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Thursday, October 24, 2019
A letter from whistleblower Reality Winner's mother RootsAction Team
A letter from whistleblower Reality Winner's mother
I am writing, asking for your help in advocating for my daughter, Reality Leigh Winner.
On August 23, 2018 my daughter Reality was sentenced to a record-breaking sentence of 63 months in prison. She had been arrested and jailed on June 3, 2017, denied bail, and charged under the Espionage Act for the release of a single classified document.
The document released by Reality Winner was an intelligence assessment about a “spear phishing” attack on election systems in over 20 states just days before the 2016 presidential election. This information had not been shared with the American people, nor the states, nor the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
At the time of the release, Reality was employed as a contractor working at the NSA in Augusta, Georgia. She came across this document at a time when the administration was desperately trying to deny any Russian interference in the presidential election had taken place.
My daughter Reality served honorably in the United States Air Force for a term of six years, where she was trained and served as a linguist. She was awarded a commendation medal for exceptional achievements and outstanding service. Sadly, Reality’s service in the military was never given positive recognition, but was weaponized and used against her.
The prosecution also utilized this young woman’s private text messages and social media posts to portray her in an unfavorable way, which was an untrue depiction of who she really is. Reality has not only served her country, she also served each and every community she has ever lived in through her volunteerism.
Reality is a young woman who cares deeply about her environment, the community, children, animals, and social issues. The government wanted to portray her as someone who "hates America," using a private message sent to her sister while having a discussion regarding the over-use of air conditioning and the effects on climate change.
There are many who do not recognize Reality Winner as a true whistleblower, because she did not utilize the official channels to release the information, and there are also many who believe that she did indeed commit a crime and violated her oath when she took it upon herself to release this classified document. I do not argue with these points, but the thing I do stress is that she did not deserve the 5+ year prison sentence and the treatment she has received thus far from our Department of Justice.
At this time, I am asking for your help in telling the DOJ that Reality Winner deserves to be released from prison. She has already served almost 30 months behind bars, and has suffered tremendously.
Please add your name to the petition urging that Reality be pardoned or have her sentence commuted to time served.