Bradley Manning: Sometimes You Have to Pay a Heavy Price to …

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AMY GOODMAN: A military judge has sentenced Army Private Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for leaking more than 700,000 classified files and videos to WikiLeaks about the U.S. wars overseas and U.S. foreign policy. Mannings leaks included a video showing a U.S. military helicopter in Iraq shooting at two vans and killing civilians, including two Reuters journalists. Mannings documents were released in an effort to open the eyes of Americans to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and provoke a more intense debate, Manning said.

The 35-year sentence has been widely criticized by human rights group, legal and press freedom groups. The sentence is much longer than any punishment given to previous U.S. government officials who have leaked information to the media. The editors of The New York Times described the sentence as excessive, pointing out Manning was sentenced to a longer prison term than Michael Behenna, a U.S. soldier who killed an unarmed Iraqi man who was being questioned. Behennas original sentence was 25 years; it was then reduced to 15. The Guardian compares Mannings sentence to that of Army Reserve Corporal Charles Graner, who was convicted of abusing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Graner was sentenced to 10 years and released after six and a half.

In Mannings case, Army prosecutors initially sought a sentence of life without parole plus more than a hundred years. With parole, the 25-year-old Manning could be released on parole in about seven years.

On Wednesday, defense attorney David Coombs announced he plans to ask President Obama to pardon Manning. At a news conference outside Fort Meade, Coombs read a statement from Manning.

DAVID COOMBS: The decisions that I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in. Since the tragic events of 9/11, our country has been at war. Weve been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on any traditional battlefield, and due to this fact weve had to alter our methods of combating the risks posed to us and our way of life.

I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help defend my country. It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing. It was at this time I realized in our efforts to meet this risk posed to us by the enemy, we have forgotten our humanity. We consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan. When we engaged those that we perceived were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians. Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability.

In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror.

Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionable acts are advocated by those in power. When these cries of patriotism drown out any logically based dissension, it is usually the American soldier that is given the order to carry out some ill-conceived mission.

Our nation has had similar dark moments for the virtues of democracythe Trail of Tears, the Dred Scott decision, McCarthyism, and the Japanese-American internment campsto mention a few. I am confident that many of the actions since 9/11 will one day be viewed in a similar light.

As the late Howard Zinn once said, ‘There is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.’

I understand that my actions violated the law. I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States. It was never my intent to hurt anyone. I only wanted to help people. When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others.

If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all and he puts in here women and men are created equal.

AMY GOODMAN: Attorney David Coombs reading a statement from Bradley Manning yesterday. The statement is part of Mannings plea to President Obama for a pardon.

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Bradley Manning: Sometimes You Have to Pay a Heavy Price to …

State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley decries Bradley …

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning

AP/Grpahics Bank

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET with comments on Manning’s treatment from President Obama.

State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley, speaking at an academic event regarding new media and foreign policy Thursday, called the treatment of accused Wikileaks leaker Pfc. Bradley Manning “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid,” according to reporting from BBC reporter Philippa Thomas.

Crowley was speaking at an event at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when he was asked about the treatment of Manning, who is currently detained at the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va.

Crowley criticized the Defense Department’s handling of Manning but added that “Nonetheless Bradley Manning is in the right place.” Crowley continued that “there is sometimes a need for secrets… for diplomatic progress to be made.”

A State Department official told CBS News that Crowley’s comments reflected his personal opinion and do not reflect the official policy of the U.S. government.

Manning has been held in restrictive conditions at Quantico since July 2010, and some have questioned why the legal proceedings against him have taken so long to begin. Earlier this month, the Army filed 22 new charges against Manning and for the first time formally accused Manning of aiding the enemy, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reported.

Following news that Manning is being forced to sleep without clothes in his cell, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) charged that the miilitary’s treatment of Manning is comparable to the abuse carried out at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

UPDATE:In a press conference today, President Obama said the Department of Defense has assured him that Manning is being treated appropriately.

“With respect to Private Manning, you know, I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards,” Mr. Obama said. “They assured me that they are. I can’t go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Private Manning’s safety as well.”

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State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley decries Bradley …

Bradley Manning adopts new gender, name: now Chelsea …

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“I am Chelsea Manning.”

“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me,” Manning said in the statement. “I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition.”

While his supporters may back Manning, the Army said Thursday it won’t.

One Army official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about Manning’s case, said the private remains a male in the eyes of the Army. Another said Manning would be treated like any other prisoner.

“A lot of the inmates have issues they’re dealing with,” said the second official, who also was not authorized to speak publicly about Manning’s case. “Even if you have gender identity disorder, you still serve your sentence.”

That includes access — like any other inmate — to mental health professionals like psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and behavioral expects, said Kimberly Lewis, a spokeswoman at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where Manning will be held.

She added those diagnosed with gender dysphoria, the medical term for those who identify with another gender, “must still complete their sentence” without hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery provided by the Army.

The Human Rights Campaign, though, insisted Thursday that the military should grant Manning’s wishes.

“The care she receives should be something that she and her doctors — including professionals who understand transgender care — agree is best for her,” the campaign said, using the pronoun Manning asked to be identified by. “There is a clear legal consensus that it is the government’s responsibility to provide medically necessary care for transgender people and the military has an obligation to follow those guidelines.”

Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, told “Today” that he’ll take action if the Army doesn’t provide the hormone therapy Manning has requested.

“I’m hoping Fort Leavenworth would do the right thing and provide that,” Coombs said. “If Fort Leavenworth does not, then I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that they are forced to do so.”

Gender identity issues

The issue of Manning’s gender identity repeatedly surfaced during the court-martial. A widely circulated picture released by the military showed Manning wearing a blond wig.

The image came from an e-mail Manning sent to a superior titled “My Problem.”

“It’s not going away, it’s haunting me more and more as I get older,” Manning wrote in the e-mail. “Now, the consequences of it are dire, at a time when it’s causing me great pain in itself. As a result, I’m not sure what to do about it.”

An Army psychologist called by the defense said Manning appeared to be isolated and under intense pressure as a male soldier struggling with gender identity issues.

Speaking during the sentencing phase of the court-martial last week, Manning said the decision to leak the documents came while “dealing with a lot of issues” — a reference to the gender identity crisis.

Reaction

Manning’s announcement brought a range of reaction.

On Twitter, where “Chelsea Manning” was a hot topic of discussion, user onekade wrote of being “pretty much in awe of Chelsea Manning’s bravery, on so many fronts.”

Others were less supportive.

“Chelsea Manning,” conservative pundit John Podhoretz tweeted. “This country has officially jumped the shark.”

Coombs told “Today” that Manning did not intend to make a public issue of his desire to live as a woman.

“She never really wanted this to be public to begin with,” Coombs said. “When the information came out, you need to understand that she gave it to Adrian Lamo in a very private setting, in a one-on-one chat, never expecting this to be public. Now that it is, unfortunately, you have to deal with it in a public manner.”

Lamo is a former hacker from California who pleaded guilty in 2004 to breaking into The New York Times secure computer network. In 2010, Lamo, in California, and Manning, in Iraq, chatted over a few days, Lamo has said.

Legal issues

The issue of taxpayers being required to pay for gender reassignment surgery has come up repeatedly in recent court cases.

Earlier this year, a federal appeals court reinstated a lawsuit brought by a transgender prisoner in Virginia, where a prison had refused to allow her to undergo sex reassignment surgery.

Last year, a federal judge ordered Massachusetts to pay for a sex change operation for a convicted murderer. The state is appealing that decision.

There are few good statistics on the number of transgender inmates in U.S. prisons, according to Vincent Villano of the National Center for Transgender Equality. A study of California prisons identified 330 transgender inmates in an overall prison population of 160,000, he said.

The center believes those numbers are higher, he said.

At Fort Leavenworth, Manning can’t alter his clothing to reflect a desire to be seen as a woman.

Lewis noted that Army regulations require all prisoners wear a “distinctive … uniform (with) a white name tag with black letters spelling the last name of the prisoner over the right picket of the shirt.”

The letters won’t change for Manning.

But, as Lewis said, Manning could otherwise go through the courts to legally change his first name — to Chelsea.

The rest is here:
Bradley Manning adopts new gender, name: now Chelsea …

Bradley Mannings Strange World American Free Press

By Victor Thorn

Drag Queens, Transsexuals, Cross Dressing, Homosexual Computer Hackers, Gays in the White House and Rebellion Against the Militarys Dont Ask Dont Tell Policy

Did Bradley Manning leak classified military secrets because he was suffering a severe psychotic breakdown due to conflicts resulting from his desire to undergo a sex change operation? Mannings attorneys think so, describing him as a deeply troubled soldier struggling with issues of gender identity.

Indeed, Mannings sexual identity deteriorated to such an extent that he adopted an online alter-ego named Breanna, ordered female hormone treatments while in Baghdad, and became a transvestite during military leaves. He told one acquaintance, I cross-dressed, full onwig, breast-forms, dress, the works. Manning then photographed himself wearing womens clothing and gave the pictures to Master Sergeant Paul Watkins. In addition, he ordered a book from Amazon.com that instructed males on how they could use reconstructive surgery to look more feminine, while also considering the possibility of electrolysis.

This information, though troublesome, is crucial because Bradley Mannings entire identity revolved around his homosexuality and feelings of seething rage at the U.S. military for not facilitating his transgender lifestyle. Prior to hacking into government computers, Manning punched a female intelligence officer named Casey Fulton in the face, threw violent tantrums, overturned a table and broke computer monitors, hurled chairs in a fit of rage, and experienced three possible nervous breakdowns. He eventually received a demotion for his behavior, whereas other officers recommended that he forfeit his firearm.

Mannings extremely fragile condition was no doubt fueled by being bullied, mocked, verbally smeared and physically attacked by fellow soldiers. Unable to function, the diminutive soldier often curled into a fetal tuck at night and wet the bed as he screamed into his pillow.

Feeling increased animosity, Manning characterized his colleagues as homophobes and a bunch of hyper-masculine trigger happy ignorant rednecks. This hostile environment also led Manning to sneer at his cohorts by calling military intelligence an oxymoron. Filled with disdain at those surrounding him, Manning delivered these shocking words. I am not a piece of equipment. Take me for who I am, or face the consequences. Revenge soon followed.

Mannings worries about transitioning from male to female actually began prior to his deployment in Iraq, leading him into a sordid web of homosexual computer hackers. The young privates introduction to this shadowy realm came via his former lover, Tyler Watkins, a drag queen and computer hacker that operated out of the Boston area.

Later, after deciding to penetrate the Armys computer files, Manning revealed his secret to Adrian Lamo, a notorious bisexual hacker that was convicted in 2004 of breaking into computers at Microsoft and The New York Times. Lamo then went on to become a member of San Franciscos Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) and Queer Youth Task Force.

Alarmed by the gravity of his risky communications with Manning, Lamo contacted his former boyfriend, Timothy Douglas Webster, who had been employed in the past by Army counterintelligence. Lamo told Webster, What I saw in those chats [with Manning] was an admission of acts so egregious that it required a response.

In addition, Lamo started funneling copies of his correspondence with Manning to Wired magazines senior editor Kevin Poulsen, another convicted hacker who, in 1994, plead guilty to money laundering, obstruction of justice, mail fraud and other cyber-crimes. After the Wikileaks scandal broke, Lamo stated that many of the primary figures involved were gay, or a velvet espionage ring, as he put it.

To illustrate the depths of Mannings allegiance to his gay rights agenda, he boasted of smuggling downloaded data taken from military computers on CDs marked Lady Gaga. To those not familiar with pop music, Lady Gaga is an openly bisexual singer and gay rights proponent plagued for years by transgender rumors. Similarly, Manninggoing by the name Bradass87once described himself to transsexual blogger Xeni Jardin as such: [My] CPU is not made for this motherboard.

Mannings obsessive battle against the militarys Dont Ask Dont Tell (DADT) policies even extended into the White House, where he befriended President Obamas openly gay Director of Specialty Media Shin Inouye, who was tasked with outreach to the LGBT community. According to conversations with transgendered blogger Zinnia Jones, Manning said that Inouye was a source within the White House that kept him informed on Obamas progress in repealing DADT. Manning then revealed, He [Inouye] tried to sleep with me.

Furthermore, after bragging about being connected to influential members of Washington, D.C.s gay political scene, Manning also leaked military data to Chris Johnson, a reporter for D.C.s gay newspaper The Blade. To show how ingrained this lifestyle was to him, the disgruntled activist G.I. marched in gay parades and attended Democratic gay rights fundraising events.

Columnist Ginger Thompson summarized this situation in an Aug. 8, 2010 article for The New York Times. Mannings social life was defined by the need to conceal his sexuality under DADT. He became obsessed with the repeal of DADT. On the other hand, the website Gawker.coms Adrian Chen wrote on Dec. 16, 2011 that Manning saw himself as a cunning sexual strategist, screwing and seducing his way to influence among D.C.s quasi-closeted military and political scene.

On Nov. 27, 1978, San Francisco supervisor Dan White murdered Mayor George Moscone and a gay legislator named Harvey Milk. As his defense, Whites lawyers claimed that he consumed too many sugary snacks that led to his clinical depression. This failed strategy came to be known as the Twinkie Defense.

Interestingly, one of Bradley Mannings computer passwords was Twink1492 [slang for effeminate gay men]. In this updated and exploited version of the Twinkie Defense, Mannings attorneys assert that because the military didnt accommodate his desire to become a transgendered female, their client experienced a psychotic crack that led to his self-destructive acts. When coupled with a deluge of abuse from fellow soldiers in Baghdad, Mannings deterioration caused him to seek revenge against those he saw as tormenters.

In this sense, Mannings detractors insist that he didnt divulge classified secrets as an act of conscience, but instead lashed out at an institution that made him feel powerless and frail. Critics further explained that Manningdepressed, alienated and lonelywasnt motivated by love of country or patriotism, but rather an extreme homosexual agenda that allowed him to commiserate with the enemy.

Stated differently, akin to the Iraqi people or those in third world countries that were underfoot of the U.S. military, he too felt victimized as a closeted man trapped in a womans body that the U.S. military ran roughshod over via their DADT policies.

In this vein, the Twinkie Defense unequivocally contends that Manning cannot be held responsible for any actions he committed because of pressures he felt from his surroundings. But is such an approach fair to thousands of other gays serving in the military that didnt steal state secrets? In essence, Mannings lawyers are arguing that homosexuals cant be trusted with classified documents because the military is homophobic, therefore corrupting them into committing criminal acts.

Since Manning and many of his colleagues were computer hackers, did they feel any loyalty to their country? Mannings betrayer Adrian Lamo confessed quite tellingly: patriotism is something of a dirty word in the hacker community.

In this context, was Manning suckered in by an even larger scheme than the transgender agenda he so embraced? Sanjiv Bhattacharya of AOL News brought this issue full circle on July 21, 2010. As it happens, [Adrian] Lamo was uniquely qualified to lead Manning on. All hackers are adept at manipulation: they play roles when they penetrate security systemsits called social engineering, and it often involves pretending to be someone else entirely. Consequently, manipulation and betrayal are not uncommon among hackers.

Manning frequently referred to himself as a ghost, an actor in a body that actually wasnt his. In fact, Mannings counselor said that his patient felt he was female and that a host of gender identity struggles caused him to feel like a monster. But after being introduced to, and then exploited by, a subterranean netherworld of homosexual computer hackers, Mannings image is no longer transparent as he faces a lifetime in prison.

Following a seven-day trial in mid-December at a makeshift Fort George G. Meade courtroom, Lt. Col. Paul Almanza will soon make recommendations to his military commander as to whether private first class Bradley Manning should face a court martial in regard to the theft of over 250,000 government documents that were eventually released to Wikileaks. The 22 counts brought against Manning include aiding the enemy and illegally stealing government secrets. The embattled soldier could face life imprisonment if found guilty of pilfering the battlefield reports in question.

As a former Army analyst, Manning sent shockwaves through the military and mainstream media in Apr. 2010 when Wikileaks posted video footage that later became known as Collateral Murder. Filmed in 2007, U.S. helicopter pilots were captured strafing Iraqi civilians with gunfire as they joked about and called their victims dead bastards.

The exposure of these damning actionsrecorded from the cockpit of an Apache helicoptercaused the Army a great deal of embarrassment as they now had the blood of 11 innocent citizens on their hands. Antiwar critics unloaded on the Bush administration over these senseless casualties. In no time, a frantic manhunt was underway to find an individual that some called public enemy number one. Others referred to this whistleblower as the greatest hero of free speech since Daniel Ellsberg delivered his cache of Pentagon Papers to The New York Times and other publications.

In May 2010, federal officials arrested Manning on Iraqi soil for violating a top-secret security clearance that allowed him access to classified data. They were led to him after Adrian Lamo, the computer hacker that corresponded with Manning, snitched to a member of Army counterintelligence (see related story).

Shortly thereafter, Manning found himself imprisoned in Quantico, Va.s Marine Corps brig where he claimed to have experienced prolonged abuses and inhumanities. His supporters allege that Manning was forced to endure solitary confinement for 23 hours a dayoftentimes nakedwith no personal belongings in his cell. Then, at night, wardens allowed him to only wear a smock and sleep on a cot that had no sheets or covers.As news of this treatment leaked out, the Pentagon was faced with another public relations disaster that created unwanted headlines. With no other option, Army superiors transferred Manning to the U.S. penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. Up until the date of his trial, Manning had spent a total of 19 months behind bars.

Ever since the Bradley Manning scandal erupted, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has adamantly denied having any contact with the young Army private that stole hundreds of thousands of government documents. During an Oct. 25, 2010 interview at Londons Frontline Club, Assange dismissed any possibility that he had knowledge of Mannings involvement in the controversial hacking and high-tech thievery. Then, again on Dec. 17, 2010, Assange took it a step further by claiming that he had never even spoken with Manning.

However, at Mannings court martial trial at Fort George G. Meade, prosecutors provided a plethora of evidence that they contend proves an ongoing cyber-relationship between Manning and Assange. This information is crucial because if Assange did conspire with Manning to obtain classified data, he could be charged with violating the U.S. Espionage Act.

This direct collaboration on Assanges behalf undeniably complicates his stance that Wikileaks merely acted as a conduit to publish anonymously received material. But, if Assange failed to tell the truth and his role went beyond that of a mere journalistic endeavor, Wikileaks status as an innocent bystander in this affair is seriously jeopardized.

To prove the governments case, digital forensics contractor Mark Johnson of the Armys Computer Crime Investigative Unit provided 15 pages of correspondence between the two parties that was extracted from Mannings personal MacBook Pro. Of particular interest in these online chats is Mannings knowledge of Assanges Internet user name and his Icelandic phone number.

Even more damning is a Mar. 8, 2010, conversation where Manning seeks Assanges assistance in cracking the password of a government computer so that he can retain anonymity. Assange responded by providing a tool that was useful in deciphering the password in question. Later, after penetrating the militarys system, Manning informed Assange, Im throwing everything Ive got on Guatanamo at you now. The upload is about 36 percent. These documents would later appear on Wikileaks.

Taken one step further, Manning relayed to Adrain Lamothe computer hacker that eventually snitched on himhow he had been in contact with Assange. Lamo responded by chiding Manning about this interaction, adding thatat least in his opinionAssange was using Manning to do his dirty work for him.

If true, the conclusion to this scenario is clear. As Catherine Fitzpatrick wrote for the website Wired State on Dec. 19, Julian Assange has now been definitely caught in a lie, and the implications of the chat logs published by Wired are now validated: Manning has been found to be directly in touch with someone named Julian Assange in chat, and had his contact information on his computer. Julian Assange and his lawyers, of course, have continued to lie about this. Assange claims he never got directly in touch with Manning. Thats so he can appear to keep his distance from the crime of inciting hacking.

As a side note, its more than curious that Julian Assange has attacked 9-11 truth-seekers in the past, even going so far as to tell the Belfast Telegraph on July 19, 2010, Im constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies like 9-11.

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Bradley Mannings Strange World American Free Press

Linda Sarsour Backs Traitor Bradley Manning for Senate …

Pro-sharia extremist Linda Sarsour put her support behind U.S. traitor Bradley Manning for his Senate run and not a single person is shocked.They are two peas in a pod.

How strange, though, that a Muslim would support a transgender person knowing full well that her religion allows for throwing them off of buildings. Perhaps Sarsour is ignoring that particular inconvenience and latching on to what she shares with Manning: hisanti-Americanism.

Before he announced his Senate bid as Chelsea in a disturbing ad you cant unsee Manning was formulating his agenda on Twitterwith messages like f*** the police. This further proves hehas no loyalty to the U.S. military, enjoys committingespionage, and thinksthe police are domestic occupiers. That’s a lot of hate for people in uniform for someone who loves dressing up as a woman.

If this is the best the Democratic Party can muster, then, bring it on. We Republicans “got this.”

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Linda Sarsour Backs Traitor Bradley Manning for Senate …

Linda Sarsour endorses Chelsea Manning for U.S. Senate …

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Shes with [Insert your preferred pronoun here]!

The traitor formerly known as Bradley Manning announced their candidacy for United States Senate in Maryland Monday and the former Army private has already lined up a key endorsement of sorts, none other than anti-Israel activist and pink-hat-wearing-angry-woman-march organizer Linda Sarsour:

Manning served a little over seven years (including time served during investigation and trial) of a 35-year sentence in Leavenworth for espionage and theft of over 700,000 military includingbattlefield videos and diplomatic cables from classified computer accounts. (This was back when the The Swamp took classified diplomatic documents seriously and didnt reward the breach of these state secrets with a nomination for president.)

During the trial Manning came out as a transgender individual and proclaimed himself to be Chelsea. In his final days as president, Barack Obama commuted Mannings remaining sentence.

Recently, Manning has used Twitter to deliver wildly popular left-wing sentiments like F*** the police and Taxation is sharing.

So, in short, the transgender thief, spy, traitor who hates the police and wants more and higher taxation just got endorsed by a virulent anti_Israel terror sympathizer.

No wonder shes running as a Democrat.

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Linda Sarsour endorses Chelsea Manning for U.S. Senate …

Chelsea Manning files to run for US Senate – ABC News

Chelsea Manning, a transgender former U.S. Army soldier imprisoned for seven years after being convicted of leaking classified military documents to WikiLeaks, has filed papers to run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland as a Democrat.

According to a Federal Election Commission filing, Chelsea Elizabeth Manning filed her candidacy papers on Thursday. Manning is challenging incumbent U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, also a Democrat, who is running for his third term.

The primary election for the 2018 Maryland senate race will be held on June 26, 2018.

Manning was convicted in 2013 by a military tribunal under the Espionage and Computer Fraud and Abuse Acts for releasing over 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks. At the time, Manning was a 22-year-old United States Army private named Bradley Manning, and she served seven years of a 35-year sentence. President Barack Obama commuted Mannings sentence to time served as one of his final acts in office.

The information Manning disclosed included low-level battlefield reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, Guantanamo prison camp detainee profiles and U.S. diplomatic correspondence. Manning pleaded guilty to some charges but was acquitted of the most serious charge brought against her: aiding the enemy.

Manning has long maintained that she leaked the documents in order to spark public debate. In an exclusive 2017 interview with ABCs Juju Chang for a special edition of Nightline, Manning said, My intention was to draw attention to this and do the right thing.

Manning continued, And I struggled with that, but the intention was very much like, This is about improving the country. This is about improving our standing in the world, this is about improving everything. And maybe this can start a debate on that.

Mere days after Manning was sentenced, she came out as transgender on Aug. 22, 2013. The military would not provide her with any treatment for her gender dysphoria, which Manning claimed resulted in her increased distress. At the time, her ACLU lawyer filed a lawsuit on her behalf in order to receive gender transition related health care.

Cardin’s office and Manning did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Chelsea Manning files to run for US Senate – ABC News

Bradley Manning: Whistle-blower or traitor? He awaits judge’s …

Story highlights

Or is he, as the prosecution contends, a traitor who leaked classified material to WikiLeaks that he knew could assist terrorists?

But Manning refused to plead guilty to the most serious allegations, including that of aiding enemies of the United States — a charge that falls under the Espionage Act and carries a sentence of life in prison, if convicted.

As the soldier sits in a military prison cell at Maryland’s Fort Meade awaiting word of his fate, questions remain about what damage his actions caused to U.S. intelligence gathering.

The answer depends on who is doing in the talking.

But Manning’s attorney, David Coombs, told the court Friday that despite claims that the leaks harmed national security, the Army did not make any major changes to its operation.

It’s a sentiment that has been echoed publicly by his supporters.

“They really have not reported any great impact. More embarrassment than anything else,” Kevin Zeese of the Bradley Manning Support Network, an online group that supports the soldier’s actions and has been raising funds for his legal defense.

Embarrassing or not, the publication of the leaks rocked the U.S. government, with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying the release of the material threatened the lives of Americans and damaged foreign relationships.

Prosecution witnesses have testified Manning downloaded and leaked 400,000 Pentagon field reports from Iraq and 90,0000 similar documents from Afghanistan. There evidence also was presented that he downloaded and leaked more than 250,000 State Department cables.

‘Collateral Murder’ video

The video was shot from a U.S. Apache helicopter as it opened fire on a group of people in Baghdad in 2007, killing a dozen people. Among the dead were a Reuters TV news cameraman and his driver.

The video showed Reuters’ Saeed Chmagh survived an initial strafing by the helicopter, but apparently died when it opened fire again — this time on people attempting to get him off the sidewalk where he lay and into a van.

The footage quickly made news, elevating what was once a virtually unknown WikiLeaks to a globally recognized name. Later, a U.S. investigation into the attack found that the crew mistook the journalists’ cameras for weapons while seeking out insurgents who had been firing at American troops in the area.

But, according to court documents and testimony, by the time the world saw the video, Manning had already downloaded hundreds of thousands of classified documents and videos.

Within months, Manning was behind bars, accused of using his computer skills to commit what the government called treason.

From Oklahoma to Iraq

It was a far cry from his beginnings.

After working a series of part-time jobs and, at one point, living out of his car, he joined the Army in 2007.

But it was a tough acclimation, his friends later said, in large part because of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. According to friends and his own writings on the Internet, Manning is openly gay.

Then, in 2009, Manning deployed to Iraq.

He was at Forward Operating Base Hammer in southeast Baghdad, where he worked as an analyst reviewing possible threats to U.S. troops.

According to Fein, the prosecutor, within two weeks of his arrival in Iraq, Manning began working with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over what to leak and how to do it.

Manning spent hours at work during off-hours downloading documents, Fein said.

Manning, the prosecutor said, was well aware of the military’s policy about divulging classified material and the repercussions of doing it. The soldier had even taught classes about protecting the material, Fein said.

“Manning had no allegiance to the United States,” Fein told the court last week, adding that he was “not a whistle-blower; he was a traitor.”

But Manning’s attorney offered another picture, one in which the war deeply affected his client.

It began, his attorney told the court, after an attack on a convoy with his comrades. A roadside bomb exploded beneath a car full of civilians that had pulled aside to let the military vehicles pass.

Although members of his 305th Military Intelligence Battalion were not hurt, Coombs said, at least one civilian was killed. That changed Manning’s outlook on the war, his lawyer said. He “struggled.”

He was further disturbed by the “Collateral Murder” video, the attorney said.

“Did they all deserve to die? That is what Pfc. Manning is seeing when he watches this,” Coombs told the judge after playing the video in court.

It was for those reasons, according to Coombs, that Manning then started selecting information to reveal, believing that it would be better if it were public.

Coombs said his client was selective in the information he diverted from a controlled-access computer system where he worked as an “all source” intelligence analyst.

What would you do?

It began with a message said to be posted by Manning, using the instant message handle “bradass87.”

“If you had unprecedented access to classified networks 14 hours a day 7 days a week for 8+ months, what would you do?” it read.

According to testimony, that was purportedly part of a string of instant messages that a person sent to Lamo, who was convicted in 2004 for hacking The New York Times, Microsoft and Lexis-Nexis computer systems.

Over a period of days beginning on May 22, 2010, Lamo testified, he and the man identified as Manning instant-messaged about the release of the documents and videos.

Lamo has said he reported Manning to authorities.

Solitary confinement

Manning was arrested in Iraq on May 27, 2010, and then transferred to Kuwait before being returned to the United States two months later.

He was formally charged on July 6, 2010, with violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Espionage Act. In March 2011, the military revised the alleged violations and filed 22 charges against Manning.

Crowley resigned just days later amid reports that the Obama administration was furious over his suggestion that Manning was being treated badly.

President Barack Obama publicly defended the conditions of the soldier’s detention, telling reporters that he had been assured by the Pentagon that the conditions were appropriate and met basic standards.

Even so, the outcry grew, with academics, medical professionals and others weighing in as Manning’s attorney filed motions to move the soldier from the Marine Corps prison at Quantico.

Dueling portraits

During closing statements last week, attorneys on both sides pointed to a picture of a smiling Manning.

Each had their own take on the man in the cross-dressing image that was taken in 2010 while he was on leave — just weeks before his arrest.

“This is a gleeful, grinning Pfc. Manning,” who had little regard for his allegiance to the United States, Fein told the court.

But Coombs told the judge that picture showed a situation in which Manning could “be himself.”

The only question now is what portrait of Manning the judge will offer with a verdict.

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Bradley Manning: Whistle-blower or traitor? He awaits judge’s …

Bradley Manning, who transitioned to Chelsea – latimes.com

Chelsea Manning, the American soldier behind one of the largest leaks of classified government documents in U.S. history, was released Wednesday from the military prison at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence.

President Obama, in one of his final acts in office in January, commuted her sentence after deciding that she had been punished enough for handing a trove of military and diplomatic reports to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

After another anxious four months of waiting, the day has finally arrived,” Manning said in a statement released by her legal team. “I am looking forward to so much! Whatever is ahead of me is far more important than the past. I’m figuring things out right now which is exciting, awkward, fun, and all new for me.”

She posted a photograph on her social media accounts of two feet in black Converse sneakers. First steps of freedom!! she wrote.

Mannings lawyers confirmed that she had been released safely but provided few details about her plans, saying that they want to give her time to adjust to life outside prison in privacy.

An online fundraising page set up by her supporters said she was headed to Maryland, where she has family. As of Wednesday afternoon, the page had raised more than $157,000 to help with her living expenses and healthcare.

Army officials said she would remain on active duty, although on unpaid leave, while she appeals her court martial conviction. Under this status, she is eligible to receive care at military medical facilities and other benefits.

Manning, a transgender woman who was known as Pfc. Bradley Manning when she was arrested in 2010, began her transition in prison after lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union brought a lawsuit against the Department of Defense over her medical treatment for gender dysphoria.

But she struggled to cope at the all-male facility, where her lawyers said she endured long stretches in solitary confinement and was not permitted to adhere to female grooming standards. She twice attempted suicide last year.

In a statement last week, Manning thanked the many supporters whose letters she said had lifted her spirits in dark times.

For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea, she said. I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world.

Manning, whose actions launched a new era of massive security breaches in the Internet age, was lauded by antiwar and anti-secrecy activists as a hero, even as others, including President Trump, branded her a traitor.

She was a 22-year-old junior intelligence analyst at a forward operating base outside Baghdad in early 2010 when she began to illegally copy more than 700,000 U.S. military field reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, battlefield videos and diplomatic cables from classified computer accounts.

They included detainee assessments from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and a now-infamous 2007 video of an Apache combat helicopter firing on civilians in Iraq and killing 12 people, including two employees of the Reuters news agency. The military said the helicopter crew mistook a camera lens for a weapon.

Some Republican lawmakers and intelligence officials criticized Obamas decision to commute Mannings sentence, saying it would encourage others to leak sensitive information. But administration officials said Obama believed the sentence the longest ever imposed in the United States for a leak conviction was excessive.

The officials contrasted her case to that of Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who sought refuge in Russia after leaking what were regarded as far more sensitive documents about U.S. surveillance programs to news outlets in 2013.

Manning, they noted, did not try to avoid justice for her crimes.

She was convicted in 2013 of numerous charges, including six Espionage Act violations. But a military court acquitted her of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy, which could have sent her to prison for life. Her sentence included a demotion and dishonorable discharge order that, if carried out, would cause her to lose her military benefits.

Mannings legal team hailed her release, noting that she had already served the longest sentence of any whistle-blower in the United States.

Although her supporters say she wont be giving interviews for at least a few weeks, she will probably continue to champion the rights of transgender people, a subject she has written about from behind bars.

The first thing Chelsea always says when we talk about her freedom is that she wants to give back to the trans community to fight for the many trans people, largely trans women of color, held in custody; to continue to connect with trans young people to continue to transform the public narrative about what it means to be trans, one of her ACLU attorneys, Chase Strangio, said in a blog post this week. She has an unrelenting sense of compassion and justice despite all that she has faced.

The rights group Amnesty International also welcomed Mannings long overdue release but noted that no one has been held accountable for the alleged abuses she brought to light.

While we celebrate her freedom, we will continue to call for an independent investigation into the potential human rights violations she exposed, and for protections to be put in place to ensure whistle-blowers like Chelsea are never again subjected to such appalling treatment, Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said in a statement.

alexandra.zavis@latimes.com

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Bradley Manning, who transitioned to Chelsea – latimes.com