In 2017, Winner leaked a report that said that prior to the 2016 U.S. election, the Russian military “executed cyber espionage” against “122…local government organizations,” “targeting officials involved in the management of voter registration systems.” https://t.co/DQ3COh0VTm
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) December 6, 2021
60 Minutes originally ran Scott Pelley’s story last December. They re-ran it on Sunday, and posted the entire transcript online:
… In 2018, at the age of 26, Winner pleaded guilty. The judge said he would make an example of her—she served four years behind bars, plus three, now, answering to a probation officer. She still can’t talk about the case.
Reality Winner: I’ve had four years of just trying to say I’m not a terrorist. I can’t even begin to talk about my actual espionage indictment. Or have a sense of accomplishment in having survived prison. Because I’m still stained by them accusing me of being the same groups that I enlisted in the Air Force to fight against. So I don’t let myself feel anything regarding the actual act or the charge. Until I can let it be known that I’m not what they said I was.
She served her sentence during prison lockdowns for COVID and the unrest after the police murder of George Floyd. In a cell with two companions — depression and bulimia — she became self destructive.
Reality Winner: You know, every time that I had to give in to my illness, I put it on my body. I cut myself. Everywhere. I couldn’t leave my cell. I couldn’t work out. And all I could do was ask why and ask why. And a chaplain walked by. And I asked him why they were doing this to us and that same chaplain that I had seen for two years looked me in my face and said, “Nobody gives a f**k about y’all in here.” I started getting high that day. Everyone knows there’s drugs in prison. I was reduced to bingeing and purging. Getting high every day. And cutting myself.
Scott Pelley: Have you been able to get clean?
Reality Winner: I have. I just am ashamed to say how hard it is.
It’s worth noting how inconsistent the government is in these cases.
In 2008, Gregg Bergersen, a Pentagon employee, was convicted of selling secrets to the Chinese. He was seen in FBI surveillance getting his pocket stuffed with cash. His sentence was six months shorter than Reality Winner’s. In 2012, former Army general and CIA Director David Petraeus gave notebooks of top secret information to an author who was his mistress. He was charged with misdemeanor mishandling of classified information and never spent a minute in jail.
Scott Pelley: Was it worth it?
Reality Winner: I try so hard not to frame things as being worth it or not worth it. What I know is that I’m home with my parents. And we take our lives every day moving forward as being richer in knowing what to be grateful for…
Last month, Reality Winner and her attorney asked President Biden for a pardon.
"Two former officials told us, Reality Winner helped secure the 2018 midterm election.” https://t.co/JKt69ei78z
— Alice Liddell (@aliceliddelliam) July 25, 2022
— Reality Winner (@reazlepuff) July 24, 2022