on Sunday but the country’s election also saw the far-right nationalists make historic gains that likely cost her conservative coalition lots of votes. In what Der Spiegel describes as a “significant shift” for German politics, the anti-immigration, nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) surprised political analysts by winning 13.1 percent of the votes, according to the projected results. That means that a far-right party will get into Germany’s parliament for the first time in more than half a century.
If the results pan out they would represent a huge gain for AfD, which was recently polling at a paltry seven percent. Now the xenophobic party could send close to 90 lawmakers to the Bundestag.
Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party bloc was the clear winner with 33.2 percent, almost 10 points less than five years ago and its worst result since 1949. Merkel recognized that the victory was not quite cause for celebration. “Of course, we would have preferred a better result, that is completely clear,” she said. “But we mustn’t forget that we have had an extremely challenging parliamentary term behind us.”
Merkel’s party was not the only one that suffered. The Social Democrats (SPD) also received its worst result since the 1940s with only 20.8 percent support in what seemed to be a clear repudiation by voters of the two parties that have dominated German politics since World War II. SPD leader Martin Schulz said the results meant the end of the “grand coalition” with Merkel, calling Sunday a “bitter day” for Social Democrats.
Merkel is now likely to try to cobble together a tenuous coalition with the Greens and the pro-business liberal Free Democrats, which also surprised by receiving 10.5 percent of the vote. That party had already been part of Merkel’s coalition until 2013, when it lost all its seats in the last election. That possible three-way alliance has been widely referred to as the “Jamaica” coalition because the colors of the three parties—black, yellow, and green—match the Jamaican flag.
Alexander Gauland, one of the leaders of the AfD, vowed that “we will take our country back” and that the party “will change this country.” Beatrix van Storch, one of the party’s leaders confirmed the AfD planned to hit the ground running to change the conversation. “We'll start debates on migration, we'll start debates on Islam, we'll start debates on ever closer union,” she said.
As supporters of the far-righ party celebrated in their headquarters, protesters gathered outside to express their rejection of the AfD and its ideals. “All Berlin hates the AfD,” yelled the protesters.
In a pair of early-morning tweets, President Donald Trump once again encouraged football fans to boycott the NFL if the league does not “fire or suspend” players who kneel during the national anthem to protest racism.
Trump argued that if fans take coordinated action, they “will see change take place fast.”
If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
He went on to argue that the protests were partially responsible for what he asserted was declining public interest in NFL games.
...NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country. League should back U.S.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
With the Twitter posts, Trump’s escalated his public campaign against the protests by athletes that he began with comments at a political rally in Alabama on Friday. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired?’” Trump said at the gathering.
His comments prompted an outpouring of criticism of Trump from several NFL players. And on Sunday the owner of one of the league’s most successful franchises joined that chorus. The New England Patriots ― the reigning Super Bowl champions ― released a statement from owner Robert Kraft, a friend and supporter of Trump’s, condemning Trump’s attacks.
“I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the president on Friday,” Kraft said. “I am proud to be associate with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities.”
Kraft added that he backed the rights of players “to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful.”
Shortly afterward, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan locked arms with players and staff who knelt during the national anthem at the start of a game against the Baltimore Ravens in London.
Never seen an owner taking part in an anthem demonstration with players. But there is #Jaguars owner Shad Khan locking arms with players— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 24, 2017
NFL Commissioner Roger Gooddell on Saturday condemned Trump’s “divisive comments”, but refused to name him explicitly. And Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross also issued criticized the president’s “divisiveness” without naming him.
Trump’s crusade against the practice of kneeling during the national anthem began with his seemingly off-the-cuff remarks Friday at a rally on behalf of Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), who is locked in a close race to hold onto his seat.
The president on Saturday tweeted that “if a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”
Trump appears to be wagering that a prolonged battle over a hot-button cultural issue like the protests will work in his political favor. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin defended Trump’s remarks in an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” telling host Martha Raddatz that players “have the right to have the First Amendment off the field,” but that the NFL should fine or suspend players who protest as the anthem is played at the start of games.
Trump’s attacks on protesting NFL players is part of a larger battle he and his administration has been having with the sports world. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested earlier this month that ESPN should fire host Jemele Hill for calling Trump a “white supremacist.”
On Saturday, Trump claimed he was withdrawing an invitation to the White House for the Golden State Warriors, the reigning NBA champions, because star guard Stephen Curry was “hesitating” about attending. Curry had said on Friday that he would vote against the team making the traditional visit, but that the Warriors had not yet decided as a group what to do.
Rather than have a chilling effect on athletes protesting racism, Trump’s comments have prompted a show of solidarity from many black athletes and entertainers, as well as white allies. NBA star LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers spoke out against Trump, and on Saturday, Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first Major League Baseball player to kneel during the anthem.
The movement to protest racism, and particularly police killings of black men, by kneeling during the anthem began with a protest by then-San Fransciso 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in an August 2016 pre-season game. Initially, Kaepernick sat during the anthem, but quickly switched to kneeling in a bid to avoid appearing disrespectful.
Kaepernick continued the protest through the 2016 season, inspiring many of his fellow players to join him. In March, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers and has since failed to get picked up by another NFL team, leading to speculation that owners have blackballed him for his political stance.
By Daniel Marans. 09/24/2017 10:26 am ET.
They all wanted to hear what Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi had to say about an issue that has brought their country into the eye of an unprecedented storm of criticism: Violence in the country's Rakhine State that has led to an exodus of more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh.
While Suu Kyi's speech failed to deflect the growing international condemnation of Myanmar's treatment of the Rohingya, the mood in Yangon, the country's largest city, was upbeat.
"We, the majority of the people, stand with her and we strongly believe that she can solve this problem," said Phyu Wint Yee, 41, owner of a travel agency, who watched the speech at park in downtown Yangon, where a big screen was specially erected.
It mattered little that Suu Kyi, Myanmar's State Counselor, spoke in English, which meant many didn't understand her public address.
"I'm proud that she's speaking on behalf of us to the world," said Bran San, a trishaw driver, who took a break to watch the speech on television.
Others showed their support by changing their social media profiles to a picture of Suu Kyi, who was a political prisoner for years before coming to power.
Fifty-seven-year-old public servant Khin Maung Maung, like many of the dozen or so people CNN spoke to, blamed the crisis on the international media, which he said was "publishing the wrong information" about Rakhine State.
They say the international media focuses on the minority groups like the Rohingya, while ignoring the plight of Rakhine Buddhists, who are members of the majority religion in Myanmar.
Newspapers carry the government's account of the crisis, casting it in terms of the military responding to attacks by terrorists. There are no references to the accusations of ethnic cleansing or alleged massacres.
Like Suu Kyi herself, few people in Yangon use the term Rohingya, most people refer to the minority as "Bengalis" -- a slur term that is often used as shorthand for illegal immigrants -- and there appears to be little sympathy for the Muslim minority in a country where there has been an upsurge in Buddhist nationalism.
Prejudice against the Rohingya, who are not seen as citizens of Myanmar, is long held and people aren't shy to share their views.
"They are terrorists to the native population," said one noodle seller in Yangon's Lanmadaw district.
Tin Win, who works for the country's Inland Water Transport agency, was until recently based in Sittwe, the state capital of Rakhine, where he lived for more than two years.
He painted a picture of a Buddhist population under threat from Muslims. "They are expanding," he said. "They produce so many kids, so many children."
He also found no fault with the camps or ghettos some 120,000 Rohingya are forced to live in by the state, but said he'd never visited them, as he was told "they were too dangerous for an outsider."
"They can leave under escort. It's not a problem. They come to the public hospital. They can come to shop at the market. "
Some 90% of Myanmar's population is Buddhist but the notion that Islam threatens Buddhism is prevalent, according to a new report from the International Crisis Group, which says the idea often appears in mass publications and popular religious materials.
"The feeling that Islam is especially pernicious ... frustrates Buddhists who believe that their faith has suffered for its tolerance of other religions," the report says.
The religious strife, which has been whipped up by well-known firebrand monks like Ashin Wirathu, isn't only felt in Rakhine state.
Myanmar is home to other Muslim communities and they have had their mosques attacked and schools closed down, according to the ICG report, which warns of potential communal violence across the country.
The animosity towards Rohingya isn't shared by everyone.
"Both sides are suffering and poor so I want a stable situation. I hope she will do the best for both sides," said Liam Ngaio Nuam, 25, a nursing student, who is Christian.
Others said they wished for peace.
The bloodshed unfolding in northern Rakhine State and the humanitarian crisis it has unleashed across the border in Bangladesh feels far away in bustling Yangon, which is enjoying the economic fruits of Myanmar's transition from a military dictatorship to a young democracy led by Suu Kyi.
Ironically, as Suu Kyi's status as a champion of human rights in the West is sullied by her handling of the crisis, the criticism being leveled at her appears to be enhancing her status as a moral hero at home.
"She is walking a tightrope because of all this wrong or fake information," said Nay Win Oo, a tour guide.
In the past, Suu Kyi has referred to a "huge iceberg of misinformation" about the Rohingya crisis that was contributing to the barrage of international complaints.
Suu Kyi's attempts to shape the message within Myanmar seems to have worked.
However, even as State Counselor, she doesn't have full control of the levers of power.
The country's Constitution gives ultimate authority to the military, led by Commander-in-Chief General Min Aung Hlaing.
With little sympathy for the Rohingya among her supporters, there's little incentive for Suu Kyi to condemn the generals' actions against the Rohingya in the way the international community wants.
This is how genocide happens...