Chelsea Manning, the transgender Army soldier sent to prison for spilling secret military documents to WikiLeaks, says the United States keeps much a lot of material classified for far too long — sometimes merely to hide its mistakes.
"There are plenty of things that should be kept secret … Let's protect sensitive sources. Let's protect troop movements. Let's protect nuclear information," Manning said in an interview with The New York Times Magazine to be published Sunday.
"Let's not hide missteps. Let's not hide misguided policies. Let's not hide history. Let's not hide who we are and what we are doing … The problem is, more and more, everything is secret by default."
Manning, convicted of a 2010 leak and sentenced to 35 years behind bars, had all but four months of her punishment commuted by former President Barack Obama earlier this year.
Manning said some of her worst time in prison came during her stint in solitary confinement, punishment for a suicide attempt.
"[Isolation] changes you; it makes you angry. You start to forget about the world outside — it's not relevant or relatable anymore," Manning told writer Matthew Shaer.
"The darkest part of solitary confinement is that you start to forget about cars, and jobs, and families, and weather, and politicians, and all the things that make up a society."
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