WikiLeaks releases video of Lady Gaga & Assange discussing ‘hero’ Manning
The 12-minute video, recorded in October 2012 before Manning stood trial for leaking classified US documents, is the first in a seven-part series dubbed the ‘Gaga Leaks.’
The footage shows Lady Gaga filming Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London as she questions him about Manning’s detention.
“You may be an enemy of the state but you’re not an enemy of humanity,” she tells him.
Then known as Bradley Manning, the former US Army intelligence analyst was sentenced to 35 years in prison in August 2013 for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks. The prison sentence was one of the longest ever recorded in the US for such an offense.
The news of Bradley Manning's sentencing is devastating. If our own can't speak up about injustice who will? How will we ever move forward?— xoxo, Gaga (@ladygaga) August 21, 2013
During Manning’s trial, the prosecution presented a chat log, allegedly between Manning and an informer, which stated that the former US military intelligence analyst used a Lady Gaga CD to transfer vast quantities of state secrets out of the US military and over to WikiLeaks.
Manning is due to be released from prison Wednesday after seven years of military incarceration following former President Barack Obama’s decision to grant her clemency in one of his final acts in office.
In the video, Assange tells Lady Gaga that Manning’s lawyers believe the army private is being subjected to "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" in order to coerce a confession against WikiLeaks and its founder.
He adds that Manning could face the death penalty. “That’s pretty heavy, that’s pretty heavy stuff,” Lady Gaga replies.
Lady Gaga asks: “Do you feel badly that [Manning] is in this situation?”
Assange replies: “I feel that we have a duty to fight, to draw attention to his plight. If he has truly done what he has alleged to have then he is a hero, there is no doubt that he is a hero.”
She also asks Assange: “Is he a gay soldier?” Do you think that his treatment has anything to do with that?”
“They’ve tried to use that against him,” Assange replies, saying “they're using that to diminish him as a human being.”
Manning revealed after the conviction that she has gender dysphoria and identifies as a woman.